Smiley Law January 2018

January 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130



The new year is an invitation to look to the future. It’s a time to map out your plans and set goals, whether they be personal, professional, or spiritual. I’m a big believer in this practice. Without it, neither I nor Smiley Law Firm would be where we are today. We had a fantastic 2017, helping so many people and growing our roots in the community. I even met my fitness goals — well, almost. As we dive into 2018, I find myself, once again, cracking open my notebook and charting the road forward. When I set goals, I like them to be specific. What concrete thing am I going to do? When will I get it done? How will I get there? If you don’t have clear benchmarks, you can’t measure your progress towards success. I’ve found the more cliche your goals sound, the better. For example, last year I planned to exercise for 20 minutes a day, every day, for 66 days in a row. “Once you set your goals, you have to do everything in your power to meet them. Why write them at all if you aren’t going to follow through?” Which brings me to my second point. It’s very important to keep goals realistic. Yes, you should challenge yourself, but don’t aim for the pie in the sky. If you’re too ambitious in the beginning, you’ll only discourage yourself down the road. I thought I was being very reasonable with my workout goals. It should be easy for a guy like me to exercise for 20 minutes a day, right? Well, yes. But when you run a law firm and have a wife and two young boys, finding a spare 20 minutes every day can be difficult! This is where wheel meets road. Once you set your goals, you have to do everything in your power to meet them. Why write them at all if you aren’t going to follow through? Yes, there are going to be challenges, but you owe it your absolute best shot. For me, this meant occasionally going to ridiculous lengths. Sometimes, I went for 9 p.m. jogs around the neighborhood. Other times, I was doing crunches at the office between meetings. I even started doing pushups on the bathroom floor when it was my turn to bathe the boys! You know how the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

For 44 straight days, I kept to my goal, soapy floors and all. I was so close to success I could taste it. Then, Hurricane Nate barreled our way. Given how tragic the storm season had been up to that point, my wife and I decided to play it safe and move the family inland. We packed up the essentials and made the drive north to stay with my parents. Somewhere in all the preparation, I forgot to exercise, and that was that — back to square one.

These are the moments that define successful people. Nobody hits their goals 100 percent of the time. There will always be moments when life throws you curve balls, or entire hurricanes, for that matter. You can’t control it. You can control your response, though — either throw in the towel or pull yourself up by the bootstraps. My forty-fifth day was a setback, not a failure. The next day, I went for a jog: one down, 65 more to go. Rounding the corner into 2018, it’s time to take stock and set new goals. We at Smiley Law Firm will continue to serve you and your loved ones with the same care and attention to detail we always have. We will strive to help all we can and expand our capacity to serve our community. As for me, I’d like to get back into running marathons this year. There’s a race in San Diego I’ve had my eye on. It looks like I better get jogging.

To all those striving to hit their goals this year, happy 2018.

–Seth Smiley

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