Whether you’re a seasoned goal-setter or prefer to wing it, having a list of simple measures to check in with each month can be a powerful tool. It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life that we forget to step back and take a look at what we’ve achieved. In this blog, I share my tips on setting up for a productive month and taking a moment to check in with yourself and where you’re at.
1. Monthly goals
First up, check in on any goals you set yourself last month.Did you achieve everything you set out to? If so, take a moment to thank yourself for showing up, and maybe choose a cheeky little reward. If you didn’t quite smash it, what went wrong? Did you put too much pressure on yourself? Did something important come up? Or maybe the goal you chose was too big to tackle in one month. Whatever the reason, acknowledge it, let it go, and focus on next month’s goals. The key with goals is to keep them simple and achievable, so whether your goal relates to finances, health, family, fitness or something personal, try breaking it down into bitesize chunks to avoid overwhelm. Once you’ve chosen your goal, write it down in your diary or notepad, and break it down if it’s a big one.
2. The dreaded ‘b’ word (budget)
Love it or hate it, budgeting is something we all strive to keep under control, and the more you check-in, the more cash you’ll save. The most obvious place to start is groceries, so take a look at how much you spent last month, where you can cut back and whether there are any items doubled up in your pantry that don’t need to be re-purchased. An organised pantry is a great way to shop smart, monitor expired items and avoid over-shopping, so keep that space as tidy as possible. Meal planning has been a huge money saver for us, as we aren’t buying food we don’t need. Then I simply base my shopping list from the plan. Are there things you buy on the regular like takeaway coffees or reusable shopping bags? Try cutting takeaway coffees down to half the usual amount (I can hear you swearing at me) and buy a good quality instant coffee you can make at home on the other days. If you always forget to take a shopping bag to the supermarket and spend $2 on a new one every time you go, try putting a storage tub in your car boot that you can fill with reusable bags.
3. Meal planning
Most of us tend to cook the same meals on repeat, so it’s pretty easy to plan ahead. Take a look at your family’s schedule for the month and note down days when someone is away, you have an event to attend or the kids have after-school activities. Once you know which days don’t require cooking and which days you’ll be limited on time to get dinner on the table, you can plan your meals around it. I also personally love cooking extra on certain nights, so we are able to have leftovers the night following.
4. Check in with your habits
Do you check your phone every five minutes? Do you eat dinner on the couch every night? Daily habits can be hard to break, but they have a massive effect on our mindset and productivity. Try putting your phone in a drawer when you need to get something done or use the Pomodoro Technique for intermittent periods of working and resting. If you tend to eat dinner in front of the TV every night, set a couple of days each week when everyone eats dinner together at the table. This can provide all-important family time and is a great space for everyone to talk about their day.
5. Clear your inbox and junk mail
Are you one of those people whose unread email notifications sit in the hundreds of thousands? Yep, I see you, girl. Having an inbox full of junk makes it super-hard to spot anything important and find things when you need them. Delete the junk mail, delete things you’ve already read, delete expired offers and unsubscribe from anything that no longer interests you. Also labelling/filing emails into categories makes life much easier when trying to find that email that was sent months ago (its like finding a needle in a haystack!).
6. Organise your junk drawer
Every home has a place where phone chargers go to die, and it’s usually the kitchen junk drawer. Junk drawers play an important role in keeping benches and hallway tables clutter-free so it’s important to keep them under control. Use my handy blog on how to organise your junk drawer, and then schedule some time to maintain it once a month. You’ll be able to put your hand on what you need straight away and avoid the paranoia of guests opening that dreaded drawer by mistake.
7. Plan your workouts
You guys know how much I love my walks and gym time, but if I didn’t plan for them, they’d never happen. Exercise plays a massive role in our physical and mental health so setting time aside for movement is crucial. Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes before the kids wake up to squeeze in a short walk or home workout. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to your day!
What’s your 1st of the month routine?