During the first few days of January, we all enjoy heaping levels of willpower when it comes to keeping our resolutions. We go to the gym, we pack a healthy lunch, we take the stairs as often as we can, and we start looking for certification and training courses to advance us professionally.


But by the second or third week, many of us start losing steam. We skip the gym, agree to cocktails and dinner after a deposition, and the open tab for the training course of our dreams disappears.


It’s hard to be perfect.


Forget willpower. At DLE Court Reporters, we understand that the first step to keeping resolutions is picking the right resolutions. Here’s how to narrow them down:


1. Find something meaningful that will enhance your life when it’s achieved. If you’re a court reporter who wants to work more for a certain legal team, add the skills you’ll need to be irreplaceable. Maybe that’s a specific set of medical knowledge or another language, or maybe it’s a faster speed or higher accuracy. You can do it, and more importantly, you’ll reap the benefits as soon as you do.


2. Make sure your resolution is measurable. All of us are motivated by progress. So no matter where you start, record that point in time. If you’ve taken a test to gauge your proficiency, speed, or accuracy, note your initial score. Periodic check-ins with your progress is what you’ll need to fuel your willpower and keep you plugging away.


3. Is your resolution achievable? Perhaps this should be tip number one, shouldn’t it? It’s crucial to be reasonably certain that your goal can be reached. Are you a court reporter planning on being fluent in Mandarin in three months? That may not happen. Are you a videographer whose goal is to add technological skills to your training? That’s doable.


4. Schedule time to make it happen. It’s difficult to find time to pursue your own professional career moves when you’re dedicated to your day job. Especially when that day job trickles into after-hours deadlines, and especially when your extra-curricular resolutions are unpaid. If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time.


5. Don’t give up. If you miss a week or even two of progress, give yourself a break. Acknowledge the mistake and recommit to your goal. This happens to even the best of us resolution-ers!


Only 8% of those making resolutions on December 31st actually keep them. If you’re feeling like you want to quit, you’re not alone. But in those low moments, remember our number one tip to you: Find something meaningful that will enhance your life when it’s achieved. Often, it’s that meaning that will keep you in the fight.


Let us know your 2018 professional resolutions. We at DLE Court Reporters are always interested in colleagues who are bettering themselves and gearing up for a highly successful year in legal support services. And if you’re looking for a legal support services firm with resolution willpower and a never-ending goal of being better than we were the day before, we’re it.

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