In Waterstones, Brighton, there’s a whole section dedicated to bullet journals and planners.
That’s a whole 8ft wall of overpriced ruled pages, committed to helping you get your life in order. They probably include pithy quotes and a front cover featuring motivational calligraphy, too #girlboss
There’s even a bullet journal on how to keep a bullet journal – because it’s not enough that you’re trying to organise your own life, you need to know how to organise your bullet journal’s life, too. Mmm.
If you were wondering, that ‘mmm’ noise I just made was like an almost-inaudible Nanny McPhee type, ‘mmm’ grunt.
Man I wish I could insert little audio clips for you on here sometimes. Though, we all know they would largely just be accidental recordings of me foraging for cheese. And rustling wrappers – like podcast porn for foodies. Only, instead of a woman whispering all seductively to you, it would just be me chewing aggressively in your ear and rinsing it down with a can of Diet Coke.
The pilot for the world’s worst podcast right there, guys. You heard it here first.
We’re a nation obsessed with cracking the code to a meaningful, happy life, setting ‘goals’ and getting our sh*t together, myself included.
Not necessarily the goals part. I’ve never really seen eye-to-eye with them but the reading books under the guise of, ‘I believe in the life changing magic of not giving a f*ck but also, I’m buying a sh*t load of self-help books because WHAT THE HELL EVEN IS LIFE?!’ part, then yes, I’m there with my thermal pot of tea and marmalade sandwiches for the journey.
Sorry, marmalade sandwiches? Calm the f*ck down Paddington Bear, you are such a loose canon these days.
I’ve become increasingly interested in what it is that enables some people to live well and live happy and, consequently, what prevents people from doing just that.
I have a physical reaction to the word ‘goals’, mainly because it’s come to mean so much more to us now, particularly as 20-something year old women.
It’s the perfectly toned body, just two months after having a baby- goals.
It’s the line-free forehead and neat af winged eyeliner – goals.
And it’s the Pinterest-worthy home you’ll never earn enough to have for yourself – goals.
Goals seem to represent something that is always that little bit out of reach. We set them because we’re brainwashed into thinking the life we’re living isn’t quite enough for us yet and that we should be striving for more. We compare. We aspire. We decline when we fail to achieve.
I’m generalising here, I know and for all those people that are kick you in the teeth fantastic at setting and achieving realistic life goals, I take my smeggy beret off to you but for the most part, my history says goals are always far-reaching and unattainable (and we know it).
And, excuse the pessimistic impostor here for a second, I don’t think that writing them in a book with a fancy margin and a post-it note makes them any more doable – that’s coming from someone who loves stationary.
What if you don’t even know what your goals are, or what you want to be earning this time next year? It seems counter-intuitive to write things down for the sake of filling space in a £15 notepad. Sure, it might make you feel productive.
The trouble with the ‘new year, new me’ thing is the pressure. The pressure of improving the circumstances you have very little control over, of making next year your best yet and of rising up against the unknown, it’s not really how humans like to work and it’s not conducive to happiness.
For our intentions to be more than just a bunch of notes in nice handwriting, they need to be real, modest and scalable – and that’s easier said than done when you don’t have a crystal ball, a strong black fringe and a column in The Sun.
You can’t predict how the year ahead is going to go and that’s the intrinsic beauty of it. Nor are you a miraculously different person just because the date changed.
You’re the same you and a brilliant you, at that. Just with a post-Christmas pâté and cheese board glow. I mean, I can’t speak for the vegans out there, obviously.
So, what do you say we all just set our standards ridiculously low this year so that we can do nothing but hit target and thus, run our bladddy bullet journals into the ground with rose-scented f*cking gel pens, eh? Yes, let’s.
Paperchase means nothing to me. NOTHING.
Oh, you wanna know what my low standards are? Ok. I’m going to set myself three aims 1) actually watch a movie from start to finish without picking up my phone or falling asleep, 2) become capable of seeing a dog in the street and ignoring it. No eye contact, nothing and 3) delete all the takeaway apps off my phone.
Number 2 should be easy, in theory… but try telling that to the girl that has a framed puppy portrait of someone else’s dog hanging on her wall.
Happy New Year fellas, here’s to putting the bullet journal / pretty notepad people out of business and banning the word ‘goals’ in 2018.
To hell with the future-logging, future-proofing bullcrap. Let’s break tradition and bring it back to the here and now where we hustle for happiness instead.
Let’s stop pretending to be organised and defining success by how busy and productive we are. We’re not robots, we need candles and Netflix and someone to tickle our backs when times get rough.
Go into 2018 with a mind that’s nothing but open to your potential and be willing to show compassion towards yourself if it doesn’t quite go as smoothly as you had hoped.
Resolve to stay the same corker of a person you were this year and for all the years to come for that matter, because babe, you’re already killing it.
Love you bye.