Goal setting

Mind Maps and Art Therapy

1206565055109646538keikannui_neuron-interneuron_2.svg.hiSorting out a lot of information? Trying to make a plan but have many options? Mind Maps are a great tool to visually observe all of your options for any given situation. We tend to live in a very linear world due to the limits of verbal communication allowing us to only say one word after another.  As students, most people tend to take notes following this model of linear thinking and transmitting information. Mind maps offer another option and one that allows for a more visually stimulating opportunity to process information.

Please think of a goal, a plan for the near future, or a problem. Find some paper and a writing utensil. If you are feeling extra creative use several different colors of marker or colored pencils. Write or draw your current situation in the middle of the page. Think of several different options for the choices relating to this and begin to draw or write words around the initial image on the page. This mind map might resemble a neuron, a star fish, an amoeba or a sun with rays. Think of the pros and cons of each path, and include this in your information. Think of what each choice will lead to if you continue on one of the paths as a solution to the original predicament.  Maybe assign a color to the different options you are presenting on this mind map. The result should be a visually stimulating array of options and more in line with how our brain really works. Hopefully this technique can help you sort out all of your options to figure out the best path to take to reach the end goal.

It is very easy to not make a plan in many situations, because change and growth often requires tremendous amount of work. Not making a choice though is actually making a choice that you are settling for the status quo. Change can be painful, disruptive, challenging but is always rewarding in the end.


Following Your Dreams

Just follow your dreams..blah, blah, blah…Does this sound like a familiar and cliché statement? Although this blog is being written by an optimist, I am the first one to be skeptical by the stuff dished out by pop culture. Today we will explore our dreams, as in: very high, but reachable goals we would like to set for ourselves.

Please find some paper and a pen. At the top of your page, write your dream..please think of something that is a stretch, but reachable. At the bottom of the page, write something that you can do today to take some micro steps to make it happen. There might be a huge empty space between the top and the bottom of the page, but the micro steps are the ones necessary to get to the top of the page. Can you create a time line for yourself by adding today’s date at the bottom and the target date for reaching this goal at the top? Most people never achieve their dreams because they talk themselves out of it before they even begin. Can you think of other micro steps you can take to head in the direction of your dream?

There also might be many negative voices as you write this information down dissuading you from follow through. Please acknowledge these (negative people behind the negative voices) and proceed onward. Good Luck. Start Small.