For a while I was never a big “goals” person. I told myself I didn’t really need them.
But deep down, I knew I was scared that I would never fulfill them.
A few years ago I got on the bullet journal train and I’ve been taking it ever since. I liked the idea of writing down what happened to you everyday, keeping track of your tasks and the creativity you can bring to it.
I kept a journal in middle school and high school and I thought it would be good for me to get back into it. It’s also nice to have some sort of record of your life to look back on.
The main purpose of bullet journaling is to keep track of your goals.
I was never a big “goals” person. I told myself I didn’t really need them.
But deep down, I knew that I was scared that I would never fulfill them.
I took up bullet journaling in a time in my life where I felt lost. I finished grad school and was trying to figure out what to do next. What kind of job should I try for? What do I do with myself day-to-day? How do I start making money?
With my bullet journal, I was able to take the time and write out what I was thinking and, little by little, figure out how to get my life in the direction I want it to go.
It really helped when I found the current job I have now. It was a complete relief and it helped me feel less lost. It gave me the courage to start looking at my life long-term.
When 2017 approached, for the first time, I used my bullet journal to figure out my goals for the year. I broke them up into four categories: Professional, Finances, Relationships, and Other.
In 2018, I had some of the same goals, just kind of referring back to them every once in a while, casually, to see how I was doing.
At the end of the year, I would reflect over my goals to see how far I came.
2018 was an interesting year for me, goal-wise, because I had gone through a break up and I decided that I wanted to take a longer-term look at where I wanted my life to be headed. Sort of a, “let’s try to do this before 30” approach.
They were big ideas: establish my career, live on my own, travel solo, and buy a car. Plus, some other qualities I wanted to develop for myself: take more risks, trust my instincts, etc.
When I sat down to write my goals for 2019, I’ll admit I did feel a little stuck. A few goals were ones that I was still trying to do from 2017 and as I was looking at my “before 30” goals, they were still big ideas that were hard for me to get my head around and create an action plan (except for buy a car, that was one of the easy ones to figure out).
This year what I decided to do was give myself quarterly updates to see if I was on the right track, rather than wait for the end of the year.
That has been helpful, until I wrote last quarter’s reflection. I started to feel stuck again when I was writing them out. I felt like I was on the right track, but maybe not making the progress I wanted.
I also felt they weren’t serving my “before 30” goals either.
I want a career, but doing what? I want to move out, but where would I live once I could financially? I want to travel but I had to sit down and plan where, when, and make sure I could get the time off at work.
So one afternoon, I decided that I would not only write out my goals, but figure out the action plan for each one. (As writing has been a goal of mine for a while, starting this blog was an action point for me. Especially since I always thought about doing it.)
I have to say, taking the time to do that was so freeing. It was great to see it all laid out and for me to break down what I could actually do, month to month and week to week.
From starting out as a non-goal person to a goal person my advice to others who are also on the brink of writing out their own goals is to:
- Start big, then break them down to smaller goals, then to action points you can actually do.
- Don’t be afraid that you won’t reach a goal. Fear is the thing that keeps you from doing, and not doing anything won’t get you anywhere.
- Keep track of your progress more often than year-to-year. Consistent updates helps you stay on track and accountable. It’s helpful because you may realize that a certain approach isn’t working for you and you can adjust accordingly.