"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!
Suzi Franks joined the official I Resolve To® . . . Group at Gather.Com in 2009 and I have since enjoyed her positive attitude and fabulous website 2womenon2acres.com. Hailing from Waikato, New Zealand, Suzi is an organic gardener and writer. Given my love of gardening and writing, I was instantly drawn to her posts and her website. She owns a two-acre block of paradise and is a constant organic gardener specializing in heirloom and rare seeds, plants and trees. Suzi shares her land with six dogs, one cat, one house cow, three goats, one lamb and several chickens. In addition to writing for her website, she currently is working on a series of organic gardening books that will concentrate on one cultivar in each book and be a comprehensive guide to 'all you would need to know' about that cultivar (history, sowing seed, tending seedlings, harvesting, saving seed, and storing).
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?
Suzi Franks: Not in the conventional sense. I am blessed with a good imagination and can visualize where I want my life to take me. I also am lucky in that once my mind is made up, I have NEVER changed it and I always have reached my goals and achieved my dreams. It may not always be in the desired time frame or, indeed, in the way I had imagined, but always the end result was better and more satisfying than the original thought!!
I am a firm believer in taking responsibility for my life and how it turns out. By this I mean, when I get old and incapacitated, if I haven't lived the adventurous, fulfilling life I wanted for myself, then I only have myself to blame. People say, "Oh! You are SO lucky." Umm, no, I am proactive, a different thing altogether. They also say, "I always have wanted to do that." I reply, "Why haven't you!". Then they start with the excuses and I think, well you can't really have wanted to do it then!
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)?
Suzi Franks: Again, I am blessed, I have SO many passions that it amazes me how anyone can be bored. My problem is I don't get enough time to focus on all my passions :) . . . I suppose I am a lifelong learner and cannot imagine not having to research, or learn something new.
But, my primary focus at this moment in time is turning our two-acre piece of paradise into a totally self-sufficient oasis of abundance and beauty. We have an area that gave me a picture of what it wanted from me the day I stepped foot on the land and I am obliging by growing rare and heirloom varieties. I have studied and researched organic gardening since we moved in four years ago.
3. Kim Simpson: What key techniques, or strategies, do you attribute to your success in making your dreams, resolutions and daily goals a reality?
Suzi Franks: Difficult question, but I think I have quite a lot of determination if I am on a quest. A quest is how I think of my dreams, ambitions and goals (so much more motivating than simply 'goals'). I find that place inside me that somehow loves a challenge, then I light the blue touch paper, stand back, and off I go. :) [Kim Simpson: I hadn't heard this phrase before - lighting the blue touch paper means doing something that causes anger, or excitement, according to the Collins online dictionary.]
4. Kim Simpson: What are your primary obstacles and how do you overcome them?
Suzi Franks: My biggest problem is that I set my standards and the bar for the achievable daily goals way too high and I am a hard taskmaster; but since my back injury I have learned to slow down and talk myself into thinking it is okay not to finish the job in hand today . . . it will still be there tomorrow. :)
5. Kim Simpson: How do you stay motivated, enthusiastic and on track with your plans?
Suzi Franks: I think if it is something you can picture and it makes you 'tingle' inside at the thought of the end result, you don't need any more motivation than that. But, then I am a stubborn old fool who doesn't like anything to get the better of me. :)
6. Kim Simpson: How do you keep yourself accountable?
Suzi Franks: I presume by accountable you mean for achieving and setting my goals? Someone once said to me: "You can fool others, but NEVER yourself." I guess I always have lived by this principle
7. Kim Simpson: Do you think resolution-setters would achieve more successs if they focused on their passions - things that they enjoy - rather than a list of bad habits?
8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward?
Suzi Franks: Like you would never believe . . . that sense of I DID IT . . . the best! :)
9. Kim Simpson: What is your most significant achievement, and/or most memorable outcome of the journey so far?
Suzi Franks: Being the person I am and seeing most of the world along the way.