All this month, I'm talking about how to use Microsoft OneNote to create an electronic bullet journal. Visit the Office Warrior Connection's index page to a list of topics.
Create a New Habit
There's an old wive's tale that says it takes 21 days (or is it 28?) to form a new habit, but for anyone who's tried giving up a bad habit or starting a new one, it seems pretty obvious that it's too easy to drop a new habit even after a couple of months time of doing something the same way at the same time every day. For me, I've struggled with giving up soda and staying on an exercise regime, both of which would bring my weight back down to where I'd feel better and be healthier. I can affirm that one month, or even two, and in the case of soda - even a whole year, did not help me form that healthy habit.
Writing every day is another one that I have struggled with. It's not that I don't enjoy writing, or that I get writer's block. I simply find a million and one other things to do after I get out of my office job at the end of the day and have hungry children who need to go to their sporting and school activities. The competition for my five hours at the end of the day is fierce and I don't always have the strength of will to give up reading or social media.
The one thing I've found that helps me stay on track, or quickly get back on track when I derail, is using an activity tracker. Last January, I created a simple Excel file to track my word counts for writing and hours for reading and spending time on social media. (You can download my tracker here.) Having an activity tracker helped me look at my normal behavior over blocks of time because I was able to set a goal and track my progress. Skipping a day gave me instant feedback by watching my numbers dip. Self-monitoring became my motivation. And I would say to anyone who's trying to create a new habit or fulfill a tough goal, use whatever tool you find that works for you.
How To Use the Activity Tracker
The idea behind the activity tracker should be to set achievable "mini" goals that you believe you can accomplish daily in order to develop a new habit or reach an "ultimate" goal. (Or in my case, goals that I can bounce back from when I get derailed. ) My mini goal is to write something every day. I don't care if I write a blog post, a journal entry, an idea for a new story, or a short scene. I don't have to spend an hour on task. It can be a few minutes in the evening after the kids go to bed, or a half hour during lunch. Knowing I don't have to have a set time commitment helps it feel less like a chore or a high school assignment. Accomplishing my mini goal each day is what I hope will help me achieve my ultimate goal of developing a writing habit.
Examples of Goals You Could Set
• Write 200 words a day. (That's a novel in 250 days!)
• Write 1000 words a day. (That's a novella in one month!)
• Write 1 chapter a day.
• Write one blog post a day.
• Read for one hour every day.
• Spend one hour a day creating marketing materials for social media.
• Research a new marketing tool each day.
• Spend one hour reaching out to other authors or readers on social media each day.
• Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media to one hour a day.
Instructions: Weekly Activity Tracker
Create a tracker for each day of the month. Compare months and see if you have less productive months than others and think about why that might be. Is there something specific you are allowing to get in the way of your goal? Is it something that is out of your control? If it is something out of your control, is there a way you can revise your daily or weekly goal to achieve your overall goal?
Have you customized my instructions to make your journal uniquely your own? I'd love to see or hear how! Please post your creation on your favorite social media platform and tag me or leave a comment with a link in the notes below!
DOWNLOAD Activity Tracker Journal Page
See all the Bullet Journal Posts
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