It seems that, as a society, we spend a lot of time talking about what we need to improve, but how often do we celebrate our small wins?
I’ve fallen victim to this time and time again: At the end of the week, the only thing I can see are my failures - the projects I didn’t complete or make as much headway on as I had originally intended; or the fact that I didn’t make it to the gym 3 times this week. You know what I’m talking about, right?
Recently, I started bullet journaling. It’s like a day planner on amphetamines! It’s not just a daily planner, in fact. It's also a weekly planner, monthly planner, art journal, diary, calendar, habit tracker, trip planner, gratitude journal. The list goes on. It is whatever you want it it to be. My bullet journal even contains the notes I take from my daily readings, movies I’ve watched and loved, books I've read or want to read, my boyfriend’s favorite meals. I actually wrote out every single one of the Alexa commands. (Don’t ask me why.)
It’s a completely customizable notebook that keeps me on track as well as having personal little tidbits that I can look back on 10 years from now to see how much I’ve changed and accomplished.
But, there is a side-benefit that I haven't really seen mentioned anywhere. My bullet journal allows me to see what I’ve actually accomplished as well as feel a great swell of pride. As I tick off each book I've read, as I X out each accomplished daily task, (especially the big audacious monthly tasks) it makes me realize how much I actually get done.
In my journal, I try to get Sunday-Saturday tasks on a two-page “spread”. Then, I can see my whole week in one fell swoop. That way, if I don’t finish something on Monday I can finish it on Tuesday without having to write it down again. My colorful daily habit tracker allows me see patterns and determine which habits I've incorporated into my life. I can easily spot the ones that I don't complete on a regular basis and get to the root of the problem as to why I'm not meeting my goals. With the added benefit of seeing the tasks I complete with relative ease. Knowing that I was successfully able to incorporate several habits into my daily life reminds me that it's possible to accomplish the others, with a little effort.
I’m not saying that this method is for everyone. Heck, I'm still trying out other methods as well. What I am saying is that as human beings, we often focus on the negatives. We can be hyper-vigilant when it comes to seeking out the bad, but downright blind when it comes to focusing on the good. I never truly appreciated what a powerhouse I was until I started writing things down and reviewing them with regularity.
These pieces of dot-gridded paper have increased my self-esteem exponentially and allowed me to accomplish my big audacious goals - like starting a book. In 2016, I actually completed NaNoWriMo a day early, when I had crapped out by day 5 in 2015. My bullet journal led to my partnering with PSLCC and getting a Director title. By recognizing and celebrating my wins, my future is brighter than ever!
If you would like to learn more about me, Stephanie B, click here for my story.
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