Day 331, Venturing into Mind Mapping and Rating Charts

Day 331, Venturing into Mind Mapping and Rating Charts

 
“THERE IS NO MAP
… So many times we want someone to tell us exactly what to do, and so many times that’s exactly the wrong approach.”
 
 

Wednesday Morning

 
“My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my spirit is tranquil.” Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change You
 
My first affirmation of the day sends a shot of joy down my chest and spine.
 

JV Life Tracker

 
I just finished scoring with JV Life Tracker for Monday and Tuesday.  My scores were 52 and 54 respectively, high scores compared to the recent past.  My dream is to do some more development on JV Life Tracker, to make it an even more effective tool.
 

Thyroid

 
I took my thyroid medication.  60 mg of Armour Thyroid probably causes me hypothyroid.  (90 mg causes hyperthyroid.)  However, my doctor’s office said they can give me an additional 15 mg if my blood test shows I need it.  The blood test will be two weeks from yesterday.
 

Cognitive Distortions

 
I just did a cognitive distortion exercise in The Journal.  This time the cognitive distortions were not recent thoughts.  They started in my early childhood when something happened to trigger a belief that Mom did not love me.  Then that became a mental filter, and my reticular activating system magnified things that confirmed my belief and filtered out things that did not.
 
The belief became so strong that Mom did not disprove it in my mind when she told me she loved me.  My negative feelings about Mom seemed to confirm that she did not love me.  However, that was emotional reasoning.  Believing that I should feel differently about Mom triggered guilt, causing pain intermittently throughout my adult life.  Now I have some insight concerning what happened when I was a child.  I had a distorted thought that became a belief, and it perpetuated over the years.
 
Perhaps a counselor could have walked me through this and saved me from pain.  However, I have not discussed this belief with a counselor.  What is the best thing to do about this now?  Perhaps I can start counting things that prove my mother does love me.
 

Mental Filters

 
It has only been the last few years that I have started to notice mental filters in my life.  When mental filters are active, we do not realize they are there.  Only as we remove them do we notice how they distorted our thoughts.  We tend to filter out things that do not confirm our beliefs.  To combat that, we can question our limiting beliefs and start building a case for our new beliefs.  The evidence at first will seem limited because we have done such a good job filtering out evidence that disproves what we believe.
 
Those of you who know my mother may understand she can display tough love sometimes, which can be mistakenly interpreted as no love at all.  Being a tough woman, she has accomplished much but sometimes treads on the feelings of her children.  I cannot speak for everyone in my family of twelve siblings, but there does seem to be evidence that I am not alone in my feelings.  I cannot blame myself that these distortions occurred.  However, holding on to past distortions is not empowering either.
 

Going On From Here

 
Let me start over from this moment.  Mom called me yesterday after her trip to New York and Canada.  We had a great exchange.  Later, I did not even feel terrible, though my husband was a bit disappointed I told her so much in response to her questions.  I hope to have a respectful, loving relationship with my mother.  However, I am glad I am living in Colorado rather than under Mom’s roof.  I believe a little distance between us has helped our relationship.
 

Planning

 
Dr. David D. Burns suggested a planning template like the following:
 
Time
Plans
Actual
Up to 8
   
8-9
   
9-10
   
10-11
   
11-12
   
12-1
   
1-2
   
2-3
   
3-4
   
4-5
   
5-6
   
6-7
   
7-8
   
8-9
   
9-12
   
 
I have used this template in The Journal 19 times, starting June 9, 2019.  I cannot say I have made this planning template a regular habit yet, but I believe it has been useful.  Some days, I have planned only a partial day, and that has been enabling as well.  Some days I have planned but have not returned to enter what I actually did.  That is still okay.  In other words, this is not a rigid system.  Its flexibility is one thing that makes it helpful.
 
Perhaps I could continue to use it in the same manner:  when I want to, as much as I want to.  Nobody is saying I should do it.  To believe that would be a cognitive distortion.  I may want to nickname the template, so I have a way of referring to it in my mind.  It could be simply Daily Planning. What are at least two other options so I have a choice?
 
  • Hourly Planning?
  • Hourly Planning and Log?
  • Hourly Planning and Success Log?
  • HPSL?
 
The question is:  what am I trying to accomplish with this?  How does it fit into my values?  It could support:
 
  • timeliness
  • productive creativity
  • consistency
  • clarity
 
I could call it Timely, Consistent, Clear Planning and Logging for Productive Creativity.  That is a mouthful.  Let me attempt to shorten that:
TCC P&L for PC.  I kind of like that.
 
Let me put that nickname on the template and insert it again:
 
TCC P&L for PC
Timely, Consistent, Clear Planning and Logging for Productive Creativity
Time
Plans
Actual
Up to 8
   
8-9
   
9-10
   
10-11
   
11-12
   
12-1
   
1-2
   
2-3
   
3-4
   
4-5
   
5-6
   
6-7
   
7-8
   
8-9
   
9-12
   
 
If you are using a similar template, think of how it supports your set of values.  Now that I can visualize how my values are supported by the action of planning and logging, I feel a bit more motivated to actually do them.  Only time will tell how well I can work this, however.
 
I believe I do not have my planning and logging as an activity in JV Life Tracker.  Let me add that.  That will give me a daily reminder to do it and the reward of a checkmark if I do.  There.  I added TCC P&L for PC.
 
I may want to take this a step further and make a The Journal goal for this in my Progress category.  I could set a goal to do it every day, but that is an unrealistically high standard.  I have learned to lower my standards.  If I did it every third day at least, I think I could derive some serious benefit from it.  Let me set up a progress record for a month, starting today.  I could do it until the end of August, so the end date would be August 31, 2019.
 
Goal:
Timely, Consistent, Clear Planning and Logging for Productive Creativity
 
Instructions:
Use the following template for planning:
 
TCC P&L for PC
Timely, Consistent, Clear Planning and Logging for Productive Creativity
Time
Plans
Actual
Up to 8
   
8-9
   
9-10
   
10-11
   
11-12
   
12-1
   
1-2
   
2-3
   
3-4
   
4-5
   
5-6
   
6-7
   
7-8
   
8-9
   
9-12
   
Points:
11-32 days
Filter:
Use JV Life Tracker
Start Date:
Tuesday, July 31, 2019
End Date:
Saturday, August 31, 2019
Trigger Event:
During my morning routine
Intrinsic Rewards:
  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Productive creativity
  • Timeliness
Extrinsic Rewards:
Think of something.
Progress Notes:
07/31/19 – Got started again today!
Accomplished:
 
 
There.  That is started.
 
I have “think of something” as an extrinsic reward.  Often intrinsic rewards alone are sufficient to motivate, so extrinsic rewards are not always necessary.  If an extrinsic reward is something too difficult or too expensive to obtain, it can de-motivate.  Extrinsic rewards often work for me, however.  I would like a new Android.  However, that is too expensive of a reward for doing my planning for only a month.  Many things can work, even gold stars on a calendar.  I have done that in the past.
 
What I would really like is a picnic in the park with my husband, but that reward depends too much on him.  I have not yet been able to do it, even without a picnic being a reward.  It has been a goal instead.  He might be willing to reward me with a picnic if I do the planning.  However, waiting until the end of August is not a good idea.  We need to take advantage of the beautiful weather in August.
 
Let me stick with “think of something” for right now.  Oh, I just thought of something else.  I could reward myself with a subscription to the mind mapping software: https://www.mindmeister.com.  The mind mapping software is a bit pricey, but I could make TCC P&L for PC an ongoing task to do at least every three days each month.  If I lapse on my planning, I could threaten to cancel my subscription.  One month of planning could be rewarded with one month of the mind mapping tool.  That would probably motivate me to plan, log, and mindmap every month.  I can even make decision trees with the tool.  I am working on one right now.
 
I have not committed myself to mind mapping just yet, but this could work out well.
 

Rating Chart

 
With lynda.com today, I learned how to make a rating chart and applied it to my crucial decision of whether to continue with my blog, doing it from home, or seek work outside the home.  A rating chart has:
 
  1. considerations listed in the first column
  2. a second column for the rating of the importance of each consideration
  3. a third and fourth column for scores for each of the two options
  4. fifth and sixth columns showing the score from 1 to 10 for each consideration, multiplied by the importance rating
  5. totals in the bottom row
 
This is what I came up with:
 
Considerations
Importance
Rating
1-5
Job
Home Blog
Total Job
Total Home Blog
Money
10
9
5
90
50
Money for Retirement (assuming he shares a portion of his savings)
20
6
3
120
60
Creativity
5
6
9
30
45
Time for Husband
5
2
8
10
40
Money in Case of Layoff
5
1
3
5
15
Time for lynda.com
3
1
5
3
15
Lower Cost of Transportation
2
1
9
2
18
Acquisition of Marketable Skills
5
9
4
45
20
Lower Stress
5
1
9
5
45
Ability to Get Enough Sleep
5
2
7
10
35
Making Friends
3
6
4
18
12
Time to Work on JV Life Tracker
3
1
3
3
9
Ability to do the Work
4
3
8
12
32
Less Chance of Manic Episode (assuming I am strict with my medication)
5
4
7
20
35
More Freedom
4
4
7
16
28
Keep Benefits
5
0
9
0
45
Ability to Keep Condo Straightened Up
4
2
6
8
24
Lower Impact of Eye Problems
7
1
4
7
28
Total
     
404
546
 

The Possibility of a Job?

 
A way to score higher for the possibility of working a job is to rate money considerations much higher than the others.  A key issue is whether my husband will leave me an adequate percentage of his savings in the trust we are currently working on.  So far he has not made any decisions, and I must admit I am nervously expectant about it.  He says he wants me to be taken care of.  He gets emotional if I even bring up the subject.  He must choose between how he will balance the welfare of his children with my welfare.
 
Oh No!
 
I broached the subject just now, and my husband had to go to bed.  Then the worst of the worst happened.  He said he wanted me to get him some alcohol–after all the work he has done to gain his sobriety!  He said he needed relief from his anxiety.  I have not gone for the alcohol yet, but he said he would come with me.  While rubbing his back, I was profoundly sad.
 
I got him to take his pill that “makes alcohol not mean so much.”  He got up to watch TV.  I got some food to calm my own anxiety.  I have not made a run for the alcohol yet.  He will have to ask me again–I have not decided how many times.  Maybe mentioning the possibility of my getting a job scared him.  He said, “You just want to go back to Utah.”  After I spent almost ten thousand dollars to move my things here?  I do not think so.   Time for Husband may be an overriding consideration, with an even greater importance rating than I gave it.
 
I got my husband’s coffee and lasagna.  He is eating now while I do the laundry.  Maybe he will forget about his request for alcohol.  He turned the TV up.  We are separated by the sound.  I will avoid asking him more questions tonight.  He can think about whether he really wants to blow his sobriety or not.
 
My husband did not come right out and say it, but I think he adamantly opposes me getting a job.  That could just be mind-reading, but why else would he react that way when I mentioned it?  It is probably not even worth discussing with him again; it increases his anxiety to such severe levels.  However, I could be vulnerable if he does not leave me much when he passes.  I am not sure how to calm my anxiety about it.  Perhaps I can pray and hope for the best when his son comes over to work on the trust again this weekend.  My husband has resources to leave me enough for comfort.  However, I am at his mercy; I do not want to upset him.
 

Planning Tools

 
Let me think about my mind map, actually my decision tree made with the mind map tool.  I also updated TCC P&L for PC (my planning and log).
 
There.  I spent five minutes or so with my success meditation, which reminds me that my ultimate goal is to become a thought leader.  A blog is on the pathway to making that happen.  That encourages me to settle on my home blog option.  I could possibly even monetize it.  However, I have a lot of work to do to make that a reality.  Let me put that into my decision tree.  My decision tree now looks like this:
 
 
 
Now I have several pathways through which I could possibly make money.  I will not necessarily follow them all.  That is why this is a decision tree.  However, I am laying out a few options and giving them consideration.
 
Wow!  This is an exciting way to think.  I can organize a lot of information in a very short time.
 

Calm Afterward

 
It is now late evening.  My husband has not said another word about alcohol.  When I mentioned that I had learned how to make a rating chart, he asked what I was rating.  Nervous I might spark another anxiety attack, I honestly told him.  This time he was calm about it.  He seemed content that my option to do a home blog had rated higher than working an outside job.  I mentioned again that I was at his mercy for retirement, and he did not continue the conversation.  He seemed to think my benefits would increase and be sufficient.
 

A More Economical Possibility

 
MindMup is $25/year rather than $60/year for Mind Meister.  MindMup does not save the maps online, which makes it necessary to upload and download them every time they are worked on.  With Mind Meister, the maps are right there–no need to load.  $35/year is quite a lot to pay though for that amount of storage.  The disadvantage of MindMup is that there are not a lot of opportunities to do much with the free version.  How can I get acquainted with it enough to know I really want a paid version of it?  I also got MindMup to hang, not good.  It appears that MindMeister is higher in quality.
 

Thursday Afternoon

 
From calling the Social Security office this morning, I learned that while my husband could get benefits from my Social Security when I pass, I cannot get any from his.  I cannot get any benefits from his pension either.  I am truly at his mercy.
 
He still has not said another word about alcohol, so perhaps he values his sobriety after all.  This morning has been calm:  no anxiety attacks.
 
I had an attack of dizziness this morning, which caused me to miss my chiropractic appointment.  Later, after eating breakfast, I figured the dizziness must have been caused by low blood sugar.  I ate some potato chips last night before bedtime.  Eating carbohydrates before bedtime can drive my blood sugar down the next morning.  However, I am fine now.
 

Cronometer

 
In Cronometer, I have now completed 73% of all days since June 22, 2019.  Maybe I can give June 22, 2019, a nickname.  June 22 is the birthday of my main character, Lisa, in Lisa’s Light and Hope, which is the prequel to Scarlet Night.   (The prequel is available for free on this blog as my gift to you.)
 
This year, it is my start date for keeping track of my completed Cronometer logs.  Though I have done a decent job of logging my food, my total calories are 358 calories over-budget and even worse, 109 calories over my burn rate.  Even though my actual burn rate is higher than what Cronometer predicts, I do not think it is that much higher.  I need to consume less food or continue to gain weight.  I started eating more calories when I was taking a larger dose of thyroid hormone.  However, now that my nurse practitioner has lowered my thyroid hormone again, I have not fully compensated for the difference that makes in my metabolism.
 
Back to the nickname for the start date.  Let me introduce my character, Lisa.  If you have not read Scarlet Night, you probably do not know her.  Lisa lived in L.A in the early 1980s, working as a model.  Her dream was to get into acting.  While driving her Corvette, she was shot, causing the loss of both eyes.  She returned to her parents’ home in Boulder, Colorado to recover.
 
Though nothing as significant as that has ever happened to me, in 1985, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which has been my challenge ever since.  I find it interesting that Patty Duke, who also had bipolar disorder, acted the part of Helen Keller when she was a child.  Perhaps Patty also thought a great deal about blind people and their adjustments to living without sight.
 
How can I nickname my start date in honor of my heroine?  I could call it Lisa’s Day.  Let me think of at least two other options so I have a choice.  I could call it:
 
  • Lisa’s Complete Cronometer Day
  • Lisa’s Start Day
  • Lisa’s Embarkation Point
  • Lisa’s Diet Kickoff Day
  • Lisa’s Takeoff Point
  • Lisa’s Diet Kickoff Point
 
Do any of these sound better than any of the others?
 
A kickoff goes up then comes down again.  A takeoff can stay up.  We do not want to imply that weight is going to stay up.  However, the word takeoff could imply that you are taking off weight or even your clothes, which would have a sexy connotation.  Perhaps either one would be okay.  
 
The word diet helps explain what the day is for, even though diet usually implies that there is an end date.  Diets with end dates do not work.  If you stay on your diet and improve it over time, it will work.  The word diet is a short word, so it will work.
 
Is the word point or day better?  We are referring to a date, which is a day.  However, in the course of a lifetime, a day can be like a point.  However, a point usually refers to a location; a day implies time.  We are interested in time, so the word day may be better.
 
How is Lisa’s Diet Takeoff Day?  That is what I will call June 22, 2019.
 

Teeth

 
My hygienist recommended getting an electric toothbrush to remove plaque twice daily from my gum line.  I had one before that did not work well, so I resisted.  However, being desperate to do something for my gums before I start losing teeth, I bought a Sonicare as she recommended and have just started using it.  It feels okay.
 
You can see from my mind map that I plan to make Nut Bread again, based on my version of the recipe in The Dental Diet, by Steven Lin.  It is an extremely low carb, very tasty bread.
 

The Broncos

 
A Denver Broncos football game with the Atlanta Falcons that my husband has been long awaiting is on.
 

Prayer

 
 
 
Evening Prayer
 
BloggingDear Lord,
 
Venturing into mind mapping has whet my appetite for an online tool, though I can readily draw a mind map on a piece of paper.  However, a computerized method helps me modify it more easily and keep my mind maps for the future.
 
What do you think, Lord?  I could splurge on a tool.
 
I thought it might be motivating to use the tool as an extrinsic reward for doing my planning at least every third day.  I already have some extrinsic rewards planned for keeping my Cronometer log.
 
Maybe I could combine my planning and Cronometer log; doing both would merit a mind mapping tool and the paid-for version of Cronometer.  It would also be important to use the mind mapping tool.  Perhaps I could set a goal to create at least one new mind map per week.
 
Lord, help me in my quest to become a successful blogger.  July was a difficult month with my husband’s hospitalization. However, I embrace August with its delightful possibilities.  Help me to figure out how to manage my appetite and thyroid hormones so I can lose some weight.
 
Bless my friend’s friend who is in the hospital tonight, facing his mortality, not to mention an amputation he is grieving over.  Though life is beautiful, it has its challenges.  I wrote Lisa’s Light and Hope about facing serious challenges.  Bipolar disorder is a serious challenge too.  Help me to manage it well and give hope to others who suffer from it.
 
Below is a photo of Dad and me.
 
Amen.    
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
Stan and KaeLyn Morrill
 

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