Welcome to March!
Wow, February sure did fly by in a hurry!
A few weeks ago I shared how my dad had been in the hospital and then passed away at the end of January. We did not have his funeral until February 4, and it seems as if the days have flown by since then.
Needless to say, my schedule was thrown off and I’ve just had to do things as I have time to get them done. I feel like February was not very productive for me.
That’s ok, though. When critical situations arise in life it’s important to know that we need to take time to do what’s most important and let the rest go.
Now that we’re in March, I feel like this can be my January 1. I can take the opportunity to make a fresh start and get back to working on my goals.
Really any time is a good time to start over. You don’t even have to wait for a new month, a new week, or a new day. You can just start where you are.
I want to focus the rest of this post on how to prepare for the month ahead. I think if you’re like me and you are feeling behind this year, then making the most of preparations for the next month will benefit you greatly.
Try these tips to make your month more productive and focused:
Decide what you want this month to look like
When you get to the end of the month, what would you like to have accomplished? How do you want to feel when the month is over?
Ask yourself these questions to help you plan for the month:
- What is going well?
- What is not going well?
- What needs to change?
- What area of your life do you want to focus on this month?
- What are your goals for this month?
- What activities or actions items will help make your goals a reality?
Your answers to these questions can help create the blueprint of what you need to do to be successful and productive in the month ahead.
Let me give you an example:
Right now in Suzie’s life, she is really rocking her evening routine. She’s able to get her home in order before she goes to bed and knows what her plan will be for the next day.
However, her morning routine is not going so well. She is having a hard time getting up when she needs to in order to get all things done in her morning routine. So, she knows something has to change. She needs to find a way to motivate herself to get out of bed each morning.
One thing she can look at is what she’s trying to accomplish during her morning routine. Maybe she’s trying to squeeze in too much and doesn’t really need to do all those things in the morning. Or, perhaps she just doesn’t need to get up as early as she thinks she does.
Suzie wants to focus on her home this month. So her goals are to declutter 2 rooms in her home and to develop a system to keep clutter out of her home. Suzie decides to devote 15 minutes a day to decluttering her kitchen and her bathroom.
See how just identifying what you want to accomplish in a month can help you set up a doable action plan?
Write down all of your appointments and commitments
Once you have a general idea of what you want to do this month, you need to see what you’ve already committed to. Get out your monthly calendar and write down all of the appointments you know you already have. These would be things like doctors appointments, getting your oil changed, hair cuts, etc.
Then write down all of your commitments. School meetings, lunch with friends, your monthly book club meeting, and kids activities would all be examples of commitments.
Now you have a good overview of what you’ve already committed to doing for the month.
Assess your appointments and commitments
Are all of your days filled to the brim already? Can you even see space where you can find time to work on your goals or just rest?
If your calendar is overflowing, then it may be time to re-think some of your commitments. I would guess it’s probably in your best interest to keep most of your appointments. However, are there some commitments you have that you could get out of?
Maybe you need to see some of those commitments through. When they are complete then make sure you don’t replace them with other commitments.
I encourage you to try out these three tips and see what you can get done this month.