Even though February is technically the shortest month of the year, this has felt like the longest month in awhile. Maybe it’s because Texas experienced the worst snow storm since the 80’s and everything quite literally froze over or because I was super busy with work this month. Either way, I am looking forward to warmer weather and getting myself on track for a new month.
There are a couple of things I do at the end of every month to prepare myself for the next one. I’m not sure when I started doing this but it really helps keep me aligned with my goals and setting realistic expectations for myself. It’s like my own little check in with myself to make sure we’re all good and on the right path.
I wanted to share just a few of the things I do to prepare myself for a new month that you can work to apply to your own life!
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MONTHLY CLOSE OUT
This is something I do more for my blog but the same method applies to my daily life and I’ll explain how that works as well. I always prepare a close out document of the month for my business. This allows me to take notes based on things I learned, trends I saw, things that worked well, things that didn’t, etc. It makes content planning for the following year so much easier when you have notes for yourself from years past! It also allows me to have a place for post ideas I had but didn’t get to either because of time, too much overlap, etc.
This has really helped me keep track of things that are working well and it truly makes planning for the next year so much easier! I’ve really seen great results from it so I would encourage you to do the same. I just created a template for myself with questions and places I can put stats so it’s easy to not have to think about what I want to remember for the next year when I have questions prompting me every month!
I also do a monthly close out of sorts for my personal life but it doesn’t require a spreadsheet 😉 I take a look back at my calendar and planner and look at trends I’m seeing. What were my goals I was setting for myself each week and was I meeting them?
Some of my goals this month were to workout Sunday-Friday and take 10,000 steps a day. Looking backwards at your goals allows you to find the consistencies in the things you are turning into habits! This always really encourages me or motivates me if I see a goal I’m not meeting (hello, eating clean during the week) and it makes me want to work harder at it in the coming month.
Similar to looking backwards at my goals, I’ll also set new goals for myself and my business. This really keeps me focused and excited about the possibilities about a new month! A new month can mean a fresh start, a clean slate, it’s a new day and a beautiful one to be alive. If you had a super rocky month this is especially important because it can help refocus and motivate you to do better!
A few of my personal goals for the new month are to eat clean during the week (really trying to get that one to stick), save 10% more than my monthly savings requirement, and drink more water.
These can seem like really small goals but I am super goal orientated by nature so writing my goals down really motivates me to stick to meeting those goals. If you don’t typically set yearly or monthly goals for yourself I would encourage you to start! I would start by just setting a weekly goal for yourself and see if you can meet that and begin to set bigger and bigger goals for yourself.
This is something that has really worked for me but everyone is different so if you have other ways of staying motivated and focused I am so curious to hear them! Let me know in the comments of this post so other people can also reference it.
Another thing I do for myself at the end of a month is budgeting. I look back super closely at all the expenses I made in the month. This allows me to really look at what I’m spending money on.
I took how many Uber’s last month?! I really spent a lot at Target last month. Did I even eat that food I bought?
By looking at where you’re spending your money you are able to see patterns in your spending. It can be so easy to just look at your overall statement balance and think it was not that high but really analyzing how you were spending your money can allow you to find patterns. These patterns might be good or bad. It is an exercise meant more to see how you were spending your money. It really helps me and I try to do this bi-weekly as well!
After I analyze how I spent my money last month, I’ll start to allocate funds for myself for different spending categories, groceries, shopping, expenses and bills, etc. Then I’ll look at what I have on my “wishlist” for the following month. I always try to write down things I want to buy before I buy them because it leads to less impulsive purchases. If budget allows, I’ll start to add things from that wishlist into my budget and cut down on other spending categories as needed to make sure I’m still meeting my savings requirement.
I always call the money I put towards my savings a requirement and not a goal because I look at my savings as a requirement. I don’t even factor that percentage of income into my budgeting because it is just a requirement for me. Obviously every scenario is going to look different depending on a variety of factors but setting a consistent number you can meet every month is super important to me! I will literally eat ramen noodles for a week straight if I can’t meet my savings goal haha I take it super seriously because I want to set myself up for success in the future.
These are the biggest things I do to set myself up for a new month every month. It’s really easy to start implementing small changes at the end of the month to create a better pattern for yourself in a new month! What are some things you do to prepare for a new month?! Let me know in the comments.