As we reflect on 2023 and wonder where the year has gone, try to redirect your mind to thoughts around gratitude. Even in the midst of so much turmoil in the world, trying to focus on what is good and what is right can help you realize that there are still positives in each of our lives. A sense of gratitude can bring peace to a life that seems so stretched and so filled with deadlines. However, being thankful that you have a life filled with work that you love and friends and family that love you can change your focus entirely.
Then, rather than making resolutions for 2024, think of gifts you can give yourself. You can work on getting healthier, work on certifications you’ve been wanting, work on learning a new language or skill. If you think of those as gifts that you’re giving yourself, it takes the pressure off “resolutions.” Think of things that would make you happy, make you feel complete, feel fulfilled, then start investing in those things, ultimately investing in yourself.
The holidays can add another level of sadness if you’ve lost someone in either this or recent years, but if you focus on what the holiday was like when they were here and the memories they helped create, you can let those memories fill the emptiness in your heart. Remembering a holiday in the past and some special present or even a special meal that they provided can make you smile just from thinking about them. And, along those same lines, try thinking of someone for whom you can create that same type of special memory, either in your immediate family or even a friend or neighbor. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it might be too late.” An elderly neighbor, a family with a new baby, someone who lost their job this year, someone who just had surgery … the possibilities are endless and each of us surely has someone in our lives who deserves a happy memory over the holiday season. This world is filled with opportunities to cultivate compassion for another person. And, in doing so, you become more fully connected to life and love.
Go out of your way to see and recognize reasons to be grateful. You’ll find that it’s easier to be frustrated because a full-day deposition turns into an overnight rush on a day when your scopist isn’t available. Try to look beyond those things, even if just for a moment, and find something positive to distract you and allow your mind to refocus. Give yourself a moment to just be still, re-evaluate the situation, think of solutions, and then get back on task. You’ll find solutions that you couldn’t see before, like maybe calling a friend to see if her scopist isn’t too busy and might be able to help you on your rush. Then, be grateful for that friend and that scopist!
When you start thinking of gifts this upcoming season, don’t forget about yourself. Give yourself a break, a pat on the back, a deep cleansing breath and realize that you have much to be grateful for even though (fill in the blank) happened.
Court reporting, although a national and international business, really is a very small community of really supportive people, ones who want to help you, want to support you and want to walk the walk with you. Many of you rely on social media to make your connections, but let 2024 be the year that you give yourself the true gift of friendship, and develop deeper relationships with reporting friends who understand what you do. Believe me, they get you; they’ve walked in your shoes.
So, in this New Year, gift yourself by not making resolutions that statistics say 23% of people quit by the end of the first week and 43% quit by the end of January. Instead, find something you’ve always wanted to do or wanted to learn or someplace you wanted to volunteer and “gift” that opportunity to yourself. Focus on it and make it happen, because that’s a gift you truly deserve!
About Judy Stevens – RPR, OR-CSR, CMRS, CPE
Judy Stevens has been a firm owner in Denver since 1994 before becoming part of Veritext in 2019. She began her career as a court reporter in Tucson, Arizona before moving to Denver, Colorado. In 2000, Judy earned the highly coveted designation of Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) by the National Court Reporters Association while building her firm, mentoring her team and also serving on the board of her state association and volunteering through the Alliance of Professional Women.
Over the years, Judy and her firm have been recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of the “Top 10 Fastest Growing Denver-Area Private Companies” and she has been nominated by the Denver Business Journal for its “Outstanding Women in Business” award on numerous occasions. In addition, Judy was recognized by NCRA with its prestigious “Excellence Award for Leadership and Team-Building” and has authored many articles for the JCR magazine. Judy is also quite active in her teaching/mentoring role as a regular guest lecturer at both Arapahoe Community College and the University of Denver Law School.