Attitude Expectations

Better New Year’s Resolutions

            Is your life plan on Post-it notes falling off the refrigerator, scattered over old calendar planners, or lost in “organize my life apps” that don’t work the way you do?  If there is an element of truth in any of these scenarios then you’re a candidate for an old idea that’s been revived.  The method is called journaling.  In essence, it’s a return to hand written idea organization and planning.

            There is something about memory that works better when we write.  Students who take written notes remember more of the lecture than students who type notes into an app. The same principle applies to planning. As many are rediscovering, organizing your life on paper is still an excellent approach.  What had been written off as obsolete in the face of technology advances is new again in the form of paper planners.

            Perhaps the most popular paper planner joining this revival is the “The Bullet Journal.”  The idea is that no idea, aspiration, appointment or accomplishment, need be lost if you write it down.

            When used correctly, the Bullet Journal can improve you’re productivity, reduce stress and perhaps even help you sleep better. Good planning helps free up mental space and helps simplify life.  Many find “Bullet Journaling” creative and fun.  As a bonus it becomes a handy diary when you need to reference past activities, contact information, etc.  Regardless of whether you tend toward being ‘right brain’ or ‘left brain’ person, the Bullet Journal can accommodate you.  For examples, visit and enter the search term ‘Bullet Journal.’

            All planning approaches require effort.  Fortunately, the Bullet Journal is one of the easiest to learn.  For a short tutorial, visit the websites listed on the next page under the heading, ”How To Begin a Bullet Journal.”

            Getting through life without a good plan is like chopping wood with a dull axe.  You can do it with enough effort. It just makes sense to sharpen up first.  It’s about realizing your potential – perhaps even your most imaginative wants and dreams.

            For many, a daily walk is when their best ideas bubble up.  With a pencil in hand to spear your great ideas and a Bullet Journal to help put your ideas into action, the value of a walk might surprise you.  With your creativity organized, life becomes more productive and more fun.

            Join me for a Saturday morning walk and talk about your plans for the New Year.  You may even spear a new idea.  Regardless, of how the fishing goes, it’s still a wonderful way to start the day.

How To Begin a Bullet Journal

            Starting a Bullet Journal is pretty easy.  Just visit the links below.  As you follow the content in these links, plan to spend about 20 minutes mastering the basics of bullet journaling. After that, enjoy the fun of journaling and review the remaining four links for tips about adapting journaling to your life.

  1. Quick Overview 
  2. Getting started 
  3. How to Bullet Journal 
  4. How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide 
  5. The Tech-Savvy To-Do List: A Bullet Journal 
  6. The Bullet Journal, Minus the Hype 
  7. Rocket City Mom Helps You Get Organized 

            Even with the best of plans, bad days still happen to good people.  In so many ways, life cannot be controlled.  Life is messy.  Success is making the best of the occasional mess.

            So what to do when disappointment comes?  First, return to your plan.  Then, plan around the detour.

            Although it won’t solve the problem, one thing that can turn frowns upside down is a good TED Talk.  Positive stories of others overcoming adversity can be inspiring and remind us to be grateful.  Positive stories help us remember how lucky we are and inspire creativity.

            Next time you have a bad day, tune in to one of the Ted Talks listed below.  Often, the missing ingredient is a temporarily lost perspective on what’s important in life.

            Click here to access the seven inspiring TED Talks listed below.

  • 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed
  • In Search of the Man Who Broke My Neck
  • How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are
  • Living Beyond Limits
  • The Beauty of Being a Misfit
  • Your Elusive Creative Genius
  • Never, Ever Give Up

      Happy New Year

Nancy Neighbors, MD

By Nancy Neighbors, MD

... Dr. Neighbors provides a blend of traditional family medicine and evidence-based lifestyle medicine in Huntsville, Alabama. When indicated, lifestyle change is recommended as the first line of therapy.

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