Creating new habits…Mind Mapping can help!

Dear Mind Mapping Graduate

Do you have an old habit you would like to change?  Or a new habit you would like to create? Mind Mapping can help!

A common life coaching request is “I’d like to get fit, lose weight and be healthier” and this is a typical example of needing to change old habits and create new.  And, I have to raise my hand here, as there have been times in my life when I have said the same thing.   

An example of creating new habits:  Radiant health now

An example of creating new habits: Radiant health now

In creating a new habit, in this case a healthier lifestyle, a Mind Map can support you in the process.

This is a Mind Map I prepared around a new health regime as I was wanting to lose some weight and generally get a little fitter (gone are the days of my running marathons!).

Branches I considered included what my goals were, what this new way of being would look and feel like.  I also considered the obstacles that were likely to come up with preparation being the key.  I actually spent some time thinking about how I would overcome those obstacles and what works for me, things that may have worked in the past or that work in other areas of my life. 

It is common and quite normal to go off track when changing habits however the key is not to stay off track, rather get back on the path again referring back to what works for you, knowing this is a normal part of the change process, and then doing it is the key.  Providing structure, routine, and repetition builds the traction.  What works for me is putting things in my diary (I show up) and also making a commitment to a friend to show up (in my case my gym trainer).  Now with text messaging it is easy to create other “virtual” training buddies. 

Remember to include rewards for achievement along the way, including acknowledging your resilience building when you do happen to go off track and get back on again.  Having a Mind Map gives you an individual blueprint plan for your change process and can help in making the difference to your achieving it.  Not just another boring black and blue to do list (or yellow and black on your iPad notepad) that shows no connections but a colourful, engaging map that considers various aspects of the change you are creating and gives you a sense of overall control in achieving it by capturing it on a page.

Go well!  I look forward to hearing how you use Mind Maps to create positive changes in your life.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Best wishes, Marion


Mind Mapping can make a difference…

Dear Mind Mapping Graduate

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by the things you need to do and wondering where to begin?  Or walking around with so many things in your head that need to be done and then unmotivated to do any of them?  Mind Mapping can make a difference.

After a few weeks away over Christmas visiting our families, I returned home with fresh eyes to notice a “tired” house!  Amazing what a break away can do along with energy from knowing it’s the beginning of a new year, so I was keen to get started on a “working bee” for our home.  Bless our house however it is an old home and it seemed everywhere I looked needed work to be done and in no time my energy and motivation was sapped.  That is, until I sat down and did a Mind Map of all the things that needed to be done.  Below is a very simple Mind Map I put together.

Home Working Bee 2013, Mind Map created by Marion Langford on an iPad

Home Working Bee 2013, Mind Map created by Marion Langford on an iPad

Mind Mapping can make a difference.  By sitting down and doing a Mind Map, I was able to capture all the things we needed to do on one page which not only provided a sense of control and being manageable, it also meant I was able to clear my thoughts and not have to keep telling myself “I must do that…and that…and that” etc.  Once I had my Mind Map, I had a plan, and I was able to just get on with it bit by bit and as you can see some of the items have already been ticked off.  Curious, seems quite a bit of painting to be done, shame there’s not a “painter” in the house!

If you are a “list person” then Mind Maps are a great way to capture a list and rather than having items on multiple pages, with no connections shown etc, with a Mind Map you can get the full picture (or at at least an overview) on one page.  With colour coding, a few key words and images, you have a much more motivating, interesting and memorable tool for actually achieving whatever is on your list.  While the Mind Map above is a basic one (could add branches for details ie. research items, ring plumber etc and then put action dates), it was sufficient for what I needed to get me moving.

So if you are putting off doing something, have lots to do but then lack the motivation to do it, then try gathering your thoughts into a Mind Map, it might just make the difference.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Cheers, Marion

2012 A Year in Review…

Dear Mind Mapping graduate

As 2012 draws to a close I thought I would share with you a yearly review process I have been taking myself through for the last 5-6 years.  Some years ago I was referred to a book called “My best year yet” by Jinny Ditzler, and this process is an adaptation from that along with other resources I have come across over time.

Most of us take a break over the Christmas/New Year period and somewhere in that timeframe I allocate a couple of hours to reflect on the year that has just passed and acknowledge all that has happened.  Armed with my notepad and coloured pens,  I take myself off to a café or just enjoy the breeze sitting on the verandah at my in-laws home, wherever a relaxing or enjoyable spot may be.  I find this a helpful and encouraging process as it is about taking stock for the year, looking at what I have achieved, things I have learnt along the way, resources I may have drawn upon, and what the key highlights and the lowlights have been as each offers different learnings.  It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life and the rushing forward to the next project, however taking time out to reflect on the journey to date and acknowledge what has been achieved I have found quite rewarding.

Below is a Mind Map created on my iPad which you might like to use as a starting point for your own reflections.  As part of the review, you might think about the various aspects of your life, what you achieved, what went well,  perhaps what didn’t go so well, what you might do differently and so on. 

2012 A Year in Review, Mind Map created by Marion Langford on iPad

This is just a draft map and you might take a big picture view of those highlights etc or to help in your recall, you might like to think of the various areas of your life (e.g. family/friends, career, home, interests, etc) and each of these could become the main branches with sub-branches to capture what you have achieved, highlights, lowlights etc.  Mind Maps are quick to create so see what works for you.

In beginning the process of reflecting on my own year, it occurred to me this weekend at our annual Christmas Street Party, that something I initiated some years ago now has actually been happening for the last 15 years.  It felt significant.  When we originally moved into our street (fortunately a no through one) I wanted to create a sense of community, to meet with our neighbours and for children to have the opportunity of playing in the street (a fond memory I have of growing up in country Victoria).  Each year I put a notice in the letterboxes and everyone gathers in front of our home, bringing food and drink to share and Santa arrives for the children.  Our street party was definitely a highlight of mine in that first year.  Now as it seems to tick over each year, I can hardly believe that 15 years has passed (another 32 lolly bags this year) and a whole new generation of little ones have come to live in our street.   I guess a bit like savings, a small idea and investment in time has grown over the years and has now almost accumulated a life force of its own.

Taking time out to reflect on your year is about celebrating the journey to date and this year’s 15th Christmas Street Party will definitely appear on my highlights.  I wonder what highlights you had this year? What achievements you have made?  What life challenges you may have faced and what resources you have drawn upon to overcome them? 

Finally, I wish you a very happy Christmas and some space to celebrate 2012 before launching into the New Year!  For those of you thinking ahead, yes this is a two part process with the second part being about setting goals and aspirations for the New Year however stay tuned…

Until then, happy 2012 reviewing!

Best wishes, Marion

Launch of new website and Mind Mapping update…

Dear Mind Mapping Graduate

I would like to update you on two very exciting things:

1.  Exciting for me!  The launch of my new website! See and please note you now have my new email address. 

2.  Exciting for you!  Over the many years I have been teaching Mind Mapping, I have held off promoting Mind Mapping software mainly because for me it hasn’t had the flexibility, portability, creative capacity and ease of use that could be achieved with pen and paper.  Basically, I found it frustrating.  However technology has changed and this is where things get really exciting.

I recently bought an iPad and as a beginner I started to play with the apps provided.  For those of you who have an iPad, I began using the Notepad to capture my notes, or what quickly became long to-do lists.  Black type on yellow paper, lists of information.  As a Mind Mapper I quickly became frustrated with this archaic way of capturing information, where each page looked the same, no categories, no obvious linking of material, boring etc.   So I thought I would see what apps were available and, much to my delight and relief, I discovered a free Mind Mapping app to download, which I did. 

Wow!  Although not all features were provided in the free download, I could immediately see how I could easily use this tool to meet my Mind Mapping needs.  To gain access to all the features required paying an annual subscription fee of $20.99 so I did.  An absolute bargain!

Not since I first discovered Mind Mapping ten years ago reading Tony Buzan’s “The Mind Map Book” have I been this excited.  Quick, easy, powerful, colourful, finger touch, portable, creative and much more all wrapped up in this one app and captured in my iPad.

So what is it?

I recommend you download this app:  iMindMap HD and pay the $20.99 annual subscription fee (to the ThinkBuzan Cloud).  You will not regret this small investment, in fact I would buy an iPad just to be able to use this!  (And I’m not on commission for either!)

The app has some limitations, however you can run presentations from it, air print to your printer, easily change branches and information without having to start all over again and so on. 

Mind Map created using iMindMap HD on iPad by Marion Langford

This is a sample Mind Map created while playing with iMindMap HD on my iPad and my thoughts on travel.  (Some of you may be aware, my other passion is portrait painting and this was on the eve of departing for two weeks in Italy to attend a Master class in portraiture).

So if you do have an iPad, I strongly recommend you download this app including paying the subscription, and if you don’t have an iPad, then Christmas is just around the corner and I’d be putting it on my wish list!

As part of the launch of my new website and enthused by this new tool, I would like to send out from time to time, sample Mind Maps I have created and any news updates.  At this stage I have taken the liberty of subscribing you to this.  You may recall, at the end of my workshop there is a feedback form on which you initially applied for the monthly newsletter.  That newsletter is from the Buzan group, however any updates from me would be in addition to that.  If you would prefer not to receive my updates, let me know and I will unsubscribe you.

So with the run up to Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and all the best for 2013.  For those who continue to subscribe, I look forward to sharing with you some of my Mind Map creations which you may find helpful or spark your own ideas for Mind Maps.  And for my friends who choose otherwise, again I wish you well.  If you need to contact me in the future, you have my new contact details and my mobile remains the same at 0409 993 090.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Best wishes, Marion