Not your average journaler ..???
Well this is actually Paul this time, the other half of MG! Thought it was about time I said hello properly. Now in a world of averages I am definitely not your average Bullet Journal User – I suspect not many of you have a 200KG Deadlift listed in your Journal!
When most people think about people who bullet journal I suspect I would be one of the last people you would expect to list as a huge advocate of journaling.
However you would be wrong….. I love the organization and planning I can create, the habits I can ensure I nurture and the ability to review my life. Be it looking for patterns in my eating, drinking, activity and general behavior or ensuring I am accountable and working towards my goals.
My wife Laura has always been the arty one, the creative type and the person to sit and relax. I have not, I still am not. But this is the beauty of bullet journaling; it is for everyone! It can help anyone if you only give it a chance and realize the journal is for you - you don’t have to draw or list - it is whatever you want it to be.
As background goes it would be fair to say by ‘society set standards’ I am successful. I am a Director in a FTSE 250 company and managed this in my early thirties. I have always been very motivated and looking to improve, which can be a downside also as I have a competitive nature and want to be successful in every area of life. With my career I have all the stresses and strains you would imagine and you have yourself. I like to exercise and workout and monitor my activity and weight and always want to improve. I do this all with the aim of better mental health and quality of life!
Since starting to journal I have lost weight, become healthier, improved stress levels and improved many areas of my life. All by reflecting and reviewing triggers. In short I have made myself accountable but without any negative, self-loathing traits that following other peoples' plans can bring on.
On the internet we are bombarded with ‘Get Rich Quick’ and ‘Lose Weight Now’ adverts and guides that promise to improve your life! I have looked at them all!
You may now be expecting me to say they are all useless, but they are not. Many elements have some great points that do prove to be useful, but no one system written by someone else is going to be perfect for you. With bullet journaling I have managed to take bits from all over and compile them for me.
My journal is now my ultimate self-help and improvement tool for me...the author...i.e. Have I lost weight, Yes. Why? I have worked out, done 10,000 steps and ate well….. Have I then put weight on, yes. Why? I have missed workouts, not been active, not sleeping…… It is all there in black and white (Rarely color for me). Am I sad? Oh, I haven’t been socializing and I have been drinking too much. It is clear and the patterns are there and habits can be formed to try to improve.
It is amazing to see people like Matthew McConnaghey be such a huge advocate of journaling too and it is in his Greenlight's book that he details this looking for patterns.
By setting goals, breaking them down and forming habits to achieve them has been life changing for me. Small changes develop into big results: improving 1% a week would be 52% over a year.
How do I journal then?
I design basic pages that have to be of use to me. Recently I have reduced the size of my daily spreads as I use MyFitness Pal to track things I used to in my journal.
Example meal spread:
My journal is a multi-use, versatile "swiss army knife" for my life. As an analytical and productive person I love how much it has helped me in life. I carry two with me pretty much everywhere, I designed my garden bar in to and built from it, at the same time as monitoring what I am grateful for!
Planning my bar!:
There is no ‘one size fits all’ in life, for me my bullet journal has become my custom made self-help book and I am the author...the tailor made outfit for the person you have never met – only it’s you!
So grab a paper and pen, get a plan and start to take control of your life! Start today – if you feel an element isn’t working for you change it - the beauty is it’s a constantly evolving document that grows with you. Don’t think it isn’t for you as you can’t draw, or worse have no time. As it will make you more efficient and give you more [time] if used correctly....
As a mid-thirties executive and dad of two very lively boys it is a great thing to be involved in and the community is so nice, always willing to help.
I honestly cannot recommend keeping a journal highly enough; I have seen this first hand and see its huge popularity in the fitness, business and mental health arenas and I can totally see why.
Enjoy anyway and let me know your thoughts .....