What steps do you take when you find yourself drifting off track from your goals?
It’s pretty easy for us to sense when this is happening in an area of our lives like our health or our relationships, but when it comes to the realm of our professional work, we may not notice those consequences for weeks, months, or even years. I know we can all relate to this, so today, I’m offering some strategies you can use to bring yourself back into alignment.
If you find yourself drifting off course in your professional life but you’re not exactly sure why or how to recalibrate, listen in this week. I’m laying out some reasons this might be happening, and my top recommendations for ways you can get back on track. This is not something you need to beat yourself up for, but rather, I’m inviting you to see how this is an amazing learning opportunity that you can create a protocol for in any situation.
You’re listening to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast episode number 21.
Welcome to The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. I’m your host Paula Price, lawyer turned certified executive coach. This podcast was created to empower women lawyers just like you to create a life and practice you love. Join me every week for a break from the hustle so we can focus on you, what you truly want, and how you can create it.
If you’re over the overwhelm, done with putting out fires, and ready to create a life and practice that brings you more joy, you’re in the right place. Ready for today’s episode? Let’s dive in.
Hello my friends and welcome back to the podcast. My name is Paula Price. I’m a lawyer turned certified executive coach, and the host of this podcast. I’m so excited for all of you to be joining me here today. We’re going to talk about a topic that I think we can all relate to. Whether it’s something that you’re going through right now or it’s something that you’ve experienced in the past, it’s all about what happens when you find yourself drifting off track. We’re going to be talking about some strategies that you can use to bring yourself back into alignment.
Before we get started on today’s topic, I wanted to share with you a series of webinars that I have coming up. I’m really excited about them. There’s three of them all together. The webinars will take place on October 22nd, November 12th, and December 3rd. Those are all Fridays. They’re all taking place at noon pacific time.
It’s a trilogy of webinars. The purpose of the three of them is really to help you effect a transformation, to get you started on a big goal of a project that really matters to you. So in the first webinar on October 22nd, I’m going to invite you to reimagine your practice. To spend an hour with me to start thinking about some of the things you want to bring into your practice. Whether they’re projects that you’ve put to the side or dreams that you’ve had for a while that you haven’t quite yet articulated. That is really going to be the focus of the first webinar.
The second webinar takes place on November 12th. They’re all spaced out about three weeks apart. In that second webinar, we’re going to focus on decluttering. You may have found in the past that you set a goal and want to take steps towards achieving it, and then you realize that there are barriers that stand in your way. Clutter, physical clutter, mental clutter, clutter in your calendar.
So what we’re going to do in that second webinar is we’re going to dive deep into clutter on your desk, clutter in your calendar, and some of the habits that may be cluttering you from getting to where you want to be. So that will be a lot of fun, and I think a really effective webinar to help you clear the runway for what you want to achieve.
The third webinar, the webinar that takes place on December 3rd, is going to be all about rewiring your mind so that you can step forward and take action toward your goal. What you may have found in the past is that you’ve set a goal, you’ve cleared the runway, and then when it comes time to take action, you’re frozen.
Not necessarily because of something that is blocking you but because of something that you’re feeling. Maybe it’s procrastination. Maybe it’s perfectionism. The two often go hand in hand. Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s doubt. It could be any number of things. These are really the invisible tripwires that can hold you back from accomplishing what you’re capable of.
So the purpose of the third webinar is to take a look at what some of these common challenges are. We’re going to help you rewire the way that you think about these challenges so that these can become allies that help you move towards your success as opposed to barriers that hold you back from achieving it.
So if these topics resonate with you, I would highly encourage you to sign up. The way that you signup is you go to the website thejoyfulpractice.com. Go to podcasts. If you look at episode 21, you will find links to those webinars. You can use those links to sign up. If you have any trouble finding those links, I would invite you send me a note on LinkedIn, send me an email, and I can send those links to you.
Please if you think this would be of interest to any of your colleagues or any of your friends then by all means send the invitation to them as well. If you’d like to have an accountability partner, for example, to do this work with, by all means reach out to somebody. I’d love to have you all there.
So that’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks. I really hope to have the chance to connect with some of you there. It’s wonderful to connect with you in the podcast. A webinar is another way for us to do that with a little bit more two-way engagement. So I hope to see you there.
Now getting back on track to today’s episode. It’s all about how to get back on track when you have fallen off track. When it comes to your life, I really look at your professional life. I look at your personal life. You can try to separate the two, I think that really the two live together and that they’re very much intertwined. When it comes to getting off track, I think it’s a lot easier for us to sense when that is happening when it is our health versus when it is something that is more in the realm of our professional work.
For example, if you don’t sleep one night for whatever reason, the following day you’ll feel the effects of that right away. Whereas with your professional work, sometimes there can be a falling off the track but you may not really notice those consequences until sometime later. It might take a few days, a few weeks, a few months, sometimes it can take years. So it will be a little more challenging sometimes to sense when it is that you’re falling off track.
I would invite you as we go through the podcast today to think about situations where you have found yourself falling off course. So for example at the end of this summer I noticed for myself that I had fallen off course on a number of different areas. I felt like my health wasn’t quite where I normally like. Professionally I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. I’d spent a lot of time off to be with my kids, and I don’t regret any of that. It was part of the plan, but it did mean that I had fallen off track and there was some work to do to get back on track.
It might be in relationships. You’re finding you’re drifting away from certain friends or colleagues, and it’s not something that intentional. You actually don’t want that to happen. So you could be drifting in any number of areas. As we go through today’s podcast, I would encourage you to think about what those areas might be for you and how you might apply some of what we’re talking about today to your circumstances.
So there’s a number of reasons why you might be falling off track. I mentioned this summer might be an example. One of the reasons people might get off track is because they’re busy. This may be the nature of your practice.
You might be going into the office and your days are so packed from the moment you step foot into your office, whether it’s a true office that you actually physically go to or it’s your home office where you are working remotely. From the time you log in to the time you log off, you’re literally so consumed with doing the work that you’re not having an opportunity to step back.
That might be working for you. You may still find that the work that you’re doing is in alignment with your true goals, but it may also be that you are drifting in a direction and it’s not an intentional one.
I’ve had a number of lawyers reach out to me recently to work with me to get them back on track because they have found themselves in a situation where things have just shifted off course. Where they don’t really feel like they’re navigating their ship in the right direction. So this is an area where that can come up. It’s just you’re busy and that’s the reason why you aren’t quite on track to where you want to be going.
It could also be that you’re coming off track for a reason that is not just being busy. It may be that you are discouraged. You might think of, for example, if you were trying to build your network. Maybe you reach out to a number of people through LinkedIn or through common friends or colleagues and you receive radio silence. Nobody responds to you.
You think that maybe there is something wrong with you or you get discouraged. So you do not pursue that path because you’re not really getting the feedback. You’re not getting the results that you were hoping to get at the beginning. You can see that that could happen in any number of areas. It may be that you want to improve your speaking skills. So you sign up for a speaking engagement, and it’s really uncomfortable and you don’t like it. So you don’t want to go back to it.
There’s lots of examples where those first steps that you take toward a big goal can be really uncomfortable. That might be enough to turn you off of taking further steps, especially if you’ve got that first thing going on. You’ve got a busy practice, and you have to really carve out that time to begin with in order to pursue that thing.
A third way that you can fall off course is by getting distracted. It might be that you have a goal and you’re really interested in it, but then there’s all these other really interesting opportunities that fall on your desk. Sometimes it’s just a matter of chance. There’s a project or a committee or there’s an initiative or a file and somebody reaches out to you. It just sounds so appealing, and you want to be involved. So you say yes to it. But you know in the back of your mind that the time you’re committing to that project is time that is taking away from your other goal.
So that’s another area where you might find yourself getting stuck and off course. Before you know it, instead of putting your energy into the goal that you really wanted, now you find yourself supporting somebody else in the pursuit of their goal. It may be that you’re fine to do it, but maybe you’re not fine to do it at the expense of what you truly desire.
Finally there’s another area where you might find yourself getting off course. This is something that I can relate to. It happened to me near the end of my practice, which was that you may find yourself in a position where you don’t even allow yourself to acknowledge that you have a goal that you’re truly wanting to go after.
So in the last years that I was practicing, I knew that I wanted to pursue a coaching career. I knew it wasn’t the law that I wanted to pursue. It was working with lawyers in the capacity as a coach. So I found myself thinking about it, but then dismissing the idea. Thinking no, that’s something for much, much later. Not really wanting to admit to myself that that’s what I wanted.
Maybe there’s something for you where you are doing work and thinking about this other idea that you have. Something that keeps calling your name, calling your attention. You keep going back to it, and yet you tell yourself that now is now the time. It’s not something that you really should be pursuing.
The effect of that over the years is that you just may find yourself drifting further and further away from what you truly want. Then you find yourself in this position where it just seems impossible for you to actually go after the thing that you want.
I had that experience myself where eventually I did come around and I did take steps to really realign myself with what I truly wanted. But I’ve had clients that I’ve worked with where they’re at a stage of their career where they just don’t think it’s possible. They don’t see how they’re going to do it. That is the result of years spent drifting in a direction that maybe just wasn’t aligned with what they truly wanted.
So, for you, I would just encourage you to think a little bit and allow yourself that time to explore what opportunities might be calling for you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re leaving your practice or changing anything in a significant way. But it could be that there are projects that you might want to get involved in that would allow you to act in alignment with something that is truly important to you.
So when you find yourself drifting off course, it really helps to know what course you were on in the first place. For some of you, you may have these ideals, these goals, these dreams that you’re working towards. That is how you know that you’re on course. If you’re getting closer to those things, then you are on the track that you want to be on. So what could that look like? It really depends what’s going on for you, what’s going on in your practice, and what your goals are.
So for some of the clients that I work with, for some of you, maybe one of your goals is to be on top of your time. You may find that you’ve got a practice where you’re constantly feeling like you’re in a state of being reactive, where you’re responding to fires, where people are coming at you from all different directions. It feels overwhelming and it’s very stressful and you just want to find a different way to practice.
So your goal might be trying to shift the way that you approach your day, the way that you plan, the way that you organize your time, the way that you set boundaries, the way that you interact with others so that you can have that practice that you’re truly going after.
It might be that you are looking for a more specific and measurable goal. So maybe it’s something like an income goal that you have. Maybe you’re trying to reach a certain yearly target, whether it’s dollar figures, whether it’s billable figures. That is something that you are working toward.
It could be a promotion that you’re seeking out. Maybe there is a position in your organization that is senior to the one that you hold right now. Maybe you’re in a law firm and you would like to advance to partnership. Maybe you’re in the partnership and you’d like to advance to management. Maybe you’re in an organization where a role has just opened up in another department that would be a step up for you where you would be stretched, where you would grow.
There may be also other types of goals that you have that are attainable like switching out of a certain practice area or getting a different job. Maybe it’s leaving the law all together. It doesn’t have to be that dramatic, but what matters is that you have a goal in mind and that that is really the goal that you are striving towards. The measure of whether you are on track or off track is whether or not you’re taking steps in progression towards that goal.
Chances are you’ve taken a number of steps to try to stay on track. Maybe what you’ve done is you have created a very rich plan for yourself, something that has strict timelines or rules that you need to follow. What you may have experienced there is almost like a crash diet for goals. Where you set these expectations for yourself that are so hard to achieve that is inevitable that you’re not going to follow them perfectly.
Then when you don’t follow them perfectly, then you find yourself in a situation where you start getting down on yourself. Maybe you’re beating yourself up or you’re thinking it’s all or nothing. If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t want to do it at all.
When you try to impose these rigid rules on your children, the first thing that they do is rebel. They never work. At least they don’t work in my house. The same is true for you. If you give yourself this really strict program to follow, it’s almost certain that you’re going to slip up at some point. If you put that pressure on yourself, it can be really hard to recover. So that’s one area where you might find yourself coming off track.
Another thing that you may have tried is maybe winging it. Maybe you’re so busy that you just don’t feel that you have time in your day to even devote a moment to scheduling it. So you have maybe a haphazard approach. Maybe you have a thought in the back of your mind that one day you’d like to do X. So you schedule that in from time to time. You might do the occasional networking calm, but you haven’t really set yourself up with any sort of real commitment to making that goal happen.
So that, unfortunately, is unlikely to result in you reaching the goal that you want. I mean it can happen. Sometimes it really does align. That’s wonderful if it does. But without your committed discipline and focus, it becomes so much harder for you to make that goal happen and the timelines are so much less certain. So that’s another thing that you might be trying.
So another thing that you might be doing is maybe you’re in an environment where there’s a lock step system. So you’re following that lock step system with the hope that you will somehow advance through the cogs and end up where it is that you want to be. It may be that you have a mentor who has a really good plan that they followed to get to where they are. So you’re trying to adopt steps similar to the ones that they adopted. It could be that there’s some sort of a program that you’re following that will help you get to where you want to be.
What I would say in respect of all of these is that in so far as these strategies aren’t coming from you. That it’s not your plan where you’re being proactive in deciding what the steps are and how you want to execute them and where you want to go. As long as that is coming from an external source and not from you, I think there’s a risk that you’re not going to ultimately get to where you want to be. That the path isn’t going to leady you there.
I think there is a real drawback in that you aren’t necessarily bringing your whole self to that equation. If you think about your own strategies, your own ideas for how you would progress towards the thing that you’re really wanting, you would bring so much of your skills and your energy and your intuition and your ingenuity to that process. It would make for a process that would be so effective for you.
So in all of these situations, we find that we’re not really getting to where we want to be. We’ve gotten off course and we’re not back on course. So what do you do next?
In this example, in this case, I have five different ideas that I want to share with you that you could use when you find yourself getting off course. So we’re going to start with the first idea. That is to start out with a compelling why. You may have heard people talk about the importance of having a why. Simon Sinek, he’s a well-known speaker. He talks about having a why. I think he wrote a whole book about it. Really what you want to do is figure out for yourself what the compelling drivers are going to be that will propel you towards your goal.
So, for example, if what you’re wanting is to be on top of your time, what are the reasons behind that? What is your compelling why? Is it that you want to have a more sustainable practice where you feel confident and you’re able to have time for the things that you want to do, the files that you want to work on? Maybe it’s the commitments that you have outside of work to your family, to your friends, to the interests that you have. Whatever that compelling why is for you is going to be a real driver for you when it comes to pulling yourself back on track.
I remember when I worked with a coach around the time that I was looking at leaving a private practice as a lawyer to start my coaching practice. My coach asked me, “Well, are you running away from something or are you moving toward something?” It was such a powerful question at the time, and it continues to be a powerful question. Now that I am a coach and I am coaching others, I see the significance even more clearly than I did in that conversation.
When you are running away from something, it may be that you’re leaving a situation that you just really don’t enjoy. You’re not connected with the work. You don’t like the working environment. There are problems that aren’t really being fixed the way that you want them to be fixed. So you’re leaving that situation.
That carries so much less energy and a different quality of energy than the energy that you have when you’re working towards something that really, really matters to you. So you might think about that and how that has shown up in your personal life or your professional life. Where you have had a goal where it has mattered so much to you that you are willing to do anything to make that goal happen.
So if it’s you, and let’s say your goal is to start your own practice. The reason that you want to start your own practice is because you have a compelling vision where you’re going to bring legal services to individuals in a way that is maybe more economical than the way that you’re offering them now, more flexible than you’re offering them now. Maybe there’s a way of engaging the internet so that you’re able to provide remote access or you can scale some element of your practice.
Whatever that might look like for you, that why, that compelling reason is whatever will drive you and keep you motivated and keep you on course. So if you find that you have fallen off course, I would encourage you to go back to your compelling why and to start asking yourself some questions about what it is about your goal that really matters to you.
That is a question that I learned in my coach training that is very compelling, which is to ask yourself in regard to a goal what is important to you about that goal. And to really let yourself answer that question fully. Because what you will find is that the answer to that question will reveal so much about your values, what matters to you. Those are the things that are going to keep you moving towards your goal.
So the second step is to focus on who you need to become as opposed to what you need to do or what you need to have in order to reach your goal. So there’s this idea of be, do, have that I learned about in coaching school. The significance of it is that a lot of us go around thinking that if we have the resources then we will do the steps that will allow us to reach our goals, and then we can be happy. Or maybe it’s if you do enough, if you take enough action then you will ultimately start to have the goal that you want. Then you can be happy because you’ve achieved your goal.
What the be, do, have model asks for or suggests is that you flip it around so that you think about it like this. Imagine that you have the goal that you want. Imagine that you have that practice where you are in control of your time. You feel confident. You have the boundaries. You are getting your work done. It’s on time. You feel great. You feel amazing. Maybe it’s that you set up that firm. You have your own practice. You are the sole practitioner, or you found your own firm, or you get the job that you want, and you imagine yourself in that role
When you’re in that position, the question is who are you? Who do you need to be? How does that person act? How does she make decisions? What actions does she take? When you look at it from that perspective, you’re becoming the person today who you think you will be in the future if and when you obtain the goal. From that place of imagining being there, you will make decisions that align with that. That will bring you closer to the goal that you are trying to achieve.
So step number two is that be, do, have. It’s almost a little bit like fake it until you make it, but you’re not faking anything. You’re simply adopting the thoughts and the actions and the persona and the belief that you would have if you were to achieve your goal.
So the third step is to create a plan. If you follow my work then you may know that I love planning. I truly enjoy the process of having a goal and working backwards. Figuring out how that’s going to work. I love scheduling. I love breaking things down into little bite sized pieces. I love being efficient. These are all things that get me quite excited.
When you’re creating a plan and you find yourself getting off course, it may be it hasn’t registered as important. It hasn’t found a way into your calendar. If you’re not spending any time on it, then unfortunately the chances of it happening start to dwindle.
So what I would recommend here is to create a plan for your success. If you’re a litigator and you’ve planned for court applications or trials then you know very well how to plan backwards. How to make sure that the things that you need to do are done at the right time so that you can keep going forward.
If you’re a solicitor and you’re closing a deal, I’ve never closed a deal myself, but I’ve seen a number of closing agendas. It looks to me like that’s the process. It’s really having your goal in the future and deciding ahead of time what all the deadlines are that you need to meet in order to have the closing date effected at the time that you wanted.
So I like to also use the analogy of a dinner party. So let’s imagine that your goal is like the dinner party. You’re going to throw this wonderful dinner parties. I miss dinner parties. In our pandemic life, we haven’t thrown one in a very long time. I used to love throwing them. It really starts with an idea. You decide on the date. You decide who you want to invite. You decide what you want to serve. You decide what you’re going to serve.
Is it a meal that you’ve cooked before? Is it a new meal? Do you need to get a recipe for something? Is it going to be the first time? Do you need to learn anything? You need to do your shopping. Where are you going to get your ingredients? How are you going to structure the day of or the days leading up to it so that you have everything arrive at the same time. What goes into the oven first? What steps do you leave until the end? These are all the questions that you ask yourself in preparing for something like that. It’s no different with your goals.
So I would encourage you to think about what the goal is, what steps are involved, what are the recipes that you need? What are the steps that you’ve never done before? Who are the people that you want to include in your process?
As you do that, I would encourage you to then think about how you’re going to schedule that into your life. What is the deadline? How are you going to work backwards? If it’s an application for a program that you want to go into, what do you need to do to get ready for that application. If it’s something a little bit less tangible, like we talked about confidence or time management, how are you going to set yourself up for that? What is the end goal?
As you do that, I would also invite you to think about the expression. It comes from Abraham Hicks. It’s this idea that there is no happy ending to an unhappy journey. I really think that’s true. If you think about situations in your life where you’ve worked really hard for something, maybe it’s studying for exams or a trial that you worked on or some other major project. The energy that you bring to that project is really how you’re going to complete that project.
So I would encourage you to look at your goal and think about it as a labor of love. To come at it from that energy as opposed to viewing it as this burden or this chore that you’re going to slog your way through.
So step number four is to seek out and surround yourself with the right people. I alluded to this with the dinner party analogy. I’d encourage you to think about this in terms of the goal that you have. So if, for example, your goal was a fitness goal, you would probably want to surround yourself with people who were active. Who were out running or that played sports or that generally had an active lifestyle instead of maybe surrounding yourself with people who wanted to sit and watch Netflix all day. Just an example. Nothing wrong with Netflix.
So if you’re trying to achieve a certain goal, I would encourage you to think about who is in your surroundings or who is not in your surroundings, but you would like to have in your surroundings can help you achieve that goal. So I have for an example a client that I’m working with. She has set a phenomenal goal. It’s one that is going to take her probably a couple of years. To make that goal a reality, there are a number of steps that she needs to take.
One of those steps that she needs to take is building relationships with mentors and friends and supporters, people that she can learn from. She’s doing that. She’s really going out and taking that initiative. She’s bringing those people into her life. It’s really a powerful thing for her. It’s really made a lot of difference in terms of understanding what the steps are going forward, understanding what information she might need to have, having recommendations in terms of different ideas and trainings.
So you might do the same thing. Think about what it is that you’re looking toward and who it is in your environment or who you would like to bring in your environment who could be a mentor to you, who could support you in going after what it is.
Sometimes it’s a friend who’s going to sit on the side and be a cheerleader for all the hard things you’re going to do on that road to your success. It could be that it’s a colleague who’s supporting you. It could be anything, but I would invite you to be really intentional about who it is that you choose to surround yourself with and maybe who you need to spend a bit of time away from.
If there’s somebody who you find is really holding you back, maybe it’s somebody who is dragging you down a little bit. They are maybe not helping with your self-confidence, or they are constantly asking you to work on projects that are totally out of alignment with where you want to go. You may need to ask yourself whether there’s something that needs to be done in relation to those individuals. So that’s the fourth step is to surround yourself with individuals who will support you in your success.
The fifth and final step is one that sounds counterintuitive. It is to prepare for failure. I mentioned in my last podcast episode that I don’t believe in failure. I believe that when we “fail”, again, I use air quotes. It’s really just a learning opportunity that we’re out there experimenting and we’re learning. I never want to think of something that we’ve done as failing.
Chances are if you’re in a situation where you’ve failed, I mean I know you. I’ve spoken with you. I know you’re smart and capable and accomplished. If it’s something that you failed at, it was hard. You can give yourself a pat on the back for taking steps that really stretch you and bring yourself into a whole new level. So if you find yourself in that situation, I don’t want you to beat yourself up ever. It’s a learning opportunity.
Sorry. I’ve gotten off track. What I was trying to say about preparing for failure is that when you find yourself getting off track and you’re bringing yourself back on track, I would invite you to forecast some of the obstacles that are going to come our way and create a plan, create a protocol that you can follow for when that happens.
This wonderful example comes to mind. I was reading a magazine a few years ago that described this woman. She was a very well-known scuba diver, and she would go many, many meters below the surface of the water and do crazy things. I can’t remember exactly what she did, but these were very complex procedures she would do on the ocean floor.
The way that she trained for this was she would run through her mind the different scenarios that could possibly derail her dives. She would imagine herself confronting the obstacle, getting through the obstacle, doing it in a way that is very calm. You can imagine that if you’re 50 feet underwater or 50 meters underwater and you have your oxygen tank on and something goes wrong, there’s a lot at play. There’s a lot at stake. Maintaining your calm in that situation and knowing what steps to take are really important.
I would invite you to think about the same type of protocols that you can engage when you find yourself getting off track. So maybe something that would come up for you is you know that you want to create your own practice, for example, but you’re really concerned about the paperwork, and you know that you’re not going to want to do it.
So you might plan for that ahead of time. It may be that you want to improve on your financial goals. Part of that requires that you maybe raise your rates or have more robust conversations with your clients about your fees.
So you might practice those conversations ahead of time. You might anticipate some of the conversations or some of the comments that you might get from others. Some of the comments you might even have internally about charging a certain rate. And to have that dialogue ready so that when you find yourself in the true situation, you are able to come from a place of having experienced that before even if it’s only a rehearsal in your mind so that you can carry yourself with confidence and overcome that obstacle more seamlessly.
So the reason that these strategies work is that they allow you to move from a place where you’re reacting where you’re kind of ad hoc adding time to go towards your goals where you’re at the effect of what other people are demanding from you. You’re moving your goal into a situation, into a world where you really are in control. You’re being intentional about what it is that you’re going after. You’re looking at why that’s important to you, and you’re coming from a place of purpose.
As you progress, as you pull yourself back on track and start taking steps in that direction, what you will find is that you start to build momentum. One small success leads to another small success. That continues until you find that you’ve really started to build on that success, and it starts to really grow exponentially. That’s where you start getting much, much closer to the goal that you have.
What you will experience when you do this is you’ll really start to get to know yourself at a deeper level. When you’re looking at your why and that powerful set of values and motivators that keep you moving forward, you feel so much more connected. You feel so much more in alignment. You become so much more sensitive to when something that comes across your desk pulls you off of your track and when things come across your desk that put you back on that track.
You may find that you even have almost a physical reaction. When you find yourself working for too long on something that really isn’t in alignment with your goal, you feel it and you sense it. That’s a wonderful opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate whether what it is that you’re doing is on track or not.
As you start to do this work and you’re on track and you find yourself maybe veering off track a little bit, pulling yourself back on track. What you’ll learn is that getting back on track isn’t as hard as you thought it was. As you practice doing it, you’ll get better at it. As you get better at navigating your way from being off track back to on track, you’ll also start to develop a certain accountability to yourself.
You’ll really start to learn to trust yourself so that you will know that if something happens, if something comes up and you are sidelined for a few days, a few weeks. You’re not able to go after the vision that you have. You still know that you will be able to resume your focus, that you will be able to resume your practice in such a way that you realign yourself with the goals that you have.
There are a few skills that you’ll need to develop as you go through this process. The first is curiosity. You’ll need to get really curious with yourself about what it is that motivates you and where it is that you want to go. So that really means spending some time asking yourself those questions. The big why. What is your compelling why? What about your goal is important to you?
Also you’ll develop that curiosity as you go through the process. As you find yourself veering off track, veering on track, notice what it is that comes up for you. What are the triggers that maybe pull you off? Maybe look at the things that remotivate you to get back on track.
Another skill that you’ll need to develop is honesty. This really is first and foremost honesty with yourself about what it is that you want, what is it that you desire, what is going to be fulfilling to you in the long run? What is it that you need to do to get there?
Another level of honesty is potentially with others. I mean maybe you’ve got this dream and it’s a secret inside your mind. You think about it sometimes, but you wouldn’t ever share it. Maybe you reach a point where you start sharing that with other people.
That new level of honesty will help you get closer to your goal. Because what I have experienced and what a lot of you may have already experienced, what my clients experience is that once they start talking about what it is that they want, all of a sudden doors start opening up to them that allow them to take one step closer to what that goal is.
Another skill that you’ll need to develop is discipline. Chances are you are where you are because you already have a great deal of discipline. I’m certainly not suggesting that you don’t. When it comes to advancing towards a goal that is yours, one that you’ve created for yourself, one that really means a lot to you and may not be on the radar of those around you, you may start to have to really practice your discipline at an accentuated level because you will be the one responsible for making it happen.
The reason I say this and what I’m thinking about is how easy it is when you’re in a busy law practice and people are asking things of you, and you really want to deliver. You really want to help them. But doing so pulls you away from the thing you truly desire.
So the discipline that you’ll need to develop may really be about setting boundaries and carving out that time for yourself, and applying the tools that you have for time management, for project management, for seeing a goal to fruition.
It may mean taking those energies and applying them to this thing that is very important to you, which requires that you give yourself the time. It means that you create the time on your calendar, create the space. Take the initiatives. Reach out and create the contacts that you need in order to pursue the goal that you have. So that, in itself, is a form of discipline that you may need to really exercise in order to get closer to where you want to be, in order to make sure that you stay on track.
When you do these things, you will create the result that you want. What is so interesting about this as well is that as you reach your milestones, as you reach your goals, you may find that new goals appear on the horizon, right. It’s like you take a step up to the next mountaintop and all of a sudden you can see all these other mountaintops that you didn’t even know existed. That world becomes yours to explore.
Once you’ve done it, once you’re able to do this again and again. As you keep exploring, as you keep pushing yourself, as you keep stretching and growing, you get so much more aligned with your purpose and what it is that you’re doing. It is absolutely worth it. I am so excited. If you’re doing this work, I would love to know from you what kind of goals you set for yourself and what it is that you’re trying to achieve.
On that note, that is what I have for you today in terms of our podcast. I would like to remind you of the webinars that I have scheduled for you that are coming up because that might be a wonderful place for you to start really getting acquainted with what some of your goals might be and how you can start setting yourself up to achieve those goals.
So, again, the first webinar is on Friday October 22nd at noon pacific time. That webinar is all about reimagining your practice and what you truly want for yourself. We’re going to think about what some of those goals might be and what your why is behind those goals. What really is compelling and motivating for you.
In the second webinar on November 12th, we’re going to dive into decluttering. So that is really taking a deep dive into the clutter that may be on your desk right now. The calendar events that you have, the commitments that you have, the thing that you consider obligations that are standing between you and what you truly want. They’re taking up your time and not leaving enough time to go after what it is that really matters to you.
We’ll also talk about habits. Some of the default habits that you may have that are really blocking you from reaching the success that you want. So we’re going to declutter your desk, your calendar, and your habits in order to forget the space and clear the runway to move forward with your goal.
Finally the last of the webinars is on December 3rd. That webinar is all about rewiring the way that you think about things so that you can propel yourself forward through action. Sometimes you may find that you get to that space where you finally can take steps, but something is holding you back.
So we’re going to take a deep dive. We’re going to look at some of the common things that hold you back from going after your dreams like fear or procrastination or perfectionism or doubt. All of those. We’re going to learn how to rewire the way that you think about those things so that they can become allies. They can be clues that you can use to bring you closer to what it is that you want as opposed to barriers that basically end the conversation before it even starts.
So I mentioned earlier that there are links to register for those webinars present on the webpage that hosts this podcast episode. So if you go to thejoyfulpracitce.com website and look at podcasts, episode 21. You’ll find the Zoom registration links on that page. I’d encourage you to sign up. I would encourage you to invite your colleagues and your friends to sign up. It will be so wonderful to have the opportunity to work with you in that capacity.
So that is everything my friends. It has been such a pleasure to connect with you today. Thank you, again, for tuning in. Your participation in these podcasts means everything to me. I’m so excited to have you here. For any of you who enjoy the podcast, if what I’m talking about resonates with you, I would love it if you would rate and review the podcast. Doing so helps to increase the visibility of this podcast and allows other people who are like you to find it. So that would be amazing. I would really appreciate it.
On that note my friends, I am going to let you go and get back to your week. Thank you again for hunting in. I look forward to reconnecting with you again soon. Bye for now.
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Thank you for listening to this episode of The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers podcast. If you want more information, visit www.thejoyfulpractice.com. See you next week.