Bullet Journal Beginnings

This past weekend I bought, as I am wont to do, a notebook. The notebook turned out to be unlined, dashing my hopes of making it a gaming diary. And then I had a thought, and that thought was, “Why don’t I try my hand at a bullet journal?”

This is not the place to come if you want an explanation of what a bullet journal is, and how to make one. For that I recommend bulletjournal.com and maybe also this Buzzfeed article, and Boho Berry’s Bullet Journal 101 series. I think I’ve got a handle on what it is and what I can do with it, but only just. It’s basically a journal-slash-planner thing. You create yearly, monthly, and even weekly overviews, which you use fill in with tasks and events and appointments. Then you keep a daily log, which you use bullets of different styles to fill in so you know what you’re looking at with a glance. The daily log can be a to-do list, but it’s also where you can record notes and thoughts and quotes and basically anything you can think of. I’ve fiddled with the format for a few days and I’m really enjoying it.

What I’m really drawn to is the customizability of the bullet journal. It doesn’t have to be a straight planner/journal. You can use it to track all kinds of things. In my soon to be personal bujo (the popular abbreviation for it), I’m planning pages to track my daily habits, my spending, and even a little self-esteem log suggested by my therapist. I’m excited to get started on my bullet journal journey, even if I don’t half know what I’m doing.

I will own I’m also attracted to the pretty touches people add to their journals, which you can see if you take a traipse through the #bulletjournal tag on Instagram. I like the colored pens and markers, and the washi tape and fancy lettering. (I’ve even started doing some handwriting drills to make my lettering neater.) I’m not a very artistic person, but I’ve been told I have a decent design sense, so that’s something, isn’t it? At least I think it is. I’m willing to try anything out, and if I make a mistake, oh well. It happens.

All that said, what I’m really hoping to get out of the bullet journal system is consistency. I used to write journal entries every day. I did it for about seven years straight, almost never missing, and then my depression got the better of me and I stopped. I’ve tried to get back into it, but never been able to. The bullet journal seems to me a way to journal without worrying too much about time commitments; it only takes about ten minutes to fill out bullets of what I did today, and what I plan to do tomorrow, plus any notes along the way. More than anything, I hope my bullet journal journey gets me back in the habit of recording my days, so I don’t lose the memories of the fun stuff that happened.

Do you journal at all? Have you tried bullet journaling, or wanted to? Let me know in the comments below.

(Note: I start my proper bullet journal this coming Monday; I’ll be sure to share pictures after I’ve made it through my first week!)

February: Mid-Month Progress Report

So it’s (well) past mid-month, which means we’re due for an update on how those monthly goals are coming along. Last month, as I’ve discussed before, was something of a misfire. I got some things done, but not all of them. This month thankfully seems to be going better, though there have been some falters here and there.

In the Healthy Living category, things are going fairly well. Well, decently well. I’ve actually managed to keep up with my soda goal! I’ve stopped making excuses to buy a Coke at work, and that’s helped enormously. I’m kind of cheating by having soda “days” rather than a set number, but I haven’t had more than two in a day since the month started. I decided to throw the caffeine limit out the window. On a “bad” day, I probably don’t consume more than 100mg, which is well below the daily recommended limit. I’m fine with that. Exercise and junk food eating have not been such a success, but I hold out hope that I will one day get my crap together.

Writing-wise, I’ve been working, as I said in my last entry, on Holly Lisle’s flash fiction course. At the moment I’m redrafting my story beginnings, but I think if I total all that up I’ll hit 1000 words  with ease. And maybe work on finishing my stories as well.

Reading and all the other stuff: well, I think I’m going to finish one book this month, at least, but it’s probably not going to be The Name of the Wind. (It will be Beauty, by Robin McKinley.) NotW has been progressing slowly ever since Kvothe, our hero, basically discovered girls (well, one girl) and his obsession with her is more than a little grating. Luckily, the plot seems to be thickening, so maybe I’ll get through it after all. I haven’t watched as many movies as I would like, but I have a three-day weekend this weekend, so maybe I’ll tear myself away from Terraria long enough to watch a few.

Speaking of Terraria… last month, it was Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and this month it’s this. I bought Terraria for the 3DS on a whim last Saturday. It is now Thursday as I draft this, and I am both frustrated and hopelessly addicted.  Frustrated because I can’t seem to make much progress in the 3DS version, and addicted because I went and bought the PC version as well, and I’m having too much fun to stop. Terraria is a sandbox game in the same vein as Minecraft, but with a much bigger vision. There dozens of monsters and tons more crafting options, and that’s just the start. It’s a lot of fun and despite  my mediocre progress, I’m really enjoying it.

In other news: I baked the cake for my father’s birthday, though it didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped. Here’s a picture of it, with my not-so-flattering commentary. I haven’t been saving money thus far because I had a little fraud incident with my bank account and couldn’t access my funds online, but I plan to save the whole $400 in one go after I get paid this week. I practiced ukulele the first couple weeks, but last week was a bust. I haven’t been knitting at all, much to my chagrin. Other stuff’s been going on, but I think I’ll cover all that in another post.

I can’t think of anything else that really warrants updating on. Despite my fits and starts this month, I’m actually quite proud of my progress. It’s nice to see that I can do things if I put my mind to it, even if those things include playing too many hours of a video game.

How’s your month been going?

General Life Update No. 1

So what have I been up to since posting my February goals? I know you’re all dying to know. On impulse I want to say “a whole lot of nothing,” but that’s 1. being too hard on myself; and 2. not true.

I have been working towards the completion of my goals, for a start. I’ve been practicing ukulele. I’m working on the Disney puzzle. I’m still reading The Name of the Wind and I started rereading Robin McKinley’s Beauty so I can actually finish some books this month. I’ve even managed to watch a couple of movies, and I’m planning on seeing another this weekend.

Perhaps the biggest thing going on in my life right now is my retry of Holly Lisle’s flash fiction course. When I tried the course back in December, I was taking it week by week. I quit sometime in the middle, when I lost faith that my ideas were any good, and also in my ability to find my way to endings I couldn’t yet predict. (I had just joined Holly’s site, so the lessons were only available at one per week.)

Now that I’ve started over, I’ve got access to everything, and I’ve gone over all three lessons before starting. I’ve reused some of my ideas from the first go round, and I’m trying not to let myself fall into the trap of not believing in myself. I have beginnings written for all five fics, and while they need work, they’re decent starts. Some of them need tightening up to bring down the word count (I’ve only got 500 words total to work with), and others need a little more detail added to establish things. Nevertheless, it’s a start. And it’s more than I had when I started, which was nothing.

I have also been playing video games, though not necessarily the ones I listed in my goals. I’m doing dailies in Animal Crossing, at least in one of my towns, anyway. I also started playing the copy of Ocarina of Time 3D I bought a couplefew weeks ago. I haven’t even entered the first dungeon yet, so I don’t know how it’s going to go. I have internet guides to help me, at least.

I can’t think of much else to update you on, so I’ll leave things off here. What have you been up to lately? Feel free to share in the comments!

February 2017 Goals

It’s a new month, which means a new set of goals to shoot for. I’ve aimed a little higher in some areas and lower in others, but I think my goals for this month are achievable. Hopefully.

  1. Stick to 3 sodas/week. Try to limit caffeine as well.
  2. Exercise 2 times/week. Either walk at the mall or half an hour on the recumbent bike.
  3. Eat less junk food, and more fruit and veggies.
  4. Write 1000 words on whatever. Probably The Oupost.
  5. Try the flash fiction course again.
  6. Read at least two books, one of them new.
  7. Watch 10 movies. Make time for movies in the morning.
  8. Knitting: seriously finish up the blanket. Start working on the lace scarf again.
  9. Baking: make macarons again, really really. Maybe bake Dad a coconut cake for his birthday.
  10. Work on the Disney puzzle. Put down at least 100 pieces.
  11. Video games: Get back into Pokemon Sun and maybe Story of Seasons. Work on Calliope and Illien, my Animal Crossing towns. Post on my AC blog some more.
  12. Catch up on Doctor Who. Start catching up on Agents of SHIELD. Finish up with Sherlock. Keep up with Steven Universe.
  13. Update blog once a week, but twice a week if I can manage. Life updates, DW reviews, movie reviews. Whatever stuff. Tweet 10 times (instagram crossposting does not count).
  14. Practice ukulele for actual this time, twice a week. Learn 5 chords. Learn two nursery songs.
  15. Visit brother and SIL again, either with my parents or without.
  16. Make first student loan payment if my consolidation application goes through.
  17. Save $400 if still employed. $50 if not.

It’s quite a lot of stuff, to be honest. But I’m determined to make at least some of it happen, so I’ll keep you posted on what I get done and what I don’t.

What are some things you want to get done this month?