First Things First: Bullet Journal Monthly Spread by @wondershins

First Things First

Hello, 2018! I love what new years bring. The sense of purposeful beginnings and dreams made possible. The excitement of dancing outside the predictable and familiar. Heart accelerating as ideas turn the cogs and wheels in your brilliant mind. Neverending positivities and successes to encompass in your heart, mind, and bones.

The new year is a breath of fresh air from the heaviness of yesteryear, and I do not exclude myself from such goal setting festivities.

My goal is to grow Wondershins as a business and maintain a creative lifestyle, all while working a full-time day job and being there for my family. This has been an ongoing goal of mine, as I have been working on balancing these important parts of my life for years now.

Each of these take more time than I always think, but what I learned in 2017 is that it all comes down to focus and truly realizing what is priority. (Priority meaning the most important THING, not ALL the important things, of course! 😉 ) For example, I wasn’t doing myself any favors when I chose to write a blog post that took time away from moving towards setting up my online shop.

I need to stop dilly-dallying, running around in circles in the same field, my adventure halting while I chase things that matter little. There are so many things I want to do and need to do, and more often than not, I find myself in constant distraction, leaving Wondershins to take a nap beneath the curtained willow tree.

So for 2018, my plan is to come up with themes for each month of the year to better maintain focus. Having a specific theme each month will limit the things I do, so I’m not darting around every which way, wanting to do everything.

I discovered this when I did my 30 Day Drawing Challenge last year. I had a specific topic of something to draw each day, and the main idea was to sketch with a pencil for 15 minutes a day. Having this theme in mind, I was able to achieve my goal of drawing daily. Similarly, for the Art Stew, I follow a weekly prompt to keep my creativity sparked and inspire me to keep my illustrations flowing. These creative challenges allowed me to do more than I would have done if left to my own devices of “doing whatever the hell I want” and running rampant.

With that in mind, I figured that coming up with my own personal monthly theme will enable me to capture focus. For the month of January, my theme is “First Things First,” which is really a fancy way of saying, “Prioritization.”

First Things First: Bullet Journal Monthly Spread by @wondershins

My mind has been positively brimming with ideas. They’re threatening to tear down the barricades to escape with chaos into reality. And I, a human with delicate willpower, will seize at the opportunity to snatch at them all at once until I am left empty handed.

By focusing on First Things First, I will only work on the things that matter the most, that will make my life more fulfilling and satisfying, and that will take me further down the road I need to go. Because as much as I enjoy all my ideas, not all of them are quite ready to take the frontline.

To be able to channel my most important tasks, I decided on a second theme to keep me even more focused – bullet journaling. If you’re new to bullet journaling, you can learn more about it at Basically, it is a system of organizing that is supposed to help you operate more efficiently and productively.

Bullet journaling has quite fascinated me since I stumbled across the site sometime last year. Anything having to do with organization and productivity piques my interest; I love To Do Lists and calendars, notebooks and digital organizational tools, post-its and graph paper…

What better way to stay focused than with a bullet journal, where I can jot down all of my To Do’s for the day, doodle little illustrations in the margins, and scribble down all the ideas in my head that need a place to stay before continuing on?

My theme in hand, I have a new spring in my step, as I prepare myself to take on 2018 at a faster pace by focusing on tasks that will get me exactly where I need to go. My detours will be limited (preferably non-existent) and everything I do will be done in my bullet journal with “First Things First” on my mind.

To keep myself accountable, I will be reflecting every Sunday at the end of the week, thinking about what parts of bullet journaling have worked for me, what hasn’t, and what I can do going forward, and I will be sharing my thoughts here on this blog every Tuesday. Hopefully these musings can inspire you to continue living a creative life as well!


What will you be focusing on in January to enable you to be more creative? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. “My mind has been positively brimming with ideas. They’re threatening to tear down the barricades to escape with chaos into reality. And I, a human with delicate willpower, will seize at the opportunity to snatch at them all at once until I am left empty handed.”

    Oh, my. YES. I’ve been struggling with First Things First myself. While I am incredibly goal-oriented and prioritizing prioritization (haha) when it comes to running my business, it’s so important for me to take into account that in order to have time to prioritize and hunker-down and focus-in, quiet and interrupted moments are required.

    Having a full-time job outside of your art business necessitates that your time outside of work be 100% productive. However, I forget that this simply isn’t realistic- or healthy. I love your practice of taking inventory of things each Sunday. Reflecting, reevaluating, refocusing… I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to steal that brilliant idea of yours and work this into my weekly routine. And I have an even sneakier suspicion that it’s going to make all the difference.

    • Haha, yes to prioritizing prioritization! Sometimes I’m afraid that all my organizing and figuring out ways to work more efficiently is actually doing the opposite of what it’s supposed to do! But I do enjoy it, so I suppose if we’re having a bit of fun, it’s okay, right? 😉

      I hope you’ve been able to fit in a bit of weekly reflection and reevaluating! I think it really helps to push away the clutter that has built up over the week and proceed with a clearer path. It’s not always easy – I admit that sometimes there are too many tasks overwhelming me, that I can’t even sit down and do organize – but we do what we can and our hard work and passion will keep us putting one step in front of the other. 🙂

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