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!
Resolutionista (rez - o - lution - ista) Noun 1. Someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions and enjoys the journey.
In 2010 several Resolutionistas have agreed to take the I Resolve To . . . Challenge: 365 Resolutions For Health & Happiness. They are building their year-long game plans around their own personal dreams, resolutions, goals, and Daily Resolves. Each month, they will report on their achievements, obstacles and lessons learned - Jan Beaver Coad provides a look back at her resolutions and progress for 2011!
I met Jan in 2009 during 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. Formerly a community college instructor and administrator, she is a delightful creative soul, multi-media artist and author. Jan has Undergraduate Degrees in Respiratory Therapy and a Masters Degree in Community Health Education. She left full-time employment to pursue an art and writing career. She and her children face many obstacles, including Asperger's Syndrome, attention deficits, learning disabilities, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Tourette's Syndrome.
Jan is the author of 'Why Don't They Come With Instructions?', a collection of personal essays about a Mother's journey raising special needs children and how it lead to the creation of a non-profit organization, The Lavender Door Foundation (the book will be available in August of 2010). Jan is currently working on a memoir about the importance of setting goals and following your dreams. She and her husband, children, cat, and dog live in the Seattle, Washington area. [Read Jan's 2009 Year End Essay.]
YEAR IN REVIEW - 2011
This year of I Resolve To® . . . has been a very rewarding experience. Rather than making New Year Resolutions that I would not keep, I was able to write major goals and break them into manageable baby steps that I could check off each month. Looking back on the year, I am amazed at how successful this year has been for me - especially as hard as it seemed at some points.
My health threw a few curves at me this year, but I was able to have one knee fixed up through arthroscopic surgery, which really helped the arthritis pain and torn cartilage. I was able to exercise more with a much happier knee and over this year. I have lost thirty pounds. I feel so much better even though I still have many more pounds to lose.
I continued writing about the triumphs and struggles of parenting children with special needs and 'Why Don't They Come With Instructions?' was published in September of 2010. It is available on Amazon.Com and is getting good reviews.
I began cooking healthier foods for the family when I learned that my husband had high cholesterol. It turned into a fabulous creative idea for new recipes and an idea for a series of books: 'Connecting Food, Farm & You: 40 Farmers Markets In 40 Days.'
Financially, our family suffered a great deal. We began the year with my husband's ex-wife wanting a huge amount of money when she already received a large amount of child support, so we had to pay an attorney for that. In the Spring I purged to try to sell items at a garage sale and didn't make much, but spent a great deal of time on that. My son had some issues at school that again required money and again going to an attorney. The economy continued to hurt the value of our home and we were unable to sell it. And finally, my husband lost his job and we lost our health insurance. We walked away from our home, cashed out all our retirement money and bought a boat out of foreclosure and entered a new adventure of life aboard a 62 foot yacht that continues to be a major work in progress. But we have learned as a family to meet each challenge that life throws at us and recite our family mantra, "Everything is going to be alright!"
I continue to keep my personal motto: I am a DREAMER and a DOER and am almost finished writing my memoir about growing up with undiagnosed Asperger Syndrome. My non-profit organization The Lavender Door Foundation is getting some press too and I am making plans to move that along, as well.
All in all, it was a successful year and I am happy to welcome 2011.
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: IResolve 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 I Resolve To . . . Worksheet & Promise. View my 2009-2010 Health & Happiness Tapestry by clicking through Daily Resolve Photo-Resolutions.
Kim M. Simpson - December 31, 2010
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