Smartphones and apps are great for lots of things, but some people find nothing more satisfying than writing a to-do list and checking things off. You may have heard the term “bullet journal” lately–it’s basically an old-school, completely flexible way of keeping track of anything and everything. Users refer to them as a “bujo” for short.
From appointments and birthdays to meal planning and daily goals, a bullet journal can help you keep track of things in a way that is meaningful to you. Here is the original website, if you’re just getting started. You can also find a myriad of blogs and Instagram posts with tutorials, layouts, tips and tricks.
Here are five ways to use your bullet journal to keep track of important healthy habits.
Track your Weight
About half of American adults would like to lose weight, but bad habits often hurt weight loss goals. Devoting a page in your bullet journal to tracking your weight loss can be motivating. Check out Instagram for different layout styles, but it can be as simple as writing down your weight on a weekly basis or drawing a colorful graph so you fill in pounds lost as you go. A visual representation of your progress is highly motivating–you can even build in rewards as you reach certain goals (10 lbs. down, get a massage!).
Watch Your Water
Drinking more water can keep you full, stay hydrated and maintain healthy skin. People who keep a bujo track things in different ways, but most keep a daily tracker that has a small to do list, appointments and a little section to keep them honest about desired daily habits. Writing down your water intake on a daily basis can motivate you to reach your goal of drinking enough water each day. Whether it’s simple check boxes or you choose to color in little glasses of water, this is an easy habit to develop that can pay off big dividends in health.
Five a Day, Every Day
Eating a minimum of five fruits and vegetables is easier said than done for some, but adding colorful salads isn’t the only way (but it is a good one!). Getting more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, plus feeling full on fewer calories are only some of the benefits of adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. This is another bujo candidate for a daily tracker. Next to your appointments and to-do list for the day, draw 5-9 small apples and color them in as you down each serving of salad, soup or an adorable clementine. Or make a simple tick mark in your fruit & veggie column.
It is easy to lose track of exactly what you have put in your mouth over the course of the day, and underestimating calorie intake is a common mistake when trying to lose weight. Create a page in your bullet journal to keep you honest about what you eat. Even if it is a simple list of foods and amounts, you will increase your awareness. If you want to track calories here too, go for it, or try a digital calorie tracker for tracking calories. Do an internet search for bujo food log layouts to see an array of different styles, from simple to beautiful, to track your daily meals.
Knowing what you are going to eat for each meal is a strong tool to keep you eating healthy. If you have stocked cupboards and a game plan, you are less likely to tear into a box of cookies or order takeout. Keeping a list of meals and a corresponding grocery list is a good fit for a bullet journal. Here is a tutorial on how to meal plan with your bujo. Pinterest is another resource for creative layouts and trackers. A great trick is to keep your meal planner in your bullet journal, but leave a place for a large-format lined sticky note for your weekly grocery list. That way you can simply pull out the shopping list when you need it. Pretty soon, you’ll know all the secrets for grocery shopping like a boss.
The act of physically writing and recording specific habits can be inspirational, keep you honest and provide clues as to what is working and what isn’t. Bullet journals offer a completely flexible way of tracking healthy practices, so find a notebook, your favorite colorful pens and get started today.