I feel honored that Ryder kindly invited me to share my experience with the 100 days of Bullet Journal ideas project that I embarked on from early April to mid-July. Thank you, Ryder, for this lovely opportunity.
I got the idea to do a 100 day project from Elle Luna, who brought the concept to social media after she got inspired from Yale’s School of Art workshop called “The 100 Day Project” by Michael Bierut. Every year, Elle invites creatives to create a 100 day project of their own, so I chose Bullet Journaling, of course.
The aim of my 100 days of Bullet Journal ideas project was to share 100 solid ideas that I thought were useful and fun that others might also find helpful. A lot of these ideas had been on my mind to share so I took the opportunity of the project to get many of those out there.
For example, one of the ideas I shared was the Simple List Future Log that I had alluded to in the Free Bullet Journal Reference Guide (you can get the guide by signing up to Ryder’s newsletter or my newsletter).
For 100 days straight of my life, I shared ideas that I thought were fun, interesting, useful, cathartic, and enriching. Each day, I thought about the day’s idea and how it could provide value into the lives of others.
Among my favorite ideas that I shared were:
This is a bullet I use specifically to write down things I did after the fact.
These are new creative and visual ways to track things that matter to you.
Download a printable of this square tracker here.
This is a simple monthly collection full of various things you enjoyed such as books, movies, and other fun experiences.
Today I want to share with you what the experience was like and how you can benefit from the lessons I’ve learned. Whether you decide to create your own 100 day project or not, you can apply the following into any project you’re working on. It’s also relevant in case you’re considering Bullet Journaling and need encouragement to actually dive in.
The capacity to clear away the your mental clutter in order to work on something deliberately day after day is quite the mental feat. Getting clear with your expectations about your output and why you’re doing the project is vital to its success. It was critical that I set up words of encouragement for myself to focus on when I especially needed them. All day we’re constantly bombarded by all sorts of stimuli, but when it comes down to doing the work that matters, there’s only ourselves and the work before us. For this reason, it can be a little daunting but also very exciting to sit down and crank out the work you’ve set out to do.
I’ve discovered that one of the best ways to get motivated and excited about something again, after the initial excitement settles down, is to sit down to think and write about all the reasons you like and find alluring about it. This exercise will help reconnect and guide you. Once you get the ball rolling, you can continue to amp yourself up and use that wave of momentum to continue.
One of my favorite quotes that I think perfectly exemplifies doing the work is from Amy Poehler, “You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.” I love this quote because she’s right. We can talk and plan for eons, but none of that is actually doing the work that will drive all of these plans and ideas into action.
It can feel like we have a billion things in our minds at any given moment and it can seem difficult to quiet down the thoughts long enough to focus. I’m sure we all struggle from time to time with the surrounding thoughts and all of the overthinking that comes with the territory of caring deeply about something.
What I kept an eye on was how I got from the point of all that mental chatter to actually get into the workflow of writing about and sharing the ideas. What I noticed was that intention coupled with environment played a huge role in completing the project. With a nearly complete workspace set up along with the mental toolbox ready to go, I had the necessary tools to get into the mental space that I needed to step into work mode. These helped me keep going day after day.
I enjoyed the process of sitting down and cranking out ideas. It made me feel good to share and know that these ideas could inspire others and help them improve their lives with their journal. The feedback was wonderful and I loved conversing with readers about the ideas. Each day was a fresh opportunity to tend to the ideas and help them blossom.
Tips on how to focus on a project that matters to you:
This advice is as much for you as it is for me. It’s what I have found that works for me and might work for you too.
1. Pick a project/activity/task
2. Figure out what the value of it is to both you (and others)
3. Anticipate the possibility of feeling overwhelmed, doubts, insecure, or frustrated and set yourself up for success with mental tools you can use to move forward. One way is by creating encouraging statements for yourself to help push you forward
4. Go to your workspace to get into the mindset of the work
5. Figure out what you need to do today to move forward
6. Narrow it down to one action, the very next thing to do
7. Begin with the mentality of experimentation
Simply do the best that you can in the moment, it doesn’t have to be perfect. There is time to go back and improve if need be, it’s important to give yourself the grace you need to move forward without beating yourself up about perfection.
Simply start. Meet yourself where you are. Whether you’re new to Bullet Journaling, or you’re working on an intensive project, notice where you are and start from there.
If you’d like to learn more, check out the full 100 days of Bullet Journal ideas page. 🙂