Goal mapping vs New Year’s resolutions

I am a great fan of self development and a great advocate of goal setting as a continuous process and not just for the New Year. In fact, I don’t normally make any specific New Year’s resolutions at all.

I do however have a lot on my plate at the moment – at least 10 ‘pots of responsibility’ combining business with personal. So, I do need to gain some sort of order around how I am going to grow and make good decisions across every pot over the next few months.

So, I signed up for a Goal Mapping workshop to see if this technique might be more helpful in my planning.


And, as I would normally do before any workshop I go on, I sat down the night before and did a bit of preparation. This preparation involved me mind mapping all my pots and stressing myself out with the sheer scale of what I am holding and what I am planning. I am definitely in the phase of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

What is goal mapping?

The idea of goal mapping is to understand the background to how and why it works. This includes the left and right brain functions, the 80/20 rule, the principles of LIFT and the structure of the map. Then you create your own map using what you have learnt during the workshop. Once you are familiar with the technique you can then go on and create new goal maps. This can be as often as needed and, in some instances, in about 5 minutes.

The appeal for me was the use of pictures. I’m pretty visual. I have photos of the things I am aiming for stuck to my pc monitor, as well as numerous quotes stuck around the office. I like to look at colours and pictures and words combined, and this technique does just that.

At the end of the day I created a map that I was disappointed with. I wanted more time to explore some of the areas. I wanted to re-do my map in a way that I felt more comfortable with. So, I held back from ripping it up. I don’t think I was looking for perfection…….

After the session

When I got home I didn’t do anything more. I sat, relaxed and let things settle. The next morning a drew a new map (see image below). Whilst it isn’t massively dissimilar to the first one, it’s clearer and more representative of what I’m aiming for.

And the great thing is I can put it up in the office and nobody has any idea what any of it means. The symbols and dodgy drawings are only meaningful to me. People might think they mean one thing, but it is highly unlikely that what they believe is correct. But I can follow it and take action from it which is exactly what I need.

Now that I have a good understanding of how it works, I am going to do some really specific goal maps too – for areas which need more focus and clarity.

If you want to find out more about this technique, have a look the guest blog written by coach David Jessop. It’s also worth checking out the Brian Mayne website which has some free resources.