Yes, knowledge is power in this trade, but you must understand why you’re investing in property. What lifestyle goals are you reaching for? Part of being a switched-on property investor is being able to visualise where you’re heading and why.
One of the biggest yet underrated capabilities in property investment is goal setting. When you meet with a Capital Properties’ advisor, you may be surprised to discover that we don’t jump straight into banging on about numbers and markets. We will help you tap into your creativity and guide you as to how to prioritise what is important to you in life.
You will boost your property investment strategy by adding goal clarity to your toolkit. Mind mapping is a powerful way to help discover and prioritise your lifestyle wants and needs.
Grab a few different coloured pens or markers and a super-sized piece of paper. We’re about to take on a mind map adventure!
On the go? Here’s 30 seconds of take outs:
- The best researched property investment plan without clearly defined goals, is not a strategy. Always start with the why, and then you can start planning the how.
- Creative methods such as mind mapping are powerful goal planning tools to help you flush out all the ideas you may not have even known you possessed and put them down on paper. Once your ideas are visually in front of you, grouping and prioritising what is most important to you becomes clearer.
- Goal setting is not a set and forget one-off activity. In your property investment trade, you’ll need to revisit your goals regularly, so you can reset your coordinates to help guide you to achieve your lifestyle aspirations in the short, medium and long-term.
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Invest some time researching your goals and develop a habit of revisiting these aspirations regularly! Spend time researching the property market – learning and deepening your knowledge is awesome but it can be like putting the cart before the horse. In every significant decision you make in your life from here on, start getting used to asking ‘why?’ before you take any steps further.
Few of us have a strong self-awareness of what really drives us, particularly in the earlier stages of adult life. I can tell you, it’s not your work that drives you. I can also tell you, it’s not money. So, if it’s not work, and it’s not cash, what on earth keeps you wanting to earn your salary and start investing?
If you can’t answer this question easily, it is time to really start getting to know yourself better.
What is mind mapping and how will it help you set goals?
If you’re ever stuck on making an important decision, mind mapping is a powerful tool to help you make sense of the opportunity in front of you. Let me walk you through the concept.
Mind mapping is a way of extracting information you may not even have been aware you had, out of your brain and onto paper. Because it is a visual exercise, you’ll find that as you start to throw down all the ideas and thoughts in your head, you’ll start to see groupings of ideas as well as ideas that lead to other ideas.
Once you’ve squeezed everything out of your mind, and visually put it in front of you, you can then start to really prioritise which of these ideas and aspirations are more important to you than others.
Mind mapping is a little bit like emptying out an old-school money box when you’ve been popping gold coins away for a while. If you can’t see what’s in the money box, it’s hard to start planning what you’re going to do with the coins you’ve squirreled away until you open the thing up and lay it all out in front of you. Mind mapping is simply tipping out all those golden thoughts in your head (you know they’re there, but you just can’t see them clearly until they’re out in front of you) and starting to make sense of them in a prioritised way.
Here’s how it works. You start off by creating a central theme ¾ your goals. You then connect the ideas that spin off your goals and map them.
Here are some goal setting and mind mapping tips.
Step 1 – Get a large piece of butchers’ paper
When you’re planning a mind mapping exercise, it is best to go big! Grab a large piece of paper, like a big sheet of butchers’ paper or head into a stationery store like Officeworks and buy a giant sticky note pad or A1 or A0 sized sheet of paper (just ask at the printing area if you’re not sure where to find some). You want a piece of paper big enough that you can grow ideas from over several sittings. You’ll be mulling-over ideas in your mind, and as you can imagine, that requires a bit of scribbling down space!
Step 2 – Mind dump your goals and ideas
There is a wise but simple saying ¾ ‘If you think it, ink it’.
Start in the middle of your oversized page and create a little bubble. In the middle of this bubble, write the words ‘My goals’ along with the year that you’d like to achieve these goals.
You can potentially mind map anything. The idea is to cluster your ideas together. Now start to put any ideas that come to mind down onto the piece of paper. Examples of goals say five years out could include:
- be in a committed relationship with someone you adore
- trek the Kokoda track
- be a couple of rungs up the ladder from where you are in the Defence Force now
- change career
- be spending more time with family.
Branch these thoughts and goals from the centre bubble to create other bubbles. Your brain is like a micro-condensed filing cabinet and works through association. When you connect idea bubbles with branches it assists you to make sense of the connection and remember.
Step 3 – Creativity not analysis
At this stage of the process, don’t worry too much about the how. The concept behind mind mapping is to put down whatever is in your mind on paper and in front of you.
A creative approach like mind mapping calls for trust in the process. Remember, this is a mind dump, not an exam or assignment you’ll be graded on. No one else need even see your mind map. Don’t listen to the inner voice that is telling you to get analytical and rational about what you write down. Push the reasoning part of your brain to the side and tap into the creative side. Just get your ideas down on paper. Feel free to use different colours, images and sketches. When it comes to mind mapping a picture can indeed be worth a thousand words!
Step 4 – Mull over your goals
Try to mind map your goals in a couple of sittings. Allow some room in between to mull over your thoughts. Taking a breather in-between sessions helps to create a space to birth great ideas and strategies.
Step 5 – Mind map in chunks of time
Another approach that can help get your creative juices flowing is to think in chunks of time. Fatigue is real when it comes to brain work, and you don’t want your goals to reflect this!
As an example, you could start mind mapping your short-term goals as the first chunk. Maybe you want to just consider the next 12 months to five years in the first go.
Then for your next mind map session, you could stretch your vision to your medium-term goals. What would you like to achieve in five to 10 years’ time?
Then, if you’re loving the process and daring enough, the next sitting could focus on your long-term goals. Where do you want to be in 10 years plus? What sort of lifestyle will you be living and who else is in the picture?
I know that for some people a 10-year vision feels too far away, in recognition that a whole lot can change in a few years. Remember, this is a creative exercise. Starting to draw a picture of where you want to be helps pinpoint what’s important for you, what you truly value in your life. When you’re moving along with everyday life in the information age you’re bombarded with stuff every day ¾ distractions. And it is these distractions that can lead you further away from the path of what you need to do to achieve your lifestyle goals.
Step 6 – Organise your mind map
You may be thinking, “wow all of my ideas are down but what the heck do I do with this jumble of branches and bubbles?!” At Capital Properties, we can help. If you go to our Capital Properties’ website, and find the Resources and tools section, you’ll find Investor Tools & Apps. Your Goal Setting Toolkit can be found at the very start of this section.
You’ll find a blank template ready for you to fill in – Brainstorm your lifestyle goals. This is your Personal Action Plan, a powerful tool for tracking progress toward your goals.
Use the Personal Action Plan as a living document that you’ll visit, review and update regularly. Print it out and make it a visual reminder too. This will take the work you’ve already completed and condense it into a plan you can monitor.
Your Personal Action Sheet (‘Track your lifestyle and financial goals’) is a snapshot of your goals, a great tool to help you keep your action plan front and centre of your mind.
Further helpful resources and investor tools
There are plenty of free mind mapping apps available online.
Free Mind is one example – FreeMind.sourceforge.net > Wiki > Index > Download.
Software company Envato via its ‘How to Tutorials’ (Envatotuts+) has group together 10 Best Mind Mapping Tools for Better Brainstorming.
Map your mind, set your goals and accelerate your property investment strategy.
Free investor tools: Sign Up to Our Switched-on Property Investors Program | Your free online property investment toolkit | Property Investment SOP – The Book