Why, I Keep a Journal

Welcome to the final post in the 5 step series to get the most out of your goals, designed to help you set and achieve your goals.

5. Make your goal part of your life, not an addition.

It is so easy for our new year resolutions to go by the wayside if we haven’t properly worked out how to fit them in alongside life.

It is usual for us have a calendar or diary on which we jot down dentist appointments, birthdays and notable events such as first day back at school, last day to submit a tax return, and Uncle Albert’s 60th. Then we might put together a list of things to do for a Christmas gathering on a spare bit of paper, scribble down a couple of ideas for presents in a notebook, and then try to remember all those purchases that need making and where from. Is it any wonder our well intended resolutions don’t quite get off to a good start?

But what if you had that all in one place?

Enter the Bullet Journal or Bujo.

One of my goals for 2017 was to make life more simple by being more organised and one of the ways I found that was simple and worked for me was a variation on the Bullet Journal that was created by Ryder Carroll.

The basic of a bullet journal is:

  • A future log for upcoming events
  • A monthly view, or many use a weekly view
  • A daily view

Yet, it is so much more than that as you would use one notebook for all of your day to day notes, musings and sketches. Head on over to the official Bullet Journal page or watch the video below to learn more.

So how can this help with achieving your goals?

Take a look at my version of my personal bujo. First up is the future log.

There are lots of ways out there to do this. I picked up this method from Instagram and it does the job. We go to lots of concerts so it’s good to keep track of them somehow. The standard format is to create six sections on a double spread for six months. This method means I don’t have to guess how much is going to be happening in a month, so I just write down the event and use a circle to denote which month it will take place in. You can see that I have split each into 3 months, which means it may also take up less space.

Next up is the monthly log where I note down key events for the month on each day. This lets me see which days are going to be free in the coming month. At the bottom I have a couple of tasks, denoted by the • which will be turned into a cross when completed.

At the moment, I don’t have a lot of home tasks that I feel I need to write down so I leave it at that. I use the rule that if it only takes a minute, do it now.

However, if you are wanting to schedule in that time to achieve those goals, the weekly and daily view is going to be a valuable asset. Here is the one I use for work.

At the end of the week, I lay out the plan for the following week, adding in the meetings that I have in that day. Then, I add in the main tasks I want to achieve the next day before leaving for the evening. After checking my email in the morning, I may need to add some other tasks and defer others.

If you head over to Instagram, you’ll see lots of ideas on how to set up your journal but don’t be phased by how much work some people put into them. Some people have pages of “collections”, lists of books they want to read, films they want to see, or places they want to visit. You might have a similar collection or just your list of tasks that need to be completed in order to reach your goal. That way, you can refer to this page when planning your day and ensure you are taking that one small step each day.

I keep mine simple because I prefer the minimalist look and don’t have the patience or the time for prettying it up.

Whichever way works for you, the key message here is to plan your goal achievement. If you can clearly see which days are free, you can make an appointment with yourself to work on your goals that day, instead of putting pressure on yourself to work on them when you have other commitments. It also allows you to see when you are going to need support from others.

So to recap, the five steps to getting the most out of your goals are:

  1. Lay the foundations and understand why you want to achieve something and what will hold you back;
  2. Understand what needs to be done;
  3. Set a deadline;
  4. Take the first step, however small;
  5. Make it part of your life.

I sure hope this has been useful. Next week I’ll be sharing the goals I have set myself and in the meantime, drop in to my Facebook page and let me know what you are trying to achieve this year and what you are going to be overcoming in order to reach them.

Back soon,

Earworm: Fall to Pieces, Velvet Revolver

2 thoughts on “Why, I Keep a Journal

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