In 2014, Focus on Systems to Achieve Your Goals

If you’re one inclined to set New Year’s resolutions, you know that this can potentially turn into a stressful and ultimately disappointing ordeal, despite your best intentions. Some people, instead of making resolutions—which are often all or nothing affairs—set specific and achievable goals to work toward. Achieving those goals requires implementing a specific system: for example, if your goal is to run a marathon this year, your system is your training schedule. And if you implement an effective system, you may succeed in terms of your progress even if you don’t reach the ultimate goal.

Here are a few systems you can implement to work toward goals you may have for your practice in 2014:

1. If you want to increase your networking efforts, pick one group or activity to get involved in on a regular basis. Your bar association is a great place to start looking for ideas. Then commit, participate, and contribute.

2. If you want to get more organized, choose a specific area (your e-mails or financial records, for instance) and create a gradual process for achieving the organization you desire. If recording business expenses is an issue for you, for example, start this January with a new system for keeping up with this task. Put the item on your calendar every week and make a habit of giving it regular attention.

3. If you want to do more marketing, commit to one or two articles or presentations, or other efforts that will increase your presence in your target market, such as a blog or another online marketing method. The specifics of this will vary based on your practice area; the point is to focus on what you can do on a regular basis to increase knowledge of and familiarity with your practice.

4. If you are interested in doing pro bono or volunteer work, commit to taking one pro bono case from a particular organization by a certain date, or to volunteering as a mentor for a law student or new attorney. The key here is to stick to the deadline you set for contacting the organization you choose. Once you put this into motion, you will find a way to fit the necessary tasks into your schedule.

5. If you need to reduce stress at work, start with choosing one task that you can delegate to existing staff or to a freelance attorney. Expert career advisors agree: “you can’t do everything, so don’t try to.”

The attorneys of MFAN wish you a happy and prosperous 2014!

Effective June 1st 2016, Lynn Walters is no longer accepting assignments as a freelance attorney. Lynn’s new company, Blackstock Walters, LLC, offers litigation support services such as legal research, motion preparation, and document summaries on a project basis.

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One Responseto “In 2014, Focus on Systems to Achieve Your Goals”

  1. Karin Ciano says:

    Great advice Lynn – I will implement some of your suggestions in my practice in 2014!

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