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5 Types of New Year's Resolutions to Make for 2015

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 26, 2014 10:06 AM

My buddy thinks New Year's Resolutions are a stupid, arbitrary way of setting goals. He may be right. After all, two years ago, when I set 10 resolutions, I barely cleared six of them.

Then again, last year, I set none. How many did I achieve? None. This year, I'm going back to goal setting. If you wish to do the same, here are five types of resolutions to get you started:

5. Fitness.

If you're a law student, you probably feel like you have no time for losing those extra pounds or getting in shape. We have bad news for you: It only gets worse during bar study or once you are in practice.

Right now, you probably have a few classes per day. Other than that, your schedule is flexible (though busy). Now is the time to eat right and squeeze in exercise. (It is, after all, easier to drop weight and get in shape when you're younger.)

4. Academic.

This is especially the case for 1Ls: You know what worked and didn't after one semester. Next semester begins in a couple of weeks -- rededicate yourself or set study goals as part of your NYRs. A few ideas might include:

  • Spending more time at office hours;
  • Doing more practice essays; and
  • Cutting out major distractions.

3. Professional.

If you're out of school, New Year's Day may be an arbitrary cutoff point, but it is a great time to say now. Now is when you'll finally pursue your dream career. Now is the time you'll work more efficiently to increase the number of billable hours you push out. Now is the time you'll double your client base.

2. Personal.

Are you a workaholic? Are your only friends lawyers? Do you lack work-life balance? Are you desperately lonely?

Whatever the issue is, perhaps January 1 is a good time to start looking at and prioritizing your personal life? Maybe you join some dating websites. Maybe you vow to limit your time in the office.

1. Hobbies.

Everyone needs a creative outlet, right? Some of the happiest lawyers I know are also musicians, comedians, or artists -- folks with deeply developed hobbies that provide an outlet outside of work.

The Key to Success: Specificity

This is an example of a bad New Year's resolution: Learn guitar. This is also bad: Get in shape.

The problem with both of those is that you never know if you've succeeded or not -- is learning two chords enough? Two songs? Dropping 15 pounds?

Set specific goals that can be measured: Learn three songs, lose 20 pounds, etc. It'll make self-assessment a lot more honest.

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