Balancing Your Life by Attending to Your Body

Carolyn Rosenblatt

Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, attorney, consultant and founder of AgingParents.com

by Melissa Grau

In today’s society, success is often measured by how well you do in your career. The sad reality is that work-related achievements almost always outweigh your health. Given that lawyers have the highest substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates of all other professions, it is important that you find a comfortable work-life balance to help lower these statistics.

In this episode of Esquire Coaching Radio, Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, attorney, and consultant, joined us to talk about ways that attorneys can balance their lives by focusing on their personal health.

When asked how she made the commitment to a healthier lifestyle, Carolyn responded by saying she has always been interested in health. As a nurse and consultant on aging issues for families and employees working with elders, she felt she couldn’t give advice about health while ignoring her own health.

How were clients supposed to take her guidance seriously if she couldn’t even follow her own advice?

Although Carolyn describes herself as “never having been an athlete,” she always made an effort to be active. Currently, at the age of 66 she is training for a triathlon. She elaborated more by saying, “It just felt incredible to do things I have never done before and to feel more fit, stronger and have better endurance than [I had] when I was 30. And I’m still doing it!”

According to Carolyn, the biggest obstacle attorneys encounter while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is stress. It’s not easy to strike a balance between work and your personal life, but it is a necessary in order to live a healthier life. Attorneys claim they don’t have time to work out. Carolyn’s philosophy is that if you’re serious about being healthy, you will be able to find the time. Whatever your lifestyle is, there is a way to somehow fit exercise within it. Maybe it’s going for a brisk walk during your lunch break or using an at-home fitness bike while watching the news; whatever it is, there is a way to incorporate exercise into your life.

As the baby boomers grow closer to retirement, it is a priority now more than ever to start living a healthy life. Most often lawyers define themselves by their career. Once you retire, you lose that sense of who you are. Living a healthy lifestyle can become a new outlet, a new adventure to embark on during retirement. Retirement is a chance to really focus on your health, turning over a new leaf to become a healthier you. Carolyn goes on to add that experimenting with new things keeps you young, helping to create a new life and identity for yourself after retirement.

Lawyers working today, however, don’t yet have the luxury of enjoying the unlimited amount of free time that retirement brings. Carolyn suggests that in order to get that time to yourself, you need to demand it. Instead of putting in long hours and picking up all the extra work shoveled onto your desk, you need to take the initiative and find a way to get back to focusing on yourself.

In closing, Carolyn left us with the following advice:

“Remember that we as lawyers are more than our brains and legal acumen. We are people. We have hearts and minds and bodies. We have to take care of all of those in order to live a happy life.”

For more from Carolyn, visit her website at www.carolynrosenblatt.com or read her Forbes blog at www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt. She is also available by phone at (415) 459-0413 or email at clrosenblatt@gmail.com.

Share with us your stories of how you balance your life. We’d also love to hear your plans for when you retire. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

To listen to the full interview, click here.

5 Ways Lawyers Can Create The Lives They Want

Graff-square-600-300x300by Robert Graff, Esq., ELI-MP

When so much of your life is dedicated to advocating for others, it’s easy to forget that you also deserve a fulfilling, healthy, and passion-filled life. But you really do.

Just take a moment and imagine how it would feel if you actually enjoyed going to work again, and if you felt more in control of and less victimized by your day. How would it feel if you woke up every morning excited to start a new day, as opposed to feeling exhausted and defeated before you even get out of bed?

It is possible to create the life you want as an attorney; you simply have to figure out what would make you happy, make positive choices, and go after the things you want. To help get you started, here are five steps you can take right away to begin creating the fulfilling life you deserve:

1. Identify exactly what you want out of life

In order to create a better life for yourself, you first have to get crystal clear on exactly what it is you want. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

–      What do I really want out of my career?

–       What would make me feel intellectually fulfilled?

–       What do I want for my personal relationships?

–       What do I want for my mental and physical wellbeing?

–       What is my unique gift that I want to share with the world?

–       How can I live my life so I’m always being my authentic self?

Sit with these questions for as long as it takes until you find the answers that feel right.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.

We all need a little help from time to time, so a big part of creating the life you want is finding the courage to ask for what you need. Remember, no matter how close your fellow attorneys, family, and friends are to you, no one can read your mind. That’s why it’s your responsibility to speak up and get your needs met.

For example, if you still have to finish a Memorandum that’s due tomorrow for one partner, but another partner approaches you with an additional assignment, rather than taking it and not saying anything, you could try saying something like:

“John, I am almost finished with this Memorandum for Bill which is due tomorrow. So that I may give your work 100% of my attention, would it be all right if I begin the project first thing tomorrow morning?”

 3. Improve your relationships with others.

Your relationships with others directly influence your overall life satisfaction, so strive to improve them whenever possible. For starters, always look for the good in people, praise them whenever you can, and keep judgmental remarks and thoughts to a minimum. Smile when you say good morning to your colleagues and act genuinely happy to see them. You may have to fake it until you make it at first, but your personal and professional relationships will improve dramatically, and you’ll feel much more positively about yourself and your life.

4. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a problem.

The truth is, you don’t have to solve every problem you encounter. Sometimes the best course of action is to walk away from a situation after concluding that it’s not in your best interest to stick around to problem solve.

However, it’s important to note that walking away from a problem is not the same thing as avoiding a problem. When you walk away you make a positive, conscious choice to disengage. When you practice avoidance, you’re reacting to a problem in a negative and unproductive manner, which isn’t going to help you create a happier, more fulfilling life.

5. Invite more goodness into your life.

One of my favorite ways to improve your quality of life is to invite more goodness into your world. Begin with small improvements, like getting the rest you need to energize your day, getting more exercise, and learning simple stress management skills. You’ll be amazed at what a dramatic effect small, positive changes will have on your life.

Robert Graff is the President of The Graff Standard and one of its coaches. The Graff Standard partners with professionals so that they can lead more fulfilling and successful lives both at work and at home. Find out more about both Robert and The Graff Standard at www.graffstandard.com or follow The Graff Standard on twitter @graffstandard.