Happy New Year’s readers! New Year’s is always a strange time because everyone is making new resolutions in hopes of keeping them, only for them to be forgotten by the second of January. The most visible representation of this, perhaps, is in gyms, the only day of the year in which they are at maximum capacity. This is the way I had always thought about New Year’s and New Year’s resolutions. Consequently, I never made any for myself. I heard people making the stereotypical New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise, and eat healthily, which are good goals, however, most people had no plan in place for how to actually attain these goals. People stumble into a gym January first full of sweets and rich foods from the holiday season and try using different machines without having any idea what they are doing. Others jump from eating fast food daily to eating at home when they have no idea how to cook. As a result, it is no wonder so many resolutions fail and that I myself, have considered them a joke.
However, having a plan with specific goals is completely different. Then the goal makes sense and is possible. For example, deciding to exercise and joining a workout class and clearing your schedule to make sure you can attend sets you up for a much higher chance of success. Stocking your fridge with cleans foods ahead of time and investing in some beginner cookbooks is also preparing yourself for attainment. Anyone can set a goal, but most people do not have a plan, and consequently never achieve it. One of my professors often said “failing to plan is planning to fail”, and I completely agree.
A great way to help you formulate a plan for your goals is actually writing them down, creating checklists, attainable daily goals, to help encourage and hold yourself accountable. A great way that I have found to do this is by bullet journaling. Throughout this post are pages from my bullet journal that I have created myself with inspiration from Pinterest, of course.
How I began
Starting a project is always the hardest part due to fear of failure, or in my case, fear of messing up. In the beginning, I was worried I would botch on a page and then I would feel like my whole journal was ruined. However, I quickly discovered I could use a pencil to map out my page in a much or as little detail as I wanted. This helped me avoid mistakes and overcome my fear of starting.
The second big thing I worried about was the layout of my bullet journal. Of course, I had done quite a bit of research on Pinterest before beginning so I had found all different styles and types of bullet journals but I had been unable to find much about the organization of bullet journals. Consequently, I developed my own organization as I went. I found that the easiest way for myself would be to have my index, yearly, weekly, and habit trackers spread at the beginning and then fill in the rest of the pages with “special pages”, or any additional lists or references I decide I want to include or track. Look at my index page below to see what I mean.
What I used
One of the best parts about bullet journaling is that you can use whatever you want because it is entirely yours. I selected a dotted, medium size journal, small enough to easily to carry around, but big enough to have room on the pages. Then I searched for very fine tipped colored pens that would not bleed through. This was very important to me as I intended to use front and back of all pages. Then I found some basic stencils. Finally, I slowly began building up my washi tape collection to had color, fun, pattern, and texture to my pages. I also invested in some fun stickers to use and enjoy since stickers make everything just a little bit better. I purchased most of my supplies at either Amazon or Michaels and spent under $50 for all my materials.
Bullet Journal vs store-bought calendar
My favorite part of my bullet journal has been creating it. It gives me a reason to be a little bit artsy and has an ongoing project I can work on when I need something to color or I wish to doodle. I also love that I can add any pages I want. It gives me so much more than just a regular calendar, which I usually end up not using anyway. It almost feels like a small way of self-expression as I will be able too to look back and reflect on everything I accomplished at the end of the year. In addition, having pages such as “books to read” helps me not only to remember to read but also helps me remember that that was something I wanted to do and have a tangible way to check off my progress. As a type A person, if I have a list, I have to check things off because it feels good. Having fun lists such as “craft supplies to buy” also helps me to have fun checking off items and makes it seem better to accomplish actual work.
A big thing I’ve realized since I began my creating my bullet journal is that for me, it is important to make time in my day to do things I love, like reading a good book or working on an art project. Life is too short not to enjoy it. This became the basis of some of my goals for this year, such as working on a hobby each day, working out, and being outdoors.
If I have inspired you to start a bullet journal, feel free to ask me questions. If you already have a bullet journal or are working on making one, I would love to see it! Thanks for reading!