This post is dedicated to a few of the "starting spreads" for a new year or new Bullet Journal in the way that I set mine up. It borrows and extends from Ryder Carroll's minimalistic system. For starting your own journal, I have lots of videos, spreads, and inspiration on my Pinterest Account: the greatest thing about the BuJo system is you can adapt anything to what suits you. Think of it like a playground: be flexible, don't obsess over the details if this is your first journal. Just have fun with it and learn what works for you!
The first page is your index page. If you haven't opted for a journal with numbered pages, now is the time to number! Reserve the first 2-4 pages of your notebook for an index: a table of contents you can reference throughout the course of your journal's lifespan. This is great -- at first you may think "why would I need this," but when you start to add pages (or "spreads") for specific purposes, like goals for the new year, or books you want to read, or whatever, you'll find this is really helpful!
From here, I do a year-at-a- glance (unfinished). I am awful at these because even when I measure it out, my spacing gets off and I run out of room. Oh well.
I work on this page in increments because it lowers the chances I will miss a day.
From here, a traditional Bullet Journal would have you do your month at a glance view for the year. Since I'm in school and teach, I do "semester at a glance": I divide the pages in half by months and use this as a place to jot big due dates, important reminders (like registration, fee payments, birthdays), so that I can have them all in one place for me to see them. Whenever a date comes up, I immediately log it here.
A few notes on these pages:
* Only the most important deadlines go here.
* Think of it as a way to keep a handle of your big picture.
* By logging these important dates/ action items in the month at a glance it will help you better handle your horizon.
This isn't the place to log little stuff like housecleaning, a date for drinks, or small tasks. Think big: that vacation you are planning, a project due date, your anniversary. The things you absolutely cannot forget!
After your months-at-a- glance are tackled, I have a few special goodies for the new year. One is a page dedicated to my one little word. Even if you don't want to do a word of the year, think of something to ground and focus you for the new year. Maybe it's a song, a quote, a great image. Take some time to have a page dedicated to that.
On the opposite page, I have a top goals spread for 2017 so that I can reflect back on these throughout the year. I recommend turning to a page in the back of your journal for some free writing to brainstorm before you write down your intentions if you want to use this spread. For me, I selected key categories that mattered most for me: personal, financial, professional, and mental/intellectual goals, with an end - summation for my overall intentions. But, you may have other goal foci, like health and wellness, or your career or education, so make this spread work for you.
At the start of *every* month, I do a 30 day goal challenge for myself. This is a great way to kick start your month and get started on the month with focused intentions.
In this spread, I reflect on:
* what I want to accomplish in the next 31 days. This may be big things looming on the horizon, books I plan to read, a fitness plan, prelim prep, cleaning my closets-- I basically brain dump here all the things I want to do. I don't worry so much about these goals or plans being attainable or actionable, I just think about what I would like to accomplish.
* My reasons WHY:
This is key. Goals and intentions are just words if you don't have a reason for why you want to make things happen. Here, I look at my brain dump and think about the intentions and the things I really want to do and why. I'll be filling this out and posting it on my instagram feed if you want to see how I execute it later this week.
* My plan of Action:
I have my intentions and my reasons, now I need to make a plan of action -- I really believe in this. Here, I'll think of a few key steps on how to make my plans reality.
Now, I'll be coming back to this at the end of the month, so stay tuned for how I treat these intentions.
Another thing I included at the start of the year was a spread where I can document (and celebrate) my successes! All too often in life we let our successes happen and fail to document them. At the end of the year we don't have anything to look back on, nothing to show ourselves that we had so much amazing growth. This year I'm challenging myself to document each success as it happens so I can have a record, and I challenge you to do the same:
Lastly, I have my calendar for the month. I like to do a calendar spread, unlike the month at a glance with days jotted down in the traditional bullet journal format.
For other monthly spreads, check out my Pinterest board on Spread Inspirations
My next post will be dedicated to organizing your week. I will also be making some calendar templates if you're like me and can't make a decent calendar -- to print, cut out, and glue into your journal!
In the meantime, enjoy this first prompt for the new year. Take at least 5 minutes to write in your journal and use this prompt as your jumping off point. It is intentionally open-ended: change is whatever you want it to be!