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10 Perfect New Year's Resolutions for Lawyers in 2016

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on December 11, 2015 11:59 AM

Sure, the New Year is still a few weeks away, but that's no reason to avoid planning your 2016 resolutions. Ignore the naysayers that say New Year's resolutions are a silly tradition. There's no better time than the start of 2016 to make the changes that will make 2016 your year, whether your goals are making it rain or making a career change.

Here are our ten best New Year's resolutions for attorneys in 2016.

1. Put Your Health First. Stress, long hours, the drink, they can all wear you down before your time. Reinvest in yourself in 2016 by focusing on healthy habits, mindfulness, stress relief, and maybe a little exercise.

2. Get More Sleep. Not only will it improve your health, it will help keep your mind sharp. And try to keep a regular sleep schedule. Staying up all night throughout the workweek and crashing on the weekends may be connected to insulin resistance and weight gain.

3. Make Those Billables -- Or Switch to Public Interest Work. If your goal is the make it rain, come up with a plan for increasing your billable hours in 2016. If the thought of that makes you cringe, consider switching over to public interest work, where lawyers are paid less but report much greater life satisfaction.

4. Finally Pay Off Your Student Debt. Whatever you're setting aside to pay down those loans, up it. The sooner you take that millstone from your neck, the better.

5. Spend More Time With Brian. He's really been having a hard time since the divorce and could use the support. Remember, friendships can slip away if you don't tend to them.

6. Take up a New Hobby. Work can't be everything. Whether it's brewing your own beer, joining the Church of Crossfit, or volunteering at the local park, find something that will give you joy and purpose outside of the office.

7. Rededicate Yourself to Your Lawyer Blog. You started a blog to get your name out there and establish your expertise, then ... well, things sort of petered out. Commit to treating your blog more like a business and less like a side project in 2016.

8. Get a Mentor or Become a Mentor. Whether you're giving guidance or getting it, mentorships can be an important way to develop your career or help out a younger generation of attorneys.

9. Do More Pro Bono. Sure, it's your professional duty to provide legal services to those unable to pay, but pro bono is also a great way to develop new skills and feel good about your work.

10. Cut Things off With Thomas. It's not going anywhere and you know it. You can do better.

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