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How Better Thoughts Lead to Better Results

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"I didn't realize there needed to be a shift in my thought process."

Some of you that have recently bought Progress Maps have taken me up on my offer for a free goal alignment session. It's where I offer customized recommendations to help you reach your goal faster, in a way that's more enjoyable. The most common response I get to those recommendations is "I hadn't thought of it that way!" said with a big smile.

When we shift the way we think about progress and take a new approach, we can get much better results. I'll share about some of the most common shifts and how it can help you with your goals around paying off debt, losing weight, and creating new habits. #progresscoaching

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We carry on! Because today we have some good stuff to talk about today, which includes how changing your thinking about your goals gives you a lot better results.

You may all be familiar with the Einstein quote, which I’m going to read here, “we can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” So true!

This actually reminds me of how Map Your Progress got started in the first place. Some of you may be familiar: I had 26 thousand dollars in credit card debt that I had been carrying for *years* with a lot of shame and just been putting it off, and in denial.

:40

So that thinking was certainly not going to get me out of it. It was sort of having a come-to-Jesus-talk with my CPA and then myself to say, “there’s gotta be a better way to do this. Let’s go the opposite direction!”

So instead of hiding it, let’s make it visible. That’s how I came to create this piece of art. Instead of it being shameful, I’m going to be proud of it. I’m going to take this on and be committed to myself, that some how, some way, I will figure it out and I will get it done.

Then I also wanted it to be fun! I wanted it to be pretty. Because credit card debt felt really ugly and terrible and not fun at all, actually. So that is how Progress Maps were born.

1:28

I want to share with you in a minute how you can take that same philosophy and apply to a few of the most common goals, which are: paying off debt, losing weight, and creating new habits. Those are some of the most popular uses for Progress Maps.

I wanted to just take a minute to give a shout-out to one of our fellow Mappers, her name is Vicki, and she was the inspiration for this particular chat. She had just posted a review the other day that I think really captures this.

Oh, hey, Susan! Awesome. She said “so excited to catch you live.” Yes! Me too, right?

OK, so this is what Vicki said: I’d been in debt for years. I had tried all sorts of tools, not realizing that there needed to be a shift in my thought process.

2:21

After purchasing a map, Amy reached out and we connected via a Goal Alignment chat. She helped me realign my goals and has been so supportive. Coloring in the swirls makes me feel empowered and motivated. Thank you.”

Yesssss! SO GOOD, Vicki! I love it. That’s exactly what we’re going for and I love that you brought up the point that we need to shift our thoughts about this. That is what we’re gonna talk about right now.

OK, so as I was alluding to in my story a second ago, we need to shift how we’re thinking about these goals. Many of you, when you come to use Progress Mapping—for something like paying off debt, losing weight, creating a new habit—usually this is not your first rodeo! It is not the first time that you have attempted to reach that goal, right?

3:12

So one of the things that we get to do is to let go of any—shit, basically—that we have about the past, about the previous attempts. Let go of any self-criticism that you should have known how to do it better, that you should have figured it out by now. We’re letting go of all that.

And forgiving yourself for not yet knowing how to figure it out. But being proud that you are trying something new. You’re taking action. You’re going about it in a way that is different, that you haven’t tried before.

So that’s part of getting excited about it. Letting go of any sort of upset that you have about this goal and then being excited and proud of yourself that you are doing something new.

3:57

This is P/S but absolutely true: I’ve been talking about how I recently started Barre classes. And they are so frickin’ hard. What I’ve started doing with myself, when I’m in the throes of something particularly painful, and I have to stop because it hurts so much.

I stop and as the rest of the class is going and the other women keep going. I could feel like, “Oh, I’m not doing well enough or whatever.” But what I’ve started doing is saying, to myself, “I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you.” And I just keep chanting that until I’m able to begin again.

4:38

I want you to experiment with that. It actually feels really good. So apply that same idea: When you’re looking at this goal and you’re feeling any uggghh about it, just tell yourself, “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of you. We’re doing it. We are taking the steps!” So get excited about it!

Then we need to break it down into steps that you can actually do. This is where the “next right step” comes in. The next right step is what each of these swirls on the Progress Maps represents. The next right step is always one that you *can* do. That’s how you know it’s a next right step.

If it’s something that—taking that action, that would be coloring in that swirl, whatever that action is—if it causes you anxiety.

5:25

If you feel like you need to do something else to be able to take that action, it is not your next right step. So we need to break it down into small pieces.

So for example, if you’re mapping debt, commonly people will say, “Oh, I have X number of dollars in debt…”

(What I was doing, P/S, was just thinking, “Should I use like an actual number and then, math is not my strong suit, so I’m just not gonna mention a number here. That’s what was going on in my head.)

So you have this total number of debt. Let’s say you get a 100-Swirl Progress Map. Here’s an example of a 100-Swirl Progress Map that’s actually been colored in. But let’s say you get one of those and you just divide your total debt by 100. It’s a really common thing that people do when they’re paying off debt.

6:16

Which may be totally fine—but if you divide your debt by the number of swirls on your map and each one of those swirls represents a number that makes you uncomfortable (and not uncomfortable in a good way, but it causes you anxiety or for you to doubt yourself) then we need to switch that up. What that means is simply that number, that value, is not your next right step.

So one of the things we can do is just adjust the values—how much it actually is. So you lower the amount that you’re mapping *per swirl* to a level that feels good for you. What’s cool about doing that, is that it also means you get to color in more swirls, faster. That is something I want to speak to, in terms of creating your momentum.

7:05

It’s really important that when you are mapping, you are feeling good about the process and you are starting to notice that you are growing, you’re making strides, you’re taking action—it’s really key. Because it starts to build upon itself.

And if your swirls—let’s say in the example of paying off the debt—if they’re too much and you’re going too slow, meaning—you’re not excited about it and you feel like it’s taking too long—it’s time to break it down into smaller pieces.

7:36

So one thing that that you can do, if you have a map that you’ve committed to, is you can get a download map and you can use that be even smaller bites. You can have that be a temporary map that you may stick on your refrigerator and be coloring in. Then you can just keep printing that out as sort of a way for you to feel the momentum and be coloring in more often. Then maybe when you complete your download map, then you’re coloring in one or more swirls on your bigger map that represents you’re bigger debt payoff goal.

8:17

Same idea also applies for weight loss, actually. We want to make sure that each swirl represents something that you feel that you *can* do. A common way people will map weight loss is that they will say, “I have 50 pounds that I want to lose, so I’m going to get a 50-Swirl map.” That makes perfect sense. And yet, that logic may or may not work for you.

It works for you if you feel excited about it, if you feel motivated, if you’re building that momentum and you’re not too worried about how human beings naturally fluctuate with their body weight. If that’s not an issue for you, GO for it. All day long.

8:57

But. If it something that stresses you out or the idea of marking yourself as having lost a pound and then your weight going up a pound and that being, like “Oh God! It’s not working!” Then I suggest that you make an adjustment.

I want you to be thinking about the things that you do, that you have control over, that support you losing weight.

So instead of mapping the pounds or kilos lost—or *only* mapping pounds or kilos lost—I want you to be mapping the things that you can do, your next right steps, toward that goal. Things like: when you make a better food choice, when you decide to take the stairs instead of the elevator, when you go for a walk with your dog.

9:49

When you make different decisions than you would normally make, toward things that support your weight loss goal, I want you to celebrate it. I want you to color in a swirl for that. Because the more times that you give yourself opportunities to win, the better off you are going to be.

This holds true for creating habits as well. Really important to be giving enough victories to be creating that momentum and feeling good about it. Because I promise you, there’s something magical that happens with the momentum, when it starts to (grow). When we don’t give ourselves enough wins, then we don’t grow in the same way.

10:25

OK, ooh! Great. Susan. You said, “Okay, I got a larger Progress Map for weight loss and it is overwhelming…so if I took a 30-Swirl map and colored in for every day I was 100% on program versus just recording pounds off, right?”

Yes! OK, great. So this is a really good example. You’ve got your larger Progress Map for the weight that you’re gonna let go of, right? Wonderful. Because you’re tracking *results* with that map. Then using the 30-Swirl map, you can be tracking your *actions.*

I love that you made a point of saying the “100%” on-program because this actually ties in really nicely to the next example that I’m going to share. And this idea of giving yourself more opportunities to win.

11:11

So the idea with losing weight or creating a habit is that you want to create as many opportunities for yourself to *feel* victorious. To feel proud and accomplished.

Because the majority of us—that’s the whole point that we’re going after goals in the first place.

Because we want to feel that way. We want to impress ourselves. So I want to share an example, another one of our fellow Mappers. Her name is Colleen.

She and I initially had a conversation, one of those Goal Alignment chats, which is what Vicki had referenced as well and what I’m going to tell you about in a minute. But Colleen and I had been in a Goal Alignment chat and she was sharing how there’s this massive test that she’s studying for. It’s for a professional certification. It’s a big deal.

12:04

She has literally taken months of her life to study for this test, right?

So she had a goal of studying X number of hours a day— I’m pretty sure it was 3 hours a day. She was finding herself getting stuck and not creating the momentum she wanted. So each of the swirls on her map represented those 3 hours a day that she was going to study.

What we talked about was coming up with ways for her to celebrate the things that she *did* do. Instead of using…I think what she was doing was purple if she had completed her 3 hours and then green if she did not. I was proud of her for mapping something that she didn’t do, because she was acknowledging and being conscious about it.

12:51

So then we talked about adding more colors in. She came up with a logic for herself that I want to share with you. She actually shared it on Facebook with her friends: A picture of her map. I’m gonna put the picture in the comments so you can see it.

13:09

What she said about it was, “the colors all represent different amounts of time I put into studying each day, since I decided to start using the map as a motivational tool. I’d been having a hard time just meeting my minimum goal of 3 hours studying done a day, and I needed help. Amy Jones, designer and founder of mapyourprogress.com (woot!) told me to find more ways to win—to look at it as more than purple and green, success and failure. And boy howdy—I love that expression, by the way—boy howdy, that suggestion has helped a lot and made this flower beautiful.”

What’s she’s referring to is her Vortex design, that she made look like a flower. It’s really pretty.

13:57

So what she had done is adding in colors, light green = no studying done at all, dark green = some studying, but less than 3 hours, purple = 3 hours of studying, pink = 4 hours of studying, orange = 5 hours and yellow was 6+ hours of studying. Wow! That’s a big day.

She said, “It’s so funny because this happened a few times where I’ll get into a zone and when I stop to check my stopwatch. It might be 4.5 hours, then I get excited because if I just study for another 30 minutes, I could color in orange, instead of leaving it at pink. It’s really amazing how satisfying it is to me.” Yesssss!

This is mapping at its best, guys. I love what she’s done in creating these different levels, these different colors so she gets to win.

14:48

She gets to color in every day and then she has stretch goals. So she’s studying for 4.5 hours, but wants to get to 5 so she can color it in with a different color! It’s a brilliant way to do it. It makes it more like a game.

It’s been very, very effective for Colleen. I can absolutely relate to that and I know a number of you have started using the maps in this way.

One thing I wanted to touch back on: I mentioned, in both cases, Vicki and Colleen, had done Goal Alignment chats with me. This is something that I started doing only fairly recently and I’m not sure exactly how much longer I’m going to be able to do it, but I really encourage you to take advantage of it while I’m doing it now.

15:33

This is something that I’m offering for people who *buy* Progress Maps. It’s an opportunity for you to tell me all about your goal and the details: what you’re thinking and how you’re going to approach it, what you think the swirls should mean, your next right steps. And it’s totally fine if you feel like, “I have no idea! I just bought the map, it seems like a cool idea, but I have no idea what’s going on.” Tell me that, too.

Because that allows me to come back to you with some customized recommendations, not unlike the ones I was sharing today, and any recommended resources or books or anything that I can give to support you on this journey. What’s so cool is to see the success of the people that *do* the Goal Alignment chats with me vs. those that don’t.

16:18

Right now, this is my *gift* to you. You don’t pay anything extra for this. It’s super valuable and I would love for you to take advantage of it.

For you new customers, new Mappers, when you buy a map, you will get a video message from me. That’s another thing, too. I actually record these video messages for *you,* one at a time. I really want you to feel welcomed, I want you to feel seen and heard and that’s why I do it. I don’t know if everybody realizes that! This is not a mass video.

But I send those to you, I invite you to tell me more about you and the details—and then I can respond to you. So if you have interest in a Goal Alignment chat, I want you to comment below and say, “chat” or “goal alignment” whatever! I will make sure that I message you and that we get it done.

17:16

OK, oh, Susan! Wonderful. Says, “I am all in! I am getting more maps this week because I need to declutter/organize my house, weight loss/activity mapping and then my business mapping. LOL, I NEED YOU.” Ha!

That’s awesome. That’s a whole bunch of things! A whole bunch of mapping in there. I love it. And I’m very excited to have a Goal Alignment chat with you, Susan, I hope. I hope you’re onboard, since you said you’re all in.

Yeah! So guys, take advantage of that! It’s really—it’s awesome. I know I’m biased because it’s me and it’s my thing, but really. Go take advantage of it.

17:51

OK, Susan, there was one last thing that I promised I would share because you can recently bought a map that was a “fancy print.” You were saying how you were wanting to eventually frame it. I wanted to offer a tip: If you purchase a Progress Map on that “fancy print” paper—it’s beautiful, thick, museum-quality paper—and you intend to frame it one day, what you can do is you can get a frame now and you can put the Progress Map on the *outside* of the glass as a way to post it and have it easily accessible.

The caveat to that is that you want to put something between the glass and the “fancy print” just to make sure that the ink doesn’t bleed through. Depending on what kind of pens you use, it may or may not bleed through.

18:48

But as a precaution, just put some extra layers of paper, maybe the little layer of cardboard that sometimes comes with those frames. Then you can have it framed, easily up on your wall. You can be coloring it in until you’re done.

Once it’s full color, you can put it underneath the glass and *bask* in your glory, feeling proud and accomplished!

OK, wonderful! Ooh, Christina: I love your questions. It makes me so happy. Christina says, “Hi!! I’m a health care practitioner and would love to incorporate these with each session I have with clients. I’ve tried different methods but I keep coming back to being drawn to your Progress Maps!” Aw, Christina, I love that! Awesome.

19:32

When you buy a map, then we get to a Goal Alignment session, k? You buy a map, I follow up with an email and an opportunity for you to tell me more details about what you do, as a health care practitioner and what kind of actions you want your clients to be doing. Then we can come up with a much more specific plan for you using these. And I think you’re going to find a lot of success with that. So, yayyyy!

Yay for you guys being here. Yay for questions. You guys, I feel like we’re growing up! We’re doing it. Our Facebook Live chatting is evolving. That’s very exciting.

20:11

OK, cool. Oh, Susan! Another great question: “What kind of pens should I use?” I was just telling someone the other day how, when I first started this, before I even created a website, I was so convinced that you guys were gonna want to know what kind of pens to use and it was going to be a really big deal, that I spent $400 in pens. Yeah. The local art store loves me—great customer. $400, in pens! Three different kinds of pens, because I wanted to test them, I wanted to make color charts for you. Lord. Yeah, turns out I didn’t need to do that.

But there were some brands that I really like and on the website, on mapyourprogress.com it’s mapyourprogress.com/recommended and I’’ll make sure to put that link in this comment, in the chat below.

21:02

That goes to a little Amazon store that I’ve created with the links to the brands of the pens, which for some reason, I cannot remember to save my life, right now.

But there’s another one too that I haven’t added. This is a relatively new one that my friend Calla had turned me onto.  They’re called Koi. Which is K-O-I. And they’re beautiful. I love them because they don’t bleed through. So this actually—Koi might be a really good choice for you, for being able to put your “fancy print” map on the glass, while you’re coloring it. So, Koi—great pens. I think they are a little bit more, but they’re beautiful and really a delight to use.

21:43

OK! Fantastic, guys! Alright, we’re good! Are we good? Does anybody have any more questions that you want answered? If you want to shout out.

Another things that’s cool, that’s new that’s happening is that I’m testing out a new tool that automatically takes these Facebook Live chats and then uploads them to my channel on YouTube. So if you’re not always on Facebook Live or you want to make sure that you get to see all of them, then what you can do is subscribe to my YouTube channel, which I will post the link here, so you can see that.

Then you’ll get those in your email box.

22:26

Right now, we’re doing 3 a week because I have so much stuff that I want to give you and I needed a way to be able to give it to you. So that’s why we’re doing 3 a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday at noon Pacific.

And then: What’s even cooler, is that this tool will also post the audio of this chat to my Soundcloud page. So I’m gonna put the Soundcloud link there as well because if you were someone who wants to be able to listen, like while you drive, maybe, or if you’re like a podcast person, you can do that through Soundcloud.

Look at us! Right? We’re getting so technologically savvy. I want to give special thanks to Molly Mahoney for turning me on to that tool.

23:11

I’ve even looking at what it would take to get the audios on iTunes, in a podcast form. Because I want you guys to have this info, I want you to be supported, I want you to be excited, feeling victorious and proud and accomplished.

That is the plan! Just going to double-check. Ooh, another question. Susan you are on fire, I love it. “Do you too team trainings? I have a team of 187 women building their business and this would be great.” Amazing! I would love to talk to you about that. Yes. Let’s talk more about that because I’d love to be able to support you in getting these women onboard and using the Progress Maps in their business. I love that idea.

23:54

And if you’re watching and also want to do something similar, comment below and I will follow up with you and we’ll absolutely have a chat about it. Much like, I believe it’s Christina that was mentioning how she wants to use these with her clients in her health care practice, let’s absolutely have a conversation and come up with something that would be a great fit for what it is that you’re doing.

Alright, guys! That is itttt! Thank you so much for being with me. Thank you for your questions. And I’m excited. There’s good things ahead for all of us. I love you being here.

24:27

The last thing I’m gonna say is that we have Facebook groups as well to have a place to go and share our victories and trade ideas and things that have been working for us and encourage one another. It’s really cool to see the community starting to kind of develop little roots.

So we’ve got three of them. You are welcome to join one, two, three, whatever. Whatever would support you in your Progress Mapping. One is focused on wealth—so anything related to paying off debt, saving money, anything financial.

Then the second one is wellness—that could be anything around losing weight, fitness-goals, training for a marathon, anything around your body. It could be mindfulness, creating habits.

25:18

And the the last one is for work. That could be your business. It could be also just the work that you’re doing in the world that you don’t get paid to do—like your creativity, your writing, your paintings, your photography. Anything that you do, that you create in the world, that is a wonderful space to be able to share that and get encouragement.

OK? Alrighhhhtt. I’m so excited. Yes. I really am. This is not a strong close, but it’s just because I’m genuinely really excited to be with you all and support you in getting where it is you want to go. Alright? So I will go ahead and see you, hopefully, very soon. Either here, live, or you can catch up on  YouTube or Soundcloud. Alright, my Dears! Be well. I will see you soon. 

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