Moving Into My New Bullet Journal: 2021 & January Spreads
We’re finally here: the last day of 2020.
And with that ending, of course, comes the beginning of 2021 and — for me, at least — a new bullet journal.
I’m really excited about how these pages turned out! I’ve been planning and sketching them over the past few weeks, and they all came together a little better than I’d imagined.
So let’s take a look!
My New Bullet Journal Theme & Title Page
I started out planning these yearly pages with the vague idea of horizons and new beginnings. To that end, I found this quote for the title page of the journal:
Since I started bullet journaling while I lived in China, I always like to include the year’s Chinese zodiac symbol. 2021 is the year of the ox, which can symbolize persistence and hard work. I thought that fit really well with this quote, as well as my attitude toward 2021 in general. After all that 2020 turned out to be, I’m ready to start again and persist through whatever setbacks may come our way.
Grid Spacing & 2021-at-a-Glance
You’ll notice pretty soon that my horizons/new beginnings idea kind of just turned into a full-on ocean theme, and I’m really in love with the color palette I wound up using.
This grid spacing page is super helpful for designing pages and dividing them into sections. I kept the same layout from the one in my previous journal, but switched up the colors to fit my new bullet journal theme.
I considered not including the year-at-a-glance page, since I don’t usually end up using it much, but in the end I decided I like how it looks enough to keep it. And since it was one of the first pages I made, it also helped solidify my color scheme and lettering styles.
2021 Future Log
As I’ve mentioned before, my bullet journals always end up lasting half a year, so I just plan them out that way. That means I only include spaces for those six months in my future log. If I have extra dates coming up in the second half of the year that I need to remember, I’ll note them down somewhere throughout the other pages, or put them in here on a sticky note. (Sometimes I also make note of them in Trello.)
New Bullet Journal Goals & Vision Board
This system of goals and the accompanying vision board have been really helpful to me over the past few years. Every six months, I set three major goals and break them down into smaller, actionable steps that I can check off as I go.
For the vision board, I write down words and phrases that embody the life I want to be living six months from now — things I want to have accomplished, things I want to be a part of my regular routine, etc. I don’t think of it necessarily as manifesting those things, but rather a visual reminder of the life I want to be actively working to build.
To go with my ocean theme, I sketched out a fishing net with bits of seaweed and other items you might find in the ocean. I drew out pieces of driftwood for all the text to rest on, and as I add items to the vision board, I’ll put those on driftwood too and erase that part of the net behind them (I left that part in pencil for this very reason).
This is another goal-setting tool that I started using in my previous journal. On the first timeline, I plot out approximately when I hope to accomplish certain goals, and then on the second one I note the exact date when I actually accomplished those things.
This is helpful, because I can set soft deadlines to encourage myself to work towards my goals, while realizing that sometimes plans change and goals can be achieved in different ways or at different times than expected.
Serendipitous Findings & Mantras
These pages are also staples for me now. They’re little collections that I can refer back to when I need encouragement.
The Serendipitous Finds page is what I called “Unexpected Gems” in my previous journal. Here I record unexpected happenings that made me happy. For example, a special gift from someone, or something I tried on a whim that yielded better results than I could have hoped.
The mantras page, of course, is a collection of quotes and sayings that inspire or encourage me. (I explained a few of them here!) I left some space blank in case I find new ones to add throughout the next six months.
Savings & Bills Trackers
More staples that I add to every new bullet journal.
On the left-hand page, I keep track of my savings. I find the visual effect of filling in sections of the bottle to be really satisfying and motivating.
Then on the right-hand page, I list all of my bills and monthly subscriptions, along with how much I paid and when they went out of my account. This helps save space in my monthly finance pages, and makes it easier to compare monthly expenses.
This is my tracker for TV shows. It looks bare right now, but I draw unique symbols for each show to track how many episodes I’ve watched, so it will fill up with colors and shapes over time.
I haven’t decided yet what I’ll use the right-hand page for. I might draw out a daily or weekly schedule, or just leave it blank until I find the right use for it.
New Bullet Journal Routines Lists
Finally, I’m returning to a spread I used several years ago. This is where I will keep track of routine tasks done on a daily and weekly basis, as well as tasks done less often and self-care ideas.
Across the top of the page, I listed the days of the week and created rows for “Work,” “Home,” and “Me.” As I solidify my weekly routines, I’ll fill in tasks I want to accomplish in each of those categories on certain days.
Below, I have spaces for other routines that occur daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly, as well as for self-care and other routine ideas.
New Bullet Journal Setup for January 2021
And that’s all for my new bullet journal yearly spreads: on to my January setup!
In keeping with that horizons idea, I settled on a January theme of the sun breaking through the clouds. It makes me think of hope for a new day, so I added this quote from Les Misérables:
I didn’t expect to love this color combination so much, but it makes me really, really happy.
January Monthly Spread
Did I mention I love this color scheme?
I’m trying something new again: this time I kept the calendar spread very simple, with just the calendar itself and a space for projects (monthly goals broken down into smaller steps).
January Habit Trackers
Since I moved my monthly trackers to a page of their own, I had more space to add sections. So now I have spaces to track the hours I sleep each night, my mood, daily habits, and then one last section that I plan to change every month. For January, I decided to write down something new I learn every single day.
January Finance Pages
My last spread for my new bullet journal setup is my January finance page. Although I changed the layout just a little, I still have all the same sections that I’ve been using for the past year or so.
And that about wraps it up for this new bullet journal setup! I’m always excited for a new beginning, so I’m looking forward to opening up this journal tomorrow morning and setting out toward that new horizon.
Have you started setting your goals for 2021? If you’d like a little extra guidance, I have some worksheets and templates in my resource library that you can print and use to plan out your new year. Sign up using the form below to get free access to the library:
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