Happy New Year friends!
Have you set your New Year resolutions yet? Did you set new goals? Have you ever written goals for the New Year and then realized a year later that you did not accomplish any of them? It is not a secret that keeping up with goals and resolutions is a challenge; I have been unsuccessful many times. If you read my previous blog, you now know how vision boards help me. But I want to dedicate this post to another of my favorite productivity tools.
If you have been on social media recently, Instagram or Pinterest, you have probably seen posts about the Bullet Journal—it’s the new trend in productivity and art. “The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” (Bullet Journal) The Bullet Journal was created by Ryder Carrol. He wanted to create a system that was flexible enough to cover all aspects of his life. The idea behind this system is that you can track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future. The Bullet Journal system is a great way to plan and track, and perfect to help you execute your goals. If you want more information on the original Bullet Journal, I suggest you watch this video.
HOW CAN A BULLET JOURNAL HELP YOU?
I have been Bullet Journaling for over year now, and I love it. Never in my life have I been able to stick with something for so long. I’m not going to lie: sometimes I didn’t even touch it, but I always came back to it. I found it very useful for when I was completing three classes at a time for my master’s degree. Bullet Journaling not only helped me organize my classes and daily to-dos but also helped me set my goals and keep track of them.
A Bullet Journal:
- Helps you visualize your goals and helps you dream big
- Makes your goals real, tangible
- Creates accountability
- Allows you to track and measure progress
HOW TO USE A BULLET JOURNAL TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS
1. WRITE THEM DOWN
It is incredible to see the number of people who set goals and don’t even write them down. Writing down your goals makes them achievable When creating the list of goals, don’t forget to be specific. Many books suggest your goals to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Do you want to run more this year? Do not set a very unspecific goal like “Run more”—goals need to be specific and measurable, so instead of “Run more,” try “Run a 5k by June.” To get started, find a notebook and write your goals down.
2. BREAK THEM DOWN INTO SMALLER GOALS & CREATE A PLAN
Break down your goals into smaller, more manageable goals. Little actions that by accomplishing them day by day, you get closer to accomplishing that one goal. It is so hard to get motivated when you are looking at the finish line. Setting up goals and breaking them into smaller, more controllable tasks makes it easier for you to get started and stay motivated. To make it easier, set up the plan early in the year or the month. I, for example, like to set up an expenses tracker and debt-pay-off page; you can use something like his to help you achieve different financial goals, such as becoming debt-free or financially independent.
3. SCHEDULE GOALS
As I mentioned earlier, Bullet Journals are frequently use as planners—a place where you can schedule your appointments and tasks, keep track of time, and increase productivity. You can use this system to schedule specific goal-related tasks. For example, if your goal is to run a 5k, one task that can be included in your daily planner is “Run 30 minutes” every day. Setting up your tasks on a weekly basis will ensure that it becomes part of your routine.
4. TRACK PROGRESS
One of the beauties of using a Bullet Journal is the flexibility it gives you. You can add anything you want in it, and it will still be perfect. One of the favorite spreads in the Bullet Journaling community is a Tracker—either yearly, monthly, or weekly. Trackers are a simple way to list the habits and tasks you want to do. Additionally, you can check the boxes that correspond to your tasks and habits to indicate that you have completed them at the end of the day. Being able to monitor different habits can help you not only track goals but also realize the unhealthy habits you can change. One good tracking spread that can help you achieve financial goals are No Spend spreads, which you can check off each day to reward yourself with the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment.
5. REVIEW & UPDATE
Set aside some time on a weekly and monthly basis to read, review, and check the progress on your goals. Make sure you take the time to acknowledge your failures and, especially, your successes. Be open to change. If something is not working for you, adapt, consider trying something else. That is the beauty of the Bullet Journal system—you can change it however many times you want. Every new page is a blank canvas.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO CREATE YOUR OWN BULLET JOURNAL
Starting a Bullet Journal doesn’t require much, a notebook and a pen will do. However, many bullet journalist have a list of favorites. My favorites are below:
- Notebook: Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Black Notebook – Dotted Pages
- Eraser: Tombow MONO Big Plastic Eraser
- Pencil: Pentel Quicker Clicker Automatic Pencil, 0.9mm, Transparent Burgundy Barrel
- Ruler: Stainless Steel Office Ruler With Non Slip Cork Base, 6″
- Glue: Tombow MONO Permanent Adhesive Applicator, 1/3-Inch by 472-Inch (62106)
- Washitape: Love My Tapes Washi Tape Set
I hope this post gave you some ideas and inspiration on how to track you goals. Comment below your techniques on how to achieve you goals. Will you be using a Bullet Journal?