New Year… New Goals
By: Tim Williams

The start of a new year can mean many different things to many different people. For most people, a new year symbolizes a new beginning where anything is possible.

Have you taken time out from your busy schedule to reflect on what you want the New Year to look like for you? I’m not talking about the typical New Year’s resolutions that we all tend to proclaim, only to have given up on them before the end of the month. I’m talking about your personal and professional goals for 2018. If not, there is no better time like the present!

Before you begin thinking about what you want to achieve or change in 2018, make sure you stop and take an inventory of 2017. Many of us tend to jump straight into planning where we want the year to go without being honest with ourselves about where we are. But if we don’t learn from our wins and losses of the previous year, we can’t develop a game plan for moving forward.

Here are some questions to help you review the previous year:

- What were your goals for 2017?
- What progress did you make on those goals?
- What held you back? How can you confront those things moving forward?

After reviewing the things that worked as opposed to the things that didn’t, you can begin planning for what you want to achieve or change in 2018. If you aren’t sure what you want to achieve or change in the New Year, here are some questions to consider:

- Is your work interesting?
- Are you learning?
- Are you building relationships with senior lawyers and clients?
- Which clients and colleagues do you like the most?
- Do you have senior lawyers that are willing to invest in your success?
- Is your work aligned with your values?
- Is there anything about your work environment that could improve?

Think about where you want your career to be by the end of the year and develop a specific plan to accomplish those goals. As the year progresses, set aside time to review your progress, make any necessary adjustments and plan out the remainder of the year. Remember, there is no single pathway to success as a young lawyer but you have to take primary responsibility for managing your career and building your practice if you want to be successful.

I hope 2018 is your best year yet!

Tim Williams is an attorney at Sprouse Shrader Smith PLLC and a director of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Tim can be contacted at

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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