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Set Your Intentions

At the beginning of my Dailey Method barre class last night {link}, our instructor told us to “set our intention” for what we wanted to accomplish during the workout. Today, as I was coaching one of my attorney candidates, I found myself espousing a similar mantra - an oft repeated saying that I learned from my mentor, David Cowen {LINK to David’s profile}. “Focus drives success,” I told her; “You should have a plan of what you want to accomplish with your next professional step in order to achieve maximum results.”

Yet, although many of us intellectually understand these ideas, few of us internalize the message. I am guilty of failing to set my own intentions both on a regular daily basis and overall for my own professional development. Like many other working women with young children, I start my day before 6 am, usually waking in response to cries of “mommy come get me” from my precocious toddler or a bubbling, stream-of-conscience discourse from my smiling 7-year old. I jump into my day, putting out fires, dealing with urgent matters, and giving my “all” to what I consider my 3 shifts - professional leader/employee, wife/mother of three, and household chef/dishwasher/scheduler/CEO. At night, by the time I go to bed, I am more focused on getting a few precious hours of sleep than in setting my intentions for the next day, let alone the next year!

All the books and studies I have read repeat that women in particular find it very difficult to put themselves first, even for a short time each day. However, just like finding time to work out, spending a measured amount of daily or weekly time focused on achieving professional growth is critical to maintaining our overall health and life satisfaction. This is why Women to Know, an into action group, focused on elevating and accelerating the careers of women in the legal field has been so beneficial to me and many others. The founding members and advisory board of our group, share inspiring stories, declare their goals and intentions to each other, and most importantly, hold each other accountable for taking steps to achieve those goals.

So I challenge you as well as myself. Turn off the tv or put down the book tonight and spend 10 minutes defining your 1-, 5-, and 10-year professional goals, and what immediate next steps you can take in order to get yourself on the right path. They don’t have to be perfect, and the process is iterative. But spend some time on yourself - start somewhere.

One place to start is by joining us at the Women to Know breakfast workshop we are hosting in Las Vegas at ILTA on Tuesday, Sept 1 at 7:15 a.m. Pacific. Or, if you won’t be at ILTA, please join one of our virtual working groups or join us at one of our upcoming fall workshops in DC, NY, CHI, and SF {LINK to events page}.

And if nothing else, take time tonight to set your intentions for tomorrow. You will be pleasantly not-surprised how much your focus will drive your success.

We look forward to sharing and learning with you!

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