By Scott A. Oliver, Lewis & Kappes PC
It’s a new year and people everywhere are making resolutions. Whether you’re making your first resolution, maintaining one from last year, or trying an old resolution again, there are several steps to set yourself on the path to success.
Set Specific Goals
“I am going to get in shape.” This is one of the most common resolutions, but what does it actually mean? Do you intend to lose weight, lower your body-fat percentage, gain muscle, or some other measurable form of fitness improvement? Instead of general statements, those making resolutions should set goals that are measurable, achievable and time-bound.
For example, “I am going to finish the Indianapolis Monumental half marathon in November of 2018 in under two hours by following a set running schedule, sticking to a specific diet plan, and weight training three days each week.” This resolution sets a specific goal, determines a realistic timeline and provides simple steps to achieve the goal.
By tracking your progress, you will remain organized, keep the resolution fresh in your mind and hold yourself accountable. Sticking with the example above: keep a spreadsheet of your miles logged, times for reach run, diet, etc. In the first few months, you will see improvements and gain additional motivation to keep pushing forward.
Share Your Goals
It takes courage and vulnerability to share your goals with others, and some resolutions are better kept secret. However, seeking support from others is incredibly effective under certain circumstances. If you are training for the half marathon, consider getting a running partner, personal trainer, or even posting your progress on social media to keep yourself on track.
Patience Is Key
Resolutions take time. It is important to set deadlines when setting your goal, but it is equally important to understand that sometimes things do not work out as planned. It is virtually inevitable that you will “fall off the wagon” a time or two and stray from your goals. You might skip a day in the gym, get bogged down in a major case, or accidentally pay a little too much attention to that box of doughnuts in the kitchen. Whatever the setback, you must not use it as an excuse to give up and continue towards your goal.
If your plan is not working or you did not meet your goal within the initial timeline, it is okay to reassess. Similarly, once you have met your goal, keep pushing! The point of a resolution is to become a better version of yourself. Once you meet your goal, determine your next step and always look towards the future.
The new year offers lawyers a chance to reflect on the previous year and make their own major (or minor) decisions about how they can improve in 2018. Whether it be fitness, finances, marketing, billing, or any number of goals, the above steps provide a foundation for making and keeping your 2018 resolutions.
Scott A. Oliver is an Associate Attorney at the Indianapolis firm of Lewis & Kappes PC where he is a member of the commercial lending, real estate, and litigation practice groups.