Third time’s the charm, they say, so I took a stab at trying bullet journaling again this year. In the past few years that I’ve attempted to bullet journal, I haven’t really finished a whole year doing it. I’m a very disorganized person and I always am scared of starting to design a spread because I can’t seem to realize the design ideas I have in mind and put it to paper. But this year I’ve resolved to be a bit more intentional and get rid of the my own fear of not meeting my expectations and reaching my goals.
Let’s be honest. 2020 was a tough year. There was just a lot of things going on in my personal life even before the pandemic happened and it all came imploding in 2020. I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t always be tough as I want to be and acknowledge that there are simply moments when I need not strive so hard to be okay all the time. 2020 became a season of learning how to rest as well navigating the motions of longing and disappointment.
When I was coming up with January’s theme, I knew I wanted it to be in line with my word for the year which is “Blooming Hope”. I started looking for quotes online and found one quote by Morgan Harper Nichols that resonated with me so much. So I started working off that and ended up picking a gardening theme.
The quote also reminded me of the lyrics of the song Springtime by Chris Renzema, whose bridge goes like, “Come tend the soil of my soul and like a garden I will grow.”
For the title spread, I decided to put the quote in one page and the January title page in the other. I ended up using earthy colors with a pop of red for my color palette and worked off that same color palette with the rest of the spread. I added some cool gray as well to balance out the colors. You will see me work with this same set of colors in the other spreads for the month.
I was pretty happy with how the title page turned out. It’s quite simplistic but I was proud of myself for getting rid of the fear to doodle. It’s not perfect but I managed to pull it off.
For the monthly calendar spread, I decided to put the pop of red on the gardening boots as well as the handle of the shovel. I really put in the effort to make it work and looked for various references on these gardening tools for references. Overall, I was happy with how this one turned out.
For my first weekly spread, I ended up drawing a straw hat laid on top of an empty wooden crate with a small hand rake on the side.
You may notice a few colored grids on top of each box for the day of the week and I used those to cross off my daily habit tasks. I did this because I didn’t really create a habit tracker page. I’m still deciding on whether I should create a separate habit tracker spread for next month, but we’ll see how it pans out.
I also decided to document my “wins” and “losses” for each day. This helps me pause and reflect on both the good and bad that happened throughout the day.
The next spread after week one is a January Self Care Challenge by Frannerd. This is actually a free printable for her patrons. She published this on her Patreon after I made my first weekly spread that’s why it’s here. I don’t really mind where I ended up putting it. Haha.
What I do for this is I decide which challenge I want to do for myself for a particular day and then I highlight it with my light yellow Tombow dual brush pen.
My week 2 spread is probably my least favorite spread from this month. I couldn’t really deicide what I wanted to use as a design for the spread. In the end I drew a red trowel with some soil (which eww looks bad) and then a packet of seeds on one side. I initially added a text beneath the packet of seeds but didn’t like how it looked like so I ended up covering it with the plaid washi tape. And then for this spread and for the rest of the month, I decided to make my habit grids smaller than I originally did for Week 1.
I procrastinated on finishing up the design for Week 3. I initially started doing all the boxes for the days just so I can plan out my tasks for each day but it took me forever before I really doodled on the box I left for the design. I knew I wanted to draw tomatoes and it’s not that hard to draw them, but I tend to overwhelm myself when it comes to getting started any kind of doodle or drawing.
While I was working on covering up some of the tasks on this spread I also noticed that I didn’t finish my wins/losses for this week. Oops.
I procrastinated even more for Week 4. I didn’t open my bujo until later in the week (maybe Thursday? I’m not sure), so most of the tasks here were belatedly added when I did start plotting out the boxes. However, I do like the wheelbarrow I ended up doodling as well as the weeds and other foliage in it.
Since I wasn’t sure if there were any red colored wildflowers, I ended up just drawing a pair of red gardening gloves on the ground. I think that worked out.
And finally, for the last week of January I was able to plan and design it on time, YAY! I finished the design yesterday and I ended up doodling some red poppies. I added my plaid washi as an accent to the poppies and leaves.
This is actually my favorite spread/doodle out of all that I did for this month. I absolutely love how it looks and how it turned out. I’m not very good with coloring with markers but I think this looks okay?
The Week 5 spread still looks a bit empty but I will be adding more tasks to it as the week goes. I still haven’t decided on what theme I’ll be having for February so I hope something resonates with me before this week ends since I want to be ahead of the game!
Before I go, I wanted to share the materials I used for my bullet journal. 🙂
There were moments this month where I was obviously unmotivated but I just rejoice in the small accomplishments I have each day. I’ve also started journaling my thoughts again to help me process my ideas and emotions and it has helped me offload a lot of the things that tend to go unchecked before I implode and break down. Here’s to thriving and not just barely surviving!
If you’ve reached the end of this post, YAY! Thank you and I hope you enjoyed this bullet journal flip through! I know most people in the bullet journal community do their flip throughs on Youtube but heh that’s another challenge I will take on some other day.
Please watch out for other posts here in the future! Continue to make and thrive!