Yeargan & Kert - January 2020


JANUARY 2020 404-467-1747

HOW THESE YEARLY GOALS REALLY CAN WORK IN DEFENSE OF RESOLUTIONS I n the past, I wasn’t one for New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, whenever someone asked me what mine were going to be come Jan. 1, I’d respond with something flippant like “I think I’m going to pick up smoking.” While these anti-resolutions were good for a laugh, they certainly weren’t helping me stay healthy. But, when I finally did decide to give the real New Year’s tradition an honest try, it changed my life. I’m not even sure I was that serious when I declared it, but one year I decided I was going to cut out all fast food. Type 1 diabetes had already made my health and diet a hard enough challenge as it is — Big Macs and fries weren’t helping things get any easier. Still, a statement like “no fast food for one year” seemed like such a stereotypical resolution that I never thought it would stick. And then it did. I think part of the trick was actually starting in December. I felt like I had a running start and a leg up on the competition. That positive momentum carried me through January, and by the end of the month, I felt so proud of my streak that I actively didn’t want to break it. By the end of the following year, it was clear to me that this tradition I’d been mocking most of my life really could make a difference. So, I decided to get serious. Three years ago, I resolved that I was going back to the gym. Once again going for that running start, I reentered the fitness world on Dec. 15, 2016, and boy, was I in for a rude awakening. Sure, I was having diabetic shoulder problems to begin with, but across all my workouts, it became abundantly clear I wasn’t 25 anymore. It became clear to me that every single workout was going to be tough, even the ones that didn’t sound impressive on paper. But I made myself go even on those days when I really didn’t want to. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.

feeling better; it’s helped me live a longer, more comfortable life despite my health challenges. But how did I stick to this goal for the past three years when New Year’s resolutions fail so often? I think it all has to do with the approach. From cutting out fast food to heading to the gym, consistency was always what was most important to me. There will be good days and bad days, but the more you stick to the actions associated with your goal, the easier it will become to keep it up. These days I actually get annoyed on the rare occasion I can’t make it to the gym — it feels like a disruption of my whole routine. But where do you find the energy to keep up that early consistency in the first place? For me at least, I’ve found it’s best to always start with your end goal in mind. Ask yourself what you want to achieve rather than what you want to do. This helps you keep your eye on the prize and push past the in-the-moment annoyances that come with establishing a new routine. And last but not least, make sure the end goal is something you really and truly want for yourself. I have a sneaking suspicion that so many New Year’s resolutions are abandoned because, in the end, people don’t really want to change. Don’t go setting a goal just because it sounds positive or because you think it’s what you should want for yourself. Take the time to look inward and find a life change that genuinely excites you.

Here’s to the future,

Today I can leg press 400 pounds and bench 250, and I feel better than I have in years. This resolution didn’t just get me looking and

–Jim Yeargan



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At the start of each new year, about half of all Americans set at least one New Year’s resolution, a promise to themselves that they will thrive in the coming year. Unfortunately, research from YouGov Omnibus, an international market research firm, found that only 1 in 5 Americans stuck to their resolutions. The fallibility of New Year’s resolutions is why few successful CEOs or leaders bother making them. Around this time of year, plenty of articles pop up with hot takes like, “Don’t set New Year’s resolutions; make goals instead!” Unfortunately, if you haven’t been making goals already, you’ve likely been setting yourself up for failure. Setting goals, achieving them, and making new ones should be a habit all year long, not just something you do on Jan. 1. The start of a new year is still a great time to reflect and strategize, but rather than fall on an old cliche, take a page from two of the most successful people in business. REFLECT ON 2019 WITH TIM FERRISS. For decades, entrepreneur and best-selling author Tim Ferriss made New Year’s resolutions every year. Then, he developed a better strategy. “I have found ‘past year reviews’ (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions,” Ferriss said in a 2018 blog post.

At the start of each year, Ferriss spends an hour going through his calendar from the past 12 months and making a note of every person, activity, or commitment that sparked the strongest emotions, both positive and negative. The most positive events get rescheduled immediately for the new year. Meanwhile, the negative ones get put on a “Not-To-Do List” and hung up where Ferriss can see them. PICK A WORD OF THE YEAR WITH MELINDA GATES. “I do believe in starting the new year with new resolve,” says Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “but instead of adopting a resolution, I choose a word of the year — a word that encapsulates my aspirations for the 12 months ahead.” Gates says that words like “spacious” or “grace” have helped her center herself and serve as a reminder about what she really wants to focus on. In 2019, Gates chose the word “shine,” stating that, “It’s a reminder for all of us to turn on the lights inside of us, lift each other up, and shine together.”

Prescribing Addiction


Many people who become addicted to opioids turn to illegal heroin use because heroin is cheaper and easier to secure. It’s important to remember that there are many other ways prescription drug use can lead to criminal charges, too. For example, teens may use or sell pills they find in medicine cabinets in their homes. Additionally, it is illegal to carry prescription drugs in a container other than the originally prescribed pill bottle in Georgia. So, if you pack your daily dosage of sinus infection medication in a different container than the one given to you from the pharmacy or doctor, you could face a misdemeanor charge that carries up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. For adults, possession of opioids without a prescription carries a penalty of 2–15 years in prison for a first offense. Second-time offenders face 5–30 years. (Opioids are classified as a Schedule II drug in Georgia, with Schedule I considered the most serious drug to possess.) Prescription drug use is a complex problem in our country. Pharmaceutical medications can do wonders for patients who truly need them, but many substances are highly addictive and dangerous. To learn more about opioid drug use, prevention, and treatment, visit If you or a loved one is facing legal trouble associated with prescription drug use, our team can help. Give us a call today.

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise in the U.S. since the late 1990s. Today, the National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that anywhere between 21–28% of opioid users— those who take powerful chemicals like morphine and oxycodone, which are commonly used to treat pain — abuse the medication. Furthermore, this addiction can fuel illegal behavior. Illegal use of prescription medication not only has detrimental health effects but can also leave you or your loved ones facing legal issues. The highly addictive properties of opioid medication increase the chances of patients becoming reliant on the drugs and resorting to illegal actions to obtain them.

Likewise, your teen could face the same punishment, along with charges for violating



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3 Rights to Remember if You’re Pulled Over by the Police YOU HAVE RIGHTS!

One of the key ingredients to law and order in the United States is the idea that everyone, regardless of the situation they find themselves in, has rights. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what the police think you’ve done — your rights are protected by the law. Most people never have to worry about their rights in their day-to-day lives, but that changes quickly when you see those blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror.

If you find yourself pulled over by the police for any reason, remember you have rights.


Inspired by Epicurious

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. Beyond providing necessary documents, such as your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration, you are not required to answer any of the officer’s questions. This includes, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Have you been drinking tonight?” Do not admit, deny, or explain your situation. Instead, assert your Fifth Amendment right to protect against self- incrimination by politely referring any additional questions to your attorney. POLICE OFFICERS CANNOT SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE WITHOUT A WARRANT. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from having your vehicle searched without a warrant. If you are pulled over at a traffic stop, do not consent to a search. Your consent negates the need for a warrant. If an officer asks to search your car, it’s okay to say, “Officer, I know you’re doing your job, but I don’t consent to searches.” If the officer suggests you’re trying to hide something, don’t feel pressured into proving your innocence. Politely repeat your refusal. The police can search your vehicle without a warrant if they have probable cause, but that means the officer must first have real evidence to support searching your car. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE A FIELD SOBRIETY TEST. If an officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, under no circumstances should you agree to participate in a field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test, including a breathalyzer. Georgia police cannot punish you for not taking a sobriety test, and the state cannot hold your refusal against you. Were your rights violated during a traffic stop? Discuss your situation with an experienced driving defense lawyer by calling 404-467-1747 today! Knowing your rights is the first step to protecting them.

A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.

INGREDIENTS • 1 cup dried

• 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice

black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

DIRECTIONS 1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.



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Yeargan & Kert, LLC 1170 Peachtree Street Suite 1200 Atlanta, GA 30309 404-467-1747



In Defense of New Year’s Resolutions

Are New Year’s Resolutions a Waste of Time? The Legal Consequences of Prescription Drug Use

Stopped by the Cops? Remember Your Rights! Hoppin’ John

Real Winter Wonderlands



Snow 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.


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.

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?


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 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



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