Balance Career

Thriving practice habit one – reflect on your big picture

Written by Allison Wolf

What does it take to thrive? One of the core habits is pausing to consider the big picture.  Your big picture.  Questions to consider are:

  • What is the career I am building? What am I aiming for?
  • What’s going well and what isn’t?
  • Are there any areas that I have been neglecting?
  • Is there something I need to get better at?
  • How are my energy levels? How’s my health?
  • How are my relationships?
  • Do I need to ask for help?

Following this kind of reflection, John realized he was getting rundown from working into the evening hours every night. He developed a plan for when he wanted to arrive at the office and leave each day and decided when to unplug in the evenings. He put in place strategies for better managing his time and energy in the office. He resumed going to the gym three times a week.

Marguerite decided that she wanted the independence that comes from having her own clients so she decided to get a business coach and focus on developing her own client base.

Jane made up her mind to look for an opportunity at another firm because she realized that working with the toxic partner in her office was sucking the life out of her.

I know one lawyer, who I will be profiling in an article on this blog next month, who traveled in South America for a year.  She ran her litigation practice from a comfortable home base (equipped with a powerful internet connection) in Ecuador and explored the continent over long weekends and holidays.

What gets in the way?

Legal practices are fast-paced.  There are always deadlines to meet and unexpected emergencies cropping up.  On top of this, there is billing, administration, and a 101 other tasks requiring attention.

It is so easy to get entirely caught up in the day-to-day grind that weeks and months can go by without much thought given to the big picture.  Your big picture.

Pause, and reflect. What are you aiming for?  What does thriving mean for you?

Then decide what is the action to take to start moving those goals forward.

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 or learn more about my coaching practice from the coaching section of the Attorney With A Life Website.

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