Starting a Bullet Journal

Hello and Happy Friday. Today, while enjoying a hot cup of Tealightful Turmeric Tulsi, we’re going to be talking about a trend that seems to be creating lots of buzz: the bullet journal. 

What is a bullet journal — or BuJo as they are often called on social media? To be frank, it is a game-changer.

journalbook

Do you wish you could be a bit more organized to make life just a tad easier? I know I do!

Do you TRY to be more productive, but when you read about simplifying, the articles make it look like a chore and it feels completely overwhelming?

Sometimes it seems like everything we read might as well be called “Simplify your life in 101 easy steps!” – I think things are made to be too complex. I mean, if you are trying to get more organized so life can be simpler, should it really be that hard? I used to think that a planner would solve everything. It didn’t. Here is why: I have a wall calendar with appointments and birthdays on it. I have the calendar from the school PTSA with all of the school activities on it. I have a gratitude journal. I have the standard spiral notebook type of planner. I have post-it notes sticking to my planner and calendars.

That is so overwhelming to me to have multiple “planners” and organizers to keep me organized. The reality is that it makes things unnecessarily complicated. And guess what? I am still not organized.

I had seen Pinterest pins about bullet journals and never gave them another glance. It wasn’t until our very own Charlene here at Tealightful mentioned them that I decided to give it a look. We can do this together, friends. If you decide to start one of your own, I would love for you to stop back and share photos of what you have done.

What is a bullet journal?

Can I make a confession? When I read that a bullet journal is an “analog system for the digital age,” I almost ran the other way because it sounded intimidating to me — I almost thought it was just another complex way to “simplify” my life like everything else.

I first watched the You Tube video on the bullet journal and, again, I felt intimidated. It all seemed like such a daunting task until I re-watched the video and read more on the Bullet Journal website.

Ryder Carroll, the man behind this creation, says on his website that “all you need is a notebook and a pen.” He is right. I just needed to see that little reminder and read on to the part where he says that the bullet journal is “an evolving, adaptable practice meant to be self curated as you determine what works best for you.”

I tailored my bujo so that it will work for me. That is the beauty of a bullet journal. You need to do it in a way that works best for YOU, but when you do, it will be a game-changer in your routine!

  • The bullet journal is a simple and effective way to stay on track today and in the future.
  • The bullet journal is going to be your go-to book. It is like a day planner, personal diary, to-do list, sketchpad, and place to jot down ideas and inspiration all in one place.
  • The bullet journal focuses on being brief. Instead of long sentences, the idea is to use bullets and be a brief as you can to save you time.
  • The bullet journal is great for people who love stationery, pens, and who are visual. Because of its “systematic” nature, it also works for those who are more logical and who like repetition.

What are the parts of a bullet journal?

  1. Index – This is a really important part of your journal, but it makes things easy. Do not fill this out until you set up the rest. You will want to know which page numbers (if your journal is not numbered, just do it yourself) go with which section. Again, this WILL make things go more smoothly.
  2. Future Log – Have a designated space in the journal for each month. In the video, it has the next six months broken into three equal parts. It is a great way to keep your future events in one place. In my future log, for example, I have birthdays, concerts at school, and an August wedding written down. I like to mark down things I know are not for quite a while (like the half marathon my son will do again in September), but that need to be logged for my own sanity.
  3. Monthly log – After you have carved out a couple pages for your Future Log, it is time for the monthly log. Write one month on the left page. You are going to write down the dates in the month (If you start with January, you would be doing 1-31 going down the page). On the opposite page, you can add tasks that you have to go with that month.
  4. Daily Log –  I like to do two days per page, but that is up to you! Write down the things that you need/want to do each day.
  5. Collections — This would be things you want to keep track of such as grocery shopping lists, wishlists, projects, etc.
  6. You can also track habits — exercise, meals eaten, how well you slept, water consumption, savings/spending, your mood, etc. in this journal.

The key to your journal?

The key. What? Yes, you will need a key in your journal too. Again, there is a suggested key on the Bullet Journal website, but you need to make your system work for you. I have seen hundreds of key ideas on the internet. Mine is pretty simple and I also added color coding just because the colors really help me stay organized.

Here is a look at my key page:

bulletjournalkey

 

To be continued…

I just started bullet journaling this month. I am already seeing the benefits. I am saving QUITE A BIT of time by having my day to day life pretty much in this one book. What I would like to do is share with you how the process goes and stop back here and share any more tips I learn as I go.

I also do not want to overwhelm you. This should not be overwhelming — it should help minimize that feeling for you.

Next week, I am going to be back with more photos after I tweak mine a bit so it feels even more comfortable to me. Let’s make this something that we can do together and share!

Have you tried starting a bullet journal? How has it helped you? Any tips?

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Keep in 2018

“I want to lose 25 pounds.”

“I am going to become vegan.”

“I am going to the gym 5 days a week.”

It seems like so many of us set very lofty goals – or resolutions – when we turn the page to January on the new calendar. All you need to do is watch the morning news shows or catch the gym ads on television to know that NOW is when so many people plan to start fresh for the new year.

So many of the goals focus on health. That is not a bad thing. I often wonder — and science seems to validate– that we are setting ourselves up for failure. Once we hit February and March, the resolutions we set January 1 are often broken, leaving us with feelings of guilt and self doubt.

What if — just what if — we resolved to be KIND to ourselves in 2018? How would we feel when the end of the year rolls around?

Let’s talk about some self-care resolutions that we all should make (and keep!) in the New Year. Who would like to join me?

1. Resolve to speak to yourself the way you speak to others.

Think about it. I want you to step back and think of the words you are speaking to yourself about yourself in your head. “Ugh. I ate like a pig over the holidays. My clothes look horrible. I look horrible.” Would you ever think to speak those words to a loved one? No. So why is it, then, that we can think such unkind thoughts and tell ourselves such unkind words? What would happen if we changed that dialog? Replace “I could never”, “I am not”, “If I were smarter/thinner/prettier/stronger” with words that build you up rather than tear your down. If you would not speak unkindly to your loved ones, why on earth would you speak poorly to yourself?

2. Resolve to be true to yourself.

Have you seen the graphic floating around on social media which reads, “Be fearlessly authentic”? When I say be TRUE to yourself, that pretty much sums up what I mean. Do you kind of just go with the flow for fear of rocking the boat, even if it means you are unhappy? I have a friend who used to be in a couple’s sporting league. She hated those three hours per weekend, yet she continued acting like she enjoyed it because she did not want to disappoint her friends. Finally, she confessed the she absolutely dreaded playing the sport and decided not commit to another season.

By disguising her true feelings, she was pretending to enjoy something she didn’t enjoy. She started to feel resentful, stressed out, and mad at herself for not saying anything. By remaining true to her heart, she decided to say no to activity she did not enjoy and said yes to herself. She still sees her friends, but has freed up time to enjoy painting classes instead, which is something she enjoys and nourishes her soul. Just be YOU. Your friends will still love you for who you are and will likely appreciate the fact that you love yourself enough to live more fully.

3. Resolve to spend less time on your devices.

We are constantly plugged into technology.

It is almost as if we panic at the thought of missing out on something important if we put the phone down. What would happen if you stayed away from social media for an evening?

Would it be the end of the world? Absolutely not.

By spending a few hours unplugged, you will find that you have more time to engage in conversation, play with your children, get lost in the pages of a good book or maybe even head to bed early.

If the thought of cutting that cord seems scary, take baby steps. Schedule hours of being unplugged to focus on your self care. For example, start with just one evening a week. Commit to this small block of time and see what happens.

4. Resolve to try Matcha for improved mental clarity.

Matcha — an antioxidant-rich green tea powder — was introduced to Japan in 1191 by Eisai, a Buddhist monk. Eisai is believed to have planted the first green tea seeds in Japan. He is even more well known for having developed the philosophy known as Zen. Since that time, Matcha and Zen meditation have been intertwined through the tea ceremony. It is believed that Buddhist monks drank Matcha to help them feel grounded and calm with a sense of clarity while meditating for long periods of time. The tradition has continued centuries later.

Matcha is not your typical green tea — it may take ten cups of green tea to give you the benefits of just one cup of Matcha. What is unique about this drink, as opposed to a cup of coffee, is that it is believed to increase your mental clarity while making you feel at peace. Next time you head to the yoga studio, try sipping Matcha — it will allow you to be in the moment while being better able to concentrate on each pose. You can also try Matcha before a big test, presentation at work, or any other time you feel the need for a bit more focus.

5. Resolve to show your gratitude more often.

The greatest gift you can give a person is your gratitude. Making someone feel loved and appreciated is a true gift. Don’t wait for “later” or a “more convenient time” to show your gratitude for the people you love.

Whether it’s your significant other, parents, friends, your child’s teacher or a neighbor, wouldn’t it be really amazing if you took a moment to show someone your gratitude each day?

There are scientifically-proven benefits to expressing your gratitude. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, people who express their gratitude tend to be healthier. In addition to getting more exercise, they tend to keep up with their regular doctor’s wellness visits, according to the study.

Additionally, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. says that people who are grateful are less resentful and do not hold on to toxic emotions. His research in the field of gratitude concludes that people who express and feel genuine gratitude are happier overall.