Happy New Year! I hope you have had a wonderful time over the festive period and feel re-charged ready for 2017.  I like to see every day as a fresh start, but there is something about the turn of a new year that feels so significant to me, almost magical.  It seems a natural time to reflect and think about how much has changed in the past year, where things have gone well and perhaps things I had hoped to work on, but didn’t quite get there.

I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions as I tend to only make statements of things I wish to do without any real thought of how I am going to achieve them. So this year, I have tried to take a more structured approach to reflecting and planning, in the hope that I can really make some progress on key areas over the next 12 months.


(You can click on any picture to see my original post on Instagram)

I started by completing a review of 2016, separating into sections of things I am grateful for, biggest achievements, things that didn’t go quite right and what I can do to improve.  Having my bullet journal to hand really helped with this.  I looked through my gratitude logs, memories pages, goals I had set myself and to do lists.  This gave me an immediate picture of things I had regularly celebrated, projects completed and tasks that I have migrated on more occasions than I dare to think about!

I used my areas I wish to improve as a start for my 2017 goals:


I like to keep my goals for the year fairly broad as life and priorities can change so quickly.  However, when I set goals for the coming month I feel able to go into more detail of actual things I can do to take me closer to my goals.  January for me is about setting out a good base for the year ahead.  I want to focus on some realistic health and well-being plans, create a home environment where I can feel inspired and easily relax, along with sorting out my finances by seeing a financial advisor.  Sorting these key areas should put me in a good position to have the physical and mental energy to progress in other areas.

I am lucky enough to be self-employed, mainly working from home.  However, over the next 12 months, I would like to continue gradually reducing some of this work to focus on more creative ventures that I think will bring me more joy.  I have a couple of possible opportunities that I am exploring – watch this space!


Finally, I completed a SWOT analysis.  This is something that I regularly use with my clients to analyse their business, so I decided to try it out on myself.  A SWOT is broken down into four areas.  Strengths and weaknesses are internal considerations, so directly linked to yourself.  I looked at where I had done well over the last 6 months and thought about why that was, which helped me to consider my strengths.  I did the same with my weaknesses, I thought about what it was about myself that had held me back.

The opportunities and threats are external influences that can impact on you and your ability to achieve your goals.  In a business sense, this can sometimes be viewed through a PESTLE analysis: P = political, E = economic, S = social, T – technological, L = legal, E = environmental.  I took a more relaxed approach for my personal analysis as not all of those areas are relevant, but they did still help to get me started, thinking about those different things that impact on me.  The aim of this exercise is to enable you to make the most of the opportunities that you have and take steps to reduce the risks of the threats, if possible, or at the very least be aware of them.

I then created some action points based on the SWOT analysis, which will help me to achieve my goals.  I decided to create these on a Tip-in card so that I can have this flipped open regardless of what page I am on in my bullet journal, making them much more difficult to forget about!

I hope that this may help to give you some ideas for setting up for the new year in your bullet journal, if you have any questions or comments, please do leave them below.

Wishing you the most incredible 2017. xx


4 thoughts on “Setting up for a Cracking New Year in your Bullet Journal”

  1. Loved this post Helen! As always great journaling inspiration that I’ll have to utilize in my own BUJO! Blessings to you for an incredible start to your 2017!! Hugs Laura IG @planningmyday

    1. Hi Laura, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I hope you are having a wonderful start to the year, Helen xx

  2. Hi Helen! I am here from Instagram ( creative pineapple) and wondering how the traveling journal works and if it’s possible to participate. I’ve heard of these for awhile and would love to take part if possible. So glad to find your blog either way, will explore a bit later. After coffee! Have a lovely day! Enthusiastically, Dawn

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thank you so much for getting in touch. If you would like to take part in The Traveling Bullet Journal project, please can you send me an email to helen@journalwithpurpose.co.uk and I will send you all the details. I am hoping to have a couple of pages left for new entrants!
      Helen x

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