It is that time of year again. Will this be the year that your wonderful intentions are put into motion, or will they remain on the shelf, in your head, or stuffed away in a file folder, and lose the name of action?
A very succinct explanation of how to plan your 2012 is an installment of Cordell Parvin's Practical Success series entitled "Making 2012 Your Best Year Ever." This article is not even two pages long, so there is no excuse for not reading it.
Parvin emphasizes not only the importance of writing out goals, but also explicitly articulating why you are pursuing those goals: "You have to have a good answer to the 'why' question to motivate you, energize you, and cause you to have the discipline and commitment to achieve the goal." And Parvin's guide necessarily includes setting out the actions necessary to achieve that goal, as well as something you can do in the next week to get started.
Look here and here for more on the importance of specific goal-setting that not only makes the process practical and attainable, but also ensures that the goals in question are yours.
If you are looking for ways to get better as an attorney (also of critical emphasis in Parvin's article), consider the Legal Productivity list of Top Ten Legal Podcasts, and the Kennedy-Mighell Report 2012 Technology Gift Guide. In particular, I am intrigued by the technology training offered at Lynda.com. As I have written before here and elsewhere, these days there are virtually unlimited resources for making you better, so you have no excuse.
And finally, even though you must be practical, you must also think big. For additional inspiration about the power of big ideas and to encourage you to dream large, listen to HBR's 2012 List of Audacious Ideas.