How to Control your Emotions, Money, and Diet


“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”
–Mark Victor Hansen

Keep your emotional health in control, track your finances and diet progress through writing everything down. 

It is always said that we should write everything down, a thought, an idea, a shopping list, a must do’s, etc. The reason is that when we write things down, we simultaneously put it out of our mind. If we can’t, it won’t stop bothering us because we are constantly reminding ourselves.
Most people keep a traditional daily journal or diary. This practice is not only a great outlet for people to express their feelings, angst and other emotions but it is also a great form of exercise for one’s creativity.

On Recording Our Daily Lives

There’s a now popular kind of recording system called Bullet Journalling. It is called an analogue system of task management. Sounds like enormous and complicated? Actually, no. It is so simple that you can do it in less than 30 minutes.

The basic content of the Bullet Journal includes:
1) Index – this works as the Table of Contents of your Bullet Journal
2) Future Log – this section records the major overall plan or event for each month of the year.
3) Monthly Log – you write in this section the main daily plan or event for the certain month.
4) Daily Log – you can write practically anything in here – from your to do’s to snippets of ideas.

You can add a page for your signifiers. This section explains the meaning of each mark that you will use for each note.
Example: = Notes or Ideas; * = Important Notes; = checklist

You can use anything from leather bound notebooks to cheap notepads. If you want to experiment with the system first, buy the cheap ones. If you want your journal to last longer, buy the durable leather bound ones.
There are a lot of blogs out there that will tell you how to create a Bullet Journal but essentially, it is everything that you can think of. It can be a checklist (bullets), a diary (daily log), a list of your books-to-read, sketchbook, or a notebook. It can be everything that you can think of. Originally, it was Ryder Caroll, a New York-based designer, who developed the system of Bullet Journalling. But over the years, other bullet journalist developed their own systems. Therefore, it is up to you on how to design your own bullet journal, either you want it to look like a scrapbook or a minimalist’s notebook.

I am using both traditional journal and Bullet Journal. The difference between the two is that in the former, you can write anything about your daily rituals, feelings, insecurities, etc. It is more like an old friend of yours that you can share your deepest secrets. With the latter, you can write anything you want. But the content should be more impersonal. In the former, the form of writing is in paragraphs, more like story telling. In Bullet Journal, well, as its name suggests, in bullets. This is good in recording snippets of ideas, like for example, you just suddenly remembered a great line or an amazing quote. So instead of writing it down on a scrap of paper, which you may eventually lose, you can write it in your Bullet Journal.

You can start and end your day with good notes or with a five minutes journal. How this one’s different from the Bullet Journal (you can make it whatever you want, right?)? Well, as I mentioned earlier, Bullet Journal should be written unattached. It could be a creativity notebook or tasks and appointment notebook but it should be accomplished with no emotional attachments. Whereas, writing in journals like Five Minutes Journal, you are expressing your daily gratitude. A study shows that when you write down positivity, it makes your life better. Writing down thankful thoughts and happiness affirms positivity in your actions. Subsequently, it also affects your whole life as you can feel the improvement within you, making you more focused and happier. There are free apps available in Playstore like Gratitude Journal, Bliss and 5 Min Routine. The Five Minute Journal is both available for IOS and in Amazon (physical journal).

On Spending and Dieting

Writing doesn’t only helps you with keeping records and unburdening yourself by pouring yourself out on a piece of paper. It also helps you on how to control your spending and watching your diet!
Studies show that when you write down your daily expenses, you are more aware of how you spend your money. So, for example, you bought a new dress that you don’t even need. Now, when you write it down, you will see how unnecessary spending it is and you will realise that you’ve just wasted your money which makes you regret it. Later on, you will be more conscious of your spending.

I am using a small notebook for that; I have a monthly view of both my budget and total expenses, and a daily list of expenses – from water and junk foods to personal hygiene and groceries.

It is also the same with your diet. It is not as complex as keeping your calorie count. All you have to do is record what you have eaten in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and snack time, if you have). This simple method of writing down your eating habits will make you more aware of your diet. For example, when you see in your record that you ate burger and fries for your lunch, you may want to compensate in your dinner, like you may eat fruits and vegetables.

Writing down your daily expenses and eating habits will make you more mindful and conscious of where you spend your money and what you are eating. It may sound easy but it actually requires patience. After a few months of keeping track of your spending and eating habits, you will see a huge difference on how you will be able to control your urges and other bad habits. Now, you can say that you are really the author of your life.

• Create your own Bullet Journal. You can search on the internet for more creative ideas.
• Start writing down positive thoughts. You will later realise how it helped you lead a better and happier life.
• Start recording your daily finances now. You can make your own or buy one of those simple money books. Avoid complicated ones because it may discourage you later.
• Track your eating habits by writing down what you are eating every meal.

Photo credit: by Ricinator