Are you suffering from first page fear in your bullet journal? Not sure what that is? The definition of “first page fear” is the anxiety you feel when you think about marking up the first page in your bullet journal.
This common scenario is beyond frustrating because as excited as you are about starting your bullet journal, fear and anxiety hold you back.
You want your bullet journal to be perfect, and you want your bullet journal to work. You want to move past the first page fear, and you don’t know how.
To add even MORE frustration, you don’t understand why you’re having this trouble, to begin with, because you just want to get through the fear and get started. And you will, with a little help!
This post explores why people have this struggle (which is NORMAL), useful tips on moving past your first page bullet journal fears, along with what you’re potentially missing out on if you let your anxiety stop you.
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Why Page 1 Is So Hard
Did you know that our brains hate change, challenge, and growth? Starting a bullet journal is a surefire method to send your brain scrambling because you’re going to be engaging in all three of those activities.
Writing in your first bullet journal is hard because:
- You’re afraid you’re going to mess it up
- You’re worried that you aren’t going to like it
- You believe that this page is what makes or breaks your ability to bullet journal
- You have a fear of starting new things
Whether you deal with one point, two points, or all points of why starting your first bullet journal page is difficult, they are all valid to some degree. First, nobody wants to make mistakes. Second, you want to like what you create. Third, you want to enjoy the process of creating your bullet journal. Last, you really want to commit to changing your life.
And there are so many wonderful bullet journal accounts out there that seem so perfect and lovely… you just can’t measure up or be as organized as they are.
You fall down the spiral of excuses stemming from fear. I get it because I dealt with this myself. Not to mention, I had the added pressure of accidentally getting the “wrong” type of notebook, too, and I had no desire to wait any longer to start.
(By the way, there is no such thing as a wrong notebook… or no reason to wait until the first of the month or the beginning of the year to start your bullet journal).
When you think of everything that could go wrong in your bullet journal, you’re not going to have a lot of confidence that you’re capable of creating one. Yes, things may go wrong. But why focus on it as a negative? It’s just a learning experience.
Instead, you need to think about everything that will go right because you choose to start your bullet journal. And the only way you can start is to just go.
Everybody Deals with This Fear
Starting anything for the first time is a little scary, even if it’s just writing in a notebook. You may feel like you’re the only one who is petrified to starting drawing or writing in the first page, but every single bullet journal artist has been in your shoes.
Your first page isn’t going to be your best page. I think my very first page was very basic; crudely drawn with no ruler or guide to go off of. Even if you are an amazing artist, you’ll find with time and practice, you’ll just get better if you start and keep trying.
Every single person I’ve talked to who has started a bullet journal has experienced the fear of starting. But once they move forward, I’ve seen them create some amazing work. I’ve also seen how many lives changed because of the bullet journal.
How to Gain Confidence
There are a lot of ways you can engage with your bullet journal before making a single mark on the first page. Sometimes these methods can prove helpful because you learn exactly what you’d like to create your bullet journal to be in the long run.
Here are some useful tips to help you gather courage and confidence to conquer your first page fear.
Practice in a cheap notebook
Who said you can’t practice what you want to make ahead of time? You can even get cheap dot grid notebooks if you’re not willing to mark your Leuchtturm1917 or Scribbles that Matter notebook yet. Set up your bullet journal layouts before committing to them. Make sure you like them and address any potential problems you may come up against ahead of time.
Determine what you want to accomplish in your bullet journal
Bullet journals are beautiful because not only are they DIY, but they can be anything you want them to be. But making the final decisions on what specific elements to incorporate into the first pages and month of your bullet journal can seem a little scary. Bullet journals have a tendency to be a mix of a planner, journal, and to-do list.
Plan Out Page One
If you have no idea what you want page one to be in your bullet journal, here are some helpful ideas that people use for their first page.
- A drawing- Creative flowers doodles, mandalas, snowmen- you name it! If it makes you happy, draw it.
- An inspirational quote– Pick a quote that means something to do. Or you can even pick a quote about starting something new! Anything that is meaningful works amazingly.
- Bullet journal key- What’s better than to start off on an organizational foot?
- Your first monthly page- You can literally just jump in and start going if you don’t want to make all the yearly pages.
- Goals- What do you want to accomplish this year? Or during the duration of the bullet journal? This is a great reference point to draw from.
- Word of the year– A word of the year is a word you choose that has value and meaning toward what you’d like to focus on in any given year. For instance, in 2018, my word is ‘Diverge’.
Created by: @eza666
Find your inspiration
Like many people, often people research bullet journals for a while before committing to their own. There are many different ways to go about finding bullet journal inspiration, through social media, blogs, and videos. It’s important you find some styles you like that you can reference back to if you need ideas. There is absolutely no shame in copying a bullet journal spread done by somebody else. Just, if you share it, make sure to give them credit!
Tips to Mentally Prepare Yourself
Now you have the strategies and tools that can help you prepare for the physical elements of setting up that first page in your bullet journal, another helpful way to manage first page fear in your bullet journal is to build courage and confidence.
A lot of first page fear stems from anxiety, such as “What if I don’t like what I make?” Even if you have everything ready to create the page, these thoughts can totally psych you out.
Tips on Toning The Pressure Down
Despite practicing and mentally preparing, there are a handful of tips to keep in mind as you start the first page of your bullet journal. These tips are there to help you relax and keep perspective.
You aren’t alone in how you feel. Not only did I have some of the fears that you have this moment, but I’m certain somebody else reading this also has similar fears.
- The best bullet journal artists make mistakes.
- The best bullet journal artists don’t use everything they create.
- Lots of amazing bullet journalists have stopped the practice, only to come back to it later.
- You are ALWAYS able to change what doesn’t work for the next week and month.
Get in Bullet Journal Communities
There are lots of useful places you can go online to talk, ask questions, and answer questions about bullet journals. There are some terrific communities on Facebook where people come together to share and support one another in their endeavors. In fact, are even pages specifically meant for beginning bullet journalers, like this one right here!
If you don’t want to join a Facebook group, head over to Quora! There are tons of people asking and answering questions about bullet journals all the time. You can get some terrific advice on questions you have, and even get to read answers on other people’s questions.
Why You Need to Start Your Bullet Journal Now
Bullet journals are beyond life-changing. I know they aren’t for everybody, but if it’s going to help you turn your life around like it did for me, I’m going to support you in whatever means possible to find success.
I mean, for goodness sake, I nearly drove myself into an anxiety attack because I didn’t get the right type of notebook and was worried I blew my chance to start my bullet journal habit correctly. Now, almost two years later, I’m creating a career over this, time management, and personal development!
If I hadn’t started my bullet journal, I wouldn’t be here.
It’s very profound to think about, that’s for certain! Overcoming first page fear has brought me so much good in my life.
What if your bullet journal brings you to the next level in life? Do you really want to miss out because of first page fear?
If you have a mental illness, your bullet journal is able to play a huge role in your recovery. You get the opportunity to learn about yourself, track your progress, and make improvements in your life.
If you aren’t very good with typical planners, you get a lot more freedom and options with the bullet journal than you’ve ever experienced.
Like I said above, there are so many things that will go right by starting a bullet journal. And you have no shortage of resources available to help you start your bullet journal!
The only way you can get started is to dive right in.
Conquer First Page Fear Now
Bullet journals are an amazing tool that has changed so many lives for the better. You do not want to let your fear hold you back from this! With an understanding of why you’re dealing with it, along with some practicing and mind hacks, you’re going to be an amazing bullet journalist.
So for now, find a technique that you can do in the next ten minutes to help you move past your fear. Bookmark this page or put it on your Pinterest board to reference later, and come back to try a different technique. With some time, you’ll find something that helps you get started on your bullet journal.
If you enjoyed this post please share it on Facebook or Twitter because there are so many other people who struggle with this, and you may be the catalyst in helping them get started in their bullet journals as well.
If you have other worries or anxieties about your bullet journal, here are some other additional articles you may find value in.
Did you find a technique that helped you finally start your bullet journal? I’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments!
If you’d like an additional resource with helping structure general bullet journal layouts, please make sure to get a copy of my free ebook “Build a Better Bujo”. Not only will you get this super resourceful guide to improving your bullet journal spreads, but you’ll also be added to an email newsletter where you get additional, exclusive content for improving yourself, your bullet journal, and your time management!
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