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Goal Setting Using the 5-4-3-2-1 Method

by Guest Blogger 03 Jan 2021 0 Comments

Hey-lo everyone, Marsha here from Do You Salut! As we close out the year and start creating our 2021 bullet journals goal setting is a great tool to help you make the most out of the new year.

During my dietetics education I learned to create SMART goals. SMART was an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. But this year as I dove into bullet journaling I discovered Ryder Carroll's 5-4-3-2-1 Goal setting method. Ryder Carroll is the creator of the Bullet Journal Method and in his book he shows us his 5-4-3-2-1 goal setting method. Today we'll work together to set up our goals using this method. But before we dive in, lets talk about some recommended supplies. 

Recommended Supplies

*Interested in getting any of the Archer and Olive items? You can use my affiliate code:  SALUT10  for 10% discount!

Wildest Dreams 

The first step is to take out a piece of paper and write down everything you want for yourself in the future. Now this may seem overwhelming so I like to set a timer for 10-15minutes and just let my fingers flow. It doesn't matter how small or big my wish/dream/goal is I write it down.  ( I love the way white ink looks on black paper and find that this color combination really helps me get things out of my mind when journaling.) After you're done writing down your goals decorate your paper with washi tape or doodles in the free space (if you haven't used up all of the paper!) 


Sketch Grid Outline 

Next step is to sketch the grid outline. For the B5 notepad here are the dimensions or dots that I used: 

  • On the 2nd dot on the left side of the paper I drew a vertical line. Then i counted 9 dots and drew another vertical line. 
  • Then I skipped a dot and drew another vertical line. ( Then I continued this 4 times to make a total of 5 columns.) 
  • Then 6 dots down I drew a horizontal line across the page. Then at 19 dots down I drew another horizontal line across the page. 

After drawing the outline I used the skinny Archer and Olive washi tape  from My Inner Creative collaboration. I used the "The Future is Bright" Collection. ( See what I did there :-) * wink* wink*) 


After adding the washi tape to form the grid write down the titles on the top squares: 5 YEARS, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS, 1 HOUR. Then the first space on the outer left side write down personal  (2nd row) and professional (3rd row). 

Professional Goals 

I like to start with Professional goals first and then go into personal goals. Sometimes they both blur but since I work as a Registered Dietitian I consider professional goals as anything dealing with the dietetics world and personal goals is anything else (bujo, YouTube, fitness, etc). 

I'll share some of the things on my professional goals to give you some ideas of what it will look like : 

  • 5 YEARS: Teach a dietetic course on Food and Culture 
  • 4 MONTHS: Create a Food and Culture Webinar 
  • 3 WEEKS: Take a Vacation! (Burnout is no good for productivity) 
  • 2 DAYS: Look for Gut health and intuitive eating courses 
  • 1 HOUR: Set-up work bujo & Sign up for Today's Dietitian magazine 

Personal Goals

Personal goals can be a bit more challenging for me to fill out because there are so many things I want to do and its hard to pick out a few. But I like this activity because it helps me prioritize my goals without feeling like I'm giving up on my dreams. 

Here are some examples of what my personal goals look like: 

  • 5 YEARS: Work full-time as an entrepreneur 
  • 4 MONTHS: FINALLY complete Registered Yoga Teachers Certification 
  • 3 WEEKS: Take a Vacation! & Set Up Patreon
  • 2 DAYS: Donate Clothes (I'm on a quest to become a "minimalist") & Complete 2021 Bujo set-ups 
  • 1 HOUR: Yoga studies or read a book  ( No More Screen Time!) 


If you are interested in trying out this goal setting method I left a printable for you to use as a guide before fully committing it to your bujo. If you recreate this theme or try out this method be sure to tag us at @doyousalut and so we can see your lovely creations.  




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