Goals & Planning Work|Life Balance

Powerful practice habits

I am now convinced that one of the most powerful drivers of success are positive habits.  My Slaw.ca column this month provides a step-by-step guide to building and maintaining positive practice habits.  To learn more about establishing positive habits try these books: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Habit Factor by Martin Grunburg.  To get your positive habits aligned with your goals follow this simple recipe from Grunburg:

  • Identify the goal.
  • Visualize accomplishing it. How does it feel?
  • Answer: Why is this goal important?
  • Decide: What are the positive habits (3 to 5) that I want to develop that will help me achieve my goal?
  • Answer: Why are each of those habits is important?
  • Set the minimum performance target for each goal. Not every habit has to be repeated each day.
  • Start your new habits.

I suggest you stagger your start so that you give yourself time to focus on getting one established before adding another. Habits for different parts of our lives, such as a healthy breakfast and combating procrastination with the 15 minute challenge can be started simultaneously without too much difficulty.

Track you progress daily by asking “did I accomplish my habit today yes/no?”

Build in some rewards commensurate with the degree of success you achieve. It is important to congratulate yourself and treat yourself to something special for successfully meeting your new habit formation targets. Sometime success is its own reward, such as the pleasure of walking into a tidy office each day. Sometimes it helps to reward yourself with a treat such as a massage, or heading home early from the office one afternoon.

About the author

Allison Wolf

I am the founder of AWAL and one of the most senior coaches for lawyers in North America. I have helped countless clients over the past fifteen years, develop thriving legal practices and before that served as director of marketing for award-winning law firms. My specialty is uncovering the thinking traps and gaps holding clients back and helping them acquire the mindsets, skills, and habits for growing successful and rewarding legal careers. After a career in legal marketing and business development with law firms in Beijing, New York, and Vancouver, I was trained as a coach in 2004 at Royal Roads University and now coach clients from across North America. You can reach me at allison@shiftworks.ca or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.