san sebastian beach on sunny day

September Reflections – Holidays and Starting University

September has been a pretty intense month for me. From going on several holidays to starting university, September has flipflopped through the full extent of emotions and has been chiseled by change. Attentive readers will perhaps have noticed this already: this is the first time my posting schedule has been so sporadic and scattered since starting my blog all the way back in November. A lot of things have happened in the last 30 days, and so I thought I’d split this Reflections post into sections. I, for one, am definitely in need of a little clarity and simplification.

Going Camping

I kicked off September in the best way possible – sleeping in a field. Well, sleeping in a tent in a field. I spent that first weekend of the month strolling through falling leaves in the late summer sunshine of the New Forest and it was wonderful. I think that spending time in nature, and living in a tent, both allow yourself to feel grounded and to dedicate time to appreciating the little things in life. For example, when you’re camping, cooking takes three times as long as it does at home – but that’s okay, because it gives you perspective.

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september bullet journal spread

September Bullet Journal Setup

This is possibly the most excited I’ve been for a bullet journal setup post because I’m starting a new notebook this month. Yep, that’s right, I’m stepping on the Leuchtturm 1917 bandwagon for my new bullet journal. And it’s bright orange.

orange leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal

I wanted something that was going to cheer me up when I looked at it and I think this just about fits the bill. Cracking the spine of a new notebook can be a little daunting, and I definitely had a blank moment staring at the first page. As soon as I got into it though, things flowed a little easier.

As this is the beginning of a new bullet journal, I’ve added a few extra pages before my September spreads which will hopefully be helpful throughout the academic year. I know many of you mainly clicked on this post to see the photos, and not read paragraphs of writing, and so I’m just going to get straight into it…

Title page

2018/9 academic year bullet journal title page

I’m hoping this journal is going to last me through to at least the end of the academic year (and perhaps over next summer too) hence this title page. I’ve gone for quite a neutral plant theme, as I didn’t really want the start of the journal to define the vibe of the whole notebook.

Future Log

minimal six month future log

This is my first time creating a future log – I figured it could be helpful for term dates, university events, birthdays, holidays… anything and everything. Basically a quick overview of the next six months. I have no idea how frequently I’ll use this, or if I’ll find it helpful at all, but I’m willing to give it a go.

Life in pixels

life in pixels bullet journal spread for tracking wellbeing and pain

I’ve seen this method used to track many things related to wellbeing – mainly mood. The idea is to colour in each day of the year with how you felt that day. I’ve decided to draw two grids – one for general physical and mental wellbeing (graded good/okay/bad) and the other to note down if I felt any pain that day. As I’ve had on-and-off stomach problems, I think this could be useful for me to try to identify any patterns. It seems a little ambitious for me to think I’ll remember to fill this in every single day, but I’ve decided it’s better to have it there so I can use it when I want to – no pressure.

September calendar

september toadstool bullet journal spread

And now we’re onto the monthly spreads for September! I’ve decided to go for a toadstool theme as it feels fittingly autumnal and toadstools are very easy to doodle. As I don’t have September on my future log, I can use this page to note down any upcoming dates of importance (like moving to university!)

Line a day

toadstool line a day bullet journal spread

This is another new spread for me – although not so different to the gratitude pages I’ve kept before in previous months. I want to record a sentence or two about each day here, so that I have something to jog my memory.

Goals and finances

goals and finance pages bullet journal spread

This one is pretty self-explanatory, really. The first page is the things I want to work on in September, and the second is divided into areas I’ll be spending money on this month.

Tracker page

habits tracker bullet journal spread

This one is a little different to the usual grid I draw of habits I want to encourage myself to do. This month, I’ve split it into things that are important to consider each day (and so the list acts as a reminder) and then the things I’d like to do more of but don’t necessarily expect to be daily activities. The toadstool drawings indicate the goal amount of times I’d like to have spent on each activity by the end of the month. I’ll colour in a row every time I do one of these things and hopefully I’ll reach the top of the toadstools!

Everything blogging

blogging stats bullet journal spread

For the next spread, I’m carrying on the blogging stats page I introduced into my bullet journal last month. This page is helpful because it helps me to see which platforms are growing better than others, and which need a little more attention. On the opposite page, I’ve left space for brainstorming blog post ideas.

Food diary

food diary bullet journal spread

And we’ve finally reached the last spread, for which I have a small confession: I really don’t like keeping a food diary. I find it tedious and a little obsessive and I don’t think I’d choose to do this normally. But, because of the stomach problems I’ve experienced, it could be helpful for identifying trigger foods (although my attempts at this have been unsuccessful so far). And so I’m going into September with the gritted teeth and the intention to fill this in every night. Wish me luck.

Washi tape tabs

 

To make filling in all these spreads a little easier, I’ve decided to use coloured strips of washi tape to indicate which pages need to be updated daily and which can be left a little longer. I think I’m being quite ambitious this month with the number of spreads I want to keep updated – but September always gives me a burst of energy to be a little more ambitious. So I will do my best!


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