The Best New Year’s Resolution for Lawyers
Start by looking back at 2014. List three things that worked. Maybe Jane, the new paralegal you found after a long search is awesome, LinkedIn actually brought in new business and you delivered a ‘killer’ and winning final argument. Then list three things that didn’t work. For example, the new software crashed the computers, your blog posts died after three postings* and your twenty-something receptionist ran off with a rock star. Learn from the past. Simply being aware is enough.
While you’re in the thoughtful mode, lean back in your chair, close
your eyes and visualize yourself being successful. First, of course, you need to decide what ‘successful’ means to you. Does it mean more cases in a special area of the law or more time for the family or at your easel or at the gym or a combination of all those desires? Whatever it is make a mental picture of your place of professional prosperity and keep it in your mind. Hard to remember when you are racing around from court to court, meeting to meeting and client to client, but pause a minute, find that place and move toward it. This is what athletes are told to do -- see it, then be it--works for them, it’ll work for you.
Resolve to make your life a little easier by leaving the office early on Fridays, fire your worst client, you know the one that gives you and the staff migraines and accept that there is no perfect solution in the law. Someone will be unhappy. Sometimes that person will be your client. Hang in there, next time your client will be the one with the smile.
Most of all, keep your New Year’s Resolutions simple. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Move through the year remembering where you want to be, find your path and start in that direction. By the end of 2015, like Janus, when you look back, you’ll be feeling good for keeping your promises to yourself.
(*In keeping with my first New Year’s Resolution to write more blog posts for others, let me write them for you. My second resolution is to eat only dark chocolate.)