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Motivation Lost? 5 Steps You Can Take To Get It Back!

motivation

The months of May and June 2017 will now be known as the time that I lost my motivation.

It all started when our family kicked off  the summer with a vacation. It was a lovely time. I took a break from technology, and read books instead. We explored a cave, had fun on a boat, and laughed with family. motivation

I had every intention of working on a blog post, once I returned. After all, I had just experienced a relaxing week in a beautiful cabin. I was refreshed and could look at the world with a clear head.

But I did not get any writing done.

I kept telling myself that I SHOULD work, but I could do it tomorrow.

Even my beloved bullet journal suffered, it’s pages were lonely. I didn’t doodle, I didn’t track the weather or my mood, and worst of all, I had nothing to check off.motivation

Then, I realized something.

My journal is a huge KEY in keeping me motivated and organized.

When I stopped writing my tasks in my journal, and checking it daily, it gave me a reason to procrastinate. I also felt myself become more anxious and overwhelmed.

I had no plan to follow, so instead my brain just had a running list of things that I needed to do. Without putting it on paper, I quickly went into overload, and fell into my old pattern of just shutting down and doing nothing instead. The motivation was gone.


SO WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED TO GET YOUR MOTIVATION BACK?


  1. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION FOR A BREAK

First of all, it is okay to take a break.

I think that in a way, my body and mind were telling me I needed to allow myself some time to do nothing. To read those books that have been piled on my nightstand, catch up on the magazines, and even take a few naps.

Of course, my first instinct was to beat myself up for being lazy and not accomplishing anything.

Instead, I changed my perspective. I gave myself permission to have that break. No writing or work was done, but I did get to enjoy some extra time with my family. I even did some crafts and tried some recipes. And did I mention the naps?!motivation

I was just productive in a different way.

And that is okay.

2. REVISIT YOUR GOALS

However, it is important not to stay in permanent break mode. The longer you remain in it, the harder it becomes to snap out of it.

I needed to take a look at my goals and remember why I was doing all that work in the first place.

When I was checking my bullet journal daily, I was reminded of what I was working for. When I stopped doing that, it became easier to ignore the steps that I wanted to take to accomplish my goals.

If you don’t already have a list of goals, with a plan of action, take some time to write some out. Or make a vision board. Or start a bullet journal.

Even if you are feeling unmotivated, just the simple act of looking at your goals each day will help remind and inspire you to keep working.

3. START SMALL

Part of the reason that I stopped being motivated,  was that I felt like things were piling up around me. Each day my mental lists grew longer, yet I wasn’t doing anything about it. I didn’t feel like it would be possible to get everything done, so instead,  I just shut down.

To combat this, pick just one thing and DO IT.

For me, I told myself that I needed to get out my journal each day and look at and start using my tracker again.

By doing my basic daily tasks again, I started feeling productive and like I was re-building my self discipline again.motivation

Still missing a lot of x’s, but let me tell you, checking off those boxes again when I completed something felt so good!

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, just pick one small thing and work it into a routine again. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to juggle too many things, or all of the things that you were doing before you lost your groove.

Baby steps!!

When you are feeling ready, add another task. For me, I will start doing my affirmations again. I need that positive reinforcement. 🙂

4. REWARD YOURSELF AND CREATE AN INSPIRED SPACE

This one is easy.

Make sure you create a fun space to help you feel inspired, and give yourself a little reward. Treat yourself to new journal supplies, find some inspirational quotes, clean your work area or re-arrange it, get a cute plant. Little rewards like this are good for motivation.motivation

Just have a little corner or space where you can plan, work, clear your head, or meditate to help keep you on track.

5. DON’T FOCUS ON FAILURES

Finally, be nice to yourself.

Don’t focus on what you did wrong, or what you didn’t accomplish. Negativity can kill motivation. As I mentioned earlier, a perspective change can do wonders.

I’m going to be honest, I still have my dark moments and there are days that I just want to remain in my blanket cave and ignore everything. Just getting out of bed is a simple victory, and it counts as a success.motivation

Think of and remember the successes that you experienced. Even if they are small. Write them down so that you can revisit them when you feel unmotivated.

I followed these 5 steps and was able to find my motivation and get to working and writing again.

It feels good to be back.

What do you do when you find yourself in a funk and need to find your groove again? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo,

Melissa

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How a Bullet Journal (and Coffee) Can Help with Cleaning

CLEANING

*Disclaimer: I received a product for free in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 

Cleaning is something that I have not always been great about keeping up with. I live in a house with six people, so you can imagine that sometimes things can really pile up.

Enter the bullet journal, my new favorite tool.

As I have explained in some of my past posts, the bullet journal is a great tool for tracking habits and keeping yourself in check. Using a cleaning calendar is similar, and it can help make staying on top of cleaning easy and painless.

If you stay on the schedule that you come up with, and keep up the rotation, your house will stay organized and clean!

I decided to create my calendar page while recovering from a procedure. I was on orders to rest and not move around, which is not an easy task for me. Luckily my family was helpful in assisting with the cleaning while I could not. So, I used my down time as an opportunity to come up with a plan to keep us organized going forward into the future.

Here is what I came up with:

cleaning

As always with a bullet journal, you can customize your schedules and lists to work for you. Don’t forget that you can add or leave out anything that you would like.

Also, I prefer to keep my cleaning calendar at the front of my journal, where I include the pages for my morning routine.  So, when I pour my first cup of coffee (more on that later!) and go through my daily pages, I am reminded of what I need to do each day.

You may notice that I try not to give myself too many daily tasks. This is so I don’t get overwhelmed and just decide to put everything off.

cleaning

I have assigned a different chore for each day of the week. Doing this helps to add a little variety to my daily routine.

At the bottom I included a rotating schedule of things to do each month. These are larger house projects, like the dreaded washing of walls and baseboards, but when they are broken up over the year, it becomes much easier to get them accomplished.

cleaning

And just how does coffee come into play?

Well, quite honestly, it is the fuel that keeps me going. I manage to pack a lot into each day, and in order to get things accomplished, I need to be energized. When I work on my bullet journal pages, or decide to take on any kind of project, a cup of coffee is usually in my hand. Or, at least nearby.

I received a bag of the Sabertooth Roast from Caveman Coffee Company to try, and I must say it is quite delicious. They even sent me samples of MCT Oil, and while I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first, they had recipes on their website. Adding that to my morning brew gave me some amazing energy!

cleaning

I am sharing this because they have an awesome monthly coffee subscription box available. Which means not running out of coffee. Plus, who doesn’t like fun goodies delivered to your door each month?

I would definitely recommend giving this fun company a try and make your life easier with delivery each month!

Finally, do you want to take your cleaning routine one step further?

Add your daily routine and monthly chores to your bullet journal tracker. If you aren’t sure what a tracker is, check out my Beginners Guide to Using a Tracker.

I love to check off my accomplishments, so this is the extra security that I need to motivate me to stay on top of not only my daily personal goals, but also my cleaning goals.

cleaning

If you are struggling to keep on top of your cleaning projects, pour yourself a cup of coffee and try making a cleaning calendar. Having all the tasks listed and planned out, gives you one less thing to think about each day!

XO,
Melissa

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Beginners Guide: Using a Tracker In Your Bullet Journal

Using a tracker in my bullet journal is my new favorite thing! Since I love it so much, I want to share it with all of you. I even included a little mini tracker for you to download at the end of my post! 

tracker

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Recently, I have been dealing with some health issues. I’ve spent the past few months in and out of the doctor office. Each time, I am given new instructions, or a different medicine to try, and it started to get a little difficult to remember everything that I was supposed to do.

Then it dawned on me. I should make a tracker for my bullet journal!

Are you new to the world of using a bullet journal? Before you read through this, be sure to check out my Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals.


Of course, it isn’t a requirement to have a tracker in your journal, but it has been such an awesome tool for me. It helps me keep an eye on my good habits, and the places that I need a little extra work. I love checking things off, so using a tracker has been a great way to hold myself accountable.

Best of all, there are so many different things that you can track. And as always, there are so many different layout options. Mixing things up and trying different styles of trackers also helps keep me motivated to get my stuff done!

HABIT TRACKERS

The habit tracker is just a list of the things that you like to accomplish in a day. It’s basically like an every day to-do list. To make one, you can use dotted or grid paper. Having a ruler handy is also helpful. You can make your tracker a weekly one, or a monthly one, that’s the beauty of having that customized system that works just for you.

Here is an example of the one that I just made for myself. I just set it up for a two-week period.

tracker

See? It’s pretty simple, but so helpful.

Need some ideas of what to track?

  • Exercise
  • Vitamins
  • Water consumption
  • Journal time
  • Chores
  • Feeding pets
  • Watering the plants (for people like me who seem to have a black thumb)
  • Medication
  • No Junk Food/Caffeine etc…
  • Goals
  • Symptoms
  • Sleep schedules
  • Self care/Me time (you’ve got to make sure you are giving yourself love)
  • Spending
  • Moods
  • Routines (morning and night)
  • Flossing/teeth brushing

Really, anything that you want to work on, or make sure that you do each day, add it to your tracker!

However, if you don’t use it on a daily basis, it won’t do much good.

I am guilty of thinking that I will remember to fill in what I did a few days later, but that just doesn’t work. So my solution was to work it into my nightly routine.

In my last post, Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal, I mentioned that I changed my layout so that I could write a few sentences about my day. It was my goal to do this on a nightly basis, along with filling in my mood tracker. I am happy to report, that this has been going well for me, and I have now added filling out my habit tracker during this time.  So, just be sure to find a spot in your day that you will be sure to check off those boxes.

OTHER TRACKERS

There are other fun things that you can track, but you may want to dedicate a layout to a single thing, instead of just a list.

For example, here is my mood tracker page. Each day, I color in the boxes to indicate how I was feeling. By the end of the year, I will have a very colorful page with all of my moods.

tracker

I did mine over the entire year, but next year I think I would like to try to do a monthly mood tracker. I have seen some pretty amazing layouts that have inspired me.

I also like to track the books I read, movies that I see, and shows that I watch throughout the year. Here are what my trackers for each of these look like.

tracker

tracker

tracker

It’s fun to have a history of the things that entertained me throughout the year.

You may have one big goal that you want to work towards, such as saving up for a vacation. This is another way that a tracker would be helpful. Having that visual will really help keep you motivated.

Our family recently decided that we want to visit one of the state parks out west, so I made a page to remind my husband and I to set a little money aside each month.

tracker

I can’t wait until all those boxes are filled in, and we are on our way!

Finally, I have a page dedicated to the bills that I need to pay each month. It’s very basic, but incredibly helpful.

tracker

Feeling a bit intimidated by drawing out your own tracker?

I always want to remind people that your bullet journal pages do not have to be fancy. Please do not get hung up on seeing all the beautiful layouts out there and then feel like you have to do the same. Part of the reason that I make these blog posts is to show you that I do not make perfect layouts, mine do not look like they are made by a professional artist, but I love them. And they work!

I made these handy little weekly mini tracker stickers to put in my journal, for those times that I just can’t draw one for myself. To print these, I used Avery mailing labels #8168, but you can also just print on blank paper, cut out and glue into your journal.

Feel free to download them and use for your own bullet journal!

tracker

I hope that this has helped to show you that a tracker can be a great tool to help you manage your time better, and to get those dreams and goals accomplished!

xo, Melissa

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Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal

The start of a new month is one of my favorite times, because it means that I get to add new pages to my bullet journal.

month

I love a fresh start! 

I wanted to share with you what I do to kick off a new month. Hopefully this will help you to understand how to use a bullet journal.


Note: If you aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, check out my post, Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals. Using this system is the first time that I have stuck with keeping a planner and journal. There is just something about being able to customize everything that just makes me happy and motivated! I want to share the love and get everyone hooked!


First of all, yes, I know that we are already a few days into the month of April.

My daughter had surgery, and my crazy life put me behind.

Again.

But, that didn’t stop me. I am trying to be kinder to myself, and reinforce that I don’t have to be perfect, so I went ahead and still got it done.

This might have to be my new mantra: It’s okay to get started late, at least I still got it done!

Remember, you do not have to make fancy pages or layouts for your bullet journals. Simple lists, or just a page with each day written on it is fine. Start out that way if you are feeling intimidated. You can always switch it up and add more as you find your routine and get more comfortable with the bullet journal system.

 Ideally, here is what I do each  month:

GOAL PAGE FOR THE MONTH

First, I sit down and think about and what my main goals for the month will be. I review the past month to see what I did not get done, and if needed, I move it forward to the current month.

As hard as I try, I don’t always get everything done that I planned on accomplishing, and that’s okay. See my new mantra above 🙂

Usually, I like to write the month and then break it up into four sections; Self Care, Health, Blog and Projects.

Here is what my page for the month of April looks like:

I like to use a color theme, and April makes me think of spring. This brings to mind the arrival of blue skies and the pretty greens returning, so I used blue and green to decorate my pages.

Typically, I like to add a quote for each month at the top of my page. I still haven’t found the perfect one for this month yet, so I have left a blank space to add one.

I also try to make a point not to overwhelm myself with too many goals. If I do that, I tend to just shut down and not accomplish anything. So, I only choose 2 or 3 things that I want to work on that month for each category.

For example, in the health category I want to make a point of eating more fruits and veggies. I also need to remember to take my iron pill, so I added that to my list.

WEEKLY LAYOUT

Once I get that accomplished, it is time to set up my weekly pages.

Many people like to do just one week (or day) at a time in their bullet journals. You can totally do this, but for me, it is easiest to set up weekly pages for the entire month. It helps me be to be able to plan ahead a bit.

Remember, one of the fun things about using a bullet journal, is that you can try different layouts to see what works best for you. Mixing things up helps to keep it fun. So this month, I’m trying a different layout.

month

In the past, I have used vertical boxes for each day. However, I made a goal this month to try and write a few sentences about each day. I decided that horizontal boxes might work a bit better for my diary entries.

I also added small boxes in the corner so that I could make a little drawing about what the weather was like each day.

ADDITIONAL PAGES

I like to incorporate my menu plan into my bullet journal. In the past, I have just written down what we are eating somewhere on my weekly pages.

This month, I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I made a page dedicated completely to our menu.

month

If you recall, I wanted to add more color to my journal this year, and the little doodles are the perfect way to do this!

I also home school my daughter and have been working on planning ahead a bit more. This month, I created a page dedicated to our lesson plans and theme.

month

I think that having a visual for the crafts, reading, and experiments that we will be doing alongside our usual daily work will be helpful. I can fit our whole month of activities on one page (front and back) since we focus on each theme over a period of two weeks.

Finally, I made a lettering practice page. You may have noticed that most of my lettering in my journal is done in the same style.

At this point, I am ready to branch out and I know that I will need some practice.

month

It might not be a super fancy page, but it gives me a visual reminder that I need to work on my lettering, which is a goal of mine this month.

There you have it. See, it isn’t too scary or overwhelming right?

This is what I do each month for my bullet journal. I really enjoy creating my layouts and pages because I feel like I am taking some time for myself to be creative, but I am also being productive as well. It’s a win win for me!

Do you have any favorite layouts or pages in your bullet journal? I would love for you to share them!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss different trackers that you can use in your journal. I will also have a neat little sticker that I have been working on available as a download.

xo, Melissa

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8 Books That Will Help You Keep A Journal (even if you are busy)

I’ve been writing about my passion for using a journal quite a bit recently.  I have even had a few people say that I have inspired them to start using a journal of their own, and that makes my heart so happy!

But what if you feel like you are way too busy to keep a journal? Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.

As a solution, I’ve made up a list of some great books for you to check out that might help give you a little help in finding the time to make using a journal part of your day.

Most of these would make good companions to your daily planning, and a lot of them have short and quick exercises that you can do. Many of them can even happen right in the book itself!  There are so many wonderful options out there, and if you are looking for a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered.

books

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

START WHERE YOU ARE: A JOURNAL FOR SELF DISCOVERY

booksThis is one of my favorites. It is an interactive journal that contains beautiful images and hand lettering. It will help inspire you to become self-motivated and show your creative side a little love.

HOW TO BE HAPPY (OR AT LEAST LESS SAD) A CREATIVE WORKBOOK

booksThis book contains a series of prompts that can help readers see things in a different perspective.

THE HAPPY BOOK

booksThis is a book that can help show you how to practice happiness by using different prompts and activities. There are places to make lists, paste pictures and fill in the blanks.

WRECK THIS JOURNAL

booksThis book is fun because it challenges readers to make mistakes, be messy, and to destroy things. It is a fun and different way to get creative!

THE LIFE ORGANIZER: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO A MINDFUL YEAR

books

This book gives you a more in depth way to explore your needs and dreams by using daily prompts and strategies. It isn’t a fill in the blank type book, and helps you delve a bit deeper. It is a wonderful guidebook to use as a companion to your daily planning.

CREATIVE DOODLING & BEYOND: INSPIRING EXERCISES, PROMPTS, AND PROJECTS FOR TURNING SIMPLE DOODLES INTO BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART

books
Maybe you don’t feel like writing – don’t forget that being creative is a fun way to add to your journal. This book will inspire you to get your creative juices flowing with its projects and prompts.

DOODLING FOR CAT PEOPLE

books

Here is one just for doodling fun. This is an entertaining way to experiment with ways of drawing furry friends. Yes – they have a dog book too 🙂

MY BOOK ABOUT ME

booksThis is one that I loved as a kid, and is a fun way to introduce kids into exploring the world of self discovery, and writing about themselves.

I hope at least one of these might be a fun tool to pair with, or help you to start using a journal. Do you have any favorite books about journals? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo, Melissa

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7 Self Care Pages For Your Bullet Journal

Self care is an important part of life, but can be hard to find the time to fit it in.

A few months ago I wrote about a few simple ways to sneak self care into your routine. This month, I will show you how you can use your bullet journal as a tool to help you with your self care.

self care pages

Self care is all about being in tune to your own personal physical and emotional needs, It is about nurturing your mind, body and soul. It is something that should be done regularly, so it makes it a great thing to incorporate into your bullet journal pages.

So how can filling out pages in a book help with self care?


Here are seven different self care pages that you can make that will help keep you on track with taking care of yourself.


JOURNAL OR BRAIN DUMP PAGE

Keeping a journal is one tool that you can take care of yourself. Simply taking the time to write about how you feel is important. It will help you clear your mind, and discover the things that are bothering you, or better yet, inspiring you.

If you have the time, try to set aside a time in the morning or evening to write a few pages. Just start writing your train of thought, working to empty out everything that is on your mind.

You might be thinking that you do not have a big chunk of time to spend writing. I totally get that, and I have a solution for you.

The brain dump page. 

I covered this wonderful page in my post about how bullet journals can help with depression and anxiety. The brain dump page is a good quick substitute for writing a few journal pages. You may not have the time to pour your heart out into a journal.

Instead, try pouring a cup of coffee and jotting down a few words or sentences about what is on your mind. It will help you approach the day with a clear mind.

self care pages

Plus, participating in that little morning routine counts as self care!

GRATITUDE PAGE

This is another page that you can add to your journal that will help you keep a good perspective.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all that is going wrong or bad in your life. Eventually, if that is what you focus on, nothing seems to go right!

Keep a page in your bullet journal where you write the good things that happen to you. It doesn’t matter how big or how small, just try to find ONE thing that you can be grateful for. Maybe it is a compliment that a friend gave you, or a nice text message you received. It could even be that the sun decided to shine.

self care pages

Refer back to it often, and remember those good things that happened. They are good for the soul.

SELF CARE PAGE

This is an easy one. It serves as a good reminder to take time to care for you.

Make yourself a reference page in your bullet journal where you list ideas for self care activities.

self care pages

Since you will always have it handy, try to refer to that page each week and pick something that you can do to show yourself a little love.

DOODLE PAGE

I like to doodle. I find it calming and relaxing, and it definitely counts as self care.

Make a page in your journal to doodle, or sketch. Breathe slowly while you color, and be mindful as you make your lines.

self care pages

The result will be a page full of doodles that make you happy and might cheer you up on a day that you feel down.

REALITY CHECK PAGE

This page is a good way to help put the negative thoughts that run through your mind into perspective.

There are times in my day where my brain starts freaking me out and I perceive things in a way that are not true. When this happens, I use this page.

There is one column to write my fear, or the irrational thought that I am having. Then, there is another column to replace it with a more positive thought and perspective.

self care pages

Using this page is similar to the gratitude page, as it helps to refocus negative thinking into something more positive.

AFFIRMATIONS PAGE

Fill a page with positive thoughts and affirmations about yourself, or about life.

self care pages

Start out slowly if you need to, but set aside a time at least once each month to light a candle, put on some good music and say these affirmations out loud. Ideally, working towards saying them at least once a week, and then every day, would be best.

YOGA POSES PAGE

One of my goals this year was to work on fitting yoga into my self care routine. I know by doing this it helps me stay relaxed, and it is another good way to clear the mind.

However, I don’t typically have a ton of time to watch an entire video or attend a yoga class. I remedied this by making my own little page illustrating a mini yoga routine for myself.

self care pages

Now it is always handy in my bullet journal, and I see it often, so it reminds me to take a few minutes and stretch it out.

I hope that some of these self care pages might help you find a way to making self care a priority in your life. Remember, these are only examples. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You WILL make mistakes. If you don’t like to draw, and prefer lists, just make lists.

The main point of a bullet journal is to have a system that you can customize for yourself. 

If I happened to inspire you and you would like to share, I would love to see it. Or if you have favorite self care pages that you like to use,  please share them in the comments!

Check back in soon,  or better yet, sign up for my mailing list, because I will be sharing about how my use of a mood tracker is working out, and I will be sharing more information about how to use trackers in your bullet journal.

xo, Melissa

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*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂


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My Favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

bulletjournalsupplies

Today, I thought I would share my favorite bullet journal supplies with you.


If you are not sure what a bullet journal is, check out my bullet journals for beginners post.


*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

One of the best parts about a bullet journal, is that you can create your own personalized system. You really only need a notebook and a pen, but there are also many fun supplies that really can help personalize your journal.

So let’s start with the journal itself.

JOURNALS

Just do a search on Amazon and you will find tons of adorable blank books. Many people use this Leuchtturm 1917 journal, it seems to be the tried and true go to.

However, I like to be able to rearrange and remove my pages, and I am unable to do this with this particular style of journal.

To solve this, I use a simple mini binder.

It has clear sleeves in the front, so that I can switch up my cover often. Plus, if it gets damaged, it is very inexpensive to replace.

PAPER

There is plain, dotted, lined, and grid paper available in loose leaf form.  I like to use all of the types of paper since I prefer the grids for my trackers, dotted for my calendar, lined for writing and plain to do little doodles and drawings.

By doing this, I am able to have everything together in one notebook, and it is easy to switch it up if I get tired of my layouts.


You might want to invest in a 3 ring hole punch as well. It comes in handy sometimes.

PENS

Next you need pens.

If you like basic, just invest in some nice black pens.

However, you may want to add some color.

Last year, I did most of my pages in simple black and white. This year, I wanted to branch out and play with color.

Brush pens are a wonderful way to add a little variety to your pages. The set that I have been using recently has a wide and a thin tip. I have been having fun experimenting with different brush strokes.

Sometimes, your colors will bleed through your pages, which can be frustrating. Colored pencils are another good way to get a little creative, without the frustration. I like this set because you can also get the pencil wet and get a watercolor effect.

STICKERS AND WASHI TAPE

Stickers are another fun way to add some fun to your bullet journal pages. There are tons of etsy shops that sell custom stickers, as well as amazon. I am working on my own sticker pages, and will be sharing them here on the blog soon.

I also have become a bit addicted to Washi Tape. For example, I found some super cute Totoro Washi tape that I have been using to decorate the top of each of my daily calendar pages for this month. There are so many different styles and patterns, it is fun to stock up so you have a bunch of options for your decorating.

CLEAR SLEEVES

There are a few pages in my journal that I don’t access often, like my color key, and blog information, but get a little beat up because I refer to them often. I found some clear protective sleeves to put those pages in, and it helps keep them in good shape.

DIVIDERS AND TABS

Because I keep a lot of different content in my journal, using tabs and divider pages helps me easily access my different sections. I like these dividers because they are made of plastic that is a bit sturdier.
These self adhesive tabs are also great because I can easily label them and stick them on specific pages that I use often.

I hope that this list of my favorite bullet journal supplies is helpful in giving you some good ideas for your own book. Don’t forget that Instagram and Pinterest both have wonderful ideas for layouts also. Be sure to follow me, as I am always adding fun stuff to my feeds.

Do you have any favorite bullet journal supplies? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

XO, Melissa

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Hope – Thursday Writing Prompt

​I had hope that I would get a good craft blog post up this week.

Instead, I took this week off of my main blogging activities to spend a little extra time snuggling my family. It was much needed, and even gave me a bit of planning time.

I will be back next week with a fun heart themed craft to share.

However, I did not forget this weeks writing prompt.  It has been another week of political drama, and it has made me revisit the word hope.

hope

There are many things that I could write about, like a day without phone calls, or arguing siblings.

Most of all, I hope that people will start coming together and show kindness, love and support to one another.

What would you write about?

xo Melissa

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Thursday Writing Prompt – A Challenge

​Since my last writing prompt, I have had some pretty crazy days. When I sit down and think about all that I pack in to each day, I realize that I am pretty good at multitasking, and taking on different roles.

I am a teacher, a mother, a wife, a blogger, and work two jobs. Somewhere in these roles, I also try and create, as it is something that makes me feel happy – so I guess I could also be an artist. I know that most people have full days and do various things, and I think it would be fun to hear what others consider themselves to be.

So I thought it would be fun to make this weeks writing prompt a little challenge.

challenge


Mine is: Coffee!, eat, work, teach, write, create, clean, love, smile, repeat!


Take some time to do a little brainstorming. Figure out your description and let me know in the comments.

 

xo Melissa

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How Using A Bullet Journal Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

 

Anxiety and depression is something that I often deal with.  Last year, I started a bullet journal in hopes that it would help me ease my busy mind. I am happy to report, that I have noticed a huge improvement. While I still have my moments, I now know that I have a good tool to help me cope and work through things when I start feeling overwhelmed.

I want to show you that creating a routine with your bullet journal can help you feel more stable, and give you a more positive outlook.

anxiety and depression

 


Not sure what a bullet journal is? Check out my beginners guide to bullet journals


Here are some ways to put your bullet journal to work for you and your mental health.

BRAIN DUMP PAGE

This is one of my favorite pages to create. Each morning, as I am drinking my coffee, I take some time to breathe and think about what is on my mind. Things that are bothering me, things that make me happy, and things that I want to do. I create little mind maps with all of these things that accumulate in my head, and once I do that, my mind feels a little more at peace.

It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it can be in any form, just find what works best for you. The goal is to quiet your mind.

anxiety and depression

 

TO-DO LISTS

I usually have a brain full of things that I want to do and need to accomplish. It can get a little cluttered, so being able to have a running list written out, helps me clear my head a bit and have a visual of what I want to do.

However, those lists can also get long and become overwhelming, which leads to shutting down.

One solution would be to make short to-do lists for each day, or for the week. Choose two or three main things that you would like to accomplish, and start with that. Use your brain dump page to jot down other things on your mind. Then, when you sit down to work on your goals for the day, pull items from that page to add to your list.

Another suggestion would be to create a DONE list, instead of a to-do list. Write down thing things that you did accomplish. This can help turn a negative thing, such as a long overwhelming list, into a positive thing.


However you create your lists, just make sure it is achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure.


GRATITUDE LISTS

Sometimes, when anxiety and depression strike, it can make everything feel so hopeless. Like there is nothing good happening.

Take some time each day to think about and write down 1-3 good things that happened in your day. Even if it is just something like just getting out of bed, or that the sun came out for a few hours. I found once I practiced this, that over time, the good things became easier to think of.

Keeping a gratitude list can help focus on the positive, and put things into perspective.

SELF CARE PAGE

Make a page that lists various activities that you can do to take a few minutes to focus on yourself. When you start feeling overwhelmed and need a break, refer to your list. Often, when I start feeling really upset, my brain doesn’t seem able to think of what I can do to help get out of that rut. If you have a list, it makes it easy to just pick something and go with it.

anxiety and depression

If you need some ideas to get you started, check out my post about quick self care ideas.

HABIT TRACKERS

These have everything that you need to do on a daily basis available at a glance. Use grid paper and track things like exercise, food, medicine, housework, or vitamins.

A good one to start with is water intake, as staying hydrated is important for the mood.

Trackers are handy because they can help put things into perspective for you. You might discover that you need to work harder to make something more of a habit, or better yet, you may realize that you are doing a great job, and that things aren’t as bad as you think!

Again, just remember to set realistic goals for the things that you want to track.

MOOD TRACKERS

I wrote a little bit about starting to track my mood last week. Even though this is a tracker as well, I feel like it deserves it’s own category. This one is helpful to see if there are certain times which you are prone to feeling depressed or anxious, it gives you the big picture of how you are feeling.

I have enjoyed tracking my moods so far. When I grab my colors to fill in my box for the day, it gives me a moment to think about and recap my day. Often I think I had a bad day, but once I think about it, I realize that it is usually a mix, and that something positive typically happens. (of course I try and remember to add that to my gratitude page!)

anxiety and depression

At first I was worried that all my squares would be grey for sad, or dark blue for anxious, but I discovered that wasn’t the case.

QUOTE OR MANTRA PAGE

Finally, I like keeping a page with inspirational or motivational quotes that I like. I can glance at them when I start feeling dark, and usually there is some kind of quote that will help uplift me.

It doesn’t need to be fancy, I just keep a lined page in my notebook so that I can just write it down when I find a quote that I like.

anxiety and depression

Mantras are also nice to add, work them into your morning routine and start the day right. Remind yourself that you are a strong, capable, and smart person.

I hope that this shows you that organizing and creating a system in your bullet journal can be therapeutic and can help when emotions start feeling out of control.

Do you have a favorite page that you use to help combat anxiety and depression? I would love for you to share it in the comments. I am always trying to think of new pages to add.

xo Melissa

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