I hate January. I hate it for a variety of reasons, not the least of which I hate the cold. But, more important than that, I hate January because the New Years resolution crowd shows up at the workout facility and takes over the machines and weights. Where were they in December? Where will they be in March? It usually takes about two months for that crowd to decide they are content with their fitness without the workouts.

Setting goals without action plans is like making New Years resolutions. Like New Years resolutions, most people start with great intentions and quit before achieving their goals.

Just to prove my point, let me share with you some of my goals. I want to:

  1. Weigh 175
  2. Learn to speak Spanish
  3. Take 5 strokes off of my golf handicap

I didn’t just set those goals in 2012. I have wanted to accomplish them for some time. I haven’t accomplished any of them because I have no detailed plan and I do not hold myself accountable. Interestingly, several years ago, I weighed about what I weigh now and I got my weight down to below 175.

What was different? I had both a plan for eating less and a plan for exercising more aimed at losing one pound a week. I don’t have that specific plan now. Without a detailed plan, I have started to learn Spanish at least 20 times. You would not believe how many times I have gone through the lesson on greetings. I quit as soon as I get busy with other things. Without a detailed plan I schedule time to practice golf and stick with my schedule for about two weeks. Once again I quit as soon as I get busy with other things

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I am giving you “my true confessions” because I know many of you have started this year with business development goals or learning goals without action plans. I know from my own experience and watching other lawyers you will likely start strong and quit. You have to do your billable work. But, you can put off starting that blog, or writing that article or taking that referral source to lunch.

What are your goals for 2012? More importantly, what are your action plans to achieve them? If you want me to take a look at your plan, share it with me.