While working on this post, I am reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. It is my second time reading this book and I still love it just as much as the first time. As I am nearing the end of the book, I realize that I have been doing something that Rachel recommends for a while. I have been creating small mindmaps when I have a goal. I am going to give full credit to Rachel Hollis for this idea because I probably got it from her the first time I read Girl, Stop Apologizing.
When I have a goal, I like to create a mind map of what I want, how I’m going to get there, what I have/am doing now that will help me get there and what I need in the future. Creating a mind map allows me to pick specific things I can work on to reach my goal while outlining a plan so I don’t fall off the rails. Awhile ago, I wrote a blog post about the importance of goal setting and being present for yourself. But, I realized that I never discussed how important it is to organize how you are going to reach that goal. Let’s be honest, it is super easy to set a goal and check in on yourself every couple of months, but in order to actually reach that goal you need to set a plan of action. Runners don’t just set a goal for completing a marathon, decide to just run whenever they can and complete that marathon like they wanted. They will make a schedule, possibly hire a trainer or join a club, organize their families schedule to ensure they have time and research what they need to complete a marathon. They set a goal, decide what they need to do to reach that goal, and analyze what they have to help them currently.
This is exactly what I do. I always include four things in my mind map and I like to actually write it out. Below, I created a little example to show you what I include in each space and how I set my mind map up.
- My goal (the end picture)
- What I can do to achieve that goal (things to do and steps to take)
- What I currently have or am doing that will help me reach my goal
- What I need in the future in order to get what I want
For my example, I am using this blog and a dream I have. I would love to partner or collaborate with my favourite brands. Not just in-kind marketing, where a brand will send you stuff to promote and you can keep everything, but actual paid collaborations where I create something and have my name on it. I was thinking of some of my favourite brands like American Eagle when making this.
First, I created my one goal. I want to collaborate with brands to create collections with my name on it. Whether that is designing clothes, home/office decor, stationary or skin care. I want to create something that other’s can use and that other’s can gain inspiration from.
Second, I listed four things I can do to achieve that. I will definitely need to increase my Instagram followers, interact with my favourite brands using their hashtags, create content related to their company values or products, and I will need to post more frequently to help with engagement and followers.
Third, I list what I have right now and can do right now. I have a lot of connections with professionals that could help me, each month my followers are increasing, and I have chosen target brands I love to interact with.
My last step, is to do research to figure out what I would need in the future to achieve my goal. I would need a large following and obviously the brand partnership (that could starts small with in-kind partnerships). I also thought about if there is an agency that could help me with content, promotion and partnership deals, is that even necessary? Would an agency be able to give me advice on how to collaborate with brands? My last “would need” is obviously increase engagement. Brands love to partner with influencers who have high engagement rates with their posts, but also interact positively with their followers. Community is very important!
This is what my mind map looks like when I came up with my goal of getting brand partnerships. It is easy to set a goal, but to work towards it and make a plan of action can be more difficult. You need to be organized and precise with your plan. This means you have a better chance of actually reaching your goal. Think of all the times you made a New Year’s Resolution but didn’t actually work towards it or reach it. Did you make a plan? Other than getting a gym membership and clothes. Did you schedule your days, find other people to go with, come up with a food plan and find out how you could best use the resources at your gym?
I have two words to help you: Mind map.
Live. Laugh. Lists.
If you have a goal, or even a dream, write it out. Make lists of everything you want and how you will get there. Paster Mike Todd from Transformation Church once mentioned that you can’t achieve something or create something if it is locked up in your mind. How are you supposed to write that book if the idea is stuck in your head? You want to open a business? You can’t do that with you, yourself and your brain. You want to run a marathon? Well, that should be pretty explainatory. You need to let that goal or idea out to manifest. That’s why I love lists.
I’m not taking about your day-to-day lists, even though we all know I love myself a good, organized list! I am talking about a dream diary full of lists, ideas and mindmaps that will help you create the life or the you that you always dreamed about. Write it out. Draw it out. I don’t care how you do it, but put in on paper. Then talk about it with other people, not to get their opinion but to create accountability for yourself. For students, making a list is the best way to plan your future. Make a list of dream jobs you are interested in, make a list of schools you like, find related programs to your dream jobs and make a list of what you need to get into each.
Write it out. Create that mind map. Work on your goal. Be the best you.