Track Your Commitments in the New Year with a Bullet Journal

By Michelle Cohen
HAKOL Editor

Is organization on your list of resolutions for the Jewish new year? Bullet journaling is a great way to stay on track for your goals for the duration of the year.

A typical bullet journal’s pages are filled with tiny dots instead of lines, meaning that each page has the potential to turn into whatever layout makes the most sense for the task at hand. Each bullet journal is fully customizable and able to fit your goals, dreams and ideas for the upcoming year. The High Holidays are a time for reflection and moving forward, which is a great mindset to begin bullet journaling.

Beginning a bullet journal means coming up with goals for the next month, several months or year, and figure out small steps that will enable you to reach those goals. Some people use their bullet journals to make lists of things they want to achieve, checking them off as each item is done, while other people prefer to create a graphic design and fill it in with different colors as each part is done.

Along with goals, bullet journals are typically used to mark the passage of time. Unlike a daily planner, where spaces can be left blank, many people structure bullet journals to include every part of the day. This can help you notice daily habits and find time for things you didn’t think you’d have time for. Marking how you spend your time can lead to the ability to change these patterns, if you make a commitment to find time in the day to work toward your goals. Whether this means 15 minutes to read a book, an hour at the gym or five minutes of meditation, blocking out time in a bullet journal can help you find time you never knew you had.

Tracking habits is another common practice. Many people create rows with habits like “Work on knitting project,” “Cook a healthy meal” or “Put away kids’ toys” and draw a small square for each day. These habit trackers are then filled in when the task is completed each day. In addition to being able to see where you succeed or fall short with your habits, these trackers can also provide motivation in and of themselves, to fill in the squares and create an aesthetically pleasing pattern. Instead of tracking habits, some people prefer to track their moods, spending, friends’ birthdays, eating habits, water consumption or a countdown to an important day. What fills in the boxes you make is entirely up to you and what fits best with your lifestyle and goals.

With the High Holidays on the horizon, there are also some religious functions to a bullet journal that might be interesting to think about. Consider adding prayer to your daily timetable, or adding commitments to Jewish values such as volunteerism and giving time to family to your calendar. Write down something you’re grateful for each day in the morning and at night. Find a daily prayer, or keep track of people who you pray for with a Mi Sheberach list.

There’s no limit to what a bullet journal can organize and track. Take practical steps toward a happier and more meaningful life in the new year by beginning a bullet journal.