It’s that time of year — making resolutions. I write about this topic every January, hoping that something I write this time will click with you to be the impetus you need to change the course of your health. It hasn’t stuck, has it? Nothing we read, hear or witness from a successful “healthy person” has been helpful in our quest to master the art of setting and conquering the dreaded resolution. We are not alone. Approximately 46 percent of Americans make resolutions each year, but only 8 percent succeed, according to University of Scranton research. Yet, we lawyers are not the average American. We’ve gone through a form of hell and back to become lawyers or judges. There was no Easy Street on our educational route to attain this status. As a profession, lawyers are hard-working, Type A individuals who strive to achieve success in all that we do at work. So why, in a profession so driven by hard work and success do we still find ourselves failing year in and year out with our resolutions? Does your law degree mean more to you than your health or your life?
My challenge to you is to use what you already know about hard work and success to make 2017 the year you conquer the resolution monkey that’s been occupying rent-free space on your back.
Reflect for a moment about your first law job. You walked into your new office, filled with energy to tackle the legal system and bring justice to your future clients. Yet you were also well-aware that you had absolutely no idea what you were doing. Your dream of one day feeling comfortable litigating a case in front of a judge or jury seemed light-years away. Did that stop you? Hell no! You battened down the hatches and dug deeper to learn everything you could about your area of law. You consistently, day-after-day, put forth the necessary effort to reach the courtroom and successfully represent your client. You didn’t give up. You could have very easily. Your creative legal mind could have come up with many excuses for why you could not learn more or be successful, but you didn’t. You knew that excuses are the nails that build the house of failure. You didn’t want to fail. You had invested too much time, energy, pride and money getting your law degree to allow yourself to give up. Your daily diligence was worth the effort to reach the status of becoming a successful lawyer.
Now that you’re pumped up thinking about how awesome and amazing you are for what you’ve accomplished, harness those thoughts and feelings. Drink them in every day. Use them to accomplish the once-thought impossible idea of being healthy and fit. It is a lofty goal that requires the same day-to-day patience and perseverance you utilized to become successful in your career. Your health should be more meaningful and important to you than a piece of paper indicating you passed the bar. If it isn’t, your priorities are messed up. Without your health, what good is your professional success? Use what you already know about tackling insurmountable goals to make 2017 the year you successfully reach your new year’s resolutions.•
Sharon Buechler is an attorney with Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP and a certified personal trainer, health fitness specialist, and life and wellness coach. The opinions expressed are those of the author.