I’m a planner junkie. I freely admit it. I love to plan. There’s just something relaxing/zen about writing down everything I need to do and getting the random ideas that just pop into my brain down on paper. I don’t use a digital planner. I’ve tried on numerous occasions and I just can’t stick with it. Probably because I thoroughly enjoy the tactile sensation of writing.
I used to use a three ring binder style notebook with lots of different printable planner pages. I absolutely LOVE that notebook and still have it all put together in case I need to go back to it. But that notebook had several problems:
- I had to have a printable for everything, and sometimes the printable didn’t fit my needs completely, leading to wasted space.
- It’s an 8×10 standard three ring notebook, which means it’s difficult to tote around. So difficult in fact that it usually stays at home, which makes the planner pretty much useless.
- I have so much in the binder for various aspects of my life that it’s all but impossible to turn the pages, let alone open the rings to add or remove pages. Getting a bigger binder is out of the question since I already don’t carry this one!
- The various sections were difficult to organize, even with dividers.
Needless to say, I needed a better system. Actually, I needed a system I would use. Despite having some really awesome printables in my binder, I hardly used it for planning.
About four months ago, I stumbled upon a new style of planning while browsing Pinterest. It’s called the bullet journal.
The Bullet Journal
Developed by Ryder Carroll, the bullet journal was meant to be a simple way to write to do lists quickly. You can check out Carroll’s intro video here.
Since it’s inception, the bullet journal has exploded. People have taken this simple system and made it completely their own, myself included. There are hundreds Facebook Communities, Pinterest boards (and community boards) and Instagram accounts devoted just to bullet journaling.
I started my first bullet journal in September of 2016 and am currently on my second one which will probably last me until March 2017. I also have a third one already started and prepped for March!
What I love about this system is it’s flexibility. I can design a spread to be whatever I need it to be. For example, my current weekly set up looks like this:
My current January bullet journal spread. There’s also a time tracker on each day which is color coded so that I know how I’m spending my days.
But when I first started bullet journaling in September, my weekly spreads looked much different. Here’s one from October.
My weekly spread in October 2016
Can you see the huge difference? I still have a lot of the same things on my current layout, but I’ve added to it considerably. I now have spots for chores, podcasts, what I’m currently doing, all the tasks that need to get done in the week and room for an exercise plan!
Bullet Journal Collections
But there’s more to the bullet journal than weekly spreads. Many people add a variety of collections, which are one or two page spreads for things like books to read, future logs, wish lists, master task lists, grocery lists, monthly menus, and even habit trackers.
I have several of these spreads including books to read:
My current list of books to read for 2017 with fiction on the left and nonfiction on the right.
I also have a collection of recipes to try:
A list of new recipes to try in my bullet journal to help with meal planning.
There’s also a motivational page and a mood tracker (sorry about the language, but it’s my favorite word!):
A spot for tracking my moods in 2017, it’s sometimes called a year in pixels in the bullet journal community.
A list of things I need to do for each of my businesses for the month:
A page just for business tasks for the month of January.
There’s also a future log and brain dump page:
This is the first time I’m trying the future log, but I love the brain dump page!
I also have a habit tracker, which is why I’m writing this blog post. This habit tracker has helped me stay motivated to get in my workouts regularly. Filling in those little squares is apparently enough to motivate some as OCD as I am…
My January Habit Tracker in my Bullet Journal
I think the habit tracker is my favorite part of my bullet journal. For some reason, coloring in little squares motivates me to workout in the morning and to practice my Dutch lessons (among other things). Why coloring in squares is motivational I have no idea. But it works!
I have found that this little tool has been indispensable in helping me create a healthier lifestyle. Just by starting this bullet journal, I was inspired to finally adapt the Eat Fat Get Thin diet by Mark Hyman, MD. (hence the recipes page).
Bullet Journaling for Life
This little book keeps my entire life all in one place. All of my health goals, business ideas, and daily tasks can all be found in my bullet journal along with a time tracker on my weekly spread, which tells me how I’m spending my time. This is really helpful when I’m spending too much time watching Netflix or playing Subnautica and not enough time blogging or working on my Amazon store!
But I also have goals for the year and things like a master task list with everything I need to do on it as well as a medical log of medications and doctors visits:
Yearly Goals and Medical Log in my Bullet Journal
The bullet journal is incredibly freeing, and I think that is it’s power. Yes, you could put all of your thoughts into Evernote, but for some of us that just doesn’t work. The creative element to bullet journaling helps keep me coming back to use it, and that keeps me on track.
New Year Changes
In 2017, the focus of this blog is going to change a bit since Xbox has discontinued their Xbox Fitness Service. I’ll still be using the Xbox 360 Kinect for workouts a few times a week, but I’ll also be writing more about our diet, and of course bullet journaling. If there’s anything you’d like me to share with you, let me know in the comments below!
Happy New Year!
Do you bullet journal? Tell me about it in the comments below!
After being thoroughly disappointed with the Microsoft Band 2, I feared the Fitbit Charge HR may also be a disappointment. I thought I had set my standards too high.
But I was not disappointed.
Just putting the on Charge HR was easier, and it is much more comfortable to wear than the Microsoft Band.
I am also pleased to see that the Fitbit Charge HR is much more accurate in tracking my steps, and it has a few more perks that make it a great little device to help you take control of your health and keep you motivated. (more…)
One of my goals for 2016 was to purchase either a Microsoft Band 2 or the Fitbit Charge HR. I went with the Microsoft Band, and I was really excited because I have a Windows Phone, which means I could use the full functionality of the band including Cortana. But I ended up sending it back within two days.
The Microsoft Band 2 was a huge disappointment for me, for a few different reasons.
- Not easy to set up out of the box.
- It didn’t count my steps worth crap.
- It only tracks your heart rate every 10 minutes, not continuously (unless it’s in exercise mode).
- The information the app provides is pretty useless and not very in depth.
- For $250, there are a lot of “features” that are useless.
- It’s extremely uncomfortable, especially if you’re on a computer all day like I am.
- It has a lot of frivolous sensory information that you can’t even access.
Let’s look at each of these individually because I’ve got a few things to say… (more…)
We’ve all heard the old saying:
Drink eight 8 oz glasses of water a day.
But recent research has shown that this is an arbitrary number and that eight glasses of water a day isn’t really necessary.
Or is it?
There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to figure out how much water or fluids you need to drink on a daily basis. (more…)
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my post a couple weeks ago about how my workout didn’t go so well.
Most of you probably don’t know, but I suffer with chronic pain from a car accident 20 years ago. The accident left me with a neck injury and chronic migraines and also triggered degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis in my neck and osteoarthritis throughout my body (my neck, hips and knees, particularly on my right side).
For the most part, my pain is
managed made tolerable with pain killers and muscle relaxants. (more…)
I LOVE to read. One of my fitness goals this year is to make time to read, specifically two hours a day. So far, I haven’t had a chance to start with an hour! Let alone get two hours in!
But today, I picked 36 books (out of thousands saved to my Amazon Cloud ready to download) that I plan to read this year in an effort to encourage me to hit that two hour reading goal. My book goal is 40, so that gives me four “wild card” books.
There are two books on my list that I started last year but haven’t finished yet, which is probably cheating a bit. But, I’m less than 50% through both books (The Martian and LZR 1143 Infection) so most of the reading will be done this year. 😀 (more…)
It’s that time of year again! Time to re-evaluate your life’s direction and set new goals and dream new dreams. I love this time of year. Who doesn’t love a fresh start?
This year, I’m being much more specific with my goals. I’m setting specific and detailed goals and including steps to reach those goals. So without further ado, here are my goals for 2016!
Work on getting more workouts in per week (be more consistent).
Instead of three to four times a week, try for five or six times. I also need to get back on schedule. so the plan is:
- Go to bed at 9pm, which means starting my bedtime routine at 8pm so that I’m in bed with my eyes closed by 9pm.
- Get up everyday at 04:45 am so that I have plenty of time for long workouts. If I’m doing a shorter workout that day (because of fatigue from a previous workout or bad night’s sleep) I’ll use the extra time to read.
- No rest days on days I go into work. This will give me at least four workouts a week and then I can rest on Friday, workout on Saturday and rest on Sunday.
Although I do admit that I did better in December than I have all year. I actually burned over 7,000 calories. (more…)
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight during the holiday season, you know how hard it is to avoid overeating and splurging at the dessert table. I, personally, load up on carbs. I LOVE mashed potatoes, stuffing and red velvet cake, which is really bad for someone who is pre-diabetic!
So, is it even possible to lose weight during the holidays?
Yes, and here are a few tips to help you to lose weight this upcoming holiday season… or at least help you avoid gaining weight!
1. Don’t Combine Alcohol and Dessert
As much as you want to, don’t drink your alcohol with your pumpkin pie. Try to have one or the other, but if you feel you have to have both, space out alcohol and cake by a couple of hours. Eating both together will cause your body to go straight into fat storing mode.
2. Eat Slowly
Savor each bite. Really enjoy your meal. Studies have shown that people who are mindful while they are eating, not only eat less, but are also more satiated after a meal.
3. Start Your Day with Caffeine
Everyone knows that exercise does a body good, and that regular exercise should be a part of your daily routine. But for many people, it’s difficult to get started, let alone stay motivated.
If you are one of these people, you may be putting off starting an exercise program. Maybe because you want to start it on a Monday or maybe you want to exercise when the kids are in bed or before you go to work. No matter what reason you give yourself for not getting started, it’s just an excuse.
In the back of your mind you know this. We all make excuses, myself included.
Sometimes willpower alone isn’t enough to get you off the couch. You need a bit of motivation to kick you in the ass and get you moving. Well, I’ve got some motivation for you.
Here are 5 reasons you need to start exercising TODAY! (more…)
I hate ab workouts!!
I really do.
I’ll do cardio all day long, hand me some weights we’ll do some fusion weight training, I’ll even happily work those trapezius muscles that give me migraines.
But don’t make me do ab exercises… please….
I have no idea why I have such an aversion to planks and crunches considering I so desperately want that beautiful flat stomach. But damn it, I avoid them like the plague. (more…)