How to mind-map your new year resolutions

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Yesterday I promised to explain why I think it’s a bad idea to make a long list of “New Year Resolutions”:

  • you set yourself up to fail
  • without a solid plan, the goals are pretty much impossible to achieve
  • you firmly entrench the idea in your head that you and goals are an unhappy mix
  • you may end up comparing your progress against people who are succeeding, and end up feeling bad about yourself

However, that does not mean you give up on having any goals at all, and simply drift through life without purpose. Far from it!  Instead, I suggest mind-mapping your specific resolutions for the coming months. When you mind-map, here’s what you do on a pad of paper or a computer document:

  • write down each specific goal, and make sure it is something achievable — ask yourself whether it is within your grasp while still being a challenge that you must push yourself to grab
  • next to each goal, map out the short-term steps to take toward winning that goal for yourself
  • create a timeline for yourself by making note of 5 daily tasks you can and will do every day toward your goals

If you have a history of making resolutions that didn’t last, be sure to take time with this mind-mapping exercise so that you can make sure this is the year you will succeed.  A free and useful software program I use, that I found out about from is Joerg Mueller’s FreeMind — you can download it at

to your happiness and success,

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