I’m sure you know the excitement around New Year’s, when you tell yourself that next year is going to be your best year ever.
But you probably (definitely?) also know that this excitement fades away pretty quickly.
How about if you could get that exciting and motivating feeling back?
With a monthly plan it’s like having New Year’s every month – or should I say… New Month’s! (corny, sorry, I know)
With a monthly plan you will:
- clear your mind
- get your schedule ready
- be intentional and purposeful with your time
- implement small new habits
- work towards a big goal in smaller steps
You will feel more like your life is together if you plan your month ahead. You can stay on track of long-term goals, work on personal development in small and realistic steps, and make a schedule around what’s important to you.
When you only use daily to-do lists, there’s a high possibility that you lose sight of the bigger picture and don’t actually accomplish any projects or goals you had set out for yourself.
By splitting up a big or long-term project or goal into smaller monthly goals, I can guarantee you that you will see more progress and growth throughout the year.
So let’s get to the 5 steps to set up a new month. I’ve divided it into 3 categories: scheduling, cleaning, and growing.
When to do this?
You will build up your productivity momentum if you follow the steps below 1-3 days before the start of the month.
1. Write ALL your appointments, meetings, events, date nights, etc. in your planner or calendar
Make your schedule less stressful, and stop squeezing in last-minute meetings and appointments, by planning them in advance. This will also help you be intentional with your time, as you can plan your work and life around what’s important to you.
What to schedule in your planner?
- Plans with friends and family, and date nights. Does it sound familiar to you that you always say you’ll meet up with that friend, but it never actually happens? Make plans with people that are important to you ahead of time. This allows you to schedule your work around your life, instead of the other way around. Make sure that you have enough social hours in your schedule!
- Medical appointments with your dentist, doctor, etc., so you can’t accidentally forget about them.
- Work meetings and events.
- Schedule your workouts/sports training/gym classes and your self-care moments. Especially when you’re usually too busy for these and don’t know when to fit them in your schedule. It will help you to pre-commit by scheduling them in advance.
- Beauty appointments, if you usually do that. For example, mani-pedis, the hairdresser’s, massages, and so on. Make your appointments at the beginning of the month, so that’s out of the way and fixed.
2. Clean / declutter something at home to create the feeling of a ‘new start’
Ideally, you clean important areas regularly throughout the month. If this is a struggle for you, I recommend you to read my post on how to keep a clean house when you’re busy.
Use the start of the month to deep clean or declutter a specific area, perhaps something you’ve been putting off for ‘when you have time.’
- cleaning your refrigerator
- clearing out your purse or work bag
- mopping the floors
- dusting the skirting boards (yes, it’s necessary!)
- decluttering your wardrobe
- and so on
3. Besides a physical clean in your home, do a digital deep-clean, or at least schedule it for the month
Unconsciously, we accumulate a lot of junk in our digital world, like photo duplicates, screenshots, uninteresting email subscriptions, apps, and downloads. These all pile up and create digital clutter that needs to be decluttered from time to time, just like physical clutter.
The start of each new period is a great moment to think about personal development to grow yourself.
4. Pick one new simple thing that you can commit to for a month
You will find that it’s easier to see progress on your personal growth if you take smaller steps at a time, like adding a new little practice each month.
It can be anything like drinking lemon water each morning, setting a ‘no phone’ time, stop drinking coffee, or reading a book daily.
The idea is to build a habit by starting out with smaller building blocks that are easy to commit to. That way, you will be more motivated and inclined to pursue your new commitment.
Track your progress with a habit tracker in your planner or use the tracker in the monthly planner + checklist, get it below.
5. Choose a book to start and complete for the month
On average, we spend 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on our phones. How much time do you spend reading a book? Probably not much.
Reading books will strengthen your focus, increase your vocabulary, improve your thinking skills, and much more.
Besides, the idea that you have one month to finish a book will prompt you to pick up your book to read.
If you’re the type of person that starts multiple books and never finishes one, this is a great help for you. It is also a form of brain training to be focused on one thing to completion.
Let’s get started
These are my tips to set yourself up for an organized new month with room to grow as a person and make time for what’s important to you.
As always, I don’t want you to just read this post and leave it at that.
So, I’ve made it easier for you to actually put the above into action.
I have made a monthly planner with a checklist of the points above and a habit tracker, that you can download for free!
Grab the planner and get more out of your month.