January 10, 2012
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The 2012 PathStay Clear and Focused on Your 2012 Resolutions with Visualization

The New Year is shiny and bright. Now is the time when we can look back on past accomplishments and mistakes of the previous year and start anew. Whether you are building on your previous Thoughts and projects or starting a new Brain, visualization software and mind maps enable you to formulate clear and doable plans for the New Year in a way that captures your best thinking.

Getting Outside Your Head

Inside Your HeadWe all need a place for ourselves, a place to work, sleep, eat… but most importantly to think. You can make that place for thinking and translating your goals into action in your Brain. And it’s easier than you think. But first a little on the why…

David Allen, bestselling author and creator of Getting Things Done® talks about how you can develop a positive shift in your energy just by identifying what you need to do… i.e. when you are stressed out think about the relief you feel just by creating a list. In GTD Times he referred to this as “The value of getting things out of your psyche and into a more objective format”. Creating a place for your 2012 resolutions in your Brain not only gives you a digital space to start working on them, collecting information etc., but more importantly takes them out of your mind so you can work on them in a productive fashion. Therefore, the first step in your 2012 Brain is to identify and create Thoughts for all your key goals and resolutions for this year.

Creating Thoughts for your goals also helps solidify the commitment. In fact, I’m not sure if you can even have a resolution if at the very least, you don’t write it down. Though jotting a key goal down on a piece of paper may mentally provide commitment and relief, your digital brain provides a network for you to elaborate on your idea, remind you when to take action, and turn it into reality! Once you have created a Thought for your goal, the next step is to add other Thoughts that support and elaborate on your goal. This is where perseverance and planning come into play.

Perseverance and Planning in Your Brain

The news media reports that yesterday (January 9th), nine days after people make their resolution, is the day when most people give it up. So clearly without the right backup system for your goals things can slip away. In order to stay the course you need to focus and create Thoughts in your digital Brain for concrete action items and tasks that will lead to your ultimate resolution. In my blog entry entitled “7 Steps to Making Your Creative Vision a Reality”, I identify several key steps that can help turn your goal into reality. But the main takeaway of this post is that success begins by breaking down your dream into manageable chunks and making each piece an actionable step. And luckily segmentation of ideas is what information visualization and mind mapping is all about. When you mind map the possibilities, this imagined future becomes more real because you have captured and elaborated on a vision outside of your mind. Think of it as digital self-awareness.

To begin planning in your Brain ask yourself: what are the key components of your goal… then begin to segment your larger goal into smaller actionable steps. Each one of these steps should be a Child Thought under your resolution.

2012 Goals Visualized

Experimenting with TheBrain’s outline view enables you to see all necessary steps for your goal.

For instance, “Living to be 100” is a very nice goal but unless you define key steps and milestones to get there, it’s just a pipe dream. Under this Thought you might include key research on longevity and health, as well as key action-oriented Thoughts that will help you achieve your goal such as nutrition, exercise and stress management.

References and Inspirations

GoalsEven though you think you are committed to your resolution, research suggests otherwise, and over time your motivation may waiver. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to setup reminders and inspirations in your Brain. I suggest creating a Thought called “Why” under your resolution and use PersonalBrain’s Notes tab to capture your key reasons and motivations behind this goal. You can also link to some friendly “Propaganda Thoughts” to reinforce your plan… For instance if you are losing weight, add some research in your Brain on how important weight loss is to health. In this way your digital Brain trains and convinces your wet brain on the benefits of achieving this goal.

References and inspirations are an absolutely critical step in actualizing your creative vision. Of course, unlike conventional mind mapping software, there is no limit to the number of Thoughts or files that you can add to your Brain. This means that you can create an ever-expanding unlimited knowledgebase for your vision. Collecting and organizing key ideas and important examples will enable you to harness abundant information sources and put them to work for you. Once key source material is in your Brain, you can simply type in a name and get to the information you need instantly.

Your reference Thoughts will not only help you define your vision for the project, but also serve as important guidelines and benchmarks to ensure that your requirements are met. For instance, if you are designing a Web site, link and create Thoughts for Web sites that represent your ideal aesthetics and business goals. If you are working on a kitchen renovation, link to photos of all the key design elements.

Reminders and Monitoring Your Progress

Don't ForgetGoal maintenance is key to success and your Brain can help you stay on top of things. Setup action oriented Thoughts that demand your attention periodically. For example, if your goal is losing weight, add additional Thoughts on number of steps walked or an exercise log that you update each week. You can use PersonalBrain’s Notes built-in time stamp to record your key metrics. You can also setup Thoughts and reminders in your Brain for periodic reviews so when you get busy with other stuff your goal is never forgotten. I suggest you setup weekly reminders with TheBrain’s built-in calendar. The reminder Thought ideally should lead to some action you need to take, even if it’s just a journal entry in PersonalBrain’s Notes. If your goal is more elusive, like taking your business global, your weekly action item can be more research oriented, like finding three new web articles on your goal. In this way your knowledgebase grows to serve your resolution and you in turn will use this newly acquired knowledge to meet your goals.

We Are What We Think

We Are What We ThinkAs you work on your 2012 resolutions your expanded view of your thinking will enable you to go full circle with your digital Brain. That is, you start off using your digital Brain to capture your goal but by directing your own ideas and thinking in TheBrain towards your goal you are actually training your mind to focus and absorb what is most important to you. Thus your digital Brain moves you to a deeper level of commitment and strategic thinking on that “2012 Thought” you created. It is this symbiosis of deliberate and selective brainstorming that takes you to a higher consciousness of an idea. This mindset makes the difference between a resolution and an accomplished result. So to all of you who seek more in life and work, may you forge a better, more intelligent future this year with new directed Thoughts and ideas in your digital Brain. After all, we are what we think we can be. So be the most you can be… in your Brain.

Happy New Year and Happy Digital Thinking!

Video Resources

Watch our 6 minute video tip on how to add your 2012 resolutions in your Brain!

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Filed under: Applications. How You Can Use TheBrain!, Getting Things Done, Mind Mapping and Information Visualization, Self Discovery and Inspiration | Posted on January 10th, 2012 by Shelley Hayduk

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