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Goal setting: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Part of reflective practice involves setting goals and working towards them. Write them down and make them S.M.A.R.T.

Write Them Down

Take time at the start of the year and on a regular basis to take a break from your daily grind to write down your goals. Taking the time to write down your goals creates space for reflection. The writing process enables you to home in on what you value, and precisely articulate what you wish to achieve. Writing down your goals makes you more likely to achieve them.

Aim to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable / achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

For example, for your career development, you might have a general goal, like wanting to deepen your relationships with existing clients. It’s easy to take such a general goal and make it S.M.A.R.T. Here are examples:

  • This month, I will call one client a day to check in, say hi, ask them about key pain points they are experiencing, and ask how I might help.
  • This month, as the General Counsel I report to for my key client X is an amateur artist, I will suggest we meet at the café of our local art gallery and spend an hour just walking the exhibits together and talking.
  • Over the next 3 weeks, I will contact my 10 most meaningful clients I work with, ask them if they would answer a short, 5 question survey with me over the phone, and then, the following week, based on what I learn about their needs, develop a further S.M.A.R.T. goal for my next interaction with each of them.

You can use S.M.A.R.T. goal exercises to focus on key practice and personal areas. Turning general aspirations into S.M.A.R.T. goals makes it easier to start, progress, get results and feel accomplishment. Use LAWPRO’s S.M.A.R.T. goal resource to get set and progress on your goals.
SMART Goals chart


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