It’s a new month! A new month– just like a new day, new week or a new year– is a great time to do a few minutes of planning. If you’ve looked at this blog for 5 minutes, you know planning is my jam, so today I’m sharing the 5 things I do at the beginning of the month to get more done and have more fun.
Now I know you’re thinking that things like monthly meal planning or deep cleaning your house isn’t fun. I totally agree.
In fact, living your best life should include making plans and leaving room for spontaneity. Roald Amundsen said,:
“Adventure is just bad planning.”
I’m betting we could all benefit from a bit more adventure and a bit more structure in our lives. These 5 things will give you a framework that will allow you to have more of both.
- Set a couple of goals.
These don’t need to be major “start a business” or “run a marathon” goals. I recommend choosing one area of life (spiritual, physical and mental health, career, relationships, personal growth, financial) to focus on each month. See how much progress you can make by concentrating your energy on just that one area. Then, feel free to add a couple of smaller goals that you want to complete like cleaning out your closet or planning a girls night out.
- Fill out your calendar.
Get out your calendar, whether paper or digital, and add in holidays, birthdays, appointments, meetings and trips. Also, block out time associated with the goals you just set, like workout times for a health goal or date nights for a relationship goal.
- Schedule appointments.
Speaking of setting your calendar, now is the time to make any appointments you should take care of this month. Don’t forget things like massages and nail appointments, cleaning services, babysitting, haircuts and car maintenance. (Tip: If you know you need to have car maintenance done, you can call your repair shop and ask when the slowest part of their week or month is, so your car will be repaired faster.)
- Create a budget.
I get it. There are a million things that are more fun to do than creating budgets. But if you want to win with your money, you have to budget. According to Thomas Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Next Door, most millionaires budget. So sit down with your spouse and your calendar and make a zero-based budget for the month. If you need help with that, check out this video from Rachel Cruze where she walks a couple through the process.
- Don’t miss birthdays or holidays.
We live far away from our families, and we are the worst about waiting until a few days before a family member’s birthday or a major holiday to start talking about what to get them or buying them a card. You’ll never be the favorite child if you can’t even get a card sent to your parents on time. Each month, take a look at who has a birthday or major holiday in the next 45 days and decide what to get them immediately. Buy those cards and gifts early and get them ready to mail. Sending gifts early is way better than sending them late. And if you’re really smart, go to a dollar store and load up on birthday, get well, thank you and upcoming holiday cards for cheap.
And my best tip: set reminders in your phone to tackle these a couple of days before a new month starts.
There you go: my 5 must-dos for the beginning of the month.
I hope these ideas help you get more done and have more fun this month.
For more tips and tricks like these, sign up for my free guide on 25 ways to find more time.