A new month marks a new start and another chance to accomplish our goals. Personally, I feel refreshed at the beginning of every month and motivated to get started on any task that will set my month off right.
Last year I started a new routine to get myself ready for the new month ahead. This new routine has helped me to be less stressed, overwhelmed and more organized. It’s really motivated me to improve my month and my focus for that month.
Reflect on the prior month
The first step that you should do every single month is to reflect on the prior month.
- What worked for you that month?
- What didn’t work for you?
- What could you have done better?
- Do you have any favorite memories?
- What were you grateful for that month?
Reflecting on the prior month really helps you to know how to improve in the current month that you’re currently in. It helps you improve your productivity, focus, motivation, etc… from one month to the next. It will really help you to clear your mind and set your month off on the right foot.
Review your to-do list
I use the GTD (Getting Things Done) method in my planner, so finding and reviewing my to-do list is pretty simple. Yours might be on the refrigerator, in your phone, in a planner or in just a normal old notepad.
Find the tasks that you didn’t accomplish last month and write them down on a separate sheet of paper (or new document, whatever you prefer.). Review the tasks on that new list and see what still needs to get done and what you think you have time for this month. If you need to break a big project down into smaller steps, this is the time to do it.
Once you finish that list you can put those new tasks back onto a master to-do list for that month. Add any new tasks for the month as well! Remember not to overwhelm yourself and add larger tasks that you know you won’t be able to accomplish. This will stress you out way too much and that’s what we want to prevent.
Review your budget for the previous and current month
This is one of the most important things that you will do at the beginning of the month. It’s essential to review your budget for the previous month and also your current month.
- How did you do with your budget last month?
- Were you over or under your budget?
- Is there anything you might need to adjust for this month? (Emergency expenses, gifts, etc…)
You have to take everything into consideration when planning your budget for the month. You especially have to plan in debt repayment and any sinking funds. (i.e. Any emergency expenses, gifts, things you have to buy for your kids, etc…) Every little bit adds up and every little bit should be accounted for, down to the cent.
Related: How to Get Out of Debt the Right Way
Set your goals
Just like in business, you need to set monthly goals for your personal life and this should be done at the beginning of every month. You need to think about what you want and need to accomplish this month and set your goals from there.
For example, my monthly goals for the month of May:
- Declutter the hallway from moving boxes
- Collect unneeded items for the yard sale on 5-11
- Find LEAD shirt for Liv
- Set list of all home projects that need to be done
My monthly goals are simple but they’re things that I know I have to and can accomplish within the month. Honestly, it’s half way through the month and I’ve already accomplished every single one of those goals. Not to brag, but I feel pretty damn proud of myself for that! (I’m gonna be honest, I found my daughter’s shirt completely by accident…thanks, Universe!)
Purge your stuff
I like to do this every month, but you can do this every other month if you prefer.
Every month I like to take one room and completely deep clean and go through every single item in the room. I do this so that I can see if there is anything that I don’t want or don’t need. I make small boxes for sell, donate and trash and every item that I don’t need or want goes into any of those boxes. When I’m done, regardless of how much or how little I have in the donate box, it goes right to Goodwill. I don’t need to keep the clutter around because it will just make my space feel more cluttered.
Decluttering your home or even just a room will set your month off right. It will allow you to feel accomplished, have better clarity, better focus and it also will actually de-stress you as well.
Review your calendar
Every month you should be reviewing your calendar and making sure that every single thing you have to do is on that calendar.
I like to keep any invitations or appointment cards in an envelope inside of my planner. Sometimes I don’t have the time to write down a date/time of an event when I receive an invite/appointment. If I didn’t keep that envelope inside of my planner, I would be missing a lot of important things in my life. This allows me to make sure that I review my calendar and go through the envelope so I know where I have to be and when. This is also great to do with your kids activities…just so you don’t forget a kid somewhere. (It happens, don’t judge me!)