"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 met A.F. 'Angela' Reinhart earlier this year in my travels around Gather.Com, a Social Networking Site for the over 30 crowd, and also the home of my Gather I Resolve To . . . Group. Angela creates fabulous fine art and commercial illustrations (I fell in love with her painted gourds, they're so colorful and creative!). She also writes children's stories and instructional articles. Her career goals include being a published author and illustrator for children, teens and adult literature. Her current work involves murals, decorative painting, teaching art and providing instructional tutorials.
Angela describes herself as a "wanna-be artist" in the field of animation and voice-over work, but her overall career accomplishments are many. She has been featured in the Summer All Media Exhibition with Upstream People Gallery online. She placed third in the American Gourd Society's Decorative Painting Contest (Winter 2008) and third place in The Gourd Magazine - Patriotic-Themed Gourd Contest (Summer 2009). In 2008 she was an on-call designer for The Artist's Club out of Vancouver - her work included the 'Love Of Spring' Welcome Sign Instructional Project, which was well received through several of the Club's catalogues. Closer to home, in the Midwest, 2009 marks her third year to teach art through the Purdue Extension Homemakers Club. Her most recent work includes a new children's story 'Bumbling Blackbird And Clumsy Crow', as well as custom art pieces.
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?
A.F. Reinhart: I do use New Year's Resolutions and try to commit to them on a daily basis. I try to keep these goals foremost in my mind. I post notes regarding the small daily steps it takes to get me closer to my goals. Nothing is accomplished overnight, especially that long-term goal. In noting those baby steps, I am building my confidence toward the greater goal. I also have found my morning journal to be indispensable. My artistic journey is being greatly aided by the writings of Julia Cameron in her book 'The Artist's Way'. [I second that Angela - I have faithfully done my brand of 'morning pages' since discovering The Artists Way, nearly 20 years ago!] [UPDATE: Read Angela's 2009 Year End Essay.]
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)?
A.F. Reinhart: The focus of my current work is to gain a position as a published author. Achieving actual published work provides an avenue to further advance my writing career. To find that opportunity can be a real challenge.
3. Kim Simpson: What key techniques, or strategies, do you attribute to your success in making your dreams, resolutions and daily goals a reality?
A.F. Reinhart: Persistence. Commitment. Consistency. There is a drive and determination that keeps me steadfast toward achieving my goals. As difficult as it has been to establish myself, I do not feel like I have the option to quit. In making my goals a reality, I would have to attribute much of this growing success to learning as much as I can about BALANCING life. The journey is not without its confusion over what comes first and conscientiously weighing everything out. Knowing it is NOT easy is a good thing to understand also.
4. Kim Simpson: What are your primary obstacles and how do you overcome them?
A.F. Reinhart: Patience is one of the best tools for overcoming obstacles. I constantly am reminding myself to be open to change. Every circumstance provides new opportunities to learn, to change, to evolve into the person that will achieve the goals I have set for myself.
5. Kim Simpson: How do you stay motivated, enthusiastic and on track with your plans?
A.F. Reinhart: Daily affirmations of my faith keep me on target in life. One of the hardest things I try to do is consistently make time to play. Everyone needs time to relax and give themselves time to be silly and creative. There is a renewed energy to being child-like. It is surprising how revitalizing it is.
6. Kim Simpson: How do you keep yourself accountable?
A.F. Reinhart: Being a rural artistic, my contact with others is a bit limited. My accountability factor has to be myself. I involve myself in as much as I reasonably can handle. Those commitments force me to lock-in my dedication. I associate myself with organizations like: The Society of Decorative Painters, The Society of Children's Book Writers And Illustrators, The American Gourd Society, and The Indiana Gourd Society - they give me constant 'knock-at-the-door' potential opportunities. This system provides accountability on a very personal level.
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?
A.F. Reinhart: Very likely. I believe if we pursue our passions we will have less interest and time to participate in the bad habits. It seems like it does, quite often, come down to a matter of choice. What do you really want to be doing with your life?
8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward? 8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward?
A.F. Reinhart: Honestly, it is almost unexplainable what my art and writing brings to my life. I am not sure there is a word to describe it. ;) Joy is a great start. I believe everyone has been blessed with a talent, something that they are happy doing. More than likely there is a career possibility waiting to be tapped into.
9. Kim Simpson: What is your most significant achievement, and/or most memorable outcome of the journey so far?
A.F. Reinhart: The completion of my writing course, for me, has been quite a significant accomplishment. For quite some time, I stockpiled advertisements for the Institute of Children's Literature. My hopes to pursue my writing fell short to a pile of bills, a busy household and struggles with time. One day I was tired of putting it on hold and decided to 'just do it'. I completed the course.
10. Kim Simpson: Any advice for someone who is thinking about pursuing a dream?
A.F. Reinhart: If you are pursuing your dream make it known. I encourage you to share your passion with someone you trust (not to poke fun at you). Encouragement, support and honest input are outcomes you will truly treasure. One of the greatest things you can do in pursuing your passion is to associate yourself with it. In some way, connect yourself with your dream, even when it means sweeping the floor or scrubbing toilets! You are near what is dear to you and closer to that 'door of opportunity'. Oh yeah, and . . . never give up.
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 - September 2, 2009
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