The Modern New Year’s Resolution

While most people associate New Year’s resolutions with personal goals, there is no reason we shouldn’t be setting new aspirations for our professional selves as well.

However, instead of resolutions, a more modern approach is setting affirmations, declaring a word of the year, or setting your intentions.

Instead of a disappointing January filled with broken promises, create action-oriented challenges rather than outcome-oriented goals. For example, an intention to eat healthier allows for more flexibility and success than a resolution to lose 10 pounds.

I talked with some of my friends in the Raleigh chapter of the Legal Marketing Association to get their take on both the process of setting New Year’s goals, as well as the specifics of their plans.

Embrace Imperfection

Jen Bordeaux is the Director of Public Relations for New Direction Family Law. Jen’s focus this year is an intention, to embrace imperfection. The idea is not to get so bogged down in getting something perfect that she fails to get something done.  Jen and the firm partners also set firm goals. While several of their goals focus on the business such as growing their podcast audience and following up on leads, they also thought holistically about the firm and they want to better manage compassion fatigue and nurture relationships.

Jen’s intention resonated with Chris Moyer, the Marketing Coordinator for Hedrick Gardner. Chris declared that embracing imperfection would be his intention for the New Year as well. Later that day, he memorialized his intention with a printed version in his workspace so he has a daily reminder. As we continued to talk, our group recognized that striving for perfection was something all of us experienced and it was no accident that all of us were working in the legal profession, one that is loaded with high achievers. Chris felt we were on to something if we could take off some of the self-imposed pressure.


Raven Hicks, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Teague Campbell, is starting 2021 by setting broad goals like better self-care and striving for good enough rather than the 200% she usually strives for. “Moving forward isa pace” is an encouragement from her fitness coach friend which reminds us that everyone doesn’t have to be a marathon runner to be in the race.

Raven is encouraging the lawyers at Teague Campbell to use “focus” as their 2021 mantra. In general, lawyers face so many distractions, client emergencies, overbooked calendars, as well as multiple marketing and business development goals. Choosing to focus on doing a few things well, she is not asking them to ignore the full strategic plan, but rather to take it one step at a time. Her lawyers have responded positively to the request and appreciate the opportunity to do less rather than more. 

Hayley Pickard is a new member of the Teague Campbell team and is working as a Marketing Specialist. While part of her goals involves learning more about the firm and her new job, she set some intentions for herself, along with a straight up, old fashioned goal – run a marathon! She plans to run the City of Oaks marathon in November and will start a training program in March when the weather and daylight savings time will make outdoor running more pleasant.

Hayley also plans to journal daily as a check-in with herself and her focus on her whole person – body, mind and spirit.

The Modern Journal

Journals are another of the modern New Year’s resolutions revolutions. 

Lindsay Tiffany, Marketing & Client Services Manager with Wyrick Robbins is also planning to journal in 2021. Lindsay follows an Instagram influencer who recommends a journal focused on four things – and they can be as simple as a moment of gratitude for coffee! Lindsay bought herself and her best friend the same journal so they can provide accountability to one another and enjoy a joint journey in practicing gratitude. 

Lindsay also shared an online resource with us, YearCompass, available at YearCompass is a free worksheet that helps you reflect on your year and plan the next one. Discover questions and prompts to create your 2021 journey.

Inspired by Lindsay’s intention to journal, Marty Martin, whose law practice focuses on nonprofits, shared his story about what it meant to discover his father’s 1938 diary recently. Written while a college student, his father’s journal was an unexpected gift providing perspective and a message across the intervening decades. As the “gray hair” in our marketing group, Marty shared his thoughts as a Baby Boomer to the Millennials in our group. He reminded us of the importance of legacy and family. He saw a theme in our conversation of the concept that urged them to consider “less is more”.  He wondered what it said about the pace of our lives today. Marty encouraged the members to treasure the relationships because that is what is important.

Brain Food

Shannon Lanier, Marketing Communication Strategist with Poston Communications, also related to the journal journey. One of her colleagues at Poston is a massive journal keeper; he keeps a journal with his thoughts on books he reads, an exercise journal, and a bird journal to name a few. 

Shannon also shared advice from Dr. Sanja Gupta’s new book “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age”. In the New Year, when many of our goals revolve around food and diet, his advice for brain food is berries, so Shannon is adding berries to her list of go-to foods for 2021.  Shannon also related to many of our common concerns and she vows to be kinder to herself this year with a focus on the whole self.

Build on What You Are Already Doing Well

Jodi Coverly, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Hutchison PLLC, said that as she contemplated the New Year and how to inspire her firm, she focused on not trying to control what everyone else does. Instead, Jodi’s mantra is to work with the willing. Forcing people in a direction they don’t want to go is ineffective. Her firm goal for the year is to build on what the firm is already doing well such as creating content which is particularly important in a virtual world.

Kay Simpkins, Customer Service with Tuttle Printing & Engraving is using focus as her word of 2021. Like many of us Kay is living and working at the same place, so she’s trying to declutter her home and do it in a focused way. Present is her other word. As Kay says, she tends to look at her phone a lot so having an intention around being present is important. She also has a fitness goal, she’s planning to participate in the Crossfit Open which is an international event where people compete virtually to set personal records, get healthier, and meet new challenges.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a few of our members better. And that you are inspired to set resolutions, intentions, mantras or affirmations, or that you pick up a journal this year. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Legal Marketing Association, visit or continue this conversation by contacting Camille Stell at or 800.662.8843. 

About The Author

Nicky Dunlap

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