Why hello there young Reader, and don’t you worry by the title because you don’t have to go very far!! I am bringing this special reception to YOU on this post, on my blog. My hope is that this post will inspire you in some manner or give you some further insight into how I do things to help track my moods, thoughts and behaviors many times daily, and some weekly, or at least to get some kind of daily/weekly blend that turns monthly, even, too.
So, sit back and enjoy the sights because this is the first time I’ve done photography in a very long time and it’s to show you guys all of my tracking objects with some examples tossed into the mix, too. A beautiful blend of narration (so to speak!) and photo visualization. Welcome aboard!! And, if you’re so kind, please leave me a comment at the end of what step was YOUR favorite or what you’d like to see from me next or what type of tracking and engagement you do in your own life!
**As of working on this post into the evening of May 7th, I’ve decided to section it off into 3 parts because there are 9 tracking systems so this will end the first part today and over the next two weeks I’ll write up and publish the last two parts. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you enjoy this read! 😀 I’ll see you at the end. ❤
Calm the Chaos Journal
Photo taken by me on May 7th 2020. ❤ I used my new large origami paper for the background. I tried to be fancy for these photos and got to use/share my paper stars, too!! Something to feast your eyes and look forwards to ahead from here! 🙂
Began: January 2020
From: My individual therapist from my day program, Passages. She wrote this note at the start of it:
Contents & Set-Up: This journal begins with a necessary and optimistic promise of what the reasoning and meaning and purpose is lay hidden behind the idea and notoriety of this particular form of journaling. It’s a great journal to set about self-care goals and an assessment of the present day through a multitude of factors, with well-fitting spaces to write in, and a goal section for the following day ahead. The prompts are scattered well enough that it never becomes monotonous in the daily grind.
For instance, I will have photos in the visualization section for you all to get a sense of the journal, as well as laying it out deliberately and expertly here in written form.
On the “Today…” section there are questions regarding how self-care was performed by the Writer: sleep, bodily movement, something fun or pleasurable just for the Writer, taking time for meditation or reflection, ate nourishing food, went outside for fresh air and other.
Continuing on this section, is an act of kindness performed for someone else, the most memorable moment of the day for the Writer, and a small gratitude for the day.
On the “Tomorrow…” section there are 15 varying prompts that change every 5 days. Some of this variety may be seen in the photographs below. They are different little sections prompting: what goals you have for the day ahead, courageous conversations that need to be had, things to let go of, priorities, intentions, to-do’s, the day’s purpose, guiding mantras, etc.
Snapshot from early January 2020.
Most recent, from last night.
How Much is Left: 1 Week’s worth of entries
This journal is made by: Nicola Ries Taggart
Estimated Price: $15.00
My Pitfalls: As with this object and many of my other Tracking Systems, I fell off tracking between the entirety of March, half of February and some of April 2020. I was able to restart from the present day rather than trying to go back and fill in old entries (meaning, if my last entry was 2/27, and I fell off until March 8th, I began again just onwards from March 8th). Sometimes if I was only a day behind I made the notation: “nd for next day” and carried on from there. So with my falling behind I wrote in it for the months of Jan (almost each day completely save for 3 days I missed), half of Feb, the end of March, half of April and all of May.
My Recommendation Score:
If you’re someone who wants to improve their level of self-care practices and be motivated and inspired to handle this level of tracking, I’d highly recommend it, if for little else than prioritizing the day ahead, embracing the successes of the day itself, and for a reference point/snapshot of the past to look back on and improve or replicate into the future.
“Stay Magical” ~Daily Goal System
A great sized stationery pad of goal setting wizardry!
Began: ~April 20th 2020
(A couple sheets covered multiple days for reading goals)
From: TJ Maxx
Setup: So at the very top of the pad of paper is the phrase “Stay Magical” with stars in a silvery rainbow surrounding it. At the middle of the bottom edge of the page is a white unicorn with rainbow hair (always nice). The first left box says “Your Dream Goal”, the bottom left says “Reach for the Stars” and the whole lined with boxes right side says “Make your wishes come true” with the ability for you to effectively check off steps as they are accomplished. 😀
This is today’s goal which is a lot more complicated and multi-faceted than most of my others. Some of the ones I’ve had include reading goals with set measurements (say 1/2 way through or read 20 pages) or have a good day at work by X means.
In this example I have said that I wanted to interact with blogging as well as do blogging which is a check for having been done. Read a book (not yet), and complete laundry (which I forgot about again).
In the other two sections I wrote little reminders to myself to help ease the transition of all the work I needed to do today or at least tried to do today and then on the right I added a general intention for my to-do’s.
How Much is Left: Just began; 80 sheets total, about 70 left.
Estimated Price: $5.00
Why Utilized? I began to utilize this new function when I created or recreated my Motivational Binder. In it I have a bunch of other tracking systems and it helped me to get my mind around factors I was trying to get back into, probably not surprisingly was returning and, in many ways, revamping my Tracking Processes. I started to do it the night before for the day ahead as a way to pronounce what I’d like to do the next day as per the encouragement and idea from my therapist, June. So, that’s what I’ve relatively been regularly doing, with some missed days here and there or goals that cannot quite be completed all at once or require a few extra days and ongoing maintenance to accomplish. 🙂
Pitfalls: Making more than one goal on it is a lot trickier to manage. I think I temporarily lost the reading one I had, that specific sheet, somewhere and now I can’t find it or figure out if it was the same one I found in the binder jacket or if it was an additional reading one. Damn. Also, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming or I miss tracking in other ways particularly on nights where I return home from work at Amaryllis. That is hard, too. I like to hand them up onto my whiteboard to pull it down again when I start my day and this helps, mentally, a bit, too.
Adding them to my Motivational Binder gets a little backlogged too because I have to hole punch them so I have a bunch at the moment that are loose and not yet inside my binder. 😛 However, it’s also the first working list/stationery pad that I’m utilizing more often than letting them sit in a box somewhere else in my room, ahaha.
My Recommendation Score:
OBJECT #3: (Final piece for today’s post, see adjusted title as this is now a 3 part series!!)
This is my current journal, it has a sparkly, glitter-y mess with bokeh and the phrase “Sparkle On” in script font. It took me forever to decide if I wanted to start the year with this one or a space panda or another journal from the stack I have in my room, ahaha.
Began: January 30th 2020
From: 120 sheet journal from Michael’s
Set-Up: This is a blank lined journal with a gray bookmark page holder. This is my first complete journal for the year 2020, with part of last year, maybe about 6 months worth fitted into my last journal. I do my best to complete this journal’s entries daily.
I write my therapy notes in this journal, I write my group notes from program in it, any time I need to make a little pro’s/con’s sheet, visualize something I need to work on and most often, about my day.
So I have this system within my systems of SotD’s which are Scores of the Day. On a scale of 0 to 10 I rate if my day was really shit and pants as a 0 (barely ever happens) and 10 being like upscale amazing, so good that I’m seeing rainbows and unicorns everywhere (which I have made a few times!!).
On average, I score an 8.
I decide these numbers based on my gut reaction to the question of how my day went. If the number 7 shows up more than 8, I write 7, or if I’m conflicted I’ll do a decimal point system (7.5 etc.).
Additionally, I hallmark this type of tracking the most in my planner–something I actually don’t think I’ve shared in a blog post before, at least the one that I’ve been using for 2019-2020. I have my 2020-2021 that will also be in a video soon but yeah, maybe I’ll include either a link or a photo to it when I get to that part of this blog post series (which is not today).
Anywho, back to the journal! I, OFFICIALLY, begin my journal with the day of the week, the month, day and year and then the time that I began writing. Then I move down and do my SotD and then I use these notations: TA for Today’s Accomplishments (sometimes, if I’ve fallen behind I’ll use YA for Yesterday’s Accomplishments or if it’s been a significantly long time from having fallen behind then I’ll just put the date of that day near it) and proceed in number format to write out my accomplishments and sometimes, although I’ve mostly discontinued it for the time being, I wrote out TN for Today’s Notes, like other thoughts or things to remind myself of from that day that don’t fit in as accomplishments. Phew! That was a lot, right?
Photo taken in May of 2020 of a day from April 2020.
And another little glimpse of me just saying stuff at the very end of the journal entry:
I was particularly chatty at the end of this entry and feeling high maintenance for my tracking is just top-notch and a very me thing to happen. Ahaha.
How Much is Left: More than half.
Estimated Price: $5.00
Why Utilized? The best reason I have for doing this system is to keep and maintain, ideally daily, weekly then turning into monthly, a record of how I am doing. There’s something nice about quantifying an experience and getting out thoughts and feelings and, hell, sometimes behaviors, by tracking it down and looking back on it later.
True, I haven’t gotten to the part where I can look back on my journals and my writings and the things that come out of my skull and into my fingers and onto ink on paper, but, the biggest motivation I have behind it is to learn from what I wrote, have the power of perspective and to eventually, one day I SWEAR, make weekly catalogued video posts about them all. I don’t know, I just find it so fascinating to have a daily catalogue of my thoughts and how things were going and I think it really helps to mold my day together because if I don’t it’s almost like it didn’t happen, you know?
I want to film videos about them in the future, I still haven’t done it YET but I look forward to it. I wonder how I would structure that… hmm, I’d have to fiddle with it first, I think. Maybe I’ll journal about it tonight, ahaha.
And in a lot of ways, this is like my handwritten journal that I can take stock of what I did that day, from the little accomplishments to the big ones, and it creates a record of some kind, maybe a little monotonous and needless to some people’s eyes but still a record all the same (although I don’t know how it would help anyone else out there, unless they wanted to visit my mind and what I valued in that day, ahaha). And in that record I can utilize all the things that I did even online that day that go into the log. 😀
Pitfalls: High-maintenance. It requires daily entries, me setting aside that time to do so, looking at my planner and my day and how/what I did hour by hour, scanned hour by hour more so, and what I’m thinking in that moment and just cataloguing my thoughts. Then if I get behind for a few days I have to go back and either skip them (which I hate doing) or just list them late and fill them in (which I try to do instead and will have to do over multiple mediums for this week). I personally like to start new days as new headings at the top and won’t fudge the timing very much if at all. Besides being somewhat high-maintenance though it does rely quite a bit on other tracking forms being completed so if I haven’t done that in multiple objects, then things get even shakier. Luckily this doesn’t happen TOO frequently.*
My Recommendation Score:
*To be honest, I’ve gotten so used to my tracking systems, some that I’ve been doing for over 2 years, that it really is just part of my regimen before I go to sleep at night. Some things will come and go, that’s for sure, journals especially, but overall it helps me. If not in the present moment then definitely as a reference point back in time or a future video or content creation later on, hence this blog post, to be honest.
So what do my other tracking objects consist of?
Well, you’ll have to wait and see…
Nah, I’ll tell ya!
But I’ll tell you in CODE! :O (If you know my tweets you may know these answers sooner)
P, ST, DC, 5YJ, H., M., RB: this last one is only weekly–so it only slightly counts and doesn’t make up the main 9 that I use (it’s also new!).
Above all though, thank you SO MUCH for reading.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and got some further insight into my mind and if nothing else, what works for ME! Going forwards I do see myself incorporating new tasks into my regimen or daily/weekly cataloguing. (Think bullet journal and I’m Awesome, Here’s Why journal, which I JUST got).
What do you do for tracking, if anything at all? How does it make you feel and what works best in your system? Has this post at all encouraged or inspired you in creating or adding to your system? Let me know! 😀
xxx ❤ ❤ ❤
PS Who wants to bet that Twitter fucks up my main image for this post? XD
PPS You can also bet that tonight I’ll be jotting down the way I structured this post for future reference into the next week’s parts! ^_^