Hello, and welcome to what I hope will be a series of blog posts. Usually, I will aim to get this out before the month begins, but to be fully honest, I’m regularly setting up very last minute. I didn’t finish my January set up until about the 3rd – so we shall see how that goes! If you don’t try you’ll never get there! Though, I would also like to say right off, my inspiration for my bullet journal comes from a great deal of sources, as well as some of it being my own ideas.
Anyway, enough of my rambles, these blog posts will show my bullet journal set up, this one for my January set up. I’ve changed things up quite a bit for January – I decided due to my New Years’ Resolutions or 2017 goals (which is what I’m calling them – but more on that in another post), I really wanted to try out some new things, so let’s dive right it.
First up, we have my ‘Hello January’ page, I like to do these because I think it’s nice to show a new start and space for the month, and it’s fun to do! At the moment, it’s quite plain, but I might come back in later and add some doodles. I went for a blue and purple colour theme for January, primarily because they’re my favourite colours right now, and they were pens I already had at home, so there was no need to buy anything – which we like!!
Next up we have my monthly log, this is basically my calendar for the month. If you’ve read my introduction to bullet journaling, you will have already seen this. My basic layout for this has remained the same since I started bullet journaling. This layout really, really works for me, I can see my month and how busy it is at a glance, I have a space to put, events, appointments and tasks, and multiple ones in each day, and I think it still looks neat when it’s all filled up. I also like that there is space for my goals for the month, which are based on my 2017 goals as well as anything new that crops up. This month, six out of eight are for my 2017 goals (one of them only loosely), of the other two, one is to dye my hair, which I want to do while I’m on my year out because I’ve got to have regularly coloured hair for university/career, and the other is to sew 50 badges on my camp blanket, which I just need to do because I have about 500 to sew on.
On the next spread is something new I am trying out. This is my ‘House Points’ spread. I’ve taken four of my 2017 goals, and broke them up into manageable chunks I could possibly do every day, and assigned a number of house points for them based on their difficulty. I haven’t yet decided if it is a rewards system, or just a method of tracking – the pedometer effect (that tracking encourages you to do things). Each square in my hourglass represents five house points, meaning I can see at a glance how I am doing. I’m hoping some of these will get really full. Gryffindor is healthy living, Hufflepuff is routine, Ravenclaw is my blog and Slytherin is money and budget. Next month, if I do this again, each house (or at least some of them) will have a different goal. As I am trying to show my mistakes as much as anything – the title of page should have said “House Points”, but my spacing went wrong!!
Next, we have my house work tracker. This is again a new thing for me. Whilst it’s great, and it does mean I’m doing more of my cleaning and things, it’s too much, it’s not possible for me to keep up with all of these things, so next month, I think I’ll calm it down, and only do some of the weekly things every other week, and change a couple of my daily tasks to every other day.
On the adjacent page, there is my habit tracker. Again, this is something I have had ever since starting my bullet journal. I love it. There are months when I have fallen off the waggon with it (especially December), but it makes me pay attention to what I’m doing every day, and it helps me keep on track with life. This month I am tracking:
- Up by 8.30am
- Bed by 11.30pm
- Teeth AM
- Teeth PM
- 5 positives (more on this later)
- Instagram (whether I post on Instagram)
- Morning routine
- 30 minutes on the house
- 1h on the house
- Daily challenge (monthly lettering challenge)
- Contacted a friend
- TB (something secret!)
- Blog (whether I did something for my blog)
- Water (did I have enough)
- Healthy food
This will inevitably change next month, though some will stay. Though I’m also debating changing it up so it is definitely possible to achieve everything most days, because this might keep me more motivated.
Moving on, my next spread is my spending/finance log for the month. This is something I’ve changed up again this month. I’m trying to spend as little unnecessary money as possible – the aim was none, but I have failed this on two days, but I’m trying not to do any again. Basically, for this spread if I manage a no spend day (meaning no unnecessary spending) it gets coloured in, if I spend money, it gets a coloured cross, the colour being a key to what I spent money on that day. So, on the 6th there us a red cross, under the key the red part says “Cookery book – it was only £4 in a sale”. So, I can look to see where, when and why I failed that day. On the other side of the page, there is a spread for “Things I resisted” this is basically my log for the things I wanted to buy but didn’t. This is partly so I can see how much money I’m saving, and partly so that at the end of the month I can take a look and see if there is anything that I still want to buy (e.g. paid blog hosting – to get rid of ads), or whether they were just impulses I should ignore (i.e. washi tape!)
Following this spread, I have what begins life as three blank pages, and ends full of happiness. Every day, I write five things on these pages that made me smile, or laugh, or that I enjoyed, were funny, or improved my mood. I call these my “Silver Linings”, because that is exactly what they are. They are the things that make by days bright. This really helps my mood, because even on the worst days, I can find five things that were good about my day. I think this is very similar to other peoples ‘Gratitude log’, but I don’t like that title, I think if I called it that, I would be more likely to put general things on the list, but with silver linings, it’s always specific to that day. I’ve been doing this for longer than I have kept a bullet journal, and I really hope that I will never stop doing it. I really urge every single one of you to try this at least for a few days, even if it’s just one thing every day. It’s one of the most worthwhile things in my bullet journal.
On the fourth page of these two spreads, I have my memories. This is basically where I write down (in fancy hand-lettering) the happiest memories for the month. I’ve done this before in my bullet journal, but I used to keep a list during the month, then letter it on the last page – I no longer do it this way, because this led to me leaving a blank page and not going to fill it in, or losing the list, it’s now in the monthly pages at the beginning, and I fill it in as the events happen, so it means I get one of my favourite spreads back, without any of the stress! YAY!
My final two pages are dead simple, the first is a “Currently…” and is basically a list of things I was currently doing when I started the month. This is the first time I’ve ever done one of these spreads, but I think I might do it every few months, maybe every three, just so I have a snapshot of what I was doing in the past. My bullet journal was one of my main resources when I was reviewing 2016, so I’d like to make it an even better one for 2017, and for my future family to look at one day to learn more about me. The other is the monthly challenges I am doing this month, for January these are: plan with me challenge (#planwithmechallenge), which is one where I post a photo every day on Instagram, and hollife holidays challenge (#hollifeholidays) which is a lettering challenge of a special holiday there is that day. I’m doing this under my header this month to practice my brush lettering.
That is it! I then turn the page and my dailies begin. This may seem like a lot but it’s very easy to fill out every day, and keeps me on track with everything I want to keep up with. It did take me a while to set up, but I loved doing it, I love bullet journaling, it makes me happy, organised and productive, and well as constantly making me strive for my goals. Next month will almost certainly be different, which is the fantastic things about the bullet journal. You can experiment and do whatever you like, and if it works great, but if it doesn’t that is okay too, and you haven’t lost anything. Watch out for my February plan with me, but for now…
Thanks for reading, keep smiling, keep planning. Until next time, bye!