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New Year’s resolutions reinvented

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On my run this morning, I passed store windows filled with all sorts of tools and inspiration for every possible resolution: losing weight, getting organized, exercising more…I came home inspired to do my own planning for 2014.  But when I flipped through the newspaper, I came across an article by a columnist who updated us on the resolutions he made in January of 2013 and his mixed success in keeping them through to the end of 2014.  He questioned the merits of making public one’s New Year’s resolutions, only to be held publicly accountable for possible failures.  The theme of the article seemed to be to choose your resolutions wisely and to not set yourself up for failure.  And so, properly instructed, I have committed to the following for 2014:

  1. Read more.  It’s not that I didn’t read in 2013.  I mean, I’m in a book club and so I read regularly so as not to be a negligent participant.  However, for 2014, I want to spend more time reading for work.  And I don’t mean reading legal decisions, because I read plenty of those as well.  I mean books that will enhance and inspire my professional life.  I have many on my list heading into 2014, including one my father gave me Christmas, and I’m anxious to get started.
  2. Write more.  I have two writing projects heading into 2014, both of which I’m very excited about.  As I watch my two teenagers procrastinate writing their essays and other assignments for school, I’m often struck by the fact that, when you write for work, you no longer have the luxury of procrastination, so you better like what you write about.  I will be writing about something I’m truly passionate about this year, and I’m excited.
  3. Expand my practice.   As I head into my 20th year of practicing employment law, I’m thrilled that I still get such a kick out of what I do, but I am also eager for some new challenges.  So, in 2014, I’ve decided to take a couple of courses which I hope will expand my practice and allow me to take on some new professional challenges in the years to come.
  4. Have more fun.  What’s that you say?  A lawyer…having fun?  This is something we committed to when we started our law firm over 10 years ago, and we know now that it is difficult to do when everyone is busy working.  That being said, we have certainly had many moments of levity and lots of laughs as a firm (think bowling, chocolate tastings, game shows, etc.), and I’d like to see us remember to continue to keep smiling in 2014.
  5. Count my blessings.  A little down time over the holidays allows for some reflection on all for which we have to be thankful.  On this front, I truly feel like I’ve won the lottery in that I get to go to work every day and interact with such wonderful colleagues, I get to run a business with partners who share my values and feel like my family, and I get to work professionally with members of an employment bar who can advocate for their clients as opposing counsel and still be friendly and pleasant.  This year I commit to remembering, especially when I get stressed and tired, that I am truly blessed.

So here’s to 2014!  We’ll see how I do.

Christine Thomlinson