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TIPS FOR LAWYERS: Creating Effective Habits in the New Year.


It's that time of year where we all feel enormous pressure to make resolutions for personal and professional improvement. Lawyers are no exception! The problem is too often we set the new goals without a real plan of how we're going to avoid reverting to our old habits!

Habits can be a friend or foe. Think of a habit as a pattern of behavior. Successful habits can help us to achieve success, while other habits undermine our efforts to achieve.

Here is a great exercise for getting rid of old habits and replacing them with habits designed to help you to more effectively achieve your objectives.

List 3 or more habits that are currently holding you back from achieving your goals and describe how these habits negatively impact your life.

Habit: Spend too much time on socializing during the work day.

Impact: Always playing catch up in order to meet deadlines causing everyone to stress out. Makes me seem unprofessional and unfocused.

List successful habits you will choose to adopt in place of the "bad" habits and the benefits of adopting the new habit


Successful New Habit: Develop effective time management strategy that includes limit socializing with other lawyers in the office.

Benefits: Increase productivity, meet or exceed billables, decrease stress.


Create a 3 step action plan to jumpstart each new habit. Be specific, pick a start date, a completion date and begin.


Action Plan

1) Develop Time Management System that fits my work-style.
2) Create blocks in the day where I close my door and work for 2 hours without interruption.
3) To satisfy my desire to socialize, schedule lunches and after-hour meetings with colleagues so I stay connected.
4) Keep conversations to 3 minutes or less.

Start Date: January 7
Completion date: January 17th

Implementing new habits, new patterns of behavior, will take time. Stay committed to the process and you’ll soon achieve your desired results.

About the Author

Jatrine Bentsi-Enchill, an attorney and Certified Coach, is the founder of the Esq. Development Institute (EDI), an organization committed to helping lawyers excel personally and professionally. EDI specializes in Professional Coaching for lawyers and training processes for law firms in the areas of leadership, communication, diversity/cultural competence and work-life balance. JBE@esqdevelopmentInstitute.com, www.EsqDevelopmentInstitute.com.


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