Monthly Planning: 7 simple habits to create an end of the month routine
With the focus on what to do at the beginning of a new month, it’s just as important to discuss our end of month habits.
Just think about it.
We love the new month, new goals mentality. There is something exciting about starting something new.
Unfortunately, we drag to the end of the month, just waiting for it to be over. We start counting down the days until we can say hello to the new month.
I want to challenge you to rethink how you view the end of the month and prioritize your end of month habits.
Our next month can be more productive with intentional focus, planning, and choices. Regularly checking in at the end of the month allows us the space to reflect, purge, and prepare for the new month ahead.
If we do not regularly reflect on where we are, what we are going through, and what we have accomplished, how will we know if we are closer to living the life we want to have?
Our habits reflect the life we live.
Creating monthly habits that work don’t have to be complicated. Try these seven simple habits to help you build effective end of month routines.
1. Focus on monthly reflection
There’s no right way to do your monthly reflection. Do what feels in sync with your needs and what is beneficial for you.
Not sure where to start, try these monthly reflection questions. Pick up your favorite journal and get comfy.
- What did you learn this month?
- What were your wins for the month?
- What will you do differently next month?
- What challenges did you have to overcome this month?
- How did you prioritize your relationship with Christ?
- How did you build healthy relationships this month?
- How did you prioritize your mental and emotional health?
- How did you choose joy?
- What were you grateful for this month?
- How did you honor your body this month?
- How did you honor your boundaries this month?
- How did I experience the presence of God this month?
These questions are also great conversation starters with your spouse or around the dinner table with your family.
2. Purge one room of your home
Deep cleaning your entire house can seem quite daunting and overwhelming. Starting to clean is fine. It’s finishing the cleaning that becomes the problem. Choosing one room of your home to purge unwanted or outgrown items helps cut down on clutter, making regular cleaning more manageable. Purging one room at the end of the month allows you to start fresh at the beginning of a new month.
Some tips to help you get started:
- Get trash bags, boxes, or containers for sorting items
- Inspect everything carefully. Have you used it? Is it functional? Does it work?
- Sort everything. Clutter happens when items don’t have a proper place. Decide where the items need to go.
When you purge the items, actually get rid of them. Have a plan for how you remove the items from your home. Will you donate to a friend or family member? Will you drop off your items at the locate thrift store? Whatever you decide to do, create a time and date when you remove the unwanted items from your home.
3. Review your goals
Spend time reviewing your goals from the previous month. Did you meet them? Did you exceed them? Did you miss the mark? Did you even forget to make any goals?
Regularly reviewing your goals helps you to stay focused and measure your progress. You can reflect, monitor, and adjust your habits to help you meet your goals. Without reflection, we are less likely to make necessary changes to meet our goals, especially those big ones.
Some questions to consider:
- Are you on track to achieve your goals?
- Are my goals harder or easier to achieve than you plan?
- Are your goals too easy or safe?
- Are you happy with your progress? If not, what will you do to improve?
- What support do you need to meet your goals?
4. Clean out your email inbox
Oh, those email inboxes can get out of control. Your inbox probably looks like that junk drawer you don’t want to open. Ugh, I get it. Thankfully, cleaning out your email inbox doesn’t have to be complicated.
Set one hour aside to:
- Unsubscribe from emails that you don’t read
- Mass delete messages you don’t need.
- Create folders to hold important information like emails from teachers, doctors, or school.
5. Save and delete photos
How many photos do you have on your phone right now? Really? The end of the month is a great time to go through your pictures to decide what you will save and delete. Most people use their phones to capture important life events. From birthdays to everyday life, those photos matter.
Why are you waiting to save them? If your phone crashes today or you lose your phone, and you do not have them save in the iCloud, you would lose all those moments. Do yourself a favor. Save those memories.
Back your photos in multiple places Save your photos on the iCloud and to an external hard drive. Protect those pictures.
6. Backup computer files
While you are saving and deleting your photos, don’t forget to clean up your computer files. There’s nothing worse than losing all of your hard work on your computer. Backing up your computer files saves you money and protects your peace of mind. Plus, there’s no guarantee your data can be recovered. Just thinking about losing my work makes my stomach flip.
Don’t minimize the importance of saving and protecting your files. Save your files to the Using an external hard drive, back up all your computer files.
It may feel redundant to back your files up to multiple sources. Just think, it’s better to save extra files and not need them than need them and you don’t have them. If you back up your files to multiple hard drives, don’t keep all the hard drives in the same place. That defeats the purpose of having multiple options. Be sure to include backing up your files in your monthly planning.
7. Celebrate your small victories
The end of the month doesn’t feel like a celebration sometimes. Actually, it can feel like you are barely hanging on. Stopping to celebrate the moments along the ways can rejuvenate our hearts and help us recharge our motivation to keep moving forward. Pausing to celebrate helps us to “see” our wins.
Celebrate your wins by:
- Writing them on sticky notes for you to “see”
- Share them with people you love
- Reward yourself
- Take a gratitude break
Your progress, no matter how small, is worth celebrating. Don’t miss out on celebrating your wins for the month.
Make a regular commitment to sit down at the end of each month to reflect and plan. Incorporating these seven simple habits into your monthly routine can help increase productivity, efficiency, and self-awareness. You’ll be surprised how slowing down each month can help you appreciate how far you have come and energize you to keep moving forward.
What would you add to the list?