It’s easy to overlook yourself when you put so much focus on everyone else. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I had a routine each morning that I followed so closely in the morning and when I got home from work, the same was true. I didn’t make any time for myself because I was spending it with my girls and my husband. I was caught up in the routine of life with my children and my husband and for the sake of time, I left myself out of that routine.
One day at work, the subject of Bullet Journaling came up. My coworker instructed that I “just look it up on Pinterest”. That night, laying in my bed in the dark with my phone screen glowing of journal pages in my face, I was reminded of something that I used to love to do: journal. Journaling was my de-stresser for years, but somewhere between marriage and a job and babies, I stopped journaling. I have two to three journals that I carry around, each serving a different purpose, in hopes that I will have a moment of focus. I was never intentional about it, so it never happened.
I was feeling the monotony of my daily routine. I needed motivation that would survive longer than the effects of coffee. I decided that I needed to energize my days by beginning my mornings giving calculated focus to myself. And so, I started to journal again.
“The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.” I was drawn to bullet journaling because it would enable me to to combine my doodles, lists, appointments, and musings all into one journal. I was also attracted to this type of journaling because it encouraged me to stick with it daily, and that fit into my daily intentional focus on myself. Mornings work best for time to myself, so I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier each morning. I was going to be all in on this.
I bought specific supplies.
I spent much too long finding the perfect dotted journal at Barnes and Noble. I found the perfect pen (Zebra F-301.7 mm) and I bought a backup Bic pen, just in case I lost my Zebra. I also bought washi tape because … fun.
My journal quickly took on a life of it’s own. This is what carved out time of intentional self-focus looks like for me.
The key and the index are the main components of a bullet journal. A Bullet Journal Index is what makes it so easy to find pages throughout the journal. It also encourages me to fill up each line with a new entry.
The future log is the easiest way to look at events or important to-dos to remember for each month for the next six to twelve months. This gave me reason to keep my journal on hand at all times.
The monthly calendar is a way of listing the things that need to do be done each day of the month. The numbers are the days of the month and the letters are the first letter of each day (EX. M=Monday, T=Tuesday).
I went on Pinterest and blogs (more intentional me time!) for inspiration to start my journal. There’s a lot of creative stuff out there, but ultimately I just had to start with what I knew and make the journal mine.
When my alarm goes off at 5:30 AM, I wake up and get ready immediately so that I have time to journal. I don’t want to waste time on my phone before I get out of bed, because I know if I do then I won’t have time to journal my day.
I encourage you to find time to intentionally focus on yourself. What was your hobby before you got caught in the wheel of your routine? What did you love to do before you decided you didn’t time for it? Go back to that thing that you love. Try to take ten or twenty minutes to yourself to just focus on you. It’s important for your well-being, because you can’t take care of another fully if you aren’t taking care of yourself.