Last week, Melissa kicked off a brand new series on the small things that will help tee you up for success when you’re executing on your plans and making headway on your goals. She gave you an overview of the three R’s of The Wee Things: reminders, rest, and rewards. Over the next couple of weeks, she’ll be digging into each of those R’s, and we’re starting with reminders today.
People think it’s the big swings at something that will knock it out of the park. That’s true every once in a while, but what typically contributes to success is showing up consistently in small ways. If you want to get to the next level, you have to evaluate how you’re going to operate and the decisions you’re going to make, and to do that, you need daily reminders.
As a leader, there are so many things vying for your attention and so many hats you have to wear that it’s likely that your plans will get put on the back burner. What you need is a touchstone every single day to point you in the direction you want to go, and Melissa is sharing questions you can ask to brainstorm and customize your reminders so you can take the reins over the results you’re going to create.
If you’re a law firm owner, Mastery Group is the way for you to work with me. This program consists of quarterly strategic planning facilitated with guidance and community every step of the way, so click here to join us!
• The real reason you’re straying off track from your goals.
• Why you need reminders all along the way of what you’re doing and why.
• How to identify the reminders you need to keep top of mind every single day to stay on track.
• Why your reminders need to resonate and hit home for you.
• Questions you can ask yourself to assess the reminders you need if your beliefs aren’t lining up with where you want to go.
• The reminders that have worked really well for Melissa in terms of how she operates and the decisions she makes every day.
• How daily reminders get you out of operating from default mode.
• Create space, mindset, and concrete plans for growth. Start here: Velocity Work Monday Map.
• Join Mastery Group
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I’m Melissa Shanahan, and this is The Law Firm Owner Podcast, episode #169.
Welcome to The Law Firm Owner Podcast powered by Velocity Work for owners who want to grow a firm that gives them the life they want. Get crystal clear on where you're going. Take planning seriously and honor your plan like a pro. This is the work that creates Velocity.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week's episode. Last week, we started this mini-series that I wanted to dig into for you guys, because these are the small things that will help tee you up for success, when you are executing on your plans and making headway towards your goals.
I gave an overview last week, of the three R's, which are; reminders, rest and rewards. We're going to dig into each of those. Today, we're going to dig into reminders, and then on the next episode, I will do rest and rewards together.
Reminders, to me, are so important and deserve its own episode to talk through, where I can share ideas with you, what I know has gone well for clients, what has gone well for myself, and how to think about this to set yourself up for success.
Now, if you'll remember, I mentioned the wee things last week, which we have dug into before on this podcast. There is an episode, you can go back to September 2021, and listen to it. I referenced that in the last episode. But this whole idea of, it really is the small things that set you up for success.
People think that it's the big swings at something that is going to knock it out of the park. Every once in a while, that's true. But typically, the truth is, what contributes to success is consistency. Showing up in small ways every day that's consistent, and aligning you with where you want to go.
It's important that you see that, recognize that, and really come to grips with that. The more you come to grips with that, the better off you'll be because you'll be thinking in the ways you need to be thinking, and planning in the ways you need to be planning, in order to be on track.
You know, sometimes we set these big revenue goals and we set these big projects, as Rocks. It's our best educated guess that this is a lever that we can pull, in order to get ourselves to that goal, so it all sounds so clear. But the truth is, when you hit the day to day, when you actually sink back into; you have to do some lawyering, you have to wear your ‘on the business’ hat, you have to juggle all of these things. Plus, you have a personal life that you need to give attention to.
There are so many things vying for your attention and there's so many different hats you have to wear, that your plans quickly get put on the backburner, or you fall short, you just don't stay on track. You have to hear me when I say that, that happens because you default back into your normals.
You have this normal, that is you and how you operate, that may be much higher level than many people out there. I would argue is, if you're listening to this podcast. You're not doing so bad. You've gotten yourself to a really great place in your life, and you can attribute that to you. And how you've showed up and how you've operated.
But listen, when you're trying to get to the next level, you have to evaluate, and you have to make plans for how you're going to shift that. How you're going to shift how you operate; how you show up, the very small things you do, the decisions that you make, the plans that you make. And, how well you honor those plans, the thoughts that are running through your head, the feeling states you experience on a regular basis, the actions that you take.
These are the small things that you have to acknowledge and look at, and be willing to shift and play with. Or, you're going to be frustrated along your path, because you will be falling short here and there on the goals and on the Rocks that you have set.
This is really important to look at, because if you aren't looking at this, if you aren't looking at… You have what you're supposed to do, right? The Rocks and you're what you're supposed to do, and the goals are what you're supposed to hit. How are you going to be successful with those things? That, if it's not a part of your plan, your plan is incomplete.
So, that's what I want to talk to you about today, is the first piece of this I think everyone should look out for themselves, is reminders. You have to remind yourself all along the way of what you are doing and why; how you are supposed to be showing up, how you are supposed to be thinking, what you are supposed to be doing.
All of those things matter day to day, to day, to day, to day, because your days make up your weeks. Your weeks make up your months. And, your months make up your quarters. If you are wondering why, you fall short on the quarterly stuff, you have to look at your days. You have to look at how intentional you are, how well thought out, how your time is going to be spent, those kinds of things.
One thing that truly helps everyone stay on track, is when they are reminded of the truth. It helps prevent them from slipping back into default mode. Which is where they let interruptions in, and things, you know, that they put on their calendar, they blow through them and then they don't reschedule them. They're small things in how they operate that really suck, in terms of delivering results. And that, is going to change.
This episode is where I want you to take, very seriously, this stuff for you. I also want to say, for my clients this is taken care and for members of Mastery Group. But if you're listening to this and we don't work together, it is important that you have goals, or a goal. It is important that you have key efforts, which we call Rocks, that you are saying you're going to do, in order to stay and be on track for the goal that you have set.
A goal is always a number, a Rock is the key effort. If you don't have that, it's very difficult to line up your days, in a way, with something that's going to deliver you to success to results. You have to find success by putting a goal in place, and a key effort or efforts in place. So, it becomes very easy to reverse engineer to figure out; okay, I need to think about these things if I want to do that Rock and meet that goal. If you don't have those things, you are aimlessly wandering on a map.
It doesn't mean that you won't experience success, but God, just think about that for a second. If you don't have a destination in the map, if you don't have a pin in the map, what are you doing? Why don't you? That is a topic I've talked about before on the podcast. It's worth mentioning here, because if you don't work with me, then I don't make sure that you have these things. So, you need to make sure you have these things.
It can just be one; it could just be one goal. It doesn't have to be many goals; just one goal. It can be; what are the projects? The few projects that you think are going to be important, in order for you to see your way to that goal. But you got to have this stuff. This is what we do here, strategic planning.
What I'm telling you and sharing with you on this podcast is tying up with a bow your plan. Making sure your plan is actually well thought out, and allows you to succeed with the big things that you said you were going to do. So, that's what this is about.
This is about the wee things; this is about categories of wee things that I think are extremely important for people to focus on. That's why we're talking about it.
Alright, so, reminders. Once you have your goals and your Rocks, you need to look at them. Actually, have them in front of you, look at what your goals are, look at what your Rocks are. I want you to ask yourself some questions about; how am I going to stay on track for these things? What am I going to have to put into place to tee me up for success?
I want you to think less about your effort, the amount of effort required, and more about the really small things that will be force multipliers for your success. What are the wee things you can do that will help tee you up for success? Now, when we're talking about reminders; what do you need to remember on every single day? What do you need to keep top of mind, so that you make the right decisions? The right wee decisions; the small little decisions through your day.
Whether to allow the interruption or to stay on track? Is one small example. But what do you need to keep top of mind so that you stay the course of the things that you need to do, in order to stay on track? When I ask people this, different things come up. Usually something about how they're thinking about their calendar or their time. Usually something about how they're thinking about taking care of themselves.
Sometimes it is making sure that certain things are done in the evenings, so that they have an easy beginning to the day, they can just knock it out of the park from early in the morning. And, they don't get thrown off track by things that they could have thought through or taken care of the night before. Sometimes it's around getting enough sleep, which we're going to talk about rest, in and of itself.
But you just have to sit down and brainstorm; what are the things that you think you need to remember, so that you stay on track? I think we can all probably remember a time for ourselves, when we have attended an event or a conference, or we have put together this really great plan of some sort, and the excitement and motivation that you feel to go for it.
But then, you get into it and a week or two into it, things start to slip, doesn't go as planned. And then by a month into it, you actually kind of forget all the things you said you were going to do. And, it just slips out of focus. We think that it's because we aren't motivated anymore. That life gets in the way and it's so hard to stay pumped up. We get deflated by the barriers and challenges that we meet day to day in the real world.
But the truth is, it isn't something outside of you that makes you feel less motivated. It's the way that you're thinking about it. It's your perspective. It's what you are, on purpose, keeping top of mind versus, not. Versus, allowing default ways of thinking and operating to creep in.
With these reminders, when you're asking yourself; what are all the things I've got to keep top of mind? One of the things that I like to ask is what are all the things I need to keep top of mind, to stay motivated? Sometimes that's my reason why I'm doing what I'm doing, and why I'm stretching myself and the ways I'm stretching myself.
What you're working for, why it matters to you, these kinds of things, you've got to jot this stuff down. Because this is what gets shoved back underneath some rock as you move through your quarter. This is the kind of stuff that you can be reminded of.
I'm going to give you other specific questions you can ask yourself, and I'll give you a couple of examples of thoughts, reminders, of how I need to think on a daily basis, that I've used. I'll give you some examples that other clients I've seen use. But you do you; it needs to ping you hard. It needs to make sense for you and really resonate deeply with you, or else these are not for you.
If you're reading a bunch of reminders every day and they didn't come from within, it's not going to be as impactful. So, it's really important, even though I'm going to share ideas with you today, if one really resonates hard and pings you deeply, use it. But you can't get away from doing this work for yourself. You have to sit down. You have to access your own answers. That will be the most impactful, most fruitful, and keep the most on track.
Before I give any more examples, I guess it might be useful if I just explained, from a high level, what we're doing here. I create a list of reminders in a Google Doc®. Once it's done, and formatted in a really easy to read way, I print that out and I have this list of reminders. I fold the sheet in half and I set it on my keyboard.
So, every morning when I come in, I open that up, I read through it. It takes about, depending on the quarter and how much I've given myself to remember and stay top of mind, anywhere from 90 seconds to four minutes to read through everything. It's pretty quick, this is a wee thing.
This is why I'm saying it's a wee thing, because it's so easy. And it's a multiplier, because I have that touchstone, I can stay on track so much easier, than hitting my day without being reminded of all the things that I've stated are important to me to remember. You get to decide what works for you.
I put mine in a Google Doc, but I first do it in a notebook. Because for me to have like stream of consciousness and really think deeply, I need a notebook, I need a pen and paper. But once I have that down, then I put it all in a Google document, I make it very easy to read. That's when I can print it out and use it for the quarter.
You can just use your notebook and make sure you read that every morning. If you wanted to, you could create a concise set of reminders, and you could record your own voice and listen to it, maybe on the way into work every day.
But I will say this, I am big on audio, I love learning through audio and listening, but for some reason when it's my own voice, and it's these big things that I want to keep top of mind as I move through my day, it doesn't quite land the same way. I don't know if it's because it's my own voice. I have no idea why. But for me, it doesn't land. If it works for you, totally do it.
As an aside, there's an exercise I've thought about trying but I haven't done it yet. Future-self exercises really work for me. When I think about the 85-year-old version of myself, and what she would have to say about the barriers I'm facing, the decisions I'm making, etc., I usually have really good clarity.
So, I kind of wonder if I read them as my 85-year-old self to my current self, and when I listen to it every day, I thought about my 85-year-old self saying these things to me, I actually think that would work for me. I haven't gone through the effort to do that. Reading them is really impactful for me, so for now, this is the game I'm playing, with reading the reminders. But you get to choose.
You need to have a set of reminders that you read every single day. Every single day. Because your brain will not remember all the high-level, high-quality thinking, it won't just be there when you hit your day. You have to push that reset button.
Whatever works for you, digital print, in your notebook, audio. Doesn't matter, but you will create a set of reminders that you will engage with every single day. That's easy, doesn't take a lot of time, but has this multiplying effect, in terms of you staying on track, making the micro decisions every day that you should make, that will allow you to stay in line with where you want to go, where you said you were going to go, and the things you said you were going to get done.
I always do this after I have my strategic plan in place for the quarter. At the turn of the year, I do a bigger one for myself. I will cover that with Master Group members at the turn of the year. I'm going to lead a workshop on it. I've already started planning it to really do one for the whole year, that you can build on and edit as you move through the year, so that it stays really pertinent to what you're going through.
Every quarter things shift. Shoot, sometimes every month things shift. When every quarter… What you wrote at the beginning of the year for the year, in terms of themes, things that you need to live into, you need to be thinking about, how you need to operate, all of that. That will probably shift, where some of it doesn't resonate as hard, and so in Q2 some it won't make sense, you'll get rid of it, you'll edit it, you'll tweak it, so that it actually fits you and where you are, again.
But the year, at a glance, reminders, are very powerful to deal with the turn of the year. We'll cover that later. This, what we're talking about, is specific quarter by quarter by quarter. That's what I want you to think about this.
As this airs, it'll be rounding out Q3 and getting ready to head into Q4, so this is a perfect time for you all to sit down and do this work. Even if you just give yourself 30 minutes, you'll be amazed what your brain can come up with in 30 minutes, with the guidance here and the questions that I'm going to offer.
Alright, so I've given you one question about; what do I need to keep top of mind, in order to stay on track? In order to do what I need to do every day? What comes to mind with that? Make some notes, jot it down. Let this be a messy brainstorm.
The second question, remember, you're looking at your goals and your Rocks in front of you. That's what you're focused on lining yourself up with. Okay, another question I ask; Who do I need to be in order to stay on track? Sometimes my answer is, dependable. I've heard clients say, more organized, more relaxed. What is it for you? Who do you need to be in order to stay on track? What beliefs do I need to have about…? I'm going to list some categories.
What beliefs do I need to have about myself? What beliefs do I need to have about my team? What beliefs do I need to have about my firm? My work? My time? What beliefs do I need to have about what is possible? I would spend time answering each of those. This is gold; whatever comes up for you is gold.
It is the stuff that you need to remember, because chances are, what you come up with and what you write down, when you're answering what beliefs do I need to have, it's not that you don't believe that. It's just that something else wins out; some version of fear, scarcity, lack, anxiety, takes over. If you were just reminded; hey, remember, XYZ. You'd be like, oh, yeah. Then, it would allow you to just operate differently in the moment.
Spend time with that question; what beliefs do I need to have about myself? About my team? About my firm? About my work? About my time? And, about what is possible?
Another question: what does my perspective need to be about…? You can fill in the blank there. I would ask the same things as I just asked you above; what does my perspective need to be about myself, my team, my firm, my work, my time? And, what is possible?
Now, it kind of sounds like the same question, but sometimes wording things a little bit differently will invoke different responses, and different answers. So, go for it. I would ask this in as many different ways as you can just to see what nuggets appear that feel so freakin true, you know you need to remember that every day.
What opinions should I have about…? Each of those things that I mentioned. And then; what adjustments can I make to the way I think? See what answers come.
Now, I'm going to give you some of the beliefs and thoughts that are in my reminders, or have been in the past, that have worked really well for me. That set the tone for my day, in terms of me and how I operate, and the decisions that I make every single day.
One of them is I'm a sure bet. Another one; I'm a gateway to success for those around me. I am winning, and I am awake for it. I play the long game. Those are statements that when I remember that, it's like, oh, yeah, I do. I am someone who plays the long game. I don't play the short game. That's helpful, because then my decisions line up and prove that every day. Or, if I forget about it, I start making decisions that are not quite as in line with playing the long game.
“I am a sure bet.” This is because, you know, sometimes I think we have a lot of doubt. And if you just remember sometimes, you got it. Have your own back. You're going to get this stuff done. You're going to create what you want to create. It may not happen in the perfect amount of time that you wanted it to happen, but it might.
And if it doesn't, it doesn't mean it's a fail. It just means you have a little bit longer to go, and then you're going to achieve whatever you set out to achieve. You are a sure bet. The more you believe that, the better you'll show up for your goals, your Rocks, your team, your firm, yourself, your family, all of it. You are a sure bet.
“I'm a gateway to success for those around me.” I think about that in terms of, I have a team. And the more successful this company is, the more successful they can be. The more successful this company is, it means that I am creating more success with my clients for their firms. So, I am a gateway. If I remember that, it motivates me very differently to show up. That Velocity Work is a gateway, and I am a gateway for success of those around me.
“I'm winning, and I'm awake for it.” I thought I’d give some context there, because maybe it doesn't feel quite right and you can shift it a little bit, based on what I say. For me, I have told this story before, but I had a coach one time, she said, “Why are you in such a hurry to hit goals?” I was like, “I'm not in a hurry.” She said, “Yes, you are. If you're not in a hurry, then why is there all this pressure on timing and all of that? Just slow down. It's going to take longer, that's fine.”
I was basically pushing back up against that. I was like, “Well, it doesn’t need to take longer.” She was like, “Okay, but why not? Why are you in such a hurry?” So, she pointed out that, you know, she said, “Do you have a loving partner?” I said yes. “Do you have a child now?” I said yes. She said, “Are you making more money than you made when you worked at the consulting firm, but you're working for yourself? I said yes. She said, “Okay, you are winning, and you're missing it. You are winning, and you're missing it.”
Ever since then it struck such a chord with me. I mean, tears came to my eyes when she said it. I realized how hard I was pushing at the future. And, for what? I am literally winning right here, right now. And, I'm missing it because my tendency is to just keep pushing it the next thing, and keep pushing. Now, it's okay to go for the next things. But you can't lose sight of how awesome right here, right now is.
By me pushing forward, it was essentially saying, inadvertently saying; there is better than here. And, I didn't really believe that. But it's just the way I was acting. So, when I remind myself; I am winning, and I am awake for it. Like, I'm not missing this. Yeah, I'm growing the company. I have goals, just like all of the law firm owners I work with. But it's not because there is better than here.
It's because it's fun. It expands me. I'm interested in it. I think it's fascinating. I love working with the people I get to work with. Like, all the reasons that I am moving forward is not because I think there is better than here. It's because it's who I am. It was never going to be any different than this. But I don't need to get somewhere super fast.
When I think I'm winning, and I'm awake for it, it really helps me. It's a touchstone for me every morning, to remind me; don't forget that, you know. So, that's the statement I have there.
Okay, other things that clients have mentioned before, that I'll share here. One is, “I think running a successful business is fun.” Sometimes we lose sight of that, when we're working. “I think running a successful business is easy.” “I am good at that…” Meaning, whatever, fill in the blank for that. “I am good with the business.” “I'm good with the money, etc.” “Life is great.”
This last one I think, might be my favorite. “I have it all handled.” That is such a good thought to think, a belief to have, “I have it all handled.” Yeah, it's getting a little crazy over here. But I've got this all handled. We're going to figure this out. Which kind of lines up with, “I'm a sure bet, we got this.”
These are the kinds of things that other people have put in their reminders, so this might be inspiring for you. But again, you got to do the work, you got to come up with what matters the most to you, what you need to remember as you move forward. I'll say too, if there's something that you think; well, I should be thinking that running a successful business is fun and easy. Sure, that'd be great, but I am not there yet.
But you can put something at the front end of that sentence, that is still a really good reminder and feels true, it doesn't feel fake. As an example, if you can't quite believe yet; I think running a successful business is fun. Or, I think running a successful business is easy. But you could put on the front of that; I am becoming a person who thinks running a successful business is fun and easy. That is still a really important reminder.
And, it kind of cracks the door open to possibility, without you having to make this big leap to Positive Polly thinking. If that's too big of a leap to really believe; I think running a business, a successful business is fun and easy, put a bridge at the front of it. So, I'm becoming a person who XYZ. I am on my way to XYZ.
Find the things that you want to believe, you want to be able to say are true for you, but you're not quite there yet. You want to kind of open the door to that possibility, then create a bridge thought for the front of the thing that you want to believe. If you read that every single day, you will start to believe that you are becoming a person who thinks running a successful business is fun and easy.
Now, just for the record, I don't want to believe that it's easy, because that doesn't feel true to me, part of the fun is that it's not a cakewalk. So, I'm reading you what has worked for other people in the past. That's not what I think you should believe. I want to make sure that you guys hear me when I say that.
What I think you should believe, is what comes up when you're answering these questions. That's what I think. I'm offering you other examples, take it or leave it. Just so you know what it sounds like with some of the other examples I gave you. If you were to put a bridge thought in front of it is I'm becoming a person who is good with the business. I am becoming a person who is great with money. I'm on my way to being financially savvy.
Now, let's just say you are stuck in negativity. You know you should be thinking higher quality things, but you are really stuck on stuff that feels like crap. You probably know it's keeping you stuck, but you don't know how to get out of it, you don't believe anything more positive.
We do this thought awareness, or belief awareness exercise, with members. After they have all their goals and Rocks down, before I asked them to create the reminders, I just want them to be really aware of what they're thinking. So, I'll say, I want you to write down, when you think about your goals and your Rocks, what are your current ways of thinking about you as an owner, your firm, your team, your time? All of it.
I was going to offer a couple examples here, so I can show you that if you're stuck in something that's not helpful or productive, how you can still put a reminder that's going to be moving in the direction that you need to move, in terms of thinking and believing.
Some examples are I am unable to figure out this business. I am tired, I am stressed, the chaos will never end. I'm not a good manager. Nobody cares about my work. I'm greedy. I'm an ineffective leader that doesn't connect with my team. No one can do it as well as I can do it. I don't know how to make right decisions. This is too hard.
Those are some examples I've pulled out, through work that I've done in the past with people. When law firm owners are believing this, when you are believing this every day, and it's just an undercurrent. It's not like you even consciously say it out loud or think it; maybe you do. But this is what's living underneath your operating system. This is the problem.
So, when I'm asking you for reminders, it is to shift out of this undercurrent and into a different one, so that your operating system is better. That's why reminders can be important. Even if you don't identify with something that I read, you've got it. We've all got stuff that isn't serving us, but we are believing it, it's just running in the background.
Let's take one of these as an example. “I'm not a good manager.” If it's, I'm not a good manager, if you can't get off of that, if you can't create a positive thought to remind yourself of every day, that helps you push the reset button. You know, if you can't jump to, I am a good manager or I’m becoming a person who is a good manager. If none of that feels true, then you shouldn't put it in your reminders, because it's not going to ping you when you read it. It's going to feel like fluff and it's going to feel dumb.
What instead, you can do is; I'm not a good manager is just a thought that I am choosing to believe. If you write that down as a reminder, that is moving in the right direction of helping you wake up to the fact that it isn't truth. It's just a thought that you're choosing to believe. As long as you keep thinking that thought, and this is true of any thought that you think, as long as you keep thinking a thought, you will always seek evidence to prove it true.
So, when you can start to wake up that it isn't the truth, it's just what you're choosing to tell yourself. By putting that as a reminder, it can create some wiggle room that otherwise you won't create for yourself, because you didn't have a reminder. So, you'll just be going on default mode, and your default mode there is this running undercurrent thought that; I'm not a good manager.
Then, think about how you feel day to day, when it comes to leading and to managing. You don't feel confident, and calm, and relaxed, and like you've got it. You probably feel insecure, impatient, frustrated, stuck, right? When you think that, I'm not a good manager, you feel a certain way and from that feeling state you take very specific type of actions which just prove true, you're not a good manager.
But if you can actually say, I'm a good manager, or I'm not a good manager is just a thought that I'm choosing to think, it creates a little more objectivity. It separates you from necessarily identifying as that, and starting to see it's just a thought. Then, it creates little more neutral of a feeling state around the whole manager stuff. Then, because it's a little more neutral, you take more objective action. Stuff that doesn't have this weird bend because of an insecurity, that takes the edge off, it creates wiggle room.
I hope that you can see what I'm saying, this stuff is important. That's why I don't have interest in giving someone plans for goals and Rocks, and they don't have a look at this. Because they'll keep repeating patterns and wonder why. They'll beat themselves up over it. Most people I work with, including myself, you're quick to beat yourself up over things, you're really hard on yourself. But the truth is, it's pointless, it's unproductive, it's useless, it isn't helpful here to beat yourself up. Because you just aren't addressing the real problem, which is having a look at your thinking.
Reminders, help you remember this high-level, higher quality thinking that you do believe, but it's not your new normal, yet. Having a reminder every day is a bit of a touchstone, so that you can shift into it being your new normal. This is how you identify; this is how you think, this is what you choose to believe, these are your opinions that you choose to have, this is your perspective that you are stepping into.
Because with that, you take higher quality action that lines yourself up with the results you want to get. So, that's why it's important to identify. Going through these questions, answering these questions, can give you a lot of fodder, a lot of really good things. Nuggets, that you can pull the most important nuggets for you, out of your brainstorming and out of your journaling, and make a list of them that you read every day. That is super helpful. It's very customized to you.
Okay, so that's the thoughts, beliefs, thinking, brain side of things. And the other things that I like to ask myself are about feeling states and then the actions that I can take. Now, this is because, if you remember in the results cycle, there's three things you actually have control over. One is your thinking and your beliefs. The other is your feeling states, and the other is your actions. They each drive one another.
The way that you're thinking will produce a very specific feeling state, and that feeling state will drive very specific set of actions. Well, guess what? All of that, all those actions, lead to a very specific set of results. If you want to line yourself up with the results that you want to create, you have to consider all three control points. We just went through the thinking.
Another couple of questions you can ask yourself, to see if there's anything you want to be reminded of on a daily basis is: What are the feeling states that I want to feel this quarter, predominantly? You're going to feel the range of emotions, because that's human. But predominantly, what do you want to feel on purpose that will drive the right kind of action?
How do you want to feel? Some people will say motivated, some people will say calm, confident, proud, energized, I hear from people. Disciplined. You know, what do you want to feel on purpose? Because when you feel that way, you do take the right kind of action. That is important to think through.
I would make a list of those things, and then I would think through; okay, well, if you want to feel that way, imagine the kind of action that you would take from that place, and just start journaling. What kinds of actions do you take from those feeling states? Do one by one. So, from that feeling state, and then, from that feeling state, and then, from that feeling state.
Some of the answers that I get from people, they'll name something that they should do weekly that they're not currently doing weekly. Like, weekly financial meeting with themselves, or a monthly financial meeting with their accountant, whatever it is. Like, they'll start putting something on the calendar that should get their attention that just doesn't. A weekly Rock status check in.
If you’re in Mastery Group or you’re private clients, we have those Monday Map/ Friday Wrap. Spending time every week to plan your week, so that you can honor your plan and be on track. Taking care of your health. People will list actions specific to that. I'm generally saying things here, but I want you to get as specific as possible for you.
What do you actually need to do? If I was a fly on the wall, and you were taking actions that were stemming from these feeling states that you want to feel; if it's discipline, if it's motivated, if it's proud. When you're feeling those ways, what kind of action do you take? What would I see, if I was a fly on the wall? That's how specific you should get with your actions.
You'll take note and you'll notice some of them are really wee things, some of them are big. But take note, because if it's a wee thing, how can you infuse that pretty easily, where it's doesn't take a lot of time, but oh my god, the effect of it is so profound. This is your chance to really think through these things.
Now, at the end of all of this, you will have a lot of notes, a lot of thoughts in front of you, and it's probably going to be very messy. I want you to go through and read through everything you wrote. I want you to highlight or circle or write on a separate page, what are the things that stand out to you as like; oh my god, if I could remember that every day, if I could start the day remembering that, that would make a difference.
I want you to separate those things out, kind of tease them out of everything that you wrote. Your list can be as long as you want it to. It doesn't have to be a list. If you're a more creative person, you may want paragraphs writing about the stuff and describing it, and you want to read that every day.
For me, I'm more of bullets, I want it just quick hits, bottom line kind of stuff. So, that's what I create for myself. But what are the bullets that you want to remember, that you want to start your day out with? So, that you are operating more in line with these new normals. And you can live into those things a little bit, because at the turn of every quarter, you get a chance to do it again.
The whole quote about, “The smartest people on the planet are always reaching for the next rung on the ladder. But they know it's not about the next rung, it's about the stretch.” This, my friends, is the stretch. These new normals that you are creating, that is the stretch.
If you do that, the results that you want to create are inevitable. They are inevitable. But if you focus on the results too much, and you don't focus on the day to day, then you can bet your bottom dollar, you're not going to get to the results nearly as quickly, if ever.
You have to focus on the things that you have control over, every day. The way that you think is something that you can control. You can shift how you think, and this is a way to do that. This is the kind of thing where you go to an event or a conference and you leave on some high. It's because you're thinking all these really high-quality things that produces a really great feeling state, hope, belief, excitement about the future, motivation.
And then you go back, and because your head game went back to normal, you start to feel a little deflated, and not quite as that emotional high. The reason you felt an emotional high is because of what you were thinking. It's not because of the event. So, how can you keep that stuff top of mind, is so important. It's so important, it is your job.
You know, I think about strategic planning. That, to me, feels like the work; you have to put in the work to create the plan, and I facilitate all that. But then, when it comes time to honoring your plan, your job is to focus on the things that you have control over, which is your thoughts, your feelings and the actions that you take, from one day to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next.
This is what it looks like to get very micro with focusing. You don't get micro until you have a macro plan and a macro track you're on. When you have that, which is what strategic planning provides, your head needs to go down and you need to focus on the day to day, and focus on what you do have control over, so that you are operating at the highest level that you can operate.
Lean into your new normal. Because the next goal you set, after you achieve these, which will be inevitable because you're focusing on the things that you have control over. Once you hit your goals, you're going to set new goals and you're going to have to create new normals. This is the game. This, right here, keeping top of mind what you need to keep top of mind, so that you stay on track, is so important.
And, learning how to do that for yourself, because you're going to need to keep doing it. Every new level is going to require some new normals. It's going to require you to develop yourself in this way. This is your chance to start to practice that. There's no sense of perfection with this, there's just a practice, it's progress.
And, the more you could do it, the more on track you'll be. And the easier time you'll have, and the less at the whim-of-the-world, you'll feel. This is the important work behind achieving the things that you would like to achieve. Behind creating the results that you would like to create.
So, reminders, to tie this up with a bow, are essentially, you recording down… So, a record of the new normals that you are actively creating. That's what reminders are. When you have that list in front of you, and you have a daily practice of reading through it or listening to it, however you decide to implement this into your world. That is, you, taking full responsibility for the results that you're going to create. That is, you, taking the reins, and that is you being intentional.
I have this mental image of watching you and saying, “Hold my beer.” Like, give someone your beer, and put your head down and go in this way, because it will be remarkable. That's what it feels like. I hope you all can see what I'm seeing.
By the way, an episode that goes really well with this one, is Episode #83, that I did talking about post-event planning, and the emotional high you experience, and how to actually prevent that from deflating. That is something you can listen to if you like this topic.
If you want to learn more about this, you want this to sink deeper, you want to be someone who just gets this, then that can be an episode that you go listen to, as well.
All right, that is what I've got for you this week. Thank you for tuning in, and I'll see you here next Tuesday.
Hey, you may not know this, but there's a free guide for a process I teach called, Monday Map/ Friday Wrap. If you go to velocitywork.com it's all yours. It's about how to plan your time and honor your plans. So, that week over week, more work that moves the needle is getting done in less time. Go to velocitywork.com to get your free copy.
Thank you for listening to The Law Firm Owner Podcast. If you're ready to get clearer on your vision, data, and mindset, then head over to velocitywork.com where you can plug in to Quarterly Strategic Planning, with accountability and coaching in between. This is the work that creates Velocity.