I love working with law firm associates. Why?  The associates with whom I work are eager to learn and open to new ideas.

On Monday, I will be helping associates in a law firm get ready to prepare their 2014 Personal Development Plan. I will share an idea with them on how to get started and I want to share it with you also. If you are not a law firm associate, please pass this on to one you know.

Here are steps to get you started on your plan:

  1. Define success for you at the end of 2018 (5 years from now). It could be a number $1 million in business. It could be recognized as go to lawyer in_______ field in _____ (for me Transportation Construction Law in the US.) It could be a variety of other things. The important thing is it must be something that will motivate you.
  2. Next, ask yourself why achieving that goal is important to you. It might be family security. (For me, it was wanting to be recognized as being the best at something.)
  3. Next, write down 10 (it could be 8, it could be 15) stream of conscious things you want to do in 2014 to work toward achieving your 5 year goal. (For my 5 year plan writing articles and speaking at contractor meetings topped my list.)
  4. Then review your list and combine those that are really the same. Then, rank the items on your list 1- (if you could only do one, it would be … if you could only do 2 you would add…).
  5. Once you have ranked the items, ask for each one why you think it will lead you toward your 2018 goal. Write down the reasons.

With this background you are ready to create your 2014 Development Plan. One final note: Your plan will be worthless if you don’t put it into action and hold yourself accountable.

If you think it would be helpful, I would enjoy giving a planning presentation to your law firm associates.