A lot of my clients come to me wanting to get better at following through and being consistent. It’s an area so many people struggle with, so I’m sure, if you’re listening, you can relate. Now, there is one simple solution: you plan what you’re going to do, and you just do it, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. While that is a simple solution, implementing it isn’t exactly easy.
I’ve been thinking of an easier-to-digest way to explain how to build the skillset of following through and becoming someone who honors the commitments they make consistently, and I’m sharing it with you in this episode.
Tune in this week to discover how to follow through and be consistent. I’m sharing the emotional experience that makes following through a challenge for so many people, how I uncovered my own reasons for not following through, and a simple reframe for you that will make following through and being consistent exponentially easier.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- An exchange I had with a client recently that set me on the path of bringing you an easier way to follow through and be consistent.
- Why so many people (including myself for many years) find following through so difficult.
- How to see what you’re telling yourself that’s currently stopping you from being consistent and following through every time.
- What changes when you become a consistent person who follows through and keeps their commitments.
- What I’ve done to reverse-engineer my process for becoming consistent and how to repeat this process with ease.
- Where to look to see the ways that you already follow through on your commitments.
- How to become someone who follows through and develop trust in yourself to keep your commitments every time.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating and review to let me know and help others find The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to follow, rate, and review
- If you want more information about the Less Stressed Lawyer mastermind, visit my LinkedIn, my Instagram, or email me!
- Ep #3: Creating a Life You’re Obsessed With: Taking Action
- Ep #4: Comfort Entitlement
- Ep #14: The Labels You Assign
Full Episode Transcript:
You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 15. Today, we’re talking all about Following Through and Being Consistent. 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.
Hey there. How’s it going? I hope this episode finds you well.
I just had a former client of mine mention that she listened to last week’s episode while she went on her walk. That I went, basically, along for her walk with her, while she was in the park with her dog.
It got me thinking that I get to come along with all of you, however, and whenever, or wherever you’re listening to this episode. So, whether you’re on a walk, or driving to work, whatever it is, I’m glad I get to come along with you for a half an hour or so.
It’s just so fun for me to think about; instead of Where’s Waldo? it’s like Where’s Olivia? all over the country, or maybe even the world. I know I have some international listeners that tune in, as well. So, you guys should post, and share, and tag me on social media. If you’d do that, because I’d love to see what you’re doing while you’re listening.
Speaking of listeners, before I dive into today’s topic, which I’m so excited to talk to you about, I want to say thank you and shout out one of the listeners who took the time to leave me an amazing review. Today, I want to spotlight Sarah Thomas’s review. In it she said. “She (Olivia) is a wealth of knowledge and knows exactly how to explain her wisdom to her listeners. She makes it make sense.”
Sara, I love it. That’s absolutely my goal to make it make sense. So, I just wanted to say thank you. I’m so appreciative. You took the time to share your thoughts with me, and that you’re really enjoying the podcast.
If you’re listening and you’re loving the podcast, do me a favor… Quick rule of three, for all the lawyers who like rules of three. Number one, subscribe, if you haven’t already. That’s easy-peasy, go ahead and do that.
Number two, I would love it if you left me a rating and review. Tell me what you think. Tell me what’s been resonating with you, some takeaways that you’ve had, what have you been getting out of listening.
And, number three, do me a favor and share this episode, or another episode that you’ve loved, with a friend. Chances are, if you’re a lawyer who’s listening, you have some lawyer friends in your network, and they might benefit if you share this knowledge with them. So, I would greatly appreciate that, if you did it. Thank you so much, in advance.
Now without further ado, let’s talk about today’s topic. Today we’re talking about following through and being consistent. And, let me just say, this is a really popular topic that I coach on. A lot of my clients struggle with being consistent and following through. It comes up repetitively throughout my week, during different coaching sessions with my clients. People tend to really have a hard time with this concept. So, I’m really excited to talk about it today, because I think it’s going to help a lot of people.
Now, I’m going to dive in deep and teach you everything I know about following through. Before I give you some guidance on it, though, I want to give you some backstory. You guys know, I’ve said this already, I love a good backstory.
Today’s episode is actually inspired by a recent exchange I had with a client. We were talking about following through with scheduling, specifically time entry, but also a couple other things that we’ve been working on together as far as planning the day and managing time. This client really struggles with procrastination. As we were having this conversation, we were talking about following through and how you follow through.
The simple, unsexy answer of how do you follow through, is you plan what you’re going to do, and then when it comes time to do it, you just do it. Regardless of whether you feel like it or not, regardless of whether it’s comfortable, you just follow through. But during this exchange, she asked me, “But how? Break it down for me more simply, more specifically, more like step-by-step instructions.”
So, I’ve been thinking about a better way to explain following through, and how you build the skill set of following through, and becoming someone who honors the commitments they make; both to other people and to yourself. In fact, if I’m being honest, since I’ve had this exchange with this client, I’ve been obsessing over this question.
Really thinking about it, kind of nonstop, outside of my coaching sessions and the marketing work I do for my business. But when I haven’t been working in my business, I’ve been thinking about this question and going through all the different ways that I can break it down, simplify it, and explain it in an easier way. Because I want to make it more digestible, so we can make building the skill set of following through foolproof. Okay?
Now, confession time, I haven’t always been good at this myself. If I’m being really honest, I was always way better at following through with commitments I made to other people, versus the ones that I made to myself. And I think that’s true for a lot of my clients, and probably a lot of the people listening to this episode.
Then, as I started to encounter overwhelm, and burnout, in one of my past jobs, I struggled more and more with following through. Regardless of whether it was for myself or for commitments that I had made to other people, I just struggled with it. I suffered more and more with discomfort avoidance and comfort entitlement. And if those two concepts aren’t super familiar to you go back and listen to episode four. I also referenced it a little bit in episode three, as well.
Now, since this time that I’ve struggled with discomfort avoidance and comfort entitlement, while I was going through this overwhelm and burnout stage, and struggling with following through on the commitments that I made, a lot’s changed since then.
Through coaching and coming to understand why I wasn’t following through, which the reasons always boil down to essentially two things: The negative thoughts that I was thinking about the task at hand, about the commitment I had made. And the negative emotions that I was unwilling to feel that I associated with following through and completing that task.
Those two things, once I understood that those were the reasons I wasn’t following through, I then had the awareness that I needed, that I could then leverage to make a change, to really improve in this area, to become someone who follows through. So slowly, but surely, I did that. I became someone who follows through and honors their commitments. And it’s consistent; both with the commitments that I make to others, but even more importantly, with the commitments that I make to myself. I’m really good at honoring them now.
And that progress, that transformation, it really struck me and became apparent to me the other day, while I was driving. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on the podcast, but I tend to drive in complete silence, which people kind of think I’m crazy for doing. But it’s because it gives me time to think about things like this.
Just like we get our best ideas in the shower, it’s because we’re not consuming something during that time. We give our brain a chance to process. So, I do the exact same thing typically. When I drive now, I drive in complete silence, so I can think about different questions and come up with some enlightened concept, or idea, or solution to a problem I’m encountering.
It hit me the other day, while I was driving, that I didn’t always identify or describe myself as someone who followed through on the commitments that they made. But I definitely describe myself and identify in that way now. And I was like, “Wow, a lot has changed over a pretty short amount of time.” I mean, that’s subjective, of course, but to become someone who struggles with it, and then feels like they don’t struggle with following through at all, over the course of a couple years of working on this, I feel like that’s really substantial, powerful progress.
Now, it can happen a lot faster than that, for sure, doesn’t have to take that long by any means. But I still think that’s pretty meaningful progress to go from someone who doesn’t identify that way to someone who does. So, I got to thinking if I’ve made that much progress, if I’ve gone from not the complete other end of the spectrum, but closer towards that side of not following through on the commitments that I make, to ending up on the other side of the spectrum, as identifying as someone who does follow through, then that much change is possible.
And, there’s probably a process that I followed whether it seems intuitive, or it was unconscious, that I’d be able to go through and work backwards. Ask myself; what steps, specifically, did I take so that I can reverse engineer how I got from one end of the spectrum to the other, so that I could make it a repeatable process that you can follow. So that’s what I’ve done.
That’s what I’m going to share with you today; a repeatable process that you can implement to become someone who follows through and shows up consistently.
Okay, step one, is that you need to commit to becoming a person who’s committed to following through. So, how do you do this? First, you need to figure out your “why.” Why is it important for you to become someone who follows through? To be someone who is consistent in the action that they take? I want you to be really specific here. You can pause this podcast episode it helps you think through that question. But definitely take a second to answer it.
What would be better about your life if you were able to follow through? What’s the value of following through and being consistent? What’s the impact that that would have? You have to want to follow through, not just for the result that it gets you, but also because you want to follow through for the sake of following through.
Because you value being a person who sticks to their commitments, who doesn’t flake, who doesn’t back out, who doesn’t quit before they get started. Following through is a way that you establish, and build, and maintain trust with yourself.
So, ask yourself, why is it important for you to be able to trust yourself? to have that relationship with yourself? You want to get really clear on your “why.” Once you get clear on it, then I want you to decide. Decide to commit to being committed. Decide that you want to commit to building the skill set of following through and being consistent.
This isn’t always going to be easy or comfortable as you start to build this skill set. So, you have to start from a place of commitment; decide to commit to this process. Now, once you’ve done that, that’s where the fun starts.
Okay, now for step two, we need to build your belief in your ability to follow through. So, I want you again, to take a second and ask yourself, what are you currently telling yourself about your ability to follow through? And you can think back to last week’s episode of the podcast, where I talked about the labels that you assign yourself.
Think for a moment. What labels have you assigned yourself when it comes to following through? Do you tell yourself that you’re bad at it? Do you tell yourself that you’re inconsistent? That you don’t follow through? Or, that you never follow through? That you’re flaky? That you’re unreliable? What labels are you assigning to yourself when it comes to the topic of following through?
Now, check in with yourself. If it’s negative, that mindset, that self-concept isn’t going to serve you or help you course-correct. It’s not going to get you to where you want to go, which is to become someone who really excels at following through. You can’t create that positive result from that negative thought process, from that negative mindset, right?
So, you have to start by telling yourself a different story, about yourself. Now, I don’t want you to lie, right? That’s not going to get you anywhere good, because you have to actually believe the story that you’re telling yourself. So, instead of lying and saying that you’re great at it, if you really aren’t, I want you to just be more accurate, become more of that truth teller that I talked about in the last episode.
It probably isn’t true that you’re “bad at following through, all of the time,” the truth probably falls somewhere closer to the middle. Sometimes you follow through, and sometimes you don’t, that’s probably a little bit more accurate. So, I want you to start searching for the evidence to support a different belief, a more positive belief, a more neutral belief that sometimes or frequently you do follow through.
Take an inventory; what are all the ways that you are currently following through? Find those examples in your life and use them to support your belief that you can follow through, that you’re capable of it, that you already do it some of the time. That’s going to get you moving in the right direction.
Maybe you can try on the thought, “If I can follow through on my commitments that I make to other people, I can learn to apply that same skill set to following through on the commitments I make to myself.” That might be a starting point for you; have a different way to think about following through and your ability to do it.
Or, you can try on the thought, “I’m learning to follow through. I’m becoming someone who follows through.” You want to be working your way across this thought spectrum to: I can follow through, I will follow through, I do follow through.
Some of those thoughts might be a little bit of a stretch for you. If they are. that’s okay. Pick the one that feels like the best fit. That’s the most positive on the spectrum. That you can actually latch on to. That you already have some belief in, and start there. That’s going to be better than the really negative thoughts of, “I never follow through. I’m terrible at following through.” You don’t want that to be the story that you’re telling yourself about your ability to follow through. Okay?
Now, once you’ve got the mindset, and you’ve started to build belief in your ability to follow through, we want to start practicing and building the skill set of following through. So, that brings me to step three, I want you to pick one task to practice building this skill set. Now, I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough, I said one task. When I say one, I mean one. Pick one habit at a time to focus on building.
Here’s the problem with committing to more than one at the same time. You overwhelm yourself. It’s too much change all at once. It’s too much to keep track of. It’s too many different things going on. So, you overwhelm yourself, and then you don’t follow through because there’s too many things that you need to follow through on. It requires too much focus, too much mental energy, too much stamina, too much discipline, and then you drop the ball, and then you start to feel discouraged, and you beat yourself up.
You start saying mean things to yourself. You start that negative self-talk in your head, and now, you’ve created more evidence that you’re bad at following through. So, what do you do? When you’re struggling, you use this against yourself, you get discouraged, and you quit. So, more is not better here. I can’t emphasize that enough. Pick one task to practice following through with.
And, once you’ve mastered the first one, then you can add another task, and make that a habit as well. You’re constantly just focusing on one task or habit at a time, practicing constraint this way. I promise you, constraint is key here, it will help you get so much further, so much faster.
Now, I have a couple more suggestions to guide you, as you go about picking this one task or habit to build. I want you to pick something small, that’s a really minimal lift, as far as effort’s concerned. Or, pick something with a minimum baseline. I’ll explain that concept, in a second.
Your perfectionism is going to want to make an appearance here, and have you aim really high, when it comes to picking this one thing. Alright? Be onto yourself. You’re probably going to slip into the habit of being overly optimistic about what you can commit to, and what you can accomplish. I want you to resist the temptation to indulge in that kind of perfectionism here.
Keep it small and simple to start. Like I said, if it’s too heavy of a lift, you’re not going to stick to it., Then you’re going to beat yourself up with that failure. I hate that word. But that’s probably what you’ll think of if you don’t follow through. And then you’re going to use that failure to feel terrible about yourself, and then you’re going to quit. So don’t do that.
When it comes to a minimum baseline, if you’re doing something consistently, and you could do it for five minutes or sixty minutes, something like that, you want to go with an amount that seems like a no-brainer, like an easy win.
So, I’m going to use the example of walking. If you wanted to build the habit of walking every day or working out every day, what’s an amount of time that you would absolutely, no matter what, be able to force yourself to do it? Maybe it’s just walking for five minutes, or ten minutes. Or, maybe it’s doing twenty squats.
It’s not about getting the return on your investment and seeing physical results. Again, this is about the commitment to following through, that’s what we’re focused on here. It’s about building trust with yourself. So, it’s much more important to pick something that you can stick to, that will be easy for you to follow through with.
Rather than picking something that’s a heavier lift, effort, attention span wise, time commitment wise. That’s going to be so much easier for you to make excuses about in that moment: That it’s too hard to do; that you don’t have the time; that you’re too tired; you don’t feel like it. All of those excuses. We want to pick a goal, a habit to build where it’s really hard to negotiate with yourself in that way.
So, a minimum baseline is the bare minimum that you’ll absolutely do. No matter whether you feel like it, whether you don’t, you’ll be able to follow through. It’s a small enough, a light enough lift, that you won’t have much resistance to it.
I also want to talk about frequency. When you’re picking your one thing, I want it to be something that you do every day, or almost every day, or it can be multiple times today. But I want it to be something where you can get a lot of reps in. If it’s only once a week, it’s going to be a hard to practice building the skill set of following through, because you just don’t get enough at bats.
So, we want something with a pretty high frequency. The more you practice this habit, the more chances you have to do it and to follow through, the faster it will become a habit and you’ll be able to move on to something else, because you’ve mastered this one. It also gives you a lot of practice at becoming someone who follows through and is consistent. So, pick something with a pretty high frequency.
I wanted to list out a couple examples for you, just to get those gears turning. A really good example of this that I’ve been working on with a couple of my clients right now, is entering your time daily. That’s such a pain point for so many people that I work with. If you struggle with that, that’s a great thing to pick.
You can also do working out. I have a couple of clients right now, that have a minimum baseline of an amount of time that they’ll walk each day; it’s like ten minutes, fifteen minutes, every single day. So again, it’s getting that frequency in. And, it’s not that much time to where you’ll force yourself to put your tennis shoes on, and get out of your house, and go for a walk.
Doing a load of laundry every day would be a great example of this. Billing a certain number of hours. That’s another thing that I’m working on with a couple of clients. Setting a minimum baseline that, no matter what, you will hit this number working on that every day.
You could pick the amount of water that you drink in a day, if you’re trying to hydrate more than you typically do. That’s a great daily habit to build. I have another client who just picked washing her face at night as part of her evening routine.
One of the ones that I’m working on right now, is always having a clean sink. I live alone, and that’s tended to be, sort of, a bad habit of mine. I’ll just set something down and then I’ll come back to it later. So, I’m working on building the habit of having a clean sink.
It can be the number of social media posts that you publish each week. Picking a number, a minimum baseline, that you won’t let it fall underneath and staying consistent with that habit. It can be smaller things like, I’ve talked about before in a previous episode, I think with Making Decisions Ahead of Time and Practicing Constraint. I put my car keys in the same place, every time I come home. I always plug my cell phone in, every single night when I go to bed. I always create calendar events as soon as the need arises.
Those are some small, little hacks that I’ve also used to practice the art of following through, build self-trust, and establish habits with myself. Those are really small, light lifts that allow me to build trust without requiring a ton of energy, a ton of time. So, start small. Those are some examples. I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with examples yourself, but I wanted to offer you some.
Now, once you’ve picked the habit that you’re going to work on building, in order to increase your capability of following through, we move to step four. And that’s where you’re going to create a new reward system for yourself. If you know you’re going to have a hard time following through, I want to offer you a habit building hack.
Technically, step four’s optional. You don’t have to do this, but a lot of my clients like this system. So, you decide what your one thing is, you decide how frequently you’re going to do it, what constitutes as a win or a rep of you getting that follow through checkmark, and you want to get a jar, that’s glass, see-through, and then get marbles or glass beads, you can use the ones that they used to sell at Pier One Imports. You can also get them at Amazon; I have a lot of clients that order them from there.
And. every time that you follow through and practice the habit, you’ve decided ahead of time you would, you add a marble to the jar. Now, you want to keep this jar somewhere visible, and it needs to be clear, because you want to see the progress you make. You need to start associating dopamine and a reward system with doing the task, instead of avoiding the task.
Right now, the reward you’re receiving, comes from when you avoid following through and doing something else that’s more instantly gratifying. Right? Instead of entering your time, you scroll Instagram. Or, you check your email, and that’s more of an instant gratification reward. Instead of doing laundry, you watch Netflix. So, you get that instant gratification reward.
You have to start associating the reward with doing the task, instead of with not doing the task. So, by using the jar and the glass beads or the marbles, and adding one, each time you follow through, what you begin to do is that you rewire your brain by replacing the default avoidance reward system with the follow through reward system.
The more you follow through, the more marbles you add. As they add up over time, that starts to get really exciting. Your brain is going to see that amount of marbles or beads grow and grow and grow, and it’s going to release dopamine every single time you add a marble to the jar. It’ll become a treat, a reward, every time that you add one.
So essentially, what you’re doing is gamifying the process of following through. Like I said, that’s optional, you don’t have to do it. But I want you to really be honest with yourself. If you’re someone who really, really struggles with following through and staying committed to the commitments that you make, you might need to use this habit building hack. Gamify it; replace that reward system that comes from your default avoidance, with the following through reward system, okay?
Now, once you’ve picked the one habit that you’re going to focus on building, and really following through with, and you’ve created that new reward system, you’ve set that up, you’ve put it in place, step five is my favorite, as always. It’s taking action, where you gag and go through the discomfort of completing the task. You do it, even when you don’t feel like it. And you honor the commitment.
You’ve heard me talk about this a bunch before. You probably won’t feel like doing it in the moment. That default, primitive part of your brain is going to get really loud when it comes time to follow through, but your work becomes taking action, gagging, and going through that discomfort, and following through and completing the task. Regardless of how you feel doing it.
After some time goes by, of picking this one thing, practicing following through, you may not do this perfectly. Especially at first; that’s okay. Step six, we want to evaluate the action that you take, or the action that you end up not taking if you aren’t consistent, and you don’t follow through. So, I’d like you to do this on a weekly basis.
Each week, just go through and answer those three questions. What worked when it comes to this habit? What didn’t work? And what would you do differently? As it relates to that what didn’t work section of your evaluation, remember, there’s only really ever two problems: A negative thought you’re thinking about following through, about doing the task, about practicing that habit. Or, a negative feeling that you associate with doing it, with following through, that you’re unwilling to feel.
So, as you evaluate, you want to be on the lookout for these negative thoughts and negative feelings. Now, with your negative thoughts, they might look something like, “I don’t want to do this right now,” when you’re thinking about practicing the habit and following through. You might think it’s hard, and that’s going to really drive up the resistance you have to doing the task.
You might think the lie, “I’ll do it later. It doesn’t matter if I do it right now.” Or, you might think, “I don’t have the time right now,” so then you bypass it, you don’t follow through and stick to the commitment. You might be thinking that you’ve already screwed up. You’ve done it imperfectly so what’s the point of doing it now?
Those might be some of the common thoughts that really get in the way, and prevent you from sticking with the commitment you’ve made and following through. There might be other ones, too. You just want to be aware of those common ones, that I just mentioned. Then, go and be on the lookout for other problem thoughts that get in your way.
Once you identify them, you’re going to swap them out with something else; with a thought that serves you more. So, ask yourself, “What would I need to think about doing this task, in order to actually follow through and do it? Maybe go back to your “why.”
Why do you want to be someone that’s committed? What do you get if you stick with it and follow through? Why do you want to build trust with yourself? What can you think about actually just doing the task, that makes it easier and reduces some of your resistance to doing it?
Now, when it comes to negative feelings, remember, you want to name them specifically. What’s the one-word emotion that you’ll be forced to feel, if you force yourself to follow through? It might be bothered, it might be annoyed, it might be tired. Maybe, challenged, or pressured if you feel scarce when it comes to time. Or, overwhelmed or worried that you’re not tending to something else. Or, guilty, if you’re putting yourself before the needs of others.
So, whatever your negative emotion is, that’s coming up for you, I want you to name it specifically. And then, decide to feel it on purpose, and take action, and follow through, anyways. Now, the discomfort that you experience may be different depending on the type of task, the frequency, and how long it takes to complete. The discomfort that you associate with following through on one off tasks, might be a little bit different than with repetitive commitments, or long-term projects.
You might have to feel more bored, or more bothered, or unenthused, when it comes to those repetitive commitments, versus those one-off tasks. Same thing is true with long term projects. I started quite a few businesses in my 20’s, I guess I’ve always been entrepreneurial, and I wouldn’t stick with those long-term commitments and projects. Because after the initial excitement wears off, then you just have to rely on discipline, right? Despite the discomfort that comes from taking that consistent action and following through.
So, in the beginning, I would be excited and enthusiastic and energized. I would feel committed, and motivated, and determined. And then, I would start taking action. And as time would pass, and I wouldn’t get immediate results, which is probably what I was expecting to get back then, I’d start to get a little confused, and maybe a little frustrated that I wasn’t getting the results that I expected to get.
And then, maybe I’d get a little worried or doubtful, because I’d start entertaining the idea that maybe this wouldn’t work, maybe it was a bad idea. And then, I would start showing up less and less and less. I’d start becoming more inconsistent, so then, of course, I wasn’t getting any better results. In fact, I was making it harder to generate a positive result.
Then, I would start feeling discouraged and inadequate and disappointed. From there, I quickly would slip into feeling defeated. And right about the time that defeat would enter the picture, I would quit and jump to something else that felt more exciting. And then, I’d start that process over again.
So, those are some of the negative emotions that you might have to be willing to feel on purpose, in order to follow through on some of those repetitive commitments, or those long-term projects. When it comes to some of those one-off tasks. Those feelings might be a little different. It might be that annoyed, bothered, tired, things like that.
Evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and what will you do differently in the week moving forward, when it comes to practicing this habit and following through. Identify the new thoughts that you need to think. Make a plan to feel those negative feelings.
And then, the third thing you want to do with this evaluation, when you’re thinking about what you’ll do differently, revise your plan, and implement some hacks. There may be some quick action items that you can put into your plan to make it easier for you to follow through.
I just did this with a client when it comes to time entry. We did an evaluation, and we saw some things that she was already doing that really worked. So, we thought how can we do more of the things that are already working? More shortcuts for time entry descriptions, was one of the things that we noticed.
Were there more areas that she could delegate time entry to her support staff? A couple of different things that would come up throughout the week, that maybe they could enter for her, so she didn’t have to do it all herself.
Then we also identified what wasn’t working, and we solve for that. She wasn’t getting all of her time entries, for calendar events, into her time entry program.
So, we made that part of a process; going through her emails, first, because she has automatic prompts to enter time whenever she sends an email. So, make sure all her emails are in first. Then, go through and make sure, all the appointments on her calendar, she’s captured that time. Then, anything else that wasn’t on her calendar, she captures that time.
Also, going through a process of making sure all of the time is captured first, and then going in and entering the descriptions. So, we workshopped that, through completing an evaluation together. You can do that, too.
Now, you should use this evaluation process to get better and better and better at following through. It should become easier over time, in part because you get the reward of following through. When I say easier though, that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be comfortable. It might be uncomfortable, even after some time has passed.
Let’s talk about time passing. I want you to be the judge of this, yourself. Only you are going to notice it, but what’s enough time to practice a habit before you move on and add in another one? It’s when the habit that you’re working on following through with, feels dialed in. You’re going to be the judge of that; of what constitutes feeling dialed in.
I know that sounds a little arbitrary, but you have to trust yourself to be honest, and only move on to something else, if it feels really solid with what you’re already doing. If it feels shaky, I want you to slow down. This is one of the things that has allowed me to be so consistent with the action that I take in my business.
I practiced building one habit at a time, and I didn’t add anything else until everything else felt dialed in. Okay? I started with social media posts; I created a minimum baseline of four times a week. I knew I could stick to that, it’s not every day. Every day would be ideal, but that’s a lot of content; so, I picked four.
I only did that action until I was very consistent with it, took me several months for that to felt really dialed in. I was hitting that target a lot earlier, but I wanted it to feel like a no-brainer, to feel really dialed in. About six months went by before I added anything else.
Then, I decided to add a monthly webinar. And for about a year, I only did four social media posts per week, and a monthly webinar. Finally, that felt really dialed in and easy, so, I added a weekly email, that I sent out on Fridays. For about another eight months, I did the four social media posts, the webinar each month, and the weekly email. I didn’t add anything else.
When that felt dialed in, I added this podcast. I’m going to be really transparent with you guys, the podcast takes a decent chunk of my time. So, things are still a little clunky over here, as I figure out how to work this time commitment into my schedule.
I’ve also been traveling a decent amount for work. lately. Between travel and the addition of this new commitment, the wheels have been a little wobbly, as far as following through goes. So, I know that just signals to me, it is not time to add anything new, until everything else that I’m already doing, feels dialed in.
I’ve missed a couple Friday emails because my time allocation is still a little wobbly. So, I’m working through those growing pains. That’s not a reason for me to quit doing emails on Friday, or to quit doing this podcast, I just need to work out the clunky parts, and figure out a system that works for me.
There’s going to be some trial and error, but I will not move on until it feels dialed in. I want that to be the standard for you. Alright, those are the steps to practice becoming a person who follows through. Practice being someone that shows up consistently.
I have some other tips, I want to talk about common obstacles that you may encounter, when it comes to building the skill set of following through and being consistent. But I’m going to do that in the next episode. I’m going to make this a two-part series.
So, this is part one. I want you to tune in next week and we’ll cover those other tips; The Common Obstacles and How To Overcome Them. Just because it’s a little in-depth, and I want to make sure I get into the nitty-gritty, we really unpack all of it together, rather than rushing through it for the sake of time.
Okay. So, pick your one thing. Create that reward system. Build the mindset that I talked about in the beginning. Make sure you commit to being committed. And then, start practicing. You can start today. Pick one thing, have it be small. Make that frequency pretty frequent, so you get those reps in. Make sure it’s a light lift, as far as energy, time, commitment, all of that. If you need to set a minimum baseline, go ahead and do that. But pick your one thing and start practicing following through.
If it doesn’t go perfectly, the next episode will talk about the common obstacles you might face, and how to overcome them, and any other tips that I have to help you become a master at following through and being consistent.
All right, I’ll talk to you in the next episode. Have a beautiful week.
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 www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.
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