This new form of journaling took the world by storm a few years ago and has continued to increase in popularity. Countless individuals swear by bullet journaling and say that their journeys toward wellness and self-love began on the pages of a bullet journal. I was never convinced, but have found that it’s a great tool for becoming more self-aware and for organizing my hectic life.
I’ve been learning a lot of lessons this winter about how grateful I should be for the people surrounding me and the amount of love in my life. I never realized how resilient I am or sat down to think about the adventures that seep into our day to day routine — we are restless and don’t like having a game plan. It’s more entertaining to live in the moment and find ourselves in unexpected places. When I take the time to write about it… even if it’s just a few lines per day… I gain a new understanding and appreciation for the lifestyle I lead.
Self-analysis was not always my forte. I’d find myself lost in a whirlwind of stressors and was never sure where to start and where to end. Even though writing encompassed most of my life, I was never one for journaling and found myself too busy to stick to jotting down a few notes per day. In my search for a way to be more mindful and focus on where I can improve in my day to day life, I stumbled across bullet journaling.
Let me start by saying that I am not telling you to go pour your soul onto the pages of a notebook that has a fuzzy pink cover and lock like the ones you’d have when you were a little girl. It’s not about writing every single detail of your day. Bullet journals are about deconstructing your life in a way that helps you understand it. Think of it like a storage unit where you can categorize and explore the important moments, people, and ideas in your life. There are hundreds of ways to build your bullet journal — fill yours with to do lists, goals, ideas, calendars, and notes.
Are you ready to start a bullet journal? There are tons of blank bullet journals out there and it’s easy to get started. Don’t forget to pick up some colorful pens to help you get started. If you need a little help and want a bullet journal that’s already planned out for you, this one is a great option! Good luck!
Here’s why I enjoy it:
- I focus more on what I need to get done –When you give yourself a to do list and prioritize by the things you need to get done that day, week, month, or year, you give yourself a timeline of when you need to have things done. Regularly visiting these lists and marking off when you’ve accomplished certain tasks or goals can help you continue moving forward and stay focused on completing the next task. For me, I normally have two lists. One is my short list where I have little things like “Buy Christmas presents for the family” or “Go to the grocery store on Tuesday before everyone comes over”. I have my long list where I have more serious or large items like “Deposit $200 a month into mutual fund” or “Finish my novel”. Dividing up the tasks makes them easier to accomplish.
- Discovering your challenges and weaknesses is very helpful — Taking the time to sit down and analyze your life is always a little strange at the beginning. There are tons of bullet journal entries to write about which we will get into later, but the options are really endless. Maybe you challenge yourself to answer “Write about an missed opportunity you wish you had taken. If you could do it over what would you change?” or try to think critically about yourself with questions like “True or False: ‘I am more likely to try something if others will be impressed'”. The beauty is you can write an entry about whatever you find most interesting or challenging. I push myself to think about how I can improve in my day to day life — whether it’s as a friend, girlfriend, daughter, employee, or overall person. We all have things to improve on so start thinking about where your weaknesses lie.
- I make time to write for a few minutes each day — For me this is a big one. Writing is my happy place in the sense that it helps me decompress, focus, and challenge myself. While bullet journaling has nothing to do with writing poetry or creating a short story, it helps me get the ball rolling and start focusing more on where my head is. I try and give myself 10 minutes a day to jot down a few notes.
- I don’t feel like I forget as much — When I have someplace where I am storing my to do list and making notes, I feel like my schedule (and thoughts) are much more focused. I don’t sit there and feel like I am forgetting something from a few days before. I can flip to the page and the important note is there.
- It’s up to you how you use it — I personally find that I don’t give myself enough time to do things that help me decompress and unwind after a long day. While it may seem very easy to dedicate one hour of your day for a yoga class or twenty minutes for a bubble bath and glass of wine, it can be a real challenge to commit to it. Bullet journaling help me focus my schedule and make time for those important activities that make me happy.
- I started focusing more on self-care and self-awareness — This method of journaling helps me keep track of what I am doing for my health and happiness. It’s a great way to establish healthy habits and record them in an organized way. Maybe you make a list of which supplements you need to take, if you hit your step count for the day, if you drank enough water, etc. It’s a very easy way to keep track of your health and you will feel better in the long run!
- It allows you to be creative — Even if you hate drawing or are a perfectionist who can’t handle squiggly lines or unsymmetrical tables, there’s something for everyone. It’s fun to create a mini art project for yourself that keeps you motivated and creating. You will learn to relax and that it is okay if you lines aren’t 100% straight.
- It made me grateful — Taking 30 seconds to write down something that you are grateful for or something that makes you happy is a great way to focus on having a ‘glass half full’ mentality rather than a ‘glass half empty’ one. Maybe you’re grateful for cinnamon toast crunch because it’s delicious and you are so happy you got to eat it for breakfast. Maybe you’re grateful for your boss because she was very nice when you weren’t having a great day. It’s up to you, but we’re all grateful for something