September’s here, and it brought school with it. Transitioning to go back to school is no easy feat, but I have a few organization tricks up my sleeve that I swear by to make the process easier. Bullet journaling is by-far my favorite out of all of them.
Bullet journaling combines creativity and optimal productivity into one great habit. It ignites personal growth through habit tracking and writing through your obstacles.
Last month marked the end of my first year using a bullet journal. I am still in the works of improving my technique, but I can at least say that I learned a few remarkable strategies along the way. In this post, I’ll share my spread for this month of September and how to use your own bullet journal for the purpose of moving towards your best life.
identify your ideal destination.
In order to grow, you must have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Bullet journaling allows you to do this with a creative twist. In my most popular post, The Step-By-Step Guide to Living your Dreams & Achieving Greatness, I use a three-step process to create purposeful and effective goals. When you incorporate this process with bullet journaling, you will end up with a roadmap that leads to your full potential.
1. brain dump
Brain dumping is a method I refer to often in my posts. It’s a great way to collect your thoughts, especially when it comes to goal setting. It’s the beginning of the process I use to transfer my chaotic swarm of ideas into a well-formed bullet journal spread.
The first thing I want you to do is to get out a notepad and pen, get comfy, and start writing anything that comes to mind when you think about your dream lifestyle and what’s holding you back. The purpose of this is to take all of the thoughts that are constantly nagging you out of your head so you can physically see them in front of you.
The next step is to take this collection of jumbled thoughts and start categorizing them three different groups: long-term goals and habits, tasks and courses of action, and any concerns and roadblocks (if you have them).
2. looking forward with long-term goals
Effective goal setting is another hot-topic on this blog, and I go in-depth on the best way to advance in your goals in my Mission: BEST LIFE Workbook. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I recommend you do – It’s completely free and signing up to my email list gives you access to my entire library of free resources (that is also in the midst of an exciting content renovation).
That aside, one of the things I have you do in my workbook is define your “why.” There should be a passionate reason behind all of your long-term goals. This holds you accontable and gives you that boost of motivation to keep on going.
If you keep on asking yourself why, over and over, you’ll find that your ultimate reason is to be happy. Living your dream life will make you a bountifully happier person. Even the largest of goals seem achievable when you have that drive to become happier helping you progress.
3. daily actionable steps
Now it’s time to break down those long-term goals and habits into daily practices. Creating a course of action will over time result in your long-term goals becoming your reality. If your goal is to start your own blog, a daily practice could be spending an hour researching and creating a strategy or writing up and scheduling content.
In the next section, we’ll be using these daily goals and impliment a way to keep at them. Habit tracking is a large component of bullet journaling, and is a brilliant way to see your progress unfold throughout the month.
tracking (and making!) progress.
Now that you’ve identified your long-term goals, your “why” behind those goals, and the actionable steps you can take to make those goals your reality, it’s time to start to build an effective habit tracker.
4. what to track
For optimal personal growth during your month, it’s important to be tracking the right things. Here are a few great places to start:
- definitely track the daily goals that you pinpointed in the last step (these must be your priority if you want to reach your long-term goals, which I know you do)
- track when you go to bed and when you wake up if you’re trying to build a consistent sleep schedule
- track your fitness progress as a way to motivate yourself (I track the amount of time I spend exercising, my resting heart rate, and weight on my exercise tracker above)
- track your mood to see how you’ve improved emotionally
- track the amount of time you spend studying and evaluate how you could better time manage
- track your progress on a project you’re working on (I’m looking at you, all of my writer friends out there)
5. rewarding your efforts
Another crucial theme I mention in my workbook is setting rewards for when you follow through with your daily goals. Being able to fill in the date on your habit tracker is a great reward in itself because it gives you that terrific feeling of accomplishment, but feel free to treat yourself more than that. Go for an edible treat or schedule an outing with your friends. You deserve it after making so much progress!
Tip: Find a reward in the practice itself, too. That may be how it makes you feel, the long-term benefits of it, or that it’s over and you don’t have to worry about it for another 23 hours!
leaps in creative growth.
There’s no doubt that bullet journaling is a wonderful creative outlet. Each month, I enjoy doing a different theme, many of which I find on Pinterest or Youtube.
September’s theme was “set your mind on things above.” (Col. 3:2) I got the doodle ideas from AmandaRachLee and made it my own by adding some of my vision board images to the cover (getting my pilots liscense and spending more time in God’s creation) and Bible verses that went along with the theme.
The other Bible verse I chose this month was “He also made the stars.” (Gen. 1:16)
I recently started an incredible devotional on the Bible app called Bible In One Year, and I just finished reading the book of Genesis. That verse in chapter one resignated with me so much; The same God that created us created the stars, yet he loves us more. That’s always a good thing to constantly remind yourself, especially during the rough waters I know you and I will experience this month.
Having a theme is, of course, optional; Bullet journaling is more for self-improvement and organization than anything. However, I recommend using your bullet journal as both a life-management system and a creative outlet. There’s something incredibly motivating about a beautiful, new bullet journal spread that you only know if you try it!
After a year of bullet journaling, I’ve come to the conclusion that my life has drastically improved because of it. It helps keep me on top of the goals I oh-so-aspire to reach by tracking my progress daily. Besides this blog, it is my favorite creative outlet because it allows me to start off each month with a new theme and spread to fill in as I go along. It also keeps me present because every day is another chance at completing my goals.
If you’re new to bullet journaling, it will be a learning curve and may take some time to grasp. This month, though, I’ll be keeping the bullet journaling theme in my posts, so expect some hand lettering how-tos and habit tracking tips in the future!