Determining and accomplishing goals is something that everyone aspires to. The feeling of successfully checking off an item on your to-do list or overcoming a particular obstacle can be incredibly rewarding. It’s frustrating when you seem unable to get anywhere near your desired outcomes, and if you’re ambitious, the goals that at first seemed realistic can very quickly seem far-fetched and insurmountable.
In this instance, our minds are adept at finding coping mechanisms, which manifest as distractions, excuses and settling for less. Instead of working out a route towards our goals we look for tangential missions or easy fixes which bring us no nearer to our ultimate goal. We find ways to fool ourselves into a short term feeling of success.
The best way to combat these distractions and lesser success is to create a structure in which we can take steps towards a greater goal. Mind Maps are an excellent way to build a detailed picture of how we can more easily identify and achieve our goals without being overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Here are a few steps toward creating a dynamic mind map which can be used as a guide towards successfully achieving your goals.
“Often, the goals we have in our head are abstract,” says Grahame McTavish, an author at Researchpapersuk and Last Minute Writing, “This means that we can easily dismiss them as daydreams or wishful thinking. By actually getting our goals down on paper (or screen), we make the vital step towards actualizing them. We see them for what they are and begin to associate them with reality rather than our imagination.”
There is no limit to what goals you can aspire to, even if though there are always constraints on what we can achieve. Brainstorming can help you in better determining your goals and putting them on a mind map. List off as many goals as you can think of, even if they seem to make no sense at this early stage. This method of free association in brainstorming and generating your ideas can throw up some surprising results, and you might find yourself returning to goals you had once deemed impossible.
It’s a good idea to keep these goals simple rather than complex. One or two words or key phrases rather than long-winded sentences will be easier to break down into steps later on in the process.
What you may find, when listing out your key goals, is that there is a common theme to the goals you wish to achieve.
Identify the specific ideas within each theme and research them. The old saying, ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ may be clichéd but it is true. You should research successful people in the field you wish to enter and find out the steps they took to reach their goals. There is no completely right way to achieve each goal, but in researching these leaders, you’ll maximize your chances of finding methods which comfortable to you.
You should identify potential pitfalls that are personal to you. Regrettably, there sometimes constraints which are beyond our control. Whilst you should make every effort to overcome obstacles, it is important to be realistic, so that you can spend time working toward actually achievable goals rather than moving towards something which will undoubtedly result in failure and demotivation.
Ordering and Structuring
Having identified your overarching, realistic goals, you can now break it down into smaller steps. Each of these steps will have their own smaller steps to take in order to get to where you want to go. This is the ‘route’ which will guide you towards your destination on a mind map.
“By breaking down your journey into smaller steps, you will discover potential hazards and obstacles and maybe even a short cut or two,” writes Sandra B Lopez, a regular contributor to Draftbeyond and Wrtinity, “But more than this, you will begin to understand the time each step will take.” It is important to create a time frame for your journey. You may have already given yourself a deadline to achieve your goal, but it is wise to allow that deadline to move if each of its constituent steps show that it may take longer than expected.
Think also about how you will measure the success of each step, not only how long they will take. Consider where you should focus your efforts to yield maximum results, and how each step fits into your final goal.
Using the Mind Map
Finally, your mind map should remain tangible. In creating these routes towards your goals you have made a commitment to achievement, so actually keeping a copy of your mind map is crucial in keeping it at the forefront of your mind.
Consider decorating it, giving yourself gold stars as you check off each step. Pin it up in your office or use it as a backdrop to your computer screen. Most importantly, keep it in a place where you can access it regularly, and allow it to be updated or changed at a moments notice.
Charles Phan is a Marketing graduate who specializes in business strategy and entrepreneurship. He is an experienced content writer and proofreader at Gum Essays and Lucky Assignments, academic writing websites.