"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 Hal Summers, a La Quinta, California hiker who resolved to hike every single day in 2009, during my travels across the Internet in search of folks who make and keep their resolutions. Hal works in the hotel industry and grew up in Orange County, California less than five miles from the beach. His parents moved to the desert in 1978 and he relocated there about five years later. He told me he "fell in love with the desert and its surrounding mountains and started hiking in the area." For 10 years he even ran a hiking store, but said, "With a wife and kids it became more difficult to get out. This year I resolved not only to hike more, but every single day."
Hal has a wonderful blog: Hike Every Day - 365 Hikes - At Least That's The Plan. Each day he chronicles his journey in words and photographs. Whether you are an avid hiker, a walker, someone who loves nature, or simply interested in folks who have interesting New Year Resolutions, Hal's blog is well worth a look. Keep it up Hal, January 1, 2010 is right around the corner, and I bet you keep hiking right on through the New Year!
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?
Hal Summers: This is the first time I have ever made a New Year Resolution. I'd never seen anyone stick to one. On a daily basis I use iCal on my computer to organize my activities.
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)?
Hal Summers: I have an abiding love of wild places. It is something instilled in me through family trips to National Parks, church backpacking trips and hiking in the desert. Having a tree-lined backyard as a kid didn't hurt. I haved loved the outdoors as long as I can remember.
3. Kim Simpson: What key techniques, or strategies, do you attribute to your success in making your dreams, resolutions and daily goals a reality?
Hal Summers: It may be cliché, but I take it one day at a time. Often I don't know what I will be doing until I do it. I am very open to change and living in the moment.
4. Kim Simpson: What are your primary obstacles and how do you overcome them?
Hal Summers: Hiking every day takes time. If I can call my family and job obstacles, then I would say they are. They are definitely the two biggest competitors for me time. My job, though, has been very supportive as far as scheduling goes and my family has been unbelievable, my wife especially. Sometimes family members accompany me on my outings.
5. Kim Simpson: How do you stay motivated, enthusiastic and on track with your plans?
Hal Summers: I always keep my eyes open for some new place to explore and dream of where I 'd like to go if I had unlimited time and resources. I will be going on an outing to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite soon and I just got back from the Sierras. Today, as I was hiking in the100-degree+ desert heat, I was thinking about possibly going to Colorado this Fall.
6. Kim Simpson: How do you keep yourself accountable?
Hal Summers: I have my blog: hikeeveryday,blogspot.com. That lets everyone know what I'm doing. Also, my wife - like all wives - wants to know where I'm going and when I'll be back. Plus, people at work are always asking me if I'm still doing it. I tell them to read 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?
Hal Summers: Absolutely! If I tried to make a list of my bad habits I would never know where to start. Also, ridding me of my bad habits is my wife's job, or so she thinks.
8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward?
Hal Summers: Whether discovering a new trail, climbing a mountain, or just hiking with my dog in the desert, I get a sense of serenity and personal confidence that I don't think I could get any other way.
9. Kim Simpson: What is your most significant achievement, and/or most memorable outcome of the journey so far?
Hal Summers: I just climbed Mount Langley, a 14,000 foot peak in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I've discovered undocumented trails and found a lot of Native American cultural resources that I never knew were out there. Making a new discovery is always very exciting.
10. Kim Simpson: Any advice for someone who is thinking about pursuing a dream?
Hal Summers: Do what you love and share your passion with people you know. They may not share the love you have of your particular pursuit, but they will be inspired by your passion. They will also give you feedback on how you're doing, good or bad.
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 21, 2009
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