The importance of setting goals in life and in law.
Holidays are always a time for reflection and inspiration. In my recent “week off” I set myself the task of writing my book or at least getting a sizable part completed before heading back to work the following week. I was primed for success really. Exchange server emails switched off, an awesome practice manager holding the fort and a fantastic team of lawyers managing the workflow, I set course for Hamilton Island. Dictaphone and laptop always by my side, my plans of writing seemed easy – I was going to smash out all 35 chapters on the dictaphone, my assistant would be busy typing away for the whole week. So that was the theory. The reality was different.
Don’t get me wrong, I made good headway – I’m content with my introduction, I wrote a few thousand words, other chapters were planned. What I found myself doing though was contemplating my goals and plans for the future.
Recently I had the benefit of meeting author Matthew Michalewicz and received his book “Life in Half a Second” (http://www.lifeinhalfasecond.com) but it sat on my book shelf waiting for “spare time” to read it. In my last minute packing I grabbed Matt’s book and threw it in my handbag. On my flight from Brisbane to Hamilton Island and the 24 hours that followed I devoured this book (some might call it procrastination) and for the balance of my holiday time, I contemplated Matt’s book and the goals I will ultimately set both personally and professionally.
Matt’s concept is simple – in the entire history of the universe, we are alive for what equates to ‘half a second’ so why not set some goals, align your desires and make the most of the time you have. Matt was 37 when he wrote this book. He worked out that if the average adult life span was 80 years, at that point in time, he had 15,695 days left. I am 38. While I’m hopeful my genetics have me around till over 90, it is a frightening concept to think of days left instead of your current age.
Life in Half a Second and the time for reflection that followed has highlighted for me the need to set goals, achieve them and set new goals and only reinforced for me my belief of the importance of setting goals in your legal matter. Goals can range in size and complexity from my husband’s goal to building our new home, my goal of writing a book, to my broader goals for my business and personal life.
Goals are equally important when dealing with your legal matter, particularly in those personal matters such as family law or estate law. You need to consider what your goal is and how you will feel when you have achieved that goal.
When you go to see a lawyer for the first time about your matter you should take the time to talk through what you would like to achieve. You should take advice about the law and outcomes you can expect to achieve and in this process consider whether your goals need refining. Once you have settled on your goals, you should work through an action plan with your lawyer, setting out how to achieve the main goal, and any smaller goals you set along the way.
If you approach your matter in this way you will find that you are focussed in your endeavour to resolve your matter.
So with this in mind I am striving on to achieve my immediate goals. My first goal was to set up a blog. Tick. My next goal is to finish the manuscript for my book. I have made much more progress since my holiday week, but still a little bit to go. I’ll be sure to let you know how I’m going.
Have you thought about your goals recently? What are your personal and professional goals and are you on track to achieve them? What are you waiting for?
Happy goal setting.