Setting goals can help keep you motivated, focus on what needs to be done and help you to achieve more in your professional or personal life. Mind Mapping helps you to visualise your objectives and help you stay on the right track.
Setting goals can mean focusing on improving your self-knowledge, identifying your potential, fulfilling personal development and aspirations and defining where you want to be.
Personal Development planning means working through questions such as;
- What do I really want to achieve?
- How will I achieve my goals?
- Are these goals realistic?
- Am I taking the right actions to get me there?
1. Understand your Current Situation
Before focusing on your plan to help achieve your goals it is essential to first understand your current situation. One technique that helps identify your current skills and areas you need to improve is a SWOT Analysis. The SWOT analysis mind map (below) can help you focus on what your strengths are, where your weaknesses lie, identify opportunities for improvement and visualize threats that may impede on you achieving your goals. As this process develops you learn what needs to be done and establish your objectives that will help achieve this.
2. Identify your Goals
Now that we understand where we are it is now time to identify our goals. Using the SMART framework mind map we now have criteria to follow in the setting of objectives. The Smart framework is as follows;
Specific – What are you trying to achieve?
Measurable – Can you measure your progress?
Attainable – Is your goal attainable?
Relevant – Is your goal relevant?
Timely – When is the deadline to achieve this goal?
As you work your way through the framework, your most high priority goals will start to formulate in your head.
3. Document your Goals
So now you have identified your goals it is time to write down on a mind map what needs to be done to help visualize your objectives. Documenting your goals on a mind map will help the prioritisation process to determine what needs to be done first. You can achieve your goals – but you have to work at it.
It is important to ensure you are aware of what you want to achieve and by when. What do you need to do this year, this quarter, this month, this week, today to get you closer to your target? The larger goals may at first seem unattainable and rather demoralising so what I have found most useful is to plan my objectives out starting with the smaller goals that are quick to accomplish and build my way up to the larger ones.
4. Implement tasks to help achieve your goals
Once the goals have been documented it is time to then construct the tasks necessary to help achieve these objectives. These tasks should be built from a clear strategy that will help initiate action. Mind mapping this out will help you to understand which tasks you need to work on first in order to achieve your goals and which tasks can be saved for later.
5. Implement regular review points
It is not too difficult to get caught up and stray away from your desired goals which is why it is recommended to organise regular review points to ensure you stay on the path and meet your goals. These review points can be scheduled when you see fit – every few weeks, months or quarter. As long as you are able to reflect on what has been done since your last review point, what needs to be done and whether you are still on course to meet these objectives.
Following this process should help ensure you meet all of your goals.
The maps above were created using MindGenius Mind Mapping Software. Download the free 30 day trial of MindGenius.
I never use mind-mapping. I definitely should since I’m more of a visual person.