The Young Lawyer’s New Year’s Resolution

USA.gov, “Government made easy,” lists the following, most popular New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Lose Weight;
  2. Volunteer to help others;
  3. Quit smoking;
  4. Get a better education;
  5. Get a better job;
  6. Save money;
  7. Get fit;
  8. Eat healthy foods;
  9. Manage stress;
  10. Manage debt;
  11. Take a trip;
  12. “Reduce, reuse and recycle;” (Is this an actual resolution or a plug for the EPA?) and
  13. Drink less alcohol.

The last one seems slightly ironic considering most of America spends New Year’s Day drinking themselves into oblivion (most likely between drags of a cigarette and bites of something fried or covered in cheese). The rest of the resolutions are worthy, admirable ambitions. Indeed, anyone’s life would be improved were they to pick just one of the above-mentioned statements and adopt it in their lives. However, according to British psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol, there is an 88% failure rate connected with those who set New Year’s resolutions. Not exactly winning odds.

new-years-eve

In addition to choosing a New Year’s resolution worthy of fulfilling, it has been shown beneficial to share that resolution with others that will hold you accountable for the goals you set for yourself. Frank Ra said it best:

“Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintain your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions.” (Frank Ra, “A Course In Happiness: An Authentic Happiness Formula for Well-Being, Meaning, and Flourishing.”)

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That being said, I want to share my New Year’s resolution with you, my readers in the hope that I do not fall into that 88% and more importantly, you all hold me accountable. My New Year’s resolution, as the young lawyer, is to work harder.

Working harder is a delicate formula though; a means and not an ends. Working harder may require working longer days and weekends but it is not a requirement. It may require taking the occasional weekend off if it will allow me to start Monday with a fresh and clear mind allowing me to be more efficient and approach my work with a different perspective. Working harder may require spending more time doing the things that I as the young lawyer don’t necessarily enjoy doing but know needs to be done. Working harder may require more time on the phone, blood-shot eyes, and mental exhaustion. Or working harder may require taking a break from the computer every so often and just thinking about how to do what needs to be done smarter and better.

But if working harder is a means and not the end – a formula, so to speak – what is the intended outcome?

Achieve more as a young lawyer in a shorter amount of time then I would have otherwise. This is the young lawyer’s New Year’s resolution. You have my permission to hold me accountable.

Much love and many blessings in 2014.

-DGL 2014

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