Aiming for a Better 2018
2017 was a crazy year for me. It was the first full year I’ve spent as a college graduate, I moved across the country from my parents, and got my first “big girl” job. While a lot of great things happened in my life, I knew that being away from family and friends in college had really taken a toll on my personal relationships. I’m a scatter-brained workaholic introvert. I’m at peace with this, but I do always want to try and improve. I wasn’t staying in touch as much as I should have been, and 2017 was the year I decided to take back my social life with the help of bullet journaling!
Birthday and Anniversary Trackers
Admittedly, I’m one of those horrible people who only remembers birthdays when Facebook tells me to. As someone who loves sending cards and presents, I always kicked myself when I missed another birthday. Now I have everything easily accessible in my yearly log, and when I plan out each month in advance, I make sure to note whose birthdays are happening that month so I can plan accordingly. I’ve started to keep track of EVERYTHING this year, from baby due dates to anniversaries. One of my friends recently commented that I “remember everything” and I had to silently thank my bujo for helping! I usually just track all of this on my year-at-a-glance, but if you have enough important birthdays to keep track of (or an especially large family) you can keep a separate tracker.
Monthly Contact Tracker
I actually started doing this one as an experiment one month to try and quantify how often I keep in touch with my family and a few close friends. It turned out to be a great experiment that pushed me to send more cards, call more often, and generally try to make more plans with those that I love. I’m a data nerd, and having this kind of visualization of my social life really pushed me to try harder. I now do this every month just for fun, and I think it’s helped my relationships (especially with my extended family, who I am guilty of going months without calling previously) quite a lot!
Local To-Do List
This has become an absolute LIFESAVER when it comes to making plans. My friends and I often refer to ourselves as “adventurous homebodies.” We love going out and doing fun things, but we hate coming up with ideas. Growing up in Los Angeles was fun, but it also meant that we’ve all become a little jaded when it comes to heading to the more touristy parts of town (where all the fun stuff is).
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This tracker was created with boredom in mind. I spent a night on Google scouring the internet for all of the fun hidden gems in the LA area. And every time I see a friend doing something Facebook, it gets added to my list! So far I’ve got a running list of great restaurants, bars, and museums in the area that have made for some pretty unforgettable Girls’ Nights this year!
You can branch off of this idea in many ways as well, depending on your hobbies. One of our favorite activities to do as a group is hiking, and I’m currently working on a separate list of places to go hiking and camping in 2018!
Date Night List
This is similar to my local to-do list but with romance in mind! I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 years. We’ve fallen into a rut with our dates, either going to Disneyland (we have season passes and, don’t get me wrong, I love it, but we’ve gone 50 times this year….I counted….) or staying at home, ordering pizza, and binge-watching something on Netflix.
So I created this list as a kick in the butt for us to get out of the house more this year and it has been SO fun. We’ve been working our way through this list all year and I’m already working on our 2018 list. This has really encouraged both of us to get out of our comfort zones, try new things, and create wonderful new memories together. Having everything put together in one list makes it even easier to plan great new dates.
Pen Pal Lists
This has been such a fun addition to my bullet journal as well (no photo, as it contains personal info, sorry)! I’m always trying to make new friends and the Bullet Journal community has blessed me with several new pen pals. We send each other cards and gifts all the time. There’s real beauty in connecting with a total stranger and befriending them
On a side note, I’ve also spent a lot more time this year sending people cards “just because” (especially my boyfriend). Every time someone receives the card, I get a phone call about how much they enjoyed it. It’s such a simple thing that you can do that will bring so much joy to someone else’s day!
Overall, I’ve spent a lot more time this year investing in my personal relationships, and I think it’s paid off in dividends in terms of my overall happiness. If you’re like me and tend to live inside your own head, it definitely helps. Sometimes keeping track of the little things is just the push you need to get started. I definitely plan on using all of these trackers and tips again in 2018, and will hopefully develop new ways to spend time with my loved ones in the coming months!
I wish you the best of luck in your relationships in 2018, and hopefully you’ve gained a bit of inspiration from this list!
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