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4 Steps to Start the Year Right

With 2020 finally behind us, it’s time to step forward into a new year that’s hopefully much less turbulent than the last one. But, there’s no need to do it alone. Below, we’ve outlined four steps legal professionals can take to kick off the year on a high note and carry it all the way through.

1) Reflect on last year

It can sometimes be tough to look back to the recently passed year and see it independently. Ongoing projects and events rarely stop at the end of the calendar, meaning the challenges they present carry over into the next year.

Still, it’s important to take a step back and look introspectively at your professional accomplishments, shortcomings, and undertakings. No matter your perspective, there’s almost always something that can be learned from spending a bit of time reflecting on what you’ve done and what you hope to do.

2) Set new goals

Once you’ve looked back at the past year, the next step is to turn that around and plan for the future. More specifically, it’s time to set some goals for what you want to accomplish as a legal professional.

The goals you set can range from small items like taking better notes in client meetings to large accomplishments like making Partner. Regardless of which goals you choose, you can increase your likelihood of achieving them by using the STAR method.

This method ensures that your goals are:

  1. Specific: Your goals should be as clear and identifiable as possible. The more vague they are, the more challenging it is to truly tell if you’ve achieved them.

  2. Testable: Make sure that there’s a clear way to tell that you’ve achieved your goal. This can be done by setting timelines and using number-based targets.

  3. Attainable: While setting a high bar for yourself is easy to do when identifying goals, it’s important that they’re realistically achievable. The more unlikely your goal, the easier it is for you to fall off your pursuit of it.

  4. Relevant: Be certain that the goal you’re setting ties in to your professional success. Not every skill or accomplishment is equally valuable to advancing your career.

So, instead of writing a goal like: Make clients think I’m the best person they’ve ever dealt with.

Try a goal like: Increase client repeat business for Wills and Estates services by 25% by the end of 2021.

3) Step up your cybersecurity

Keeping yours and your firm’s digital information secure is a top priority that’s truly an ongoing effort. It requires constant vigilance, and is never a “set it and forget it” type of thing to do.

While it may seem daunting, there are a few easy places to start. The first involves keeping your Internet browser up to date. It’s critical to surfing the web securely, and we’ve put together a helpful guide on it.

Next, make sure you’re creating and storing your passwords according to safety best practices. It’s an often-overlooked task, and you can find out more about why it’s so important here.

Finally, it’s becoming more and more important to protect against Ransomware. You can find out what steps you need to take to stay secure in this handy post.

4) Organize your will vault

If you work in Wills and Estates, there’s a good chance you’ve got a “will vault” or collection of wills. These are important business, but they can often become disorganized over time. When this happens it takes longer to find records and increases the risks of overlooking something.

Thankfully, the Canada Will Registry can help make sure your will vault is in tip-top shape. It’s safe, easy to use, and fully Canadian. You can learn more about it’s benefits in this in-depth case study.