The Journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the Dance of Life takes place.
– Barbara De Angelis
My little paper bundles of joy!
First off, let me just say I’m so happy I’ve finally got my own BDJ Planner! I’ve been in love with these sleek beauties for quite a few years now but since my work provides me with free planners, I didn’t want to buy another just because it appealed to the kikay inside me. But, what with motherhood starting to take its toll, having something trendy and colorful to use is exactly what I need to remind me that being a mom is not all I am.
BDJ stands for Belle de Jour, a term that has become more and more popular with the ‘it’ crowd with every passing year. Fun fact: ‘Belle De Jour’ is French for ‘Morning Glory’ (like the flower) or ‘Beautiful in the Day/Beauty of the Day’ (the literal translation). How ever you care translate it though, there’s no denying the feminine sentiment. That is what the BDJ Planner attempts- very successfully -to convey: the empowerment of women. In these demanding times, it’s easy for small details and unwritten dreams to be forgotten. Happily, Darlyn Ty, the entrepreneur behind Viviamo Inc., really hit the nail on the head with this gem of a planner. And to think it just started in 2006!
What I love about BDJ is that they really are an accessible, supportive community. Every page in the book has something that encourages you to reach out and bond with other Bellas, from hashtags to invites to future social gatherings. I’m eagerly looking forward to attending some of the latter next year, but in the meantime, I’ve got a planner to fill! And, boy, is there a lot of space. Check out the full list of features:
1.) 2015 Goals Page
Central to this is the creation of your personal vision statement. Goals can be sorted into their own section: personal, financial, health, career and relationship. It keeps everything nice and tidy, appealing to the OC in me.
2.) Dream Board
I’ve always loved the thought of a proper dream board, made with cut-outs and markers and glitter pens for emphatic flair. I’ve never actually put that kind of effort into the ones I’ve made, but this is a good place to start. I just hope we haven’t thrown out all the old magazines yet.
3.) 2015 Checklist
Now this is what I’ve been looking forward to. It’s a 101-item list of ‘BDJ Team-approved’ activities that aim to push you out of your comfort zone and spice up your year. I plan to check off as much as I possibly can with a baby on my hip, so look forward to a lot of BDJ-related hashtags on my Instagram.
I’m totally going to conquer (most) of these!
4.) Dance Your Way Through Life/ Find Your Ikigai
The decision to include the concept of Ikigai, or ‘a reason to get up in the morning’, was inspired by Marc Winn’s post on his blog The View Inside Me. Titled “What Is Your Ikigai?“, the article walks us through the reason why finding your life’s purpose is so important. It also includes Marc’s extraordinary vision for his country, which is so inspiring (hint: discovering ways to achieve a life expectancy of 100+). I love exercises like this because sometimes you discover something about yourself that you never knew, so I can’t wait to do this and find out what my ikigai is.
5.) Happiness List
A perfect addition for depressives like myself, as well as an overall convenient reminder. Flipping to this page could cut a bad day off at the knees.
6.) Menstrual Tracker
Important! Before I was pregnant, my cycle was difficult to predict and it kept me guessing all the time. This set of pages is great for Forgetful Lucys like me. There’s even a space where you can jot down your symptoms before and during the fact. Hopefully, that little bit can help me figure out my most constant warning signs.
Huzzah for this!
7.) Health Checklist
Time to be a grownup and bite the bullet health-wise. There a section where you can write down your current test results, very handy for your next doctor’s appointment.
8.) Beauty Essentials Checklist
I’ll never forget my best friend’s frowny face when I told her my mascara was a year old. It’s not as if I did the full routine, even when I was working. I prefer a minimal look, which is quick and easy, but it can sometimes get a little boring. now that I’ve thrown most of my previous cosmetics away (I hang on to eyeliners like they’re gold though), I’m looking forward to building my kikay kit from the ground up.
9.) BDJ Box 7-Day Challenge Tracker
Squee! Looking at this page makes me all giddy. I ordered both the planner and my first BDJ Box online and at the same time. Unfortunately, all of my birth month’s boxes were sold out, but I’m happy to start with the first box of the new year. I’m saving up to be able to treat myself monthly, so I’m looking forward to a year full of surprises and new discoveries.
10.) Event Tracker
First of all, I can block off Oct. 18 because I definitely want to go to the BDJ Fair. This year’s fair looked like so much fun, but I was in Nueva Ecija at the time and I only found out about it after I got back. Never mind that though, I’ve got all of next year to plan ahead, so I can get out and rejoin society.
I wonder when the first 2015 BDJ get-together is?
11.) Rules of Photography & Travel Shot List
Obviously from this page, BDJ has teamed up with Canon. I may be in the market for a camera in the future, but in the meantime, I can keep myself busy by applying the tips found here, as well as ticking off some must-have shots when we go out of town.
12.) Travel Must-Haves
Another much-needed list for a frazzled mommy. It also doubles as a ‘Check Your Stuff’ list when you’re on the way home from your trip.
13.) Gift List/Tracker
I get grand gift ideas for people all throughout the year. When December rolls around however, it’s either I find myself lacking in the wallet department or I’ve completely forgotten the idea altogether. This is going to be one well-used page in my planner.
Taking gift-giving to another level
14.) Bills and Cash Flow Tracker
Simple, practical and easy-to-use, exactly what you want when you’re sitting down to a usually tedious task. There’s an area set aside for tracking your savings, with a reminder to treat yourself to something mall when you’ve reached your goal. This ties in nicely with the BDJ Forget-Me-Not Save/Do Cash Tracker and To Do List (which I got for free because I was among the first 100 people to order online).
Let’s not forget the many, many coupons that come with the planner. This year, they’re in a separate booklet housed in the extendable pouch in the back, along with two plastic sleeves (for the receipts I’m assuming) and two sets of stickers. The coupons used to be included in the pages of the planner itself, but I like this new version much better because it looks more efficient.
Stickers! Wonder what I can sticker-ify?
Even after all those amazing features, the one that I’m most looking forward to using is the Good Habit Tracker. There’s a page for it at the beginning of every month, starting with one for December 2014. This fits in well with my plans for Transform in 30, because now I have just the place to keep track of my challenges’ progress.
I can start filling this up in a few days!
All in all, I think this has to be one of the best investments I’ve made for next year. I kind of feel bad since my handwriting is awful, but I won’t let that stop me from maximizing the potential of this wonderful planner.
If you’re interested in purchasing a 2015 BDJ Planner of your own, or if you want to see what else they offer, drop by their website at ilovebdj.com. Happy Hunting!