My 2018 Bullet Journal
Yet another year has come and gone. It completely floors me how quickly 2017 has flown by! Despite my shock, I am thrilled to tackle 2018. This last year has been a year of immense growth and development for me, and I can’t wait to continue to push towards my goals with energy and enthusiasm. In order to do that, I need to sit down with my journal and get in touch with myself to reaffirm my goals and focus on achieving those goals. So let me walk you through that process with my 2018 bullet journal setup!
This is my 2018 setup but I hope it can still serve to help inspire you as you prepare for the new year. If you’d like more inspiration you can check out my other new year spreads:
- Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Watercolors
- Loew Cornell Palette
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens
- Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens
- Pentel Aquash Water Brush Pens
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliners
- Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
- Zebra Mildliners
Complete 2018 Bullet Journal Set Up Flip Through
Before I break down each section, check out the full 2018 bullet journal set up flip through! You can see everything laid out exactly as I see it and how it all fits together. And if you want to watch how I set up my spreads (for my 2018 bullet journal and more), make sure to head to my Youtube channel and subscribe!
Reflecting on 2017
Before I can start jumping into a list of goals and plans, I need to take a step back and evaluate the year in review. 2017 was full of lessons, experiences, setbacks, and successes. It’s important to reflect and take inventory of yourself before you charge into the new year.
I created a page to hand letter out a farewell to 2017 with my chisel tip Pitt Artist Pen and some soothing blue and green Dr. Ph. Martin’s watercolors. Closing out the year is a monumental feeling, and there’s nothing like creating an end page to fully capitalize on that.
I also wanted to spend some time writing about my successes and my missteps in 2017. It was so nice to take a second to stop and remember some of my favorites from 2017, but it was also helpful to step back and consider what didn’t work so well. To do this, I outlined some boxes with my water brush pen and got to work evaluating my accomplishments, my failures, and my lessons learned. It was an insightful and rewarding bit of writing, and I’d highly recommend it when you’re preparing for the new year!
I had a lot of fun on this page. Creating a title page (especially one with art) for the new year is appealing to me because it allows me to meditate on my goals and intentions for 2018.
Last year, my mantra was “Done Not Perfect”. This year, my mantra is “Slow and Steady” – hence the tortoise. I decided that I wanted to focus on my daily growth and daily action instead of my overarching goals. I want to instill the spirit of determination, focus, and patience into my life over the next year.
On the next page, I decided to create this simple and elegant 2018 thumbnail calendar. I already have an active future log over in my watercolor planner, which I’m keeping alongside this bullet journal for my dailies and monthlies. My new 2018 bullet journal is more of a collections journal, which works beautifully with my watercolor planner.
Anyway, I really enjoy keeping a thumbnail calendar because I’m a very visual person. If I am trying to plan out trips or other events, it helps me tremendously to be able to actually see several months at once in a calendar form. Creating a thumbnail calendar just makes sense!
The Level 10 Life is not a new spread for me. In fact, I’ve done it two or three times over the last few years. I used to do it every six months, but this Level 10 Life was actually the first one I’ve done in a full year. It was exciting to be able to think about my satisfaction in life and see how it has changed over the last year. I’m happy to report that in most facets of my life, my happiness has remained unchanged or grown! It’s another method to reflect on the past year and take stock of what’s going on in life, which makes it a natural spread to do in my 2018 bullet journal setup.
When you’re thinking of all the things you want to accomplish in the new year, it’s easy to get lost in a haze of incomplete thoughts and ideas. That’s why I wanted to add a mind map to my 2018 bullet journal setup. This technique is perfectly suited for nebulous thought patterns and helps you trap abstract thoughts on paper. It’s a fantastic way to brainstorm your future plans for the new year! It’s also a fun way to play with your large assortment of fineliners, mildliners, and felt tip pens.
Habits to Kill and Habits to Grow
I’m not really interested in setting new year’s resolutions. I’ve never really had much success trying to achieve new goals right out the gate of a new year. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to think about things I want to change in 2018! I just like to frame my goals a little differently.
I decided to list out a handful of habits that I want to focus on killing or growing. Rather than saying, “I am going to exercise three times a week starting on January 1st,” I am taking the approach of, “I am going to try to pay attention to these habits in my day to day life.”
As I move forward in 2018, I know that I want to hit these particular goals. I don’t want to set my expectations too high, but I’m confident that if I concentrate my focus on this group of habits one day at a time, I can create some real change in my life.
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If there’s one thing I definitely want to focus on in 2018, it’s my cleaning habits. I admit it – I’m horrible at cleaning. I can never find the time for it and I never have the energy to get it done when time does open up. That is something I want to change.
I created this cleaning calendar in my 2018 bullet journal setup hoping that with structure, I can grow a habit of regular maintenance cleaning instead of rare cleaning frenzies. I want to have a calendar in place so I can know what to do and when to do it. I’m not expecting for me to become Martha Stewart overnight with this cleaning calendar. I don’t even expect any significant growth for a few months. But I am hoping to achieve tiny growth and progress day by day. Like my 2018 mantra – slow and steady wins the race.
One of my favorite spreads in my 2018 bullet journal setup is my ideal schedule. I feel as though I am constantly battling time, so this thought exercise was especially effective. When you think about your big dreams and goals, it only ever comes down to your daily life and daily actions. Thinking about your dream schedule is just conceptualizing what your dream looks like on the ground level. That’s what makes it especially fun!
I like doing this at the top of the new year because it brings your favorite activities and values to the surface. When you think about it, what are the things you would want to do in your ideal day? What would you spend your time on? That’s your passion, and that’s your goal. Getting that down on paper helps make far away goals feel closer to reality. This exercise makes it much easier to draw a line from your current life to your ideal one, and that’s a powerful tool.
I’ve gotta be honest with you – I’ve put on some weight. I’ve slowly added about 20 lbs to my frame in the last year, and while it might not be a ton of weight, I decided to make a plan to tackle it. That’s why I created this extremely simple weight loss tracker in my 2018 bullet journal setup. All I did to set this up was draw out several hexagons with my Tombow Fude brush pen. The idea is that I weigh myself every day and average out the scores for each week to get my number, which I write down in my weight loss tracker.
I’m not devoting myself to becoming a health guru in 2018, but I do want to practice some serious self-care by maintaining my health. And getting myself back to a comfortable and healthy weight is an excellent place to start.
While I don’t want to set any sort of a daily new year’s resolution, I did want to setup a master plan of milestones in my 2018 bullet journal setup. It’s so easy for days to roll into weeks, then weeks into months. Goals can slip by and be forgotten quite easily if you don’t have a plan (or even sometimes when you do). That’s why I am trying out this new type of master plan.
I decided to only pick one high-value goal for each month in 2018. These goals are high value, but none are particularly difficult or time consuming. I should be able to accomplish each of these goals in 6-12 hours, which is nothing in the span of a full month. Setting these achievable goals gives me something to work toward each month for a feeling of growth and success. And if I decide to add more goals later on as I make progress, there is certainly room to do so. It feels like a win-win!
The last page in my 2018 bullet journal setup is this a year in pixels spread. It’s a gorgeous chart that I’ve seen in the bullet journal community for a while, and I’ve been dying to try it out. The idea is that you keep data on your moods over the course of a full year in this compact, simple chart so you can identify your mood patterns over time. If you’ve seen my habit tracker, then you know I’m a sucker for data, so I couldn’t pass up this perfect opportunity to try the Year in Pixels spread for myself.
Onwards to the Future
There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the beginning of a new year. The allure of a clean slate is intoxicating, and I love being swept up in the hype of future planning. There is so much to look forward to, and I can’t wait to jump into the new year with both feet – thankfully with the help of my 2018 bullet journal. Let’s do this!