A helpful checklist for your new month

I don’t enjoy feeling busy, and so I have small habits that help me feel more calm.

One way I do this is to give purpose to each new month with a simple plan.

This serves as a kind of road-map and helps me make time for myself as well as make the most of my time.

I didn’t used to be so organised, I was more of a multi-tasker and I used to be proud that I was quite good at it.

The only thing was that I didn’t always feel in control and at times I would get really overwhelmed and stressed.

How not to be overwhelmed

Overwhelmed is a word I hear a lot.

Everyone has too much stuff coming in.

Information to process, decisions to make, messages to read, and invitations to respond to.

It can feel like climbing a mountain and never reaching the top.

How a monthly plan can help

For several years now, I’ve had a paper journal where I make notes and plan my time so I can do more of the important things.

Writing things on paper always helps me feel calm, and it helps me remember things too.

Each month I have one page where I write the dates down the side, plus key events, just so I can see my calendar at a glance.

Then on the facing page I have lists of my priorities for the month ahead.

This includes work related, self-care and happiness tasks too.

Part of me resists the idea of having self-care and happiness as lists in my journal. I feel that they are areas of my life where I want to be spontaneous. But, experience has told me that self-care can drop off my list if I run out of time.

When I write things down, they are far more likely to happen.

My self-care and happiness things are priorities, when I make time for myself I am more effective everywhere else. But also, I’m important too.

What I do in my daily life counts for more than what I do from time-to-time.

A checklist to make the most of a new month

Here’s my tried and tested checklist that I use to help me feel happier and more accomplished.

  1. Review the current/previous month. Write a list of all the good things from your month. Things you did, things you accomplished, anything that you’re happy about or want to remember. Also, are there any ‘loose ends’ you need to attend to?
  2. Look at the calendar two months ahead. This is how you start to think about key dates and other events. Do you need to plan or cancel anything?
  3. Look the calendar for the new month. How is your schedule looking? How much free time do you have, or should you just start saying ‘no’ to invitations?
  4. Who are the people you want to spend time with this month? When are you going to do that? Send messages or make calls to make sure that they happen.
  5. Do you have at least one thing you are doing by yourself, which is just for you? This is something called an ‘artist date’, a habit I picked up from The Artist’s Way. I
  6. What shopping do you need to do, so that you eat well? I get recipes out and think about the month, but then plan in more detail on a weekly basis, based on what I already have. I only buy what I need. I try to focus on using vegetables and fruit that’s in season.
  7. What self-care do you need to do? When are you having proper down-time? I try to keep Sundays simple, but my daily morning routine also gives me a chance to take care of myself on a daily basis.
  8. What do you want to accomplish in the coming month? Think about what headings would be useful for you. Mine are work, home, garden, personal. I try to have no more than two or maybe three things under each heading. I try to be realistic and to really prioritise.

That’s it.

My monthly checklist to help you get more of the important things done, including time for you.

I hope you find this helpful. If you can think of someone else who would like it too, please share.

You might also like to join my newsletter for more tips and ideas on how to be less busy and make more time for self-care.

Have a great month!




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