As we set our 2021 Resolutions, what realistic wellness goals should lawyers aim for? Here are nine ways lawyers can set realistic wellness goals for themselves in the new year.
- Include in a Calendar
- Seven Hours of Sleep
- Create Daily Goals
- Take a Vacation
- Look for ways to Innovate
- Use Rituals to Divide Work and Home Life
- Prioritize Physical Exercise While Working Remote
- Check Out the Lawyer Assistance Programs
- Apply Value Framework to Time Off
Include in a Calendar
Lawyers live by their schedule and calendar. What’s the best way a lawyer can set a wellness goal? Plan it in whatever calendar dictates the day, and then place the same priority to it as you would a client meeting. Otherwise, without planning, the goal becomes less realistic and more likely to be ignored.
— Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Seven Hours of Sleep
As I am sure many people know, being a lawyer is not a 9-5 occupation. We work extremely long hours and well into the night if need be. With that said, sleep is one of the most important things we do for our body and brain. In order to work at our top performance, we need to be getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. I think that is a realistic and beneficial wellness goal lawyers and any working adults can aim for.
— Court Will, Will & Will
Create Daily Goals
As a lawyer, there will be days where I am so buried in a case that I don’t get up for fresh air, water, or even to stretch my legs. 2020 altered this routine by shaking up the way we have conducted business, as it did for so many firms. As 2021 begins, I hope I can make wellness more of a priority by drinking an appropriate amount of water every day, taking a walk before or after work with my wife and dogs, exercising regularly, as well as allowing myself breaks when working on a lengthy case. While these goals sound simple, I know they will deeply improve my productivity and the way I feel as I continue to be the best personal injury lawyer I can be.
— Hunter Garnett, Warren & Simpson
Take a Vacation
Take a vacation. Being in quarantine, working from home, and living through the uncertainties of 2020 has produced a lot of stress and anxiety in people, especially lawyers. As the new year approaches, a realistic wellness goal to strive for is to take a safe vacation. Whether that’s hitting the open road in an RV rental or enjoying a simple staycation, lawyers should set aside the goal of pressing the reset button to relax with some time off.
— Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Look for Ways to Innovate
Lawyers and legal teams should aim at finding what daily duties are the most time-consuming. Then, find ways to free up more time by innovating the process digitally to create wellness time for workers. Let’s face it, a lot of law firms still use mailing as standard operating procedures to close cases, that could be easily expedited by simply utilizing one’s website with the click “agree” to terms and conditions or DocuSign versus printing and stamping every letter. Innovations like virtual chat boxes, intake forms, and webpages with FAQs free up time for workers to concentrate on wellness goals or other opportunities to promote a healthy workplace.
— Patrick Menzel, Internal Profits, LLC
Use Rituals to Divide Work and Home Life
Create a division between work and home It’s always been hard to leave all the work at work, but the pandemic has blurred that division even more. For a quick wellness win, create a ritual for breaking from work and reentering home life. For example, if your day is over (and there’s not already a toddler climbing all over you), shut your laptop and spend 30 seconds doing nothing. No screens. No clients. No billable hour calculations. Take two or three deep breaths and let work recede before you re-enter your personal life. It’ll make it easier to connect with the people around you, and getting away from work will also make your personal time more refreshing.
— Elliot Brown, OnPay
Prioritize Physical Exercise While Working Remote
Lawyers aren’t immune to the stresses that we’ve all felt over the past year. But, as restricted as we’ve all been, dealing with the stress can be more difficult than it was in the past. As someone who has worked remotely for over 15 years, I can tell you that it is possible to take care of yourself when you’re stuck at home. It just takes a bit more commitment. In 2021, resolve to take more walks. Physical exercise is a great way to clear your head of what’s been bothering you and the sunlight helps boost serotonin levels. Talk about two birds with one stone.
— Mark Varnas, Red9
Check Out the Lawyer Assistance Programs
Social distancing in 2020 has certainly not equated to legal distancing. Lawyers have been just as busy during the pandemic as they were before, some more so. But, while the workload hasn’t decreased, the complexity of the job has increased exponentially. In 2021, lawyers should resolve to make themselves familiar with the services offered by the Lawyer Assistance Programs. These programs are provided by each state’s Bar Association and offer many virtual and teleconference counseling options.
— Phil Strazzulla, Select Software Reviews
Apply Value Framework to Time Off
As a former lawyer, I would encourage all lawyers to measure non-work hours with the same enthusiasm they measure billable hours. One of the reasons that lawyers and law firms are so successful is that they can bill to the minute at a high hourly rate. If you can apply that same “value” framework to time off, for example in the mental, emotional and physical benefits, then you may just encourage more lawyers to enjoy their evenings, weekends, and holidays.
— Michael Alexis, Teambuilding