Reflecting back on the anniversary, after more than two decades of legal work, I can honestly say I am having more fun, and feeling more professionally satisfied, than ever before. I love my clients and the kind of work they bring me. As much as I like to self-deprecate and chalk it all up to luck, I think the truth of the matter is that I have been driven all these years to build the practice I want, and I've organized by client development activities with that single purpose. At the time I left my first firm, I promised myself I would do everything I could to build my own practice so that I would not be at the mercy of someone else in managing my professional career. Looking back, I know that my focus has stayed true in large part because I articulate for myself annual goals, resolutions, and plans. Having a written business plan, writing and publishing resolutions, and reflecting from time to time on that progress has had the intended effect.
Looking forward to 2013, and pondering my resolutions from the past few years, here are my resolutions for for the upcoming year: First, I commit to updating my business plan (recently looked at it and realized I haven't touched it since 2009!). Second, as you may have noticed, my posting has fallen dangerously low this past year, mostly because I've been distracted with a bunch of personal stuff. But every time I think I'll let She Thinks have her last published thought, some reader posts a comment or I hear from someone who actually got something useful out of it, so I keep it alive. It takes surprisingly little positive feedback to keep me thinking!
But I'm also going to heed the advice of Michele Hoos | The Daily Muse in her recent post (which I commend to you, it's a very good read) New Year's Resolution: Be Kind To Yourself:
Instead of focusing on what you haven’t finished, embrace self-compassion—defined, simply, as your ability to accept your shortcomings with kindness and understanding.
It is one thing to have goals, ambitions, and focus. It is quite another to feel a failure for not meeting them. So, here is what you can hold me accountable for this year: I will update my business plan for my practice, I will keep She Thinks thoughtful, and I will be kind to myself.