This blog post, being that it’s the first one of 2015, is going to be about resolutions: everyone is making them (maybe for the 5th or 6th time this week), most people have already broken theirs, while others struggle to hold onto their well-intentioned goals for themselves. There are many others who never make resolutions to begin with, for various reasons, and they scoff and laugh as they continue to devour delicious left overs and one too many Ferreros (which were on sale after all and had to be bought in copious quantities).
For me personally, I wouldn’t be able to live without goals and goal setting. It’s really the only thing that legitimately gets me out of bed (other than a sunny day and a wide-open, blank schedule). When you set a goal, you have something to work towards, something to motivate you, to keep you focused, keep you determined. Success comes much easier when pursued by means of a goal — it’s like when you shoot a basketball at the net: if you close your eyes and just throw, you have a much smaller chance of getting it in then if you plant your feet, align yourself, look at where you’re shooting, and aim for it. Thoughtful, SMART goals (remember that from high school?) really do get a person far and are worth making if one wants to see any form of progress or success.
But most of us at Law school are Type A’s and we know all of this. We make goals all the time, blast through them, and then make new ones. We wouldn’t be in law school if we weren’t the goal-setting type. So I know that most of you have either publicly or privately made some goals for yourself that you are currently pursuing. But can I suggest a goal? Maybe something you haven’t thought of?
Last year on January 1st, right before bed I took a small piece of paper and wrote down the best thing that happened that day. I wrote about something that made me happy, some good memory that I wanted to remember. I then folded the paper and dropped it into a big, clean, empty jar. It was casually dubbed my “happiness jar” and I continued to drop notes into it – at first daily, but then, unfortunately, only when something good happened – all year. A few days ago I dumped the notes and read them and I was surprised at not only how many things I totally forgot about, but also by how much happened in just one year. How many small, good, lovely moments filled 2014 that would have been forgotten had they not been documented in some way. So although you’ve probably resolved to drink more water or work out more or actually read ahead and contribute (such a 1L thing to do), resolve to start your own happiness jar and to actually fill it. Psychology studies show that those who take a few minutes every day to reflect and to think about what they’re grateful for are happier, healthier, and more successful.
And honestly, whose own resolutions aren’t associated with at least one of those?