Ah yes, it’s that time of year. Bullet journals are being set up across the globe. I tried bullet journaling but it’s just not for me. So I took what worked for me and made it my own thing. I call it my “Soul Journal”
I don’t feel the need to keep and reference my to do lists. Maybe it’s a minimalism thing. Hoarding A5 notebooks that are full of reminders to buy toilet paper and cat food seams like a waste of space and resources. I think a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself , “will this be useful information a year from now?” “Will this information be necessary so that I can measure my growth as a human being?” If so, you can put it in your bound notebook. If not, perhaps scrap paper or a reminder app would be best.
I’m at this weird intersection of wanting to go back to an “analog” lifestyle and only use technology that’s actually helpful. I want to spend even less time in front of a screen in 2020, which means that I will need to move to more traditional methods. Therefore, I will be using my soul journal more than I have in the past.
Essentially, my Soul Journal is what I use for self growth, motivation and keeping long term lists that I will refer to at least a year from now. Fun quotes, pictures and notes from interesting classes and videos. Essentially, it’s a journal of all things that nourish my soul and a tangible portfolio of who I’ve become over the year.
This year, I went with a nice sunny yellow color for my journal. For past several years, I have chosen a word that sums up what I want to focus on in the coming year. This year I don’t have a particular word but more of a state of being—-glow. That state of warm radiance that puts people in a better mood than you found them in. That confident aura that comes from people who know who they are and what they want and who aren’t ruffled if what they want is not someone else’s cup of tea—but in a kind way; not in that ill-spirited “I give no f’s” vibe.
Future logs with space for birthdays. I don’t like the traditional logs that don’t keep the list of events in chronological order so I made this version. Although, I’ve never really used the future log much I couldn’t leave it out for some reason. The digital iCal is and google calendars are excellent and keeping things organized and reminding me of what’s coming up. It actually saves me time as I don’t have to post the same information in multiple places as everything syncs across all devices and my websites. So, we shall see if I use it or if I’ll leave it behind for 2021.
Moon cycle tracker and my fun idea for this years word (feeling). I actually thought it would be fun to include other words/synonyms for the same idea.
Project dump, just a place to list the things I’d like to work on this year. It’s meant to just be a list. I don’t feel the need to include all the planning parts of the projects in my soul journal. For example, I want to join a bowling league, but I don’ t feel the need to make a whole spread on the process of joining. However, I have left blank pages to include a log of my games and scores to mark my progress should I actually join a league…
Block scheduling is a game changer. It gives your day flexible structure. I thrive on this combination. Too little structure and I don’t accomplish anything. Too much structure and I whip myself into an anxious frenzy and I still accomplish nothing….
Date night. This is not meant to be a tracker as in “my husband doesn’t love me because we didn’t have a date night and let me give him the evidence” tracker. It’s simply an idea bank to avoid those “what do you want to do this weekend?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” conversations. It’s only used to track so that we can rotate and nothing gets old because it’s become “the ye old Netflix binge date for the 10th week in a row.” I am for two outings a month. Otherwise it turns into “ye old outing but I’m exhausted date.”
My lists. Things I’d like to check out. Space to include the date that I checked it out or when it comes out (for books, movies and tv shows).
Needs and wants. A list works fine for me. If I feel like need to track saving for an item, I will just save space and use each square to represent a sum of money. I will fill in the square when I’ve reached that amount. Check box to fill in once I’ve purchased the item.
I leave a few blank pages here and there in the front for things that I might want to add later on. I like all the spreads that I will use throughout the year in the front for quick reference.
My tea tracker. I’m trying a bunch of teas from Arbor teas and this tracker helps me remember what I’ve tried so that I don’t forget and buy something again that was so-so. You know, the not good or bad enough to remember category. I wrote a post on Arbor teas- they have a huge selection and are my favorite eco friendly tea company. No, they haven’t paid me to say that or include them in this blog. 😆
Tea with Tara. In the winter, I love to sit and watch a Tara Brach video with a pot of tea during sunset. It’s a great way to practice self care. Because of my work schedule and location I get to enjoy few sunsets (my favorite time of day). So it’s nice to ritualize them when I do get to watch one. So, I’ve planned for my schedule to allow me to hold this ritual on Friday evenings. I’m hoping that I can keep it a weekly ritual. This spread below is my motivation to keep it up. I have a calendar to make the dates that I hold this ritual, sunset times and a small space to write a sentence that is a single idea/focus point that I’m walking away from the talk with. I already started this ritual so you’ll see the December 2019 calendar. Check her out on YouTube!
My second closest library has started a book club that meets at time that I can actually attend regularly! I’m so stoked because I’ll even be able to attend the very first meeting. I’ve been looking for a book club that meets my scheduling needs for years. 2020 is shaping up to be awesome. I made this spread to list the books we are reading over the year.
Quarter goals. I think setting goals quartet is the most realistic time frame to accomplish things. Here is my space to write those goals.
Radio stations. In my quest to go back to more analog things I’ve started listening to the radio more. Boy does it bring back memories of yesteryears lifestyle! It’s great but I do t have the radish stations memorized like I used to. So, this list will keep me on track until I get back into the swing of things. It’s like phone numbers, remember when we memorized them? Currently I have my cell phone number, Greg’s cell phone number and the house phone growing up in m head…maybe that’s a challenge for this analog year. Try to memorize important numbers and dial them. Remember dialing?
Eight fold path. Easy reference for reflection.
Fina,,y, my January set up. A place to track habits. Tracking on a small scale helps to motivate me and aids in reflection but I don’t obsess over it. I have a few extra spaces incase something else comes up to track. But too many new habits can be overwhelming and actually keep you from reaching your goals.
January gratitude page. Small spaces to,write a word, sentence or doodle to practice and attitude of gratitude. While I try to keep to simple lists, sometimes it’s fun for have more artistic spreads. I feel more motivated to fill things in if the page is already decorated. So I added in some doodles. Some doodles are random and some go with what’s on the agenda for that day. For example, chess club meets at my library once a month and I think it would be fun to try it out. So I drew a queen chess piece for that day. Something that I want to do this year is make at least one friend. It’s actually really tough to make friends as a childless women in her 30’s in a small more conservative town. Not that I have an issue with moms or conservatives, it’s just that most of the activities they like doing are not going to be things that I have an interest in. It’s a little hard to make friends with other moms when you don’t have children to take to those activities.
Grid spacing layout and palette in the very back of my journal.
Palette up close and personal. It’s totally a Hufflepuff vibe which considers all of my favorite things and colors.
I also plan to post more blogs this year. I have ton of ideas saved in my drafts but haven’t had the time to sit down and actual finish writing them. I’ll also post any new spreads and the set ups for the following months in 2020 if I think they might be helpful for others. Who knows, I might post a flip though at the end of 2020!
Hopefully, my Soul Journal post will be of help to show how versatile bullet journals can be! Get your soul journaling on!