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5 Types of New Year's Resolutions for the Young Attorney

By William Peacock, Esq. on December 17, 2013 9:58 AM

Resolutions are crap, right? Who actually follows through on those things?

Me. I do. Five out of ten, so far.

Goal-setting is important. With an eighty-hour work week, it can be hard to see anything past the next day's motions, the next week's hearings, and the next client's drama. Resolutions are your reminder of the long game.

Maybe you knock them all out. Maybe you only follow through on a few. But having that list, written on a large poster somewhere where you'll see it every day, provides a constant reminder of what you're striving for and of the big picture.

Here are a few types of resolutions to consider:

  • Something Crazy: I've always wanted to ride a motorcycle. Getting my M1 license was on my 2013 list. And riding in Silicon Valley traffic -- nothing could be more utterly insane. What's your crazy idea?
  • Something Professional: Many of us recent graduates are working jobs, rather than long-term careers. Maybe your goal is to find that ever-elusive career track. And if you have found it, maybe set a professional resolution or two.
  • Something Skillful: Everybody needs a hobby. Alas, this is where my resolutions faltered. Guitar and Bass? Probably a bit ambitious, especially for a single-year's goal, but the resolution at least reminded me to keep making time for my new hobby. Maybe you're working on the next best-seller, or learning martial arts, but finding an outlet outside of work is important.
  • Something Social: Maybe you're an introvert with a fear of networking. How about a lonely lawyer, fearful of death by solitude? Set a goal of joining a practice section of your local bar, or of attending a certain number mixers per month.
  • Something Quantifiable: The big mistake with my musical resolutions was measuring success. Is playing a single Taylor Swift song enough? How about an album? Make as many of your goals quantifiable, such as reaching a target weight or reading a certain number of books. Motivation is easily voided by vagueness.

Two weeks left till 2014. Got any resolutions you'd like to share or suggest? Tell us about 'em on Facebook.

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