Originally posted on Celi-chan In Wonderland Blog, November 14th, 2017.
November marks one year since I made my journey into journaling. I’ve kept diaries in the past, but I was fascinated by the concept of bullet journals and was especially drawn to the idea of keeping track of my emotions and stress levels, among other thing, so I decided to start one. I wanted to focus on self improvement and empowerment, and make it something that was both practical and inspiring. For each month I set aside 6-8 pages devoted to pages with specific purposes.
Making A Memory – The Monthly Collage
For each month I leave a page for the current month. Throughout the month I write record event, feelings, or experiences I want to remember by writing or drawing some kind of representation of those moments. By the end of the month I have a creative collage I can look back and reflect on and see how my feelings have changed over the course of a season, when important events happened in my life, or what TV series, other forms of entertainment, or trendy memes I was really digging at the time.
Keep It Going! – Daily Tracker
One of the my favorite and most useful pages that I incorporate in my journal is the daily tracker. I use it to track all sorts of things like my emotions or stress level, how often I exercise, how many hours I spend on certain tasks, other habits, or even my period. Daily trackers can be used to track all sorts of things. Daily trackers can help with assessing how you’re spending your time and where you can focus your time and effort for better time management and planning ahead. Use the tracker for anything you want to monitor. You can even set bench marks to reach and reward yourself for later.
Work It! – Monthly Productivity
While the daily tracker is great for observing time management, the utility or productivity page is like an outline for what you do with that time or what you want to stay aware of. For this page I create 4 different sections: a to-do list, research list, reminders list, and a self reflection section for looking inwards.
- To-Do list: The title is pretty self explanatory. This is where any major task that needs doing during or throughout the month are written down. Daily tasks can be written here too but remember that space is limited. I recommend a separate, smaller notebook for recording daily tasks.
- Research: As I’ve mentioned, I have many interests, and I love learning about things, so whenever I hear or see something I want to know more about I write it in this section to research later in the week, month, or even year. For example,___
- Reminders: Similar to the To-Do list section, reminders of course help you to remember things, but for me I like to use this section to remind me of things about myself, like aspirations or affirmations, “__”. Or some of my behaviors that I’ve noticed and want to rectify, “__” . These are just my personal examples.
- Looking Inwards: This section is useful for keeping yourself grounded. If the ‘reminders’ section assists with rectifying negative thoughts or behaviors, this section can be used for asking yourself why you think, feel, or do those things to begin with. Even if you can’t entirely answer those questions for yourself, it’s always good to be aware of them, and even revisit them when you have more insight.
Stay Positive – Daily Inspirations & Affirmations
I’ve struggle with depression and anxiety since I was young, so much so that finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning or enjoying the day was sometimes a challenge. I’m much more well adjusted these days, mostly because I’ve found ways to cope with my negative thoughts and emotions and feelings of restlessness. The daily inspirations page designates a theme or moto for the day. It giving a little extra encouragement and fun for you to consider throughout the day.
Cause & Effect – Monthly Experiential Learning
There I things that happen in our lives that we learn something important about the world or about ourselves from. Sometimes we forget these lessons after awhile, only to have to learn them over again. I don’t have the best memory sometimes so in order to remember those life lessons I dedicated a page where I can record what I did or experienced and what I learned from it. Think of this section as the monthly highlight reel of a traditional diary. Instead of recording or reading through pages and pages worth of thoughts, emotions, and events, only the most important and impactful ones are on display. This way, those valuable life lessons can be easily revisited in times of difficulty or uncertainty.
The Journey Continues . . .
Feeling inspired to start a journal but aren’t sure what kind of notebook or program to use? I’ll be going over some options to choose from in the next article for this series!
There’s another component to my journaling method that I find particularly useful and meaningful. These special pages cover everything from list of books or shows I want to view to goal setting and personal insights for self improvement and empowerment. If you’ve already taken your journey into journaling and need some more journaling ideas, be sure to check out the article coming soon!.
If you haven’t yet taken the steps to start your journaling journey, I hope this article has peaked your interest enough to do so. As Always, thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed it, or if you know other basic journal ideas that I’ve missed, let me know in the comments below!