I used to love new years. It made me feel that I have a full 365 days ahead to set and achieve any goal. But then just a couple of weeks down and this enthusiasm would always wane down and I would go back to square one.
Being on track and off-track a thousand times, what I have finally come to know is that self-improvement or transformation is not a one-time event.
We need to set our intentions and start with a clean slate month after month in order to achieve our goals and to actually turn a year into the year we hoped to make.
This is why I now love the beginning of a month more. It breaks 365 days into achievable 30 days where I keep track of my progress, my goals and be clear on my intentions.
So now, instead of only focusing and having high enthusiasm during new Years, I now focus on the beginning of each month. I am really enthusiastic whenever a new month comes and I make sure I start my month right apart from just starting my day right with my morning routine.
This is not so much planning but simply taking some time out to be intentional towards what you want to do and what you want to focus on in the month ahead so that you live more intentionally and clear your head.
To help you with this I have put out these 12 major things I feel we all must do at the beginning of every month. By doing these things you are all set to make your new month stronger.
So let’s dive in..
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12 Major things to do at the beginning of each month:
Table of Contents
1. Reflect on your previous month
Make reflection a part of our life ritual if you want to take your life to a new direction.
Reflection is something to do on a monthly basis and even better, on a daily basis.
A monthly reflection hardly takes 30 minutes or so but by just challenging yourself to do this and give time for reflection you give something powerful to yourself.
To deliberately give time for reflection means that you are deliberately putting your personal growth journey into your charge.
So take out your journal and reflect on your previous month by asking and answering precisely these 5 questions:
- How did my previous month go?
- What happened on the previous month that I am grateful for?
- What didn’t go so well? why?
- How can I do better this time?
- What did I learn last month?
It is a simple yet powerful exercise.
2. Write down your goals
You obviously must have a major big goal for a year but all through the year each month you must set some monthly goals too if you want to make your new month stronger.
Setting goals on a monthly basis puts you forward in the right direction towards your major goals.
Write down these goals. I repeat, WRITE.DOWN.YOUR.GOALS where you can regularly see. Don’t just have them in your mind.
I cannot explain but there is something very very powerful about writing down your goals and regularly seeing them. It makes your goals 10x achievable than if you don’t.
Also another reason why I love to write down my goals is because I love to tick them off at the end of the month when they are achieved.
Also don’t have more than 3 goals because you want to keep your focus narrowed.
P.S before setting and writing down your goals, make sure you don’t make these common goal-setting mistakes.
3. Set your planner:
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
As you begin with a new month set out and create a plan. This plan must consist of actionable things that will move you towards reaching your goals.
At the beginning of every month I set out a plan for my blogging goals where I plan my blog content for the month ahead and plan out my pinterest strategy.
Other things I do include planning my exercise routine and a basic plan for my daily routine which these days more or less remains the same.
You can keep an app as a planner but personally I prefer a handwritten planner. I have a notebook for this.
4. Make one investment for yourself
Investments seems like a big term but I think we need to start being friends with the term investment because if we want to grow and develop ourselves in any way then we need to invest.
You might think what you should invest on?
Well there are two things you can invest
- First, your time
- Second, your money.
If you don’t have money, then you can always invest your time in learning or doing something which will benefit in future.
However, if you want to have money for making investments then one thing I have started doing since the past couple of months is that I have started keeping 10% of my income solely for the purpose of investing.
This I have applied after reading the book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’. It is the first secret to multiplying our money.
I thought it would be hard to keep 10% as it would reduce how much I could spend on myself on other things but its strange that it hardly made any difference. And month after month my money saved for investment is increasing.
I always thought that investing time is essential but investing money is also very important because it keeps the flow of money alive.
It is after keeping these 10% for my investments that I was able to invest properly in my blog. Before this I had always been hesitant.
Till now I have invested in Pinteresting Strategies to learn Pinterest, Traffic transformation Guide by Lena Gott, and invested in becoming a member of styled stock society for beautiful pictures for my blog and pinterest.
I am happy to say that they are all paying off really well. I am learning so much plus saving so much time.
I have now decided that each month I will invest in one thing whether monetarily or by giving time to learning more about blogging.
You can do the same for whatever goal you want.
5. Pay/schedule your bills
Our month cannot be set right if our financial situation is not up to date. Make it a habit to make a list of all the bills you have due or are upcoming on a monthly basis.
Never leave your bills due. Pay them right at the beginning of each month or schedule them so you won’t forget it.
This also clears huge amount of stress and is really essential if you want to simplify your life.
6. Check your money situation
Most of our disorganisation and stress is both a result and a cause of our lack of handling and organising our money situation.
Most people have huge debts and are constantly stressed about how to improve their financial condition but do nothing to keep a check on their financial situation.
They think that someday money will just come and they will have all their loans and debts paid off. But it really does not work that way. You need to know exactly how much money you owe to someone or something and how much you are left with after your savings and after all your expenses.
This is one thing I do at the beginning of each month. Although I am debtfree, still I like to check my money situation. I calculate how much my budget is after I pay all my recurring expenses and my savings. This helps me stay on track of my financial situation and keeps me stress free.
Here is a simple guide on how to budget money using the 50/30/20 budget rule
7. Choose a book to read
Start off your month strong by picking a book or books you want to read at the beginning of each month.
Even if you aren’t much of a reader if you actually just pick a book to read every month you are more likely to read and in 12 months you will have read 12 books!
With the amount of time and content we consume on social media if we give 10-20 minutes a day for reading you can easily finish atleast 2 books in a month.
I read around 3 to 4 books a month just by taking 40-50 minute time out for reading.
Every month I decide upon which books I want to read for my morning and evening reads. Last month I read Power of now by Eckhart Tolle and Awareness by Osho for my morning read and Educated by Tara Westover for my evening read. All of them great books, especially, ‘The Power of Now’.
This month I picked out the 7 spiritual laws of success by Deepak chopra. Up next for my morning read this month I have picked up ‘Deep work’ by Cal Newport and to re-read Think and grow rich. For my evening read, this month I have ordered ‘An Autobiography of a Yogi’.
8. Mark events/meetings on your calendar
This year I bought a wall calendar for myself and there at the beginning of each month I mark down the meetings that I know are coming up along with mentioning the time.
This lets me have a big picture of all the events that are scheduled and I don’t forget about them.
I have also started keeping track of my progress about my blogging stats in this monthly calendar. I have noticed that having something visible that you are working on gives you more enthusiasm.
You can keep track of any of your habit or start a 30 day challenge and track it down in a wall calendar.
9. Make/update your lists
Another thing to do on a monthly basis is to make/ update your lists. Keeping lists help you to be organized and have everything in one place so you don’t have to keep looking time and again.
Here are some lists to make a beginning of every month
- Your to-do list for the month ahead
- List of pending things from last month
- List of books you want to read
- Shopping list of things you need to buy
- List of meetings for the month ahead
1o. Clean and Declutter
Keep the first week of each month for cleaning and decluttering purpose.
I know most of us are lazy to even change our bedsheets but just by setting your first week for cleaning and decluttering purpose, you are more likely to turn this into a monthly ritual of decluttering.
Decuttering at the beginning of each month makes you actually feel like you are starting your month ahead in a clean slate.
You don’t have to do it all at once.
You can start by cleaning your fridge on day 1, then cleaning your car next day, cleaning your phone the other day and then cleaning and decluttering one portion of the room and slowly moving on to another.
Here are some major things to clean and declutter on a monthly basis probably at the beginning of every month to give you the feels of a great start of the month.
- clean your fridge
- clean your purse and bags
- clean your car
- Clean your closet
- Declutter your phone
- declutter your files
- Declutter your inbox
11. Choose how you want to treat yourself
With all the things that you contantly do for others, don’t forget that it is you who has the greatest part to play in your life and hence you deserve to treat yourself.
At the beginning of the month choose how you would like to give yourself a treat. Maybe it is buying something you have been wanting to buy, going out to your favourite restaurant, enjoying a nice spa or anything as such.
This does not mean being reckless and simply spending money on yourself just for the sake of it, but it is actually being mindful about what actually gives you happiness, refreshment and the good feeling.
For this, keep atleast 10% of income for your fun expenses and you can use this to treat yourself and doing whatever you wish guilt free or without any worries of overspending.
This month I am treating myself by shopping clothes and buying books 🙂
12. Write down your prayers
Many people won’t add this in their list of major things to do each month. But as I wrote down this post, I felt like I wanted to add this into my list as well and start writing down my prayers more intentionally since this month.
I do pray everyday and have my prayers written down in a small notebook but its just random which I write from time to time.
Now I am thinking to write them every month and have a prayer journal too.
Prayers are simply our intentions that we want to put our attention to.
Once we write our own prayers, I feel we make our intentions more powerful. It brings in more awareness in us and puts us forward in trying to achieve them.
If you decide to write down your prayers, just be natural and write about the things you want to be intentional towards.
Prayers are simply inner determination and your inner resolve. You can pray for anything. I hope you pray for strength, pray for courage, pray for patience and pray to have enthusiam to make all your dreams come true.
If I set my prayers for this month, then my first prayer will be to lead a life guided by my heart and not my mind.
So these are the things I feel we all must be doing at the beginning of every month. They are actually really simple things but just doing them can transform your life, your month and your days significantly.
All the very best!
I wish you a happy and fulfilled month ahead. Don’t forget to be kind and patient to yourself in this journey.
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