Ep #32: Celebrating Your Success

The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers with Paula Price | Celebrating Your Success

As the New Year looms, many of us are spending time reflecting on the past year and thinking about the things we want to accomplish in 2022. We set New Year’s resolutions, often based on what we see as failures or missteps from the year, but I think we need a more useful reframe for moving forward.


I think of this period as the perfect time to celebrate our successes and to take stock of everything we’ve accomplished over the course of the year. This is something we really don’t do enough of because it’s so much easier to focus on the obstacles we faced and all the ways things didn’t go our way, but it’s more important than you might think. 


Join me this week as I show you the importance of celebrating yourself, and offer five questions to ask yourself so you can take ownership of all of your accomplishments. I’m inviting you to spend time celebrating the decisions you made over the course of 2021 that set you up for the next year, and I’m sharing some tips for building on your success into 2022. 


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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • 5 questions I encourage you to ask yourself to take ownership of and celebrate your accomplishments.
  • What the theory of appreciative inquiry entails.
  • The things you could be celebrating yourself for every single day. 
  • What I’m proud of myself for this year. 
  • Examples of instances you might see as failures that you can turn into celebrations. 
  • The power of considering what you’d like to let go of in 2022. 
  • Words of advice you can give yourself on the eve of 2022. 
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 32.

Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, lawyer turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. Join me every week for a break from the hustle so we can focus on you, what you truly want, and how you can create it.

If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to create a life and practice that brings you more joy, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.

Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m so excited to have all of you here with me this week. This is the last episode of 2021, and I’m so excited to be celebrating this event with you, this wrapping up of another calendar year and looking forward to what 2022 is going to bring all of us.

For today’s episode, I have decided to focus on something that I think we don’t do enough of and now is a wonderful time to do it, which is to celebrate you. To celebrate you, to celebrate your success, to really take stock of all the things that you’ve been doing over the course of 2021 and celebrate it.

I had a coaching call with a client recently. I asked my client to share with me some of the successes that they had experienced over the course of 2021. It brought up such a beautiful conversation. There were so many things to celebrate. I think what we tend to do at the end of the year is we look back on the whole year and we don’t necessarily see all the things that we accomplished.

We might be seeing the things that we want to accomplish the following year. These are the things that normally get turned into those New Year’s resolutions. The okay I’m going to go to the gym every day. I’m going to not procrastinate. I’m going to whatever it is. We tend to think of those things as the things that we’re going to do in the following year, but we don’t always spend the time that we could be spending to celebrate the decisions that we made on a day to day basis, on a weekly basis, on a month to month basis that set us up for how we will start out our next year.

I like to think of it a little bit like a relay course where we’ve got a baton and you’re passing the baton over to the next runner. You can think of yourself like that at the beginning of 2021, you were handed a baton. You were handed your professional work, your personal life in the way that it appeared after it what was then I guess nine months into this pandemic life that we’re all currently living.

On January 1, 2021, that was your start to this particular year. You carried that baton forward. Now as we wrap up on December 31, you have now transformed your professional life, your personal life in ways that you are setting yourself up for success in the next calendar year.

So today what we’re going to do is we’re going to go through five different questions that I would encourage you to ask yourself so that you can really take ownership of and celebrate and acknowledge all the amazing things that you’ve done this year. And to think about how you want to set yourself up for 2022.

As I was preparing for today’s podcast, I noticed as I was going through some of my notes and some of the themes that there are a lot of themes that I wanted to talk about today that I’ve already talked about in previous episodes. So I’m going to be mentioning those podcast episodes as we go through. So there are quite a few of them.

If you’re new to the podcast, this is a great way to be introduced to some of the ideas and topics. The idea here isn’t to send you to all of them. That would be way too much. It’s a bit overwhelming. If there’s a topic that resonates with you, I just wanted you to know that there is an episode on it and here’s a link to it. So if you go to the site for this particular podcast episode, you’ll see all the links in the show notes. You can also, of course, search through your feed wherever it is that you download your podcast and find them there.

So with that my friends, I am so excited to turn to today’s episode starting with question number one. So the first question that I would invite you to ask yourself as we wrap up 2021 is to ask yourself what you are proud of. What are the successes that you’ve had this year?

Now there are successes that might seem like really small successes, but let’s focus on those for a minute. There are little wins that you may be experiencing every single day. Every time you make a decision like that where you are setting yourself up to that next win, you are in effect creating a bit of success that you can then build on and keep building on as you move forward.

There’s a wonderful notion called appreciative inquiry. It’s a theory. The reason that I wanted to mention it here is because you can think about appreciative inquiry as you focus on what you’ve done well. Where the idea is not so much to look at a situation and look at the problems and go and spend your energy solving those problems rather the focus is okay let’s look at the system and what is working well here? What are the strengths? What are the things that we can build on?

Then the process requires that you focus your energy on enhancing and building the areas that are already strong. As you go through the successes that you’ve had this year, I would invite you to think about the things that you’re already doing well. By doing those things, you’re setting yourself up for a next level of success. We don’t know yet what that looks like. But the more you lean into those strengths, the more you build on the things you’re already doing, the more you will grow.

So what does this look like? On a day to day level, what can you be celebrating? I think anytime that you choose to chip away at a difficult task instead of scrolling on your social media feed, for example. Maybe you’re sitting down to write a really difficult email or you’re writing a legal argument.

You’re drafting the most complicated part of your contract. And you have that urge to check your email or go online and maybe see what your friends are doing or go up and talk to the person in the office down the hall. These are all times where you bring yourself back and you refocus your energy and you do the task that is really hard that maybe you have to push yourself a little.

So every time you make one of those decisions, then that is cause for celebration. Because it’s the cumulation of those decisions that add up over time to get you to where you want to be. For some of you, for some of the clients that I have worked with, time management and procrastination are something that can come up and cause problems and cause you to take more time to do the things that you really want to do. You start getting frustrated with yourself because you’re not able to stick to a schedule.

If that’s something that has been a challenge for you and you have been working on that, then I applaud your efforts. I want to encourage you to keep going. If you would like an additional resource for that, I do have an episode about time management where I offer some strategies including some strategies that help with procrastination. That’s episode number two.

Another area where you may be having day to day progress is in having difficult conversations. So sometimes it’s a lot easier to ignore the elephant in the room and carry on with your day because you don’t want to have that difficult conversation that might require you to set boundaries with a colleague or a client or even a friend or somebody who is in your personal life.

It may be that you need to ask for help. Maybe it’s talking to your assistant and asking them for help in the way that they are supporting you. Maybe it’s turning to somebody more senior in your organization and saying, “Listen, I need some help here. I have a workflow that is more than what I can comfortably handle right now.” Asking for help in that respect.

Every time you do that, every time you have one of those difficult conversations, it may feel really difficult in the moment. You may really resist it. It might be uncomfortable, but he longer term effect of that is that you are now setting yourself up in a situation where you’re getting used to practicing asking for what you want. You’re getting used to having those difficult conversations and coming to a resolution instead of letting those situations escalate to the point that you feel like you’re not even able to deal with them.

If you would like ideas on how to approach those conversations, I have a podcast episode all about an elegant approach to those difficult conversations. That’s episode number 15.

It may be that some of the little decisions that you’re making on a day to day to day basis is the way that you’re speaking to yourself. This is something that I work on with my clients. I think so many of us have this narrative that goes on internally where we are not being our own best boss. We’re not really supporting ourselves in the moment. We are saying things like, “Oh you’re not really ready for this or so and so down the hall is faster than me. What if I don’t get this right?” There’s all this internal dialogue.

Every time you catch yourself saying something that is unempowering and you address that thought, you pick a better thought, you just even acknowledge that you have it and you’re going to keep moving forward anyway. Every time you do that, you’re building your muscle of having a much more positive dialogue internally. If that’s something that you’ve been working on, I applaud you. I encourage you to keep doing that.

I do have another podcast episode on that. It’s episode number 11. It’s all about being your own best boss. So that is really reshaping that internal dialogue so that you’re leading yourself in a way that is empowering as opposed to chipping away at the things that you are thinking that you’re not doing so well.

Finally it may be that you’re building up your relationships in a time where establishing a connection has been more difficult. So we’ve all been operating in a pandemic situation. So for some of us, that means that we are continuing to work at home. Maybe there’s a hybrid situation. Maybe you’re partly at home. Maybe you’re partly at work, at the office.

For many of you, I know that that communication piece has been made all that more difficult because maybe you’re in the office but not everybody is. There are individuals that you’d like to reach out to and connect with. You’re not able to do it unless you’re doing it over Zoom or over the phone.

So every time that you have set out internally to forge a stronger relationship with whoever that may be. Whether it’s your professional work or if it’s in your personal life. Every time you do that, you build up that network that is going to help support you. That network that is going to inspire you where you are going to be able to serve others. That, again, is a day by day decision that sets you up for success over the long run.

If you’d like some ideas on how to do that, again I have a podcast episode that might help you with that. It’s all about dealing with loneliness. It’s episode number 17.

So still on the topic of celebrating you and celebrating the successes that you have made this year, we can also look at some of the bigger decisions that you’ve made. Some of the bigger choices that have allowed you to really move forward in your career, move forward in your personal life, move forward in ways that make you feel so much better and that are setting yourself up for greater success in 2022.

So some of the bigger decisions that may have been relevant to you this is moving on from a position where you feel like there was no longer room for you to grow. This happens where you reach a bit of a plateau wherever it is that you are, and you make the decision to move forward.

It can be somewhat scary because you may be giving up something that you’ve spent a lot of time establishing. But the opportunity on the other side of that is one of growth. It’s one where you’re excited. It’s one you’re feeling so much more aligned with your values and your goals. So that might be something that you did this year.

If that’s something that you are considering or that you’ve already done or that you might be doing in 2022, I would encourage you to listen to an episode I recently recorded. It’s episode number 31. It’s all about figuring out when it’s time for you to make a move. When it’s time to move on or where it’s time to recalibrate your existing role to bring in more of what it is that you want.

Other examples of big decisions that you may have made this year. Maybe it’s deciding to leave a traditional practice. Maybe you’re in private practice, and you’ve made a decision to go in house or you’ve made a decision to move into the non-profit space. Maybe you’ve made a decision to go back to school, get some additional training.

There are all sorts of examples of what that could look like. Maybe that’s a decision that you made that will help you get more balanced in your life. That will help you align more with the goals that you have for yourself. So any of these decisions, I would encourage you to celebrate yourself for having made that decision. For moving yourself out of uncertainty and indecision and into a place where you have more clarity.

Sort of looking at what I’m proud of this year because I’m going to offer some examples from my own practice. This year one of my big goals was starting this podcast. So this was a big accomplishment for me. I feel really good about it.

As I’m continuing to grow my coaching practice, I took 2021 as a year of opportunity to really get out and build my relationships with individuals, with organizations to really try to share the work that I’m doing with people just like you. So that you feel like there’s a place where you can go and feel connected and have access to some of the concepts that I’m sharing with my clients. Hopefully by doing so you’ll be able to make changes in your practice that will get you closer to your goals.

In order to do that, I have been out there doing webinars. I looked this morning at my calendar. I think I did almost 30 webinars this year. Whether they were webinars for professional organizations, for law firms, for myself. I do them through my own company. There were a lot of webinars being done this year to reach people, to connect people.

I have done this podcast. I think we’re on episode number 32. I have increasingly reached out to work with more clients. I have been consistent about reaching out on LinkedIn and emailing my weekly newsletter. If you’re not on my list, please get on my list. You’ll get notice of all the things that are happening.

So these are things that I’m really proud of because these are the decisions that I’ve made day by day. These are the decisions that I made month by month and over the course of the year. I feel like this has been a really great year for building. For you, maybe this was a year that you’re going to be building or that you’ve just built up your network. Or you’re starting your own firm and you’re really establishing your own client base.

So whatever that looks like to you, I would really just encourage you to celebrate that for what it is and to be proud of yourself moving into 2022. The baton that you’re passing on is all part of that.

Now the second question that I would invite you to ask yourself is what obstacles did you turn into opportunities? It can be really difficult in the moment when things don’t go your way to think that this is a big problem. This is terrible. This is the worst thing that ever happened to you. When this happens, when something does not go your way, I would invite you to ask yourself how is it that I can make this the best thing that ever happened to me.

Here’s some examples of what may have come up over the course of the years that you can look at and think, “Well, initially I thought that was a really terrible thing. Actually it turned out to be really great.” So maybe it’s a client that you’re working with who really pushed you to your edge. Maybe it’s another lawyer in your firm who you are working with and the relationship just felt very difficult.

As a result, you had to have a difficult conversation with that person. It was a really tough situation. You would not have wished it on yourself. In that situation, you decided to have a conversation. You set clear boundaries. You may be reached out to other members of your firm to get support in the decisions that you made, the actions that you were taking in relation to that.

As a result, you now feel more confident in your ability to set boundaries. You reestablished the balance of power in that relationship. You realized that other people support you in moving forward. That they recognize the value that you’re contributing. So what was a negative has now become a positive. You learned how to stand up for yourself.

It may be that you were in a position where the job itself, there was an issue with it and maybe you needed to move on from a position. It wasn’t necessarily something that you had anticipated or wanted. But as a result of having that movement from one job to another, you realized that you were not necessarily in a place that was right for you. Maybe you were no longer a good fit for that position. Maybe there’s something about it. Maybe it was the practice area you were in. Maybe it was the individuals that you were working with or the clients that you were working with.

As a result, you found yourself a new position where you now find that you’re so much more aligned with the work that you want to do. That you’re so much more aligned with the vision that you have for yourself of your future professionally.

It may be that you learned that you’re a lot more resilient than you thought your were. That you were able to have this obstacle come up. Rather than sort of find yourself defeated or the victim of some situation that wasn’t something that you had necessarily invited into your life. You had the resilience. You had the power. You had the persistence to overcome that challenge and to find a better place as a result.

It may be your health. I know for a lot of you, a lot of us, this year and last year have been particularly challenging with the added dynamic of the pandemic. So already managing your career and your personal life including your health may have been a bit of a struggle. Maybe this year it was even more so. Maybe you took the cues that came your way. Maybe you felt yourself getting really close to burnout. Maybe you were burnt out.

You took that as a sign that you really needed to make some changes in your life. That may have lead to a recommitment to your personal health. Maybe getting your rest, taking a bit of time away from the office, figuring out how to delineate the boundaries between your personal life and your professional work.

You may be doing those two things under the same roof. So getting clear about what your new  boundaries are going to look like and prioritizing your health. So maybe something that was not invited. Maybe you did have a period where you felt lethargic and burnt out and anxious. You were able to move past that. Now you can look back on that and say, “I obviously do not feel good in that situation, but I was able to take that situation and turn it around. For that I’m really grateful.”

So I wanted to share. I mentioned I would share some personal examples. So I’ve had a number of situations where I wasn’t all that excited about in the moment, but I managed to find a silver lining. One of those was the Zoom blender that I had way back in the spring. I talk about it in episode number three, which is all about how to turn around a bad day. It really was the culmination of just having a lot on my plate and getting a little bit lost.

You know those days where maybe you wake up and you slept in, and it feels like everything you do that day is behind schedule or there’s something off. That was one of those days for me where I just had a lot on my plate and too many balls in the air for what I was comfortable with.

I was in this largish Zoom meeting. I was presenting. I was in a conference. I was presenting. My turn was over and I thought I had Zoomed out or logged out of Zoom, and I hadn’t. Then I’d sort of taken off my blazer and I was sitting there poking around on my screen. Long story short, I was still part of a meeting. I just didn’t know it. A different meeting. I just was so embarrassed when I realized what had happened. At the time, it was not experience I was super proud of. I was quite embarrassed.

I had realized that I’d put too much on my plate. That there were boundaries that I needed to set. I realized that I needed to take a step back. As a result, I was able to do that. I was able to reconfigure. I also had the added benefit of being able to use that experience as something that I shared on my podcast. I think of all the episodes that I’ve recorded so far, that episode is the most popular. So it just goes to show that sometimes the things that happened where in the moment it’s cringeworthy. In time, it actually can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Another example for me is really watching for signs of burnout. I love the work that I do. I really don’t want to stop. I have reasons why I do stop. I have my family that I want to spend time with. I don’t want to leave my kids at school all day. So I have hard stops to my professional workdays, but I also find sometimes I’m so keen to get out there and share my work and do all the things that I can. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to put boundaries on that work, and sometimes I find myself getting really tired and I find myself getting close to burnout.

So really taking care to pay attention to when those signals pop up, and then choosing to do something proactive about it. I’m not perfect. I really do try. I think it’s a balancing act. It’s a practice. We’re all doing it. All of you. All of you who are listening. I know you’re in the same boat. I know you’re all committed to your professional work. Some of you have young children like I do. I presents it’s own set, regardless of your situation.

Everybody has their own set of challenges, and it’s really a question of keeping an eye on the balance there and focusing on what makes you feel good. What makes you feel balanced and at peace and productive and that you’re advancing professionally the way that you want in the context of a balance that works for you. For everybody, that’s going to be different.

Okay moving on to question three. What investments did you make in yourself in 2021? Here investments can mean a lot of things. Let’s look at what your resources are. Your resources are your time, your money, your energy, your focus. What I would invite you to think about is where did you invest this year? What benefits did those investments yield for you?

It may be that you prioritized your health this year. After 2020, maybe you realized you need to get out more. You need to have more relationships with individuals, whatever that looks like at this stage of the world. Maybe you decided that you needed more professional development. Maybe you’re a really junior lawyer and you found that there were not enough mentorship opportunities in this pandemic situation. So you went out and you were really intentional in investing your time and finding mentors. Maybe you invested finally in courses to learn new skills.

Maybe you realize that over the pandemic, your balance shifted too much in favor of professional work. Maybe with the new setup maybe you were working at home, and you found that you were drifting too much into your professional workspace. What you really wanted to was to pull that back a little bit so that you had more clear time with your family that was actually family time, not work time. So maybe that was a way that you invested. You invested your time in your personal relationships and redistributed some of your professional time.

So you can look at that. Look at the different sections of your life. Look at how you invested. Whether it was professional training, whether it was taking on new projects at the office. That will look different for everybody. If you want some ideas for planning, looking at how you might invest or how you might structure your time or structure your goals going forward, I do have a couple of podcast episodes.

One about planning. That’s episode number 22. That’s all about sort of that big picture planning of how to look at things in the longer term. I also have a podcast episode about goal setting. That is a strategy that I use all the time. It’s a great goal framework. Great is an acronym that I use when I’m setting up small goals and large goals. It really can be motivating. So if those are topics, that’s episode number six where I talk about goal setting.

If those are topics that maybe you did them already really well in 2021 and you’re just going to do more of that in 2022, that wonderful. If you’d like additional resources, those two podcast episodes can be really helpful. If you look at that episode six, which is the goal setting one, there’s also a handout that goes with that if you’d like to sign up for that which will give you a framework that you can use to setup basically any goal.

Another investment that you may make is coaching of course. That is something that I invested in this year. I invested in a coach to bring my podcast to life. It was something that was really important to me. It was on my to do list. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it if I was left to my own devices. So I hired a coach. You met her in episode I think it’s either 30 or 31. Natalie Fisher. She is amazing. It’s episode 30, thank you. So you can find her there.

She’s a career coach. She’s not a podcast creating coach most of the time. But it was really helpful to me to have somebody there who was able keep me accountable, who I could ask questions of. She has her own podcast. It’s a great podcast.

So you may I have invested in a coach as well. Maybe you worked with me. I’ve had the benefit of working with an amazing group of lawyers this year. I do one-on-one coaching. It’s been incredible. I work with lawyers who reach out to me on their own. I work with lawyers who are paired with me through their law firm. So for them, the investment has been really in themselves.

This is how I experience my coaching relationships. I had Natalie. I also am part of some coaching groups. What I find is that the benefit is really in investing in myself. For me, my investments are also.  Some of them are really purely personal investments in the sense that it’s more skills that I’m trying to develop personally.

I would say most of the investing I’ve done recently in coaching is for my professional growth. For my business. I find it so helpful to have an ongoing relationship with a coach where I’m really working on my mindset. I’m working on my goals. I’m thinking about where I want to go moving forward, and then I have that additional support that I need that I enjoy to move forward.

So for any of you who are thinking about having coaching to help you move forward professionally or personally and you have questions about it, by all means feel free to reach out to me. You can email me. You can tag me on LinkedIn or whatever. Reach out. I guess it’s more of a DM on LinkedIn. Whatever it is that would be helpful to you.

The, of course, follow up question to this initial one of where have you invested your energy, what are the benefits that have flowed to you from having made that investment? So if you’re investing in your health, for example, maybe you have more energy. Maybe your days are more productive.

If you’re investing in training, maybe you find that your skills have really improved. If you’re investing in your relationships, you may find that now at the end of the year you’ve got all these connections. You feel really part of the community. So those are some of the benefits that might have accrued to you.

For me in doing this podcast, I have found that the benefits have really been fascinating. I love being able to connect with you every week. I love having this platform that I can share what I’m learning, what I’m doing. I can share that with my clients. I share that with you. It’s been a wonderful resource to have. I’m starting to have guests on my podcast, which is amazing because I’ll get to have these really amazing conversations with other coaches or individuals who have information that I think is really useful to share with you as part of our growing community.

Other sort of surprising things that have come out of this podcast. I’ve had organizations reach out to me to create webinars out of topics that I’ve covered on the podcast, which was never something that I had anticipated as happening and something that I love. I’m so excited to work on.

So for all of you who are investing in yourself and wondering am I worth it, is it worth it. The answer, I think, is yes. Yes absolutely go ahead whether you’re investing your time, whether you’re investing your money, whether you’re investing your energy. Whatever it is that you’re investing, looking at that investment that you’re making in yourself and going all in I think is so worth it.

So the next question that I would encourage you to ask yourself is what are you letting go of. This is a question that I’ve been asking myself quite a bit. My word of the year for 2022 is streamline. My word of the year this year was resonance. So this year I really focused on doing things professionally that really resonated with my values and goals and what was really important to me. I will continue to do that of course. Next year it’s all about streamlining. It’s kind of decluttering. Declutter in all sorts of different areas. I’d invite you to think about what you want to start letting go of in 2022.

So one of the things that I’m working on that a lot of clients that I coach are working on is your relationship with time. This, to me, is an ongoing process because time is something that we all want to enjoy. We all want to maximize how we spend our time so that we’re doing it in a way that aligns with what brings us joy, where we see value, what brings us growth. I really love efficiency. I love thinking about time.

One of the things that I’m really working on and that I would encourage you to work on or maybe you’re already working on is your relationship with time. So one of the things that I’m trying to let go of is my relationship with time where I feel rushed. That is a common feeling for me. I feel like I’m rushed. That I get things done, but there’s a bit of extra pressure. I’d like to really recalibrate so that I’m feeling less rushed throughout the days.

If that is something that resonates with you, I did a podcast episode about this not that long ago. Episode 26 called Make Peace with Procrastination. Really it’s about thinking about the way that you relate to time so that your relationship with time can bring you more peace so that you can be productive without that nagging feeling that you might have of some people call it overwhelm or stress or anxiety. It can show up like that.

So that’s one of the things that I’m going to let go of or that I’m working on letting go of is that what I call for myself, not for you, a bit of a dysfunctional relationship with time. I want to improve that relationship.

Another thing you might be letting go of is perfectionism. So I did an episode about that. Episode number four. That’s one that resonates with so many professionals. We’re used to that top shelf work. The straight A’s. The excellence in all places. So sometimes perfectionism can get in the way of us doing the things that we really want. It can get in the way of us advancing professionally. So here if you are interested in doing that, I refer you to that podcast episode number four.

It may be that one of the things you want to let go of is other people’s expectations of you. This comes up a lot in the work that I do with lawyers at all levels. Especially for the junior lawyers who have maybe followed a path that is very much guided by external cues. They haven’t really done the exercise of thinking about what truly matters to them. Letting go of other people’s expectations and other people’s wants for them can be a big part of their growth.

So that might be something that you’re looking at for 2022 is letting go of other people’s expectations. If that’s something that you’re working on, one thing that I would suggest doing is thinking about how you define success. I do a podcast episode about what it means to be wildly successful. That is episode number 12. The whole point there is to look at how you define success for yourself. Then you get to live into that definition of success. So if letting go of other people’s expectations is what you’re thinking about focusing on, that might be a resource that could be helpful for you.

Another area where you may want to let go is control. That may mean delegating more. That may mean dropping your standards. That is an area that comes up quite often where I think we are type A achievers wanting to control all things possible. Sometimes that’s not going to work to your advantage. Often it’s not going to work to your advantage. So that’s another thing that may be on your list.

So if I look at the things that I am trying to let go of entering into 2022, you know I’m thinking of that moment where I’m handing the baton over. It’s December 31st. It’s midnight. I want to start 2022 with some. I’ve propped myself up a little bit. I’ve got the things that I’ve managed to do in 2021. I’ve managed to learn from some of the challenges that have come up. I’ve invested in my professional work. I’m also ready to let go of something.

So what comes up for me in terms of letting things go? Number one is I’m trying to let go of clutter. So I’ve got a plan to start streamlining my systems. I want to start streamlining my thinking. So I’ve been a coach for a few years now. This is work that I do often with my clients. So I’m onto myself. I’m onto that negative voice that shows up, but I continue to work on that. So streamlining my thinking so that I’m thinking in a way that’s more aligned with the goals that I have as opposed to thoughts that sometimes cloud progress.

Other things that I try to declutter. I’m trying to declutter my approach to health. This may sound a little odd, but I really like to have routines. I like to have routines where I’m going to bed early, I wake up early. I have my routines for exercise and the foods that I choose to have and the relationships that I choose to have and the levels of stress, how I manage stress, etcetera. Movement throughout the day. So I really just want to declutter the things that I’m doing that aren’t adding to my health.

Other things that I want to let go of. I am looking at letting go of control. I feel like I am at a stage of life now where there are things that I no longer need to control quite so closely. I’ve got two young children. I talk about them sometimes on this podcast. They’re now nine and seven. So there are things that I’ve done for them previously that I’m ready to start shifting over into their domain of control. That may mean that they’re not doing things the way that I would do them, and that’s great. They get to choose how they are going to do things going forward.

In my own business, there are areas where I’d like to let go of control. I’d like to have somebody to whom I can delegate some of the tasks that I’m doing so that I don’t need to do them. In terms of relationships, I think it’s showing up in my relationships. Realizing how little control I have over other people. I think I’m already not this.

If you listen to the podcast episode I recorded with Maggie Reyes, I think that’s episode number 29. We talk about five star relationships. She’s a marriage coach, but even if you’re not married I think that the wisdom that she shares, the tips that she shares about relationships is really applicable to all relationships. Even relationships that you have in the workplace.

One of the things that I would be letting go of or I am letting go of is that control piece. Really doing that at a conscious level, I think, is work worth doing for so many reasons. One of them being better relationships and less stress for you.

Then another thing that I’m letting go of is fear and doubt. Again, this is work that I’ve been doing for years now. I’ve really done is consciously as a coach and as a coach who is building a practice. To build a practice, I have needed to really put myself out there to communicate with others the work that I do and how I can help them. So getting out there and over my fears of what it means to be posting things on LinkedIn and recording these podcast episodes and showing them to you.

I had a lot of fear around producing this podcast. I talk about it in that episode I mentioned. I think it’s number five where it’s something that was really terrifying for me. So being able to let go of fear and move through it quicker. I don’t think that I can say that I no longer ever have fear. But when I do, I can see it. I can identify it. I know it’s there. I can ask myself some questions about it. I’m able to move through it more quickly because I’ve been practicing doing that.

The more you practice something, the better you get at doing it. Of course it all comes down to your writing in your brain. Your neuroplasticity. These are learnable skills, which is wonderful. I talk about that in previous episodes. So that’s something that I’m really going to be letting go of is the fear and the doubt especially.

For any of you who are in a situation where you’re at the beginning stages. Maybe you’ve just launched your own law firm and you’re wondering if you’re going to have enough clients to fill your days. Or if you’re just starting out at a new law firm and you’re in a new practice area and it seems really hard. Or you’re trying to build a network and you’re starting from zero. Maybe you just moved into a new city, and you’re literally starting from scratch. It feels like such an overwhelming task.

What I want to share with you is that the feeling of doubt can really be powerful. It may stop you from taking action because you don’t see the point. You think well I’m just going to do this and it’s not going to work. What I want to share with you is that I have had feelings of doubt that I have pushed through.

It’s almost like, and I’m thinking about certain goals that I have for myself that at a point just seemed unrealistic. Because I have stayed committed to them, because I’ve continued to take action in that direction, it’s almost like a teetertotter where you reach that tipping point. Where you once felt doubt, you now kind of reach that breaking point where you no longer feel the doubt. You just know that if you keep doing it, everything is going to fall into place. Then it’s done, right? The teetertotter, one side goes up, the other side goes down and you’ve made it.

So if you’re at that beginning stage and you feel doubt, I really just encourage you to keep going and to keep moving. The balance will tip, and it will be so much easier to have that belief in yourself and the trust that it will all work out.

So finally, question number five. I realized this podcast episode has gotten longer and longer. So thank you for staying with me. I know it’s the holidays for many of you when this episode comes live. The last question is what advice would you give yourself on the eve of the new year?

So if you look back at where you were on January 1st, 2021, and where you will be on December 31, 2021, you’ll be able to see the arc of the year. Now that we’ve gone through these exercises especially, you’ll know there are certain things that you’ve done that have been a great success. There are challenges that you’ve turned into steppingstones for more success. There are things that you now know based on the year having passed.

So it might be easier to start out this exercise by thinking about what advice you would have given yourself on January 1, 2021. Some of the things that you may have told yourself in that moment might have been you’re going to work hard this year, and you’ll be so grateful to yourself for having done that.

Maybe your advice to yourself will be you’ll be surprised at how your efforts generate opportunities, likely in ways that you never would have anticipated. Maybe your advice would have been when you feel rushed, remind yourself that everything is unfolding exactly as it should. Remind yourself in every moment that there’s a reason why you’re there.

So this is one that I like to say to myself, especially if I’m in a conversation and I’m not really sure why I’m in that in conversation. Or I put on a podcast and I think there’s a reason why I’m coming to this podcast right now. If I open a book to a certain page, I think there’s a reason why I’m drawn to this particular page. So it works both for things that you’re finding really enjoyable but also sometimes when something’s really challenging. It’s reminding yourself there’s a reason for this to be happening.

Maybe some advice is look for the lessons. They’re everywhere. So, again, particularly in those challenging situations, what are the lessons that you’re drawing from that? Maybe it’s you are going to make yourself proud this year. Maybe it’s your giving permission to others by going after your goals. Maybe there’s something that you’ve done this year that is a little bit out of the ordinary.

By doing that, by pressing ahead and kind of pushing yourself, other people have seen you do that. They then give themselves permission to push themselves to. Finally maybe one of the pieces of advice you might have given yourself was it’s okay to pause. Just keep taking the next right step.

So those are words of advice that you may have given yourself back on the eve of January 1st of this year.  Going into the next year, what is it that you might be saying to yourself on the eve of January 1st, 2022? Well, here’s some ideas. I would invite you to come up with some ideas that resonate with you. When you make decisions from a place of peace instead of fear, you will always make the right decision for you.

I watched this movie the other day. I know what it was. West Side Story. I went to the movie theater with my daughter to show her the most recent iteration of West Side Story. It’s a play or musical that I’ve really loved. I’ve watched it for years, first as a kid and now as a grownup. If you ever see the movie or the musical, you’ll notice that the characters get all fired up. When they’re fired up, they make really bad decisions.

I guess you could say they also make decisions from a place of love. Those decisions don’t always lead to the best outcomes for the individuals involved, but I don’t think that there are any regrets that come from the decisions that were made when the characters were making those decisions from a place of love. To me, it was this kind of neat example of that playing out in a story.

The same is true for us in our professional lives and in our personal lives. If you think about the decisions that you’re making day to day, when you make those decisions from a place of fear, and that might be when you’re in a panic or that fight or flight state. Something stressful is happening. You may not make decisions that are the best decisions for you in the long run.

Versus if you allow yourself to make decisions from a place of calm and peace, that’s really when you make those decisions that are aligned with what you truly want. Those tend to be the better decisions. So maybe making decisions knowing that this is going to be your best year yet. You’re setting yourself up for greater success even in 2023. Maybe it’s focus on your own a joy and the rest will follow.

Finally advice that my daughter gave to me, long story but it’s super cute. Nothing can stand between you and your awesomeness. So that’s a shoutout to my daughter. She gives the best pep talks. I talked about her in a previous podcast episode. That my friends is all that I have to share with you today.

So I’m just going to recap those questions. Number one, what are you proud of that you did this year? Number two, what obstacles did you turn into opportunities? Number three, what investments did you make in yourself and how did those investments pay off? Number four, what are you letting go of? Question number five, what advice will you give yourself on the eve of the new year?

So with that my friends, I wish all of you the most amazing wrap up to 2021. I hope that you have enjoyed this episode. I hope that you have been enjoying the podcast. If you have been enjoying it, I would love for you to rate and review the podcast. That is the biggest gift you can give to me and to others because it will help them find this podcast. Then they too can share the podcast. They can become part of our community. If this podcast resonates with you and you think that you have friends who would enjoy it, by all means please share it with them as well.

Thank you so much for joining me every week. Thank you so much for making this podcast such a pleasure to be recording. I would love to hear from any of you who’d like to reach out on LinkedIn or send me an email. That’s it for 2021. My dear, dear friends, thank you again. Have a beautiful week. I will look forward to reconnecting in 2022. Bye for now.

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Thank you for listening to this episode of The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers podcast. If you want more information, visit www.thejoyfulpractice.com. See you next week.

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