The new year is just around the corner. Are you going to make any resolutions for your practice? The good; they can keep you focused. The bad; they may discourage you if you cannot keep them. When I coach attorneys, I take a middle-of-the-road approach. I ask clients to think about two to four goals for the year. Keep them broad and forego a very detailed action plan. Also, be realistic.

Keep them simple

Goal setting in and of itself is always a good idea. It forces you to take a “time out” from the your daily routines. Think about some things you would like to change next year. I am not a big fan of spending lots of time writing down the nitty gritty for two reasons.

First, it can be time consuming. Should you spend days to determine the specifics? Is that a good use of your time? Maybe. But it’s hard to argue the time is wasted when measured in hours.

Second, all of the greatest details you think of now may become obsolete in a manner of weeks or months. Think about the year that has just ended. Who could have predicted the changes many lawyers had to make this year. While the goals may have remained the same, the path to achieve them had to be adjusted. Why spend time creating an elaborate playbook? The odds are good you will likely have to create new plays because of unanticipated events.

Keep them realistic

Finally, do not set the bar too high. If you can measure some progress towards reaching your goal as the year goes on, it should provide you with the confidence to complete it by year end. If, however, your accomplishments seem too small compared to the overall goal, chances are, you will give up.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy new year.