Between Christmas and New Year, I go through a period of self-assessment and analysis of how my business is doing and make goals and (lots of) promises (to myself) on how I can improve during the year ahead. The end result of this is lots of to-do lists, blank stat sheets for me to fill in, and of course, the dreaded year-end accounts.
I started to keep a (personal) bullet journal last year. My intention was to keep a journal of everything we do as a family, with notes and photos, so the boys have a keepsake, of sorts, when they’re older. This came about because I reached the point where I was looking at what I’ve done with my life, and where it’s going (which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I hit the big 5-0). It started life as a bullet journal, with my sons’ school schedule (one of whom often refused to go in), key dates, and I even had a decluttering tracker – I must have been feeling positive that week – I have a love/hate relationship with housework.
And then Covid entered the country.
It seemed more important than ever to focus on personal things as I went through a period where I was afraid of contracting it. The thought of getting ill and being unable to support my sons, who are both Autistic and require support and supervision despite being on the cusp of adulthood, scared me. I hardly went out of the house, not that I go out much anyway, but I went out even less. And I was so… so distracted by the news, posts on Facebook, by Twitter, etc
The journal gave me a way to cope – eventually. Instead of stewing over everything and worrying myself to sleep, I wrote it all down. The journal became a record of how we coped during the lockdown (lots of cooking, gardening – and zero decluttering, I might mention. I recorded the daily stats, which some may think is depressing or morbid but it helped me monitor the eventual decline of cases and deaths. I screenshot jokey memes people shared and stuck them in with my own notes. Kept track of government guidance, as well as some of the mishaps along the way. All while continuing to write about what we were doing as a family. It grew, further still, when global events triggered protests, such as the Black Lives Matter movement – I recorded this too, and a snapshot of the centuries-old history that led to current events.
Somewhere along the line, it became a mixture of a personal journal and a writer’s notebook. I even made a spread (page) that is titled the ‘apocalyptic shopping list’ after all the panic buying that went on. Who knew that toilet roll and hand gel would be top of that list?
Seriously, though, it really – really – helped me to get my mind back where it should be – on books and editing. I spend about half an hour on it most mornings (not all) – more so when something big has happened, either personally or nationally. It’s mostly positive as that is the mindset I like to adopt. I always try to see the positive in any negative – like my eldest, out of his usual routine, discovering that he actually enjoys cooking (under supervision).
Seeing as how my personal journal turned writer’s notebook helped to disentangle my often scattered mind, I decided to start a business journal. In which I list my never-ending ideas, plans, and goals. It is this journal I’ve spent the most time on between Christmas and New Year. It allows me to keep everything in one place (and is indexed so I can find my notes quickly). Actually, I purchased an iPad last year to do all this digitally, but I much prefer to handwrite my notes and flip through the pages.
I recently took part in a brand archetype awareness coaching session (Brand Magnificence by Fall into Flow) and I wrote down all the questions and answers in my journal – versus the old me who would fill out the supplied, editable PDF, file it away in my hard drive, and forget about it. Now, I can look back at my answers easily when I am working on my brand and audience. I even made a vision board, which I’m very proud of as I’m not arty, at all:
This probably won’t make any sense to you, but these are all keywords/areas that I try to apply to help clients through editing and shortly, writing/book coaching.
For anyone who has made it this far, and who I haven’t bored to tears yet, my archetype is Alchemist which is defined as:
- Can effect change
- Excude a sense of confidence
- Strong faith (in power of magic)
- Can help those less able
- Build gaps/offer solutions
- Empower others
Other entries in my business journal include:
- the main goal I wish to achieve in my business activities this year and ideas on how to succeed at this
- A list of e-courses I need to complete (way too many)
- A list of my social media accounts and a social media/website traffic tracker
- Amain to-do list (indexed) and also Individual to-do lists (as there are often many steps to completed one project)
- A list of interesting websites (although the links to these will go in an excel sheet)
Last on the to-do list for today, before I return to editing, is to schedule all my bookings, so if you are waiting on this, details of my editing schedule will be with you today or tomorrow.
And finally – another lockdown
Scotland has been placed in another full lockdown until 1st Feb due to the faster spreading strain of Covid we now have to deal with (to be reviewed mid-January) which means we’re back to homeschooling here. All efforts will be made to keep to my schedule, but I may be slower at editing than usual so will need to extend the time I’ll need.
Bullet Journalling supplies
If you are interested in bullet journalling, I’d recommend starting with a ‘non-pretty’ notebook to begin with, and thus avoid the need for it to perfect. It is an artform to some people (and some of the videos on Youtube are amazing), but if you are not arty, black ink, a ruler, and stickers are sufficient. The point of it is to make it work – for you. I’ll write more about this on another post as this one’s far too long now.