The New Year has just passed and if you are like most professionals, you probably made a few New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you decided to make some personal changes in your life (lose weight, get in shape, visit your parents more often); or maybe you have some new professional goals (do a better job of meeting deadlines; give better feedback to junior associates, paralegals and support staff; start looking for an in-house job; or spend more time marketing your practice.)
Whatever new goals you have established, now the hard work comes: sticking to your stated goals.
There are a lot of things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will stick to your agenda. Setting aside planning time each day to make sure that you are actively working towards your goals is one good strategy. Putting notes in your calendar is also a good one (this past year, I increased my trips to the gym by one time a week simply by putting in a recurring appointment at 6:00 a.m. every Wednesday.)
One strategy that is particularly effective is to make “public commitments”. If you want to make changes in your life, tell a lot of people. The mere act of telling your goals to others is one way to hold yourself more accountable.
This past year, I decided that after thinking about it for 5 years, that I was finally going to launch a podcast. So I started telling a lot of people. As a result, I found myself getting a lot more focused on taking the steps I needed to make the podcast a reality. Five months after I began putting together a guest list, I now have all the equipment and software I need along with theme music and over art! I announced that the podcast will launch at the end of January and I am well on my way to finishing the first episode. CounseltoCounsel, the podcast, will be ready for “prime time” by the last week in January.
If for some reason I am unable to follow through, I’m not directly accountable to anyone. But by telling many people in my network about the project, I have created a much deeper commitment to achieving my goal.
So whatever your professional or personal goals may be for 2018, tell your colleagues, friends and family. They won’t make you lose weight or spend more time marketing, but you will feel a greater obligation to follow through on your commitments. And that can be just the right catalyst you need to achieve those goals.