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My secret productivity weapon

Bullet Journaling is my go-to tool for daily mindful reflection.

I'm at an age where it feels like a day goes by in a blink. I mean that in a good way. I think that's what being in your 40s is like: you're fully immersed in living and life is just really friggin great. And I have a feeling it will get even better as I get older despite all the shenanigans that are going on in the world.


Anyhoo, as I take a moment to look back, I thought I should share these three pages from the January spread of my digital bullet journal.



January INTENTION: Leveraging momentum, creative expansion, disciplined focus, Mind-body self-care, creative sharing & community.

Is it too much? Hell no!


I usually try to have a cover page for each month by scribbling down my intention for the month. Sometimes it's corny as hell, like "Greater & Higher," but sometimes I come up with an intention that really resonates with me.


But, for the past January, I couldn't even come up with a cheezy line. Like many of you, it felt like 2024 was just beginning, and suddenly, it became February. I was stressed that that my calendar was already getting so full to the brim, and I let a sense of overwhelm set up tents inside my mind. I had to stare at the blank cover page in an anxiety-ridden stupor for a long time.


Thank goodness I had my CMV already worked out at the end of last year. I ended up putting down my core values for 2024 on the cover. At that time, I thought it was a lazy cop-out, and I criticized myself for not being original enough. (Yes, folks. I too have a whole community of critics in my head!)


But it turned out it was the most appropriate thing to do because, despite all the busyness, the cover reminded me every day of the life I wanted to live and the person I wanted to be this year. And it really helped me live it from Day 1. In fact, I decided that my January cover every year moving forward would always state my core values of the year. It's just such a great way to kick off the year on the right note.



 

January Habit tracker: I do yoga now. Again.

First of all, I see a lot more dots than the 2023 December tracker. YAY!


Secondly, this year, I've started taking yoga classes, which is a huge deal for me. I'm able to do that because I lost a ton of weight (10kg & ongoing) and my ankles don't bother me no more. I'm really loving it so far. It reminds me of the UCR days. Also, I'm so thankful for the great yoga teachers. This is an incredible relief because I had been experiencing a good-yoga-teacher draught for decades. But things are coming together. The universe is telling me it's time to pose Down Dog and reach the sky with my tailbone again. I feel rejuvenated at the end of each and every class.


True or False? Joon started yoga in college only because her first real boyfriend convinced her in her sophomore year that it should be their couple's activity. 🤔


This is true indeed. We were little Asian hippies in Southern California sandwiched between Gen X & the Millenials. Learning yoga uplifted how I felt about my body and changed how I viewed the world in ways I had never experienced before. I just can not say enough great things about yoga.


But I digress...


The key to tracking your habits is not to judge. It's NOT about how much or how often you've exercised the good habits. But it simply is a short 5-minute window at the end of each day to acknowledge & appreciate how you showed up in the world (or didn't) and how you lived your vision (or didn't). All the habits listed are aligned with my CMV, so as long as I can put just one dot for the day, I know I've lived my vision. And sometimes there's no dot, sometimes for days on end, and that's perfectly okay, too.


No. Judgement.



 

January VIBE: Humidifiers, The CreSCENT CITY SERIES & ELIJAH WOOD NARRATING THE ADVENTURE OF HUCK FINN

I overused my eyes last year, and now I suffer from scratched-up eyeballs. (What would be the medical term for this in English??) This is not fun at all, and now I cultivate a new meaning of staying hydrated with a million different eyedrops I have to squirt in my eyes at different hours throughout the day and even in my sleep. So naturally, I was obsessing pretty hard over humidifiers with the latest cutting-edge technology. I ended up not getting any, though, and, instead, laid out a big wet bath towel like my dentist told me to, and it's working out just great. It's less plastic I bring into my world. A true victory!!


I also need to reduce the amount of reading & screen time. I'm not happy about this at all. But it's getting me to depend on audiobooks a lot more. I had never seriously read Mark Twain until now, and thanks to Elijah Wood, I really got a kick out of listening to The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn so much. I mean, he's so damn good with the accents, and what a range of voices! (It turned out he actually played Huck Finn when he was little. I'll be darned! I probably won't watch the movie, though.) This got me curious about the audiobooks of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whose books I used to read avidly in high school. Naturally, I also looked up the audiobooks of J.D. Salinger, another favorite author of mine. I was happy to learn that there are hardly any audiobooks narrating his novels. Dramatizing his works would be an injustice.


I found The Crescent City Series completely by accident. I AM OFFICIALLY HOOKED. I used to be rather snobby towards Adult Fantasy. Now I know I'm the one who's been missing out. I pray for the day they make this book into TV series. That will be like the next Battlestar Galactica for me. Just the thought of it is sexy and dangerous. Oo la la!


Creative inspiration is one of my core values for 2024, and therefore, it is at the heart of how I communicate, learn & grow this year. I am to cultivate it in every which way.



 

I Bullet journal to keep things simple

Goodnotes is a godsend as it allows me to bullet journal without having to actually buy physical notebooks. When you journal religiously, they pile up quite quickly. You know that I'm all about being sustainable. Being the kind of geek that I am, I tried to use all kinds of project management apps - Monday, Clickup, Evernote, Notion, you name it, and I've used it - but after a while, managing data across multiple apps that offer only slightly unique features became work itself.


I also put incredible value in writing by hand. I still transcribe a book - using real pens and paper for this. Surprise, surprise! - just to oil up my dexterity. And I practice calligraphy both manually and digitally almost every day. I just love beautiful handwriting.


So digitally bullet journaling, for me, is a great marriage between the mindfulness journaling method and the digital convenience and sustainability. It has been an integral tool in my life for driving the holy trinity of clarity, priority & balance, or what I like to call resonant productivity.



 

Wanna chat about bullet journaling or the Crescent City?



 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Joonyoung Kim is a Productivity and Leadership Coach based in Korea. Through her private coaching program for entrepreneurial women Redesign Productivity, she shares her deep passion for helping businesswomen prioritize their time and energy on things that truly matter the most while creating a thriving business.


She is one of the first Korean-English bilingual coaches in Korea to be certified by Leadership Circle Profile™, the most innovative 360° leadership assessment tool in the market.


In addition to developing businesswomen, she also partners with EZRA Coaching, Leadership Circle, and Coachdot as an executive coach and develops corporate leaders from diverse industries across APAC. She's certified by the International Coaching Federation, Co-Active Training Institute & Leadership Circle, and she coaches & trains in English or Korean on Zoom across time zones.



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