Happy President’s Day if you are in the US and Happy Family Day if you are in Canada. I was not aware of Family Day before visiting Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta last week.

I wish I someone had shot a video of me, as I trudged through the hard pack snow under a full moon in Edmonton last Wednesday night. I certainly must have been a sight pulling my carry-on suitcase behind me with the wheels mostly not moving. I could have taken a cab, but I chose to walk to experience the “brisk” winter evening air. It turned out the wind on my face was more “biting” than brisk, but that was ok.

In the 3/4 of a mile, I passed four other people. I doubt any looked at me and said to themselves: “This guy must be from Texas.” But, I am confident they knew I was from a more southern location.

I loved my time in Calgary and Edmonton. I spent time with enthusiastic lawyers and I purposely ordered meals I would not likely find in Dallas. And, I learned about Family Day.

I really like the idea of taking a day from work with the specific purpose of spending it with your family. So, if I could choose, I would rather celebrate Family Day than Washington and Lincoln’s birthday. If your office is not open today, make your President’s Day, a day for family time.

Have you ever sat at your desk and wondered how you could do your billable work, career and client development and still have quality time for your family? I was asked that question on Twitter last week. I decided to re-post this blog that I posted in November. I hope you will find it valuable on Presidents/Family Day.

Yesterday I posted: Lawyer Career Fulfillment: Change the way you look at what you do. I want to continue sharing thoughts on career fulfillment.

Last year I wrote Mapping Out the Rest of Your Career: Think About Vision, Purpose and Core Values. I have spoken on this subject for many years at law firm retreats and to young lawyer groups at Bar Meetings. I frequently urge lawyers I am coaching to think about these things.

Several years ago I coached a very successful young partner. We spent more time on purpose, vision. core values and planning time based on priorities than we spent on client development.

After a few months of coaching, I shared with her this Steve Jobs quote and told her to think about it in the context of narrowing her focus to what was most important to her:

I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.

In our next coaching session, she shared her top four life priorities in this order.

  1. Her family, including her lawyer husband and her two children
  2. Her church and faith, including leading the children’s choir
  3. Her health and fitness, including regular workouts
  4. Her legal career, including client development

Once she figured that out, setting goals and planning her time was far more focused. Her personal and professional goals were all tied to her priorities. If a potential opportunity to spend time did not meet one of the priorities, and sometimes more than one priority , she graciously said no to the opportunity.

In that one bit of reflection, she became far less stressed, far more focused and far more fulfilled.

Are you willing to take time to reflect? If so, what are your top priorities in life? You might have more than four or less, but you certainly have them. Are you spending your time based on your priorities?

I want to leave you with a video clip I found inspiring. It is titled: Be Remarkable. I hope you will find it inspiring also.