Setting Realistic Goals: Using a Bullet Journal to Track Your Goals
At the beginning of every year, we talk about our New Year’s Resolutions. We all know the common themes…losing weight, eating healthy, getting a better job, traveling more. I believe that we all have great intentions when we make our New Year’s resolutions, I know I do. But actually seeing them through is probably a resolution itself to be added to the list!
Rather than make resolutions, I actually set goals for myself each year and evaluate them as the year progresses. I enjoy my method of goal setting because, if you’re like me, you LOVE to cross things off your list, plus the feeling of accomplishment is awesome, right!?!
A lot of people use SMART goals and other tactics that take some real time, but my strategy is simple. I break down my goals into categories and in each category I list up to 5 goals that I want to accomplish. What’s great about this process is that you can set your own categories and customize it in a way that works for you.
My goal categories for 2017 were: Personal, Professional, Health, Finance, & Home
Five categories was a bit too much for me, so I combined some for 2018 and the categories were: Personal (which included the combination of personal, health, & finance), Professional, & Home. This worked really well for me this past year, so I am going to continue with these categories for 2019.
Bullet Journal Set Up
First of all, I don’t spend a small fortune on the journal itself. Here is a link to the ones that I buy: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Medium-Neon-Leatherette-Journal/36723704
I really like these journals for several reasons:
#1 - They come in many bright colors
#2 – They have 160 total pages
#3 – The pages are lined
#4 – The pages are pretty thick so I can use my fine-tip sharpies and it doesn’t bleed through
#5 – They are inexpensive and durable for the money. I also like to use colorful pens, pencils and washi tape to enhance my pages
Here is a picture of the journal I am using for 2019 and some of my supplies....
Anyway, back to goals….my goals for the year are the first pages in my new yearly bullet journal (right after my index pages). I use two pages for each because I like to add quotes and motivational items and that takes up some extra room. BUT…I also add goals as the year goes on, so I’d rather have too much space for goals than not enough.
This is my personal goals page spread for 2019 and individual pages:
Some of my personal goals last year were to join a Bible Study, have pre-planned monthly date nights with my husband, create a prayer & Bible study journal (you can see my post here on how to create a prayer journal), travel, etc. I have to say that I did pretty well meeting all of my goals.
All of my professional goals revolved around my blog & online shop. However, those goals took a back seat because we had some major issues with our house and my professional goals had to be put on hold. This year, my husband and I have a new business so my professional goals are going to be pretty lofty…but that is how I like it!
Here are my professional goals spread for 2019 and individual pages:
This leads me to my third category…home. In 2018, we had a laundry list of things that had to be done in our home including replace all the plumbing, which lead to a 6 month ordeal of remodeling bathrooms, re-doing drywall, painting, etc. These were things that I added to my Home Goals around March of 2018. In 2019, my home list will be much shorter and definitely doable.
Always Remember Your Why
I don’t really give myself deadlines for every goal because I work on them throughout the year. The ones that are most important to me, I put a start date and re-evaluate monthly. I leave a lot of space next to the goal to make notes and to add reminders as needed.
One of the things I write next to each goal is the “why” related to it. Why is this a goal for me? The “why" is a reminder of the reason that the goal was important to being with. To me, it is just as important as the goal itself. It is the motivating factor for accomplishing the goal. I think that if you forget your "why" the goal becomes less important in the long run.
I review where I am with my goals at least twice a month, but usually more than that and make notes about where I am. This keeps me on track and reminds me of what I set out to do for the year. I have to say that every day, things change and stuff comes up so the list is fluid for sure, which is what makes setting goals in this manner so much more attainable.
You are not bound in your mind to “lose 10 pounds by March” or “exercise 6 times a week”… Statements like that cause more negativity in your life if/when the resolution is not attained.
On my goal list it would say “lose some weight” and I keep track of the weight I am losing or “exercise regularly” instead of locking myself into 6 days of exercise. Life is hectic enough without feeling worse about not reaching your goals in a specific timeframe.
Remember, start with small attainable goals and work towards the big stuff. Meeting the small goals sets you up for success with the big goals because the feeling of accomplishment motivates us to do more to reach the big goals.
Here's to a fabulous 2019!