Goal Setting: Using a Bullet Journal to Make it Happen

Start 2023 with simple goal setting and use a bullet journal to make it happen.

goal setting

Recently we bid a fond farewell to 2022 and opened our arms to what 2023 can bring. And now we are a couple of weeks into the new year. Television stations already aired their  “Year in Review” programming, and print newspapers and online news organizations showcased the top headlines and stories of 2022. But what about the year we had as individuals? Do you take time to reflect on the past year? Or do you only look to the future? Do you make New Year’s resolutions that fall by the wayside now that a couple of weeks have passed? Here’s a suggestion. You still have time to start 2023 with simple goal setting and use a bullet journal to make it happen.

Goal Setting in a Bullet Journal

Previously, we shared a blog post titled: “How to Start Bullet Journaling for Patients and Caregivers,” which was chock full of information about the history of bullet journaling, tips to get started, standard practices, handy supplies and where to get access to the best of the best in bullet journaling.

As a refresher, a bullet journal is a method to keep track of tasks, take notes and jot down thoughts in one convenient location. The ‘bullet’ term 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 and 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.

As far as goal setting is concerned, bullet journals are a far cry from a traditional planner. You have the luxury of making it unique for you. During the course of the year, you can adapt and change what information you capture—whether days, weeks or months down the line. If you need to adapt your goals during the course of the year, all is possible with a bullet journal. Your goals are not necessarily written in stone.

Tips to Get Goal Setting Off the Ground

In order to get started goal setting for 2023, reflect back on 2022 and think about (or better still write down) the answers to the following questions:

  • What were my best memories?
  • What were my successes?
  • What did I do that worked?
  • What didn’t work for me?
  • How can I make 2023 better?

Ideally, you could start your 2023 bullet journal with a spread that visually captures the answers to these questions. If you need inspiration for these pages, look no further than Shelby at Little Coffee Fox. On her site, there are also valuable guides to help newbies get started, from opening that first page to assistance with lettering.

Goal Setting: Tracking What’s Meaningful

Whether you are a patient, a caregiver or a family member, the beauty of a bullet journal is that you can track what is meaningful to you—goal setting is yours and yours alone. For example, if you suffer with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you could set a goal of practicing pursed lip breathing and/or belly breathing on a daily basis. By making this a goal, when you have difficulty breathing, it will be easier to break the cycle of anxiety that comes when it’s hard to breathe. Or if you have congestive heart failure (CHF), your goal setting could be to monitor your weight twice daily. Watching fluctuations in weight is important to keep CHF symptoms at bay and under control.

As a caregiver of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, watching out for changes in mood, and keeping track of instances of restlessness and confusion often associated with Sundown Syndrome, might be important to you. You could create a mood tracker spread, or if you are so inclined, a color-coded year in pixels. Don’t have time to make your own mood tracker or year in pixel spread? No worries, as there are free (or nominal cost) spreads available for download. Just paste them directly into your bullet journal and you are ready to go.

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.

Goal setting can be quite valuable for hospice patients. The visualization of a future date in a bullet journal can be a priceless motivator, especially if the goal is attending a significant family event. These types of goals bring home the point that every day is precious and we should all be dedicated to making the most of life each and every day.

Chapters Health System is committed to serving the needs of its patients, families, caregivers, health providers, partners and communities.

For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health and HospiceHelp24® team at 1.866.204.8611 or Contact Us.

filed under: Patients

Posted on January 12, 2023 By Phoebe Ochman Phoebe Ochman, director of corporate communications for Chapters Health System, manages all content and communications for the not-for-profit organization.

1 Comment

  1. Helen

    January 27, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    A Bullet Journal will be an interesting way to check on making journaling a habit. I used journaling in a graduate class and found it quite rewarding.


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