The Lawyer Coach Blog
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December 31, 2012
I had the opportunity over the holidays to chat with a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, Meghan Franklin, about my views on why I am recommending that this year people ditch the making of New Years resolutions in favor of something more positive. Franklin’s article appeared on-line today and also offered commentary from Winnipeg psychologist Dr. Ivan Bilash and author Steve Siebold.
Here are my top five reasons for dropping New Years resolutions:
- New Year’s Resolutions start your year off on the wrong foot. They inevitability focus your attention on all the things that are wrong in your life.
- One is never enough. New year’s resolutions often snowball into such a large list of things that need to be changed that people don’t know where to start when it comes time to start taking steps to fulfill these resolutions.
- They set you up for failure. Not only are there too many new year’s resolutions, they are often the same old determinations that end up on your list every year. Resolutions are based on the outdated school of through that with determination and resolve you can force yourself to make changes in your life. The will power alone strategy is sure to burn out in days if not weeks.
- New year’s resolutions are the playground of our inner task master – that voice in your head that tells you that you are too lazy, dumb, out-of-shape, overweight, and 101 one other put downs. We all have these inner critics and they get way more bandwidth in our heads than they deserve.
- New year’s resolutions have little staying power. They come on the heels of holiday excess and offer a temporary sense of puritanical satisfaction that it is fleeting. As we get back to work and the business of day-to-day life they are quickly cast aside as we fall back on our usual habits.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions try one of the following:
- What did you do last year that was really great and you would like to do more of? Think of it as a “what I want to continue list.”
- What are you most grateful for? This is a list of the specific things that light up your life. If you enjoy writing this list consider starting a weekly or daily gratitude journal.
- What are your top priorities in life? This is a short list of one to five things that are most important to you. Write them down. Review the list every week and determine what weekly investments you will make on these priorities.
- If you are the sort of person who shudders when reading numbers one to three above then you might instead consider making yourself a “stop list”. This is the list of activities that take up time in your life and that you are going to stop doing in 2013. A lawyer friend shared a great Guardian article on this topic with me, you can read it here.
- Finally, consider setting an adventure goal for yourself instead of a boring resolution. An adventure goal could be anything from deciding to try a new sport like indoor rock climbing, to trying out a new food, or taking tango lessons.
But whatever you do, this year give the New Year’s resolutions a miss!
November 8, 2012
I just got off the phone with a lawyer in Yellowknife. She regaled me with tales of golfing North of the 60th Parallel.
First thing to know: there is no grass, or at least only very little. The golf course is mostly rock and sand.
Second crucial point: Bring your own square of Astroturf. Golfers carry around their own piece for teeing off.
Third critical point: Watch out for the bears! And bring heavy duty bug repellant.
And what’s even more fun, there is an all night tournament in the summer called the Canadian North Midnight Classic. I recommend you listen to the CBC 1968 archive coverage of the tournament that year.
For golf tourism I think the Yellowknife Golf Club is not to be missed!
December 21, 2011
The gift of thanks is precious. This morning I had the opportunity to listen in on a thank you voicemail message from a client to a lawyer I know. The lawyer had sent over a holiday gift basket to the company and a senior member of the executive called to express his thanks. His voicemail message was truly inspiring and reminded me about how an adeptly delivered thank you takes little time to give and can bring great happiness to the recipient. Here’s what he did:
- He picked up the phone and made a call.
- He spoke slowly and told a story about how the gift basket was received and how everyone on the team appreciated it.
- He expressed sincere thanks.
The lawyer was delighted by the message.
In these pre-Christmas days many of us working in the legal sector are sending and receiving gifts. Often times in the interest of expediency we will send a quick email of thanks and certainly that is sufficient to check the proper etiquette box. I encourage you though to take just an extra moment and make a phone call instead. Happiness is contagious.