"Do you know where your New Year Resolution is?"
That is an often asked question in the days and months that follow the new year. Statistics show that the majority of resolution-makers eventually abandon their pursuits. During the past five years, as I have studied and practiced what works and what doesn't work, I have encountered scores of passionate people who do persist day-after-day. I coined the word 'Resolutionista' for these folks and the 'resolve' they patiently display: Resolutionistas make resolutions, keep resolutions and enjoy the journey! Borrowing on my years as a working journalist, I am running an inspirational series of interviews with ordinary folks who do extraordinary things. They breathe life into their dreams, resolutions and daily goals, one small step at a time, one day at a time over the long haul. Though they may statistically be in the minority of resolution-makers (the ones who succeed), I want to highlight 'what works', and give them credit for their accomplishments!
I discovered Lisa Orgler, artist, designer, and creator of The Lunchbox Project - A 2009 Food Collage Journal, in 2009 during my travels across the Internet in search of folks who make and keep their resolutions. Lisa is a self-proclaimed artist and trained landscape architect who finds happiness in creating beautiful things. She recently told me, "Though I enjoy crafting and art at all levels, my true love is painting and drawing with ink. This is currently fulfilled daily through my 2009 resolution of keeping a public food journal called 'The Lunchbox Project'. To add a twist . . . all my paintings are on playing cards . . . and honestly, I'm not really a good cook (I just love to eat)."
When I encountered Lisa's wonderful Blog, I was not only drawn to her art, but also to her good-natured sense of humor, illustrated by her posted resolution for 2009: "Forget dieting, my new year's resolution is to eat big! I love food, I love art, I love journaling . . . so I plan to combine them all into one big event - The Lunchbox Project. My goal in 2009 is to create one masterpiece a day - each one on a playing card. Some will look great, others dull, some probably hokey - but its my meal and everything is a go. Check in starting January 1, 2009 to see how this journey progresses. I'll need your support. It's difficult swallowing a goal like that." [UPDATE: Read Lisa's 2009 Year End Essay.]
1. Kim Simpson: Do you make New Year Resolutions, or use another method of consistently achieving your dreams and fulfilling your passions, day-to-day?
Lisa Orgler: My New Year's resolutions used to be typical ones . . . eat healthier, exercise, etc., then I realized I should set goals that would support what I really love . . . my art. One year my goal was to create a small collage journal each day, then it was followed by my current daily food blog, The Lunchbox Project. In the end, I have a reason to paint daily, plus a great collection of illustrations to use for future products.
2. Kim Simpson: What is your primary passion? Is it a lifelong passion, or a more recent interest? What is the focus of your current goal(s)?
Lisa Orgler: My lifelong passion is great design, fun images and beautiful things. All of these are pulled together through my love of painting. I realized as a child that if I couldn't buy something, I could at least re-create it on paper through my crafts. Honestly, some days I can't wait to come home from my full-time job to create another illustration.
3. Kim Simpson: What key techniques, or strategies, do you attribute to your success in making your dreams, resolutions and daily goals a reality?
Lisa Orgler: There are three things I do . . . A) Chunk it down. I learned in graduate school that large projects (like a thesis) could be broken down into smaller parts. Now I approach all projects this way, whether it's a book proposal, my daily blog, or a commission. Nothing is too big, if you can chunk it down into little pieces. It's amazing what you've achieved once all those parts are completed. B) Keep a schedule. We all have busy lives, but you really need to have deadlines for yourself. Keeping a daily blog keeps me on my toes, plus I write for another website weekly, so I keep a very structured schedule. Please note, we all have kids, often another full-time job, plus other major projects. You just need to decide how they fit together successfully . . . so everything flourishes. C) I often make my goals public. Public can mean sharing with your family and friends, or sharing them with the Internet world. I feel obligated to keep up with my blog. I've come close to missing my own deadlines, but know many people are reading my blog, so I prefer not to disappoint.
4. Kim Simpson: What are your primary obstacles and how do you overcome them?
Lisa Orgler: Time is my number one obstacle. Some days I come to the scary realization that there are not enough hours in the day. I have a lot of things pulling me in all directions. Planning is my survival. I plan as far ahead as possible to allow my projects to thrive, but allow for changes (since those around me have their own schedules).
5. Kim Simpson: How do you stay motivated, enthusiastic and on track with your plans?
Lisa Orgler: My number one motivation is my love of creating things. I can't wait some days to paint, sew, or read about other artists. I just love beautiful things, whether it's my own creation, or just enjoying other's work. Both make me happy.
6. Kim Simpson: How do you keep yourself accountable?
Lisa Orgler: I keep myself accountable through the public showcase of my goals . . . like with my blog.
7. Kim Simpson: Do you think resolution-setters would achieve more success if they focused on their passions - things that they enjoy - rather than a list of bad habits?
Lisa Orgler: Yes, everyone should focus on their passions. Life is so much more fun if you follow goals you truly enjoy.
8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward?
Lisa Orgler: Absolutely, I am amazed that I am actually keeping up with my daily goals and am thrilled with benefits that I did not anticipate . . . new friends, sharing my art beyond a small community, learning about other's blogs, and creating a large art collection that I can now use for future projects.
9. Kim Simpson: What is your most significant achievement, and/or most memorable outcome of the journey so far?
Lisa Orgler: My blog started as a way to encourage me to just paint everyday. Now I sell my original art, showcase other food blogs, am developing additional products, and very soon will have a newsletter. Everything is just branching out.
10. Kim Simpson: Any advice for someone who is thinking about pursuing a dream?
Lisa Orgler: You really need to focus on one thing . . . but something you truly love. I have so many interests and have trouble focusing, but my blog has really helped. It has shown that focusing on one thing blossoms into a more developed idea. Then it just keeps blooming and blooming.
Remember: I Resolve To . . . Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It's your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that's with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let's Go For It!
Need More Inspiration? Wear Your Resolution By Visiting The I Resolve To . . . Shop At CafePress: I Resolve To . . . Resolutionista Gear And By Joining The Official I Resolve To . . . Group At Gather.Com.
Kim M. Simpson - August 18, 2009
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