Non-Bullet (maybe) Journal
Thursday, August 31, 2017
DISCLAIMER: I don’t keep a bullet journal, never tried to keep one, not sure how to keep one.
My last couple of months have not been as healthy as they should be or as I would have liked them to be. Near the end of July, I fell and my knee and arm were really sore for a couple of weeks (knee still has moments). Then we were visiting family for a couple of weeks, then “recovering” (lol) from that, and then busy with annual, regular dental and vision appointments. So, I didn’t exercise like I should or would have liked to. My food choices were smart, and I’m not unhappy about them, but I’ve found that I don’t lose weight like I’d like to if I don’t exercise. And, I miss all the other benefits of exercise that we know about.
The last week or so, though, I’ve been getting back on track, and one of my Spark friends asked what I meant by that, how I was doing that. And my response encouraged her to suggest a blog about my plan.
When we were visiting family, I had time to sit and reflect. Part of that reflection time was about my unhappiness with my progress. I’ve journaled since the beginning of my Spark time, so I enjoyed being able to reread entries to note patterns, what caused my successes/failures and what seemed to work. I’m a regular poster to my various teams’ forums and my food/exercise/other goals’ charts. But, I found that those are “separate” and I must consult each one to see my progress. So, I thought a journal of ALL my stats in one place would be a way to keep them, too, and with all my stats charted I’d be able to easily see patterns/problems/successes. I joined the sleep team this month, and part of that is keeping a journal noting hours slept, bed time routines, relaxation techniques, so another set of “stats” to keep. I’m part of the “12 months from now” team, and we are asked to keep lists of triggers and strategies for dealing with instances which could distract us from our healthy options. While I’m thinking of a pen/paper journal because I find them satisfying, I suspect all this could be kept on the computer—inserting tables into documents or changing cell sizes to accommodate reflections/comments.
The first part of my preparation was to note the number of stats I needed to keep. I made a list of those and am setting up a spreadsheet for recording; I can print the spread sheet and insert into any journal. From what I’ve seen of bullet journals, here’s where different colored inks or where the various symbols could be used for keeping track of achievement, whatever your goal—complete, 75%, 50% achieved. I’ve been keeping just “raw” data and probably will continue to do so. At the end of a period of time—week/month/quarter—I may then decide to record my percentage or level of success to see if there’s a pattern related to food, exercise type, exercise time. My rereading now is usually a week at a time and adjustments made then, unless there’s a glaring pattern that shows up in 2 or 3 days.
Then, I needed to have space to record my reflections—usually a daily thing. I like to record my feelings, immediate reactions to the day’s choices, how I felt about the exercise choices. Those are important to me for making/changing plans. And now I also need a place in the same journal to record those sleep journal items and the strategies from my “12 months from now” team.
Pinterest and Etsy have LOTS of ideas, just search “fitness journals.” A Google search for “bullet journal exercise log” will also give you a set of websites and images. Some are more specific than others, and some are limited in scope. A search of SP for “bullet journal” offers several resources, too, including a team “Journaling for Success” as well as several posts referencing bullet journals by those starting and keeping them.
I think I “rejected” the idea of a bullet journal because I wanted something that was more inclusive but also exclusive. I think bullet journals are for keeping everything together—right?—and since I’m retired, we write what appointments we have on a wall calendar and I keep a calendar app current. I needed a journal only for my healthy lifestyle journey. BUT it needed to have ALL my information for that journey in one place.
I hope this has inspired you to create what you need to stay focused on and making progress towards your own healthy lifestyle. Please let me know what system you developed and use, and I’d like to hear from those of you who do bullet journal about how you keep your health and/or fitness journal and how to start keeping a bullet journal.