January Habits

January Habits: Journaling

It’s January, and whilst I don’t particularly do New Year’s Resolutions, I thought this month I would share some habits I’ve recently started and want to continue with.

I first came across bullet journaling in a BBC News article in August 2019 about someone who had used it to save enough money to buy a house. Essentially the premise of bullet journaling is making quick journal entries (aka “bullets”) for tasks/events/notes and managing these between a series of “collections” and logs. It sounds quite complex (and it is a bit), but supposedly once in the flow you can use it to organise everything (including finances, hence the house saving). You can read the full how it works here.

I liked the idea of this, so I started in September 2019 following the official bullet journal rules with a ‘future log’, a ‘monthly log’ and some collections. It all started off quite well, but I soon dropped the longer term elements and just did the ‘daily logs’.

My first ‘Monthly log’ and my ‘tracker’ which only got to day 4…
My daily log pages from September 2019, back when we could go places…

However, I missed out a lot of days and rather than being a forward planning tool, it ended up being a record of what I’d done (or what I could remember I’d done) and I gave up in February. Fast forward to August and I decided to try again. At first I just kept the daily log format similar to how I had been, but then in October last year after researching other people’s BuJo layouts online, I settled on a new weekly format. And with a couple of tweaks it’s what I’ve been using ever since.

This week’s log pages (at time of writing)

My new setup uses a double page for each week which I set up on the Sunday evening beforehand. It takes about 10-15 mins each week to draw the lines and do the initial filling in, but I’m actually quite enjoying doing it. I still use my phone calendar for longer term events, but being able to see one week ahead just seems to work for me. It’s also quite nice to spend five minutes at the end of each day to reflect on how that day was and what I’ve done (or not!). Although not wanting to when I’m tired and wanting to go to bed is probably one of the hardest things about this, although I am trying to do it everyday.

At the moment, most of the items are basic household tasks such as “buy bread/milk” (tomorrow’s only task!), but ticking off items is also quite cathartic and I often add mundane items just so I can mark them as done. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to go back to putting in exciting events that are happening and places I’m going to. I’ve also thought that I should use it to track emotions/mood, but that’s one I’ve still to work out. At least I can now tick off “write blog post” for this week.

So that’s it for January habits for 2021. Has anything interested you that you might want to try? Anything else I should be doing? Let me know in the comments. I’ll revisit these later in the year (probably July or December) to let you know if I’ve kept them up!