We have heard it all, it starts the day after Christmas and doesn’t stop until weeks after the new year. It’s a new year, new you: read more books, eat right, lose weight and every other resolution cliche you can think of. Whether you agree with kicking the new year off with a bang and setting resolutions/goals or you set out to simply better yourself, it is hard to try to follow for the whole year through.
I am here to help you better yourself and focus on you (while being mindful of all the other wild thoughts and worries in the back of your mind). And all it involves is essentially a running list. No longer just a grocery list here, to-do list on this stray post-it note, but here you will find the inner workings of one of the newer listing and organizing trends. The bullet journal. There are more than a few versions of how to set up your personal bullet journal but in the end you do what works for you.
A Quick Run Down
You can make this as simple or as intricate as you like. Your journal will at a minimum consist of a key, an index, and your schedule spread – whether that is daily, weekly or by month is up to you. From there you can add anything from future goals (i.e. New Year’s resolutions), reading list, homework, monthly budgets and even thoughts and ideas you have along the way. Best of all you will have as much blank space to create as you need and it is kept in one perfectly compact space.
What you need:
- Journal (I prefer a Moleskine with grid paper)
There are dozens of options in any notebook or journal of your liking but gridded paper will make your life so much easier.
- Colored pens or highlighters
- Washi tape (optional)
How to put it together:
- On page one of your journal create a key, in which you will follow through the entirety of the journal. Make it simple enough that you won’t have to reference it every single time, but make sure you have enough different characters to cover your everyday needs.
- Next up is to number every page in the journal so it will be easier to find the correct page when looking within the index. The index will be your color coded reference, listing the happenings on each page. [For the time being I only have four colors; work, home, blog and health. Take a look at the Index image for an idea of how to list out your info.
- My work color code ranges from PTO, office happy hours and even to reviews and meetings. My orange home code ranges from cleaning the bathroom to utility bills throughout the month. In a way, it is possible to keep your everyday tasks through the house and also to keep track of budgeting for the household.
- Purple is for my extracurricular – that is the blog. It is meant to keep me on track for what kind of blog post ideas I have, and when I need to accomplish them.
- Lastly, are my health goals; it wouldn’t be a new year without the outlook of working on mental and physical health. I have been working at getting back to my physically active self, being able to run a couple miles without feeling worn out. I have hopes that the bullet journal will help me stay on track and accountable.
- After the index pages, add a yearly calendar to keep track of important dates.
- All that is left from there is to start your daily list. Take a look at Boho Berry ! It is where I got a lot of inspiration and details on the ins and outs learning how to bullet journal. Also allow pinterest to be your best friend for added inspirations on journaling. For New Year’s day, I did a complete page of my yearly goals. A reminder to myself to be a better person and to stay positive while improving my overall well being. From there I went into my regular daily schedule/lists.
The key to bullet journaling is that you have a blank canvas in front of you – you can use as much or as little space per task or day as you would like. You can keep everything in a running list so you don’t lose sight of your task or those wild thoughts running around the back of your mind. I look at bullet journaling as a form of therapy and meditation. Releasing everything in your mind onto paper, but still being mindful and recognizing all of your “distractions” at hand. I, like most 20-somethings, always have worries and distractions; from finances to work to life. By compiling everything together, I can watch my progress and assure myself that I am on the right track.