Ten Resolutions for the New Year

As 2008 draws to a close, it is natural to think about New Year’s resolutions.*  We think about our businesses, our clients and ourselves and resolve to do better next year.  If you’d like some help, or just some inspiration, here are Ten Resolutions for the New Year.  Enjoy:

1.  Resolve to be better to everyone.  Start with yourself.

2.  Resolve to choose your customers as carefully as friends, knowing that you’ll work best when they’re one in the same.

3.  Resolve to know your business better.  Recognize that being good at what you do is unimportant if you’re not good at being in the business you’re in.

4.  Resolve to stop doing the things your customers don’t pay you to do, unless you love doing them so much, you’d do them for free.  Because you are.

5.  Resolve to value your life by the things you experience instead of the things you possess.

6.  Resolve to eliminate the things in your life that wake you up in the middle of the night — unless you’re married to them, or they need to go outside for a walk.

7.  Resolve to become more useful to your customers.  Stop thinking about what they expect from you, and focus instead on what they don’t expect from you.

8.  Resolve to help the people who work with you (and for you) become better at what they do.  Give them what they need to excel at their jobs, and you’ll find you’re more likely to excel at yours.

9.  Resolve to understand the difference between what you do for clients and how long you take to do it.  They care about the former, and can’t understand why you charge for the latter.

10.  Resolve to do the work you long to do, instead of the work you’ve been doing for too long.  Follow your passions, honor your principles and strive to add value to every relationship you’re in. “Next Year” begins now.  Get started on making it great!

I’d love your input, and feel free to add your resolutions in the comments.  If you enjoyed these, check out my other posts in the series:  Ten Rules for Law Students, Ten Rules for the New Economy, Ten Rules for New Solos, Ten Rules of Legal InnovationTen Rules of Legal Technology, Ten Rules of Hourly Billing and Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing.

Also, if you’d like to get more ideas like these in real time, follow me on Twitter.

*  Thinking about Resolutions for Lawyers is something I’ve been doing for quite some time.  Here are my 30+ resolutions from 2004, 2005 and 2006.

5 Responses to Ten Resolutions for the New Year
  1. Susan Cartier Liebel
    December 29, 2008 | 8:25 pm

    Matt, this is an outstanding list. My one resolution is to stop worrying…period.

    Life has a way of just working out well if you just keep placing one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

    When you look up…you’ll be further along than you were five minutes before. Rinse, repeat.

    One caveat…make sure you pick a great destination with great scenery along the way!

  2. Michelle
    December 31, 2008 | 7:58 am

    Resolve to be gentle with myself no matter what—-it is time to relax and let go of the reigns

  3. fbc
    December 31, 2008 | 7:58 am

    Shoot! I forgot to plug my own ramblings over at http://alcinousbanquet.blogspot.com

    Some self-promoter I am!

  4. digital dissertation
    December 31, 2008 | 7:58 am

    Blogs are good for every one where we get lots of information for any topics nice job keep it up !!!

  5. fbc
    December 31, 2008 | 7:58 am

    Matt, I second the huzzahs from Susan above. I’ve been following your blog since discovering you a couple of weeks ago. Great stuff – very impressive.

    I’m a small firm lawyer who’s ever more entranced gazing over the fence at the solo pastures.

    Keep up the truly good work, and God bless you and yours in 2009.

    Ben Callicoat

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