I made tons of progress towards my goals with a bullet journal until I bought lined post-it notes. Mistakes were made. Soon blue lined notes were stuck everywhere. So I’m back. I created a brand new bullet journal list and improved on the old one. I’ve already used it for half a day and can feel the impact of organization and motivation. My work volume increased. I had missed the rush of filling in the squares after a task is completed. Want to organize and meet your goals? I can’t wait to share it with you. Bullet journals work!
How to create a bullet journal in a notebook
A bullet journal can be made many different ways. You could simply use the numbers on a calendar for one task and color over the date or cross it off each time you accomplish your goal. I like to make bullet journal lists. My first attempts were made on lined paper inside a notebook.
Bullet journaling for goals
I’m good about remembering the bigger goals like rewriting a screenplay, or editing my latest manuscript, but I forget those smaller lifestyle, self care, and health goals. Keeping a list of them to check off everyday, holds me accountable.
Whether you’re like me and need to get out of the chair or you can’t get yourself to sit down, a bullet journal will remind you to do what’s hard.
Break or form habits with a journal
Break a bad habit by checking off the days you avoid it. Sugar is a big one for a lot of people. Check off the days you held off from that afternoon cookie break. Need to gain a few pounds? Your journal can reflect an effort to eat meals or hit protein or calorie goals. That’s not on my list. LOL! Exercise is a big one for me. If it’s on my journal list, I’m more likely to do it.
Bullet journaling for the rush
Man, it feels good to cross off tasks or in my cases, fill in squares on my bullet journal. It’s such a great rush of satisfaction that I have been known to write down a few tasks AFTER I accomplish them just to see them crossed off my list. That endorphin rush is what we humans lust after, right?
Journaling for organization
It’s easy to forget to do a task if I don’t have it written down. Now I look at what’s left and try to keep pushing through.
Without a bullet journal, I may work on several projects on and off throughout the day, finishing nothing. That really stresses me out. Having a list keeps all the tasks in their own category so when I’m ready to exercise, I’ll also do my PT and meditation.
It becomes a life journal or diary
When I keep track of everything I’ve done in a month, it becomes a record. I can see what I accomplished and what I procrastinated. Being honest is really important. No one else is looking at it anyway. Maybe the task needed to be broken down into smaller parts or it didn’t align with my overall goals. I might consider dropping that task next month. Whether I look back on a few days or months, my bullet list is there to show how I’m doing.
Make tasks manageable
In my first bullet journal attempt, I made my blogging and writing goals too general. Now I break my work goals down into specific tasks to be accomplished in thirty minutes or less. Most only take a few minutes. The harder ones can take longer, but I usually go over that amount of time. The trick is to make them manageable to get sucked into the writing vortex. I tell myself, “I can rewrite for a half hour. C’mon.” I start and then look at the clock. Two or three hours have usually passed.
Bullet journaling keeps me focused
I do have a problem jumping from one thing to another especially when marketing blog posts on social media. It’s super easy for me not to finish with Twitter before my mind races to Facebook, then I think of something and check my blog. Having a detailed list keeps my attention focused. I keep referring to my list and color in those boxes.
Ideas for your journal
Make a list of work, lifestyle, self care, health, and fitness goals. Imagine how much better you’ll feel if you accomplish them! Or start with a work or blogging bullet journal. Break all the work into small amounts otherwise it could take a few days to check anything off.
Here’s my new bullet journal page
Instead of using a notebook, I made a page to be added to a binder.
I drew small calendars at the bottom of my journal to keep track of time. Anything to slow it down and help me stay ahead of deadlines is a very good thing. It seems to fly when I’m not aware of exactly how many days I have to accomplish a goal.
Sometimes life gets in the way of journaling
Sometimes I’m out and about and there’s no way I have time to do all the things. I cut myself a break then start again tomorrow.
Brains LOVE bullet journal endorphin rushes
We forget that most of the goals on our list will give us a rush when we complete them. Yesterday, I really dragged my feet. I was going through the “I don’t want to’s.” I promised myself I’d do something fun if I sat down and worked on a rewrite for twenty minutes. I ended up working for two hours. Yay!
If it feels so good, then why is it so hard to motivate??
In my case, I hadn’t created my bullet journal to cross it off my list.
Prioritize – Only include the hard stuff
We can have these giant lists and only focus on going to the gym or indulging in too much self care. If those things are easy for you and you have no problem hitting those goals, don’t include them in your bullet journal. Right?
I’m not a girly girl. The last thing I want to do is roam around shopping when there’s so much work to be done. Self care is not a priority, but very important to physical and mental health. I have to force myself to get out of the house sometimes. Self care makes my list big time! Note to self: add neck massage to list…
Use a key
My bullet journal works on a grid format. I fill in the box when I complete a task.
If I start on a task but don’t finish it, I draw a diagonal through it and color half of it in. I continue to do this until it’s accomplished.
If it’s a daily task, I color in the whole box.
When the task is finished, I use a highlighter to draw through the name of the task and the line. YAY, Me!
I have seen journals that use symbols to delineate work, fitness, health and self care goals. That’s too complicated for me. I group goals together and use a different color ink for each category. I also keep a few spaces in between in case I want to add something.
Need to motivate? Start a bullet journal
One of the greatest benefits to a bullet journal is it helps to motivate me. Part of my WOTY, Word of the Year, change, is to step everything up and meet more goals while getting me out of my comfort zone. Keeping track of baby steps toward my bigger goals is another way to help me motivate to reach them. Seeing it in a layout or planner helps reinforce them and keeps me moving.
Bullet journals work!
My hope in bullet journaling again is to better organize my time and reduce stress. Sometimes I forget how much I’ve accomplished I feel like without one, I work hard, but not smart. When bullet journaling, I don’t have to rely on my faulty memory or let my mind wander to the easy things that would never make my list. It’s amazing how those nasty tasks like doing 500 sit ups and two minutes of planks escape me. Sheesh! When I work through my list, the benefits are huge. A bullet journal reminds me to keep my eyes on my goals. This is my year of change so bullet journaling will keep me motivated throughout 2019!
I think you’ll enjoy making one too!
Do you journal or use a diary or bullet journal? Do you make lists?
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