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A New Year's non-resolution worth making

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

A new year has arrived and your social media feeds are probably full of people who are pledging to make all kinds of changes - they are eating healthy or drinking less or going to the gym or something equally positive and compelling. Unfortunately, about a third of New Year's resolutions don't make it past the first month.

For lawyers, I believe that a big part of the failure to follow through has to do with perfectionism. You pledge to go to the gym every day, and you do...until you sleep through your alarm...then have a 7 am meeting...then spend a long weekend visiting your parents. Soon, your shiny new gym routine is in shambles and the shame at not being able to stick to such a simple goal is suffocating. Why bother trying to get back on track? You'll just fail...again.

And that's where the best non-resolution you can live by comes in: anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

Yes, working out every day is great, but three days of exercise per week is so much better than none. There are definite financial advantages to packing a lunch every day, but brown-bagging it twice a week will still save you a hundred dollars a month. And cleaning up after dinner every night is ideal, but if all you can manage is putting dishes in the sink, that's infinitely preferable to sharing the bed with your ice cream bowl because you can't bring yourself to face your kitchen. (And, yes, I am speaking from experience!)

Do your best, always. Bring your full self to every part of your life. But don't let performance anxiety, fatigue, or the fear that your best may not meet your ideal prevent you from stretching yourself to try new things and keeping the promises you have made to yourself and others.

The things you want to accomplish are worth doing. And anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

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