Back in the early 1980s, when I was a little girl of about age 5 or 6, New Years Eve felt a little different than all the other days. It didn't necessarily feel like the end nor the beginning of anything. Maybe I didn't know how to understand the concept of that yet. Time was just time, it went by, the clock went tick-tock and chimed at the top of every hour.
There was one thing that I was excited about though...TV. It stayed on almost all night long on that particular day. Back then, TV would go off at about 11pm or maybe it was midnight. However, every New Year's Eve like clockwork, it would stay on and my mom would let The Honeymooners or The Twilight Zone run until my sister (Tory) and our brother (Alex) and I would fall asleep. That was exciting to me. Staying up late in the dark of our warm living room on a makeshift pallet that my mom would make for the three of us to share; pillows included. The only light in the room would come from the soft glow of the television set. She would make us hot chocolate and pop Jiffy Popcorn on the stove. She loved things like that and i did too.
Over time, New Year's Eve took on a more important role in my mind. Like the birth of endless possibilities. All through my adolescent and my teen years, I watched adults be excited about it. It seemed to me like it was just one night and a time to party, then all would go right back to being the same the very next day. They would drag the old into the new and would either be happy or sad about it.
Once I moved away and finally lived on my own, I was about 19 by then...TV stayed on all night everyday and I would fill my brain with Sex & the City. But something happened...I may have seen it on The Oprah Show...I decided to plan for the year ahead. When I tell you that I was so excited about that one little thing, believe me. I took it very seriously. I would buy poster-board from the store and list 10 things that I wanted to accomplish within that year. I'd make it as pretty as I could and tape it to my closet door or sometimes to my bedroom wall, because no one cared but me. The point is, I needed to see it every single day. Guess what...? I accomplished 9 of the 10 things that I planned that first year. Over time, the list grew to 20 new things. It became my tradition.
Needless to say, it kept growing year after year.
Then, at 26 I became a mom and my focus shifted. I may have created one the first year or two of my son's arrival, but the juggle was real; my money and energy was tight. By the time he was at an age to repeatedly say, "Mommy Up, Up, Up", I found myself picking him up (gladly) rather than picking up my markers and art supplies. I tried my best to set goals in my mind, but I'd forget. I got married and they got even more fuzzy and far away.
Then, maybe around 2010, I was watching Oprah again. It was just before the new year and she was explaining INTENTION. At that moment, everything became so crystal clear and I decided to plan on paper again. "Mommy, Up, Up, Up" had taken a back seat as my son was more independent. So, I started to use my time more wisely. I sat still long enough to do it and guess what...? It worked yet again. Everything I planned for that year, I completed.
Fast forward to just a few years ago, I was introduced to this book called a bullet journal. I could make an extensive daily plan for myself?! It seemed like a huge task, but I decided that it was worth the try. When I finished it didn't look quite as good as the other bullet journals that I saw on Pinterest.com but I decided to keep going anyway and it completely changed my life.
For the past four years, I've dedicated extensive time to creating a yearly bullet journal. My supply list includes:
- A Moleskine dotted journal ( I prefer the 8"x 5" size because it fits in all of my bags)
- A 12 inch ruler
- A sharp pencil
- My POSCA markers (They are strong, but do not bleed through the thin pages)
- A Pilot P-500 Extra fine black pen (it's exceptional for tiny charts)
Let the journaling commence!
This fine journal belongs to Jas
A little reminder from Suze Orman
The Holidays (well most of them.)
Of course, you need a calendar. This is what half of mine looks like.
Then, I move onto the important things: the monthly and daily activities:
Something pretty goes on the monthly cover page, because it makes me happy.
This is where I put any necessary appointments... such as doctor's appointments, McKyle's games, school activities and deadlines. Include dates, times, addresses and phone numbers for convenience.
Here's my Sleep Log...helps me keep track of getting better at resting. (I included a completed log from 2020)
G R A T I T U D E J O U R N A L
I can't stress how important this is for me. I do five of them a day. (Completed example on the right)
Here is where I add all the creative things that I think about over the course of a month, like crochet projects, painting projects, how to expand on them etc. This is pretty much my original Goal Poster Board on a much broader scale. (e.g. 2020 to the right)
I place each month back to back. January, February, March...the same six pages...so on and so on. Then, I move onto my Monthly Savings Plan, Lifestyle Tracker for the current year and my saving goals for the upcoming 4 years.
I DO NOT LIE TO MYSELF ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE OUTSTANDING EVER! It's a recipe for disaster. If you do not like what you see, craft a plan for how you'll fix the problem and stick to it until it's done.
Remember that this is your journal and it is imperative to be as truthful and forthcoming with yourself as possible. It can be slightly messy or very meticulous. You can craft these pages however you like... here's an example of mine.
Monthly Savings Plan
Let's stop for a sec...
Exactly how you feel about dressing your kids.. You know, like they should match your fly...? Your finances should match as well IMO. Only if you are trying to build some sort of monetary legacy for them. You can decide the amount, which goes in the first column. In the last column I just check it off when the deposit is complete for that particular month. If you don't have children, you can substitute the second chart for anything (such as vacation, a new home or rental property).
Let's stop for another second...
IMO, Your children's weekly allowance should be factored into your lifestyle tracker. This will teach them how to manage and save their money. If you want them to work for it by doing chores that's fine too. Also, list every single bill that you have and if you'd like to go a step further and create a chart for smaller things such as laundry and groceries, that's cool as well.
Four Year Savings Plan
Set some rules for yourself. There's not a right or wrong way to do this. You can save a different amount every month. There isn't too much or too little. Just start. I saved money the first two years and rewarded myself by spending it on things I deserved until I learned better. I started with left over change (Yes, coins), then a dollar a day. Always try to elevate over time when you can and you can; whether that means cutting an unnecessary expense or adding to savings should you get a raise, income tax check or a STIMULUS.
That Emergency Fund is necessary just in case of a life change, like Covid-19 and this quarantine happens. When I got really good at creating a bullet journal, I got breast cancer. I didn't know what to do nor when to do it. Luckily I had this journal, and I just filled in where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there and then went and did it all step by step. Guess what... it worked. I got through it.
Can you do this electronically? Of course. I'm sure there's a program for something like this or an app of some kind. However, the nerd inside me is saying spend some time with yourself. Don't stop here either. Really change your life and create a nice little vision board as well. Yes, with magazine clippings and pictures. Add whatever your heart desires, the sky's the limit. Place it somewhere that you can see it daily and watch what happens.
Of course I'm not gonna leave you without a book, movie, series and music selection. Peep below.
My current reading list:
- How To Love A Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs (My sister, Chelsea put me on to this)
- Home Body by Rupi Kaur (One of my favorite young poets)
- In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (My son bought me this book for Christmas)
- Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella (Thanks for this gift Calvin)
If you know me for real, you know that I'm obsessed with vinyl and my record player. Well, my cousin, Dionne got me my record player for my birthday a couple of years ago and every year since, she has added to my record collection. These two gems...
- Solange, When I Get Home
- Donna Summer, A Hot Summer Night
will surely be spinning well into the summertime.
My Watch List:
- Let Them Talk (HBO MAX)
- Jingle Jangle (Netflix)
- Sylvie's Love (Amazon Prime)
- Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)
I have now watched all of these at least twice.
I would like to say thank you kindly to everyone that sent me a card during the holiday season. Thank you so much. I have displayed them all on my bookshelf.
A special thank you to all my friends and family who were gracious enough to send gifts. It was really unexpected, but made me feel very special. Here are some of my favorites.
The funny thing is, I feel like I wrote this in my bullet journal and my little sister, Chels read my mind. I am so excited to use this for my future art projects.
My friends Brandi and Rikki got me these amazing pastels and gorgeous paints. Stay tuned to see what I make with them this month.
Finally, to my brother, Javil and my sis in law, Makenzi thank you for this. It made me cry big big tears, because I miss my family.
OH! One more. Thank you to all of my family members who have already sat through a portion of the family project with me. This one thing has shaped my world so greatly I can't begin to say. You all move me and I'm humbled at your level of trust in me. I have so many more to go, but I can't wait. A special shout out to my great Aunt Ruby and my little sister, Tanesia. My heart has grown so much more because of you.
Everyone, don't forget to squeeze in an adequate amount of sleep, meditation, time alone doing what you love and take your vitamins.
Happy New Year!
L O V E,