2017-01-02-08-04-06

Welcome to the New Year!

The new year of 2017 is here!

The time right after the holidays is kind of weird.  Most of us are in Holiday Hangover, and for me personally, Christmas Day is always a little sad.  I love the build up to Christmas, enjoying the lights, the music, the baking, the parties… Then suddenly it’s all over and we’re left with the clean up, the credit card bills, and the ten pounds we gained.  Maybe that’s why most everyone hates January.

Yes, it’s cold, snowy (for a lot of us) and pretty miserable.  And poor, sad January doesn’t get to boast of it’s own holiday (other than New Year’s Day, but, seriously, is this really a holiday because it doesn’t really feel like one…)  If you’re January, you get to be like the weird uncle that shows up to visit after fun grandma just left…everyone is tired from all the fun they had with grandma and wishing you’d just cut your visit short and go home.

I personally think that January gets a bad rap.  For some reason, I really look forward to January!  I still hate the cold, but I kind of enjoy a little snow if I have nowhere to go.  I feel all kinds of motivation to start new projects, set some goals (NOT resolutions, which I think are stupid) and get things done!

As much as I love Christmas,  I must admit that I also love taking all the decorations down.  I’m not sure why, but every year I have this moment where I snap and suddenly want it all gone as quickly as possible.  It becomes a personal challenge to see just how fast I can make it all disappear, and this year I believe I beat my own personal record and we had it all down and packed away in 45 minutes.  By the time my son got out of bed…POOF!…it had vanished.  Boy, was he surprised.

As per my usual self, I have a list of projects a mile long.  I usually start every year this way and then burn myself out about halfway through February (or after about two projects, depending on the size.)  This year, in the hopes that this will not happen, I am going to be dividing these projects into more bite-sized chunks.  I plan to use my bullet journal for this.

So what is a Bullet Journal?

I know I have mentioned my bullet journal before, but never really explained.  If you’re unfamiliar with the bullet journal, it is basically a personalized planner.  The thing that I LOVE about it, is that it becomes whatever you need it to be.  There are no pre-defined printed pages for you to fill in–it starts with a blank notebook.  From there, you create whatever you want and whatever works best for you. For the very, very basics of how you use a bullet journal, I suggest you start with this link:  Bulletjournal.com

As I said before, you can personalize the bullet journal to whatever you’d like it to look like and whatever system works for you.  You can be completely simple, the way Ryder Carroll designed it, or you can be creative and artsy with it.

I like to do my monthly pages like this:

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I have my monthly dates divided so I can list appointments, events and things to remember by category instead of a giant clump on each day.  I also like to create a master list of things I’d like to do during the month, what project(s) I want to work on, and a blurb about goals.  Notice the size of that projects box?  I kept it pretty small for a reason.  Same with the goals box.

The Daily Task List

Instead of doing a daily task list like it talks about on bulletjournal.com,  I prefer to do my tasks lists by the week.  I create a weekly spread like this:

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Rather than list all the things I do daily (or try to do daily) over and over again each day, I like the weekly tracker with boxes to check off each day.  Saves time.  Some people like to make a monthly tracker for the whole month, and I tried that, but found that some weeks I want to add something that I may not need to do for the whole month, so the weekly works better for me.  Some things on my weekly tracker are not necessarily daily tasks, but just things I’d like to try and do each day if I can, like scrapbooking.  I also added some things that I consider goals, like eating fruits and veggies.

The tasks box is for things I need to do during the week but I’m not sure what day I will get to them. These are usually things that I am migrating from the week before that didn’t get finished but I still need to do them.

The shopping box is a place to write things I need that I discover I am out of, but will probably not remember when I’m at the store unless I have it written down.  Did I mention that I take my bullet journal with me everywhere I go?

Another great thing about a bullet journal is if you try it one way and it doesn’t work for you, you’re not locked in–there is always a new blank page and another idea to try!  You can create pages to track anything and everything.   I will post some more interesting pages in the coming days as I get them finished.  I will also post information about the book I am using (and where to find one) and some links to some great bullet journal sites that I follow.

So for now, welcome to January!  I hope everyone is feeling as motivated as I am!