What Did You Think and Learn this Year? What Are Your Goals for Next Year?


Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

The new year is a great time to stop and reflect on what you thought and what you learned during the year gone by, and set goals for next year.

What You Thought

Hopefully you write down your ideas somewhere, like a journal or Evernote. Maybe you keep a “spark file” or maybe your ideas are buried in your emails. Wherever they are, now is a great time to go back and look over the ideas you had, whether for work or home.

For example, I recently sketched out a new firm logo, decided it would be fun to make a homemade Big Mac from scratch, decided to write down my code of ethics, came up with a personal blogging project, and came up with a bunch of ideas for Lawyerist articles. I don’t know if I will use all of my ideas, but I intend to sit down with them and see if any are worth doing something with.

What You Learned

Even more important than reviewing your ideas is reviewing what you learned this year. What lessons do you want to take with you into the new year?

This year, for example I learned the importance of delegating some tasks. Hiring Holden to help with keeping our writers on deadline and editing articles before they are published has made a huge difference. I also learned how to leave my laptop closed evenings and weekends, although I am still trying to learn how to keep from looking at my phone all the time.

Your Goals for Next Year

Your ideas and the things you learned should help you come up with some goals for next year. By all means, come up with revenue targets, but don’t forget to identify projects you want to tackle and remind yourself put what you learned into practice.

Above all, write down your goals. Do it on the first page of your new journal, or on an index card taped to your bathroom mirror. Writing them down makes them real.

Then, wherever you keep track of your to-dos, write down the first thing you need to do in order to accomplish that goal. Find out what’s in a Big Mac, for example, or Schedule lunch with someone for Week 1 of 2015. Put yourself on the path to accomplish each goal right now, and you can probably get there in time to reflect on it at the end of the year.

Featured image: “Young businesswoman drinking coffee and using tablet computer in cafe” from Shutterstock.


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  • J. Burton Hunter III and Assoc

    I wrote it all down in my blogs; especially the last few posts of the year. http://www.hunterlawfirm.net

    • To be pedantic for moment, you did not write it all down in your blogs. You wrote it in a post on your blog.