What a year! The journey wasn't always easy, but it was quite a ride. I am energized and ready to blaze into 2010 with patience, passion and persistence toward my dreams! There is something magical about reaching the end of a year and, in turn, the end of a calendar. I have been flipping through my wall calendar, day book and journals this week in an effort to contemplate what I attempted to achieve and celebrate what I actually achieved. My walk down memory lane gives me great hope for the future . . .
In a special year-end essay, I Resolve To . . . Resolutionista, Amanda Wyler, pointed out the importance of celebrating successes. I wholeheartedly agree. Tracking and joyfully acknowledging victories and accomplishments of every size and and stripe promotes happiness, lends purpose to life, and stokes the fire of momentum and enthusiasm. Each victory builds on the next one like stepping stones to the stars and once you get a small taste of stardust, you want more and more. And so it goes, on to the next dream and the next challenge, one day at a time, one small step at at a time until you finally reach your destination . . . and move beyond.
During the past five years, as I have studied and practiced what works and what doesn't work in resolution-making and resolution-keeping, I have identified three key components to success: 1) Choose resolutions that generate intense passion and interest, so that you will stay committed and motivated. 2) Do your homework and build a written plan with timelines, so that you can regularly track daily activities (by checking in every day, or every week). 3) Take daily action! Of course there is a lot more to it than that, but if you keep these tips in mind, you will begin your journey with a comprehensive road map that removes guesswork (visit the Resolutionista Resources section of I Resolve To . . . for simple, common sense tips and strategies).
With this in mind, I intend to 'Look Back & Celebrate The Victories', and use them as fuel for my inner fire, as part of my second annual I Resolve To . . . Challenge: 365 Resolutions For Health & Happiness. Why not join me? The objective is very simple: Do at least one thing each and every day to promote health and happiness for 'YOU'. Banish the 'Someday, Someday, Someday Syndrome'. Instead, make every day New Year's Day. Make every day count with 'daily resolves'. The list of possibilities is infinite and can be tailored to your own dreams, resolutions and daily goals. If you need some help - a little nudge, a bit of inspiration, tips, advice, and news about the best ways to make resolutions a reality - please use IResolveTo.Com as one of your resources. Resolve365 in 2010!
In tracking my accomplishments, I avoid flow charts and dense grids. While they might work for some people, I prefer my daily journal, wall calendar, and day book calendar - they make the tracking process more fun. I have long used foil stars and stickers as a way to draw attention to (and quantify) my 'daily resolves'. The trick to tracking progress is establishing a system that works for you and using it every day.
Based on my annual 'look back' here are highlights of my 2009 effort to 'Be A Resolutionista By Making Resolutions, Keeping Resolutions And Enjoying The Journey:
- Daily Resolves: My top resolution and primary project was to create 365 photo-resolutions as part of my I Resolve To . . . Challenge: 365 Resolutions For Health & Happiness. I completed and posted the final images this week in time for the New Year. I am very proud of my 'Daily Resolves' because they enabled me to take small daily steps toward my dreams and priorities every single day in 2009 and provide a guide for 2010. Based on feedback, they also inspired others! I am working on the next phase of this project: calendars and other merchandise that will help folks to keep dreams, resolutions and daily resolves/goals front and center. Stay Tuned!
- Exercise: One of my 'Lifetime Resolutions' and a longtime habit/activity that dates back to my early childhood is exercise (and sports). I created my first blog partially in an effort to track my exercise resolution in 2005 (I exercised 80-percent of the time that year). I have continued to track my exercise program each year since then, and in 2009 I exercised for an hour or more by walking, gardening, and swimming an average of three days each week. Most days in 2009, I also stretched, did light Yoga, and worked out with free weights, so I exercised approximately 90-percent + of 2009. In 2010, I'm shooting for a near-perfect score ;). Perfection isn't one of my goals, but I am confident that I can improve my exercise program and will reap the benefits because I love to exercise and enjoy sports!
- Gratitude: In 2008 and 2009 I focused on a theme of 'gratitude' for all that I have and all that I am, and 'giving back', in four areas of my life: 1) Walk 60-miles and raise nearly $6000 total in the 2008 and 2009 Washington, DC Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks (a top achievement that brought enormous joy in 2008 and 2009; in 2010, rather than walking I am donating four days of my time to work nearly round that clock to take care of the DC 3-Day Walkers); 2) Reduce my Carbon Footprint by recycling, reusing and reducing; 3) Engage in Pre-Meditated Acts of Kindness in an effort to be consciously kind each day; 4) Volunteer on a Virginia Horse Rescue Farm (one out of four gratitude resolutions that is a future 'To Do'). In 2010, all four resolutions are front and center on my 'To Do List' and the 'gratitude/giving back' theme continues!
- Reading: In recent years, I have neglected this wonderful activity because of the crush of work projects and other commitments. My goal in 2009 was to read 12 books. I read nine and am in progress on nine others (I often read a number of books at once). So, I read the equivalent of 12+ books and intend to finish the books that are in progress this winter, along with new titles later in the year!
- Balance: I am a workaholic who is trying to climb on the wagon and stay on the wagon. I created the I Resolve To . . . Challenge, in part, to devote more time to self-care. Major surgery in 2008 made me realize that I am not much good to myself, or anyone else, if I don't take good care of 'me'. I think a lot of people fall into this trap. So, I devised a simple Challenge that enables participants to 'make time' for themselves and their priorities. Some of my top resolutions centered around exercise, improved diet, adequate sleep, drinking water, taking vitamins, having fun, and reducing stress. In 2010, I'm taking the I Resolve To . . . Challenge to the next level and will introduce a group of 'Resolutionistas' who are taking the Challenge with me. Stay Tuned!
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. Get going on your 2010 New Year Resolutions with the new I Resolve To . . . Worksheet & Promise: I Resolve To . . . Worksheet & Promise.
Kim M. Simpson - December 30, 2009
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