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The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

March 2009, vol. 14, no. 3

Peggy Klaus: New Year’s Resolutions

Peggy Klaus, a workplace communication and leadership expert, offered the following New Year’s resolutions to her friends. Her resolutions should be considered by everyone for 2009:

Just Say NO To Blackberry Addiction

If you have no recollection of what happened at the meeting you attended this morning because you were checking your e-mail the entire time or if you can’t part with your Blackberry even when tanning on a beach in Florida or when imbibing a warm libation back at the Ski Chalet, then for gosh sakes do yourself (and everyone else) a favor and commit to weaning yourself away from the cyber world. So this year, stop texting at dinner, when you’re having a conversation with a colleague in the hallway, and when you’re driving—which is actually against the law now in California. Who would have thunk it?

Pls Spk 2 Me

And while we’re on the subject, I don’t want to rely on emoticons and truncated phrases to know if my colleagues, friends, or family are upset and/or in need of help. I want to hear it myself by listening to their voices. I need them to pick up the phone and talk to me. Yes, texting is appropriate for conveying short, simple messages such as, “On my way” or, “Will call tonight.” So let’s use texting for these brief messages and when you have something else to tell me, pick up the phone!

It is What It Is

As implored in the twelve-step program, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” So, if your money is locked into an account that’s tied to the stock market, checking it obsessively will only make you more depressed. Instead, what about focusing on financial matters you can control, such as lowering credit card debt or spending less? I know that’s not what the experts want us to do. But, hey, we listened to them before and that’s what got us in to this mess.

If Not Now, When?

If you are a little (or a lot) freaked out about having extra free time on your hands during the economic downturn, remember to take time every day to do something nice for yourself. Start reading that book you’ve been meaning to read or sign up for that class that always sounded interesting. Why? Because when the economy picks up, you’ll be wishing you had some of that leisure time back!

Be Grateful… It’s Good For You

In difficult times, finding things for which you can be grateful might be a challenge. However, according to Robert Emmons, the mere act of focusing on something positive can energize and elevate you. Emmons suggests writing down five things every day for which you’re grateful. Focusing on gratitude helps build up a “psychological immune system” that will help you make it through these challenging times.


For more about Peggy Klaus and her work, please visit <>.