Update on the Bullet Journal

Keeping August Organized.

This is my monthly set up. 

I’ve taken my yearly goals and funneled them to what I want to accomplish this month. I then have a calendar for events I know are happening this month, a habit tracker for things I want to do everyday towards my goals, an expense log to track my incoming and outgoing money and my weekly spreads. In my weekly spreads I have a date-specific to-do list and a running to-do list which are just tasks that can be accomplished based on priority but sometime during the week when I have time. So far this month I’ve found it very helpful. My theme is black and pink and flowers for the month. I use G2 Pilot 07 pens and Le Pen in Orchid for the pink. My journal is a Leuchtturm1917 hard back dotted in orange. 

Veganism Pt. 2

So the first time I went vegan was a little over a year ago. I did a month of research and took a couple weeks to transition from a healthier version of the standard American diet to an actually healthy diet of veganism. Or so I thought. At first I was super healthy but over time I became an unhealthy vegan- living off of just nutbutters, breads, sugars, bagels, etc. I was living in my dorm away from home at this time. Fresh veggies didn’t seem appealing and I became unhappy. Also at this time my period- which has always been irregular- stopped. My hormones were completely out of whack. So I went to a doctor and was told to eat eggs and diary to get more fats even though I was already living off of nuts.  But I listened to the doctors advice for my health and for the sake of my mom. But it didn’t work, period did not come, acne remained. I was still not eating healthy and was eating animal products which are unhealthy. Then at home, frustrated, I decided that the last time my hormones were in balance and my period was at least happening was when I was eating all animal products so I went back to that. No change. Still no period. Worse acne. Frustrated and confused with doctors telling me one thing, my body not making sense and my morals telling me something else, I began researching veganism again. This time more in depth and this time into the actual health research not just for animal rights. I know eat a Whole Foods plant based diet. So yes vegan, but I try to avoid refined and processed foods. My period has come back as of today. My skin looks to be clearing up. I know I am doing the right thing for the animals, the environment and for my own health. Go vegan, but still think about your food choices within that.

I would also like to say that I am devastated with myself for not sticking with veganism, and the harm to animals and be environment that I inflicted in the meantime pains me. But I also think it took that full year of learning to be at the place that I am at now- I place where I feel phenomenal, and where I am following a lifestyle that is sustainably beneficial for all parties. Thank you for reading.

Vegan for minimalism

Funny how the further my Minimalism journey goes the more aspects of my life it reaches. It’s reached the food that I am putting into my body. I’ve decided for many reasons concerning animal rights, environmental concerns and my health to eat a Whole Foods, plant based diet. This is the most healthful, and minimal way of eating. I am minimizing the processed foods, the unhealthy foods, the violence, the torture, the insane energy that goes into animal product foods from my consumption. So as a minimalist this seems to be the only logical way of eating in my eyes. It eliminates the foods from my life that cause harm, and health problems, leaving room for healthy food, health in general and happiness. Later I will talk about zero waste which has been in my mind for a while and which I am trying to transition to. But I also wanted to say once your on this path, it’s like a domino chain- each aspect of your life you change in a minimalists’ mindset will then inspire you to change another- all ultimately contributing to your overall happiness. This is a short article, but I wanted to update that part of my life- and here are some documentaries that helped me make the switch: Live and Let Live, Cowspiracy, What the Health, Forks over Knives, Fed Up. Thank you for reading and let me know if you are plant based!!!! 

Minimalism and living in a dorm

How a small space actually isn’t that bad

A small space for some people might be a shock compared to what they are used to living in – a small space might seem confined and cluttered with all that they own, but for me and most minimalists a small space is exactly what we need. A small space allows for only the essential items to occupy the space, anything that is inessential looks and feels like clutter. A small space allows each thing to have a specific place, and for me to know the home of everything, and not be left wondering as to where I put it. Each thing has a purpose, and each thing has a home, so the small space is left clutter free and clean the majority of the time.

A small space has also helped me in the process of decluttering my closet in particular. When my wardrobe simply wouldn’t fit into the small closet and chest of drawers provided at school, I had no option but to downsize the size of my wardrobe so it would fit. The small space forced me to decide which pieces were and weren’t essential. The small space itself helped kick-start me into minimizing.

A small space also acts as an incubator to find and grow your own personal style for décor and clothes and color scheme in general. Because of the small size of the room, anything that doesn’t go together will show more-so than if the clashing pieces were in a larger space, so I found that I very quickly got rid of the pieces that didn’t match my style, and developed my own look much faster.

The last benefit is living in a dorm, away from home, you quickly realize how little you want to do your laundry, how little you want to tidy up your room, how little you want to dig through your wardrobe in search for that one shirt. You realize that life is much simpler and time is wasted less if you actually own less stuff. So the whole act of living away leads people to decide that left stuff is better and easier to take care of.

Living with a roommate

Living with a roommate is a great experience. It helped me to figure out how to live with someone else’s life choices in a single room, and how to deal with different schedules, levels of cleanliness, and general choices. It also helped me to decide what fit my personal taste as far as lifestyle choices, décor, schedule, and to decide what didn’t work, all the while exposing me to different ways of thinking about things. Roommates are a wonderful learning lesson about how to deal with living and socializing with others and to learn about yourself. My roommate was not a minimalist, and I wasn’t at the start of the year. Throughout the year I began researching minimalism and decreasing the amount of things in my half of the room, while my roommate’s stayed the same, it actually was evident as my side of the room became neater, just how much stuff hers had. The amount of things left my mind unfocused and not at peace in my own room, but I can’t ask people to change how they live, I can just lead my life, and respect their choices and maybe expose them to minimalism, but never force it on them. So I just kept living my own rules on my half of the room, and talked to her about why I was interested in this new topic, she thought it was interesting, but she never changed her lifestyle. And that is okay. It is important to know that she respected my choice and I respected hers. 

10 things I wish I knew before I moved in to my dorm

  1. I didn’t need that set of 100 hangars: Wait to buy storage containers, hangars, boxes until later in the year when you have accumulated thoughtfully what you actually need, instead of doing what I did (buying a bunch of storage stuff and then buying stuff to fill the storage stuff with– mostly stuff I didn’t need but felt I had to buy to fill up the storage boxes I had bought.).
  2. You don’t need a printer: usually. I bought one, but later found out I had access to a free printer at school, and never used the $50 dollar printer in my room. Check to see if you have access to a free printer before buying one.
  3. Everyone has microwaves: I didn’t buy a microwave, although I was considering it, and that was actually good because pretty much every room on my floor had one, so while I did microwave things I just used my friends for free.
  4. Invest in quality electronics: buy things to last you through your whole college experience not just one year. I bought a cheap coffee maker for $15 and it worked fine, for a couple months but then started making terrible coffee. I finished out the year with it but will be investing in a quality one next year so I can enjoy my coffee.
  5. In general bring less and buy less than you think you need: you can always come back and buy more or ship more later, but don’t overspend on things you think you might need. Bring and buy the essentials, wait it out and see what you actually need. Then invest.
  6. You will go food shopping a lot: ask for gift cards to places like Trader Joes or Whole Foods, or wherever you get your food, it is expensive and usually school cafeteria’s have shitty food, especially on the weekends. Also try to buy in bulk so you only have to go shopping once or twice a month and it is cheaper.
  7. Freshman 15: just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want, you should think about food with even more of a healthy eye, as it is in fact easy to put on the freshman 15. Be ware of the home-style food section, the dessert section and the buffet style food in general. Start with a small plate and if you’re still hungry go back for more. Don’t load up and then realize you got too much.
  8. Going to the gym on campus: find a buddy, and don’t be intimidated. The gym is one of my favorite places to go on campus – I can study while I’m on the elliptical and I can just chill and laugh while my friends and I actually work out, all the while getting my endorphins up and sweating. Try it out.
  9. Buy a hammock. Just do it.
  10. Find friends with cars because I hate ubering, it is expensive and not fun. Find friends with cars.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Please leave a comment down below of one thing you wish you would have known before living in a dorm!

Minimalism and planning: BULLET JOURNAL

What I plan with?

I plan using a bullet journal. I am extremely new to this, only 2 months in, but so far I have found that a bullet journal works great for me because it funnels goals and tasks through a yearly outlook into monthly goals and tasks down to weeks and daily, so things actually get accomplished. I am a compulsive list maker, whenever I feel out of control, or not where I want to be I make goals, I make lists, I make plans, I make schedules to get me calmer in the situation. But usually these lists never actually turn into action, and if they do it is very brief. Bullet Journaling solves this problem because I carefully thought through my yearly goals, and find it a much more sustainable way to actually accomplish them, by referring back to my yearly goals when setting my monthly schedule and goals, and then referring back to my monthly when setting the week’s and day’s. I also used to use my phone calendar, but it became redundant with the bullet journal.

What I plan?

So I make yearly goals as stated above, or in this case, since I started bullet journaling in the summer I made a summer goals spread, and that has funneled through May and now June and will continue for July. I will start a new journal when school begins and will set new goals, ones for personal goals, ones for dance goals, and one for school. These funnel through to my monthly tasks so I can accomplish them, which funnel to my weekly. Each month I plan any events I know are happening, any work I am doing, I plan my exercise schedule vaguely – which days I want to go to the gym, which days I want to workout outside, which days I have dance as my primary workout, etc. Every week I plan tasks I know must get done. Every day I layout in more detail smaller tasks and goals.

I also have a habit tracker in my bullet journal. This resets every month and the habits change. This month I am tracking if I walk everyday, stretch everyday, floss everyday, drink 60 oz of water everyday, if I eat sugar that doesn’t come  from fresh or frozen fruit ( I have a low key sugar addiction and I am trying to break it by not eating processed foods or sugar for the month of June and getting all of my sugar from raw and frozen fruit), I also track my mood. I find these help give the motivation to do some of these tasks and also keep me accountable, not to mention it is interesting to look back at the month and reflect on what your habits actually are.

I also have an expense log, so I track how much money I spend and earn. And I have an investment list, which is basically if I want something I write it on the list, I write the price and the date in which I first wanted it. Next month if it appears on the list again, I obviously do have an actual need or want for the item and it wasn’t just some fad or trend. It must be 30 days since I put the item on the list for me to purchase it, and these are investment items, so they are usually more expensive.

Why are bullet journals and minimalism similar?

I think that they remove anything unnecessary because I am formatting and deciding exactly what I want to plan and track, it also allows me to focus on my goals in a more productive way and channel that through to daily tasks. It eliminates stress from being a “sitting duck” and makes me more productive. I think all of these traits appear in my version of minimalism, and therefor the two go hand in hand.

Also because it can encompass anything you want it to, a bullet journal replaces all other calendars and trackers and planners, so it minimizes all other messy distractions and streamlines a unique outline for and by you; again clearing away the mess to make way for the good.

I just used the back of an old notebook for my summer journal and some old microns I had laying around the house. I plan to buy a Leuchttum 1917 journal for the school year in black and to invest in some new micron pens and potentially some calligraphy pens if I get into that to decorate the spreads. Comment down below if you bullet journal and what aspects of yours you enjoy or created?