Berlin Law Firm January 2019

LEX CANIS THE Lee Berlin Kyle Killam Andrea Brown

I Don’t Do Just One New Year’s Resolution Here’s Why

As the new year rolls around again, I’m sure many of our readers are putting their New Year’s resolutions into action. I wish you all the luck in the world, but I’ll be honest, the odds aren’t in your favor. Thanks to research conducted by the University of Scranton, we know that only around 8 percent of these yearly goals actually pan out. Those are loser odds and a sucker’s bet. So am I saying we just throw in the towel and give up on the whole idea? No, not at all. At its core, the idea behind resolutions is great — we should strive to improve our personal and professional lives from year to year. But there are a lot of problems with the way we create and approach these goals. I find a lot more success by reframing the approach entirely.

failed. I don’t know about you, but starting in such a negative headspace doesn’t exactly fire me up to make a life change. Think about it. Even if a football team is down at half-time, the coach doesn’t berate players for every fumble or stalled drive. He fires them up. He reminds them of their accomplishments, of how hard they’ve worked as individuals and a team to get to this moment. That’s how we should start the new year, running out onto the field with our past victories fresh in our minds, knowing we can win. That’s why every month, I write down one win I had. It can be big or small, but every single one has a victory tied to it. By the

The other change I’ve made to the resolution formula is that, rather than have one big goal for the year, I give myself 12 smaller goals — one per month, no repeats. This way, I’ve got something fresh and new to strive for every single month. Even if I fall short of a goal one month, that failure doesn’t define my year. Come the next day, I have a new shot at a new goal to strive for. So rather than strive for one big change and risk burning out by February, why not shrink things down to manageable chunks? It’s like eating an elephant — you gotta do it one bite at a time. Feel free to be flexible with this approach. Last April, my goal of attempting the keto diet resulted in such positive benefits beyond just my weight that I ended up making May, June, and July fitness goals to carry that momentum forward. Looking back on how incredible 2018 was for my health and for the growth of this firm, it’s hard to argue with results. So if you’re already struggling to keep those traditional resolutions, why not give this method a shot? For the 8 percenters that can actually manage a single-year moonshot of a goal, more power to them. But I’ll take the methodical, positive approach any day of the week.

As someone who’s struggled with weight since childhood, I have a pretty good grasp of why these annual efforts fail for so many. The biggest problem is that resolutions start from a place of shame. Thinking up a list of things you want to change in your life at the close of the year makes it easy to dwell on the areas where we’ve fallen short. The practice highlights where we’re lacking, where we’ve

time I get to December, I don’t have to try and give myself a pep talk. I’ve got 12 awesome reminders of just how much I accomplished in the last year. If you’re too hard on yourself at the end of the year or find it difficult to maintain your enthusiasm for your resolutions, I recommend giving this practice a shot.

Best of luck, and have a great new year!

- Lee Berlin

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