What to Track in Your Journal - Meal Planning Drawings
I've been a bit slow when it comes to habit trackers. In the beginning, I just couldn't see the appeal - wouldn't it be too much of a hassle to fill in the boxes? Wouldn't it get boring half-way through? And what if life got into the way and all those nice little habit boxes would stay empty? (Clearly, I missed the whole point for the tracker with the last one...)
But I recently found several ways I like to track not only habits, but other recurring events and daily routines.
As an illustrator, I needed some (if not all?) of those 'trackers' to include drawings!
I've tried a variety of tracking systems in my bullet journal but found that I rarely stuck with them.
Splitting my tracking systems into different categories helped! It keeps the individual pages from overwhelming me with the sheer amount of things I should do every day.
My favorite tracker is my reading list! All the books read (or rather, listened to) so far in 2017. I enjoy drawing the cover impressions, adding little details that suit the book's contents, and the whole page leaves me with nice memories and a more tangible sense for my mostly digital library.
You can find some of my recent favorites and recommendations in my monthly favorites posts - if you're new to audiobooks, give them a try not only for long commutes but for mindless tasks, too.
Social Media and Blog Traffic Tracker
Much simpler, these little graphics are great motivators and remind me to not only look ahead into the future, but to be thankful for the little steps I took so far.
I'm slowly growing my Instagram - it's my favorite social media platform! Instagram is great for all my passions, like drawing, journaling and traveling around Korea. So while my Instagram account is far from curated or having a concrete 'theme', it is incredibly fun to keep updated! I'd love to post more...
My blog traffic statistic is just a simple overview of my monthly pageviews. To not make this one too depressing (haha...) I doodled flowers - very inaccurate graph, but hey, this symbolizes growth.
On that note, I've taken to doodling flowers in my bullet journal since
- It's spring!
- They serve as a very sentimental task tracker.
Meal Planning & Illustrated Food Diary in my Bujo
This was my biggest tracker so far! I had a 'healthy eating' option in one of my past habit trackers, but found that to be really hard to judge. What exactly did I mean with healthy eating?
It's much more fun to have a visual diary to look back on! It also helps me in remembering recipes that turned out well.
Gaining weight as a Vegan in Korea...
... sounds like an oxymoron, but here's how that happened:
We had guests (family, extended family and friends) pretty much all throughout winter and spring - that's what happens when you've got an empty space to rent out for a while. Having Korean family living with us part-time meant: FOOD.
All the food.
And me being vegan meant I had a flurry of very concerned in-laws constantly feeding me. Veganism isn't well understood here, and most took it as me doing some sort of diet and only eating vegetables and probably dying in a year or two. So instead, I was eating bowls over bowls of white rice and noodles to assure everyone that I was 'eating well'.
It's incredibly hard to refuse food in Korea, especially when given to you by your elders, so really, the portion sizes I had to eat were getting ridiculous after a couple of months.
Even immediately after eating three bowls of rice, I'd receive crackers and dried fruit so that I'd "have strength". That and pretty much sitting all day in front of a computer for work led to quite a bit of weight gain - I hadn't been this heavy in forever.
So when I had a foreseeable stretch of time without visitors ahead, I finally wanted to take the opportunity to eat more varied foods and take care of my health again.
I drew quick doodle versions of each meal, as I'd done before in Seoul. It was great to see so much variety over these ten days! Yes, sweet potatoes were a staple (a gift from my father-in-law: A huge box full of sweet potatoes!) during most of the days, but I finally had the time and empty space in my stomach to eat fresh vegetables, soups, and more legumes.
While the Korean diet is generally considered healthy, I'd been eating pretty much only very salty and oily side dishes and lots of rice in everyone's quest to keep me full. Eating fresh and varied food for these 10 days felt like a detox process!
I had so much more energy, felt lighter, and my stomach wasn't constantly trying to digest huge amounts of food. Also, I actually really like cooking, so I had lots of fun preparing my own meals (and my husband's, who isn't the biggest fan of all the salty and oily stuff we had recently, either) and trying new things instead of only cooking Korean style.
I lost about three kilograms during these ten days. I know that it's probably water weight and all that, but I'd also started working out again and so far everything's stable. And I just feel less bloated and tired!
Next time when we have visitors, I'll insist on eating at my own pace. It's not the politest thing to do in this cultural context, but the last months thaught me that my body really doesn't do well with extremes.
Starry Sky Habit Tracker
Then, there's the basic habit tracker for this month. I really like the star design! The box layout mostly used for habit trackers in bullet journals didn't appeal to me, but stars and constellations are fun to draw and look minimalist at the same time.
I've been tracking:
- Yoga (about 20-30 minutes warrant a star)
- Pilates (same as Yoga, but I mixed this one with weight lifting that I got into recently)
- Blog Posts - I'm keeping it at a steady two per week
- Etsy Listings - New products. I've been going slower this month so far since I have a lot of commissions to work on.
- Vitamins. I do take my supplements, but I'm terribly inconsistent. Different sized stars show taking specialized supplements (like B12, vitamin D or iron), while the small stars are me just throwing in a multivitamin.
- Korean. I'd planned on self-studying again, but well. There's a single star in the first half of the month. I love studying, but really, too much work atm. That single star came about thanks to a 30 min vocabulary session in the car.
- Skincare. Whenever I do something nice and fancy to my face. Sheet masks, clay masks, applying AHA or vitamin C... My skin hates summer, so I promised myself to take care!
That's it for my bullet journal tracker ideas! I hope that some of these inspire you to try new tracking and diary keeping ideas - doodles especially!
Do you keep track of your meals? Or your health in general? What else should I track? :D
If you'd like to try a similar habit tracker layout in your journal or planner, I've created this printable version inspired by my own tracking page. Just switched it to a horizontal layout since that will be easier to use than a two-column version. The stars just need to be drawn in, however tiny or large you want, and there's a printable page included for months with 28, 29, 30 and 31 days, all on A5 format. Go be consistent next month! <3