It’s that time again. Time to prepare a plan for 2016. Are you ready for some ideas?

I hope over the years I have convinced you to create a written plan with goals. Time and energy are your two most important resources and you don’t want to waste either.

When I prepared plans I thought long term (5 years) and acted short term (90 days and weekly). I recommend you try it.

Where do you want to be in five years?  What would be your definition of success? Who are your clients? What kind of work are you doing? How much revenue are you generating?

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My first five year goal was to develop a statewide construction law practice representing the Virginia contractors who built roads and bridges. What’s your five year goal?

My first step in this process was to write a law review article. For me that was a herculean task. I had to break it down into what I would accomplish in 90 days and each week.

If you are a regular reader, you have read about Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson’s If-Then Planning approach. Check out this Psychology Today article: The Science of Success: The If-Then Solution.

As a young lawyer, I instinctively did If-Then planning. Why? I knew without it, I wouldn’t have the discipline to finish difficult tasks.

A couple of weeks ago I did a presentation to the lawyers in large Canadian law firm. It was live in Montreal and beamed by video to the other offices. Here is a link to the slides on

As you are working on your plan in December, you might find it valuable to check out three other blog posts I wrote on planning.

  1. Success: Try this 80 Minute 5-Step Planning Exercise. This one will give you a process to follow.
  2. Want an Example of a Really Good Business Plan? This one will give you a good model to follow.
  3. Want a great example of a 30 days and 90 days plan? This one will give you a good example of breaking it down to the next 30 or 90 days.

Finally, here is the 2016 Business Plan template you can use.