Instead of sharing all of my August Bullet Journal pages this time, I thought I’d zoom in closer on my habits and how I’m tracking them and give some more details on how it is helping me grow in an area I’m weak (consistency).
Each habit has its own mini calendar in the shape of the month. The first day in August was a Sunday and the last day was a Tuesday, so I outlined that shape in my journal for each habit I’m trying to work on.
Each day that I complete a task, I draw just three lines at an angle. One big one through the middle and two small ones on either side of that (the mostly empty Evening Routine tracker shows what they look like when done individually). Each day alternates the direction the lines go. Then they form up to make a cool design (like the Bible tracker shows).
After I drew each habit calendar I went through the morning routine habits (first three rows) and wrote in pencil approximately how long each habit takes me, so I could estimate what time I’d want to start so I could finish when I wanted. (My desired finish time rarely happens because there’s always some distraction or something that happens that pulls me from rigidly sticking to my time, and that’s okay, but this just gives me something to shoot for and helps me try to maintain concentration on what I’m doing, not clicking over to YouTube or Amazon, or looking something up that pops into my mind.)
Looking back over the month, it’s super easy for me to see patterns in my habits (or lack of them) and hopefully make changes this coming month. For example, I am consistently not reading my Bible on Sunday mornings. I’d like to say it is because of the rush to get ready in the mornings, but it’s not. I have no little kids anymore and the truth is that I’m just allowing myself to be distracted Sunday mornings. Now if this was just because I was enjoying a slow Sunday morning, that would be fine, but the reality is that I’m usually reading or watching the news or YouTube and doing nothing to prepare my heart for church. Because of this tracker I can see that weakness quickly, and I can make that an area to pray over and be more intentional about. (Shut off the computer Saturday night and put my phone directly in my purse maybe?)
Prayer, honestly, has been a struggle for months. I’m learning that there are seasons of prayer that are rich and wonderful, then there are seasons that just require rugged obedience and end up feeling like plowing desert ground. This is a season of plowing scorched, dry ground and I know that I need to just be obedient to pray. It has helped to switch up what I’m doing as I’m struggling. Some days I’m praying through a Psalm, some days I’m flipping randomly through my prayer binder, some days I’m praying through a page of Valley of Vision, and some days I’m reading a page of The Hidden Life of Prayer and praying over that. It’s a mix of a lot of things, and feels like a mess sometimes. But I’m trying to obey consistently rather than perfectly, so for now until the Lord blesses me with another season of prayer, I’ll keep plowing this ground.
I’m trying to read for at least 15 minutes every morning. This has been a great habit to develop and has allowed me to finish books outside my normal reading. (What I read in August post coming next!) I’ve really enjoyed this little luxury in my morning.
I am currently writing out the book of Proverbs for my third and last son. I completed a journal for both of my other boys and I’ve been dragging my feet on finishing this one for years. Adding a habit tracker has been instrumental on keeping me going, even though this one is still hard for me to be consistent on. Again, it’s obvious my weekends are kind of a free for all for any sort of consistency. That is 104 days a year. Maybe in September I’ll work on just three habits on the weekends and see how that goes.
Okay, so this months my workouts were pretty consistent, because I changed up what I’m doing. I found a fabulous YouTuber, Pahla B, who has moderate workouts that still get my heart rate up but don’t make me feel drained all day or dread the next day. I did her 31 day challenge for August, and I’m going to keep using her and a mix of Leslie Sansone for September.
So if you were to ask me with the workouts I’ve been doing if I’ve lost any weight to speak of, my honest answer would be no. That’s because I’ve been lazy in paying attention to how much I eat. I’m not looking for the next great diet, I’m looking to consistently eating a healthy amount of calories and macro nutrients. And that is not complicated for me to do using the free Lose It app. But it’s also not easy and it requires thoughtfulness and consistency. I’m still trying to grow in this area and I know when I’m also reading through Barb Raveling’s books or listening to her podcast it’s easier to keep my focus where it needs to be, but I’ve been lazy in that area too. I’m going to pull out her book and leave it on my desk where I will see it daily to remind me to read through one or two of the questions daily when I’m struggling.
My upper body strength has always been terrible. At the beginning of this year I thought it would be amazing if I could end the year with the ability to do at least 12 full body, military form pushups. In January I couldn’t even do ONE. So most every day I would struggle through trying to do one full pushup, then half pushups (on my knees). The goal was for each number of the month (January=1, February=2, March=3, etc) I would do that many full pushups and then at least 5 half pushups. I kinda lost focus around June and July, but was more consistent in August. But because of the loss of those two months, I struggled with 8 pushups, so I settled for 5 plus at least 3 more half pushups. In September I’m going to do 5 full and 4 half pushups for the first week, adding one more full pushup each week till the end of the month, then I should be back on track with 9 full pushups.
I still struggle with memorizing verses. It’s not a gift for me. But I’m continuing to use the Charlotte Mason memory system. The boys and I did this successfully for many years homeschooling and it’s free and easy and doesn’t take much time each day, just requires consistency.
I’m trying to get back on track with our budget instead of falling into old habits of not paying attention to where my money goes. One habit I’ve been developing is daily logging on to my bank account and reconciling our budget notebook to the bank balance. When I’m doing this multiple times a week, it takes only a few minutes, and I know where we are financially. I’m really loving all the videos Alaina at The Organized Money puts out. Her notebooks and journals are pretty amazing too.
All the above are part of my morning routine. It should take me about 3 hours to do them, with some time in there for showering and eating breakfast. The habits below those are habits that I am trying to develop in the afternoon and evening (and as you can see, they didn’t go so well in August).
I love/hate this habit. When I’m doing just 15 minutes a day in the weekly zone, I love how deep cleaned my house is. But I also don’t like doing just 15 minutes in each zone. (Story of my life.) I just have to be prepared at the beginning of the week and know what zone I’m in and what I need to do, then just do it. I started the month strong and fizzled from there. A couple years ago, I was inspired by watching this YouTuber clean in her zones.
I am trying to curb my desire for Diet soda. I know it’s not healthy for me and I know it’s developing into a craving and addiction. There is nothing good about it, so I’m just trying to track how often I have it and try to cut back a little more each month.
I have yet to find a good time to do a full evening routine. I think I need to do it right after dinner, before I sit down for the evening. Maybe that would help. I usually do the dishes and sweep the kitchen, but other little habits that I need to be doing (filling water bottles, scan calendar, make sure laundry is out of washer, lock cars, charge phone) really help set me up for a good morning the next day. And other habits that I enjoy looking back on (thankfulness, one-line-a-day journal, and my Bullet Journal memories spread) I love, but don’t do. Maybe in September I’ll try to get to this right after dinner cleanup is done.
No World Before God
At the bottom of this page, midway through the month, I added a small tracker to try to help me not log online or use my phone before I at least read the Bible and pray. I’m developing a terrible habit of checking out what horrible thing happened in the world, and waste time on that, get discouraged, then rush through the important things. I’ll keep working on that too.
If you’d still like for me to share my other bullet journal pages, just let me know. This month they were just the same weekly/daily pages with hardly any fun stuff in there at all. But, if that is helpful to you, just let me know!