Harmonson Law Firm - January 2020






Happy New Year!

on the television. Television is great, but it does not usually engage me intellectually like a good book does.

By the time Dec. 26 rolls around, our minds shift from Christmas to the new year. With every new year comes those pesky resolutions — we resolve to eat better, exercise more, and drink less.

To make my reading goal SMART, I’ve resolved to read one book per month purely for pleasure, whether it’s a good work of fiction, a biography or memoir, or something on the humorous side. I’ve made this goal specific, measurable, and achievable. Plus, one fun book per month isn’t that much of a stretch, so I should be able to work it into my busy schedule, so I’ve made sure it’s time-sensitive for me specifically. This goal is relevant to me because reading means a lot to me. It’s part of who I am. My failure to read purely for pleasure makes my life less enjoyable. You may be thinking about your own goals too. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few other resolution topics to consider that don’t have anything to do with diet or exercise.

This resolve lasts for a few weeks, then we realize there is still more football to watch, and we must indulge in the queso, wings, and beer for the big games. I am guilty as charged. But this year, instead of giving up on all the “bad things” I love, I am going to focus on increasing all the great things that make life worth living. It’s all about shifting my mindset. Whatever your resolution is this year, it needs to be SMART in order to be effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive (you can read more about SMART goals on Page 3 with our handy SMART goal guide). So, instead of resolving to eat better during the new year, a SMART goal might be to resolve to eat a healthy breakfast every day or cook and eat at home six nights a week, while enjoying your favorite cookies and cream ice cream only once a week instead of every day. One of my goals in the new year is to read more often for pleasure. Most of my success in life has had a strong foundation in reading. In law school, for instance, I almost drowned in the sea of books I had to read, but I learned all about the law by reading case after difficult case. But too much reading about the law and about law office management makes Clark a dull boy. I also love to read just for the fun of it. However, I’m in the habit of coming home from work and immediately turning

• Resolve to take your family to the park once per month.

• Resolve to volunteer once or twice a year at the local food bank or another local charity.

• If you’re a parent, resolve to spend one day per quarter with one of your children doing any activity the child picks. Make it a one- on-one day.

• As a family, resolve to cook one new dish per month.

These are just a few ideas, but it’s all about enriching your life and the lives of those around you!

Until next month, here’s to wishing you the best of luck with all your New Year’s resolutions! – Clark Harmonson

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In October 2019, Harmonson Law Firm helped sponsor a MADD event here in El Paso. MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has been an advocacy group against driving drunk and many other issues related to alcohol and drug abuse for 39 years. The event was Walk Like MADD, a walk and run dedicated to bringing more awareness to the dangers of drunk driving. At the October event, MADD raised over $38,000 for awareness and prevention efforts. SUPPORTING A GREAT CA It’s a MADD Worl

Hosting an exchange student in your home may not be something you’ve considered before, but there are many reasons why adding an international member to your family is great for everyone involved.

Develop Understanding

One of the most valuable traits we can learn is to be understanding of others. Learning about other countries and cultures offers an opportunity to be more receptive to the idea that, no matter how far apart people live or how much the languages we speak differ, at our core, we have a lot in common. Navigating life with this open mindset has far-reaching value that your entire family will benefit from. Welcoming a new member into your home paves the way for new friendships to blossom. Even though the duration may often feel short, the friendships developed during an exchange are strong, and it’s not uncommon for host families and students to keep in touch for years after they’ve parted ways. Having friends in different parts of the world is also convenient when it comes to travel — you might get lucky enough to have a nice place to stay when you’re in their neck of the woods! It’s not just your family that will reap the benefits of opening your home to an exchange student; the student has much to gain as well. They’ll immerse themselves in your culture and get to see how your community lives harmoniously together. You’ll play an important role in showing them what life is like in your backyard while gleaning important perspectives on what life is like in theirs. Cultivate Friendship Broaden Horizons

In Texas alone, over 1,400 people die every year due to drunk driving. In fact, drunk driving accounts for about 38% of all traffic-related fatalities in the state.

Since MADD was founded in 1980, the number of drunk driving fatalities has gone down. In 1982, there were 21,113 deaths as a result of drunk driving nationwide. In 2014, that number was just under 10,000, representing one of the lowest years for drunk driving fatalities on record.

However, 10,000 deaths per year due to drunk driving is still a lot. Drunk driving represents a choice, one that is incredibly irresponsible. No one ever has to



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A Simple Way to Set Goals and Stick to Them

drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substance. There are always alternatives, and with the advent of ride-share services

What do you want to accomplish in 2020? With every new year comes a new set of resolutions, but resolutions often lack the impact they need to make a lasting difference. When you set goals for yourself, your family, or your career, you take them on because you want to make a difference. You desire something better. But 80% of New Year’s resolutions are forgotten about or abandoned by the middle of February. This is why it’s important to think about how you are setting your goals, whether you’re making them for the New Year or formulating goals in general. It’s more than writing down a list of what you want or hope to achieve. You must set goals with a purpose. This is why the SMART method can be the best goal-setting tool you’ll ever use. As discussed in this month’s cover article, setting SMART goals is a great way to set yourself up for success. They add accountability and can guide you as you work toward each goal. Specific Your goal is clear and well-defined, yet concise. It’s a goal that can be easily communicated to others who can hold you accountable or help you achieve the goal. Measurable You give yourself steps to follow as you work toward your goal. At the same time, track and evaluate your progress so you can make course corrections along the way. Achievable Your goal is within your reach. It’s not necessarily an easy task to accomplish, but it’s been thought out, and you have the resources, ability, and confidence to see it through. What is a SMART goal? It’s a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive.

like Uber and Lyft, there are even fewer reasons to drive drunk. There aren’t many studies yet as to the impact of Uber or Lyft on drunk driving numbers, but according to a New York Times report, early numbers do indicate that drunk driving fatalities may be going down in areas where Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share services are easily accessible. Sheri and I are glad to support MADD in their endeavors to bring further awareness and prevention to drunk driving. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, consuming less alcohol or phasing it out of your life entirely makes for a great goal.



Everyone should be able to make pancakes without a boxed mix. This recipe is no-frills fantastic and can probably be made without so much as a trip to the grocery store.


2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

Relevant Your goal makes sense to you personally. It’s one that has real value and will enrich you, your family, or your career.

1 3/4 cups milk

2 tsp baking powder

Unsalted butter or canola oil, to grease skillet

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar, optional

Time Sensitive You know precisely when you want to achieve your goal. There’s a solid date written on the calendar you can reference for motivation. As you start 2020, challenge yourself to apply these five points to dreams you want to accomplish. Take time to really think about what you want to achieve and how you can make it happen, whether it’s getting into shape, saving for a big vacation, or literally anything else. The sky’s the limit!


1. Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-low. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (including sugar if you like a sweeter pancake). In a separate bowl, beat eggs into milk. Gently stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones. Mix only until flour is moistened. Clumps are fine. 3. Add some butter or oil to the skillet. If the butter foams or oil shimmers, the temperature is correct. Pour in a pancake of any size, cooking until bubbles form, about 2–4 minutes. 4. Flip and cook other side for 2–4 minutes. Serve warm.

915.584.8777 • 3

5505 North Mesa St. Suite 3 • El Paso, TX 79912 WWW.CLARKHARMONSONATTORNEY.COM 915.584.8777


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The New Year Is Here!

The Benefits of Hosting an Exchange Student

Bringing Further Awareness to Driving Under the Influence


Simple Pancakes From Scratch

Your SMART Goal Guide


Real Winter Wonderlands

ESCAPE TO A WINTER WONDERLAND Chill Out in These Frosty Destinations S now is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? BULGUKSA TEMPLE, SOUTH KOREA

Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced- over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes.


This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross- country skiing through this icy paradise.


If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites


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