I am someone who LOVES the beginning of a new month. Every new month feels like a blank slate with so much possibility. I’m also a productivity JUNKY. There’s nothing I love more than crushing goals + getting things done. These are the things I like to do every month at the start of a new month!
SETTING REALISTIC GOALS
I’ve learned over the years that the more realistic I am with my goals – the more likely I am to achieve them!
It might sound backwards, but setting massive goals is actually setting yourself up for failure. When we fail these large goals we get discouraged and lose motivation.
On the flip side, when we set small, tangible goals and actually achieve them we are encouraged and motivated to set more goals!
Slow and steady always wins the race!!
The concept of SMART goals has become very popular. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
SPECIFIC: Goals that are clear and well defined. When a goal is specific there will be no doubt in your mind when you achieve it.
For example “I want to lose weight” is not a specific goal. However “I want to lose 10 pounds by working out 4 times a week” is specific!
MEASURABLE: There needs to be some way to measure your goal.
The reason the above goal “I want to lose 10 pounds by working out 4 times a week” is a SMART goal is because you can measure it!
There are actually two ways you can measure this goal. 1) Losing 10 pounds and 2) Working out 4 times a week.
“I want to lose weight” is not a measurable goal. Technically if you lose 0.01 lbs you have lost weight, when in reality that’s not what you were hoping for.
ACHIEVABLE: Is it actually possible to achieve the goal? Have others done it before? Do you have the resources, skills and determination to achieve it? Are there resources or skills that you’re lacking?
It’s possible to have big goals and ALSO give yourself a reality check occasionally. You can always break a big goal into smaller SMART goals!
RELEVANT / REALISTIC : You’ll see both of these words used, but personally I like “Relevant”. It the goal you’re setting actually important? Is it actually something you should be spending time + resources on achieving?
TIMELY: It’s important that your goals are bound by time. Saying “I want to lose 10 pounds” is much less powerful than saying “I want to lose 10 pounds this month by doing XYZ”. Set time limits to your goals in order to hold you accountable to them!
REVIEW YOUR CALENDAR
You should always review your schedule or calendar at the beginning of a new month.
Take inventory of your time, schedule appointments or social gatherings. If you notice that one week is much busier than another see if you can move things around!
Consider scheduling in things like date nights, doctors appointments, admin days, deep cleaning days, rest days, etc.
If you don’t have a planner that you love, I made one for you! It’s completely free, and you can just print it off as you need!
REFLECT ON LAST MONTH
Part of my monthly routine is to reflect on last month! This is an important part of achieving goals.
I mentioned at the beginning that I prefer to set small + realistic goals. One downside of this is that progress happens so slowly that we hardly notice it.But if you’re keeping track of + reflecting on your goals every month you can stay accountable!
This year I’ve started writing monthly income reports for my blog! These are basically a summery of my goals, income, and achievements for the month. The main reason I write these is because they hold ME accountable to my goals. I also find them SO motivating + encouraging!
CREATE A BUDGET
I’m a huge advocate for being in control of your budget! You can read more about how we paid of $33k in student debt a few years ago!
We don’t stick to a strict written budget every single month, because we feel like those habits are strongly rooted at this point.
BUT if you struggle with money, have financial goals, or just want to save up for something I HIGHLY recommend creating a budget.
This is my favourite budgetting tool!
Even if you don’t plan to create a strict budget, you should take some time to monitor your finances at the beginning of a new month.
Important things to consider / budget for:
- Is there a birthday coming up?
- Is there a holiday coming up? (Christmas is not a surprise)
- Do you need to make a large purchase (New winter coat, bridesmaid dress, flight, etc)
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
The main reason I’m an advocate for budgetting is because it allows you the opportunity to pay yourself first.
This means you evaluate all your income, expenses and bills and decide at the BEGINNING of the month how much you’re going to put into savings.
Most people do the opposite. Most people go through the month paying bills, buying groceries and living their life. Then at the END of the month they put “whatever is left” into savings. This is not a very effective strategy because rarely is there much left!
DO A DEEP CLEAN
Once a month I like to deep clean my home! It doesn’t always happen at the beginning of a new month, but that’s ideal!
Deep clean the parts of your home that get neglected. Some areas to consider deepcleaning:
- The fridge / freezer
- Clean the outside of appliances
- Clean behind appliances
- Tidy the pantry
- Straighten drawers, shelves + closets
- Do a quick declutter
- Spot clean spots on the walls
- Wash throw pillows / blankets
- Clean the windows
- Dust light fixtures
- Clean the bathrooms
You likely won’t deep clean all of these things every month, while some you might do more than once a month. But choose a few to do at the beginning of a new month to stay on top of things!
I’m a big fan in setting aside a specific day at least once a month to unplug from your devices!
Maybe this means spending the day with your family, deep cleaning your home or going on a day trip or adventure!
We are so connected all the time, which CAN be good. But it’s also so beneficial for our physical, mental + emotional health to disconnect occassionally!
I hope this list inspired you to start each month intentionally!