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 Minneapolis writer and poet, Susan Budig, in my travels around Gather.Com. Susan writes as a music journalist, feature writer and news journalist for local newspapers in Minnesota. She teaches poetry in various community venues and as a volunteer at her local junior high school. She engineers the sound board weekly at KFAI Radio in Minneapolis.
Susan has immersed herself in poetry for most of her life. She hosts a poetry group at Gather.Com where she writes a monthly poetry column and a weekly column focused on writing. She also hosts public poetry readings at a local coffee house. Susan's poetry has been recognized within her community of St. Louis Park, at the Loft Literary Center; and her poem 'Flying', was featured at Ed Nudelman's Poetry Blog, Thirteen Blackbirds Poetry.
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?
Susan Budig: I eagerly make a small handful of resolutions each New Year's Eve. I will share my latest resolutions as a means of revealing more about myself.
Writing Resolutions for 2010:
- I will find at least one place to teach poetry for profit this year (I did this twice so far in 2010).
- I will continue to promote my poetry chapbook (Yes I have sold my chapbook in two new ways this year).
- I will pitch my essay until published (Still pitching, but I have one public performance venue firmly established).
- I will enroll in a class about writing (I have taken training in other aspects of my career, but not in writing specifically, yet).
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)?
Susan Budig: Poetry is my lifelong passion and has been since grade school. I now seek to use poetry to: a) express myself; b) earn an income via teaching; and, c) facilitate healing for those in hospice and their grieving families.
3. Kim Simpson: What key techniques, or strategies, do you attribute to your success in making your dreams, resolutions and daily goals a reality?
Susan Budig: I have participated in a writing group that I helped to establish in the Fall of 2001. We meet bimonthly and always report on our goals and set new goals. The number one technique I use to accomplish my goals is 'accountability'. I really like to attend my writing group with a report that I succeeded in reaching my goals! In fact, I like this feeling so much that sometimes I will stay up late the night before my group meets and make sure I accomplish most of my previously set goals.
4. Kim Simpson: What are your primary obstacles and how do you overcome them?
Susan Budig: I have a family of four children (a fifth one lives on her own). I have been writing since they were ages 13-years-old to three-years-old. They are my primary responsibility and I need to attend to them. However, I could manage my priorities with more skill, so that the needs of my children could be met at the same time as my own needs. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
5. Kim Simpson: How do you stay motivated, enthusiastic and on track with your plans?
Susan Budig: I am passionate about writing and I see ways to write and to share my writing either for profit, or for fun, in many venues. I share some of my writing on social online networks and receive positive feedback - this encourages me and motivates me to persevere.
6. Kim Simpson: How do you keep yourself accountable?
Susan Budig: I have my online forum that I share with my writing group. At this forum, I track my own goals weekly and share with my co-writers.
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?
Susan Budig: I have never even considered creating a list of my bad habits. For me, this would be counterproductive. I can't imagine why I would do that. I am not motivated by censorious self-talk
8. Kim Simpson: Does pursuing a passion (dream/resolution) bring a sense of joy, accomplishment and reward?
Susan Budig: The joy comes when someone tells me how my writing helped them. Recently, I received a note from a childhood friend. I had written a tribute to her father who recently passed away after several months in a nursing home attempting to recover from a stroke. She said, "Every time I read it (my tribute), I am taken back to the lake and the fun we had as kids and I remember the Dad I had almost forgotten. Thanks for letting everyone know just what a great man he was. It was an amazing gift."
How can I not feel joy and a sense of reward from her heart-felt words to me?
9. Kim Simpson: What is your most significant achievement, and/or most memorable outcome of the journey so far?
Susan Budig: Most significant for me is that I keep writing poetry and essays that are an improvement on what I wrote one year ago and five years ago. The well just doesn't dry up. I constantly am finding new ideas and exciting stories to explore and reveal through writing.
10. Kim Simpson: Any advice for someone who is thinking about pursuing a dream?
Susan Budig: The journey to achieving a dream is of equal importance and probably the greater part of the enjoyment to the realization of the dream itself. Remember this so that when you feel bogged down, you can say, "In spite of these snarls, I am closer to my dream each day. I rejoice in the journey!"
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. Are you ready to get moving? Complete my new I Resolve To . . . Worsheet and make the I Resolve To . . . Promise: I Resolve To . . . Worsheet & Promise. There are three weeks left between today and the New Year . . . that is plenty of time to get the fire burning and momentum churning in a forward trajectory toward 2010 dreams, resolutions and daily goals!
Kim M. Simpson - September 7, 2010
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