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Bullet Journaling: It’s Never Too Late to Start

Here’s a fact to ponder: The year is more than half over. Do you find yourself scratching your head in disbelief wondering where and how the months disappeared? Like most of us, in January, you probably had great intentions to stick to your New Year’s resolutions of eating well without binging on sweets, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day/five times a week to keep your heart in ship-shape cardiovascular health. Perhaps when spring sprung, you decided to do some seasonal cleaning simply by following the KonMari method of organizing closets. All of the above lasted, maybe at the most, a month tops. Don’t despair. There is something that you can do today to get back on track and accomplish all your goals, and more simply, by bullet journaling.

What is Bullet Journaling?

Bullet journaling is a method to keep track of tasks, take notes and jot down thoughts in one convenient location. ”Bullet” is derived and used to describe the technique of using quick and short descriptions (rapid logging) for all of the above. Picture a short-hand, visual cue to quickly categorize whatever you need to capture in order to keep life on track. And that’s a bullet journal in a nutshell.

Maybe in the past you carried and used a traditional planner such as a Day Runner, At-A-Glance or Franklin Day Planner. You were locked into the various inserts made for your specific chosen method of planning. With bullet journaling, you have the luxury of making it unique for yourself.

What’s great about bullet journaling is that you can start at any time. You don’t need to begin on January 1, the first of a month or a Monday. During the course of the year, you can even adapt and change what information you capture — whether days, weeks or months down the line.

Tips to Get Started on the Right Foot

bullet journalingOnce a decision is made to start bullet journaling, it is fairly easy to begin. A bullet journal can be simple and minimalistic or as detailed and elaborate as you want. It is yours to make work best for your needs. You can use your bullet journal to keep track of:

  • Tasks and to-do lists
  • Appointments and events
  • Medications
  • Meals and water intake
  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • Trips
  • Weather
  • Thoughts and reflections
  • Books, TV shows and movies
  • Memorable moments and so much more

Even though each person’s bullet journal is unique, they all have common components. These standard practices actually make it a bullet journal. To learn more about the various components of a bullet journal and supplies that could be helpful, check out the following blog post, “How to Start Bullet Journaling for Patients and Caregivers.”

Goal Setting with a Bullet Journal

The beauty of bullet journaling is that you can track what is meaningful to you — goal setting is yours and yours alone.

Remember your desire to watch what you eat and power walk in the neighborhood? If you take up bullet journaling, you can easily create habit logs to capture your food intake and exercise practice. If following a specific diet isn’t working, you can adapt and try something different, like counting calories, with a quick change in your food diary. The same can be said when it comes to exercise. When walking outside is not possible due to afternoon thunderstorms, you can head over to the YMCA and take a Zumba® class and then note the switch in your bullet journal.

Suffice to say, if you are bullet journaling, your goals are not necessarily written in stone.

Staying Connected to Goals

Using a bullet journal for your goals — no matter if they are simple or complex — can help keep you accountable. Daily use is best to help stay motivated and connected to those goals. Nevertheless, if you don’t quite make some of your goals, it’s okay. A good practice would be to analyze why you failed or succeeded. You can easily adapt your goals and make them more attainable and reasonable.

For patients who are tackling any health issue, goal setting can be quite valuable. The visualization of a future date in a bullet journal can be a priceless motivator, especially if the goal is making it to the mailbox without difficulty breathing or finishing physical therapy treatment. You can keep track of as much or as little as your heart desires by bullet journaling.

At Chapters Health System and its affiliates—Good Shepherd Hospice, HPH Hospice  and LifePath Hospice, every day is devoted to educating our patients and keeping them in the place they call home. We are dedicated to ensuring that patients, young and old alike, and their families are able to make educated decisions about important healthcare matters. For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health team at 1.866.204.8611 or send an email to info@chaptershealth.org

About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Corporate Communications for Chapters Health System, manages all content and communications for the not-for-profit organization.

Helpful How-To Videos: Setting Up Your Bullet Journal

As bullet journaling becomes more and more popular every year, available resources for assistance grow exponentially. If a bullet journal sounds like something you’d like to try, you can easily become overwhelmed if you start researching the how-to on your own. Don’t worry, we have you covered.

Best of the Best

Here are some of the best-of-the-best, easy-to-follow YouTube videos that can assist you when it comes to setting up a bullet journal no matter when you start.

Ryder Carroll: Before you start your bullet journal, watch videos from the founder of the method. Here’s his updated video on setting up your first journal, but there are others in the library to check out.

It’s Me Andie: In order to better track health and wellness habits, this YouTuber started her first bullet journal in August 2018. Check out how she got started here.

MyLifeinaBullet: At the beginning of 2019, life got the better of Cristina and so she did not kick off her annual journal until well into the New Year. Follow along as she refocuses her energy by bullet journaling.

Amanda Rach Lee: With close to 1.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, Amanda’s videos can help you get started. She first began bullet journaling in 2017 so it might be best to start with that video and then graduate to her set-up for this year, including her lessons learned.

Jordan Clark: Videos on Jordan’s YouTube channel are pleasing to watch as she shares simple ideas to implement in your bullet journal. Check out this video featuring some ideas to try out that are not calendars or daily spreads. In addition, Jordan provides access to free printable downloads.

Jenny Journals: Looking for future motivation and to get inspired? Look no further than Jenny’s videos. Her pages are quite unique as she incorporates watercolors into her various spreads. Here’s Jenny’s July set up.

As you can see if you watch any of these videos, bullet journaling can be simple or intricate. It is yours for the making. Happy goal setting, journaling and dreaming!

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