It’s true that studies show new year resolutions are not always effective. According to U.S News and World Report, 80% of Americans abandon their resolutions, most by mid-February. But I still think new years resolutions get a bad rap, and I think it’s a shame that the percentage of Americans who set resolutions is declining.
For me, a new year’s resolution is not a binding contract with the universe that I either honor or breach. It’s an intention I set for the year - embracing the possibilities that a clean slate of a year can bring. I like to think big and ask myself, what do I want my life to look like in one year? How can I use the next 12 months to evolve into the next version of myself? I enjoy sitting down each December and dreaming about what the next year could look like for me, my firm, and my family.
From there, I make to-do lists for my resolutions. If my resolution is to expose my kids to more travel experiences, then I’ll make a list of some possible destinations for family trips. If my resolution is to expand my law firm’s reach and help clients outside of our city, I’ll think of a few actions steps for that goal (i.e., “host an event in X city, run radio ads in Y region”). The resolution is an intention, and the to-do list is a manageable action plan.
I always feel a lot of momentum around the new year, so I capitalize on that energy and set aside some time to sit down and start working on my resolutions immediately. Because I close my office the last week of December, I can spend a day there by myself, without distraction, and get to work. One year, I resolved to hit seven figures in revenue at my law firm, so I signed myself up for an intensive yearlong mastermind program for law firm owners. Last year, I resolved to finally write a book on entrepreneurship for working lawyer moms, so I connected with a publisher and got busy on my manuscript…and voila, Mom’s A Lawyer: Start a Firm and Take Control of Your Life hits retailers on January 17!
There’s nothing more exhilarating than setting and achieving an important goal, but resolutions are not a zero-sum game. The intention you set is your vision for one year of your life. The action plan is a blueprint for you to achieve it. Even if you miss a few items on your checklist, or fall short of a specific goal, you’re still going to move the needle farther toward where you want to be. If you resolve to double your revenue and make $1 million by increasing your fees, my money says your income is going up, whether you hit $1M by December 31, or whether you close out the year at $920k.
One of the things I love most about entrepreneurship is that there is always a new challenge. It’s easy to think that when you hit a certain goal, you’ll feel like you’ve made it. The truth is, a business is always evolving, and as an owner you will constantly experience new opportunities for growth. In a way, it’s like parenting - as soon as you get the hang of something, you enter a new phase and learn to adapt.
What are your resolutions? To feel more inspired at work? To enjoy more quality time with your family? To build financial security? To finally take the plunge and open your own practice, so that you can be in the driver’s seat of your career and your life? 2023 can be the year that you align your professional and personal life. Let’s do it together.