Setting Effective Goals to Improve Your Legal Practice

Gina Maria Mele, MS

Now that 2014 is well under way, imagine how your practice can improve by effective goal setting strategies. Often, when we set goals for ourselves, our expectations or old behaviors sabotage our results.

What if goals are created in a way that is impossible not to meet them? What if we are able to “over-meet” our goals, without even trying? How could this new way of goal setting support your practice, enhance your work/life balance and offer better self-care?

Here are a five tips to help you change the way you create goals, so you can achieve repeat success.

1. Make your goal a baby step

Think of a goal you want to create. Now cut it in half, and start there. Often, when we give ourselves permission to accomplish really easy baby steps, we’ll often do more than our goal, effortlessly.

2. Make your goal fun

By making your goal fun, it inspires you to keep up this new behavior.

3. Make your time frame realistic

How long do you want to give yourself to reach your new goal? Now, double your timeline. If you give yourself twice as long to accomplish your goal you decrease your stressors. Being relaxed with your timeline gives you a better chance for success.

4. Track your success and celebrate

Keep a record of your successes. Use a tracking app like Lift. Do not track your failures. Only track your successes. By celebrating your successes, you create positive feelings about your results. This produces “feel good” chemicals in your brain that help to reinforce your success. The more you celebrate, the easier it is to create results.

5. Give yourself milestones

Break down your goal into chunks. Use your timeline to find quarter and halfway points. Celebrate these milestones with something healthy and fun for you…a date with your partner, a game of golf, a day at the spa or a baseball game.

The author would love to hear from you. How did these suggestions help you reach your goals? How has it helped improve your practice and support a greater work/life balance?

About the author:

meleGina Maria Mele, M.S. is a neurobiologist and corporate consultant. Her focus is team development and design. Her current collaboration supports law firms in creating internal culture geared toward work/life balance. Her email address is