Health and Gratitude This Holiday Season

Holidays are mixed blessings where families come together. Laughter and chatter fill the home, but there can also be stressful, especially for those who have a growing business or for those who want to stay fit through the goodies eating time of year. An attitude of health and gratitude this holiday season will go a long way to making it joyful for you and your loved ones.

At Herder and Associates, we focus not only on court reporting and remote depositions but on staying fit. Marty Herder wrote about staying fit through the pandemic and offered tips like going when the gym is less busy, wiping down equipment, and avoiding shared water sources like water fountains.

Health and Gratitude this Holiday Season

Staying active is an important part of a daily routine. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a fitness schedule. In addition to the tips we just mentioned, we offer the following:

  • Don’t overschedule. Whether it’s business or personal, don’t overschedule yourself. This can cause undue stress and a feeling of overwhelm.
  • Be reasonable. Think about how much time and energy you have and make decisions about your physical and mental health. Maybe you can’t make it to the gym, but you can take a long walk. Maybe you can’t make all the holidays parties, but you can send cards.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write three things for which you are grateful. This will focus your mind on the positive, rather than the negative. More on this later in this article.
  • Turn off the news and social media. These can be overwhelming. Focus instead on friends and family or giving back to the community. The world will still be there when you get back to the news and social media.  

Holidays should not herald doomsday of losing all your year’s progress. Those dedicated seriously in their wellness journey will tell you that it is a journey, continuous but worthwhile.

All journeys require rest areas to catch your breath, refuel, and double-check that you’re on track.

Reconsider holidays as a changeup of your exercises from physical reps of weights to mental reps of gratitude.

Health & Gratitude Matter

Gratitude is putting life on pause to look around you and be thankful for the small, meaningful blessings in your life.

Several studies indicate actively practicing gratitude improves an individual’s mental space. According to the University of Utah Health, gratitude creates a positive change in the brain, and it motivates the recipients of that gratitude to pass it along. This improvement snowballs from a person’s mental state to what a person does with their day.

Practicing gratitude also leads to benefits such as:

  • Keeping positive emotions present.
  • Embracing good experiences.
  • Improving health, sleep, and immunity.
  • Building strong relationships.
  • Dealing with adversity.
  • Decreasing risk of disease.

Flex Gratitude

 As you’re working out, taking a walk, or reflecting, flex gratitude in these ways:

  • Pay attention to what is around you. Step into nature, not social media.
  • Thank those who’ve helped you through tough times.
  • Surprise a loved one or a stranger with an act of kindness.
  • Be thankful and encourage others to do so.
  • Marty volunteers with the community through Rotary Club. Find what works for you and carve time in your schedule for that.

In this pandemic world, health and gratitude are more important than ever this holiday season. Find what works for you. Identify what and who is most important and focus on them. A long walk or workout will go a long way in shifting your mindset from stress to gratitude.

Stay safe and Happy Holidays!


 Rotary: People of Action

     As we all begin to take a deep breath, we find time to soak in the final statistics of an amazing April of Rotary in Arizona.

     Rotarians held over 60 projects all over Arizona.  Nearly 1,000 lbs. of trash were picked up in the Verde Valley, so much food was raised in Goodyear that American Furniture Warehouse is temporarily storing the excess, and (my personal favorite) food banks and schools were renovated and cleaned up in Chandler! Over 1,000 backpacks were filled with school supplies for Title 1 schools – pencil pouches, masks, hairbrushes, notebooks, so much more! Gardens and parks were cleaned up all over the state! Trees were planted! Hygiene kits were packed! Peace poles were brought to cities. The entire community in Prescott came together to raise money for local food banks.


     Was thinking out of the box always comfortable? Oh hell no.  Was it at times exhausting?   You betcha.  But the tragic ramifications on the impoverished due to the massive shutdowns from Covid screamed for Rotarians to quickly pivot, to step up, to be pressed to the limit.  After 18 months of tirelessly serving our communities during the peak of Covid, this fast-tracked behemoth undertaking was the brainchild of our outstanding District 5495 leadership and District Governor Elizabeth Mahoney, and Southeast Valley leadership of ADG Ed Anderson, as they encouraged, pressed, and supported we club presidents and our boards across the state to propel Arizona out of the starting blocks and rapidly emerge from the global pandemic.

     In an overwhelmingly short time, Rotarians embraced massive undertakings, engaging all generations. We had young children of Rotarians out at food drives and parks, Jr. High and High school Interact students at projects all over the state, Rotaractors in every city of the state, and positive, upbeat Rotarians even into their 90’s enthusiastically jumping into the challenge.


     Throughout history Rotary has stepped in and manned the front lines of every epidemic and catastrophe.  Thanks to selfless Rotarians and those who support us this has been a season to remember, a season to be proud of, a season of Service Above Self.   This is who we are.  This is who we have always been.


     Please, come join us. Your life will never be the same.


     Marty Herder, President
     Chandler Horizon Rotary
Resolutions for 2021

When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2021, I felt a sense of optimism but also the weight of 2020. Many of us feel like that. While some choose to bulldoze forward, others are more cautious. Whatever you’ve chosen for your resolutions for 2021, you’re doing what is best for you. If you’re like many of the people I’ve spoken to in the last couple of weeks, there are a few schools of thought.

  • Focus solely on your personal life. Turn off the news and social media.
  • Forget your resolutions for 2021 and focus on politics and social media.
  • Find a delicate balance of understanding current events while focusing on positives like family and friends, health, wealth, and happiness.

I highly recommend the third option as it keeps you informed while not consumed. If you’re not sure what to do for your resolutions in 2021 or have gotten off track, let’s discuss ways to stay grounded in a crazy world.

  1. Name three areas of your life where you’d like to focus. Faith, family, business, health, and wealth are among the most popular. Of course, these can be further broken down if you’d like. Business, for example, can be broken down into business development, accounting, marketing, etc., as can the other areas, keeping in mind that the goals should be attainable.
  2. Keep it simple. Choose a 12-week planning option and set reasonable and attainable goals for yourself and your business. Exercise every other day; that can mean a walk or a full workout, that’s your choice. Eat more vegetables or less takeout. Watch a movie with your family once a week. Whatever your goals, keep them simple. The world is pretty complicated right now so give yourself a break.
  3. Forgive those who have hurt you. Author and wellness coach Sweta Vikram suggests that forgiveness is quite freeing for your own soul in her article The Key Ingredient for Emotional Healing, and that by forgiving others, we can move on. 2020 was rough on many levels and it’s time to forgive. Forgiving others doesn’t mean you need to engage with them again, only that you’ve dealt with the hurt and moved on.
  4. Take action. If you’re focused on political change, write letters, and call your politicians. Give back to your community by volunteering. Rewrite your resume. Publish an article a month. Connect with networking contacts you haven’t seen in a while. Take one simple action each day or week toward your goals.
  5. Set 30 minutes a week to assess where you are in relation to your big goals.
  6. Make adjustments to your goals as needed. This is where I love the idea of 12-week goals because it means smaller building blocks toward a big goal rather than the daunting task of meeting a big goal. It also affords you the opportunity to assess and make adjustments throughout the year.

In other words, eat the elephant one bite at a time. 2021 isn’t a separate year from 2020. In a lot of ways, it feels like 2020 has a hangover so take your time and give yourself the grace to make changes as you walk through this year. If you’re struggling, find people and resources to help you. You’re not alone and we wish you all the best for the new year!

Random Acts of Kindness 2020

To say 2020 has been challenging is an understatement. The pandemic has brought stressors and unanticipated needs to families and businesses around the globe. At Herder and Associates, staff, friends and family are making a difference and is supporting random acts of kindness in 2020 and they aren’t the only one.  We encourage you to do the same.

Court Reporters: Random Acts of Kindness

The Journal of Court Reporting shared the story of a Facebook group dedicated to promoting random acts of kindness within the court reporting community, including monetary donations to those in need.

What started with a handful of friends wanting to raise $500 has grown to more than 1,200 members who have raised more than $21,500. The group has been able to help other reporters with upgraded equipment, payment for a student’s Case CATalyst software, paying for NCRA membership, reimbursing the cost of books, and purchasing a replacement chair for a reporter with back issues. In addition, the group has received donations of equipment that has helped reporters and students in need.

Rotary is doing its part worldwide in the community.

Random Acts of Kindness

Like Rotarians everywhere, Chandler Horizon Rotary tirelessly looks for ways to practice Service Above Self in everything they do to help the community.  As an award-winning chapter of Rotary International,  CHR has raised over $700,000 for charity.  The proceeds of their all-volunteer events are earmarked for charities in Chandler and surrounding communities.  Since becoming President of the Chandler Horizon Rotary just four months ago on July 1, 2020, Marty Herder and Chandler Horizon Rotary have stepped up their “boots on the ground” work, providing random acts of kindness across the city and beyond:

  • Donated eight laptops to the Chandler Unified School District for students in need during COVID-19 so they can study safely from home.
  • Participated in Chandler’s 2020 Back to School initiative, the largest back to school collaborative drive for Chandler Students in need.
  • Feeding the homeless through the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (i-HELP).
  • Donated over 700 vaccines to Rotary International’s End Polio Program
  • Participated in the Red Cross Blood Drive
  • Donated 661 packages of much-needed diapers and 955 wipes to the Fans Across America This organization provides daily living necessities to homeless students and their families, families in transition, and children and victims of domestic violence.
  • Provided hundreds of blankets to the homeless adults with the Aris Foundation.

What can you do to practice random acts of kindness in 2020?

With the pandemic leaving so many in need, it is the perfect time to give of yourself, if you can safely do so. Here are ways to give that don’t take much time or money:

  • Giving blood.
  • Performing small acts like holding doors, saying please and thank you, and giving positive online reviews of small businesses.
  • Connecting job seekers with key people at your company or in your network.
  • Mentoring a new court reporter or someone interested in your area of expertise.
  • Sharing positive Good News stories on social media.
  • Offering solutions like participating in a canned food drive or volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen.
  • Volunteering to help older adults with grocery shopping or other tasks.

Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

At Herder and Associates, we live each day committed to Rotary’s “Service Above Self” motto, striving to make a difference in the world one small act at a time.    We encourage you to do the same.   Check out your local Rotary Club.  Your life will never be the same.  Cheers!

staying fit during covid-19

I’ve been an advocate of fitness nearly my entire life. In whatever capacity you’re able, I encourage you to get moving. This is especially important during COVID-19. Why? Because exercise decreases stress in the body, stimulates the immune system, and increases productivity. If you love your gym, staying fit during COVID-19 means abiding by new gym rules, which look and feel different than before the pandemic.

Current State of Business

As gyms in Arizona begin to re-open (again), and as law firms are inviting employees back to the office, even on a voluntary or as-needed basis, there are cleaning protocols that need to be in place. Employees and, in the case of gyms, members, need to be educated about new rules and expectations.

JD Supra comments that, “Although it may be tempting to reopen as soon as possible, be sure to take the time necessary and to work with counsel to figure out how to exercise a new normal while avoiding potential risks. This will not only ensure a safe workplace for employees but also help to avoid future litigation.”

I agree with that statement. I’d add that there is no guarantee that any business will be allowed to stay open, especially if protocols are not followed.

Staying Fit During COVID-19

If you love working out at a gym like I do, I highly recommend asking your fitness center what you need to do as a member to keep everyone safe.

  • Go at a less crowded time of day, like mid-day.
  • Wear a mask while working out.
  • Wipe equipment before and after each use.
  • Bring your own water to avoid sharing a water fountain.

These are simple things we can do to make sure gyms stay open.

Why is fitness important?

As if our world weren’t stressful enough, we worry that every sneeze or cough could give us the virus. Perhaps worse is that we become asymptomatic while having the virus and carry it to vulnerable members of our family and community. That’s a lot to process!

I don’t mean to scare you, only to express the importance of following gym protocols, and to impress upon you the reason staying fit now is important.

Researchers studying work and self-reported work performance asked 200 employees at three organizations to evaluate themselves on days they exercised and days they did not exercise.

On workout days, participants reported scores that were 21% higher for concentration at work, 22% for finishing work on time, and 25% higher for working without unscheduled breaks. Most notable was that 41% reported feeling more motivated to work on the days they exercised!

If that isn’t enough to convince you to take a walk during lunch, there are many studies that report working out, even just 30 minutes on most days, results in weight stabilization or loss, less stress, lower blood pressure, and better mental health and quality sleep.

Even if the gyms are closed again, we are heading into the best winter weather in the country here in Arizona. Get outside and walk. Buy an exercise bike and/or weights. There are free videos and apps all over the internet. Staying fit during COVID-19 is key to your overall health and productivity.

Today we are mesmerized by the 50th Anniversary of the first walk on the moon. Our young newly-blended family lived in Central Florida, with “new Dad” a bright engineer working in the space program. He was delighted to wake us up at dawn to gather in the front yard so he could show his new sons “dad’s rockets” as each satellite and Gemini project launched. I miss Dad, the son of non-English speaking Ellis Island immigrants, who learned to speak English in first grade, “from the wrong side of the tracks” who respected the importance of totally assimilating into the country that he loved dearly and later proudly served as a Navy man. Dad went on to become a Villanova graduate and the epitome of the opportunity, freedom and greatness that America has to offer. I’m blessed that the memories are still crisp of the summer of 1969, standing there beneath the palms with my older brother, holding my new baby sister, engulfed by the humid Florida air permeated by the aroma of the citrus groves. We sometimes struggled to keep up as Dad enthusiastically explained jet propulsion, gravity and orbital circumnavigation. We were in awe in many respects, as a family and as a country. We were finally a whole family, reunited, static, safe, loved. And, the country was healing, united for an electrifying snapshot in time as Americans were authoring a new chapter in the history of mankind. Strangers from every walk of life, background, race and religion gathered around TVs everywhere, in stores, offices, restaurants and homes. For a moment, people were uniquely united and proud to be a part of something bigger: Being American.

I’m proud of dad, of his peers, his industry and of our country. They pursued greatness and achieved the impossible. They brought diverse groups of people together through their efforts, even if only for a moment. My heart and respect goes out to all the men and women of the space program who have dedicated their lives to this amazing and noble pursuit.


(From the Arizona Court Reporters Association publication ArizoNotes, Spring 2019, Volume 47, Number 1 )

Hi friends. First, my thanks and appreciation to our ACRA board and our AzNotes editor for their selfless contribution each and every week to our profession. Also, a shout-out to all of those who have served before over the years. Thanks to each of you, we as a court reporting family are better situated, better prepared and better informed.

My father-in-law Harold, (“H”) was a force to be reckoned with. Direct, bold, successful, yet extremely generous with his time. I particularly enjoyed and respected his business acumen and sense of community participation. H was a Rotarian, and he planted the seed of volunteerism from the day I first started dating his lovely daughter, Ann.

One day after a depo a client, who I also respect deeply, brought up joining Rotary. With an infectious smile, he invited me to breakfast at the Chandler-Horizon Rotary Club. That was 17 years ago. At the time Ann and I were overwhelmed. We were building a brand new business. We had a two-year old and a newborn, and we had just moved into a new house in the middle of nowhere, miles further out than I’d ever commuted before. Also, I was commuting back and forth to Los Angeles several times a month to comfort mom during her battle with cancer. I remember driving to my first Rotary meeting thinking, “What am I doing? I’ve got no time in my schedule doing charity work for strangers.”

I could not have been more wrong. I, like many, had no perception of the profound and positive influence a life of “Service Above Self” would have on me, my family, my friends, and most importantly those that we serve.

The Chandler-Horizon Rotary Club is an award-winning, dynamic Chapter of Rotary International . We work tirelessly throughout the year, volunteering with many organizations and causes to provide extra hands, love, and our commitment to help in order to make sure that as many needs as possible are met.

Is it exhausting? Sometimes. But, it’s been one of the most joyful and rewarding decisions of my life. The men and women of our Rotary “family” like most volunteers, are the most kind and giving human beings you will ever know. Whether its Saturday mornings at food banks, Friday night fundraisers, or weekdays volunteering at a local shelter, each week is a new opportunity for adventure with other enthusiastic community volunteers from all backgrounds and walks of life. I have learned that volunteerism is an amazing way to broaden your life experience while having a tangible, positive impact on your community

When Hurricane Harvey hit land, we Rotarians hit the ground running, tirelessly collecting supplies and emergency funds for victims, and sending a team to Houston to rebuild homes.

In 2018 alone I was privileged to be a part of many of our ongoing fundraisers and efforts for the Desert Cancer Foundation of Arizona, Foundation for Burns & Trauma, building storage rooms for The Clothes Cabin, helping build a well in Nigeria, fundraising for an eye clinic and water project in India, providing natural disaster Shelter Boxes to Haiti, working with Hope Crisis Animal Assistance, participating in The Rotary Third Grade Dictionary Project, boxing food for Feed My Starving Children, United Food Bank, and the Chandler Food Bank (Azcend).

In December, there was the tearful, but rewarding “Juguetes para ni?os” (Toys for Tots) in the expansive barrio of Puerto Penasco, Mexico helping “Santa” distribute 100s of toys, clothes and food to poverty-stricken masses of children.

I’ve stood crying with veterans of all ages organizing the Healing Field at Tempe Beach Park, and laughed with grateful 4th graders during the Back-to-School Backpack Project.

Apparently passion is contagious, as both of my teen daughters have spent their high school spring breaks and vacations on mission trips volunteering around the country. My youngest (16) went to Malawi Africa last summer with a team to support the medical clinic and orphanage.

Ask anyone who knew me 30 years ago, and they’ll tell you that Rotary and a life of “Service Above Self” has changed my life in more ways than I’ll ever be able to repay.

We’re all in this chaos together, with our insane schedules and busy beyond comprehension, right? But, think about this: The need is equally overwhelming. The world needs more people like YOU.

So, wherever you’re at in life, whatever you current level of service work or charity is, the next time you ask yourself, “What can I do?”
The answer is simple: “More.”

PR Web – December 14, 2017

Phoenix court reporting firm Herder and Associates and Chandler Horizon Rotary Give Back in Charity Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Marty Herder, President of Phoenix Court Reporting Agency Herder and Associates, is sponsoring the 25th Annual Chandler Horizon Rotary Hole-in-One contest. Over the years the event has raised more than $650,000 to help charities including the Chandler Gilbert YMCA, Desert Cancer Foundation, and Pregnancy Care Center, to name a few.

In addition to the charity golf tournament, Herder and his Rotarians are involved in rebuilding the Houston home of a single mother whose home was devastated by the hurricane.

?Giving back is an important part of the mission of Herder and Associates and for the Chandler Horizon Rotary. Our motto at the Rotary is, ?Service above self,? and I agree with that sentiment. In a world that is filled with stress and terrible news, it?s refreshing to focus on improving our community by giving back. Whether it?s time or money, every little bit we can do helps whether it?s rebuilding a Houston home or sponsoring a golf tournament to benefit charity,? says Marty Herder.

The $100,000 Shoot Out will take place February 17, 2018 beginning at 10am at the San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona. 100% of funds received from golfers and sponsors at this all-volunteer event will support charities in Chandler and surrounding Phoenix area communities.

Herder and his fellow Rotarians wouldn?t be able to pull off such a big event without help from volunteers and sponsors. Learn more about the golf tournament on the Rotary HIO website

make a New Year's Resolution

It?s that time of year when people start looking back to see what they have accomplished and where they failed. What I?ve found over the years is that while it?s worth it to make a New Year?s resolution, it?s just as important to set reasonable goals. That?s because it?s too easy to look back and beat yourself up over missing a goal that you have the power to change.

Life is full of change.

Whether it?s your personal journey or business development, there?s one thing we can count on and that is change. We can make all the plans we want, including resolutions, but life can get in the way of reaching our goals.

Here?s the wild part about life that I?ve learned over the years. It?s that we can get in our own way when it comes to facing challenges and meeting goals.

When it comes to managing a court reporting firm or other business, we set the bar high with what often becomes unachievable goals. We want to lose 30 pounds in a month or double our income in six months. The problem is that we don?t have a plan and even when we do have a plan, life gets in the way or we get in the way of progress.

Make a new year?s resolution.

To avoid this messiness of making but not achieving what we desire, it?s important to make reasonable resolutions. Let?s take the goal of doubling income as an example.

  • How many clients do you need to reach that income goal?
  • What does it take to turn a prospect into a client?
  • How many hours does it take to serve X new clients?

You may find that to reach your goal you and your team would have to work around the clock which is unreasonable. Even if it?s possible to achieve the goal, do you have the team in place to serve those clients? It?s likely the answer is no and you need to go back and re-work your plan. Don?t be discouraged. This is an exercise in setting achievable goals.

Rather than ONE BIG GOAL, set small goals that ultimately get you to where you want to be this year and in the future.?

  • Do you need a marketing strategy to attract and sign new clients?
  • Once they sign with your firm, what?s the process for onboarding?
  • Do you have the team to support the growth?

By breaking your new year?s resolution into bite size pieces, you will find you?re achieving more than you even planned! So yes, it?s worth it to make a New Year?s resolution. If the plan is to increase your caseload, Herder and Associates is here to help with depositions and more. Contact our Phoenix office today.

time for what matters most

In today?s busy and complicated world, it?s easy to get caught up in technology, political debate, or personal drama that surrounds us. It?s overwhelming and for some professionals, makes us feel like what we do doesn?t matter. Let me tell you that whether you?re an attorney, Phoenix court reporter, or other profession, if you?re passionate about what you do, you and your work matter.

How do we make time for what matters most?

For years I?ve said that I want to give back to the community but I couldn?t find the time. Shame on me because once I made it a priority to help others a few good things started happening.

How did I find the time? I found it simply by putting away my phone, turning off the television, and blocking my calendar for what matters most – volunteer work and spending time with loved ones. For me, it was really about reflecting on what I wanted and taking steps to make it happen.

It has been quite freeing.

As I made time for others, I met like-minded people and built a new circle of contacts. I was also able to cut ties with people, organizations, or events that didn?t fit my new priorities. It wasn?t an easy process but if you know what you want, you really can achieve anything, no matter how busy your life seems at the time.

Are you excited about being a court reporter? We need your help!

Begin by sharing your own experience on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, connecting with people seeking career options, and mentoring students. We need to get the word out that court reporting isn?t just in the courtroom. We?re covering legal cases as well as business, political, sporting, and other events and there are benefits of being a court reporter like earning potential and flexible schedules. This is especially important during this time of uncertainty in the industry with a looming court reporter shortage.

What matters most to us professionally is that we?re helping the community while raising awareness of this growing industry that is helping clients across Arizona.

Ready to get started? Contact Herder and Associates today!