10 Things to do at the Start of the Month

Oh my goodness does time fly! June has happened in a flash and to be honest, it is kind of leaving me in the dust. Personally, I need structure in my life. Not too much structure or else I will feel trapped, but enough to give me some support, you know? I need the check points to make sure I am staying on track with tasks, planning, goals, and even dreams. I need regular check ins with myself! When things start to speed up in my life it seems like chaos is sure to follow. So today this post is as much for myself as for anyone else, but I do hope it helps you as well!

Days too quickly turn to weeks, and weeks to months before we know it. That's why I 100% believe planning your week and your month is so important. I know it is for me! Are there months I miss this? Of course. And those are the months where I feel like I am running the whole month to catch up and still drop the ball in areas and get behind in others. I feel less intentional. More rushed. Less free. More scattered. The way to rectify this? Have a start of the month checklist. Now, this may not be your list exactly, but if nothing else, it may give you some direction for your own start of the month checklist.

1. Evaluate the Previous Month
Not gonna lie, this is one I pass over way too much. I am always on to the next, but it is so good to take time, reflect, and show some gratitude. I can take for granted so much. I overlook blessings, miss out on celebrating milestones, and forget to collect memories. I really want to get better at this! I know it will make me more grateful and have a better perspective. It's a lot more difficult to make small things into big things with a clear perspective.

One thing that has helped me tremendously in this area, is a section that is included in my current planner/calendar. On the page with the month at a view, there is a section at the bottom with the writing prompt, "What were the blessings in my life last month? What accomplishments am I proud of?" Whether that is a prompt in your planner or not, they are some great questions to answer every month!

2. Set Your Monthly Budget
Everyone handles their budget a little differently, so do what works for you! However you set and check in with your budget just make sure you are doing it regularly. This helps ensure you don't have any slow leaks in your budget or out of proportion budgeting. If there was some extra expenses last month, you can consider making some adjustments for the upcoming month.

Personally I set my budget every month. Like literally write it down. I know, I know, it is unnecessary with all of the templates and resources available online, but I am old school when it comes to budgeting. Every month is pretty much the same, but it does help me evaluate if I need to make any adjustments. I also check in with my budget weekly as well, so it is a huge time saver to have it all laid out for the month and I can just check in on it weekly to make sure I have everything taken care of.

3. Update Your Calendar
Pretty standard here. Make sure all of your appointments, meetings, birthdays, and other celebrations are all on your calendar. This would also be a good opportunity for you to take note of any birthday cards you need to get and send for the month. Again, I am a little crazy, but I usually put anything that requires me to be somewhere at a certain time in my phone as well as in my planner. I love being able to set reminders and even location reminders for those time sensitive responsibilities.

4. Plan Your Time with God
Like any relationship, you have to plan and prioritize for it to grow and flourish, so the start of the month is the perfect time to put first things first.

  • Choose the book of the Bible you are going to study / the reading plan you want to follow for your Bible reading. 
  • Prioritize your schedule to accommodate for Bible studies & other discipleship opportunities.
  • Know when you are going to spend time with God and how you are going to do it.
The less brain work involved means you will be less likely to overlook or under value this time, and less likely to get overwhelmed with the options.

5. Schedule Time for People
Alright, alright, another one I am not the best at... but I am working on it. Man, it is so easy to let relationships slip through our fingers. We take them for granted and miss out on the beauty that they bring to our lives. Girl, we got to make time for them!

The truth is we love having life-giving friendships. We are fueled and energized by them. But they take work. They time time. So we have to schedule time for them. Use the start of the month to send some texts and get dinners, coffee dates, phone chats, even group workouts scheduled. Let's get real, if we don't plan for them, they won't happen.

We also have to schedule time for people in the sense, we have to make room in our schedules to be generous with our time. We know we are called to love our neighbors, but truthfully, if we don't plan time for it, that won't happen either. Put in some gap hours to use for helping others, dropping in to visit with someone, or just being available. That right there is a rare art form that has never been more beautiful.

6. Schedule Time for Yourself
That's right! There needs to be time for you in that schedule of yours. I'm not saying every day or even every week has to be about "treating yo'self," but it needs to be in the month somewhere. Plan time to do things that give you life, whatever that looks like for you.

Believe it or not, self-care even looks like doctor appointments. How many people have you heard put off going to the doctor, dermatologist, dentist, etc. because they didn't have time. Those things are important and they are a part of taking care of yourself, so make sure they are on the calendar.

7. Set Goals for the Month
You know the drill, set some goals! Look ahead to the end of the month and write down the things you want to have accomplished. Seriously, little or big, write them down and go for them!

8. Clean Up Your Inboxes
Pretty straight forward. We know those inboxes get crazy cluttered and "ain't nobody got time for that." Spend some time at the end of the month to get those emails sorted, organized, and cleaned up. This can also apply to your voicemail, facebook inbox, Instagram DM, and text messages. Make sure you have followed up and tied up any loose ends that may have gotten put on the back burner. People will love you all that much more when you make the time to call them back and respond to unanswered messages.

9. Write Down What You are Believing God for
Come on now, what better way to build your faith and build your expectation than write down what you are believing God to do in the next 30-31 days!? This is important to me because I never want to take any prayer requests lightly. I am sure you have been asked by someone to pray for a need. With best intentions we agree. Sure we say a prayer, but by adding this to your monthly list of prayer needs, it will allow you to persevere in prayer. And it is pretty cool to be able to look back at the end of those 30-ish days and see what God has done!

10. Prioritize Personal Development 
This is another one that gets overlooked. It is just simple planning and you get to see the growth and progress in yourself! Here are some examples of what prioritizing your personal development can look like:

  • Pick out the books you want to read for the month. 
  • Pick a new podcast to listen to.
  • Catch up on some blog posts from people you love (wink wink). 
  • Find a project / hobby you want to try out. Cross knitting anyone?
  • Choose some scriptures to memorize.
  • Make some counseling or mentorship arrangements. 

What are some things you try to do at the start of each month?

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