Backstory (skip to next picture if you’ve heard this before and just want to see this year’s book): In 2012 I decided to make a list of 50 goals to do 50 of, aiming to realistically get 50% done. It was a 50/50/50 goal. So of course some were easier (reading books, watching movies, solving puzzles) and some were harder (exercise goals, gardening, etc). I did, in fact, get more than 50% done, so I repeated the whole thing the next year. These first two were just scribbles in notebooks, nothing fancy. But there were a few times I did a lot more than the 50 goals I’d left room for (looking at you, movies watched - which is funny, since it’s not a goal I accomplished last year!) and pre-bound notebooks are hard (but not impossible) to expand.
The next year I decided to… be an idiot? I ramped up to 100 goals of 100 each, and this is where I had to start getting creative with units to make the “100” fit some things. And naturally, there were a bunch of really easy things. I also think this is where I added back in 2012 and 2013, with the goal of “Old Goals accomplished”. Because I just couldn’t let go of the uncompleted goals.
This is also the year I started making my own goal books, in a size an shape I’ve stuck with (5"x7" bound with two rings). This also allows me to copy some pages year to year if I make no progress…
Then in 2015 I only had 15 new goals, because my backlog was getting overwhelming. 2016 and 2017 it was back to 50/50. In 2018 I did 1-100, but this time it was 1 of 1, 2 of 2, 3 of 3… etc. In 2019 I did the Fibonacci sequence, which required some VERY creative units. 2020, 2021, and 2022 was more of the same 50/50, as is 2023!
Some pages are more decorated than others (some are just lined pages), and it takes forever to put together… every year I swear I’m going to get started earlier, but there’s only so much I can do ahead of time because a lot of my goal setting depends on what I get done from previous years.
I always love how you decorate each page to go with the goal! Are the pages marked with other years pages that you have moved forward? I think it’s great to allow yourself to work on previous years goals without guilt
I’m curious what the burger/fries/soda page is for!
Since I’m not sure what all of your goals are it’s hard to make suggestions, but here are a couple:
50 Handwritten letters
50 Plants planted
50 Items donated
50 5K equivalents walked/run/biked, etc.
50 journal page backgrounds created
Your project is a very clever way to keep learning and experiencing new things.
Would something like this be helpful for ideas:
50 Font Styles
50 Descriptive different words used
50 Different colours in the journal
50 Recipes tried
50 Songs listened to/ sung along with
50 Facts learned
Thinking I might upgrade my current really ordinary goal book to something more like your idea.
Is that a page for drinking wine? & eating junk food? Your goals seem pretty fun!
How about coffee/tea dates with friends, long distant calls/zooms, $ put away for long-term goals, self-care, planned solo outings to news places…
@craftADDchick - Haha, my burgers/fries page is exactly the opposite of what it shows - it’s for days with no fast food. Not as fun, but probably good for me! Those are great ideas, a few of them I have (either currently or from years past, or something similar) but I might have to add the others to next year’s!
@endymion - Oooh, please do, and show us all! I’d love to see how other people do it! I know a lot of the Bullet Journal community is into the “23 23s in 2023” this year, and I really like seeing how other people are tracking and what they pick!
@Tea - Good ideas! I have done the recipes one in the past, it’s surprisingly difficult. It’s amazing how much you go back to the same stuff over and over. I like the fonts one… that could be really good upping my Bullet Journal game!
@Magpie - Ha, it’s the opposite, it’s days I don’t do the fun things like drinking and eating junk food (which is probably good for me…). I did the new places one eons ago, it might be time to bring that goal back! And I really, really, really should do the self-care one!
The book it self is a pretty impressive goal! Your pages would make it fun to track some of the stuff that might feel mundane but really can be accomplishments - like not eating fast food. It must be so fun to flip through past years’ books to see your art as well as your acheivements!
A few questions for you, @Smeddley:
How do you organize the goals within the book?
I noticed you have tabs with numbers. Are those sections with similar goals grouped into each section?
Also, when do you mark things off? Just whenever you complete them? Or do you page through the whole thing each night and document progress on all the goals at once?
The numbers are the previous years I haven’t completed (eeek!). When I did the 2014 one (100 goals) I DID have tabs grouping things together so I could find them, now I have a general sense of where most things are (they are loosely grouped) and a table of contents at the beginning of each section. I tend to keep reoccurring goals in about the same place, but I do have to refer to the page numbers quite often!
I have a bullet journal where I record what I did that day (I’ve definitely used habit trackers to make sure I log the things I need to, but right now I’m being lazy in setting up weekly pages and just write things down) and maybe once a week I’ll transfer all of the things I did to my goal book.
I did watch a bunch of the bullet journal 23 23s in 2023 setups, and some of those habit tracker/list setups would also work really well, and be fun. The important thing, I found, is to make it easy - both to record and to remember. I use my Garmin smartwatch to track my hydration, sleep, body battery, and exercise, so those goals are easy to remember/track. I’ve learned the hard way that you really have to have goals that it’s easy to remember/track what you’ve done, or you’ll never get them marked off (I’m looking at you, “compliment random strangers” from 2014 - I’m POSITIVE I’ve finished that one several times over, but by the time I get to where I’d write it down, I’ve forgotten!).
That’s funny! I had “compliment strangers” on my list of ideas. Thanks for all the extra info on how you do your goal book. Really think I’m going to give it a go. I’ve already got more than 50 goal ideas. Thanks for the inspiration!
This is so very cool! @Smeddley I’ve been searching for a creative way to keep track of goals and I also think I’m going to give this a go. I like the idea of being able to add things with these rings for a binding.
Since I’m starting late, I might do quick-and-dirty (non-artistic) pages at first, with one of the goals being to replace each page with a prettier one by year’s end. Eager to get started! Can’t tell you how much you have helped and inspired me, @Smeddley! I’ve been in an emotional trough lately (probably mild seasonal depression), and I feel like the whole idea of the goal book is giving me energy and motivation.
Oh my goodness, yes! My first two were NOT pretty, and I like the idea of using the year to produce something you love and are proud of, while still charting your progress. I’m glad to have given you the push to start! I struggle with motivation, and this has really given me things to look forward to doing, even (sometimes especially) the silly goals!
Wow! This is so ambitious, I’m amazed you’ve kept it going for so many years. Your pages are lovely.
I think one of mine would be to: Take More Baths. I would actually be using the bathtub and not just storing things around/in it. Maybe if I had a nice bathtub and not a slip-and-fall deathtrap one I would be in it more.
The only goals I keep active with are my Reading Goals. I just added in the 50 projects goal, but it’s more about documenting my progress than actually doing enough to reach 50. Oh and I guess another goal is to have found 100 Earthcaches this year (currently sitting at 90), but that’s a geocaching goal. It’d be nice to hit 4k finds, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think I used to do more goals when I was younger, but I take it pretty hard when I don’t reach them.
@endymion You could totally put in a goal for making ATCs