My 2021 Bullet Journal and Goal-setting Ideas

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Bullet Journal page for January 2021 filled with stickers and ephemeras

I've been really taking my time in reflecting on my intentions for this year (reflection never really stops!), and my chosen companion for this endeavor is my trusty bullet journal. Allow me to show you through a few of my pages so far, and to share with you how I prompted myself to set goals for this year.


My Bullet Journal for 2021

I'm attempting to do bullet journaling again this year simply because... I was unable to drop by my nearest Muji store to purchase their 2021 planner. Every year the pattern seems to be that I alternate between using a Muji planner and a plain notebook, so since 2020 had me using Muji, this year I'm going with a clean minimal grid notebook. 

Bullet journal cover page, featuring the year 2021 surrounded by cottage-core themed stickers Bullet journal monthly for January

To put simply in my own words, a bullet journal is a method of journaling in which we organize our thoughts, to-do's, and goals in bullet form. Bullet journals are also creative outlets because we have the freedom to design them freely as we like. As an individual who easily forgets, I always want to remember what it is that I did yesterday, what I need to do today, and what I need to do for tomorrow. Writing it all down helps me remember in a more organized manner, and having the option to craft it the way I want it to look like is also the thrilling part. 

I spent a whole afternoon setting up my entire journal for the whole year. My bullet journal this year is simple: I decided to just have monthly and weekly spreads. I love the freedom we have with bullet journaling, because it's really all about structuring it in a way that works well for us, and so for me having it simple works best. The challenge though, was that the notebook I worked on was already used. I tore out the used pages (and filed them away safely), so I anticipated that I might run out of them. And my anticipation was right! Due to a couple of mismeasurements, I've had to adjust the design a bit to make it all fit. 

Bullet Journal weekly pages with green dividers and to-do's written in black ink

I know most would do their spreads monthly, but for ease and uniformity, I decided to prepare them all in one go. The only thing missing would be the extra designs like stickers, tapes, and the occasional doodles here and there, which I will be incorporating as I go through the year.  

If there's one thing that has gotten me excited about bullet journaling again, it would be that it has rekindled my love for stationery. I personally don't think it's absolutely necessary to thoroughly fill my journal with designs, but I took this opportunity to at least decorate it a bit because I do honestly enjoy it. 

Since I haven't been going out a lot, I decided to browse through online shops that sell stationery kits. I chose to purchase a stationery kit because these have been curated and intentionally arranged by fellow local stationery lovers. It's also a great way to support local small businesses, and at the same time connect with a like-minded human being, albeit virtually. 

Bullet journal nature-themed stickers and vintage ephemeras for 2021

Bullet journal 2021 stationery: green stickers and vintage ephemeras for

I bought my first kit from Frans Journal, and I chose the one with green designs. Receiving the kit felt like a gift has arrived from a friend; the package itself felt like it was thoughtfully wrapped and arranged. I'm very much excited to use these stationeries throughout this year and I plan to share my favorite pages monthly in my Recent Loves series, so you can see how I've used them. Please do look forward to it : - ) Be sure to check out Fran's shop on Shopee and also her Instagram page! 

These kits have lots of clippings from vintage articles and books which are meant to be used and made into a collage. I think the term for this nowadays is called "junk journaling", which I've been fascinated about and wanted to try out for myself. To be honest, I wouldn't consider myself to be good at making collages; I somehow feel there's supposed to be an element of spontaneity mixed into the whole activity. I find myself thinking, what do I cut out from here, where do I place this, how will it look like in the end?? But I just take it as an exercise of creativity, a moment to just freely be and do. 


In addition to bullet journaling, I wanted to share a bit about goal-setting and how I went through it for these couple of weeks.

Goal-setting Ideas for 2021

Every year, I have to set goals for myself for work, and I would also do so simultaneously for my own personal life. Honestly, it was hard to think of new and fresh personal life goals for 2021, because I knew it was going to be similar with 2020 (perhaps for the most part?). It felt discouraging at first to not have any idea of what kind of goals to set, but the more I played with the idea, the more I saw opportunities. Since this year may be another year of staying home and staying safe for majority of the time, I thought of ways on how could I be better? 

These questions allowed me to revisit the past year, and I started thinking of different aspects in life: 

How could I be better as a daughter, sister, friend, work colleague even during this pandemic time? 

How could I be better in ways of coping and taking care of myself? How could I be kinder, how could I extend that kindness to others?

How could I be more consistent with my faith, with my hobbies, and with my writings?

Another way to put this would be tied to our question for the day on Monday this week with my work colleagues, which was: what would you do differently this 2021? Most of our responses referenced back to the previous year, and somehow hinted on which aspects of our lives we wanted to improve. 

Maybe we don't really have to pressure ourselves to have a long list of brand new shiny goals we've never thought of before, and they most certainly don't have to be out of this world. I think even with just that simple purpose, awareness, and intention of wanting to be better is good enough, and perhaps we can start from there.  

Then the last question to ourselves could probably go like: how can I build the daily habits that would lead me to this goal? It takes time to achieve goals, which is why we give ourselves the year, or sometimes even carry them over to the next year. I find that intentional and consistent habits can help us get there eventually.

I'm also not going to withhold myself from trying out new things. I believe it still is possible! I just made sure they are within the comforts of my own home. It could be anything like bringing back an old hobby, or attending a virtual class. I guess one of the things I'm carrying over from 2020 is creativity in how I'm going to make the most out of the year in this pandemic time. 

Bullet Journal for 2021, written in green with a leaf sticker on a grid notebook

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Are you keeping a bullet journal or planner and did you set yourself any goals for the year? I'd love to know. : - )

This week has been all about easing into work (from home) once again and falling back into my groove. I definitely feel well rested and recharged; I'm grateful to have been able to take a break from my full-time job and have lots of free time for my family, friends, and hobbies. I feel ready for another year's worth of good work. 

Write to you again soon, have a wonderful rest of your week!

20 comments

  1. your BuJo looks so good! i love the simplicity of the spreads. do you take yours with you everywhere you go? one of the things that made me stop using mine was the fact that i didn't want to lug it everywhere. especially if i was just wearing a small crossbody bag.

    Xx http://theactivespirit.com/

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    1. Thank you so much, Disa! I like it simple; I used to make scrapbooks and coloring books out of my journals and planners-- it has taken me years to simplify my setup haha! I use tote bags a lot, so I do bring it with me from time to time when I remember to. But when I find myself needing to note something down and I don't have it with me, I just type my thoughts on my smartphone then transfer it later when I get home. Nowadays though, since I don't go out much, it just stays at home with me. :)

      Thank you so much for dropping by on here, and hope you are well. The weekend is in sight!!

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  2. i really love how simple your bullet journal is, and the green is such a soothing color. also, that stationery kit looks so appealing! personally, i also love stationery to the core, so i'm adding Frans Journal to my to-check-out list for future references.

    i also am keeping a bullet journal this year. i've always been a bullet journal person than a planner because i prefer its flexibility. and yes, i have set myself some goals this year which are basically just carried over from last year too! haha. this time, though, i don't want to pressure myself too much. i'm trying to incorporate into my habits to go through my goals every end of the day to check if i have done something on that particular day that helps me get closer to those goals. if i did, then i list it down as a win for the day. if i haven't, then no problem. try again tomorrow. =)

    and those questions... please allow me to grab those as some journal prompts. i'd love to reflect on them too.

    thank you for letting us take a peak at your bujo, Anna, and also for sharing some goal-setting ideas!

    always looking forward to your posts. yay! stay safe and i hope you the rest of your week!


    sincerely, riz

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    1. Green truly is such a calming color :") and yes, definitely do check out her stuff! I only met her online, but she is really kind and absolutely LOVES stationery.

      I love your mindset and how you keep track on your goals. We really ought to acknowledge the daily wins because it will surely keep us going, and it's a lot more meaningful rather than just focusing on the end goal. It's a way for us to enjoy the process as well. And agree, tomorrow is always another day. We are humans and not robots :")

      And surely, grab away! I'm really glad they could be helpful for fellow kindreds on here. :) thank you also Mariz for your time, always. I truly appreciate the time you spend with me on here. Have a great rest of the week!! tomorrow is FriYAYYY hehe

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  3. we have so many questions for 2021. Mostly, I am focused on your second question -what would you do differently this 2021?. Yes, I also think we don't need to be pressured setting goals for this year considering the situation. Such green planner :D is it your favorite color?

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    1. I'm glad these reflective questions could be of help! Yes indeed, green is my favorite for many reasons, and my fondness towards nature and gardening is mainly one of them. Green keeps me calm and reminds me that there's so much beauty around us in this life despite difficulties. :")

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  4. Beautiful spreads!! Love all the green colors! I've always wanted to start a bujo but I end up settling for a regular planner 😅and then keep a regular ruled journal on the side for my thoughts and diary entries. For me it has become a routine to sit myself down every Sunday and set goals for that specific week, helps me stay focused ♥️

    Chia | http://www.chiasamson.com

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    1. Thank you Chia! I'm determined to fill it with green. Having a planner is great too! I especially love those with a clean and minimal format, much like Muji's. It's just unfortunate I was unable to purchase one for this year :( but a bujo works well all the same. I love this tip, it's indeed a great way to stay focused and grounded on your goals. Definitely a great habit to develop. Thank you for sharing with me, and thank you for time here <3

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  5. Oooh! It is great that you're attempting a bullet journal this year. Muji sells the cutest notebooks, and super affordable too. It is great that you got to set up your bullet journal to break up your days into tasks. Oooh your stationery goodies look so cute. Pretty cool that your kit comes with everything you can use for your bullet journal.

    I like the goals you've set up through the questions you've asked. 2020 wasn't the easiest year but 2021 can be so much better. I like that you're trying to be a better version of yourself compared to last year. I tried to start a planner for 2021, but I am still waiting for my planner binder LOL. Welp, 1/2 way through January! Still got the rest of the year to go :)

    Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com

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    1. Yes indeed, my love for stationery has been rekindled due to bujo! Haha. I love how this kit also has lots of pages from old novels, so I'm going to make lots of collages as well.

      Aww hope you get to receive your planner binder soon! Perhaps you could write on a temporary notebook first, then transfer them later on? Haha yes, can't believe we're already half way through January! Let's continue doing our best for the rest of the year :")

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  6. Your set up is so cute! I loved bullet journalling and have been using the system for years . . . Unfortuantely, every time I try to set up my 2021 journal I hit a block :( This was great inspiration though! xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Mia! :) perhaps more time is needed for prepping your 2021 bujo, or maybe for this year, a regular planner could work just fine? Either way, I hope you find a writing system that would work best for you <3

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  7. I always loved the idea of a bullet journal! I actually want to start one this year, I would use a regular planner but I feel like the journal would be more fun. Loved this post :)!
    TheQuietGirl (Anissa)

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    1. For sure, bullet journals can be anything you want it to be, and it's fun looking at other people's spreads; I find it so inspiring. I'd like to think that it pushes us to get more creative :) thank you so much Anissa for being with me on here! Hope you have a lovely rest of your week.

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  8. I love how your journals turned out! :) It's lovely being able to see your personal aesthetic through them.

    I think having the constraints of the pandemic has enabled us to be creative with our goals this year. I love how yours center around relationships with yourself, others, and hobbies. You can never go wrong with that.

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice! :) this pandemic really made us reflect deeper on our lives, and I hope it's something we will carry with us for years to come. I'd like to view and think of it as a pivotal year, despite all the challenges and difficulties we experienced in our own lives.. thank you for spending time to read my blog entry! Wishing you a restful weekend :)

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  9. I have just started the bullet journal I was gifted for Christmas so this is a great posy for me! Thanks for sharing!

    Amber | The Unpredicted Page | https://theunpredictedpage.com

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    1. That sounds really great, Amber! I'm excited for you ♡

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  10. I LOVE the “what would I do differently?” question. It so different from all other “goal setting advice” in the way that it forces you to look at what you’re doing now, and how you want to change it (vs. what most of us think as: who goals do I need to set in this area and this area? - without much consideration for: can I actually do this?)

    I did bullet journaling for…2 years, I think? I went with a planner this year because I didn’t want the “décor and customization” to get out of hand. But I really love bullet journaling, and I honestly might go back to it.

    I read this when you first posted, and meant to comment…but alas, time slipped away as it does so well.

    Sending cheers for a productive, intentional 21!
    k.

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    1. Hello Keira, thank you for all your kind words!! I really enjoy reading through them, and I truly appreciate the time you spend on here. No worries about comments; I'm just grateful to have this space to share my thoughts and musings with anyone who comes here. :)

      There are many many goal setting advices out there, but for me personally, I think these questions and intentions work for me. Haha, I'm also prone to over decorating my journal; at some point it felt more like a scrapbook instead of a planner/journal.. but as the years have passed, I think I'm able to contain myself more now :")

      Wishing you a great 2021 as well !

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