The holidays are behind us and thankfully, 2008 is over. If you are returning to your office after a nice break, it is time to set some new career and personal goals. If you are trying to decide what some of your goals should be, a senior associate at Jenner & Block, Kathryn Newman, has some very good suggestions (note: her advice is also very relevant for senior associates and partners).
Kathryn makes several good points in her article. First, she acknowledges that life events will dictate how much time we can devote to non-billable activity. She also emphasizes that pursuing interests beyond the practice of law can help you become a better lawyer (e.g. pursuing hobbies).
Of course it is difficult to focus on non-billable activities which have a long term payoff. As human beings, we are not really wired to be motivated by rewards that are far off in the future. One way to do this more effectively is to hire a coach. I use a personal trainer to keep me on target with my workout goals. I have also been coached on career issues and marketing by a number of different professionals.
One of my own goals in the New Year is to start coaching individual lawyers again. Here is an article I wrote on the subject several years ago when my coaching practice was more active. Please contact me if you think you can benefit from coaching support.