A mind map to achieve your goals-Have you ever had the feeling that your goals have great potential, but at the bottom, there is not much concrete happening?
Sometimes you just need to confront your ideas to reality to better visualize them. This is exactly the strategy behind mind mapping, a technique for drawing your goals, plans, interests, and dreams.
A mind map is a diagram that visually organizes information by branching ideas from a central theme to highlight the links between the whole concept and its individual parts. It’s an innovative way of thinking about your goals in the different areas of your life and having an overall perspective – and it works.
Turn away from linear thinking
Jenny Blake, former career development officer at Google and author of PIVOT: The Only Move That Matters is You Next One (or, in French, the only movement that counts is the next), is a champion of the mental map . She thinks it’s the best way to get to the root of what’s most important to you and frees your thinking process from the constraints typical of linear thinking.
Life rarely follows a linear path, so it is reasonable to assume that a non-linear approach is also appropriate for achieving its goals. The concept of “typical career” has changed due to the evolution of career growth markers, technology, automation and distance work. And it’s this reality that has pushed Jenny to write a book and launch the Pivot strategy, which helps professionals stay agile and know how to achieve their goals.
You can use a mind map to step back and better visualize your different aspirations to help you make connections and draw conclusions that go beyond the traditional methods of setting goals. We asked Jenny to give us some tips for creating your own mind map.
The BA – BA of Mental Mapping
Why is it important to reflect and define one’s goals? Why do you think people neglect to plan their personal lives?
“We need to redefine the word “goal”. For many people, the word “objective” gives a sense of obligation, much like the New Year’s resolutions that we set ourselves and forget, and then have to run after, the last six months of the year. That’s why I love creating mind maps to get a broader vision. They allow you to write everything that goes through your head in various areas of your life.”
What would be the most exciting for you in the areas of work, health, learning, relationships, hobbies or creative projects? If goals and milestones are helpful, write them down, but for me, the real goal is to work on something that is so important to me that I’m happy to spend time each day, regardless of what it’s about.
Mind maps allow me to brainstorm freely, and then I come back a few months later to see the next steps I can take.
Mind map to achieve your goals
What are the main steps to follow when creating a mind map?
Write a theme in the center of the page, such as “2020,” “values,” a creative project, or anything else you’d like to think about visually and non-linearly. From there, draw branches for each category of elements that make up your overall project.
If you plan to plan the coming year, write down the areas of life that are important to you. If it’s a creative project or a book, add some of the themes you want to explore in your mind map.
From these main branches, freely write everything that goes through your head on a third level – these may be specific ideas or objectives for each of the themes you have chosen, or reasons or keywords explaining why these ideas affect you or the impact you would like them to have – or both.
The last word: there are no rules! Let your pen walk on the page and try not to censor you. When you think you’re done, continue, because it just means you’ve captured your most obvious ideas.
In your book PIVOT, you explain that small steps towards change are essential for a big change. How should this strategy be used to set goals?
For each goal or branch of your mind map, ask yourself these two questions: what would be the next step to take that would bring you as close as possible to your goal? And what concrete action could you take next week in this direction? If you focus only on these two things, week after week, you will generate a huge momentum in no time!
When the goals are set, are they frozen?
Not at all. The objectives are meant to be flexible. Once you clearly know what outcome you want to achieve, make sure to take pleasure in pursuing your goal. If this is not the case, it is an alarm signal, an invitation to change your approach and to learn something new about yourself.
After a mental map, what happens next? How can we use it to stay on track and achieve our goals?
Keep your map in an easy-to-access place, to view it whenever you want, at least a few months after drawing it. No need to follow it scrupulously (unless this strategy works for you); many of the ideas you’ve captured will remain in your subconscious and start working without you even realizing it.
You can also set up a monthly appointment (with a reminder in the Google calendar) to check your mind map. You can then define the next steps in your project that excite you the most.