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Hello my Dears! Happy Friday!
Excited to be with you all today and chatting about making progress more fun and even a little bit sexy. I had to admit, originally when I said the word “sexy” I wasn’t literally meaning sexy, but then I remembered something that actually *is* a little bit of a truly sexy way to use mapping and I’m gonna tell you about that a little later.
But first I just wanted to share the inspiration for this week’s chat. It actually started with a conversation that I had with another Mapper last week and she and I were talking about a financial goal that she had: She was looking to save up enough living expenses for three months, which is kind of an amazing thing that honestly a lot of us haven’t even known what that’s like!
But she’s really committed to taking charge of her finances and being a grown-ass woman who takes care of herself—those are all wonderful things. So anyhow, she and I were talking about ways that she could create a momentum and sustain that toward her financial goals—any of us who have a financial goal, especially: Ways to have it go better or go faster are usually welcome.
So that’s what I wanted to share about—the conversation that I had with her—because when we were done, I asked her what the most useful thing was. She said, “thanks for helping me see how I could incorporate mapping my financial goal more into my everyday life, and have it be something that’s fun and a little bit sexy.” Meaning: Interesting! Meaning: A little bit exciting, even. Something that you are excited about doing.
So whatever your goal is, be it financial or maybe you have some goal related to your physical fitness or movement, well-being, creating a new habit—whatever your goal is—I implore you: Please, do not make it a grind! Do not put yourself in a position where you are just pushing through and doing what you *should* be doing, and doing it the *right way,* whatever that is.
I really encourage you, as I would encourage any of my clients. I’m a Progress Coach and some of you I work with privately. This is a conversation that I have with everyone that I work with. It’s: How can we make the pursuit of your goal, whatever it is that you’re going after, be more enjoyable in the process?
Couple reasons for that: One, we’re human creatures and so we tend to respond better to things that we enjoy. We tend to be able to sustain things that are pleasurable, rather than when we’re operating from fear or trying to force ourselves to go against our nature.
So beyond it just being more likely to go better—you’re here anyhow! You’re gonna be in that process, putting in time, taking action—so why not enjoy it? Why delay gratification and say, “Oh, I’m gonna be happy when I reach my goal.” Why not have a good time while you are actually doing it?
A lot of us like games. And I encourage you to consider coming up with ways to—as you’re taking action towards your goal—coming up with ways for it to be a little bit more like a game. That’s where the Progress Maps can actually be kind of handy. You can come up with different meanings for each of the swirls. Each swirl of course represents an action that you take toward your goal.
So in the conversation that I was having this Mapper about saving up money for her three months of living expenses, we were talking about opportunities for her to have fun with it and come up with little challenges for herself or ways to win, just through the course of her day. One of the things we came up with—pardon, *she* had come up with and we just discussed it—was her rewarding herself when she put something on her wish list, instead of impulsively buying it.
I don’t know if anyone’s like me, but I go to Target and it’s like, “Oh, I had no idea how much I need hand sanitizer,” you know? Or whatever random things when you’re just cruising around with your cart. I’ll be on Amazon and then I’ll remember that I don’t have refills for my pens. Whatever. These are not the sexiest examples of impulse buys. Nonetheless!
When you notice yourself about to spend money on something that is not supporting your goal, say, financial goal, then it’s an opportunity for you to make that into a game. You get a swirl for that. She’d get a swirl for reading books that she already has versus purchasing new ones. She would get a swirl if she only bought coffee twice that week.
You can come up with any number of ways to use your creativity and think of things that would be interesting or motivating for you. I encourage you to—I know this term is very cliche—but to think outside the box and the expected methods of going toward a goal. Come up with things that you actually enjoy!
This reminds me of another lens to look through for this whole going-after-your-goal-process. That is through the human light types! For any of you who are like, “Human what?!” Human Light Types are something that I’ve created. You can find them on mapyourprogress.com as well as a quiz to help you figure out what your light type is. The Light Types are a series of distinctions that I came up with that are essentially a tool to help us get clear on what is most meaningful and motivating to each one of us.
We all have the opportunity to contribute, to make a difference, to do something meaningful with our life. I refer to that as bringing “light” into the world. I believe that humans, at our best, we can be sources of light in the world and be constructive and creative and giving things to others that benefit them. So, a lot of different ways to do that.
There are nine different Human Light Types and they represent different ways of making a difference, different ways of bringing light into the world. So what does that have to do with making progress more fun and a little bit sexier? It comes down to what would be most satisfying and rewarding an experience for you.
So let’s say you have this financial goal and you want to take actions are a bit more interesting or meaningful to you. You could consider what your Light Type is and then have those particular actions be aligned with that. So for example: I am a Lighthouse. That is my Human Light Type. What that means is that I am most satisfied and happiest when I’m sharing my life in service of other people.
So when I take my experiences, from having weathered storms or various challenges and things, and I use them to connect with other people, to reach out and provide hope and inspiration and guidance—and say, “Hey, I know it’s hard. I’ve been there. And this is what I did. Let me show you.” If you imagine the visual of a lighthouse, beaming out into a dark ocean, providing some navigation, some comfort, some inspiration—that is what I am happiest doing as a Human Lighthouse.
Which is why I created this business, which I’m a Progress Coach, which is why everything is based off my own experience and conversations that I’ve had with other people. So for me, if I’m going after a financial goal, I want to share that goal.
If you are a Lighthouse as well, I would encourage you to look for ways that each of the “next right steps” you take are aligned with sharing your story with others. It could be as simple as using Facebook, honestly. Just sharing, “Hey, this is my goal, this is what I’m doing. I’m trying this and let me report back and tell you what’s going on. Let me write up a little blog post about it. Let me put up something on Instagram.” Documenting and sharing what you’ve learned is usually like catnip for Lighthouses.
So let me use another example: Lamp. Lamps. Lamplights. Human Lamps: They are very much about their family and the people that belong to them. They are happiest and most satisfied when they are contributing directly to their family, spending time with them, doing something with them. So I would encourage any Lamps out there, when you’re going after your goal, look for ways that your “next right steps” can be about your family. Whether you’re literally spending time together.
For a Lamplight, for example, if you have a financial goal, instead of, say going out and spending $100 on dinner and movies, to plan a night at home with the family. Maybe you pitch a tent in the living room, have popcorn, and watch an old movie and reminisce on times that you’ve had as a family or when the kids were younger. That’s gonna be an action step that would save you spending that money, that’s gonna be much more meaningful and gratifying to you. So there are different ways that we can use what is meaningful to us to our advantage when we’re going after these goals.
One more other thing that I want you to consider, when looking at making the pursuit of your goals a little bit more interesting, is consider using treats. “Treats” is a term that Gretchen Rubin uses in her amazing book called, Better Than Before. I am very much a fan of that book, I nerd out pretty hard about it! And she gives some really great advice on how to come up with habits that work for you. There’s a lot of really useful distinctions in there and she goes through a whole bunch of stuff.
The first time that I read that book, actually I started to get kind of cranky, because I felt like Gretchen was calling me out on all of my shit and like, “Errehhhhkay, listen: You’re shining a light on every single one of my coping mechanisms and ways that I procrastinate or fool myself into thinking that what I’m doing is somehow not undermining my goals. And that sucks!”
So it wasn’t until we got to the chapter on treats that I was like, “Alright, Gretchen, I forgive you and OK, I might onboard with what you’re doing.” Treats are things that you give yourself to reward the action that you’ve taken. I would hope that coloring in a swirl after taking a “next right step” is a little bit of a treat for you! Admittedly, it’s probably not the most satisfying—it’s not like getting really good chocolate kind of treatiness—and if you have a goal that’s around food, then really good chocolate is probably a good treat option for you.
But looking at things that you can do for yourself to give yourself a treat for having taken an action, for having a conscious decision to do something different, that is in support of your goal, I highly recommend.
One of my treats for myself is getting People magazine. People magazine, for whatever reason is just kind of like a not-so-guilty pleasure. So I will reward myself for getting a whole bunch of actions done and getting myself a People magazine at the end of the week. It could be anything that for you feels great. So looking for ways that you can treat yourself, having taken the action or *while* you are taking the action.
I’ll give another example: This happened this past Summer. For the first time, it occurred to me that the pile of personal administrative that I had on my desk, where I had to call the insurance company and I think there might have been something tax-related, like seriously the boring, mundane, adulty stuff that precious few of us actually like dealing with.
I decided: You know what? I’m gonna go to the beach. I’m gonna make the the phone calls that I need to make—which will likely result with me being on hold for probably 30+ minutes, at least—I’m gonna go make those phone calls sitting in my favorite beach chair down by the water. Which is exactly what I did. And I’m like, “THIS IS BRILLIANT. This is such a good idea!”
So for me, it was a way of taking something that was an action that needed to be taken, that was in support of other things that I was doing—sorry guys, my nose is ITCHAYYY—and making it a much more interesting, more pleasurable experience. Looking for ways to be creative and combing things that you don’t really love so much, but are important actions to be taken, to reach your goal, with things that you love much more or that are more interesting. Or maybe taking and making unexpected combinations. K?
So one of the other things that had come up in this conversation that I was talking about earlier, with this Mapper who’s saving three months of living expenses, where we were looking at those different actions that she could take, that would free up more money to go toward her savings goal.
Most of have patterns that we get into, ways of spending our money, and we have behaviors that we’re used to doing, and that’s our sort of financial normal. For those of you that have financial goals, often times you’re trying to disrupt that normal pattern and change it in such a way that it allows for you to put more cash toward your goal, more quickly.
So we were looking at: OK, what are other things that she can be doing on a day-to-day basis, besides putting money, when it comes into her account, sending that off—or excuse me—putting it into the savings account right way. There are some kind of obvious, best-practices, rules, things that you’ve probably heard before when it comes to finances and so forth.
But there’s also opportunities to try some other things out. And again: Try and make it a little bit a of a game for yourself. So I’ve come up with something that I just launched yesterday, it’s called The 10-Swirl Experiment: Money Edition because it is ten swirls that are of course about money and more specifically, spending less of it and allowing for more of it to go toward your financial goals, be it saving or paying off debt—whatever those are for you. There are different behaviors that you can take, that again, support your “savings-minded” lifestyle, if you will.
So in addition to this idea of say, instead of impulsively buying something, putting it on your wish list or maybe you add it to a Pinterest board, there are some other ideas that I’d come up with, that I wanted to share. So if you go to mapyourprogress.com, I have just reordered things on the site, so you’ll notice up at the main navigation, there’s a place that says, “Free Gifts.” If you click on that, then you will see the 10-Swirl Experiment: Money Edition. The idea is to experiment with these ten different next right steps that you can take. I outline them in the guide. So you go get it and download it to see all the details.
But I go into a bit of detail about each of these ten things that you can try. Bit of an instruction on how to do that, what the victory is, and I include a 10-Swirl Heart map so that you can practice coloring in the swirls and using that as a visual that you could put up on the wall, put up by your desk, put up on the refrigerator—wherever—where you can see that visual of those ten swirls. You can see what each of the swirls is, the “next right step” that it represents, and then experiment with it!
Try it. Make a game of it! I hope that when you look at those ten things you might be inspired to try some others, you know? In the doing of them, you may be inspired to try some other idea. And by all means: Go do that and then tell me about it! Because the more of these ideas that we have to share with each other, the better!
So that is our newest experiment, newest download that you can get at mapyourprogress.com in the “Free Gifts” section. I’m excited to see what you guys do with that! I’d mentioned at the top that when I’d initially been describing this as “fun, a little bit sexier” I wasn’t necessarily being like literally sexier. However: In a conversation I was having today, I was reminded of this thing that I did last year for Valentine’s Day and lo and behold, it’s February 10th, so this is right in time for Valentine’s Day 2017.
That is a similar idea actually to what we’re talking about today. A year ago, my friend Mariah and I, she has an amazing company called The Fantasy Box, go check it out, it’s really interesting and she does very, very cool stuff. So anyhow, she and I were talking about ways to use the maps to help couples who wanted to consciously bring more romance and a sense of feeling loved into their relationship.
So I was having a conversation today, like an hour ago, with a Mapper who had bought a Progress Map for him and his wife. It’s a Valentine’s Day gift. And the intention is that each of those swirls are gonna represent an action that either one of them takes consciously to show the other person love.
So each of them will have a color. They will choose to do something loving for one another, which could of course, involve physical touch and could be intimate in that way, and then they color in the swirl. I love that because it ties into what Mariah and I did last year. That was looking at: How can you use the Progress Maps to intentionally take more acts of love to strength the bond that you have with your partner or improve the quality of your relationship and—map your romance!
So at mapyourprogress.com—if you go mapyourprogress.com/romance—you will get to the blog that Mariah and I did. We did a great little video there. And then you also will be able to download the PDF that I created which has, I guess about twenty or twenty-five different ideas, “next right steps,” fun and creative, interesting things that you could use to map your romance.
One of them—this is just off the top of my head—that I loved, because one of my favorite love languages, this is—I don’t know if I just said that—but these twenty to twenty-five things were inspired in part by Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. If you are not familiar, go to 5lovelanguages.com and take the quiz. It’s super fascinating.
But it’s this idea that we all experience love in different ways and just as we experience what success feels like or is meaningful in different ways, we also experience love. So one of the love languages, of course, physical touch, and this is common especially for men. It’s usually one of their primary love languages. So they need to be touched to feel loved, right?
So anyhow—the idea is to consider your “next right steps” and actions based on what those love languages are. For me, my primary love language is quality time and one of the ideas that I had suggested with map your romance is to have a slow dance in the kitchen. I don’t know if I saw this in a commercial when I was young or a movie, but I have this thing about just it being a random Monday night, where you’ve done dinner, you’re doing the dishes and it’s like, “whatever” and then one of you turns on music and maybe you put the lights low, even go by the light of the refrigerator door, and just have a slow dance. I even made you guys a playlist on Spotify because I love making playlists and that’s a thing I do! And that even is linked to in the article. So, it’s right there! It’s embedded.
So anyhow! Mapyourprogress.com/romance. Just rolled my r’s for all of my Spanish friends out there. Awesome. So yeah! That’s the whole idea that I I’d love to leave you with. Making progress, reaching goals, it does not have to be boring, it does not have to be a grind, please have fun with this! Please don’t tell yourself that it’s going to be worth it in the end if you just have it be boring and hard and painful in the during. I don’t recommend that at all. I don’t think that is sustainable and it’s certainly not very much fun. So I encourage you guys to—whatever your goal is—go for it from a place of experimentation, of adventure, of creativity, “well let’s see what happens if we do this!” and “how about that?” and just trying things—aligning it in a way that is meaningful to YOU. That is my wish for you!
Thank you so much, guys! For watching. I’m going to include the links for the downloads, so if you’re watching in the replay, then you can go ahead and grab those for yourself.
Next week, I will be back at 3pm on Friday—3 o’clock Pacific! I’m going to be sharing about what excuses really mean. I feel like excuses get kind of a bad rap and it’s something that’s kind of a pet peeve of mine. Because I hate it when people say, “Oh, well that’s just an excuse.” or “Oh, I’ve been making so many excuses.” We’re human people! And we have reasons and a logic for the things that we do so I have a whole lot to say about excuses and what they’re really about! I’m excited to share about that with you next week.
So have an amazing week until then, hope you come by at mapyouprogress.com and grab some of the free gifts, and start experimenting! Alright, Dears—see you soon. Bye!