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A new year and a new me

I’m back after more than a month hiatus from blogging. Between closing cases before the end of the year, buying presents and holiday parties, something had to give and it ended up being the blog. But now that 2010 is an afterthought, I can start anew with 2011.

A lot of people hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Joe Hater may say, “Resolutions are designed to make you fail” or ask “Why should I make resolutions just because it is the beginning of the New Year?”

I, unlike Joe, am a believer in putting together thoughtfully crafted resolutions for the year. The days leading up to New Year’s provide a period of time for reflection of the past year and contemplation of the year to come. My resolutions are really goals for the year. I reach some of the goals, but not all of them.

For me, putting my 2011 New Year’s resolutions (goals) on a sheet of paper helps me to organize and think of what I want to accomplish this year. It also gives me a chance to figure out the things that make me happy and ensure I take the time to do these things.

My resolutions are broken down into the following categories: personal, health, finances, home and professional (I will admit that this is a little neurotic). Each category has related goals, such as run 500 miles during the course of the year, read 20 books, and donate blood five times throughout the year. The hardest resolutions for me to figure out were my professional ones.

As an attorney in private practice, there are a few obvious goals, including bill your hours and make partner.  The practice of law, however, is more than living one’s life by every tenth of an hour to hopefully become elevated to a position that requires you to live your life by every tenth of an hour (though don’t get me wrong, I do want to make partner).

In my reflective/contemplative days leading up to New Year’s, I had a chance to consider the past year’s legal successes and failures and how they would help or hinder my practice in 2011. So I finally settled on a few professional goals to meet this year, which include attending more non-legal professional events, meeting with clients at their office to better understand their business, promptly responding to voicemails, and being a mentor to our younger associates.

My other goal is to blog on a more frequent basis on a more diverse group of topics. So here is the first of at least 26 blogs from me this year.

Have you set any personal/professional resolutions this year?