Around the end of the year, I was yearning for not only a new start and a system to help me follow through on all the goals I set. I was tired of quitting on my myself or losing focus halfway. I found bullet journaling by chance while watching a YouTube video, and never looked back.
My bullet journal and I are now attached at the hip and I am known in my tribe for my devotion to ‘the book.’ Here are a few reasons why I’ve come to know, love — and stick to — the system of bullet journaling, (and you should try it too):
IT GIVES YOU PERSPECTIVE ON ANY GOAL, NO MATTER THE TIME FRAME
Short-term goals are easier to commit to but just as easy to neglect. Long-term goals are daunting and require ample planning and scaffolding to transform them into an everyday reality. For me, bullet journaling allows me to classify and prioritize tasks in a low-pressure way. Between the yearly, monthly, weekly and daily logs, it’s actually difficult to miss any commitment. By constantly referencing older pages with other goals, it gives you constant reflection on what you need to do. If you miss any goals for a particular time frame, the design-functionality makes it easy to forward them into the next day, week or month (or scrap it all together if you change your mind!).
YOU CAN SEE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN A UNIQUE WAY
We all know that seeing a completed to-do list will up your mood. But imagine seeing that over a year or even a month. Sometimes when I feel down or I feel as if I'm not making much progress, I flip through my bullet journal. Even seeing that my smaller goals such as paying down debts, saving consistently or meal prepping have been met gives me that much-needed self-assurance that I am continuously creating better habits and making progress.
EVERYTHING CAN LIVE IN ONE PLACE
Before using this system, when I was trying to be that organized, goal-oriented person, I would have separate books for everything. One for life planning, one for to-do lists, one for info on my career. I could never follow through due to the inconvenience. A great epiphany for an awesome networking technique could come, but the correct book was never in arm’s reach when I actually needed it. Bullet journaling allowed me to house these things all in one place. On page 35, I can have a daily log with my errands listed out, and on 36, I can house a business idea. As long as you update these pages in your index, you can access the pages you want whenever you need. An important page never gets ‘lost.’
YOU CAN DO IT YOUR WAY
The best thing about bullet journaling is that it can only not work for you if you decide not to use it. It’s highly customizable. Some people make theirs the envy of all premade Etsy journals with their own decorations and themes. Others (like myself) skip the decoration all together and love to go back and see all the scribble and scratches. There are so many different layout designs to choose from, it’s actually easy to get a bit overwhelmed. The best thing I did was to choose one and customize it whenever I found little kinks that weren’t working for me. You can add pages dedicated to a tracker of whatever is relevant to your life at the moment: moods, savings, sleep quality, exercise, book recommendations, etc. Unlike pre-made planners, you can do and add whatever works for you and get rid of what doesn’t.
It took me about two months to get into the habit of really using my bullet journal. However, in those two trial months, I found that I was immensely more efficient than I was prior to trying it. My bullet journal is another medium for me to be accountable for myself, to myself. It’s also a way for me see the law of attraction at work. When I write something down- I get serious about it! I am affirming to myself that what I’ve written down is important and that I don’t want to forget that thought.
My best advice to anyone starting out is, like anything else you’re trying to make a habit of, don’t be afraid of messing up! If this is something you really want to do, remember that the fear of making mistakes is nothing compared the failure of not starting at all. Trust the process. In this case, you can always flip back the pages of your journal to see how it all happened. Find the first how-to video I followed here.