Together we have been creating a bullet journal to help take the thoughts that jam your brain or make your head hurt and put them in a place where you can do something about them, immediately or eventually. We have learned what a bullet journal can do, how to use it as a tool in your homeschool, what parts you might include in your bujo, and how to set up an effective calendar. Today we will tackle how to make it work as an accountability partner to meet your goals and, if you are using it in homeschool, the learning goals you craft for your children.
Personal Metrics and Accountability
Say what? What are personal metrics? This is the data behind your tracking systems already in place; a personal snapshot of your finances using Mint or your fitness goals using My Fitness Pal. In the last handful of years, personal metrics have become hot–maybe you, like me, can’t allow steps to “count” unless they are logged in your FitBit. Or, hopefully, you may be more evolved than that 🙂 But your FitBit steps are your personal metrics of movement through the day. Personal accountability evolves from the metrics when you begin to want to change them. You don’t like what the Aria scale says and so you set out to change the numbers by increasing activity or cutting calories. Computerized systems are great for collecting data on the go. The bujo can be another place to track goals and create a personalized metric of any system or habit you would like to change or maintain. Seeing your own personal habits arranged in calories expended, money saved or books read can go a long way to helping you change habits if you don’t like what you see. How can you do it in your bullet journal?
A goal I set this year: I would like to read a young adult book a week. Do you have goals, hopes or aspirations for your year? Because you are reading this, I know you do. How are you setting out to accomplish these things? My goal setting is something I hold loosely; I find that if I can choose one or two things to track in a set amount of time, the better for me. If I try to do TOO much, it ends up in a spiraling fail. I like how Gretchen Rubin decided to tackle one idea per month to increase her happiness in The Happiness Project. Find a place to set down your goals in your bujo. I talk about how I craft learning goals for my kids in this Periscope (and a detailed blog post is coming on this, too).
I make lists to get things done. I usually create both a daily and weekly accountability list and these can be found on my calendar pages. Again, I only have limited time in my days and can’t do it all. Don’t make the ultimate list of all.the.things. Make a manageable list for you. To Do’s, Daily Schedule, Needs Attention–all lists. If things don’t get crossed off, migrate (move) them to the next day or week. The world will not stop, I assure you.
The BuJo Community loves their trackers! You can go bonkers with daily trackers that begin to look like a Tetris board running off into infinity. I have many failed attempts at trackers; I do better to focus on one goal or set up systems to track. Let me give you an example: I want to be sure to drink enough water in my day. Instead of marking a square in my tracker when I happen to stand still to drink 8 ounces of water, I fill up three large containers at the start of the day and if by the end of the day they are empty…hooray!…I’ve gotten enough H2O. Simple and done is better than complex and neglected. But for some people, trackers are a wonderful tool. Need some examples? Look here and here and here.
Another accountability tool essential to my life running smoothly is a log. I log what I read, what the kids read, what my independent reader is reading on her own. I log our writing and I log movies we watch. I log our field trips and outings as well as our classes or enrichment days. Logs help me remember exactly what we have done through the school year in a simple, straightforward way. I love to watch a log grow, especially in concerns to homeschool, because it shows growth and time spent together learning. I log what lessons we complete, our weekly spelling words, and games I would like to play with the kids. Logs are kind of my favorite.
Log It Bonus: Do you want to brighten your day? At the very end of the day, take 3 minutes to log something for which you are grateful. If you can have time to reflect on the bright, surprising, happy moments that happened in your day, write them down and turn off the light, you will see a difference. I’ve written it before: my bullet journal gives me space to stop and reflect and it changes the way I see the world.
Log vs. List: You might wonder why I call one thing a list and another a log. I see a list as something to work through and cross off and a log is a growing list used to catalog and capture accomplishments. Thought I would clarify.
Personal accountability starts with you. Start to craft a way to track things in your BuJo. An upcoming post will give details on setting up learning goals for your kids. Start practicing paying attention. Mark down what you do. Come check back in or subscribe so you don’t miss the next steps. Go forth and be productive, friends!
Check out the entire series here:
- Bullet Journal How To: a Powerful Homeschool Miracle Worker
- No Nonsense BuJo: What You Need to Begin
- Homeschool Planner Love: The Most Fabulous One is the One You Use
- The Calendar is the Brain Behind Your Bullet Journal
- Do You Need to Organize Your Homeschool Planner?
- Planner Love: Finding the Perfect One for You!