The Concept of New Year

Now that it is February I just have to ask: How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? No doubt many of you are still plugging away and achieving success, but for most folks that go through the resolution exercise that is not the case. The concept of New Year’s resolutions has always been a little baffling to me—not the resolution part but the New Year’s part. My morning routine includes resolutions of the day. Often the daily resolutions address a failed attempt to do something from the day before. This makes me sound like a short-term thinker, which I am not. But, I am the type of person who best brings about change with tiny steps. The comprehensive list of yearly resolutions is, for me, daunting and unattainable. I usually give up on my yearly resolutions before my Hoppin’ John is cooled off. (See below for a definition and recipe for those of you who hail from the north.)

A quick search of the Internet confirms the most common New Year’s resolutions. You won’t be surprised: spend more time with family, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, enjoy life more, quit drinking, get out of debt, and the ever popular get organized. These resolutions are great goals, and goals that should be fully embraced, but, in my view, they are only attainable through daily, mini-resolutions. For example, “Today, I am grabbing the kids, and we are taking the dogs for a walk.” Do it—and you’ve taken a small step in fulfilling a couple of resolutions.

Now let’s apply the concept to the business of continuing education. You knew I’d get there. 😉 By all means have an annual comprehensive list of resolutions: resolve to provide the best possible continuing education, resolve to increase the number of online programs you offer, and resolve to make a difference in someone’s professional life. However, don’t stop there. Resolve to make progress in attaining your comprehensive annual resolutions every day by identifying and completing the mini-resolutions. For example, “Today, I am going to research and identify a program topic that has never been presented before and is needed.”
A week, month, year of mini-resolutions can add up and bring about substantial change. Plus, if you fail to come through on a mini-resolution, it is no big deal. After all, tomorrow is a new day!

*”Hoppin’ John is a dished served in the Southern United States consisting of black-eyed peas and rice, with chopped onion and sliced bacon, seasoned with a bit of salt…eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins, and a coin is sometimes added to the pot or left under the dinner bowls.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoppin%27_John

Try it; you’ll like it, and it will bring you luck. http://southernfood.about.com/od/blackeyedpeas/r/bl80308c.htm

Happy 2016!

About the Author:

Donita Bourns Douglas is Executive Vice President of Client Success. She has held the position as director of educational programs for the Oklahoma Bar Association, where she developed one of the most successful CLE programs in the United States. Donita has also served as an instructor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, is an emeritus member of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court, and is past president of the Association of Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College Of Law.

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