New Year, New You with Bullet Journaling

Do you always set resolutions for the new year, but never keep them? Do you feel overwhelmed by the chaos of day to day life? Do you want to start living more mindfully? Bullet journaling may be your ticket to all that and more. I started bullet journaling a little over two years ago, and have gotten completely hooked. If you are interested in an overview of the system, see HMB’s blog post, visit, or check out Ryder Carroll’s new book The Bullet Journal Method. Bullet journaling certainly fits for my life, and might fit for yours too.

It Feeds My Love of School Supplies

I love a clean, fresh notebook just full of potential {pro tip, new year = new notebook}. Those special pens that I prefer that write smoothly and don’t bleed through paper. Bonus if they are clicky so I don’t have to worry about losing a cap. I love colors and patterns and options. If you miss the days of shopping for school supplies before each semester, or are living vicariously through your children’s neatly sharpened pencils every fall, then bullet journaling may take you back to those schoolgirl days. You get to pick whatever notebook you want, whatever writing utensil you want, and any fancier accessories you want…or not. It’s totally up to you.

Sticking With Habits

Are you that person that makes New Year’s resolutions each year only to drop them a week or a month in? Do you have trouble keeping goals that you make? Or even remembering them? Bujo can help with that. I keep a habit tracker that is continuously evolving depending on what I want to work on at the moment. About a year ago I really wanted to start washing my face before bed every night, but come bedtime I was always so tired and half the time I forgot. I started adding it to my habit tracker and a couple of months later it was such a part of my routine that I didn’t even need a reminder. There is something about checking that box, filling in that circle, or crossing things off that is a great motivator and reminder all in one. It is an effective tool if you are trying to start a new habit or decrease an undesirable one, like my current goal to decrease my mindless phone use.

Self Care

I am constantly using my journal for self care. From blowing off steam by doing some old fashioned journaling when my emotions are running high, to getting all of the thoughts and to do’s swirling in my brain on paper to calm my anxieties, to being a creative outlet, my journal is a tool I use almost daily to give myself a little love.

Staying on Track

I will confess, I am a type “A” person. I am also an Ennegram One. So organization comes pretty naturally to me. But even so, my journal helps me prioritize what is important in my life. Type “A” people are organized yes, but they can also go down a rabbit hole of working and focusing on projects or tasks that may or may not be important in the moment. Bujo helps to fix that by giving an opportunity to lay out all of the content of your life, and taking a moment to reflect on what is really important. Ryder Carroll recommends asking yourself three questions about tasks. 1. Is it vital? 2. Does it matter to me or someone I love? And 3. What would happen if I never did it? I have found this to be very helpful to me in letting go of tasks that don’t fall into these three categorizes. If I didn’t have a chance to organize that closet this week? Oh well, if it is vital it will come up later.

Practicing Mistakes

Any other perfectionists in the house? One of the things I am currently practicing is being comfortable with making mistakes, and my bullet journal gives me a safe space to do this. Make a typo? Totally fine. Completely mess up a page? Start a new one, or leave it be and sit with that discomfort. This may sound like not a big deal to some, but for me it is *hard* {see Ennegram One statement above}. If I can practice self compassion when I make mistakes in my journal, then I can transfer that practice to the mistakes I make in life. 


While the analog system may not appeal to all {and truthfully I use a combination of tech and my journal} there is science behind it. Writing things down allows our brain to process them in a way that no digital system has been able to reproduce. I enjoy my journal being a place where I take a break from TV, my phone, and computer and just get back to basics.

Ever Evolving

Our lives don’t stay the same, so how can we be expected to fit our planning into the same cookie cutter system and structure all the time? Bullet Journals are the ultimate definition of “You do you”. Search #bulletjournal on Instagram and you will see some that are works of art, and others that are incredibly simple. As a person who has a tendency to compare myself to others, I find growth in the practice of making my journal fit my needs…and no one else’s. I enjoy making a weekly planner spread when I want to, and skipping it when I don’t need it. The personalized collections or trackers fit my life, like the daily affirmations I used when I was pregnant, or the list of books I have read this year. These may not be useful for you, and that is ok! You do you. Your journal is there to serve you and only you. No one else.

New Year, New You with Bullet Journaling | Houston Moms Blog

Ready to get started? Houston’s own Brazos Bookstore hosts bullet journal workshops and the first one of the new year is on January 3rd! Grab your pen, pick that notebook, and get going!

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