Self improvement can go in many different ways.
And in this day and age, with all going on in our world, it’s a very important part of people’s life. Take for example, just the USA. Our unemployment rate is high, COVID-19 is still running rampant in many places, and the political scene is extremely volatile. Add to that social issues, which have taken center stage and put many people on edge.
Those don’t even include day-to-day life issues. Work, kids (if you have them), bills, appointments, etc.
If you put all of that together, it makes things extremely hard, at times to deal with. I haven’t seen many reports lately (as I am trying to not watch a lot of things for obvious reasons) but a few months ago it was reported how depression is on the rise. That doesn’t shock me at all as people are going to be prone to it if they are constantly being kicked down. Sometimes it’s hard to smile. I’m sure we all know that feeling.
How to cope?
Several months ago, for one of these challenges, I blogged about bullet journaling. It was something I had hoped I would do more of and kind of keep me a bit more in tune to things. So, I started it. And I rolled a bit for a month and then it faded.
Because it became stressful to create the spreads. The thing with a bullet journal is you a creating spreads each month, week, and day. You have to plot out pages you use. And it’s very time consuming. Even if you are doing minimalist style journaling as you are still making and doing spreads.
I realized after the first month, and then setting up another month’s monthly spreads that I just wasn’t going to have the time, patience, or enjoyment in setting up the spreads. But I still knew I needed to do something like this. I needed to be away from the screens so much, yet still be able to do something to keep track of things, such as habits, and reflect each day. Even just a little.
A friend of mine has been into Hobonichi, a Japanese company with these amazing little planners. The paper is Tomoe River, a smooth and thin paper that works well with fountain pens and many other pens. In January, I had purchased one of their “Weeks” books and didn’t use it a ton, but I pulled it back out and leafed through it. I then looked at some of their other products. I also looked at some other items on other stationary sites and started formulating a plan.
One thing I knew — going back to paper was important for me as it would force me to be away from the screen, but still allow me to plan. Also, it would allow me to continue forcing me to change my handwriting a little to make it way neater.
So, I give to you my plan. And what I’ve been doing for a few weeks now and I’ve already seen improvement.
First, I purchased a very portable desk calendar from a spot online. It’s thin, yet still very efficient. I have a lot of room to write appointments, meetings, and tasks. I’m using this only for work. I’ve noticed how much more I get done. The issue with using things like Google Calendars is you get the reminder and then it goes away. If you are in the middle of something, you could forget certain tasks. I still, of course, use it for work, but this is an added layer as I have each day laid out and I add/subtract to it, all while using a version of BUJO style with tasks.
Second, I found some 2020 Hobonichi items on the secondary market that were priced down. Hobonichi isn’t the cheapest (it’s not the most expensive, either), but I didn’t want to fully invest in 2021 without looking at everything and seeing if I could formulate an ever-evolving style to help me get grounded and improve myself overall.
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
Most Hobonichi items are in Japanese, though English speakers won’t have any issues using them. One — the A6 planner — is in English, however. The Cousin is an A5 planner, so bigger. I thought long and hard about what to do, and this is my plan and what I’ve started to do already.
The A6 is going to be my work “planner.” It’s set up where it has daily pages, as well as monthly overviews in the beginning. I work in two districts, so it’s nice to have a place I can take notes, be it for projects or meetings. This one is very portable, too, which is even better. I use the vertical monthly spreads as an index. I don’t fill pages each day, which is fine as there are times I need more room and I can flip back one page etc. It’s worked out really well, so far.
The A5 cousin is being left at home. This has a lot more to it, so I am working on the final formula — but this is the important one when it comes to my self improvement. The daily spreads, so far, are where I am keeping my trackers, as well as my daily thoughts. This is important to me as I can reflect on the day and get something on paper. I plan on doing this every day, and if I sometimes have to catch up on a day or two, I will. So far, this has been a great thing for me.
Finally, the Weeks. I plan on getting another of these as they are very portable and smaller. My goal? Planning out my blog a bit better. Posts. Visiting others. When to write. Ideas. I also want to use it for social media postings, such as Instagram and YouTube (which I would like to do a lot more with in the coming year), giving me a place for ideas and planning.
I think, as a society, we’ve become too connected to the digital world. I am as guilty as that as anybody else. So I’m hoping this will get me to be a little more in tune to things without a screen — at least some. And I also hope this setup will help me self improve so there is more smiling and less worrying.
How about all of you?
Blog With Friends: September 2020
Blog with Friends is a themed collaboration challenge where a group of bloggers get together and publish a project based on a theme. Please see the others who have taken part for this month’s theme carrots. Links to their posts can be found below the image!
Check out what the others did with carrots!
Enjoy blogging challenges? We have several that happen here, and we’d love to have you join us! The Photo Blogging Challenge is one of our main ones and it runs monthly! Starting up is the Food Photo Challenge and the Can of Corn Challenge. We’d love to see you!