As we approach the end of 2017, you may find yourself reflecting on all that you have achieved in the past year. If you set them at all, are you able to recall your resolutions? Did you achieve any? If so, amazing! Give yourself a round of applause! If not, you’re not alone. According to U.S. News & World Report 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February[i]. What exactly goes wrong in this process?
Are we fueled by superficial intentions?
Do we lack motivation and inspiration?
Are we rushed to set a handful of glib goals?
Does our track record cause us to lose hope?
… or perhaps the idea of personal growth is a broad, vague, and intimidating concept.
I’ll admit that I believe the process of goal-setting is an exciting one. The mental health clinician in me jumps for joy at every opportunity to help an individual reflect on their values, consider their hopes and dreams, and set an intentional path of personal growth. This isn’t a process I take lightly and I do practice what I preach, so to speak. Over the years I have tried many methods of goal-setting and to help you prepare for a prosperous new year I happily share my favorite method with you, mind mapping.
What’s a mind map?
A mind map is a non-linear visual method that facilitates brainstorming. Although brainstorming has existed for centuries, the foundation for mind mapping began with
Roger Sperry’s[ii] illuminating brain research which promoted linking the left and right hemispheres of the brain with words, images, colors, and direct association. The left side pertains to sequences, analysis, lists, words, and logic whereas the right side pertains to imagination, emotion, color, and shapes.[iii] Inspired by Sperry, Tony Buzan[iv] coined the term “mind mapping” and popularized the process which activates both hemispheres and causes an increase of productivity and memory retention in the brainstorming process. In the decades since, mind mapping has gained attention for its utility in several aspects such as comprehension, creative thinking, connecting details, collecting data, and exchanging information[v], all processes that are helpful for goal-setting. So let’s go ahead and jump into that!