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We are all different in many ways but one way in which we are the same is that we all have habits. Good habits, bad habits, strange and wonderful habits, but we all have them. And inevitably we find ourselves trying to create better habits in our lives, whether it is to stop smoking, lose weight, drink more water, or exercise more. So what if I were to tell you that you could crush your goals with bullet journal habit tracking?
The thing about habits is that they’re complex.
They’re difficult to break when they’re bad, and they’re difficult to create when they’re not.
Most of us are looking for a way to eliminate bad habits from our lives and replace them with good habits.
And that’s where bullet journaling comes in.
Note: Bullet Journal® (also know as BuJo®) is a trademarked name owned by Lightcage, LLC. Although the name and system is used widely, it’s important to acknowledge that it is, in fact, an intellectual property protected by federal and international law. As a writer, the rights of the designer of the system, Ryder Carroll, are as important to me as are my own. For more on the Bullet Journal® system, check out Bullet Journal.
Try Different Journaling Techniques To Establish New Habits
Habits are not created equal and neither should the journaling techniques you use to track and conquer them.
If you are trying to lose weight or incorporate healthier habits into your life, a food journal and might be the perfect thing. You can track what you eat and how much, how you are feeling about what you ate, how much and what type of exercise you are getting and these observations will help you begin to make changes and new, better habits to develop.
When trying to add a new habit to your daily schedule, like drinking more water, a simple checklist system added to your daily log can keep you on track until the new habit becomes your new normal.
There’s no end to the types of habits you can add to (or delete from) your life.
- Do you want to take your dog out for a daily walk? Add the task to your daily to-do list.
- Do you want to feel happier in your life? Start a gratitude journal.
- Do you want to read more books? Start a collection page and fill it with books you want to read, then add a block of time to your daily to-do list.
- Do you want to be more productive at work? List the habits that will make that happen (scheduling your day for maximum efficiency, arrive at work early to set yourself up, manage interruptions to work on projects that require full concentration, choose to do your hardest tasks when during the hours you are at peak efficiency) and create a task tracker for each of them. Be careful not to do too many at once. It’s better to master 2 or 3 habits at a time or you may get overwhelmed.
Be More Mindful
When it comes to breaking bad habits, mindful journaling will give you insight into why you persist in habits you can recognize are not healthy for you.
Let’s say that you want to stop checking your phone when you are out with friends or your significant other.
You know it’s disrespectful to the people you’re with. Never mind if everyone is doing it. You recognize that you’re tuning out in favor of an electronic device.
So you set a goal of not checking your phone when you are in a social situation.
It may not be feasible for you to pull out your bullet journal every time you lapse into the habit you want to change and make a notation about what feelings led you to it. But there are several ways your bullet journal can help you even when you’re not actively using it.
- journal about the times you reached for your phone mid-conversation. Why? Were you bored? Checking to see if someone had updated their social media profile? Wanted to take a picture of your meal to upload to Instagram?
- Once you understand why you habitually check your mobile device, decide which reasons are reasonable and which are not. Maybe glancing at your texts is reasonable if you boss regularly sends you urgent things to do. But tuning out a conversation to see if your best friend posted a Facebook update is not.
- Create strategies for forcing yourself to decrease your social media usage when out socially. This could include putting your phone in a zippered pocket of your purse or silencing it altogether.
- If boredom is one of the reasons you are tuning out, you need to ask yourself why? Are you easily distractible or are the people you are with really boring? If it’s you, then think about your conversational skills. If the topic is boring, why not change it and get the conversation going in a different, more fun, direction?
- Are you a food or lifestyle blogger? Because if you’re not, then maybe not every meal you eat is worth posting to social media? On the other hand, if everyone else at the table is doing it, go for it but post the picture later.
When your social event is done and you’re back home or at work, journal your feelings about being deliberately mindful of not using your mobile when around other people.
Did it make you feel uncomfortable?
Did you enjoy the conversation more because you were fully available?
If you did surreptitiously check your incoming messages, why did you do it and how can you avoid it next time?
Mindful journaling is about honesty and being in touch with your feelings so be brutally honest with yourself.
By writing down your feelings, you’re making yourself more aware of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. P
When you practice being mindful when using your journal, you will find it is easier to change that bad habit because your honesty is impossible to ignore.
Track Your Progress
You need your journal to document your feelings, but if you want to crush your goals with bullet journal habit tracking, you can’t ignore that last part – tracking your progress.
Create a list of your goals and the good habits you’d like to create. By writing it down, your goal is in play. All the tasks you assign yourself to make it happen are progress towards that goal – before you even begin. Create smaller daily tasks that help you reach each goal and track them.
You can track with a simple checklist (like the drinking more water example. I just have 8 little drops drawn into my daily schedule and fill each with a blue pen when I drink another glass of water) or combine your habit tasks into a single tracking page which you check off daily as you complete your task.
Tracking is very important if you want to reach your goals. It’s how you know that you are getting closer every day.
Note Your Feelings At Your Progress
Feelings are sometimes hard to understand.
You might find yourself irritable as you are seeing progress towards your goal.
Change is hard and it’s normal to resist.
That’s when writing in your journal is most important. Your jumbled thoughts might not make sense to you right now, but they may make more sense when you reread them later.
Look for patterns in your responses to situations that trigger the bad habit you are trying to get rid of.
When you see the patterns between events and your habits, you become more aware of yourself and the feelings that arise in these situations. This will help you make better decisions and drives you forward to change your habits for the better.
Changing your habits is not easy, but it can be done. To crush your goals with bullet journal habit tracking, begin by following the steps of setting goals, breaking them down to tasks, tracking your progress and journaling about your feelings. By combining all these steps, you really can create new good habits and rid yourself of bad ones.