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Productivity

How to Plan Your Month to Reach Your Goals

We all know the feeling when you reach the end of the month and question where all the time went and what you had even accomplished. You may have found yourself working on tasks that made little progress towards your larger goals. In order to succeed in your goals and desires, living month to month with intentionality is important. This is why I believe that developing a habit of monthly planning will be a game-changer in your routine. It is important to you achieving your goals and progressing every month. Not only this, but planning reduces the likelihood of procrastination therefore saving you tons of time. To find out how you can compose monthly plans keep reading.

Key Points

  1. Reflect on your previous months and assess your habits, routines and schedules
  2. Set monthly goals to help you remain focused day to day and effectively track your progress
  3. Write down exactly how you will achieve each goal to hold yourself accountable
  4. Order your tasks in level of priority to help you better manage your time and complete tasks in good time
  5. Schedule time in for yourself on a daily basis to help boost your productivity and performance

Evaluate your previous month

Taking the time out to reflect on prior months will help you become increasingly self aware about the choices you made and how you used your time. This helps you to make the necessary adjustments and improvements for the month that will help you facilitate growth on a monthly basis. Whilst doing this, it's the perfect time to assess your current habits, routines and schedules. What went well and is there anything that can be improved? Were you able to achieve everything you set out to do in the first place? If not, how can you ensure you do next time? This is the time to be completely transparent with yourself.

Set your goals for this month and understand your reasons

In addition to setting yearly goals, it's important to set monthly goals that help you to stay on track and remain focused while you work towards your larger goals. By clearly outlining what you intend to achieve for the month ahead, you will work towards making each day intentional and boost your productivity. Compose a monthly checklist that will help you track and monitor your progress on a monthly basis. Additionally, seek to understand your reasons behind why you are working towards each individual goal will keep you motivated as achieving goals brings a sense of fulfillment.

Outline how you will achieve your goals

Solely writing down your monthly goals is not enough to achieve your goals on their own. Oftentimes, they are more achievable when you write out how you will achieve them alongside setting a date place and time, author James Clear emphasizes this in his book 'Atomic Habits'. Setting goals and setting out to achieve them are quite like building habits which is why the two are comparable. Establish what days in each week you set out to achieve each goal and how you will go about them to hold yourself accountable weekly.

Review your budget plan

Of the best philosophies I've heard is "What doesn't get tracked, doesn't get managed." If your goals are geared towards financial improvements, it's important to keep track of where your money goes on a monthly basis.  Tracking where your money is going daily or even on a weekly basis, will help you make smarter decisions that will help you move towards you financial goals. Reviewing your spending at the end of the month can really aid in keeping you on track and help you set money aside for any potential unforeseen circumstances as well as monitoring your performance.

Prioritize your tasks

Time management is the key to following through with your aims. Ensuring that you tackle your most important to-dos actually motivates you to complete all that needs to get done. For me personally, I like to break down my tasks as goals and break them down as good, better, or great goals. My good goals are the goals that I know that I must get done. My better goals are my goals that I would really would like to get done and would help me be a little bit more ahead for the following weeks to come. My great goals are my stretch tasks that I probably won't get to but if I did that would be amazing! Prioritizing tasks as well as putting them in your calendar will ensure that you complete your tasks in good time frame even if there happens to be any unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, focusing on one project at a time or similar group of tasks will help you to work more efficiently. If you want to learn how to become more organized in order to reduce daily stress, check out my other article here.

Keep your calendar up to date

Are there any dates that you can't afford to let slip your mind? We all know that feeling when you've realized you've double or even triple booked yourself. Write them down in your planner so you can work around them and make yourself available where necessary.  I personally like to use reclaim.ai because it allows me to see what is going on across multiple calendars and prevents me from double booking myself and I can see what's going on across multiple calendars. As you make sure that your calendar is up to date, you know that you'll never miss anything.

Find accountability

Sometimes having people around you that you trust and can ensure you are keeping on track with your projects is necessary. Take the time to check-in with them regularly and that you are transparent about where you are really at. In addition to finding an accountability partner, disciplining and holding yourself accountable is just as important to your success. Without that internal drive and commitment, you aren't going to be motivated to push towards achieving your goals. It all starts with you. When you have someone or you're holding some accountable, this will help you have more self-awareness in terms of where you're at with achieving your goals.

Carve out time for yourself and others

It's important that while you are pursuing your goals, you also take the time out to allow yourself to unwind and recharge. Ensuring that you schedule time in will improve your focus and productivity. It's important set time aside daily for you even if you only have 10 minutes available it will make a significant difference. Free time is also proven to boost creativity and optimize your performance. Setting aside time for loved ones also keeps you in the loop and present despite all the other commitments that grab your attention. The important thing is that you make time for you and the people that you love and care about.

Reward yourself

It's important that you treat yourself after a month of hard work. Having things to look forward to will increase levels of motivation and drives you further. When you reward yourself,  this helps you to feel a sense of accomplishment and optimize your efficiency as you work towards other tasks. Rewards also help you to build better and more positive habits as you work towards your goals.

The truth is, you can have a busy schedule and multiple commitments while you intentionally work towards your goals. All it takes is prioritizing and time management. Create systems that will allow you to hold yourself accountable and track your progress, these can make all the difference.

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