Mind Mapping, also called concept mapping is a useful technique for developing and documenting any thought process. It can be used for planning, studying, problem solving and of course, goal setting. A mind map for goal setting is a great technique for brainstorming your dreams and desires.

To do a Mind Map for goal setting, all you need is a large piece of clean paper. Make sure there are no lines on it as that will impose a ‘structure’ on your thinking, which you don’t want. Or if there are lines, turn the page so that the lines are vertical.

In the middle of the page, draw a circle and write in it in capital letters something like “My Life”. This is the key thought for the Mind Map. Now, draw lines radiating out from this circle and at the end of each of lines, write the name of a life aspect you want to consider. Leave lots of space so you can fill it in as you think of more information to include on your map.

From here it’s just a matter of jotting down whatever comes into your head for each of the life aspects – this is the brainstorming bit!

The thoughts and ideas you need to get down in this Mind Map for each life aspect are:

1. The things you don’t like about your life as it is.
2. The things you like about your life.
3. What you want to happen/ have.
4. What you don’t want to happen/ have.
5. The ‘gap’ between your current life and your ‘dream’ life.

As you jot down all your thoughts, you will see some common ideas – join these with lines and arrows using colour so it’s easy to follow.

This is an opportunity to reflect on where your life is and better still, get excited about the things you want to do and where you want to take your life. That’s the whole point of effective goal setting – by making it personal, it really IS interesting and you should get a real buzz just thinking about the endless opportunities that await.

It’s important to keep your Mind Map for goal setting handy – after all, it is a map of your inner most thoughts and dreams. Keep it in a prominent location and refer to it regularly.

Mind Maps have many other uses too - so it's a good technique to develop.

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