Tag Archives: goals

Finding and Sustaining Flow: Listen to The Incrementalist, Episode 5

How do you make the impossible possible? How do you tackle goals that seem impossible? When you get into the flow state, it’s much easier to learn, grow, create, turn your ideas into action, and bring your dreams into reality.

To move in the desired direction, you need more flow in your life, says Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, renowned psychologist and author of the groundbreaking book, Flow. He defines flow as the optimal experience in which you’re so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. You enjoy it for its own sake and will keep at it even with great cost. Flow is a key ingredient of a meaningful and happy life. 

But amped up flow doesn’t lead to ongoing success. While flow is necessary for peak performance, it’s not enough to sustain it, says Steven Kotler. He’s the author of many neuroscience books, including The Art of Impossible. He’s a peak performance expert and Executive Director of Flow Research Collective. 

In this episode, I review the 5 intrinsic motivators, the 3 tiers of goal-setting, and the 6 levels of grit, and how they all come together to trigger flow.  I also discuss the 9 elements of flow, which means your biology is working for you to perform at your peak. 

You will learn how the flow cycle leads to reliable and repeatable results. Through compound interest, the minutes, hours, days, months and years of focus and effort add up to make the impossible possible.

Resources cited: 

  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  • Steven Kotler, The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer 


Dyan Williams

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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps


Goals are Great. But Systems are Even Better.

January is a popular time to aim for radical changes and major shifts in life. Is your lifestyle, health, relationships, work, business or side project in a sad state? Or have you been on an upward trajectory?

The start of the year is when many of us get a burst of energy to set big, bold and risky goals. Perhaps you have plans to achieve yours by next month, within 90 days, or by the end of this year.

Life though does not always turn out according to plan. The year 2020 was a fierce reminder of this fact. There’s nothing wrong with goals. Specific goals are great when they help you move in the right direction.

But even better is a system to pivot, reset, upgrade, and make consistent progress on the things that really matter. When key goals are scrapped or missed, you can always revisit them when you have a system to get you back on track.

At the start of 2020, I had tentative plans to launch a podcast. As a solo immigration lawyer and a productivity coach, I was conflicted on whether to start one podcast or two. Over time, this project moved to the backburner while COVID-19, civil unrest, school closures, the November Elections, and other changes were at front and center.

During my annual review in December 2020, I reflected on the wins, the successes, the doubts, and the setbacks. Were there goals I had dropped and wanted to pick up again?

One major project I decided to return to was the podcast launch. I had more than enough topics to talk about, on either immigration or productivity. Years of running more than one blog led to a system for idea generation and content creation.

I already had the tools to start a podcast. They included the microphone, headphones, computer, and audio editing software we used to make the last video for my law firm’s YouTube channel.

Still, podcasting was a big leap for me. I thought, “I’m a writer, not a podcaster.” Never mind that you can develop skills through deliberate practice and deep study.  Never mind that I had spoken at various events and conferences on productivity, mindfulness, U.S. immigration and legal ethics issues.

There were podcast hosting choices and other technical mumbo jumbo to work through to start a podcast. By the end of December, the audio recording and sound editing of the first episodes — for two different podcasts — were done. Small, daily actions in short bursts made this possible.

Although I met the goals of launching The Incrementalist (a productivity podcast) and The Legal Immigrant (a U.S. immigration podcast) , it took systems to start them. And it will take systems to keep each show going. There’s a content strategy to release new episodes over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I invite you to listen to episode 1 (introduction) in The Incrementalist podcast. Click HERE for the show’s website. Or find it on podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Listen Notes and via RSS feed.

If you like the content, please share it with others, leave a 5-star review, and subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes.

And if you’d like to check out my other podcast, The Legal Immigrant, click HERE for the show’s website.

Your downloads, shares and subscriptions mean a lot! To keep you listening, I will aim to add value through these shows. Podcasts give you a convenient way to get insights and information when you’re on the go or want to learn with audio.

Thank you for your support and audience.

All the best in 2021,

Dyan Williams

Author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps