We talk all the time about “20/20 hindsight.” My mother used to tell me that she thought I’d be an author some day; I used to laugh and reply, “I don’t have a book in me, Mom.”
And yet, a little over five years ago, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to write an easy-to-read book that shared my personal stories about the collaborative divorce process for gifting to my consultations. Little did I realize then that I would have two such books completed within the next six months, and three more about collaborative practice within the next two years. And that I would then put out two collaborative dispute resolution anthologies, as well.
To put that in perspective, the average business book is about 55,000 words (although two of mine are over 100,000 each). If you had asked me six years ago if I thought that I’d publish seven books about the collaborative divorce process in so short a time, I would certainly have scoffed, believing such an undertaking to be overwhelming.
In retrospect, I can see now that it was consistency and discipline that made this once seemingly overwhelming task possible. And that’s how hindsight works; we understand the whys and wherefores of an event or experience only after it has taken place.
What Is Foresight?
Foresight, on the other hand, is knowing what will happen before it happens. But, in the context of our professional careers, foresight can also be visualizing (or “foreseeing”) what we want to occur so that it does occur. It’s about solidifying your goals, and then taking identifiable and deliberate steps, regularly, that accumulate over time to achieve those larger objectives.
What if foresight could be 20/20, too? This year we have an opportunity that only comes once in a . . . well, an era. Next year, it’s 2020. How many times does that happen? So how about we employ some 2020 foresight and create the future we want for ourselves?
Have you given any thought yet to where you want your collaborative practice to be in 2020?
We have one month left this year, so there’s plenty of time to establish your 2020 goals before the new year starts and to accomplish your desired results by 2020 year-end. How can we ensure our foresight will be 20/20 in 2020?
Clarify Your Goals
What is it that you want, exactly? You can’t get there if you don’t know where “there” is. Carve some time out of the daily grind to focus on the big picture, on where you’re going, and to determine your objectives. If you must, put this task on your to-do list to ensure that you do it.
And be specific. Clarity of objectives requires specificity: there is no room for ambiguity. The more focused your goals, the more measurable they will be and the more likely you’ll achieve them. So, it’s not “I want more collaborative matters.” It should be, instead, “I want to sign five collaborative divorces in 2020 and one collaborative paternity matter.”
And then write those goals down. Recording them ensures that you won’t easily forget them and that the hard work you’ve done to create them won’t be lost.
Then create more than one written set of them and post those where you’re likely to see them often. Why? Because that’s part of how you build a supportive environment.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.