Updated: Jun 13, 2019
You have an idea. The idea turns into a goal. The goal turns into planning. Planning turns into stress. The original goal disappears. A new idea forms. The process starts all over again.
Has that process ever happened to you? If not, you are one of the lucky ones who have mastered the art of seeing an idea manifest into a goal and are able to make it a reality. For the rest of us though, finding an efficient and quirky way to stay motivated and focused on planning out our ideas and goals becomes a tedious task within itself.
A few years back while conducting personal research on ways that I can create a great goal plan that I would stick to in order to make my ideas a reality, I stumbled across Mind Mapping. At first I thought to myself, "wow, that looks like it will take a lot of time and mental effort that I don't feel like giving".
I was wrong.
Mind Mapping changed my life. Okay maybe that is a bit too dramatic but I will say that it did help me to stay more organized and focused on goals I had for myself.
So what exactly are mind maps?
Mind maps are a neat organizational tool that you can use to pull information out of your brain to visually map out ideas and goals you have. It's a productive way of brainstorming that assists you with bringing all of your ideas together and "connecting the dots" so to speak. You start out with one general idea or goal in the center and from there you create sub-ideas/or goals which are all connected to the center. This allows your brain to process through all different facets of your original idea or goal and you are able to visually organize it all. Mind maps can be used to:
Think through problems
Present information to others
Study and memorize information
Check out the following example:
As you can see in the example above, the center of my map is labeled "My Goals". The goals I wanted to create were for the different aspects of my life. So in actuality, my center label could be titled "My Life Goals".
The smaller white circles are the areas of my life that I wanted to create goals for. And each circle has a "web" of mini-goals connected to it. You can continue to draw out connectors and "webs" as far out as you need to in order to process through your idea. For example, under the "Health" goal I listed finish a 5k. I could branch out from that goal and place workout 3 times a week, adjust my diet etc. to further process my goal of finishing a 5k, thus reaching my larger goal of improving my health. Although there is no limit on how deep you should go into processing within your mind map, I encourage you to not make it too large because you may over exert your brain and the process becomes too overwhelming.
However, by creating this map, it allowed me to process all the jumbled up ideas that I have in my mind about how to enhance my life with personal goals. I was able to identify the actual goals I want to achieve in each portion of my life and now I have a visual diagram to help me stay focused.
Mind Maps also help to minimize the back and forth, indecisiveness when it comes to making decisions about different ideas and topics. Because again, you are able to pull all the different ideas and information out of your mind and organize it all until things make sense. I personally feel like making mind maps is a cool way to help us all easily MAKE UP OUR MINDS when it comes to planning or processing goals and ideas.
So go ahead and try making a Mind Map today! You can draw one by hand or there are different computer software programs that allow you to create maps according to your liking.