March 13, 2017
Journaling is recommended for many reasons. The act of journaling allows you to improve your understanding of the situations in your life, discover your underlying feelings and thoughts, catalog your achievements, and track your overall development. Some people do it for the tracking, like people who keep fitness and nutrition journals. And, some people do it for the personal insight, like those with mental illness. But most people journal to take advantage of the many benefits it provides.
There is a new type of journaling that is gaining in popularity. It is called a bullet journal and it may be more helpful in improving mental health and emotional balance than more traditional methods. The relatively small amount of time that it takes to do an entry considerably cuts down time spent in the activity while providing many of the benefits. This means practitioners can sustain the activity over time without needing to sacrifice it because of the time commitment required.
What Is Bullet Journaling?
As the name plainly states, bullet journaling is journaling that you do using bullets rather than longer prose entries. It doesn’t sound particularly complicated because it isn’t. You have the freedom of using any kind of journal or notebook that you would like and any type of writing implement. You can be wildly creative or strictly utilitarian. Though it will all use bullets, this type of journaling leaves a lot of freedom for those who write them. Plus, they lower stress, record feeling, provide an outlet, lower your stress, and help you to be organized both short-term and long-term.
What Sort of Layout Should I Be Using?
When starting out, you will want to keep things relatively simple. If you get too complicated, you aren’t streamlining journaling and you may give up because it is so confusing and labor-intensive. Your goal is to better organize your goals and your life and have an emotional outlet.
Try starting with a table of contents, with a record of important topics, the shorthand/codes you use, and page numbers of import. Then, include a future log, in which you note what is coming in the year ahead. Then, things can progress day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month.
How Do I Organize?
Because everything will be bulleted, there isn’t a lot of space to explain what each entry represents. For this reason, use different types of bullets to denote:
♥ Tasks (to-do, started, and completed)
You should also color code. You can assign different colors to distinguish between:
Keep a key in the journal to refer to. Once you get in the habit, you will know all of them by heart, but give yourself a little time to adapt to your system. And, be flexible. If something isn’t working, make a change.
How Do I Record What I Am Accomplishing?
Create a simple chart (think Excel table) and record all of your goals for a month. Across the top of the page, list each day of the month. This allows you to note the days you are completing tasks. If you have drink 8 oz. of water as a goal, you can mark each day of the month that you follow through. And, you can do the same for all of your other goals. This will help you to chart your progress and note trends in activity.
Is This All Just Goal Setting and Planning?
This shouldn’t be primarily a day planner. You need space to express yourself as well. At the end of each month, write down one thing you were grateful for on each day.
Thanks to Julie Morgan, who is a lifestyle blogger and an avid journaler for contributing this article. She is working to establish herself as a life coach and start her own business. She also blogs about addiction and where people can check out the best free rehab centers.