The new year is traditionally a time for reflection and resolutions. Many of us will be looking back at the previous year and thinking about which areas of our personal and professional lives we would like to improve in the coming one. And why not? The new year can be a fantastic excuse to revaluate our goals and consider how we would like to work on our skillset.
Unfortunately, the new year period and the motivation it brings can be rather short-lived. Many of us will start the year with good intentions, but see this start to dwindle by February. Here at ILSPA we believe that the key to a successful new year’s resolution is to forget the ‘new year’ part. It is time to make some 2019 resolutions instead. Here is our advice on how to make the whole of 2019 a brilliant year.
Start as you mean to go on
A year is a long time and you definitely don’t want to lose your enthusiasm and motivation at the first hurdle. Returning to work after the Christmas break can be stressful and rather full-on. A great way to avoid the back-to-work blues and get your work momentum going is to make sure you’re making the most of your first week back. Getting organised and throwing yourself back into your role straight away ensures your productivity for the year starts on a high. ILSPA published a fantastic article last year that advises you how to do just this. You can read our article here.
Set your goals
Don’t waste time. If you want to make 2019 a great year, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve and when. Think carefully about which areas of your career you would like to change, which skills you would like to gain or improve in, and also which areas of your personal life need attention. Effectively you are setting yourself up to ensure that each part of 2019 is productive and successful. This is not about creating a to-do list to be ticked off as soon as possible. Rather think of it as more of an action plan to achieve what you want.
Organisation is something that is talked about a lot in the role of a Legal Secretary, but it really is vital if you are going to continually work and progress throughout an entire year. Once you have set your goals, it’s time to think about a timeline for them. When do you want to achieve each goal by? What steps are you going to take, and when are you going to take them to ensure you do this? Getting organised and creating a timeline allows you to spread your goals out over the year and not overload yourself all at once. Timelines are more manageable and make it easier for you to be productive throughout the entire year, not just at the start or in random bursts.
A year seems like such a long time but there are still limits as to how much you can do in 365 days. There is nothing worse for your enthusiasm and motivation then setting yourself an unobtainable goal. Your inability to hit that target will have a domino effect on the rest of your plan. So think carefully when creating your action plan and timeline about how long things will realistically take you to achieve.
Scheduling in some treats throughout the year will keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to. They don’t necessarily have to be a reward for an achievement. It could simply be something to help you relax or it could in itself be the goal that you are working towards. The important thing to consider is that you need a balance between work and fun; otherwise you won’t be able to continuously be productive over a long period of time.
Work on your mind-set
Nobody can stay constantly positive and enthusiastic, and that is completely normal. So it’s a good idea to have a few coping mechanisms up your sleeve for when your motivation wavers. Think of a hobby or a relaxing activity that allows you to de-stress and take your mind off of your hard work. Surround yourself with positive people, maybe people that are also doing similar goal plans, to help pick you up if you start to lose enthusiasm or focus. Whatever it is, the important thing is that it gives you the quick break you need and allows you to reset and recharge, ready to get back to your plan with renewed vigour.
We wish you all the best in making 2019 work for you. Have a fantastic year!
ILSPA provides its Members and Students with continual support and guidance throughout their careers. If you would like to speak to us about career guidance or professional development to help make your 2019 great, please contact us, or visit our website to find out more about ILSPA Membership and its benefits.