I loved Sophie Cliff’s post on setting goals about feeling rather than doing, and so this year I’m not going to strive for more followers, write out a list of places to visit, or aim to finally lose the baby weight (is it still considered baby weight after three years?!). Instead I’m going to focus on how I want to feel. Rather than my usual exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, guilty, etc, I’m going to work on feeling creative, challenged, productive, rested and organised.
Thanks to the Focused Fox Goal Notebook, and having to complete a Belbin report for my day job, I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last few months. At work, and when it comes to the day-to-day running of this blog, I’m an implementer, specialist and completer finisher – in a nutshell, I’m good at getting shit done. Yet when it comes to personal goal setting, I tend to set some at the start of the year but don’t come back to them until the year’s end. Which is why, for 2019, I’ve got a plan.
My main goal is, simply, to live a balanced life. Being a working mum is hard and, at any given point, one area of my life is always neglected – most of the time it’s my own wellbeing. I used my Goal Notebook at the end of last year to help create a routine for the working week. It prompted me to identify how I currently spend my time and how to make changes to do more of what I want. As a result, I feel more productive and rested than I did at the same point last year but I know I can do better. And I’ve even put together a toolkit (you can even win a mini version at the end of this post).
My bullet journal
My bullet journal became somewhat neglected last year. While I found it therapeutic to set up my spreads and provide myself with some sort of structure, it became too much work to keep it up. I was making it more complicated than it needed to be. And that isn’t what the bullet journal was created for.
What I want to do is bring the idea of positive journalling into my bullet journal (see Megan C. Hayes’ Write Yourself Happy), taking what I need from both concepts. My priority is to record precious memories and notes of gratitude, alongside tracking areas of my life which bring me joy, such as reading challenges, cinema trips, moments of self-care, etc.
I consulted a few Facebook groups for advice on how to go about doing this and ended up buying copies of both The Bullet Journal Method and How to Bullet Plan. I’m using these to understand a bit more about the process and how to make it work for me. They are fantastic resources and I’m really excited to start the new year with a new bujo and see where it takes me. I’m only setting up one month at a time so that it’s easy to adapt for future use. Look out for future posts featuring bujo book reviews as well as how I’ve changed my set-up for the new year.
While I’ll be using my bullet journal to keep on top of my blog admin and reflect on my personal goals, and a separate day-to-a-page diary for my day job, I like to keep a separate week-to-view diary in my bag for mine and Jenson’s day-to-day appointment, birthdays and such.
I couldn’t love my 2019 diary more. Over the last couple of years I’ve felt so inspired and empowered by books by and about badass women and the Feminist Agenda* is a fantastic daily reminder of the power of women.
This 12-month planner has easy reference points for each month, as well as a page ribbon, so you always know where you need to be. Each month begins with an inspiring quote, followed by a month to a spread for key dates, and then broken down week by week. Each weekly spread has space for appointments and notes, plus key historical dates are celebrated, such as the anniversary of when women finally got the vote.
My Grit Journal
One of my highlights of the week is the #bloghour chat and I love seeing the same faces pop up every week. Recently I learned that blogger Kerry Brown, of Mrs Brown’s Blogs, has published a book. Not just any book – a journal on goal setting. My Grit Journal* appears to be aimed at secondary school to college-aged teens, based on Kerry’s twenty years of experience working in education, but there are some universal messages which I’m going to use to help keep me on track in 2019. My Goal Notebook was a great starting point and the templates in My Grit Journal will help me progress over the next year.
I’ve learned recently that what works for me is building in regular time for reflection, rather than just setting goals and neglecting them, or doing something without considering why and the impact of my actions. By journalling more regularly hopefully I’ll soon see some positive changes.
As I already mentioned, towards the end of last year I developed a routine for my working week which has really helped me to balance my working mum life. I’ve been able to find time to blog in the evenings, as well as have a couple of nights to myself each week to catch up on sleep and Grey’s – y’know, the essentials. 12 Days of Christmas giveaways aside, I’ve practically halved the number of blog posts I put out each week and I feel great about it. I put an unnecessary amount of pressure on myself to do all of the things and I’m learning to live a slower, less stressful life.
One of my favourite indulgences is to grab a bath bomb, light some candles and pop on an episode of Hashtag Authentic – something I plan on doing much more regularly. Fortunately Father Christmas brought me plenty of supplies. If you’re interested in the benefits of journalling and goal setting, I highly recommend these two episodes.
As a marketeer by day and a blogger by night, I love a digital detox. Taking time away from technology and allowing my mind to wander has a wealth of benefits, most notably allowing me to be inspired by new things. Something I’ve been trying to work on for the last couple of years is hand lettering and I’ve enjoyed my collaborations with calligraphy brands. Learning new skills is vital in the creative industry and I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes me. I’ll be starting with this awesome Hand Lettering book.
If you drop by this blog regularly, you’ll already have seen my Goodreads updates over the weekend. I read 70 books last year and found that the more diverse titles were the ones which had a lasting impact on me. As a result, I’ve tried to set myself a few reading resolutions to expand my reading in 2019. You can read my goals in full here.
Calm the F**k Down
Hell, all of Sarah Knight’s books are essential tools and Get Your Shit Together was so helpful for me last year.
Calm the F**k Down* is all about ‘acknowledging your worries, recognising your unhealthy reactions, and beginning to reverse them’. Whether you’re an over-thinker or someone who likes to avoid their problems, there are plenty of tips and tricks here to help you to reduce your anxiety levels. It’s all about mental decluttering and managing your freakout funds, so you can ‘acknowledge what’s happened, accept the parts you can’t control, and address the parts you can’. Just what I need!
Now for my first giveaway of 2019! If you’re looking to build your own toolkit for 2019, I’ve got the perfect products to help get you started: a copy of Calm the F**k Down and the Feminist Agenda.
To be in with a chance of winning, just complete the Rafflecopter entries below by midnight Monday 7 January 2019. One winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If there is no response within a week, a new winner will be selected. UK entries only.
*I was sent a copy for review/giveaway purposes and all thoughts are my own
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