Have you ever had an idea that is so fantastic you can hardly sleep at night because you are so excited about it? I have. In fact, this happens to me all the time. I am a well-known planning fanatic. You see, I am an obsessive brainstormer, and a bit of a stationery addict. I always have a pen and paper handy to brainstorm solutions to problems I have or projects I want to tackle. Even though I am teeny tiny, I LOVE thinking big.
I believe when you have a good idea, you gotta write it down. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in bed and had a brainwave and thought I didn’t need to write it down because the idea was so fantastic I could never possibly forget it. Then the next morning I NEVER remember what it was and want to kick myself up the bum for not noting it down.
And when a good idea hits I just want to create plans and make lists. Sure, I could record ideas in my phone or in a document on my computer, but that sucks. It’s no fun at all. I love the freedom of brainstorming on paper. I brainstorm ideas for my businesses, planning my school assignments, what I need to do for my daughter and foster kiddies, projects to work on with my daughter who I homeschool, and dreaming up epic holidays. Oh, and my weight-loss plans. I’m always meal planning and trying to think of ways I can get rid of some of my chub.
The process helps my ideas to flow freely and organically, and I find it more visually appealing to see my brainstorming in coloured handwriting on paper instead of on a computer screen where everything looks uniform and boring. Other fantasmagorical benefits are:
- It’s therapeutic and calming (I suffer from anxiety every now and then, and planning helps relax me).
- Helps me think critically about problems
- Helps me feel in control
- Flexes my creative muscles- even if I think I don’t have any.
- Problem solving.
- Gets me excited. I freaking love getting excited.
So, let me give you my tips on how to brainstorm spectacular life goals and create plans of action to conquer them:
1) Have an end goal in mind. The topics you can brainstorm are endless, but it is important to have focus. Are you trying to solve a problem? Come up with ideas for a project? Plan an event, such as a holiday or a dinner party? Creating a business plan? Overhauling your fitness and nutrition?
2) The rules are, there ain’t no rules (yes, I am quoting from the movie Grease). When you’re thinking outside of the box, you come up with creative plans and innovative solutions. Don’t limit your thoughts. Don’t judge them. Think big.
3) Get creative. For years I did most of my brainstorming with a blue pen and a white sheet of paper. Then I discovered mind mapping and sketchnoting, and they inspired me to get a bit fancy schmancy. These techniques use colour, lettering, sketches, boxes, borders, headings and diagrams to add life and fun to the process. The best part about getting creative is it provides an excellent excuse to buy lots of Sharpies in many different colours and sizes. Who cares if you are a terrible drawer or hand letterer? It’s never stopped me. It’s fun, so just do it.
4) Wash off the dirt to find the gold. The benefit of brainstorming is you go into it knowing not everything you write down is going to be a viable idea, but each idea has the potential to lead you to another that could be mind blowing. When you get into the groove, your ideas get bigger and bolder, and you are thinking fast so you don’t have time to reject anything. At the end of your session, some ideas might not be workable or timely, but you’ll have a few gold nuggets to work with.
5) Get ready for action. Once you’ve come up with your brilliant ideas, you need to make sure you act on them. The best way to ensure you are going to take action on your ideas is by making sure they excite you. When I have an idea that fires me up, I usually do more brainstorming to help me decide how I am going to implement it.
6) Collate and record your gold nuggets. At the end of a brainstorming session, I like to record ideas for my personal goals in my journal or diary. I don’t even throw out my brainstorming notes, because I like to look back through them at a later date. Sometimes, I don’t have time to act on every idea I have, so it is good to go back and find little gems that I had forgotten about. Create a system that works for you.
To get started with brainstorming your best life, check out some of this printable:
My Goals Brainstorming and Planning Pack – I like to set goals for my career, fitness, finance, learning, passion projects and personal development. This pack will get you thinking about what you want to achieve and how you are going to accomplish it. If you love planning then this pack is for you.
Brainstorming, doodling and thinking big are very powerful tools for learning, planning, creating, goal setting, and improving. Not only that, the process is therapeutic and can help you feel in control. So, grab your pencil and get incited.