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January 2016 - President's Message
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President's Message - JANUARY

Kimberly Arnal
WLALA President 2015-2016

Happy New Year WLALA members!  Another year has come and gone; and I continue to be amazed at how quickly time passes.  It is hard to believe that I have been practicing law for over 16 years.  During that time, my life has gone through numerous changes.  I married my law school sweetheart, had two lovely children, became a partner (twice), and changed law firms (twice).  Given the speed in which time passes, I am a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  Actually, I believe any time of year is a good time to take stock of your life and reevaluate your goals.  If you need to “calendar” it and call it a New Year’s resolution, so be it.  Often we are not completely successful in achieving our resolutions but, as one of my professors in college said, “it’s better to have a five year plan that takes seven years to achieve, than no plan at all.”  So, with these thoughts in mind, I try to focus a little attention at the beginning of the year on how I want to improve in the next 12 months and beyond.

Here are a few things on my list this year.  On the personal side, I want to be healthier and spend more time with family and friends.  This is not the first time I have made this resolution, but it is worth renewing my efforts.  That means prioritizing my health (doctor appointments, meals, exercise, remembering to take my medication!) in the same way I prioritize my children’s and husband’s health.  This is a long-term goal that needs attention and it has a long-term impact on me and my family.  I also want to spend more time with friends on a regular basis; not as an afterthought or something I sneak in if I can find the time.  For me, this means spending more time (coffee, dinners, neighborhood potlucks and phone calls) with the people who make me laugh and remind me of my interests outside of the law.

I have two professional resolutions this year – to consciously manage my professional relationships and to actively manage stress.  My practice, like so many, is busy and driven by constant deadlines.  Often my desire to be efficient can be perceived of as being impersonal or uninterested.  In my rush to get things done and check items off of my “things to do list” I sometimes fail to invest the time needed to development relationships with my co-workers, opposing counsel and even clients.  So, this year my weekly “to do” list includes items such as “make ‘check in’ calls”, “email weekly status”, “remember to ‘cc’ all the right people” and “say thank you.”

Of course everyone’s goals for 2016 will be different, but WLALA may be able to help you work toward some of yours this month.  On January 21, 2016, WLALA will have its Yoga for Lawyers program; a two hour program that address substance abuse and mental health issues followed by a yoga session.  Next month, WLALA will launch a new session of its Winter/Spring Golf League.  Are you looking to get more exercise, get outside more, or meet new people in the new year?  Our golf league provides a way to do all of these things in a low-pressure setting.  Or, join us on February 18, 2016 for our program Another Kind of Competence.