How are you doing with setting up your bullet journal for the new year? If you are looking for a little inspiration, then hopefully I can help you with some new ideas.




I’ve spent quite some time thinking about what I want to see more of and what I want to see less of in 2018.  I found it really helpful to look back through my pages from 2017 and review which goals are still relevant, which are still work in progress and also making the decision to park a few goals that no longer feel right for me.

I started off by writing some “Intentions” which I like to think of as softer goals.  They are not particularly detail specific, so I found them easy to write and they eased me into the goal setting process.  I have included things like following my passions, deepening relationships and exploring more – the detail can follow later.



I also wrote a list of things that I am proud of.  It’s far too easy to be hard on ourselves and think of the things that we have not yet accomplished.  Yet all that does is set us up for a fall as we head into the new year, with our minds full of doubt about our own abilities. It’s also common to fall into the trap of comparing our life to others and feeling that we are somehow falling short.  These pages are designed to help you focus on your life, your accomplishments and your wishes for the future, not comparing yourself to anyone else.  I find that I set far more exciting goals if I remind myself of everything that I am proud of, rather than beating myself over the head for things that didn’t go to plan. It’s a good way of letting going of the past and building my own confidence for the future.

(The stickers I am using are from PowderWorld This is not an affiliate link, I just love the stickers!)



The next stage for me was to think about some more concrete goals that I would like to achieve by the end of 31st March.  I find it useful to break the year down into quarters when planning as it feels a long enough period to really work on some big projects and make progress, but not so far away that I don’t feel any sense of urgency to work on them.

I also jotted down some potential obstacles and how I hope to be able to overcome them.  I find that thinking about things that could get in the way really helps me to prepare properly and put some contingency plans in place.



Finally, I added some collage pages, to set the tone for the new year.  I find that visual goals really stick in my mind as they give a feeling or emotional reaction.  When I find myself being swept away with the normal demands of daily life, a quick look at images can really bring me back on track, far more so than reading through a page of text.  I printed most of my images from Pinterest so the pages were really quick to create.  I am planning to start every day next year with a quick glance at these pages and I will also print a copy to stick on my wall in front of my desk.

I really hope this helps to give you some new ideas for your own journal.

How are you getting on with your planning for next year? I would love to know, so please leave me a comment down below.  Also, what’s your biggest goal for 2018 that you will focus lots of your energy on?  I will definitely be focusing on following my passions, starting with delivering some Creative Journaling Workshops in my local town in January. I’m very excited, of course mingled with a healthy sense of fear!

I wish you a happy and healthy 2018, Helen xx

16 thoughts on “Setting up Your Bullet Journal for 2018”

  1. In all my life I’ve never signed up for a newsletter when it pops up on a blog I’m reading…until I fell head over heels into journal with purpose. You have inspired me to do something that has always felt like a daunting task…set long and short term goals in a way that they can be accomplished and in a beautiful way! I bought myself a journal just before Christmas and started my 6 week journal challenge today! Thank you for your inspiring blog and dedication to helping others!

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment Amber, you’ve made my day. I wish you lots of luck with the 6 week journal challenge and I hope you have a really wonderful 2018!

  2. I’m about to start my goal setting for 2018 and I plan to look back at my 6 week Journal pages to help. I love the idea of setting goals per quarter, a year is a long time and things definitely pop up and priorities change. I’m excited to get started after seeing your pages!

    1. That’s fantastic Candace! I definitely feel like a quarter is a good time period. I always like to have my long-term goals to make sure I am heading in the right direction, but focusing on a few goals in detail over a 3 month period can really bring about some great results. I hope 2018 is brilliant for you.

    1. I am really happy to hear that this helped, thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful 2018.

  3. I really needed help in goal setting. I need to learn to break my goals down into smaller pieces. I’m just getting overwhelmed, so I need to sit down and think 🤔. Plus, I need to remember I’m only one person, so I need to have a realistic plan😊. Thank you for your help! Take care and have a great New Year’s Eve and Day🎆🎉.

    1. Thank you so much Kim! Yes, it can be really difficult to set goals that are realistic can’t it. I get a little carried away with everything I want to achieve and can definitely be guilty of over-planning! However, quarterly targets have been really helping me out and I’ve just set up some project dashboards so that I can mark my progress off as I go along. I hope you have a wonderful 2018 xxx

  4. This gives me some ideas on what I need on a goal page. I don’t really set goals, but you’ve given me some ideas that I think I can use. Thank you.

    1. That’s really lovely to hear Sherri. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to leave a comment. I’m really happy to hear that you have found some ideas to use in your journal.

  5. Hi. Im just beginning to think bout starting bullet journal andi must say i find your approach much more realistic for me. I especially like the ” brain dump” where you write down everything on your mind then go from there. If something is truly unimportant it gets discarded correct? I ask because i am adhd and have much trivial stuff go round my head lol. Its great to “dump” it and a bigger relief to realize was just unneeded thoughts so to speak. Ive been reading the ADDmagazine online and they suggest that since our executive functions work diffetently than normal people we should not fogus so much on goal setting as that is so often just setup for failure for adhd’r. They suggest instead what they call Systems. Somewhat like goals but are broken down into small attainable sizes. For example, i want to become more fit this year. Thats a goal i would never reach just by saying that so instead i set up a system to where i do say 15 min strength train every other day. Then id add more exercise such as walking 2 days etc n increase reps ea week. Something like that anyway. I know its very much like breaking down a goal into daily to do’s but the word goal itself is a great enemy to adhd’r. Our proclivity to procrastinate takes over every time. With all that being said and reading your posts but changing goals to systems i can reach daily or miss a day n not beat myself up, i do beleive i am finally ready to give bullet journaling a try and will keep learning in both journal and adhd areas so that i can finally tame this beast n let it no longer control me. I just must remember its a lot to do with how things are said or worded. So i jyst put my own words to something which i understand and can work for me i beleve that 2018 will finally be my year. Thank you so much for your well just for all that you do and you help so many wo expecting any return. Oh yes, i have just turned the dreaded 60 so figure its about time i made somerhing about me. Ty again.

    1. Hi Theresa, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. With my brain dumps, I look at everything written down and then transfer it to somewhere appropriate, so I might schedule it into my plans for next week, next month or later in the year. Anything which doesn’t need actioning is discarded, but it still feels better to have it out of my head! Breaking down goals into small actionable steps definitely sounds like a good way to go. I do something similar. I have just written out pages and pages for all the things that I want to work on this year. For example I have quite a few larger projects on the go, but my progress has halted because they feel too big to tackle. I have written down every single task that I can think of, for each project, so that I can work through one little bit at a time. I have also drawn out a progress bar for each project and I colour in one square each time I have completed the next step. This helps me to see that I am making progress, even if the end result is a long way off. I have tackled my health and fitness in exactly this way. Each 1lb I lose or exercise session I complete results in a coloured bar. I find this hugely motivating and it helps encourage me to want to do more. I don’t know much about ADHD, so I found your comments really interesting. I wonder if the word “goal” might be off-putting for quite a lot of people actually? It’s really given me something to think about. I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for you and that you enjoy your bullet journal journey. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and leave a comment, Helen xx

  6. Hi,
    Love it and thanks for the inspiration. I was struggling a bit and now you have given new life to my Journal. Thanks so much. I would love to attend your workshop one day but the distance is a lot. But maybe one day I can.

    Thanks. Archna Mohan

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments. That’s makes me really happy to think I have helped give some new life to your journal. Distance is such a problem isn’t it! I’m hoping to launch some online classes one day! I’ll keep you posted. Thank you again, Helen xx

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