Your Resolutions Are Burned Toast—Now What?

Whew! Finally, we are past the day (Feb. 15) when nearly all New Year’s Resolutions have gone up in flames. Admit it, they’re toast.

fireball against black background

New Year's Resolutions gone up in a flames? Try finding the fire within.

The find-a-new-job-by-March-1 resolution? Looking doubtful if you haven’t even updated your resume yet. The spend-more-time-at-the-gym resolution? Right, I’m not gonna ask. The be-a-nicer-person resolution? Went out the window when you got stuck reviewing documents in a windowless room for a month.

And that is wonderful. Now that all of that externalizing has burned itself out, it’s time to get down to what’s truly important in your life and your work. Especially if you are an unhappy lawyer reading this blog and wanting a career that satisfies you rather than sucks the life out of you. In other words, it’s time to light your fire from within.

How do you figure out what’s important and what’s more of the New Year’s Resolution approach to change—you know, the approach that’s destined to fail in a few short weeks?

Start by asking yourself some questions. I use some of these with new clients:

  • What do you want more of in your life? Do you know? What would it take for you to know?
  • What do you feel called to do, regardless of whether it sounds sane or profitable to you right now? You may not have a precise label, but do you have a general yen?
  • What do you need to clear out of your life, so there’s room for more of what you want to come in?
  • What lights you up? What drags you down?
  • And most importantly, do you have at least a fuzzy outline of a path to get to the place that warms your heart? Are you making at least a small step or two of progress on that path every week? If not, are the reasons really temporary, or is this actually stuckness masquerading as a temporary circumstance?

Spring is just around the corner. It’s hard to be a pessimist when those warm days start caressing you. Use that energy to your benefit, and get going on setting your life on fire with possibility and hope.

Don’t know how? Drop me an email, and I can help you gather the firewood.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer who hasn’t done New Year’s Resolutions for years. She coaches unhappy lawyers on setting life and work resolutions they adore keeping. Email her at if you need some help setting your lasting resolutions.

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