If you want 2017 to be an exciting year, design it that way. That’s the advice of former Google career coach and job strategist Jenny Blake, who has helped more than 1,000 people improve their work lives. She recommends creating a mind map, a visual diagram of your interests and goals. Drawing one doesn’t take long and could help you figure out the next step for your project, hobby or career that will make the new year happier and more successful.
Blake tells CNBC: “My favourite way to brainstorm creatively – whether it’s about values or setting goals for the new year – is through mind maps. Write down the year at the centre of a piece of paper, then draw spokes with different themes that are important to you. For example, your spokes could be business, personal life, fun, skill building or health and fitness.
“From each of those themes, draw additional spokes to connect the themes to ways you want to improve or experiment in that area. Ask yourself, what’s important to me about that? And what does success look like? For example, in personal life, you could write, ‘meet up with a friend at least once a month’ or ‘take a music class,’” Blake continues.
The visual trick works because it helps you visualise the different ways you can improve your life, Blake writes in her book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One. Plus, if like many other professionals you spend your day sitting and staring at a computer screen for too long, drawing can be a great form of release!
Blake concludes: “With mind mapping you are taking pen to paper, going old school. The goal is to break out of linear thinking. Go broad. Go big. Go sideways, and then experiment to see which of your ideas is most likely to lead to a resonant next step.”