Journaling the Journey of 2018

Hey Animated World!

Let me start off by saying, I hope you enjoyed the wonderful holidays and had a very Merry Christmas! 🙂

Starting around September of this year, I started writing down monthly goals I’d like to achieve within the month’s time frame. These goals included anything from personal goals, engineering/school goals, and of course, blogging goals. I would write down my goals the first day of the month, check on my progress toward my goals halfway through the month, and finally observe the month at the end of it to see what I had achieved. The first month I did this, I saw I went about 50/50 in achieving my goals. Honestly, it went way better than I had expected. Especially since I had a pretty sizable list of about 21 different goals for the first month. I found it pretty fun. I kept on working toward goals I wasn’t achieving and building on the success of goals I was achieving. Now in the final month of 2017, I’ve almost achieved all my goals listed for the month of December.

Sure, I was definitely skeptical about the success of writing down month goals at first. And by no means am I saying all you need to do is write down a wish list and everything will magically come true. What I did notice though in my small time frame of doing this was that I was more focused. And if your heads focused on the goal, that’s already a ton of progress going toward achieving the goal. Having a set of goals written down makes you focus more on those goals. Especially for me, I need to write an idea down or else in 15 minutes I’ll forget about it.

This monthly goal exercise was going great for me, but I wanted to do a little more once the new year came around. One day as I was aimlessly going about YouTube, I found this video about journaling. It was great for providing a template to use for a journal rather than aimlessly writing goals down on paper. So I figured I’d share the template of my journal I’ll be keeping for 2018. I also want to make it appoint to mention the journal’s progress in my What’s Up Animated monthly segments. So, if you’d like, grab a journal for yourself or just follow along the 2018 Animated journal journey! Here’s how I’ve set up my 2018 journal:

  • Front Page/Quote Section

So I didn’t shy away from the video’s template too much in this section. Basically the front page I have is for writing personal strengths. We all have our strengths so might as well put them to good use! Just a reminder that their available and ready to use. After I have about four pages for just quotes. Most of these are actually anime quotes, but I’m not limiting myself just to the anime theme. I have a few Disney quotes thrown in this section as well. This section is mainly used for recalling favorite quotes and having them altogether in one place. Also, it makes for some pretty welcoming motivation having it at the front of the journal for every time you open it.

  • Gratitude Section

This ones easy! Basically I have a few pages dedicated to things I’m thankful for or am currently happy about. It’s all about good vibes in this section and probably the section I focus on the most. Definitely a good reference for those stressful days!

  • Animated Section

Although I have a separate journal that’s solely dedicated to blogging, I threw in a section for Animated! In this section I focus on goals for the blog and brainstorming ideas. I also write down topics or posts I’ve enjoyed reading about on other blogs as well to act sort of like an archive. Blogging is probably the area I’ve seen the most improvement in since writing monthly goals. I think since I’m more focused on what I want to write about its translating into better work.

  • Engineering/School Section

So this section for the first half of the year will be geared toward school and the start of my job. Then after graduation it will solely be for focus on my job. (At least until I start my Masters… :)) Basically I write down goals or topics I want to focus on for school or work. I also like to plan a bit ahead so I try to plan out things ahead of time work/school related in this section.

  • Notes Section

Probably the most vague and open section. This section is for any book, YouTube video, anime, quote, or lessons reference. I’ll keep tabs on books I’ve read and anime I’ve watched during the year in this section. Maybe make a note of certain things I liked about them. Also the section is for any motivational quotes or YouTube videos I find during the year to reference back to them.

  • Wellness/Personal Section

This section is mainly for personal goals, wellness/health goals, and mental/emotional goals. For example, I’m trying to bulk up a bit after ten plus years of running track & field competitively. I’ll write days I workout and schedule workout days in this section. Also I’ll write small reminders to be more positive and keep tabs on how I’ve progressed as a person over the year.

  • Brain Dump

AH THE DUMP! You know sometimes you just need a red pen and blank sheet of paper to just vent away on. That pretty much sums up this section for you. It’s basically a venting section. HOWEVER. I limit myself to just writing one page at a time when visiting the brain dump. Also, I never go back and read what I’ve previously wrote here. I feel if I did I’d be focusing on negative feelings. The section is for letting out some stressful thoughts and that’s all.

  • Monthly Goals Section

Of course, I had to bring in a monthly goal section. These goals range from big to small, personal to blogging, and wellness to engineering. It can be as small as talk to a new person once a week  or as big as achieving an A on an important midterm. I like having small and somewhat obvious goals because it gets the ball rolling so bigger goals can be achieved. If I achieve one of these goals, I usually grow off of it and amp it up a notch for the next month. If I don’t achieve a goal I either try to focus on it more the following month or find something smaller to focus on that’ll help me take steps toward achieving the original goal.

  • Yearly Goals Section

The BIG GOALS! This is the first year I try a year-round goal section, so we’ll see how it goes! I once again tried to balance out the goals from a few small goals to a few big goals. I also wrote three reach goals, which would be absolutely fantastic if I achieve this year. I took a bit from the video for this section to have my goals broken up into the work, play, and rest sections. I also have a small To-do list as well for things I’d like to do in 2018.

I don’t have a schedule to when I write in my journal. Basically if I feel like it, I write in it. However, whatever, and whenever I feel like doing so. Mainly so it doesn’t start feeling like a chore. I only write in it when I’m excited to be doing so.

I’ll try to give regular updates about how the journal is progressing in the monthly What’s Up Animated posts. Overall, I’m extremely excited for 2018 and I really haven’t felt this prepared to take on a New Year. I’d definitely recommend giving some form of journaling or goal keeping a try in the new year! Hey, worst thing that’ll happen is you’ll be focused! Hope you enjoyed, and maybe even have decided to join along on the journaling journey for 2018! 😉






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