Keep a Success Journal to Be a Happier and More Productive Lawyer

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Keeping a Success Journal BlogIt’s that “rubber-meets-the-road” time of year  again.  When solos start closing out the books on their law practices for the year, it spurs them to look back and take a little personal inventory.  Some law firms and law departments ask their lawyers to summarize their accomplishments in connection with their annual performance review.  I ask my clients to scrutinize their successes and their disappointments for the year that is ending, before setting their goals for the year to come.

As I assist lawyers with these processes, I notice that, although they may remember their shortcomings and disappointments with all the gory detail of a train wreck, they often forget significant achievements from the first half of the year. They also forget the heartfelt note of appreciation they received from a client four months ago and the midnight oil they burned for weeks to meet an important deadline. Sometimes when they master a skill or change a habit, the new behavior becomes so natural that they don’t count it as an achievement. They forget the awkwardness of their first attempts and how daunting the hurdle initially seemed.

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