4 things you should do at the beginning of every month
I love new beginnings. I’m the kind of girl that gets emotional on New Year’s and that celebrates the beginning of every Season. I’ve always been this way. I love the idea that something comes to an end and that you can start again something new, something fresh, new opportunities. It’s just so exciting!
One thing that I also love is to be organized. I try to keep track and plan everything! Not in a mad way though, just to avoid stressing over things. It’s good to have a program and a plan especially when your schedule is super busy. I used to forget many things and then I used to stress because I could forget something. So I really had to change that.
One day, I made my coffee, grabbed my planner and tried to find a way to make the most out of my days. Soon enough I realized that planning your months is much better, more effective and easier. I came up with a plan or “strategy” (call it what you want) and so far it’s been amazing!
There are actually 4 important things to focus on at the beginning of every new month. Keep reading below to find out what they are!
Before I begin I wanted to tell you that usually, I write these in a notebook. I have a 4-themed notebook for each category below. Though you can use printables or a binder. Whatever works best for you! I just think that you can easily carry your notebook with you and well… I’m a huge fan of stationery!
4 things you should do at the beginning of every Month
1. Track your finances.
Since I moved into my first apartment I thought that it would be really important to track my finances. I split my expenses into 6 categories: Transportation – Car, Entertainment, Shopping, Personal, Medical, and Bills. I downloaded this app on my phone (which btw is free) and I adjusted the categories of expenses to the ones above.
For the first few months, I just wrote down everything I spent in this app (literally EVERYTHING). After about three months I compared my monthly expenses and I created a budget for each category. To be honest, I was more flexible with my budgets in the beginning because you can’t really see all the expenses in only three months. I still write down everything that I spend, and I adjust my budget accordingly.
So every time a new month arrives, I do a review of my Income and my Expenses of the month that just passed. If you want to save some money, and if you want to see where your money actually goes, then this is really important.
I always review my expenses on each category to find ways to cut back. Also, I think it’s wise to write down all the monthly expenses that will occur the upcoming month (like rent, bills, cable.. generally everything that’s usually happening monthly) so you can plan ahead what needs to be paid on time.
How this benefits you: Right before the new month begins you have full control of your finances till this very moment. You know exactly what you spent, when you spent it, how much you paid, and how much money you have right now. Also, you’re in control of the upcoming expenses and you can easily plan ahead what you will have to pay and when.
2. Set monthly Goals.
Heading over the next theme in my notebook, I set the Goals for the month. You can categorize it too, like Health Goals, Business Goals, Family Goals, Cleaning Goals etc. Whatever you want! This is up to you. Focus on what you want to improve this month.
Personally, I try to focus on 3 goals. I think it’s easier to achieve them. But you need to be careful when you set your goals. First of all, you have to be precise. Write down exactly what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and how you are going to do it. Break it down.
Before you move on, make sure that you prioritized your goals. This will help you avoid the “overwhelming” feeling. Number each goal according to the priority so you can focus on the most important ones first.
Remember. This is something personal. So try to have a clear mind and focus on what YOU really want. Usually, our environment tends to “manipulate” our thoughts either on purpose or “automatically”. Like I wanted to be skinny just because I thought that this is the “normal” thing to do. Everywhere around me were skinny models. On Instagram, on Tv, on the street. So I thought that this has to change. I wasn’t normal, I was fat and I just had to become skinnier. I was really obsessed about it, I started working out just because I had to, not because I really wanted to. And of course I actually hated it, I had no progress and I was just wasting my time.
So keep in mind that these are YOUR goals, focus on what YOU want to achieve and well… try to keep it, positive people. Once I changed my goal to “I want to be healthy” everything started making sense and I really wanted that. Because being healthy felt much better for me than being skinny. I changed just a single word and immediately it felt so much better.
Always think your greater good. Pick something that will benefit you, that will challenge you in a good way and you’ll end up a better person after achieving it.
3. Plan the month ahead.
Alright, it’s time to actually plan! I bet we all have things that need to be done every month. Especially the ladies! This is where I have my monthly calendar in front of me and start planning the month. I plan when to get my nails done, when to go to the hair salon, when to go waxing, any doctor appointment, any bills that I need to pay, when I will have to go to the market. Pretty much everything. Also birthdays, or any kind of appointments.
Now you can break this into pieces and plan each week. But for me, it’s more confusing. Overviewing the whole month seems better than 7 days each. Of course, it’s up to you! The point is to plan everything that needs to be done in the upcoming months, so you won’t stress or forget something along the way.
I’ve also created these Printable Calendars especially for this. I will print the page of the month that I’m about to plan, glue it to my notebook and plan like there’s no tomorrow!
What I actually love about these Printable Calendars is that you can use them with everything! For example, since I’m a blogger I have to plan my blog for the upcoming month too. Or my Social Media and The Blogging Tribe’s social media. So I’ll print a few copies of the upcoming month, glue them to my notebook and plan accordinly!
4. Do a recap of the last month.
When I was a teenager, I was writing a diary every single day before I went to bed. I think it was a “thing” back then but I’m so glad I did it. Now I can read the thoughts I had back then, and remember things that happened. It’s almost like a flashback playing in your head from your “life movie”.
I really wish I could still do it, but I don’t have much time (and I guess you don’t too), so instead of doing it every day I decided to do it every month.
So… The last theme of my notebook is actually my monthly diary. I take a sip of my coffee and I write down everything that happened in my life this month.
What I also find helpful is to keep a draft page and just drop a few words every now and then during the month. Then it becomes much easier to write the monthly diary because I don’t have to try and squeeze my mind to remember things and dates and what exactly happened.
This step is actually optional. But I would really recommend you to do it! I love reading my old monthly diaries and feel nostalgic or just happy about what happened in my life… How far I’ve come mentally, and generally what I’ve achieved.
Alright, guys! These were the 4 important things to do at the beginning of every month. The things that I actually do and help me have a great organized month ahead! These simple four tasks can be done in a couple of hours. If you can do these things on day one of the upcoming months, I promise you’ll have an organized, successful, and extra fulfilling month. So dedicate a few minutes to kick-start your month! You won’t regret spending your time in a way that helps you be more organized!
Are there things that you do at the beginning of every month? I’d love to hear from you!
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