Each time January 1st rolls around, we all succumb to the same tradition — law firm owners included. Even if you’re not a “New Year’s Resolution” person, it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype around setting high expectations of transformational growth for the coming year.
But inevitably, many law firm owners set goals with no real action plan to ensure they’re achieved. It’s one thing to say you want to get something done, and it’s another thing to write it down, announce it, and back it up with an actionable plan.
Unfortunately, we’re all guilty of committing this crime. Whether it’s a new year or not, the same old tiresome “goal-setting” that everyone else uses isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Since we know there’s a better way, we’ve created a guide to setting unprecedented goals for your law firm and achieving transformational growth to blow your previous accomplishments out of the water. It’s time to think bigger.
- An Introduction to Transformational Goal-Setting
- Consistently Continuing Transformational Growth
- Never Give Up on Transformational Growth
An Introduction to Transformational Goal-Setting
Vague aspirations aren’t going to cut it when you want transformational growth in your life and your firm. The first step in this process is to set realistic goals, and that begins by looking at the big picture.
Develop Your Long-Term Vision
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? You must develop clarity about where you want to go and what you want your future firm and life to look like.
Defining this next-level vision is an essential part of setting and achieving your goals. A next-level vision is one that propels you into action — something that sets your soul on fire and inspires you to move in the direction of transformational growth every day. Life-changing goals are the ones you’ll stay committed to.
When you think long term, you have clearer focus and a greater reason to push forward. Life becomes a lot less boring when your future self becomes your daily mission.
Here’s a vision-setting activity to try:
- To start, imagine we are having this conversation five years from today. What would have happened in your firm for you to be ecstatic?
- Now, narrow down and refine that five-year vision. What has to happen in one year for you to be on track? What has to happen in the next 90 days?
- Ask yourself how much time and money this vision will cost you — not how much you want to spend, but how much you need to spend in order to get where you want to be. How much of an impact will these goals have?
- Focus on the highest-impact items. Even if they cost a lot of time and money, these are the things that will deliver the biggest results.
Completing this activity enables you to gain clarity over what action items are needed to accomplish your big goals.
Once you have an idea of where you’re going, set a simple, standard vision that your team can easily understand and prioritize every single day. This is your team vision, which allows everyone to push forward in one direction toward the same thing. At Crisp, our vision is clear.
Frame Your Mindset
Thinking long-term for your life and your law firm requires the right mindset. Ultimately, everything you do — or don’t do — is because of your mindset. You have control over the way you perceive life; challenges, opportunities, and all. Carol Dweck lays out her theory of the growth mindset here.
Taking daily situations and framing them in the right mindset can change big things over time. Creating the right mindset habits isn’t always easy, but above all, you must learn to prioritize a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. This theory posits that even your most basic abilities can be developed with dedication and hard work.
So in order to achieve transformational growth, you must believe that it’s possible first.
Determine Your Goals
Once you have a clear picture of the future for your law firm, you have to map out a path to get there. The single biggest mistake you could make when setting goals for yourself and your firm is to not clearly define them. There is no way to achieve transformational growth with goals that you don’t completely understand and aren’t fully committed to.
A proven method to make sure your goals are focused and clear is to write them down. Create ambitious, exciting, and fully thought-out goals, and write them in a place where you will see them every day.
Ensure that the goals you’re setting aren’t just any average goals. When you set regular goals, you already know how to get there, and they become a task for you to accomplish, rather something different that ignites you.
Transformational goals are key — they get you excited, and because they come with unknowns and they require you to increase your capability to achieve them. This is the only way to change your life.
If this is beginning to sound difficult, that’s because it is. These goals have to be worth it to you — because reaching them will be harder than anything else you’ve ever done. Transformational growth comes from pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Identify the critical results that your firm needs to achieve. Consider the behaviors and factors that will contribute to that end goal.
Then, break larger goals into smaller, more manageable goals. For example, an annual goal that will take a full year to achieve should be built up to with smaller, bite-size goals to hit daily, weekly, and monthly in order to stay on track.
Keep in mind that goals are not permanent. They should change over time in order for you to continue progressing, and there is always room for improvement. The ability to pivot when things change is just as important as setting goals in the first place.
Take Reality Into Account
The goals you set for yourself and your law firm should be significant and exciting — after all, transformational growth requires transformational goals.
However, just because a goal is ambitious doesn’t mean it should be unattainable. Your goal structure should be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Sticking to SMART goals ensures positive results. Ultimately, there are several reasons that most people don’t achieve their goals:
- They don’t know where they want to go.
- Their goals are not clearly defined.
- They just don’t care.
- They lack commitment.
- Their goals don’t change their life.
If you can avoid these pitfalls, you’ll be closer to achieving success.
Consistently Continuing Transformational Growth
Continued commitment to your transformation should be present in your life every day. If your goals are not at the forefront of what you do on a daily basis, you’re going to lose track, and that will hinder you and your law firm from ever getting to the finish line. Ask yourself daily if your decisions are supporting your ambitions.
Staying on track doesn’t have to mean going at it alone, though. Having an accountability system that ensures your success is essential — and it must include the right people and the right tools.
Improve with Organizational Tools
The beauty of working toward transformational growth in modern times is that you have numerous tools to make your journey easier. Whether it’s communicating with your team or managing your own time, here are some of the top tools we recommend trying.
Team and Client Communication:
Focus and Time Management:
Project Management and Goal Tracking:
Team and client communication tools can be used to ensure seamless and quick communications that empower you to get more done collaboratively. Focus and time management tools are great to ensure you’re making the most of the time you have. Project management and goal tracking tools are essential to ensuring that everyone in your law firm is contributing to the end goal and completing their responsibilities.
Implement the Accountability Guarantee
Guarantee your success with accountability. A vital part of utilizing the tools you’ve learned so far is making the information they hold publicly available to your team. Ultimately, what gets measured gets improved. What gets measured and made public gets drastically improved.
The best information to make public is your milestones. To determine your milestones, you’ll just need to determine what metrics to track and where they need to be at future points in time.
For goals that involve your business, start with some growth metrics:
- Overall revenue
- Net new leads
- Contact form submissions
- Social media impressions
You can set metrics for anything, though — not just business goals. Committing to fitness? Set a weight goal or a goal for your number of weekly workouts. Committing to growing your wealth? Set monthly savings goals. The same can be applied to every facet of life. Once you determine these transformational growth metrics, make them public.
Having a community around you to keep you on track to hit your goals is essential. Whether that community is your team, your family and friends, or a group of colleagues, there’s no reason to do this alone.
So do what it takes to get you there — post on your social media accounts, join a coaching group, or create a public leaderboard for your team in the office.
Never Give Up on Transformational Growth
It sounds cliche, but it’s true. You can never give up. Letting off the gas creates inevitable failure. So keep your long-term vision of transformational growth at the forefront of everything you do for your law firm, and let it motivate you every day.
If your goals are not the thing that makes you rip the covers off and jump out of bed every morning, then you’re not dreaming big enough. When you have the right attitude, you won’t give up for anything.
It won’t always be easy, though. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions for your team. Sometimes you’ll feel exhausted by your firm’s needs. But this won’t stop you if you have the right mindset. Everyone starts with a spark — but you have to keep the fire burning.
Ultimately, long-term goals sort those who are ambitious from those who are committed. Ambition is common — many people are ambitious. Commitment is less common, and it’s the mindset necessary to reach your goals.
This is a marathon. It requires endurance. Remember that long-term vision and keep pushing.
Transformational growth for your law firm is achievable, but it requires a specific mindset, strategy, and level of endurance. If you can set your firm’s vision, plan the path to get there, and stay committed, you’ll be better off than most.
Don’t compromise on your goals or change your targets, don’t be afraid to pivot in order to get there, don’t just do what’s easy, and most importantly — don’t give up.