Review, reflect, rejig, reset: How your personal end-of-year review will help you crush your goals in 2019

Review, reflect, rejig, reset: How your personal end-of-year review will help you crush your goals in 2019

Have you reviewed your year 2018 yet? But, aren’t New Year’s resolutions enough trouble? With this powerful end-of-year review you can assess and appreciate this past year in three simple steps for success in 2019.

Reviewing a year gone by, as much as any project at work, will help you celebrate your successes and give you a clear view of what worked and what you could do differently.

When you reflect on what went well, what was freaking awesome and what could have gone better, you will be able to rejig your approach and reset your goals for the year ahead. You’ll find good moments from the past year to commit to your memory, celebrate your victories and learn from your mistakes.

And the best part, it is lots of fun. In your end-of-year review, you’ll reminisce, note down everything that you feel is worthy of your time and attention, and then you can let go. Your paper, notebook, or bullet journal will hold the information for you and you can get back to it whenever you feel like it.

So how to best go about it? Here’s what you can do:

End-of-Year Review

Currently, my favourite quote is: Happiness is perceived progress.

Look back at your past year and remember the good, the bad and the ugly. This will help you appreciate the progress you have made. A bullet journal is ideal for this. Every day I make a quick note on how I spent my free time. I either worked on my big goals or if I didn’t, I might have just taken the evening off. To me, that also counts as a win, as I always complained before about not having enough “down time”. Just the fact that I note it down, makes me realize that I do have time where I relax. My weekly goals help me stay on track and I can enjoy a “night off”. No more guilt! The secret is all in where your attention is on.

In your end-of-year review, jot down your thoughts based on the following categories

  • Highlights of the past year
  • Achievements
  • To be Thankful for
  • Lessons learned
  • Things to improve

List of favourites:

  • Funniest moment of the year
  • New friend(s) you made
  • Best food
  • Treasured family memory
  • Movie you liked the most
  • Favourite song/band

These are two examples of how I reviewed my past year in my bullet journal:

Stargazer mind map

Circular timeline

Level 10 Life

In step #2 you will reflect on your life by using a tool called Level 10 Life

This is how to do it: Decide on the areas of your life you would like to review. The list below may inspire you to find your own.

  • Family
  • Partnership
  • Friends
  • Finances
  • Career/Job
  • Health and Fitness
  • Fun and Recreation/leisure
  • Giving
  • Home/Physical environment
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Spirituality

Choose 10 areas that resonate most with you or you find most important in your life.

Then, asses each area by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. On a scale from 1-10, with ten being the happiest/best, how would you rate your INSERT AREA 1?
  2. Why is your number at this level?
  3. What would it take to reach a higher level?

Note down all your answers and then move to the next area.

Level 10 Life is most times accompanied by the page Level 10 Goals. On it, you can write down your ideas on how to increase your happiness in this specific area. Remember the question you asked yourself earlier “What would it take to reach a higher level?” Your answer will guide you in filling out your goals.

For my bujo friends out there, you can also chart out your findings in this Level 10 chart

In my Level 10 Life I assessed the area spirituality with 7. My Level 10 Goals list that I could meditate to increase this area. I have heard so many good things about regular mediation but never got around to it. To be fair, I haven’t figured out yet how to include this into my daily routine, but I thought I could at least use daily affirmations to set myself up for success in the morning: Mini-meditation. Yay! And bam got one thing covered without stressing myself out about having to meditate daily.

19 before 2019

Are you still thinking about the dreaded resolutions? The ones that nobody ever keeps?

New Year’s resolutions cannot work if you don’t plan out your goals, break them into achievable steps AND have fun along the way. The 19 before 2019 bucket list is a fun way to end your year and might give you a head start on your resolutions.

On it, you come up with 19 things you want to be doing before the end of the year 2018. Make it to whatever you want! This is your list, it should not be arbitrary. Most importantly, you should have FUN with it.

Hope you had or will also have lots of fun with your review of 2018. Let me know how your review goes. I would love to hear from you.

10 Winter Themes to include in your Bullet Journal

10 Winter Themes to include in your Bullet Journal

10 winter themes for your bullet journal |

With the beginning of December and stores and houses decorated for the holiday season, it sure feels like winter is upon us. This is a great time to get a head start on your holiday goals and what better way to do that than in your favourite Bullet Journal? Here are 10 Winter Themes for you to include in your Bullet Journal that will get you on track with your goals and in the holiday mood.

December monthly log

december monthly log |

I started this winter journal-journey with my December monthly log. I was done in 5 minutes, and the winter-themed craft paper that I bought 4 years ago came in handy. For the circles, I simply used a glass. No fancy stuff needed, but hey, if you have it, go for it!

December log –minimalistic version

december monthly log minimalistic |

Then I thought that I should show you how the same or similar idea would look without the wintery-themed paper. Eh voila, here you go. Very minimalistic and the crisp blue goes a long way.

Favourite winter rituals

winter rituals |

As the winter months are very dark in this hemisphere, social and professional engagements usually pile up, I felt it was important to include a self-care prompt into my journal for the winter months. For this spread, I used the tangle pattern Joki again in this nice and crisp ice blue. Love my paper mate pens for this.

Mood tracker

mood tracker |

This is by far my favourite mood tracker that I have found. I love the mountain silhouette, and it was also very simple to set up. Simply place 5 slightly overlapping triangles on your page. Depending on the length of the month (30 vs 31 days) divide each mountain into 6 fields for your days. On a 31 day long month, divide the biggest triangle into 7 fields and the rest into 6 fields. Bada bing, bada boom… 😀

Include a colour code so you know which pen to grab when you feel Uh-mazing.

Weekly forest spread

december weekly spread |

This spread is next week’s log for me and I can’t wait to use it. As with the mountain mood tracker, I started out super simple by placing tall and narrow triangles on the bottom of the page in pencil. Then, I sketched out the branches and used my trusted marker to create clean black outlines. After that, I divided each tree into segments and started to fill them with layering strokes: place a candy cane type line first, then repeat that and fill in the entire segment. I should have foreseen that green would look much better for this page than black, so I switched over.

Another idea for a monthly page

November |

Even though November has already gone by you could use this cute layout for another winter month. My tip, start in pencil until you like the composition of your page, then use your black pen for the outlines. Again, this is super simple: I used a glass for the moon, simple lines for the branches, a thicker grey marker for shading and a red one for the berries, done.

Holiday gift planner

gift planner |

Oh, what would the holiday season be without frantically running around to get everybody a present? This page for your bullet journal helps you plan out and also budget for your gift ideas. The act of writing ideas and cost down will reduce the perceived stress and might even help reduce spending. Happy holiday shopping!

Another tangle: Ojo

Ojo tangle |

This cute little tangle pattern looks a little bit like snowflakes to me, so I gave it a try. What do you think?

ojo in action |

Two weeks ago, when I created the December monthly log, I forgot to leave a space for the last week of November. So what to do in case of a mistake? First of all, don’t panic. It is only a bullet journal. Secondly, be creative. I inserted a folded piece of paper for last week and adorned it with Ojo. I love this insert now.

Holiday activities

holiday activities |

What are your favourite holiday activities? Practice brush lettering and throw all your ideas on one page!

2018 favourite memories

memories |

Last but not least, I wanted to include a page to capture and reminisce on my favourite 2018 memories. I like this idea so much, that I am thinking of including it into every month, and then do a review at the end of the year. What a great way to focus on the positive, noting it down and creating memories that way.

These were my 10 winter themes for my bullet journal. Which ones have you tried before and which one is your favourite? Yes, I know, I am from Canada so I continuously spell “favourite” with a U. As you might have noticed, I budged for two of the spreads though. Thanks for reading.

Become a West Coast Dreamer

10 Step by Step Tangle Patterns for Beginners

10 Step by Step Tangle Patterns for Beginners

10 Step-by-Step Tangle Patterns for Beginners |
Tangling or doodling is an easy-to-learn method to spice up your Bullet Journal or any creative project. Tangles are not meant to represent anything other than patterns and are created by a series of strokes that are applied in a systematic approach. If you can hold a pen and draw a line, you can tangle. It is that simple. In this guide, I’ll give you 10 step-by-step tangle patterns for beginners. You will be able to create beautiful and intricate artwork after following these super simple steps.

Why I tangle

I love to tangle in my Bullet Journal, as it creates unique page layouts. In the past, I have used tangles to create a unique birthday card, create a picture for a friend and tangled on wooden letters that adorn my daughter’s door to her room. No tangle will ever look the same and with only very little practice you will be able to weave them together with ease. I never really know how a piece will turn out until it is done. The process is that organic. By following the step-by-step tangle patterns you will always know what to do next. The results are always unexpected and beautiful.

Why you might want to tangle?

When you use the step-by-step tangles you will likely increase your

  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • Attention to Detail
  • And most and foremost have fun.

Tangling is almost a meditative practice as you apply stroke after stroke and not knowing what the outcome will be. It is a great way to spend some me-time as well.

Without further ado, here are my favourite 10 Step-by-Step Tangle Patterns for Beginners:

hypnotic tangle pattern |

A grid-line, a few dots and circles around the dots, that’s all there is to this gorgeous pattern. They really come to live when you bunch them together and the more the dots are off to the side of the grid, the more interesting your pattern becomes.

Underwater bubbles |

This pattern is perfect if you need to fill any space quickly.

arches |

I love this one for creating headline boxes like pictured above. I also used it for my future log. They are also great when you have to fill awkward spaces.


This is a very versatile pattern that you will be able to quickly master. It does amazing things for your page layout, like letting the boxes for the days stand out.

Parasail-Z |

I absolutely love this pattern and it so very versatile. I have seen and used it in many different variations. Don’t the daily headlines look so neat?

Leaflet |

Let’s try something more curvy. As you can see, not all my half circles are perfect, but that makes the charm and the organic beauty of the finished pattern. Once you get the hang of it, try making your grid-rows curvy too. It’ll create an astonishing effect.

Featherfall |

This is the first of the two feather patterns that I wanted to show you. Are you a feather fan as much as I am? Can’t wait to create a full page with feathers soon.


This pattern seems perfect for a more beach-y or floral look. Once you figure out the first swirl, just keep layering them on and on and on.
And, last but not least, another feather pattern:

Scroll Feather
Scroll feather |

I mostly use this pattern more as a stand alone or when I leave a part of the page blank.

10 Step-by-Step Tangle Pattern for Beginners for your Bujo | you notice how intricate just a single pattern looks, but by deconstructing each tangle, they are so easy to create? Hope you will be tangling as madly as I am doing. It is so much fun.

Thanks for reading and read you soon.


Your West Coast Dreamer


*I bet this tangle has an official tangle name, but I couldn’t find them. Please help me in naming them correctly. Thanks.

12 Monthly Pages about Self-Care to include in your Bullet Journal

12 Monthly Pages about Self-Care to include in your Bullet Journal

12 Monthly pages about self-care for your Bullet Journal 800x400 |

Are you overwhelmed by your daily to-do list and could use a break? Do you feel guilty about not feeling happy despite all that goes well in your life? You are not alone and you might not schedule enough “me-time” into your daily and weekly routine. Here are 12 monthly pages about self-care that you can include in your bullet journal. You can also download these FREE printables. 

Spending time with yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical well being. Studies have shown that self-care or “me-time” not only reduces stress and depression, it also boosts creativity, productivity, happiness, gratitude, and empathy.

Even though you might feel you are taking time “out” of your schedule, you are actually putting energy back “into” your life.

Chances are, if you are using a bullet journal, you are already dedicating time to yourself. Great job. Keep at it.

Include these 12 pages ideas in your Bullet Journal as a “Me-Time” challenge:


Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures | Self-Care | Bujo

  • What songs do you turn on to boost your mood?
  • What movies never fail to put a smile on your face?
  • What friends always know how to make you feel better?
  • What items such as blankets or cozy socks can you always turn to?
  • What never fails to brighten your spirits?


Loving the age you are right now

Reasons to be happy about my age | Self-Care | Bujo

List all the reasons why you are happy to be the age you are right now.


Unexpected Beauty

Unexpected beauty | Self-Care | Bujo

List all the times when you discovered unexpected beauty in a seemingly ordinary moment.



empowered | Self-Care | BuJo

Write “I am” statements that make you feel empowered.

  • I am enough.
  • I am creative.
  • I am a strong.
  • I am full of ideas and vision for my life.


Anything is possible

anything possible | Self-Care | BuJo

If anything was possible, what would your life look like?


Happiness list

my happiness list | Self-Care | BuJo

List all the things that make you happy, or smile:

  • Smelling flowers
  • Seeing the sun breaking through the clouds
  • Watching my child sleep
  • A home-made meal that I receive praises for
  • Sipping tea with my best friend and discussing love, life and Bollywood movies


Practicing Gratitude

line ups | Self-Care | BuJo

There are probably very few of us who enjoy waiting in line for something. Think of all the lines you wait in and write about why you are happy to be waiting in them.


Thank You

Thank your body | Self-Care | Bujo

Thank your body for all it is capable of.


What makes you feel strong?

feel strong | Self-Care | BuJo

List everything that makes you feel strong. If negative thoughts pop-into your mind, push them away and tell them they have no power over you.


This is so me!

This is so me | Self-Care | Bujo

What items & rituals make you feel most uniquely you? Here are a few ideas:

  • Wearing scarves
  • Your favourite belt
  • Your favourite jewelry


Adventures await me

Adventures await me | Self-Care | Bujo

What adventures would you like to someday embark on?

For this page I used Japanese Keyboard-memos and layered them on the bottom of the page. Aren’t those cute?


What colour captures who you are?

What colour captures me | Self-Care | BuJo

Fill this page with cut-outs, colours, and tapes of that colour.


Wow, that was a blast. By including these self-care practice pages into your bullet journal you will have gone onto a self-discovery journey by the end of the year. Each month, it might not seem like you put anything into your journal that you don’t already know, but putting words to your thoughts and feelings will let you get to know yourself even better, giving you inspirational prompts throughout the year and for the year ahead.

12 Monthly pages about self-care for your Bullet Journal |

Six Simple Layouts to Start a Bullet Journal

Six Simple Layouts to Start a Bullet Journal

Six Simple Layouts to Start a Bullet Journal (plus 10 bonus spread ideas)

So you have decided to start a bullet journal but don’t know where to start? You are not alone AND there is help. This article will show you how to start a bullet journal with six simple page layouts, that you will not only be able to reproduce in minutes but more importantly will set you up for success.

Ever since I’ve embarked on this blogging journey, I have started to use a journal to track my progress, to do’s, ideas, colour codes for branding and many more things. And I actually did not plan on starting a bullet journal, it just happened.

I have always been an organized person, and for the longest time have been in love with journals. I started a few but gave up quickly, because I either did not know what to write in them or I hated how the pages looked.

Do you remember this?

dr henry jones diary


This is probably where my love for journals started, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. What can I say, it happens. 😉

I wanted to possess and create a wondrous journal that was filled with mysteries and would lead to uncovering great secrets. “Yeah, sure. Dream on.” I said to myself for the longest time. What would I ever have to put into such a journal?? I collected journals and never wrote anything in it, or threw them out after the first few pages.

This is exactly where your bullet journal comes in. It keeps you organized, on your way to success and is a beautiful outlet for creative energy, if you so wish.

Artsy vs minimalistic?

But Nikola, I am really not the artsy type and I don’t have time to adorn all those pages.

Do not worry. You don’t have to.  I’ll show you how to create simple layouts within a few minutes, that you could beautify very easily or just leave them the way they are.

I think I said it before, but here it is again: Your journal is there for you! Not the other way around. It will be whatever you need it to be. Minimalistic, in-between or super creative.

So here are the sample spreads I promised you:

Start with a key page:

The key page acts as a dictionary or legend for your bullet journal entries and as you will have decided in the beginning what a task or a note will look like, you won’t be tempted to change them every week. Consistency is key 😉 Pun absolutely intended. This page took me no more than 5 min to set up!

Index page

Bujo-Index |

The index page will fill over time and become the quick finder to any page. So index away, baby. This page took me also no more than 5-7 min to set up. Find this super simple tangle pattern that I used for this headline here.

IDEA: Maybe you want to add a Birthdays page after the index page

Future log

Bujo-Future Log |

A yearly or six months overview where you will write down events occurring in future months. I love the simplicity of this page with the colours highlighting the weekends, letting the page come to life. This took about 10-12 min to do. Writing down the numbers took the longest.

Monthly log

Bujo-Montly Log |

Organize your month on two facing pages that will give you a snapshot of the month and most often reserves space for your tasks. Again, this is a 10-12 min page. If you have never done a monthly spread you will find yourself counting and measuring with this layout. I promise, about 10 min maximum. A craft print adds colour to the page. Glue on and done.

Page IDEAS to add after the monthly log:

Gratitude challenge |

Weekly and Daily logs

BuJo-Weekly-spread |

Plan out your week in advance and be amazed at the progress you will make on your tasks. 5 min for set-up.

Page IDEAS to add after the weekly log:

  • Favourite quote
  • List all the things that made you smile this week
  • Notes section

Here is a quote that I made in no more than 3 min.

how to create a cool quote for your bujo |

And my absolute new favourite, a mood tracker for the entire year! So simple!

BuJo Mood Tracker |

Don’t stress if your first layouts don’t look like you are imagining them to come together. You’ll get better very fast. 10-12 min! How I love the craft duck tape and washi tape. *sigh*

Let me know how your Journal comes along.

How to start your bullet journal and its surprising effects on your productivity, health, and mood!

How to start your bullet journal and its surprising effects on your productivity, health, and mood!

How to start your bullet journal and its surprising effects on your productivity, health and benefits |

Why should you start a bullet journal and how will this help you realize your dreams? A quick social media search on the revered productivity system will reveal pages upon pages of weekly, monthly and daily spreads, so-called logs, lovingly adorned pages and notes taken in bullet form. Boxes invite you to jot down your tasks, reflect on your water intake or workouts and remind you to take time for essential self-care. In this step by step process you will learn how to start your bullet journal and how it will help you achieve your goals.

The Bullet Journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” – Ryder Carroll, Inventor of the Bullet Journal method

In a nutshell, a bullet journal is a blank notebook, in which you plan out your year, months, weeks and days. It is a diary, to do list and calendar all-in-one. And so much more. It keeps track of every note that you would spread across numerous apps, all the while offering a creative outlet and relief from organizing your day or week ahead with pen and paper.

Here are a few ideas of typical bullet journal pages:

  • Books to read or movies to watch
  • Favorite quotes
  • Weekly meal planner
  • Savings tracker
  • Expenses chart
  • Workout Log
  • Weight loss chart
  • Habit Tracker
  • Week at a glance
  • Daily tasks
  • Places to visit

The bullet journal does everything and more than a regular, pre-printed planner will ever be able to do for you. You can be as creative (or not) as you like. Simply sitting down at the end of the week and planning the next week ahead or doodling in your journal, is more relaxing than you can imagine. It serves as a brain dump and the manual task of writing things down provides a physical and mental relief.

What you will need

  • An empty notebook.
  • A pen.

That’s it! Check out these 6 super simple page layouts to get you started now.

my first bujo supplies |

My first expenses hit probably just under $10CAD. I use a ruled notebook that had been a gift, a sharpie fine point marker, raided my crafting supplies and my daughter’s markers to pretty things up. Now, I prefer the dot grid journal, but the other kinds will also work just as well.

Further along the way, you might find yourself on a first name basis with things like washi tape, your favourite ruler, brush pens and pre-printed paper. And more, with craft supplies, there is always more. 😉

So what exactly goes into the Bullet Journal?

According to its inventor, there are a few rules. If you love rules and guidance around the productivity method everyone seems to be talking about, watch the intro video or the short list below. If you DON’T want to follow any rules, jump right ahead by clicking here.

Index & Legend

The index and legend pages are the backbone of your bullet journal and set it apart from any other pre-printed planner out there. By filling the pages throughout the book, your index page grows more detailed and lets you find the pages you are looking for in no time.

What are Collections?

  • Future log – a yearly or 6mths overview where you will write down events occurring in future months
  • Monthly log – organize your month on two facing pages that will give you a snapshot of the month and most often reserves space for your tasks.
  • Weekly and Daily logs – Plan out your week in advance and be amazed at the progress you will make on your tasks.

How to put the bullets into the bullet journal?

With Rapid logging. If you want to follow Ryder Carroll’s instruction to the T, use Rapid logging, the Bullet Journal’s own “language” to keep content concise and organized.




You can migrate unfinished tasks from daily or weekly logs to the next week or month. Revisit your list and cross out irrelevant tasks or schedule tasks and events you want to get to later on in the future log. Due to the migration technique, there will be never a lost thread or task.

It’s the difference between being busy and being productive. – Ryder Carroll

There seem to be a lot of rules, but there are really no rules. You can choose what you like of the system and what not. It might be worth giving it a try, but only if it feels right for you.

And what about the surprising benefits?

Bullet Journaling is about flexibility

It can be as simple or creative as you like. It is YOUR system! If it starts to feel like a chore, remember why you started and change your approach. Intersperse your logs with an inspirational quote, photos or cut-outs of magazines. Do whatever you feel like. Anything that inspires you can go into this system. Remember, the system is there for you, not the other way around.

Bullet Journaling is about reducing stress

The manual task of writing things down acts as a brain dump. When your mind is frantically trying to remember everything or stuck on one idea or task, the act of writing things down, quietens your mind, giving you the ability to let go, even if it is just a little bit.

Bullet Journaling is about self-motivation

Setting and reviewing your goals every day, week and month keeps you motivated to see them through. By tracking your achievements, you will become quickly aware of your progress which will fuel your motivation further.

And Bullet Journaling is about Better Health

Check out this awesome slideshow explaining even more benefits of bullet journaling by

<iframe src="//" width="595" height="485" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" style="border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;" allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style="margin-bottom:5px"> <strong> <a href="//" title="Why journal? 10 key benefits of a regular journaling practice" target="_blank">Why journal? 10 key benefits of a regular journaling practice</a> </strong> from <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Hannah Braime</a></strong> </div>

Last but not least, Bullet Journaling is great for achieving your goals

By being organized and tracking your progress, you will find yourself on the path to success when it comes to achieving your goals. Every Sunday, when you plan your week ahead, or whenever you want to do this, you organize your thoughts, make time for things that are important to you and this ultimately will make you create your reality.