3 challenges to hitting goals, how to hit your goals, Be a Better Lawyer Podcast, Legal Podcast, Dina Cataldo, Master Coach for Lawyers, Law Life Coach, Lawyer Business Coach, Best Coach for Lawyers

#291: 3 Challenges Hitting Goals (and Their Fixes)

This episode is for the dreamers.

The lawyers who want to go after big goals.

I've seen three challenges that lawyers face when trying to achieve goals, and today you're going to learn how to overcome each of them.

You'll learn exactly what each of these challenges are and how to apply the fix to them:

πŸ‘‰ Goal Avoidance,

πŸ‘‰ Goal Blindness, and

πŸ‘‰ Goal Rushing

I've gone through each of these phases, so I am intimately familiar with them.

You'll discover:

βœ… the signs that you're in one of these challenging phases

βœ… how to know which phase you're in

βœ… the details about my special Half-Day Event happening this Saturday Listen in to get inspiration to achieve your goals no matter what challenges you may face along the way.

Listen in to get inspiration to achieve your goals no matter what challenges you may face along the way.




Loving the podcast? Share the love!

Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.

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3 Challenges to Hitting Goals (and Their Fixes!)

Hello, how are you doing today? Okay, look, this is the third time I've recorded this podcast this afternoon, <laugh>. I dunno what it's, I am really hoping third time is the charm. So just know if you gotta repeat things sometimes that it's okay, it'll get done. But I hope you had a great week last week and I'm here today to talk to you about goal setting and specifically three challenges I see and I've experienced to hitting goals. And I wanna give you some fixes for them. And the reason I'm talking to you about this today is 'cause I wanna tell you about my amazing event happening this Saturday. So this Saturday I'm doing my first ever half day live event, all about setting your goals for 2024. And during this event, I'm gonna be talking to law firm owners. I'm gonna be talking to partners who wanna maybe grow their book of business.

I'm talking to you associates who maybe wanna make partner and to have some, some things you wanna do to set into motion to hit your goals. I'm talking to you lawyers who are building businesses on the side. I want you to have all the tools that you need in order to create an easier 2024 to hit your goals. Now, this is why this is so near and dear to my heart is 'cause for a long time I was super overwhelmed. I would kill myself working on my business while I was also working as a lawyer. And I didn't realize I didn't have the tools that I'm gonna be sharing with you. I didn't have any of these tools and I didn't realize how I was pressuring myself in a way that was blocking myself from hitting these goals. And I'm gonna talk to you about these three challenges today.

And they're challenges that I saw come up for me and they might be coming up for you. But this event is designed to really be the be all, end all of goal setting. I've created this amazing 45 page book that really walks you through evaluating what has been going on in the past what you did last year the mindset that you had last year, and then the mindset that's gonna take you into the new year to help you support you to hit your goals. We're gonna walk through what it looks like to set a healthy goal. Okay? There's a difference between just setting a goal randomly and setting a goal that is healthy. And we're also going to be talking about how you can really strategize so that you can hit the goal. I think that's what's missing from so many of the programs I've, I've seen is like just the strategy and really being able to think through the processes of what it's going to take for you to hit that goal.

And then I'm also gonna be walking you through how you can implement and how you can evaluate throughout the year so that you can keep pivoting as you need to so that you can achieve your goal. These are all essential things that we don't often talk about. And usually it's just like, okay, I'm gonna set this goal and then I'm gonna, you know, just go for it. I'm gonna work really hard and I'm gonna do it. And that was my mindset for a long time is the harder I work, the easier it's gonna be for me to hit this goal, the more likelihood I'm gonna have of hitting this goal. But when I learned the skills that I'm gonna be sharing on Saturday, everything changed for me. I was able to go into a month and not hit my goal and not beat myself up and do an evaluation and then make shifts for the next month so I could keep moving forward.

And that was totally new for me. And once I was able to start implementing some of the processes I'm gonna be talking about and really processing emotions and all that good stuff, that really helped me build resilience, it helped me really start to be stronger emotionally. And it helped me become a better problem solver because there's an inverse relationship between our stress levels and our ability to problem solve. So if we're in high stress mode, if we're feeling a lot of overwhelm or anxiety, our problem solving abilities are gonna be super low. But if we are calm, if we are thoughtful, if we are peaceful with ourselves, our problem solving ability is gonna be super high. So just know that if you're feeling a lot of stress and anxiety, that that's normal and there's a fix for it, <laugh>. So I really wanna invite you to join me for this event.

If you're listening to this episode when it's live, which is Thursday morning, then you can go to dina cataldo.com/ 2024 and you can register for this live event. You're gonna get the book, you're gonna get all that good stuff. All the details are at that link. And if you are listening to this podcast afterwards, still go to that link because I'm gonna have something there for you that you can sign up for. I haven't decided exactly what it's gonna look like, but it is going to be related to the topic that we're talking about today. And it's gonna have everything that we're talking about that I'm talking about for this event. So go to dina cataldo.com/ 2024 and register now. Okay, so let's talk about goal setting and specifically the challenges around achieving goals. So there's three big problems, three big challenges that I see.

There's goal avoidance, which is when you avoid setting a goal because it just feels so bad if you don't hit the goal, right? You just, you just think, oh my gosh, what's the point of setting a goal if I'm not gonna do the work and I'm just gonna feel horrible about it? Or you set a goal but you give up partway through. So it might be November 15th and you just, you know, throw up your hands and you're like, well, forget it. There's no way I'm gonna hit my goal this year. There's no way I'm gonna hit my goal this month. So I'll start over on January. That's goal avoidance. Goal blindness is when you are so determined to hit a goal that you pressure yourself and you overwork yourself and you do it at an expense to yourself, at an expense to the people around you.

And ultimately an expense to the health of your practice. Goal rushing is when you have a goal, but you don't set out a strategic plan in advance to hit it. And you're constantly moving, moving, moving, busy, busy, busy, but you're not actually thinking about what needs to change. You're not actually slowing down to evaluate what's working, what's not working, and what will work in the future. So now that you've heard those three goal avoidance, goal blindness and gold rushing, which one or more do you fall under? I have fallen under all of them at one point or another. So I want you to know there's no shame if you are in any of these categories. It's, it's not a big deal. You can change. I am living proof of that and I'm gonna give you some thoughts around these different categories so you can begin unraveling what's going on with you and start moving forward.

And I want to invite you really, really, really wanna invite you to this event because it is going to help you move through each and every one of these. I really thought about all of the things that were lacking from goal setting programs that I have been to. And I really wanted this to be something that gave you exactly what you needed and walked you into 2024, feeling confident about yourself, feeling confident that you had a plan, giving yourself a reference guide so that you could just go to the reference guide and say, oh yeah, that's where I'm at, at. And if, if you didn't do something one month, it wasn't a big deal, you could just go back in and you can like refresh and you can remotivate yourself and you can move forward. Okay? Like I wanted to really give you the support and this something that I needed was to really build in that support for myself.

And I wanted to give you the mindset that you need so that you can move forward. 'cause That hitting a goal is all mindset. It is just a hundred percent, well, it's 90% mindset and 10% action, right? Like, you've gotta take action, you've gotta do it, but if your mind isn't right, you're not gonna take action. So I walk you through the mindset piece of it. And then I also would've really liked in these, in the goal setting programs that I've done to really help me think about what I needed to think about before I even set a goal. Because so often we'll set a goal that works against us rather than for us. And in the event, I'm gonna walk you through how to tell the difference for yourself. And what I really wanted for any program that I do, and you know, moving forward this, I'm doing this all the time now, is that I wanted to have an outline for what I needed to think about before I even made a plan.

So I actually laid out everything you need to think about before you start strategizing for the new year because it doesn't make sense not to use information you have in the past available to you so that you can hit a goal, not to know what resources you have available so that you can hit your next goal. We don't think about those things and then we make our lives so much harder. So I wanna make your life easier. They're all included. So now that we have these three categories, I want to share with you what you can do about them. So let's talk about goal avoidance, right? You're not setting a goal 'cause it feels bad if you don't hit it or you give up partway towards your goal. So if this is you right now, your current fix is to avoid setting a goal or giving up on it, right?

That's how you, you deal with it. Now, I've had lawyers come to me who are maybe growing, you know, by 10 k, 20 KA year here and there and they figure that if they just keep working really hard that they're gonna keep growing and eventually have the nest egg that they want for their future. But what I've noticed, and what I noticed with me too, I've observed it in my behaviors in the past, is that when we are not growing at the rate that we want to, it's because we have our foot on the break. And if you're in this goal avoidance, you have your foot on the brake right now and it feels really hard 'cause you've got your foot on the accelerator, you've got your foot on the brake, so you're revving really hard, you're working really hard, but you've got like this foot on the brake that keeps pulling you back.

So you'll work really hard and then you'll be like, well, forget it. I'm not gonna do anything for a week on my, on my business. You work really hard and then you're like, oh, forget it. Those two weeks, that's a total loss, right? So you notice this pattern and this pattern is what's preventing you from moving forward. Part of the problem here is not setting a goal in the first place, right? If we don't have a goal, then we, we are just working really hard and we don't really know what we're working towards or why we're working towards it. But another aspect of this is we set a goal and then we just feel bad because we haven't hit it yet. We tell ourselves that we should have hit it by now. If we were gonna hit it by now, we would've hit it by now.

And we're basically being ourselves up along the way to the goal. So this is really painful. And of course we're not going to wanna keep taking action towards the goal if we have all of this mindset junk happening. And when I, I started the first two times I recorded this podcast, I was thinking about Sarah Blakely and Sarah Blakely tells the story about how when she would come home from school, her dad would ask her like, tell me about your failures today. And he was asking her that to help her build resilience so that if she had a failure, it was okay. In fact, it was encouraged that she had failures. 'cause If you look at our society, we're so risk averse, we're so scared that we're gonna fall on our face, that someone's gonna judge us, that someone's not gonna like us, that a client's gonna be mad at us.

We're so risk averse that we don't risk for success. We don't take chances on ourself. We don't do the things that we know logically will help us because we're afraid of what the consequences might be. And what if the consequences are that you hit your goal and you are proud of yourself. What if the consequences are is that you don't hit your goal, but you're so resilient because every time you didn't hit a goal, you were still proud of yourself, you were still able to motivate yourself to keep taking action. You were able to evaluate what wasn't working so that you could make improvements in the future. I mean, if you look at Sarah Blakely's story, and if you're not familiar with her, she's the founder of Spanx. She made a multi multi multimillion dollar company. It might even have been a billion company, I don't know.

But she sold this company recently. She's got, she's, she just like created a business that was beautiful that she was able to build you know, relationships with people. She was able to hire people that she really loved and she could give them elaborate gifts and all of that good stuff for being such a, a key part of her success. But she couldn't do that if she didn't have a goal, right? If she didn't have a vision for what her company was gonna look like. And part of that vision includes failures. Like you can't build a company without failures, right? She's had umpteen failures and it doesn't matter. Like it didn't mean anything about her. She didn't look at, at those failures and say, oh, that means I'm not successful that I'm, I should stop that. I shouldn't, I shouldn't do an evaluation, right? She looked at it and just said, oh, that's, that's just how it is.

That's actually how I tell I'm having a good day is if I have a failure 'cause it's something I can learn from. That was a gift her dad gave her of resilience. And so one of the things with goal setting is it's an evolutionary tool. It helps us build resilience. It helps us grow ourselves. I firmly believe that we are on this planet to evolve ourselves and to help others evolve too. To help other people in the way that they are meant to evolve. 'cause We're not all meant to evolve in the same way. So if we don't show up for ourselves, if we don't evolve ourselves, we cannot help the people that we are meant to be helping. And if you ignore a goal or if you don't set a goal, then you are, you're stealing that opportunity from yourself. You're stealing the opportunity to really have and experience that growth for yourself and for other people.

And one of the things that I think so fun about setting a goal and why I think it's essential too, is that it is your opportunity to become creative, to become a problem solver in your business. And one of the things I'll hear from partners is that they're so sad about the state of their associates. They don't know how to problem solve. That's 'cause they're in a high stress mode and they don't know how to come down from it so that they can problem solve properly when you become a partner, or at least when my clients become a partner, they can see the difference in the way they problem solve. Like if you listen to Jackie's episode last week, she talks about that like how she recognized that that problem solving ability really shifted for her when she started doing this work on herself, when she started evolving herself.

So know that this is available to you, that this is something you can do too. And when you become resilient, you start becoming creative. And so you can begin solving problems in your practice and you can begin creating a life that you want. One that has the people in it, you want the people in your business, the lifestyle you want, the vacations you want, you get to have all of that, but you can't have it if you don't plan for it. And that's what goal setting's all about. Alright, so the second challenge I see to lawyers hitting their goals is goal blindness. So when you are so determined to hit a goal that you pressure yourself or overwork yourself to hit it, no matter what the cost to yourself or the people around you, you'll know you are in goal blindness. When you feel anxious, snap at the people around you, or maybe you stay up late or at the office late, overworking yourself to hit your goals.

I was like that at one point and it did not actually help me hit my goals faster. It actually depleted me. I was exhausted. And so I had, I would have long periods where I didn't wanna do any work. So that is something to really watch out for. I realized I was also making me hit that goal mean something about me. So if I hit it, that meant I was successful, that I was smart, that I was capable, well, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I was giving that goal, I was making that goal, do a lot of heavy lifting for my self-esteem. And if I had known that that was what I was doing, I i, I wouldn't have gone in that direction. If I had recognized that the goal doesn't actually mean anything about me, then it would've been easier for me to let go of that habit of overworking.

But it took me some time. Like I had to really recognize that, oh, like if I, if I make more money, it doesn't actually mean that I'm a better human being. Like if I, if I have a certain title behind my name, that doesn't actually mean that I'm worthy of more respect. Like <laugh>, none of that. None of that is true. So we get a lot of feedback from society that tells us that those things are what we should be looking for. But we have to disattach ourselves from those expectations of society and just start recognizing like, oh, that's just what other people believe. What do I believe? Like, just start questioning everything. What do you believe that it means for you to hit a goal? Does it mean you're a better person? Does it mean that you are capable of doing bigger and better things?

Or does it just mean, oh, I hit the goal good for me? Look at that. That's so amazing. I'm so proud of myself. And if you don't hit the goal, what does it mean about you? Can you still be proud of yourself even if you don't hit the goal? That's such a challenge for most of us, right? It's like, oh, the goal really doesn't mean I'm a better person if I don't hit the goal. It doesn't mean I'm lazy. It doesn't mean I'm not a hard worker. It doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm doing. It just means that I can go back and evaluate what worked and what didn't work and what do I wanna do differently the next time. That's it. So when I started releasing all of this junk mindset that I had, I started making a plan that included abundant support for myself and my nervous system.

‘Cause I knew that overworking, like I felt highly charged. I was really anxious, I was really stressed out and I needed to really create some calm. So part of that was mindset work that I did. Part of it was really looking at my calendar and cutting things out. I started really constraining different actions that I was taking in my business to the most important ones. And in the event, I'm gonna tell you how to do this, you're gonna know exactly how to prioritize them. But I started really thinking strategically better and better because I was calming my nervous system and then I could focus on what was working and leave behind everything that wasn't. So when you're in this, this in this particular challenge, this goal blindness, it's important to really think about your quality of life and how you wanna set yourself up for success.

And so that could include supporting yourself with different habits. Like maybe they're exercise habits, maybe they're just quiet time habits in the morning. Maybe it's a habit of setting, you know I'm out of the office by five o'clock, period. Like, that's just the way it is. Like creating these supportive environments for yourself so that you can create the life that you want, create the habits that you want. This is so important 'cause the people that you are around, the environments that you are in, the space that you give yourself are really going to make an impact. It could just be like cutting out the news. I've totally stopped watching the news. Like if I do watch it or I read a headline, I'm just like, oh, that's why I don't read the news. I got it right? So I I remove myself from that 'cause I know it's not healthy for my nervous system and I can't do anything about it.

Anyway, alright, so that brings me to the third challenge lawyers face when going after goals, which is goal rushing. So this is when you have a goal, but you don't set out a strategic plan in advance to hit it. So this has some parallels with goal blindness and that you're pressuring yourself, but essentially you're making a goal, right? You're, you're declaring a goal, but you're not giving yourself a solid foundation to achieve it. It's like hoping and wishing and praying. It's really a nice thought, but without a plan of action, it's not gonna be super helpful. So what you're gonna wanna do is create a plan of action that makes sense for you and your needs. So if you are a lawyer who is currently working full-time as a lawyer and you wanna build a business, you've gotta think about what you need to create a successful environment for yourself.

You've gotta be thinking about what is it that you are truly capable of? Like, are you giving yourself enough sleep? Are you giving yourself enough exercise? Are you eating healthy foods? I mean, it's that basic, right? We've gotta be thinking about that. Same thing if you're building your law practice, you still wanna think about all of the things, but if you're building a business on top of your law practice, you have even fewer hours for that. So you want to really think strategically about what's important to you. Are there boards you need to get off of? Are there plans you just need to say no to? Like, that is you creating a supportive environment for yourself. And so I'm gonna talk more about this in the event, but I wanna give you some more some more ideas for your plan to help you no matter where you are right now in your journey.

So one, I want you to just do an evaluation of last year. I want you to do the numbers, check the numbers, what worked, what didn't work, what will you do differently next year? And then I want you to really like ask yourself what's, what do I wanna achieve next year? What would stretch me but not break me? It's not like a super easy goal, but it's a goal that would challenge me, help me evolve, help me build resilience. Like what will that goal look like? And it, I like to pick a number because the numbers never lie. You, you can get mind drama about the numbers, but the numbers will never lie to you about your progress. And so you can always go back to your evaluations and you can take a look at them and you will find out exactly what the numbers were.

And then I want you to just make a hypothesis. How do you think you're going to achieve that goal next year? And when you make that hypothesis, include a, a supportive foundation for yourself. A foundation where you're taking care of yourself just as much as you're taking care of your business, maybe even more. You <laugh>, right? Because you can't help your business if you can't have that support available if you're not in a healthy state of mind. Okay? So let's do a quick recap. If you are stuck in goal avoidance, it's time to set your goal. But be kind to yourself. Give yourself the support you need so you can keep moving towards your goal. If you don't hit a monthly revenue target, it's okay. Evaluate and shake it off. If you are stuck in goal blindness, now is the time to recognize if you're working from pressure, dread, or shame or maybe all three.

And whether or not you hit your goal, it has nothing to do with you as a human. It's just a way for you to evaluate what your next plan of action is. If you are stuck in goal rushing, make sure you think through a strategic plan of action for the new year. There is no rush, my friend. Make a plan that supports you throughout the year. This is a marathon, it is not a sprint. You wanna give yourself the energy that you need to move your plan forward. And if you wanna set yourself up in the new year, go to this event, go to dina cataldo.com/ 2024, sign up. It is going to blow your mind what you're going to be getting when you go to that page. You're gonna get everything you need to set you yourself up for success, including my amazing book.

I'm so proud of myself for this book. I have to brag on it 'cause it is just so amazing. It really does walk you step by step. It really is gonna be your companion through 2024. That is going to be your reference guide. It's gonna be what you return to again and again to help you see where you are, make the tweaks you wanna make, and then move yourself forward. And if you're loving the podcast and you want personalized help with everything that we're talking about, taking your life and your law practice to the next level, it's time to book a strategy session with me. Go to dina cataldo.com/strategy session and you and I will talk together to see if we're a good fit to work together in my program. All right my friend, I hope you have a wonderful week and I hope to see you Saturday. Bye.


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