We usually get ready for a new year, writing down the resolutions, promising ourselves to lose weight, start working out, learn a new language or start a business. But after some time we get back into a routine, we forget our goals and do the same as we always do. Now, there is nothing wrong with it, but this is the reason why our biggest dreams are left in the darkest corner screaming at you once in a while. And then we catch ourselves wondering why the hell we are stuck in the same place.
There is an answer to that. We forget that our life is happening EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. Even now when you read this sentence.
I believe that in order to move forward we should work on what we do every day. Those small little actions, habits and routines. And a little planning is the key here. And there is no better time to plan than at the end/beginning of the month.
I love this crossover period – the end and the beginning of the month. Although this love wasn’t always there. I used to be afraid of this period. I always thought that I haven’t done enough. That I was failing. And a new month meant that I will need to do more and more. And I just couldn’t handle it. I was embarrassed by myself, I thought that I am not enough, that I am stupid and I will never have a great life (why would anyone even think about it????)
But I learned a little bit, I changed my thoughts about it and now – I really enjoy it!
There are some things that I do at the beginning of each month and I want to share with you. They are not big and not difficult, but they help me to keep myself sane and stay on track (even I don’t know what this TRACK is, but you get the point).
So, without further ado, here’s what I do at the end/beginning of the month:
- Reflect on the previous month. I think it is amazing to remember the highs and lows of the month. To go down a little memory lane and check what happened, what I experienced, how I felt, what have I done (or not), what I learned (or unlearned). If I feel a little bit stuck, I usually try answering these questions:
- What did I like about last month?
- Where there any things I didn’t like?
- What was I hoping to accomplish?
- Did I accomplish? Why or why not? I also try not to put any labels or compare my last month’s experiences with the people I see on Social Media. I try to remember that it is MY LIFE and it’s OK the way it is.
- Set the goals for the upcoming month. The word GOAL might be too strong for it, but I love to think about the things I would love to do or achieve, habits that I would love to start or continue developing, activities that I would love to include, and how I would love to feel. I write down the quote or poem of the month that would inspire me to feel good and enjoy my being every time I would read it. I don’t try to pressure myself creating big goals like learning a language or opening my business in one month. Just highlighting small little things that I could do to make my life better.
- Plan ahead. They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, which might be accurate in some cases. At the start of the month, I make sure to look ahead to know what is happening that month.
- What birthdays are coming up?
- What social events/commitments I have?
- Is there anything I need to make sure I plan ahead for?
- Create a budget. Even though I am not the best person to give advice about budgeting and finances, I do try to manage it. It is especially important now that I don’t have any source of income and live out of my savings.I usually plan how much I will spend on bills (phone, rent, taxes, subscriptions), and then I set a certain amount of money in different categories, like entertainment, groceries, donations, etc. It became easier to budget when I created a personal spreadsheet where I can plan and track my money situation.
- Deep clean. Besides all the reflecting and planning I love to include some sort of cleaning at the end (or the beginning) of the month. I don’t know about you, but organising and clearing physical space always make my mental state so much better. I usually go through my clothes, organise cabinets and drawers, clean the kitchen and bathroom, get rid of the things that I don’t use or need.
- Face mask. After all this work, I love to relax and pamper myself. It isn’t always a face mask, sometimes it is a hot shower, sometimes it is a new book or a delicious meal. Just a small ritual to celebrate life.