I’m back, but I’m not the same. I haven’t published a post in months and it’s because my motivation has been focused elsewhere. I wanted so badly to have a bullet journal-only related blog, however, it is an incredible amount of work and quite frankly, I didn’t always have the time to do it.
I have two young boys (two and four years old), I run a home daycare caring for 4 additional children, I do a lot of cooking, cleaning, errands and everything else for my family and when I finally found the time available to work on things, I had to make a choice on what to focus on. For a long time, that choice was a bullet journal blog but I found my other dreams, my other interests and goals falling by the wayside. I wanted to take some time to expand my horizons, work on other things and see where it would lead.
In that time, I’ve been able to try so many new things and research so many ideas that are incredibly exciting for me. I feel like I’ve finally got a bit of a focus here, it just needs some fine-tuning, then convert those dreams into an actual concrete plan. There’s some light at the end of the tunnel here and I’m finding myself more and more excited to just get going!
I’m done sticking myself in a box. I want to open up my blog here to write about anything I choose. While I’m more that more often than not, my bullet journal will be somehow referenced, I plan on talking about whatever the eff I want from now on. I need to be true to myself. I got the itch to write again and I was inspired by my husband and I talking about my oldest son’s birth story. I want to be able to write about anything I’m feeling passionate about without fear that I will lose readers. I am doing this for me and me alone and if you’d like to hop on the thought train, I’m so happy to have you!
One big item that I will be speaking more about is the fact that I have lupus. I was actually in remission for a little more than 5 years now, but in the last few months, it has not only given me a flare but become more active than I’ve experienced since my diagnosis in 2012. I’m at a point now where I feel I need to advocate for my fellow spoonies and speak out. My goal is to bring some awareness to the Disease of 1,000 Faces.
I hope you like the new format, come on an adventure with me because this is my Life Asarye!
I had a plan for today’s post. Plans change, and you need to adapt. Let me tell you a story about my bullet journal.
When Disaster Strikes
I worked incredibly hard to bring you the best monthly log I’ve ever done. I was so on point with my calendar wheel and my drawing this week. Then an accident happened.
As you know, I run a home daycare. I’ve got five kids in my care (including my own two) and all of them are boys. Things are very rowdy. Things are very loud. Pretty much all they want to do is go running back and forth with the big toy cars we have in the basement.
I’m all about learning through play. I even created a game where I block them from running and ask them to add and subtract. If they get the answer right, they get a high-five and mosey along their way. If they get it wrong, we count the fingers together to find the right answer, and of course, they get a high-five and mosey on their way as well. The thing to keep in mind is that I’ve got one kinder who can add and subtract double-digits now, and it’s encouraged my almost 4-year-old and the 3-year-old in my care to learn, and it’s incredible. I’m so proud of these kids it’s just unbelievable. They surprise me every single day with the things they’re able to absorb like sponges and how well they’re learning to play together!
Sometimes that doesn’t quite work out. Now and then, when the kids are all getting along, I’m able to pull out my bullet journal and get a little bit of mindless work done (the small things like paperwork, knowing that all my attention is on the kids of course!). So I run upstairs to grab my bullet journal and, naturally, a coffee, and I come down to sit on the couch next to them and get a couple of things done. One of the kids happened to throw a ball as I was walking in, hit me right in the coffee mug. Coffee got everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The scalding hot coffee burned my leg about a foot in diameter and more importantly (don’t judge me. I’m incredibly accident-prone, so a little coffee burn is nothin’!) my bullet journal. The entire cup landed in my Dreamdori.
Leuchtturm, gone. Finance Tracker, gone. Daycare tracker, gone. I thank Dana with all my heart for making a traveler’s notebook I could wash because I don’t think I could face any more heartbreak!
I stepped away from the situation because I was pretty much seeing red at the time, knowing full well that it was an accident and I don’t fault him for what happened! I need to be a role model for these kids, so I stepped away for 5 minutes and asked them to be on their best behaviour while I was gone. I sat at the top of the stairs (where I could still hear them) and just breathed. I went back down, asked everyone to play upstairs so that I could clean up then I had a chat with them about how everyone gets upset, and it’s okay to have those feelings, it’s what we choose to do with those feelings that matter.
When Life Hands You Lemons
You know the adage, we all do. Daycare closed and I finally had a moment to just release. I was understandably upset that all my hard work was gone, but there’s no time to be upset because I need to get reorganized!
I went and grabbed my blue Leuchtturm1917 (thankfully I had a spare!!) and figured I’ll just do a skeleton of my spreads for now, so it’s functional, and add decoration later. As I started work on my calendex, I zoned in, and something happened. I remembered how much I love bullet journaling. Not that I forgot or that I wasn’t enjoying it, but the day-in and day-out of bullet journaling is pretty mundane compared to creating your larger spreads and collections! It’s different! I remembered how relaxing this is. I forgot how happy it makes me.
This analog system is so amazing, but I think it’s essential to remember that it is subject to tears, stains, mistakes or in this case, total write-offs. Bullet journals may come and go but this enjoyment? It’s forever.
So yeah, life handed me a giant sack of lemons, and I’m going to make a crap ton of lemonade from it. I’m redoing every spread, every reusable collection. I’m improving on them, learning from what hasn’t been perfect in my last one and I’m going to make it better.
My New Bullet Journal
I’ve kept my calendex bare bones for now as you can see above, just the basic layout. I plan to add some form of decoration to it, but I’m unsure what I’m going to do with it at this point.
Of course, as always, I need my reusable collections! I decided that I wanted to reduce space where I could to save some space, save some pages. I’ve managed to get my cabin checklist on a single page rather than a double spread. I love this condensed version, and honestly, I didn’t need half a page of random words and sayings anyway. This spread is much easier, much cleaner and I like it better than the one that was ruined!
I’m also working on an improved version of my menu plan and master grocery list but having just shopped; I’ve got a few more days to work it out, so I’m going to take my time and do it right! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see it when it’s done!
Men, sorry, but I’ve also got my Love and War spread here. The same thing, I tried to condense it to a single page, and I love it smaller like this! I realized after almost two months that I don’t track my symptoms every day. Maybe one day I can get there, but for now, I’m not at that point so why waste the space! New and improved, I’m only tracking cycle days, fertile days, expected cycle and intimate days (though half the time I forget to put it in haha). Clean, easy, and serves its purpose to prevent pregnancy. (Can you imagine three boys, because my third would totally be another boy? My soul tells me so. I’m good with two!)
I’ve got a few more collections to get done yet, but I’m on my way! I’m going hard to try and keep the amount of time without my precious bullet journal to a minimum. I’m kind of already feeling like I’m losing my mind!
The Moral of the Story
Shit happens. Plain and simple. What you do with it is where you’ll find yourself.
I thought that if anything ever happened to my bullet journal, I’d be ruined! A mess! Instead, I sulked for a couple of hours then quickly got over it when I started getting excited to redo things that weren’t entirely working the way I wanted them to.
I’m not going to say everything happens for a reason because I don’t believe in that, but I feel like this experience has shown me how far I’ve come in letting things go and seeing the positive instead of just dwelling on the negative like I used to. I have bullet journaling to thank for that, even if that means using a system that can easily be destroyed.
Follow me on Instagram to keep seeing the progress of this new journal!
PS: It was a rough day so today, I had that child help me make chocolate chip cookies because he was incredibly upset about what happened. Everyone loves a good chocolate chip cookie!!
PPS: No longer will I be using an open coffee mug in daycare. Closed Contigo tumblers from now on so this doesn’t happen again!
I Forgot About Me
I’ve realized something about myself: I do not take care of my well-being. My entire life is about being a mom and a wife and a daycare provider. I have a million things to do all the time, and then when I finally get a moment of calm, I want nothing more than to sit on my ass and just do something mindless because my brain is on fire from working so hard. Moms will understand when I say that sometimes it comes down to a choice between working on something for pleasure, sleep or a shower. Many times it’s the former. I have quick 5 minute showers to clean because I would rather spend my precious, short private time doing something that I’m excited about.
I’ve gotten into a rut with no focus on self care. I used to wear makeup every day; now I wear none. I used to style my hair every day; now it’s in a ponytail constantly. I used to take pride in the way I look, and now it’s like I feel I don’t need to try because I’m just with kids all day and they don’t notice a difference. The problem is that now I’m left wearing the same clothes that I’ve had since 2006, they’re old and have lost their shape, colours are fading, and overall I just feel like a slob in them, never feeling like I’m pulled together.
I’m tired of feeling like a slob. I’m tired of feeling unhealthy. I’m tired of stress. Overall, I’m just tired. Something has to give. I decided to start looking into changes that I can make to improve my life and start taking care of myself too. I knew what I wanted to do but needed inspiration. I headed over to Instagram (of course) and lo and behold, the clouds parted, and I found my rainbow.
Upon browsing the depths of Instagram, I found Bullet Journal and Tiny Ray of Sunshine releasing Self Care #BulletJournalChallenge. The challenge runs for two months with a new prompt released every week. Such perfect timing!
While I will be drawing the framework from this challenge, I am making it my own and calling it My Self Care Master Plan. Initially, I planned on saving this in one of the inserts in my Dreamdori but instead chose to put it right in my 2018 bullet journal. I want not only to be able to refer to it throughout the year, but I want it to be a souvenir from 2018, something to look back on and be proud.
Week 1: Personal Care
Bullet journaling is my most significant form of self care. For the first time in years, I finally feel like my shit is coming together. I have improvements to make yet, but I’m a long, long way from where I started. I’m finally organized, it has gotten my creative juices flowing, and I’m even more inspired and motivated than I was when I started a year ago.
I’m the kind of person who gets a mad rush of ideas then goes into a mad rush to start a million projects, just to have them fall by the wayside shortly after. I wanted to learn to knit, so I went out and got needles and yarn. I learned a standard stitch, got confused reading a pattern for a different stitch and set those needles down never to be picked up again. The same thing happened with crochet. The same thing happened with painting. Bullet journaling is the first hobby I’ve taken up that not only has stuck around but continues to inspire me every single day.
As you can see in this spread, I’ve outlined six items that bring me joy in me-time and six keys to overcome barriers that prevent me from doing said hobbies. The most important thing on that list refocusing on my goals. This pertains to the previous paragraph because I regularly get distracted with new ideas before finishing what I started. I need to start reminding myself to take a step back, add my plan to an “on the horizon” type section in my bullet journal, and continue along with the task at hand. It’s so easy to get derailed, and I just need to focus.
Tiny Ray of Sunshine’s description on this prompt suggests listing a few ways to help you get through a bad day. I’ve called this section “Ready, set, reset” and I’m going to look back on this page anytime I’m struggling. The post also suggests listing triggers, but I want to remain positive throughout this challenge. It’s not that the negative things don’t exist, but I worry that if I lay out a problem, I may start feeling it when I’m not (psychological warfare?)
Week 2: Physical Care
This prompt seemed easy to start but became more difficult than I thought. I am creating a goal to begin these items on March 1 so that I can incorporate it into a habit tracker in my monthly spread.
The Feel Good Stuff
As stated above, I haven’t been spending the time to make myself feel good. With that note, my goal is to start doing my hair and make up every single day. I would like to get a haircut before I start tracking this goal but it’s no excuse if I haven’t. I would like to focus on spending a minimum of 10 minutes in the shower and having one every single day. When I’m busy with the kids, daycare and everything else in life, I keep thinking I don’t have the time. I rush through a 5-minute shower every second day, and I’d like to start slowing down and enjoying them. Maybe then I can also improve with hair removal (ladies, I’m sure you understand not wanting to shave your legs every day!) which I’m sure will also help with my confidence!
I’m awful for sleep. I’m sitting here at 11:55 pm when I need to be up at 6:00 am to get ready for daycare. I do this too often to count. I wake up and not want to get out of bed, I’m groggy for the first few hours of the day, grumpy because I haven’t had my coffee… the list goes on. I need to make sure I start going to bed by 11:00 pm and read my body’s cues when I’m tired and go to sleep earlier than that. By the time the kids get to sleep, I cram all my side hustle work in between 8:00 pm and whatever time I go to sleep, and the bottom line is that it’s not working. I need to get better at spreading small tasks throughout the day and just work on a significant project in the evenings so that I can stop, take a breath, and get my ass in bed.
I am somewhat limited in this area due to my lupus. My primary symptom is vasculitis, which is an inflammation of my blood vessels. My legs start to swell, they feel like they’re on fire and oh boy is it ever painful and I find anything with impact brings this on instantly. When I first got my Samsung Gear Fit2, I discovered that I was averaging 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day. It sounds pathetic, but apparently, that’s the national average. Six months later, I was averaging 7,000 steps, and now I’m anywhere between 10,000-15,000 steps every single day. It has significantly helped ease my vasculitis symptoms. My goal is to keep up with this average count, increase it if I can and reintroduce yoga into my life. I used to love yoga, and I still do, but again, I’m full of excuses for not doing it!
Overall, I maintain a balanced diet. We make our meals from scratch where we can, I eat plenty of fruits and veggies, protein, fibre and we keep our fast food consumption to a minimum. What I need to work on is snacking. I’m terrible. I’m addicted to regular chips, pop and chocolate and seem to be eating them every single day. I’m making the goal to only have pop on weekends and reduce the chips and chocolate consumption as much as I can. I don’t want to cut it out entirely because I do believe in having anything you want but it has to be in moderation. I spent my entire life watching what I eat, and I’m finally in a place that I’ve been able to let loose a little. I’m taking it too far though, and I want to get it in check. It’s not because of my weight, but because I don’t wish to an adverse effect on my health.
I’m so incredibly excited that I found this #bulletjournalchallenge. I would like to continue to share my progress with you. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see more photos and check back on the blog for an update later in the challenge!
Head over to Bullet Journal or Tiny Ray of Sunshine and get going on this challenge too! The beauty of this challenge is that you can do it whenever you want, you don’t need to follow their timeline. If you’re not quite ready, wait until you are, then rock it out!
Are you participating in this challenge? Comment below and tell me how it’s going for you!
My style is constantly evolving.
A little over a year ago, I set aside my fears and made my first mark in my bullet journal. Best decision I ever made. I’m probably going to sound like a parrot here saying the same thing a million times, but I spent months looking at bullet journal spreads before I actually did anything about it. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I’m incredibly excited to see where else it will take me. If you’re already an experienced bullet journaler, you already know this but if you’re new or haven’t started yet, here are the ways that my bullet journal style has changed over the last year.
The First Edition
I wasn’t ready to buy into the because I didn’t want to waste my money on something if it went nowhere. I’m cheap. I had an Arc by M (from Staples Canada) on hand that I was using for work before, so I decided to go with a discbound bullet journal.
My very first weekly page… was not pretty. I aspired to be like all the other gorgeous bullet journals out there with the fancy lettering and funky layouts… Having never used a brush pen before, I had no idea what I was doing. It’s squished up, it’s boxy, and oh my lanta, look at those flourishes. I have to laugh at it. Honestly, I’m still proud to show it off here but that’s because it not only shows me how far I’ve come, but it was a cornerstone of my life where everything changed.
Once I did a couple layouts in this discbound, I realized that I really did want to spring for that classic Leuchtturm1917 notebook, now that I knew I would continue! I barely even used the discbound before I made the switch. Here’s why for me: I couldn’t find dot grid paper anywhere. I find this odd. You can get blank, ruled and graph paper but in no store (at least in Winnipeg) could you get dot-grid. I wound up building a dot grid format on my computer and printed it at my local Staples but who wants to spend that much money just on paper? I didn’t have a printer of my own at the time.
So a few days after realizing I liked the system, I ran out and got my beautiful Emerald Leuchtturm1917!
When I Didn’t Have a Clue
When I first started my bullet journal, I had no idea what type of style I wanted to follow. I absolutely loved all the artsy ones but I was out of practice. I thought the minimalist designs were boring. I had high hopes for how my spreads would look but they all fell flat. I thought lots of colour would be great, but honestly, most of my spreads ended up looking half-assed to me. I’m also a perfectionist so it wasn’t the best time for me.
I think the biggest takeaway here is the fact that despite those feelings of not making it nice enough, I still kept going. I kept bullet journaling. That’s because it was the most functional planner I’ve ever had. Functionality beat out aesthetic by a long shot!
I tried so many different styles in the beginning that really, I was just replicas of other ideas I had seen, but no identity of my own.
Okay, There’s Something Here
The week of March 19-25 was a turning point for me. I created a spread that was clean, fresh and pretty all in one. This is one of my favourite spreads still to this day! This is the week that I started to develop my own bullet journal style. It wasn’t perfect, but I’m looking for progress not perfection! I followed this spread with another weekly log that I loved and the first monthly log I really liked!
Another important thing to note here is that I’ve already been seeing a huge difference in the quality of my penmanship! My writing is getting more legible, more consistent and evenly spaced.
The spring and early summer are a key part of my evolution here because I was loving my bullet journal so much that it became something I couldn’t wait to do when the kids were in bed rather than something I had to do to get organized! Figuring out a new layout is incredibly fun and I started noticing my creativity coming back.
My birthday is March 16th and I asked my family to get me bullet journal supplies. I wanted the Zebra Mildliners and brush pens and fancy pens, and I got em!
The More Content The Better…Not
This statement is wrong. Just saying. I started cramming so much into every page. At this point, I had opened my home daycare and there’s a lot of items I needed to track: attendance, meals, diaper changes, naps… I was convinced that no matter how many items I had, I had to fit it all into my bullet journal spread because that was the entire point of this system. Well let me tell you from experience, that’s really not the case. Ever since I switched to a traveller’s notebook, I’ve had more flexibility to put as much or as little as I wanted on my pages.
While I would mostly agree that the bullet journal can absolutely be an all-in solution, it’s not right for everybody to be used that way. I was so against the traveller’s notebook system but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even when I didn’t have as much content or items to track, I still filled every square millimetre of the page with something. Way too cluttered!!
My Brief Affair With Washi
Funny story. I hated washi tape. Couldn’t stand it. I’m not meaning to be mean but I always thought it made pages look terrible, all broken up. Then I found this absolutely GORGEOUS pack at Michael’s and I couldn’t resist. Granted, I actually used it to make a wallet-type insert for my traveller’s notebook, but I wound up using it on a couple spreads to see how it would look.
I haven’t used it since.
The Artsy Bullet Journal
I moved on to spreads that had more art: doodles, sketches and drawings. It started with the solar eclipse and grew into my favourite monthly spread in September, and my favourite welcome page for October. Feeling inspired, I continued to draw more. I did a portrait of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, Negan and Rick when The Walking Dead season premiered and a portrait of my grandfather in honour of his 10 years since passing (November 2, 2007) and Remembrance Day.
My bullet journal officially got me back into drawing, back to the creativity I had so many years ago. I was in art classes all through grade school and while I didn’t major in fine art, I did take a class at university as well. I fell off the art wagon shortly after deciding that I didn’t want to continue the education I initially started and went on a search to find a career I would love. It’s been almost 10 years since I felt this desire to create art and it’s because of Ryder Caroll that I have.
New Year, New Style
My 2018 bullet journal is heavily inspired by the beautiful galaxy Dreamdori I got from Dream and Anchor. I will be primarily using the colours inspired by space though not necessarily following a space theme.
My intention with this bullet journal is to keep the style simple and minimalist, with a bit of art thrown in. I would like to keep my drawings and challenges out of my bullet journal and instead into sketchbooks where they belong. As much as I love drawing in my bullet journal and I love the portraits I’ve done in my previous one, I don’t love the fact that my portraits are now covered in the dot grid pattern and not available for me to hang on a wall or, dare I say it, perhaps sell one day.
The Takeaway: Evolve With Your Bullet Journal
The bottom line here is to remember that your style will constantly change. That’s the beauty of the bullet journal: it evolves as you evolve. It can change as your needs change, as your life changes and as you grow. Let’s evolve together!
Is it me, or is it sickening how quickly 2017 flew by?
Well, ready or not, the new year is coming and for once in my life, thanks to bullet journaling, I’m going to be prepared! I’ve always been a person who aspires to work on myself continually. There’s still room for improvement. While I 1000% do not believe that anyone can be perfect, I don’t think there’s any harm in striving for it (within reason). Before I started bullet journaling, I always believed in taking some me time, exploring the things I’m interested in and figuring out things in my life that I would like to improve. The problem was the fact that I had no way to measure where I was at, where I want to be, or a plan to get there.
I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions because it’s the new year. I am however making goals for 2018 solely because it is the beginning of my new bullet journal. I have enjoyed bullet journaling, and it’s done nothing but encourage me to grow, and I want to utilize this tool to its full advantage.
My kids are growing, and so are my dreams
When I think about 2018, I’m thinking about significant changes I want to make in my life. I have come so far in 2017. I opened a home daycare and quit my office job, I started this website, and there are some items I want to pursue next year. My boys will be 4 and 2 in April and require significantly less attention than when they were babies. They play incredibly well together, and it has opened up a bit more time for me to multitask.
Now that bullet journaling has encouraged me to be the best me possible; I want to improve my life on as many aspects as I can. After a lot of research, I think I’ve been sucked into taking part in Level 10 Life. I’ll be honest. When I first saw this everywhere, I thought it was a huge trend, one of those cheesy self-help books that will be gone as quickly as it came. Not only do I think I’m wrong here, but I just purchased Hal Elrod’s, “The Miracle Morning” and wow, I was hooked. His story is incredible, and his system seriously seems to follow common sense, which isn’t all that common. I feel like his “Level 10 Success” as he calls it, covers every aspect of your life in one convenient assessment and that’s really what I was looking for in a review. You need a baseline to figure out how far you’ve come.
So what is Level 10 Life?
Level 10 Life is a method of self-assessment in 10 areas of your life. The purpose is to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for how satisfied you area in each area and then to create goals in each category to improve yourself. Of course, this assessment is entirely subjective. There’s no objective way to rate yourself; it’s all based on your feelings, your happiness. I think that’s what I like best about this system is that you’re judging yourself based on what YOU want in life — not what others may think. I’ve seen some pretty incredible spreads that have also helped convince me! Check out these spreads from Boho Berry, Bujo Mama and Craftyenginerd!
While I do not have a spread for you today, I am treating this blog post as a journey for you to join me and the spread will be created as I’m preparing my 2018 bullet journal. So let’s see these ten categories!
1. Family + Friends
While I am thrilled with where I am on the family side, I have room to improve on with friends. I talk to my parents and siblings most days of the week, though I should call my wonderful mother-in-law more often. I don’t call my friends nearly as often as I should. Yes, I talk to a few of my friends weekly, but I rarely go out. I’m so busy with the daycare, the blog and family responsibilities, that I find it incredibly hard to make time for my friends. That’s something I need to improve.
Baseline Assessment: 4/10
2. Personal Development
If I were to assess myself at the beginning of 2017, I probably would have given myself a 0. But thanks to bullet journaling and other life circumstances, I have done more for myself this year than I have in a long time. I am careful to make sure I give myself some much-needed me time, but it’s what I do with that me time that I need to improve. I now have this blog, but I have quite the list of things I would like to change about myself.
Baseline Assessment: 3/10
3. Health + Fitness
The extent of my exercise is walking right now because lupus limits what type of activity I can do….and as you can see too, I like to make excuses! What I need to improve on is limiting sugary treats and drinks. I’m addicted to pop. It’s kind of pathetic. Even though I’ve gotten very close to my goal weight, that doesn’t mean I’m healthy, so I need to work on that.
Baseline Assessment: 3/10
While there’s a lot of personal things I like to discuss on the blog, unfortunately, finances is not something I’m willing to share. I will say that I have a lot of goals I would like to pursue, but I’m sorry, I won’t be sharing anything more specific!
Baseline Assessment: 2/10
5. Career / Business
I love the kids in my daycare, and I love being home with my boys, but I will be honest in saying that I do want to pursue my blog and freelance design as passive income on the side! It’s just something that I love to do and hope that I can get to the point of making some decent cash in the evenings! I’m incredibly proud of the website I’ve built and will continuously make improvements, but there are some goals I would like to pursue to get me on the road to success. I have the dream; I have the desire, now I need to do!
Baseline Assessment: 3/10
6. Physical Environment
I love my home, but I’ve been living here for four years now, and I haven’t done much to add some unique touches. I would like to add some design and flair to every room of my home, but more importantly, I want to get it to a place where I’m happy with how it’s organized. I routinely do a purge every six months to get rid of clutter, but it doesn’t seem to matter how often we do it, it comes right back. Perhaps this will be the year I can keep it clean and clear!
Baseline Assessment: 1/10
7. Fun + Recreation
I’m going to apply this more towards family activities because my hobbies and passions are covered in the career and business section! In the summer, we go to the cabin almost every single weekend. Yes, it’s the same adventure every week, but I can’t even begin to explain how much fun we all have at the beach. Every single week. We’re incredibly blessed to have a place like this to go: a retreat. We need to improve as a family and take part in more winter activities.
Baseline Assessment: 5/10
I am incredibly lucky to have met, married and be incredibly in love with my best friend. We don’t need any help on the love front. We do, however, need to spend more one-on-one time together. Life has gotten so busy, and we haven’t had much time for us. I’d love to start doing more for each other. We rarely get out on dates together and even when we have time away from the kids, we usually stay home and just relax!
Baseline Assessment: 6/10
9. Contribution / Giving
This one is a pretty sad category. I’m hoping it counts for something that I WANT to be able to give to charity and help out where I can but we’re not in a place financially that we can help out the way we want to. One thing I’ve been wanting to do though is to volunteer design services for The Lupus Society here in Winnipeg. Living with Lupus is very hard at times, and I’d love to help get some exposure and raise funds for research so we can cure The Disease of 1,000 Faces!
Baseline Assessment: 1/10
The best I can do here is equate spirituality with my emotional/mental health. I have a lot of areas I can grow: procrastination, I’m too sensitive at times, I automatically go to the negative side of things and need to talk my way into positivity… This is a great one to work on!
Baseline Assessment: 2/10
A look forward
I’ll be honest in saying that I thought this self-assessment was going to be way easier than it was. Sometimes it’s hard to admit where your weaknesses are. One thing I’m finding is that I don’t seem ashamed to accept where I’m wrong. Instead, my mentality has changed to thinking this is my baseline, but I’m going to improve upon it.
My new purple Leuchtturm1917 (if you’ve seen on Instagram!) is currently being sketched and will be ready for ink soon. All I can say is I’m glad I found this book before I finished my setup!
What would you like to see in this spread for me? Comment below!
The very first post I did for my blog (The Basics of Bullet Journaling) on my old site is still here for viewing, but now that I’ve been in this community for a while, I wanted to give you the lowdown of some things I’ve learned.
Like many, I struggled with the very idea of starting my bullet journal. It’s as if your brand new Leuchtturm1917 is some sacred artefact: afraid to tarnish it. As I’ve stated before, I spent months longing for the perfect setup, the perfect idea, the perfect first set of spreads. I pinned, I saved on Instagram, I screenshotted so many Google image results (which are now lost in the abyss of my 22k photos…) and on and on!
I hope to break your cycle of hesitation by cracking these bullet journaling myths!
1. You’ll ruin your notebook.
I’m sure you’ve all seen Ryder Carroll’s introductory video to the Bullet Journal system and countless other channels of information. Most people interested in bullet journaling are looking for a system that works better than the pre-printed planner’s they’ve found. I initially started my search for the “perfect” planner because my job required a never-ending, ever-changing to-do list. Most of what I found focused more on appointments and projects. While I had both of the former, I mostly dealt with daily tasks that didn’t repeat, and I needed a way to track it.
The Arc, M by Staples, was the closest I came to a functional journal for work. I designed these pages myself and printed them off every week, and they did pretty well…until a curveball got thrown into the mix! That’s why I wish I found bullet journaling while I still had that job!
The system is intended to provide you with a way to customize your planner to be exactly what you need, but you can’t possibly know what will work perfectly for you until you give it a try, until you put that pen to paper.
After all of my hesitation, I finally did it. And man. It was U.G.L.Y. But I did it. And no, it didn’t work for me, but I tried again with my next spread. Then again. And again. Now I’m about ten months in and while I’m still making constant tweaks, I’ve got a much better idea of what I need. You need just to do it to figure it out.
When I look back at my early spreads, I don’t feel like I’ve wasted those pages or ruined my notebook. Instead, I see a timeline, a view of how I’ve changed and evolved in these short ten months.
2. It must be a beautiful masterpiece.
I think a lot of people hesitate because they see all these incredible and artistic bullet journals spread across all our social media platforms. If you look at Ryder’s video, you can see just how simple it can be. Search on Instagram or Google for “minimalist bullet journal”, and you’ll see what I mean. Take away the artwork. Take away the fancy hand-lettering. Take away the doodles (which I struggle calling doodles because they’re all so damn gorgeous pieces of art). What’s left? A functional, practical, entirely custom planner to help you get organized in every aspect of your life.
Here’s the thing. They still look great. Take for example this December spread by @minimalistbujo. It’s very simple, very functional, yet still beautiful!
I have to admit that I love artistic bullet journals. They’re incredibly beautiful, and I’d like to think I’m floating towards that side, but I wasn’t always like this. I had so many complicated design ideas that didn’t pan out because I was incredibly out of practice. Did you know that before I started bullet journaling, I haven’t done anything artistic in at least five years? I used to draw all the time, and it just fell by the wayside when life happened. What you want to do with your bullet journal later is up to you, but the forefront of your mind should be about productivity.
3. You need the latest and greatest supplies.
Bull. I’ve got my mother bullet journaling with a notebook from the dollar store and a cheap pack of pens.
Do I love my Leuchtturm1917? Abso-effing-lutely, but if I’m in a position where I’m not able to get that notebook for whatever reason, you bet your butt I’m using anything I have lying around. I know a lot of people rave about the dot-grid pages in some notebooks, but it’s just about esthetic. My mom uses a lined journal, and it still looks and works great!
There’s a ton of hype around a lot of these products. You must have a metal ruler. You must have Pigma Microns or Staedtler Fine Liners. You must have Zebra Mildliners or Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Yes, these products kick ass, but they’re a luxury, not a requirement.
Do me a favour and grab any notebook you have lying around, find a pen, a pencil or even a damn crayon (moms will get it. I’ve taken many notes with crayons in a pinch!) and just start!
4. I’ll spend all my time planning, no time doing.
Welllllllll, this one is really up to you. If you’re looking to make something quick, easy and functional, it can take you 5 minutes to set up once you’re done your future log. Just write the date and start writing your tasks!
Personally, bullet journaling has become my favourite hobby. I spent quite a while playing with it (and it’s why I started this blog!), but it’s because it’s something I just love to do. You can spend as much or as little time as you’d like. There is no time requirement.
Dare to be imperfect.
By the time I figured out that the above four myths were bologna, I was at home on maternity leave and no longer needed it for work. It was too late for me. It’s proven incredibly useful not only for my personal life but for running my home daycare as well, but I feel like I missed out on something while I was employed. Had I chosen to go back to work, I would have kicked its ass, just saying.
You will never get it perfect on the first try so just start so you can figure it out!
I hope this has helped, drop me a comment below if you have any other myths or tips!!