How Bullet Journaling is Offering a Lesson in Letting Go

It’s a new year which means that many of us have changed out our calendar or purchased a new planner to keep us organized.  And I am a big proponent of finding (& using) the organizing solution that really fits your personality, so I’m pretty sure there is no one-size-fits-all tool.  But, I also know there are alot of people out there fumbling with apps & planners & sticky notes & multiple calendars, feeling frustrated as they work to get a handle on their tasks, lists & dreams.  So, after getting a tutorial on the Bullet Journal, I thought it would be fun to share what I am learning about this tool & the process.

You see, I had resisted figuring out what Bullet Journaling really involved because I thought it might feed into my perfectionist tendencies… and because I already use Google calendar, a paper planner, a journal & a notebook.  I was pretty sure I didn’t need to introduce one more thing, but friends were raving about this method, so I sat in on the intro. to bullet journaling event offered at Content Bookstore last night. 

The talk was led by Cynthia Gilbertson, whose love of this tool and description of all of the great shifts that it has created in her life was so inspiring, that I found myself heading home with a new journal, a little pen-holding accessory, & some cute little tabs.

I let it all sink in overnight & then took the plunge today.  I pulled out some pens and started to fill in the blank journal.

I will admit that I ended up ripping out the very first entry that I made and then starting over, but I’m giving myself a pass on that one.  It’s not easy for a perfectionist to give up that desire to “do it right.”

What I am finding is that this process is actually very intentional, just as Cynthia said it would be.  And for me, it involves a ton of letting go– which is a recurring theme in my life.

Here are all the ways I was letting go as I started to fill in the first pages.

  • how messy or neat my handwriting is going to be 
  • that I’m not going to be able to erase!
  • that the themes of the pages need to go in order or be grouped together- they don’t!
  • that I might run out of space for notes on a topic if I start a new idea on the next page
  • that it has to be set up “right” from the very beginning
  • that I need to know all the tricks & gather fancy pens & stickers in order to start
  • that spending time on this is taking away time from something more critical
  • that someone else is using it more efficiently, more creatively, more intelligently than I am 

Cynthia said that there is a “right way” to Bullet Journal, but the right way is to make it work for YOU

That idea was just what I needed to hear as it fits one of my commitments to myself this year – Listening to what feels “right for me” and allowing it to find it’s way.

I have always been a journaler.  I love to write lists, collect quotes, jot down words of gratitude, and keep notes on lots of things, so it doesn’t feel like a big jump to try a Bullet Journal.  What I’m noticing though, is a little sense of freedom in having only one dedicated place to store all these writings & I’m pretty sure the process will have me considering how much I really need to collect. 

Intention & focus seem to be circling this new book.

Cynthia said that the process allows her to be more mindful & focused each day.  I can see how that can happen as you spend time creating your daily log & reflecting on the tasks that were completed and the ones that need to be migrated or reevaluated. 

I’m also feeling a sense of relief & excitement that the weight of my work bag could lighten up as I set aside some of my other journals & notebooks and allow the Bullet Journal to carry the load. 

I’m willing to see what happens.  Willing to watch this Bullet Journaling process unfold.  And I’m letting go of the need to make big any judgments until I have really had time to see how this tool enhances or complicates my life. 

More letting go… it seems the bullet journal is already doing it’s job.

Your Turn…

How do you stay productive & organized each day?  Do you reach for paper or are you a digital fan?  Are you ready to try something new?

No matter the tool you use, keep this thought by Greg Mckeown in mind, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”  Setting aside time to get clear on the tasks & events that line up with what is really important to you will allow your day to run with more ease & fulfillment.   I hope whatever tool you use, it offers you a chance to create that.

If you have never heard of Bullet Journaling, check out this quick video.  And I’d love to hear more about the system that works for you!  Submit a comment in the box below & I’ll get your message in my inbox.

The 6 Big Lessons I Learned from Moving

9 years ago we decided it was time to make a move.  We had a cute little old house in a quiet neighborhood, but we were ready for a change, so we started the process to put our house on the market

I think about that little house with the dormers often.  All the hard-work, sweat, paint & memories of our first home.  It was a great place to start our family.  A great beginning.  And the decision to move was a good one, but the steps that it took to get the house ready to sell almost made me change my mind & decide to stay put.

We had two kids under 5 and an old fixer-upper.  It was a recipe for lots of late night sessions with a paint brush & a radio, as well as the decision to rent a storage unit to contain all the extra clutter that we couldn’t deal with at the time. 

The funny thing is that once we had cleared the house of clutter & wrapped up the projects, I had fallen in love with the house all over again. 

Everything had a place & cleaning up was so much easier.  There was room to breath & space to relax.  We had just enough to keep everyone happy and had taken away the extras that had continued to get in our way. 

Moving had offered me a chance to feel what it would be like to live with less, and I liked it. 

We sold the house & eventually had to deal with all of the extra stuff that we had squirreled away in the storage unit.  It was the perfect opportunity to decide how we wanted to live in our next house.  Moving gave us fresh perspective on what we wanted to surround ourselves with & how we wanted our space to feel. 

Here are the lessons I learned from moving –

living without things for a while makes the decision to let go much easier 

All of that stuff that we had sent to the storage unit ended up being things we really didn’t miss & we were able to let go of much easier when we went to unload the unit.  In this case, time apart made the heart grow less fonder.  And the idea of bringing those “extras” to our new space made us cringe, so we knew it was ok to let them go.

You don’t have to take it all with you

As we prepped our house to be put on the market, we had a yard sale to offload some of the things that we knew wouldn’t be going on the moving truck.  Moving takes work, so I kept this sale simple by pricing categories of things, not individual items.  Getting rid of stuff before we packed saved time & energy all around.

It’s ok to need a little time with decisions

Moving involves lots of decisions, so I needed to give myself permission to have some items that I was “on the fence about.”  Those items needed their own box so they wouldn’t get unpacked with everything else. If I had to do it all over again, I would label that box with the DATE & some words like RETHINK THESE or ITEMS TO DECIDE ON.  If I was still “on the fence” when I unpacked, then they probably weren’t favorites & could be given away.

Be choosy as you unpack

Unpacking offered another chance to check if the items getting put away were going to be used, needed, or loved.  It offered another chance to pare down and start fresh in the new space.  It was a great opportunity to get clear about the things we enjoy spending time on & the items that help us do that.

Don’t hold on to things for “just in case”

Often “just in case” items are the ones that get forgotten in the back of the closet & only surface after years in hiding.  We found those items in our extra bedroom closet or stored up in the rafters of our garage.  I began to realize that setting aside space in the new house for items that we never used would limit space for the things that we really used, needed & wanted.  Moving offered a great chance to look at all that extra stuff with fresh eyes & get honest about the likelihood that those “just in case” items would be needed.   

Set up your house to work for you Now!

The biggest lesson from the whole experience was not to wait to find places for our things.  We remembered how good it felt when our old house was pared down & everything had a place that made sense, so we made it a priority to make this happen in our new home.  We thought about how we wanted each space to function & best serve our family before we added the stuff that would be used in those spaces.   We wanted to create a new home that felt good, functioned well, and was easy to tidy up.  It didn’t happen overnight, but we went into our new house with this goal in mind.  

Your Turn…

Are you contemplating a move but feel overwhelmed by the thought of it?

Moving is a big job!  It’s not something that most people can do on the spur of the moment.  It usually takes planning, clearing, lots of packing and loads of decisions.  So how can you face this job without the overwhelm crippling you in the process?  Decide to take it step-by-step.   One thing at a time.

To get the process rolling, sign up for my FREE Tip Sheet on the 5 Spaces to Declutter to Sell. 

To find out more about the services I offer to ease the overwhelm of the moving process click HERE & together we will get your new home ready to support this new chapter in your life!

 

Why I Chose to Dig into Clutter

I believe that living with too much stuff is overwhelming!

Stuff gets in the way of feeling creative, inspired, peaceful, and in-tune with yourself and the world around you. Clutter builds and builds and you can become stuck trying to find a way to manage and store it all. You tidy and sort and then do it again; moving it around, trying to feel better about it.

I believe that if you pare down and think about what really matters to you, you can create spaces that feels light and easy. Your space will reflect your beliefs and how you want to present yourself to the world.

Once the clutter is clear, things will begin to shift in your world. You will have created room for new opportunities & the heaviness that surrounded all of that stuff will be gone.

I believe that it is really helpful to have a partner as you begin this process.

A partner who only wants the best for you and is ready to be of service.

A partner to help you gain clarity around what you are really looking for in your space and life.

A partner that can help you look at things with new eyes and see the possibilities that are hiding in your space.

A partner to keep things light and keep you going.

I would love to offer myself as that partner. I want to help you breathe life back into the openings of your heart and home.

Are you ready?  Let’s make the changes that you have been longing for happen NOW!

 

TiP for Your TUESDAY!

Offer Yourself A Restart

Ready to offer yourself a restart on something you gave up for the summer?  Have a project you want to get back to?   A routine you really liked that got thrown off-course?  Sept. can be a great month to reflect on what you want & refresh your intentions.

Light a candle, take a deep breath & then hit the restart button!

TiP for Your TUESDAY!

Let Yourself Dream

 August is a great time to let yourself dream up how you’d like the next  9 months to go.  And when I say dream, I mean, let yourself “Go Big!”  Dream about your ideal way of starting each day, relating to your loved ones, living in your space, or being creative.

Start by asking yourself the question – “What would my dream (fill in the blank) be or look like?” and then take away the boundaries that you would normally place on yourself (not enough time, not enough money, too risky, …) and let your heart show you what you really desire.