Track your healthy habits and set goals in your bullet journal
I remember when I took the first step to recovery. I was sitting at my office during lunch and going through instagram watching people eat healthy. And I thought to myself, ‘if they can do it, so can I!’
Then is when I decided that I will get better and take care of myself, mentally and physically. And of course I started out slow and kept a wellness plan in my bullet journal to help me. Today I want to share the way I make a wellness plan so you can start being healthy too!
It’s never too late.
Don’t want to go through the hassle? Use our self-care & positivity checklists
Why you need a wellness plan
Planning and goal setting is always a great idea if you’re trying to achieve something in your life, no matter how small it may be. A plan centered around healthy and attainable goals is going to help you in so many ways. Here’s how it helps me:
- When I take the time out to create a plan, I try to follow it and checking things off everyday motivates me
- It really helped me cope with depression when I focused on being healthy
- It helped me organize my mind
- It helped me focus on the important things only. This is beneficial when you don’t have all the energy in the world (especially if you’re depressed)
- When I’ve gone through a month or even a week, I actually feel very accomplished looking back at progress (something my therapist also recommended)
What is healthy and what is not?
I know that it’s very cliché, but being healthy actually helps people who are stressed out or depressed. But there are certain things you need to be mindful of. You need to define clearly what is healthy for you. Because certain habits maybe healthy for me but may not for you.
A friend of mine gets up at 6 am and goes for a run/walk and then dresses up for work and heads out.
Another friend eats salads for lunch.
If I try doing these, I will actually start resenting being healthy because it will tire me out so much. Being healthy doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
Instead, here are some easy healthy habits to consider when you’re depressed or just starting out:
- Have 8-10 glasses of water
- Walk for 15 minutes
- Spend 15-30 minutes in fresh air
- Have 3 proper meals a day
- Do yoga for 15 minutes
- Set boundaries with family/friends
- Limit social media time
- Limit drugs/drinking/cigarettes to special occasions
- Practice breathing exercises
- Eat fruits as a snack
I hope you get the picture now.
Steps to create your wellness plan
Watch this video tutorial in Urdu
Things you need:
- A bullet journal, sketchbook or simply a notebook
- A black pen/pointer
- Some colorful markers/colored pencils (optional)
- Stickers, washi tape, etc (optional)
1. Decorative heading
Start out by writing your month (duh). If you like making different types of handwritings then you will really enjoy this part.
2. Categorize goals
On the first page you’re going to write your overall goals for the month. First, you need to pick out 3-4 things you want to start focusing on. For me it is: personal, career, family and mental health.
For you it can anything that’s important for you. It could be spiritual, emotional, relationship, friends, etc
3. Pick the goals you want to achieve
This is the tricky part. Start out with very basic things. Like, for example,
- Working on your portfolio
- Writing one blog a week
- Spending time with family
- Eating well
- Taking out time for myself
- Doing a hobby
4. Track your habits
On the next page you’re going to make mini calendars and you will use to track your above mentioned goals or healthy habits. You can start off with 3 a month. These need to be SMART (more about that later). As you get done with a habit for the day, you can check it off or color over the date.
You will create a notes area to write down any extra information related to your wellness plan.
6. Reflect on your plan
This is so important! After you’re done with a week or a month, you need to reflect on your plan; how are these changes in your routine making you feel. You can this on the notes section or on a new page.
Before you start creating your wellness plan, here are some things to consider.
What are SMART goals?
We often set goals and are not able to achieve them because they are so unrealistic. This is why you need to set SMART goals which will increase your chances to having things crossed out from your bullet journal.
These goals are:
Specific – instead of ‘I will focus on being healthy’ mention which part of your health will you focus on ‘I will eat healthy’ or ‘I will exercise’
Measurable – Instead of ‘spend time with family’ write ‘spend two hours with family everyday’
Attainable – something you can actually accomplish and is according to your physical and mental stamina. For example, instead of jogging at 6 am you can try walking at 10 am
Relevant – For a wellness plan you clearly need to mention goals that help you achieve emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness
Time-based – Mention a time frame so that you are motivated to get it done on time. Like mentioning, once a week, daily, twice a day, etc along with your goal
Advice for people with mental illness
If you have a depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, I need you to make things super simple and not be so hard on yourself. These are some habits you should consider in your bullet journal:
- Showering everyday or every alternate day
- Dressing up once a week
- Talking to a friend everyday
- Doing a hobby 10 mins everyday
- Watching a movie once a week
- Reading a few pages everyday
- Write one page everyday
Doesn’t that sound simple? If it sounds difficult, simplify it further. However, do try to push yourself a bit everyday to achieve these goals everyday and it’s perfectly normal to not able to do them every day.
I mean, I still struggle to shower when I’m in my depressive phase (I have bipolar disorder) and or eat 3 meals every day. But I still try. I have days where I want to throw away my wellness plan because I haven’t checked off anything in days and what is the point? But I do have days when I consecutively mark off my habits for a week!
Does it have to be pretty?
It totally depends on what kind of person you are. If you like colorful things, then absolutely make it colorful. If you don’t like color, keep it minimal. You can make small doodles with your black pointer. The possibilities are endless! And if you start to make it look nice, you will enjoy the process and look forward to creating a wellness plan every month.
You can also browse Pinterest for bullet journal inspiration and see how other people are doing theirs.
Does a wellness plan work for everybody?
I want to end the blog by saying, that creating a wellness plan in your bullet journal might not help every body and it might not bring a drastic change in your life.
However, if you’re ready to take baby steps, make everything in your mind a lot more clear and focus on things you care about, and above all, want to actually work on yourself without making excuses all the time, then a wellness plan will help you!
These blogs may help you too.
- How I figured out I was depressed
- How Muneeza used art to heal herself
- How I coped with 7 years long depression
- Simple positive thinking techniques
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