Hi, Friends! 

A New Year is upon us — a time for setting goals and making resolutions. How many times have we heard about the importance of writing our goals down? Do you have a system for this?

Each New Year’s Eve, my husband and I have the tradition of making a “Mind Map” — this is our system for goal setting for the year. I’ve had several ask me about it — how it works, and how we do it. You asked and you shall receive! Mind Maps can be done electronically or manually. We prefer to do ours manually. And we  s p r e a d o u t !  We get an end-roll from our local newspaper and unroll about a four-foot length on our table.

We put a catchy label in the middle, usually in a heart. Our label is our declaration of the kind of year we want to have. Then we put the main categories in various places around the paper, connected to the center by a line.  The categories we use are: Physical, Spiritual, Social, Financial, Business/Career, Family, etc. Then we fill in sub-categories, then whatever detail we want. When we’re all done, we color it to be able to see it better at a glance.

This would be a good place to mention that the main “rule” for Mind Maps is: There are no rules. The intent is to get your ideas, thoughts, goals, and dreams down on paper. We do ours on a long sheet of paper, others do it on lined paper, others do it in their computers. Your main categories will likely be different from mine — make them whatever you want. Some years we put one main category down and fill in all the details we want to capture for that one category before moving on to the next. Other years, we jump all around — what I call the “brain dump” technique. There’s no “right” way.

Vicky's Life in 2008 DiagramOn the right is a simple mind map for you. You’ll notice that the main category labeled “FUN” has some example detail around it. Put in as much or as little detail as you want. (Click to enlarge)

In closing, I’d like to tell you something amazing that happened. The first year Bill and I did this, we rolled up our Mind Map, put a rubber band around it and stored it in the basement. The following New Year’s Eve, we started the evening by unrolling our Mind Map to look at it. We were amazed to discover that everything on it except one thing had been accomplished (the new house we bought wasn’t on a lake). Wow! Now we hang it on a wall where we see it more often. Just walking by it and seeing it there is good. Plus, our Mind Maps have more categories now and it’s fun to make notes on it throughout the year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and remember to keep flossing!!!!