Episode 2: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Making the Plan

In the last episode, we talked all about why life is choices and how to bring awareness to the choices you’ve made, how they’ve created your life, and what you are ready to change. Well, in this episode, we’re taking it a step further and discussing how to take that foundation and use it to create a life you’re actually obsessed with.

Once you know what you don’t want, you have to decide what exactly it is you want for your future. Knowing what you want is truly the only way to start creating a life you love, so I’m taking the Life Wheel exercise we did in the last episode, and helping you figure out what would make each area of your life a 10/10, so you have something to work towards.

Tune in to this episode to discover the first three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. I’m sharing how to push past the uncertainty, confusion, and fear of deciding what would make you fall in love with your life, so you can start operating and reverse-engineering from a place of desire.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why not knowing exactly what you want only leads to unhappiness and discontent.
  • How to start figuring out what you truly want for your life in the future.
  • Where our brains try to protect us by trying to maintain the status quo.
  • 4 simple questions you can ask yourself to start moving out of the headspace of, “I don’t know…”
  • Why so many people who do know what they want don’t allow themselves to speak it.
  • The difference between operating from external pressure versus internal desire.
  • How to decide what you want and begin the work of reverse-engineering your desired results.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, episode two. In this episode, I’m going to teach you the first three steps to creating a life you’re obsessed with. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer. The only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, hello, hello. How are you? I am simply marvelous, and I hope you’re marvelous too. I’ve actually been saying that all week. I just got back home after attending ABA Tech Show in Chicago, which is a legal convention put on by the American Barr Association all for legal tech companies and lawyers who are into legal tech, looking for ways to simplify their practices. You guys, I had so much fun there meeting other people in that industry and different legal adjacent industries.

Just really so much fun, and I got to meet so many people who I’ve met over the past couple of years – who I’ve met virtually – I got to meet them in person, which was so amazing to get to see them face to face for the first time. I even got to meet two of my clients in person for the first time. I see them on Zoom because that’s the medium that I use to coach, but it was so amazing to see them in person, just absolutely marvelous.

So, I’ve been taking that marvelous theme with me into my week. So, I hope you all are marvelous, too. You know what else is marvelous? Today’s topic, last episode I talked all about how life is choices, and the reason it’s so important to start there and I explained this, why I started with that topic for episode one is that it brings so much awareness, and that awareness is really the precursor the foundation upon which we build a really intentional life. It’s the prep work for creating a life you’re obsessed with.

Now that you’ve done that prep work. You’ve created that foundation because you’ve gone through and identified the choices you’re making or have made in the past that have created your current results. You’ve decided you like those choices. You’ve understood your reasons why you made them, why you’re still making them, and you asked yourself do I like my reasons why. If you have decided that you don’t, and you know that you’re ready to make a change in your life to create that life you’re obsessed with, that’s what I’m going to teach you today.

We’re going to cover the first three steps to creating that life, okay? Alright, let’s dive in. The first step to creating a life you’re obsessed with is figuring out what you want. If you don’t identify the results you want to create, you won’t know how to create them. I want to teach you toward the end of this episode how to go about reverse engineering your desired results.

We’ve got to start with figuring out what you want because if you don’t figure that out first, if you don’t identify it very specifically, you’re going to find yourself pretty underwhelmed and dissatisfied or discontent throughout the course of your life. And this is why, when we don’t define where we want to go very explicitly, very specifically, our brain loves to do this adorable thing where it looks around and says, you know, I’m not sure what enough is, but it’s sure not this.

Then, you keep chasing the horizon, not quite sure what it is that you’re chasing, okay? And even if you’re pursuing what you want, when you fail to define it, you make it impossible to recognize it if and when you get there. So, you might have what you actually want. Still, if you haven’t decided ahead of time in a really explicit and specific way, you won’t be able to be satisfied with having what you want because you haven’t specified that it is, in fact, what you want.

So, that’s a long-winded way of saying we have to start figuring out what it is that you want to start creating a life that you’re obsessed with. Now, I want to give you a quick refresher. In the last episode, I introduced you to a tool that I use with my clients. It’s called the life wheel, and if you go back to episode one in the show notes there, you can get a link to the life wheel worksheet. You can use that, download it, fill it out and go through the exercise in episode one to again lay that foundation.

To give you a refresher, the life wheel is made up of eight separate categories, kind of like a pie. The eight categories are your career, finances, health, friends, and family, that’s one category, romance, personal growth, fun, and recreation, again, that’s one category, and then the eighth category is your physical environment, which just means the area in which you spend your time. Your office, your home, your car, where you live, that type of environment. Okay?

In episode one, you went through, and you rated your satisfaction in each of those areas of your life, and you rated them on a scale of 1-10. Ten being the highest. We’re going to use that again today as a reference, that life wheel, in order to help us create a life you’re obsessed with. So, I want you to start by thinking about those eight areas, go through each one, and figure out what would make each area a 10, and I want you to be very specific here.

Go through each category. What would make your career a 10? What would make your finances a 10 best case scenario? What would make your health a 10? What would make friends and family a 10? Or romance a 10, personal growth, how about that? Fun and recreation, what makes that a 10 for you? Physical environment, what does a 10 look like there, okay?

I want you to go through each one, and it’s okay if you pause this and you take some time to think through this and do it, or you can come back to this later, but make a list of what makes each of those areas a 10. Now, your brain’s kneejerk reaction here might be to say I don’t know. That’s super common, and when you’re thinking, I don’t know. When you’re thinking, I don’t know what I want, you’re going to feel really confused, and then you’re going to do 1 of 2 things.

You’re either going to indulge in, I don’t know, thinking and stay stuck. You’re just going to spin in that not knowing, or you’re going to stop thinking about this entirely and move onto something else because feeling confused is super uncomfortable for most people. So our natural inclination is to escape that discomfort by doing something else that allows us to avoid it. It might be grabbing a snack, grabbing your phone, or scrolling through social media. Whatever it is, you’re just going to jump out of that discomfort and distract yourself with doing something else.

So, those are the two ways that we respond when we’re stuck in thinking I don’t know. Here’s what I want to offer you about that, even though you’re telling yourself you don’t, you do know, alright. And you might want to start arguing with me, but I want to explain something to you. The reason your brain is serving you up the thought I don’t know is because it’s trying to protect you.

Your brain thinks that the safe thing to do here is to maintain the status quo, to keep maintaining the parts of your life that you don’t love. The parts of your life that you’re merely tolerating. It protects the status quo by offering you the thought I don’t know. It’s throwing it at the wall like spaghetti to see if it sticks so it can keep you safe and comfortable because when you do know. When you identify what it is that you do want, right then the next step is actually to pursue what it is you want, and that requires making a change.

Your brain perceives change as a danger. Alright, so it gives you a kneejerk reaction, I don’t know, and it hopes that you just run with that answer and do either of the two things I just mentioned. Right? So, what I want you to do is just recognize that the I don’t know is a kneejerk reaction and just hold belief for yourself that deep down, you really do know, okay?

So, from there, I want you to push past that initial answer. I want you to work through the confusion and come up with an answer for each of these eight categories. What is it in each category that you want? What would make each category a 10? Now, if you still feel sort of stuck with this, I’m going to give you a few questions I use with my clients to help them flush out what it is that they want and to move past that initial I don’t know thinking, okay?

The first question is, most of my clients candidly hate this question, but it always works. So, the question is, what would you say if you did know? Right. And their brain’s again going to, but I don’t know, and then I just repeat it back. What would you say if you did? And to show evidence that your brain is just serving you up this kneejerk reaction, it is incredible. People always come up with an answer.

When you push yourself to come up with something, your brain will give you a different answer than I don’t know. Alright? Another way to get at this is to ask yourself what would you say you wanted if you had to guess, right? When you ask that question, you give yourself permission to not have the “right answer” but to just take a guess. So, it removes a lot of the pressure, and you’re able to come up with an answer other than I don’t know.

Another one of my favorite questions here is, what would you say that you wanted if you didn’t care about what other people would think? So often, we are so preoccupied with other people’s opinions. That preoccupation really blocks us from being able to access what it is that we truly want. So, again, what would you say if you didn’t care about what other people would think?

Then, the last question I love to ask here is what would you say that you wanted if you believed that the world was your oyster and that anything was possible? I’m going to talk more about limiting beliefs in the next episode. Still, I love addressing this point here and asking this question because if you just deleted or put the limiting beliefs on the shelf for just a second, what would you want? What would come to your mind if you truly believed that anything was possible? Okay.

So, I want you to go through those four questions and see what comes up for you when you answer them, alright? And if you’re still struggling to answer what you want in each of these eight categories, I just want to offer you this. Deep down, you know, but you don’t want to say it out loud, either, because the truth scares you. Like, you don’t like the answer, you’re kind of afraid to admit it to yourself, or you don’t think it’s possible. Again, we’re going to talk about the possibility and limiting beliefs in the next episode.

I just want to go through really quickly and say it’s okay to be scared. Through the course of this podcast, I’m going to teach you to overcome fears like that and move through them to create a life you’re obsessed with. It’s also okay if you think getting what you want is impossible right now. If you don’t want to admit what you want to yourself because you don’t want to be disappointed by the impossibility of it.

Again, I just want you to watch your brain. It’s your brain trying to protect you from feeling the discomfort of the disappointment that would come from not being able to get what you want because of the impossibility of it all. But whatever you want, it is totally possible. I’m going to teach you again through the course of this podcast how to build the belief that it is, and I’m going to teach you how to reverse engineer what it is you want so you can get it.

Lastly, I also want you to remember you don’t have to share what you want with anyone else. Right? No one else needs to know. You don’t have to tell a single person. You just have to tell yourself. So, I want you to remind yourself that it’s totally safe for you to be radically candid with yourself here, alright? It’s safe for you to tell yourself what it is that you want, no matter what those wants are.

So, go through the life wheel, go through those eight categories and identify, just answer that question, what is it that I want? What would make each category a 10? Okay, now for step two, step two is figuring out your why. So, for each of the eight categories, I want you to go through and answer this question. Ask yourself why do I want this? And we’re asking this question for two distinct reasons.

First, we want to figure out whether or not you’re pursuing these end goals because of external pressure or internal desire. Wanting something because of external pressure looks like wanting it because it’s what society approves of; it’s what’s socially acceptable. It’s what other people think that you should do. What they find impressive or what they want for you. Maybe it looks good on paper.

Basically, it’s what other people might consider prestigious or successful, right? They have an idea of what’s right and wrong, and they think it’s what’s right for you. That’s external pressure. Pursuing something and wanting something because of internal desire looks like wanting something for yourself because you’re passionate about having it in it itself, for yourself. Where you pursue it outside of any external validation that you receive for pursuing it or having it.

It’s genuine, authentic desire, and that’s what you want to make sure you’re operating from. You want to make sure you’re operating from that internal desire because, at the end of the day, only the latter will fulfill you. So, you want to check in with yourself. You want to ask yourself do I want this because of external pressure, or do I genuinely want it because I have an internal desire for it? Okay.

A great way to identify whether you’re operating from external pressure or internal desire is to ask yourself this question. Would I want this if I didn’t care about other people’s opinions? And if the answer is no, you’re likely operating from external pressure, not internal desire. So, you want to check in, and you might want to make a change there, okay?

The second reason I want you to ask yourself this question is because it’s so important to always know and like your reasons for wanting something. One, because, like I just said, you might want to make a change, but more importantly, knowing and liking your reasons makes you far more likely to take the necessary steps toward creating those results. It’s not always going to be comfortable taking those steps, and I’m going to talk more about how to work through that discomfort in the next episode.

When you get really clear on your why and love your reason why you want whatever you want, you’re going to be so much more likely to wade into that discomfort, work through it, and overcome it. So, you want to make sure you ask yourself why do I want this. Now, I want to add one caveat here if you’re pursuing something because of external pressure. You identify that’s your reason that it’s an external pressure, and that’s why you’re pursuing it. You still have agency to decide.

You get to decide if you like that reason if you think that’s a good enough reason for pursuing it. And you can decide that you do like that reason. That choice is always available to you. I’ve found with myself and with my clients that in order to create a life that you’re truly obsessed with, you probably don’t want to be operating from external pressure. You want to be pursuing your desired results based on internal desire, not that pressure.

But, you can still choose to like that reason if you want to. That being said, if your end goal is not to appease other people or not to impress other people or not to gain their approval, right? If your desire, if your end goal is to create a life, you are obsessed with. You find out that you’re currently operating and pursuing results based on external pressure; those things are going to be incongruent.

So, if that’s your end goal to create a life, you’re truly obsessed with it, maybe time to reassess and make a change. So, again, you want to go through what would you want if you were operating from an internal desire, get really clear on that, and then once you do, we can move on to step three. Now, step three to creating a life you’re obsessed with is that you start to reverse engineer your desired results.

So, we’ve gotten really clear on what it is that you want. We’re also at this point very clear on the reasons why you want those results, and now we’re going to reverse engineer them, and we do that by working backward. Working backward, what that does is it gives us clarity as to exactly what we need to do to get to where we want to go.

So, I want you to be really specific here and go through each of the eight categories. For each one, you’re going to identify those results you want in your life, and you’re going to list out all of the actions you need to take to create them. Again, I want you to be extraordinarily specific here. You can also list out what you need to not do. Let me give you an example of that.

If you were trying to become debt-free, that was one of the results you were trying to create, you might need to one of the actions that you would take to create that result you might need to save a certain amount of money each month out of your paycheck or out of the money that you make and contribute that toward your debt, toward paying it off, right? And what you might need to not do is you might not need to overspend, right.

You might need to tone it down on the Amazon Prime add to carts or buy it now’s okay. If you’re wanting to improve your relationship with friends, family, partner, or spouse, you might want to set aside specific times where you see them and spend quality time with them. Something you may need to not do is not cancel at the last minute because of work.

So, you’re going to thoroughly identify for each of these eight categories the detailed actions that you would need to take, the things you would need to do and the things you would need to not do to produce your desired results. In doing this, what we’re doing is we’re creating a very specific road map to arriving at those results, alright? Now, as you do this, as you flush out the specific actions that you need to take and the things you need to not do, I also want you to ask yourself what obstacles might get in my way from obtaining these results?

For each obstacle that you identify, that’s presenting as a roadblock on the roadmap. I love a good iteration, you guys, bear with me. But, for each obstacle that you identify, what you’re going to do is you’re going to come up with a strategy for that obstacle. You’re going to work it into the roadmap. So, you’re going to add that to the action plan for creating those results. I’m going to talk in the next episode about really cultivating the mindset for this as well. Still, the first step in reverse engineering your desired result is just coming up with the action plan.

Identify all of the action items that you need to have, that you need to put in place, that you need to follow in order to create your desired results. So, what does this look like in practice? Let’s use the romance category as an example here, alright? Maybe one of the things that you want is to establish a deeper relationship with your partner, and you want to spend more quality time with them. Alright?

What do you need to do in order to create that result? Maybe you need to put your phones away at the end of the night. Maybe you need to schedule a date night once a week? Maybe you need to go on vacation once a quarter, just the two of you. Right? Those might be some of the specific action items that you would build in the roadmap to those results.

Now, if you were to ask yourself what obstacles might prevent us from doing those things? One obstacle might be work, so you need to come up with a strategy of how you, maybe you make some decisions ahead of time on when you’ll check your phone at night. So you still have that carved-out time to spend with one another distraction-free. Maybe you need to find a sitter and a backup sitter in order for you to carve out and really protect and honor that date night every week.

For vacations, if you need someone to watch your kids, maybe you need to trade with a family member who also has young children. You each go on different weekends on kind of a getaway. So, we each agree to watch each other’s kids. Maybe that’s a conversation you need to have. Maybe you can ask your parents or someone, right?

Again, you just want to identify the obstacles that would prevent you from creating those desired results or from taking some of the actions that you’ve already identified. You want to build strategies to overcome those obstacles into the results roadmap. Another example of this would be if you were trying to vacation, and one of the obstacles is that work keeps getting in the way, right?

So, you’re going to come up with a strategy on how to overcome that. Maybe you team up with another one of your colleagues, and you agree to cover each other’s workflow and be responsive. Maybe you need to train someone on your team to be able to fill in for you in a really comprehensive way so that you don’t have to be on call, constantly checking your email, responding to email, and putting out “fires,” okay?

You’re just going to identify those obstacles and come up with a strategy for each one and include that in the action plan to reverse engineer those results. Once you’ve done this for each of the eight categories for career, finances, health, friends and family, romance, personal growth, fun and recreation, and your physical environment. Once you’ve gone through and created your roadmap and figured out exactly what steps you need to take to get you where you want to go in each one of those areas of your life, it’s time to take action. Right?

You’ve got the roadmap. You know what you need to do, so it’s time to get moving. It’s time to put the plans into place and to start following that roadmap. Now, as you hear me say that, you might find yourself starting to hesitate. You might find yourself thinking, yeah, Olivia, but that’s the hard part. And if that’s you, if you find yourself starting to slip into inaction, starting to indulge in the, I don’t knows again. Like, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to get started, I don’t know how to move forward.

If you find yourself starting to spin in a little bit of that paralysis. If after walking through that exercise and figuring out what you want and road mapping those results, you feel like, well, you know, I know what I need to do, but I’m just not doing it. If that’s you, I’m going to talk all about that in the next episode. I’m going to explain exactly why that happens, why we encounter situations where we know what we “need to do,” but we’re just not taking action.

I’m going to explain exactly why that is. What’s holding you back, what’s causing you to freeze up. There are only ever two problems. I’m going to explain them both. You’re going to gain a complete understanding of this habit of yours, about knowing what you need to do but not doing it. Then, I’m going to teach you how to work through it to create these results that you’ve identified that you wanted, okay. To create a life, you’re obsessed with. I’m going to teach you all of that. Alright, so head on over to the next episode, and we’re going to dive so much deeper into those two problems, into those two issues. I’m going to teach you how to overcome them.

Oh, and one more thing if you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, be sure to follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. If you haven’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know what you think about The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast.

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Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit thelessstressedlawyer.com.

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