Happy New Year and Best Wishes for a Personal and Professional 2016
As 2015 comes to an end we begin with a clean slate for 2016. As with anything new - the uncertain future can be scary and exciting at the same time. Year-end provides an opportune time for reflection on the past year and setting goals for the next year - both personal and professional. Goal setting can improve your personal life and your practice.
Setting and achieving goals is one of the best ways to measure your life's and practice's progress and to create unusual clarity. The alternative is drifting along aimlessly with hope and a prayer.
I am a strong believer in the power of goals. This year I finished writing my book, The Lawyers Guide to Succession Planning published by the ABA which is scheduled to be released in January. I never would have even started, alone completed, such a project without very specific goals and timelines.
I strongly suggest that you established a few SMART goals for both your personal life and your practice for 2015 where each goal is:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely (on a timeline with a deadline)
A goal without a number is just a slogan - so it is critical that you develop a system for measuring. For example, if you goal is to improve client satisfaction and loyalty you might administer an end of matter client satisfaction survey with a rating scale from 1-5 for key performance indicators, enter completed surveys into a spreadsheet, and then generate a quarterly report reflecting actual performance scores. If your goal is to meet with ten clients or referral sources during a month - develop a tracking system and generate a monthly report.
While goals can help focus you and your practice in 2016 - too many goals can have the opposite effect. Start with baby steps and identify three to five goals for 2016 and then focus intensively on these goals and their accomplishment.
Focusing on a few targeted strategic goals could take your practice to the next level.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC