“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell
2016 is flying by – it’s mid-April, a quarter of the year is over and before we know it, it will be June and we’ll be enjoying beach weather. With that in mind, what progress have you made towards fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re like most of us, we enthusiastically set lofty New Year’s resolutions. But life gets in the way, and that enthusiasm quickly fades away.
Unsurprisingly, it’s been said that 80-90% of New Year’s resolutions fail. They fail because they are geared towards seeking a result rather than a ritual. We expect immediate results for our small efforts, rather than small changes adding up to big results over time. So we lose interest because the motivation and commitment we need to stay focused don’t match the energy that is required to see our goal fulfilled through to the end. On top of that, we tend to create many New Year’s resolutions in desperation to fix everything in our life or business that is not working now. Combined with lack of a supportive environment, it’s a surprise that even 10-20% of New Year’s resolutions actually do get fulfilled.
I invite you to pull out those personal and/or professional New Year’s resolutions that may be all but forgotten, and instead ask yourself the question, “Who do I have to be to achieve the result I want?” You see, we are what we repeatedly do and our lives today are a sum of our habits or rituals. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say I have a goal to lose 20 pounds – in reality what I’m committed to is being healthy and having vitality. Who do I need to be on a daily basis to be healthy and energetic? What comes to mind is someone who sleeps 7-8 hrs a day, maintains a healthy diet, exercises 5 days a week, has eliminated or at least has a great strategy for coping with stress, and a potpourri of other ideas.
That’s where 30 Day Challenges come in to play – the idea here is it takes 30 days to develop a new habit, so you pick one behavior or keystone habit and do it well for 30 days. Here are some of the benefits of 30 Day Challenges:
- Become the type of person we want to be
- Celebrate our small daily wins
- Interrupts our default future – the way things are destined to go
- Slow down and appreciate life
- Increase self-confidence by achieving something new
- Have new adventures
- Focus changes from what’s wrong to what’s possible
Next consider taking the challenge to your team. By investing in the personal and professional growth of your team, it will reflect back on your bottom-line. When they feel a sense of accomplishment in fulfilling on what’s important to them, it provides a non-financial reward to your team that increases their satisfaction in life and at work.
You can hold a staff meeting or a law firm retreat where you introduce the idea. Start by sharing your goals and commitments and then ask what’s important to them – what do they want to accomplish? Matt Cutts has a great 30 Day Challenge video on YouTube you can play to set the tone. Ask who wants to participate and then brainstorm some ideas for 30 Day Challenges. I recommend using a daily habit tracker app or accountability like coach.me, habitica.com, irunurun.com or chains.cc. You may even want to have a reward at the end of 30 days to celebrate and take on a new challenge for the following 30 days.
This year is far from over, about 75% of the year is still in front of us. So I challenge you and your team to take on a 30 Day Challenge for the month of May. Additionally, being surrounded by others with a shared commitment reinforces each individual’s performance, leading to an increase in energy, inspiration and confidence which contribute to the team’s accomplishments. This small step will be a big step towards designing a law firm culture and environment that supports personal and professional growth. Where group accountability is viewed as encouragement. And where increased mental health is benefiting each team member’s performance at work, not to mention your bottom-line.
Please leave in the comments below – what’s a 30 Day Challenge that would make a difference for you?
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Practice Leadership Coach
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555