I have nearly completed my writing project that has kept me away from you these past several weeks. I will be launching it in January, just in time to help you eat better and take charge of your health in the New Year. More about that in a future post…
But today, I want to share a simple mind map with you (please see image, below). I originally created this map to help me focus on my themes for the upcoming year. Being a very visual person, I find choosing a symbol I love (in this case, a flower) makes it easier for me to concentrate.
In the next 12 months, I will focus on living and writing about an elegant simple life based on a foundation of joyful minimalism. The main elements of this focus will include:
These themes are shorthand for a variety of my current interests and serve as reminders of what I would like to attend to in 2011.
But enough about me! I want you to have an opportunity to create a simple mind map, too. Below, I have added a free, blank copy of the mind map flower for you to use. To download, simply right-click the image and save it to your computer.
I suggest printing a hard copy of the flower mind map and getting out your favorite pen or a variety of markers to mark up the page. Let your mind come up with all sorts of themes you would like to focus on in the coming year. Use the page to doodle, scribble and scrawl. Have fun! The sky’s the limit!
Sometimes the simple process of coloring in the petals is enough to let your mind reach a meditative flow and allow deep thoughts to bubble forth. Free associate, don’t censor, and do allow your ideas to spill out onto the paper. At other times, a more linear approach is preferable. In that case, itemize your goals and themes along the edges of the page or in the petals or wherever you feel led.
The time for this process will vary; for some, it can happen in a matter of minutes. For others, several hours on an off throughout the day are required.
When you have your central idea, your overarching theme, put it in the center of the flower. If you have a base, or foundation, for the year, place that at the bottom of the flower. And, finally, choose your top 6 or so priorities for the year, and add them to the petals. And feel free to add more petals or use fewer petals for your priorities. This is your mind map. Adjust it to meet your needs.
If you’d like, print out another copy of the flower and rewrite your thoughts in a clear, easy-to-read format. Conversely, use the original flower map you created as your focus for the year. Regardless, once you have your map finished to your liking, place it someplace special to you. Perhaps hang it on the wall by your computer. Or post it on your refrigerator. Or fold it up and place it in your journal. Or scan it and use it as your desktop wallpaper. Do whatever seems right to you.
Here’s the secret: the act of going through the process, contemplating and writing things down, is where the magic happens. You have set the wheels in motion at an unseen level and that is what is most important. Having a hard copy for future reference is just the icing on the cake.
So, there you have it: a simple mind map to help you begin the New Year. And, if this all seems too much to take on right now, feel free to simply print out the flower and give it to a child to color!