It's time to share my theme for the year and how I'm using it to guide me in my second year of keeping a bullet journal.
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Last year, without knowing what to expect, I committed to keeping a bullet journal... and honestly? I'm forever changed.
I used to keep ten thousand different lists and often felt horrible when I wound up adding more than I crossed off. Over the past 12 months, keeping my bullet journal has:
- increased my productivity
- improved my ability to prioritize
- helped me focus on the absolutely necessary
- helped me plan within reason
With that said, though, maintaining a bullet journal did have some drawbacks. I got too caught up in trying to make each spread look Instagram-worth. I started focusing on the wrong things... and then I started feeling overwhelmed. The number of items I had to migrate from week to week frustrated me, and I almost gave up on the system altogether.
Thank goodness, I snapped out of it.
I accepted that the elaborate spreads weren't working and stopped creating them. I needed something cleaner and less complicated. I needed spreads that I could replicate without investing too much time. Simply put -- I needed to do less.
So, this year, I'm taking a different approach to my bullet journal. Keeping my theme for the year -- Less is More -- in mind, I'm going to concentrate more on creating a minimalist look.
I've only carried some of the more involved spreads from my 2018 journal over to this year's journal. The only real forms of embellishment I've used thus far are accents of color here and there. And, boy, does it help not having to dig through moving boxes to find my small collection of washi tape to complete the look!
I've been able to create weekly spreads for the entire month of January all at once. Having that much room to plan ahead helps me stay realistic in terms of what I can accomplish within any given day. So far, I haven't had to worry about putting too much on my plate. Now I can see when I need to take it easy and when I can afford to load my to-do list.
Being this organized and aware has done wonders for my mood in these early weeks of 2019. I hope I'm able to continue in this manner as the year progresses...
Keep reading to see how I designed my trackers and to see which products I'm using this time around!
Rather than use the Leuchtturm notebook I used last year, I opted for this one by Lemome instead. The thicker pages mean less ghosting and more durability for the instances that require vigorous erasing. However, the pages of the Lemome notebook are perforated, so I have to be extra careful when turning them. I've actually already started tearing a page out of the notebook because I gripped it in the wrong place.
Maybe I'll dig out the washi tape to fix the tear and to prevent further damage... I mean, just this once...
For color... I think I went overboard. I ordered these dual tip brush pens and these highlighters thinking that I'd practice my lettering and add more interest in my bullet journal. But that was before I chose a theme for 2019 and before I decided that "Less is More".
The highlighers work great and let me incorporate color easily. Plus, each shade is relatively subtle, so I don't have to worry about the jarring appearance of the traditional neon highlighter colors.
Maybe one day soon I'll start practicing my lettering with my the dual tip pens... For now, though, I'll continue using them to fill in the squares on my January daily habit tracker.
Last year, my goals for 2018 were pretty straightforward. I was successful in achieving all but one of my goals. I read 12 books. We bought a house. And I paid off one of my credit cards and one of my student loans.
Unfortunately, I fell short of scheduling Date Nights each month. Between Stephen's work travel, our multiple moves, my new job, and the kids... we ran out of time. But 9 out of 12 months isn't bad!
For 2019, I moved away from the goal of scheduling a monthly Date Night. It's still extremely important that Stephen and I make time for ourselves, but I have other goals I want to actively focus on this year -- reduce food waste and reduce household waste. (Stay tuned for more posts about those goals!)
I decided to keep some financial goals and my goal of reading more. In fact, I increased the number of books I want to read this year. As of today, I've added one book to this list and am about halfway through my second book.
Seriously, audiobooks have saved me.
I have a feeling that my February spreads will look very similar to the ones I shared above. It's just easier that way. I usually share pics of my bullet journal spreads on Instagram, so follow me over there if you want more updates. And don't be afraid to ask me how I'm doing with my 2019 goals!
Do you have a theme for 2019? Do you keep a bullet journal? Let me know in the comments below so we can keep each other motivated and moving forward!
One year ago: Weeknight Beef Stroganoff
Two years ago: Where I've Been
Three years ago: Almond Butter Cookies
Four years ago: Vinoteca di Monica - Boston, MA
Five years ago: 8 Soup Recipes to Make for National Soup Month
Six years ago: A Taste of Tuscany: Trattoria La Grotta della Rana - San Sano, Italy
Seven years ago: Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Polenta
Eight years ago: A Feast of Seafood at The Waterfront Crabhouse
Nine years ago: Brunch at Philip Marie Restaurant
Ten years ago: Mocha Peanut Butter Brownies
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