This guest post was contributed by Dawn Zerbs, principal of Dawn Celeste LLC. Dawn Celeste is a strategy execution firm that blends thinking and doing; in short, she’s an expert at getting things done. Learn more about Dawn here.
The first quarter of 2018 is almost over. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to set goals to advance your practice. Here are a few tips and topics to help you get started.
- Less is more. Set 5 goals or fewer. If you can’t remember and recite your goals using your fingers it is unlikely that you’ll achieve them.
- Break it down. Set a measurable goal for the year and immediately divide it by four to create a trackable milestone for each 13-week period. Then break each 13-week milestone into what needs to happen weekly.
- Start small. Be honest with yourself about your current performance in the goal area. If you’re starting from ground zero don’t try to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It won’t work. Building habit and routine is hard, but the work is worth it. Start small, celebrate early accomplishments, and enjoy your achievements. Don’t expect to launch from couch potato to marathon-runner in 13 weeks. Get off the couch in the first 13 weeks. Then walk around the house and maybe even jog outside for the next 13 weeks.
- Get started. Once you have your goals clearly set and know your 13-week milestones, stop thinking and get started.
Do you need some ideas for goals?
- Client Listening. Would you like to begin a post-case debrief or post-transaction satisfaction survey? Or ask your clients what they like and/or dislike about your service? Perhaps do this for your top three clients 2x/ year.
- Client Service and Operations. What about improving or setting service standards? Is there something in the operations/administration of your practice that needs improvement? If so, set a goal here.
- Professional Development. What legal or non-legal area would you like to learn about or get better in? Set a goal to get closer to your ideal career by planning on taking the time to invest in your own learning and growth.
- Community Involvement. Are you active in the community? If so, where do you want to concentrate your efforts to make a bigger impact in 2018? If not, where could you start to serve (remember the start small tip)
- Business Development. BD goal-setting opportunities are endless. First, get clear on your overarching objective. Do you want to acquire new clients, expand current clients, or retain existing clients? Pick one. If the latter, Client Listening goes a long, long, way in understanding needs of current clients to expand the relationships. If the objective is to acquire new customers, make sure that your Client Service is top notch so you’ll be referred by existing clients. If you’re building a practice, work with your marketing team, consultant, or mentor to identify your ideal target client. This will direct your speaking, writing, and other marketing efforts for the greatest impact.
What is it that you want to do to improve or enhance your leadership skills in 2018? What specific goal do you want to set for yourself and your practice in 2018 to be your best self? Is it starting or increasing your community service, starting a mentoring program at your firm, or making a commitment to walk beside new lawyers when they join the firm? What are your unique gifts and skills and how can you use those to benefit your career, your clients, and your colleagues?
In setting and achieving goals there are three mantras to follow: 1) Don’t overthink; 2) Don’t underestimate; and 3) Just try it.
Good luck! A helpful tool for accomplishing these goals is the monaplanner©. It’s an easy-to-implement and simple-to-use planner that helps people get the Right Things done at the Right Time. It was designed by productivity consultant Mona Raglow. Daily use of the monaplanner© can lead to less stress and increased productivity!