I kinda love the idea of having a monthly checklist, and when I started hearing about this idea on the interwebs, I knew I wanted to write my own – and start my own. I sometimes feel like time just blurs together and if you’re not conscious about it, goals and life does, too. So I’m VERY much into the idea of doing certain things at the start of each month. Some of these ideas are ones I’ve been doing without having a schedule for them, and some are ones I want to start incorporating. Either way, I think it’s a really smart idea and I hope y’all are on board! With October starting fresh, let’s all do them together, k?
Do a quick check of your finances
I won’t pretend that I’m about to start making a serious budget every month (though it is #GOALS), but I do think this is doable. What I’m suggesting here is pretty simple. Go through your accounts to make sure nothing looks weird, like fraudulent charges or random things that you need to handle. Do a quick sweep to make sure all bills are paid/scheduled and that your accounts are in order. Plus, you can see if you’ve been spending too much and might need to chill this upcoming month.
If you’re feeling really fancy, make a goal for the month – like save an extra $100 a week this month, or make coffee at home. Would you like to see more on budgeting? I’ve just (January 2019) started trying to implement it myself and I’m learning a few things – it takes discipline for sure!
Reflect on the previous month
This one is something I’ve really been focusing on lately because I’m realizing, through experience, that frequent reflection is incredibly important if you want to grow and learn form mistakes. But also, I challenge myself to reflect so that I can make sure I’m aware of the direction I’m headed – rather than just continuing to do the same things hoping for a different result. It’s so easy to do that!
When I reflect on my month, I typically set aside 30 minutes or so and start listing out everything that happened that month in my personal and work life. This exercise helps me have a broad outline of the past 4-5 weeks and sets me up to ask myself a few core questions. My questions change each month, but they usually send something like this:
- what happened over the past month? note key events
- what went well?
- what didn’t go so well?
- what mistakes did I make that could have been prevented?
- what can I do to improve the situation for next time?
- which friends have I lost touch with? make a list of whom to reach out to and check-up on
- did I take a day to truly rest each week? If not, why?
Make plans with friends
If friends are a priority in your life, let the beginning of the month serve as a reminder to make plans with them. If you don’t have any plans on the books, make them. Start that group text and throw out a couple dates and a location to make it easy.
Go through your closet
A friend of mine does this and I think it’s GENIUS so I wanted to share with y’all! Hopefully your closet is as crazy as mine right now (even though I did go through it recently and it’s way better), but either way, dedicate about 30 minutes to your closet each month. Go through and see if you can donate anything, or pack anything away for other seasons. Then, move some pieces you’re really loving to the front of your closet. This will make getting ready so much easier and simple.
Set personal goals
This can be really quick and the list doesn’t need to be massive (and it shouldn’t be).
Think of 1-3 things you’d like to work on this month on a personal level. For example, my goal last month was to start getting rid of clutter. Or maybe it’s to have better posture or go to bed earlier – just think of something that would improve your life and then work on it.
Clean out tech
Delete old shows on your DVR, text messages and voicemails, and any old files on your computer. I also delete photos from my phone. All of this can take a bit of time, but it feels so good!
A few other things to consider cleaning out:
- Google Drive folders
- Photos on your iPhone but also your photos folders!
- iPhone apps you don’t use anymore
- tabs piling up in your browser
Check expiration dates
I’m talking about your fridge and cabinets and this shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Put on a podcast and get to work. Your space will feel much, much better and you don’t need to stress about eating old hummus.
Make a list
This is one of my favorite things to do at all times, especially at the beginning of each month. Simply do a brain dump of all the lingering tasks or thoughts in your head. Make the list as long as you need to, but prioritize which MUST get done this month (more on how to do this here). Then, schedule out your tasks throughout the month. Try to batch some of the tasks together – like getting your car’s oil changed the same day as you wash it and so on.
The beginning of the month might seem busy and almost daunting, but if you do everything on this list, it’ll be a lot better. And you know what else makes it better? Treating yourself! I love this idea to celebrate the newness of a month and it’s just a great reminder to take care of yourself. Maybe that’s getting a massage or buying the vacuum that’s going to change your life – whatever it is, don’t feel guilty about spending a little on yourself.
Write Out Your Prayers
I just started doing this and it has been so amazing to keep track my prayers! It helps me to be more intentional about regularly praying over certain aspects of my life, but also to remember to keep up with praying for my community, friends, and other not-so-urgent-feeling prayer requests. I’ve also started writing down a few pieces of scripture to pray each month too, which has really helped me to stay focused and make sure my prayers are grounded in truth.
This year (2019) I’m using the Val Marie Paper’s prayer journal to keep track of everything and I am LOVING it so far!
Are y’all on board with this? Is there anything you do to start each month? I’d love to hear!
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