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Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions (and Goals)

Given that it is now 2012, it is time for my New Year’s Resolutions. Because I have not blogged in five months, the very first resolution is to blog at least once a week. I’ve been disappointed in myself for not blogging all of my first semester. I don’t have a good reason why I didn’t other than I got lazy with it and let it slide. That said, I do NOT want that to happen again so I am going to make a point to continue blogging and use the blog for what it was intended, a forum for my thoughts as I progress through law school, and not as a waste of space.

Rather than posting a long list of resolutions, I want to reflect on resolutions and what they mean. I believe it is important to have goals, not necessarily resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions are essentially goals we give ourselves on January 1st and pledge to accomplish them by December 31st. That doesn’t really seem like a resolution. A resolution should be something you start because you believe it will help you break a bad habit, change your habits, or solve a deficiency you believe you have. Sure, resolutions are good and important because we should all strive to improve ourselves and become better people, but we shouldn’t stop there. A New Year’s Resolution should not stop on December 31st, it should continue. Therefore, this year I am creating both resolutions and goals for myself.

The goals are things that I want to accomplish and reach by the end of the year, such as radically altering my diet and committing to workout goals and reaching them. My resolutions are behaviors like to stop procrastinating and being more communicative with those around me with what I am going through and to elicit their help in solving my problems. I am not going to call everything a goal or a resolution because the truth is that they are different and we have to embrace that distinction. If I called everything I am determined to do this year one or the other I would be lying to myself about what I want to accomplish and how I will measure my success.

With a goal, progress and success are clear because you either meet it or can measure progress through clear means. With a resolution you cannot look at a number or in a mirror and necessarily see whether or not you have changed. Instead, you have to stay committed to them for a long time in order to see the changes.
One of the things that has just jumped into the forefront of my mind right now is that we each measure success differently and need to be comfortable with whatever success or failure we achieve or endure. These goals and resolutions are not set in stone for all eternity, but they determined for this year and are something that I do not take lightly. The reason for that is because I am of the mindset that there can come a time when you have to be serious about certain things and determined to change yourself for the better. Not everyone has the same resolutions or is of the same mindset, but I am.

I do not want to make resolutions this year and do nothing about them. It may help that one has a financial motive. However, I no longer want to look at myself in May and realize that I have failed to accomplish what I set out to achieve in January. Failure is not an option.

I love having balance in all aspects of my life and I see my resolutions and goals as a way to provide more structured balance that will promote my wellbeing.

Whatever your resolutions and goals are this year, commit to them and don’t back down. Too often we set goals for ourselves only to hit the snooze button once March rolls around and forget about the gym membership or book club. Resolutions and goals should make you happy.

So, given that I plan to blog at least once a week, there will be more posts coming very soon. Also, I certainly do plan to use this as a forum for my law school experience, so those posts will be coming once the semester begins anew in a few weeks. 

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