The new year poses a chance to regroup. We can look at our priorities and see what is serving us, and what we can forgo. Whether you opt to do this in January or more fluidly throughout the year, it is important to take stock of your personal and professional goals periodically and ensure you are on the right track to achieve them.
For me, 2021 was dedicated to my health. As an individual with type one diabetes, I’ve always had to be very conscious of my physical health. While I’ve always prioritized workouts and monitored my blood glucose levels, I never consistently ensured my mental and spiritual health were in tip-top shape. So, last year, I got to work on maintaining all three through meditation, limiting my alcohol intake, walking for enjoyment, and setting boundaries. Heading into 2022, I want to take it that much further. I want to be more present and slow down. (I realized the need to do this when I not only lost my keys, but also my fiancé’s keys, in a 30-minute span.) I’m striving to take time to breathe, focus on the task at hand, and, really, get out of my own way.
The Stellar Women community is also dedicated to growth—which is really what resolutions are about. From leading with kindness to making 100 new friends, all 20 of the below resolutions gathered from our fellow professionals are impactful and hopefully serve as inspiration for what you want to do or who you want to be.
Want more 2022 content? Check out our upcoming predictions webinar to dig deeper into what’s ahead for the broader legal community this year.
Laura Adkins, Senior Manager, Service Management, Relativity:
I always do a word of the year. Last year, it was ‘authenticity.’ This year, it is ‘focus.’ For me, focus means dedicating attention to tasks and work, meetings, and so on. This way, I get the best outcomes and don’t ‘waste’ time or have to follow up because I was distracted. More focus = more productivity = less toil = more time for relaxation, meditation, learning and professional development…
My New Year’s resolutions are…
- Legal pro bono: 300 hours
- Run: 1,000 miles
- Read: 100+ books
- Cook: 5,000 dumplings to share with friends
- Make: 100 strangers become my friends
- Doing diversity and inclusion work: Leverage connections to connect talented, diverse people to my network (unlimited).
Heena Bhambhlani, Executive Director and Managed Document Review Leader, Ernst and Young GDS:
My goal in 2022 is to become a better version of myself. A better version that strives to be honest, kind, compassionate, and committed to putting her heart and soul in every single thing that she pursues—either professionally or personally. A better version that is fearless, more open to stepping outside of the comfort zone, and always ready to keep hustling to achieve goals because, as they say, ‘nothing worth having has ever come easy!’ And most importantly, a better version that is always grateful for all the beautiful things that this amazing life has to offer—health, happiness, family, friends, colleagues, clients, work, travel, food, nature … The list goes on.
For me, personally this year is about strengthening my body and mind. I want to continue to work on my confidence and, in doing so, focus more on my strengths. I want to make a conscious effort to grow and expand avenues where I know I have existing strengths as well as look to areas that are completely new to me and therefore may potentially be outside my comfort zone. I am open to this as something positive rather than something to be avoided.
Gráinne Bryan, Senior Managing Director (Partner), FTI Consulting:
Over the course of the last 18 months, we have continued to evolve as a hybrid team—many of whom went straight from interviewing to joining the team and diving into work. As someone who spent five days a week in the office previously, this style of working required significant adaptability to change and an openness to experimentation as to what worked and what doesn’t. And I’m still learning. This year, I want to continue to acknowledge what’s new and different about working as part of a hybrid team, and continue to foster empathy and inclusion as well as cultivating the mindset of learning and resilience. I want to focus more on boundary spanning as well as adapting and embracing the future with an agile and collaborative mindset, while acknowledging along the way it is not easy for me but that I’m making a conscious effort.
My 2022 goal is to become physically stronger through daily exercise in the hope this impacts positively on my personal and professional life.
Stephanie Clerkin, Director, Litigation Support, Korein Tillery:
In 2022, I am striving to do more ‘uni-tasking’ or ‘single-tasking’ versus being in a constant state of multitasking. Also, I know it’s cliché, but I am hoping to start working out again at least two days a week.
Knowing and articulating my worth! Also—I aim to find balance between work and life while not automatically mentally going to the worst-case scenario when things go wrong.
Less procrastination, more self-love, and killing professional goals!
Kenya Dixon, GC and COO, Empire Technologies Risk Management Group:
My goal this year is to publish an industry-wide handbook or practitioners’ guide. Along the way, I’d like to seek out additional education in my field. Education is the key to growth in this industry.
Colleen Freeman, Senior Director and Litigation Consultant, Business Intelligence Associates (BIA):
My goals this year are to express more gratitude and to be thankful for the wonderful gift of friendship both professionally and personally. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, my clients become friends and my friends become clients. It’s truly a relationship business. With advanced data analytics, new technology innovations, and AI sometimes replacing human interaction, I think it would benefit us all to be kind, sincere, and compassionate. We’ve all been through a lot and this pandemic has touched each and every one of us in different ways. Let’s bring back the human touch. Kindness matters.
My resolution for 2022 is to level up as a mentor. I can hardly wait to dust off old plans to take people to lunch and facilitate event networking. At the same time, I plan to be more purposeful in virtual outreach. If your goals include writing about e-discovery and you're seeking an editor, sounding board, or cheerleader, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.
The importance of human connection for me has been an abiding gift throughout the uncertainty of 2021. In 2022, I intend to continue investing in deep, meaningful relationships—both personal and professional. The last two years have shown us we never know what is around the corner and it is the strength of these relationships that gives us the resilience to face and succeed in life’s challenges.
I have two goals for the year. Personally, I want to listen more and talk less. Professionally, I hope to find new ways to collaborate with people and organizations outside of the legal profession in order to increase access to justice. I know I can learn a lot from others who are similarly interested in achieving equitable and just outcomes for all.
My New Year's resolution is to ‘give more generously’ with my time, charitable donations, through supporting friends, and more.
Gina O’Neill, Senior Manager, e-Discovery & Legal Technology, Herbert Smith Freehills:
My goal is to allow myself the time to learn a new technology in depth, that is not work-related. Some people like to read books; I find learning a new technology is food for my soul. You never know when you might need to tap into those skills further down the track. I'd really like to see how a mobile app is written or explore Power BI or Lightroom. They’re all very diverse but they would be really cool to understand.
I have two New Year’s resolutions! For my business: create a marketing plan with new strategies and expand my network. Hopefully, there will be in-person events in 2022. In my personal life, it’s taking care of myself first and letting go of toxic people and situations that don’t serve me.
Maribel Rivera, Sales, Marketing and Events Specialist, Maribel Rivera Marketing and Event Services Freelance; Senior Director, ACEDS:
My goal for 2022 is to continue to build on my past goal of being authentic, growing, and understanding how the four key parts of my life—self, family/friends, community, and profession—continuously work together to shape who I am and what I do. This will allow me to continue to be an active participant in my life and the lives of those around me. In doing so, I can mentor others to do the same, which is also a key life goal for me.
Patricia Rodriguez, eDiscovery Consultant, Senior Director, Ankura:
Learn to sit back and observe; not everything needs a reaction. Never seek revenge … rotten fruit will fall by itself!
I am really focused on reducing clutter, keeping only what I need, and giving away things to people who can really use them. We started with a major attic cleanup, and I plan to continue to reduce the amount of ‘unneeded stuff’ in my life.