Monthly Planning To Be Aligned + Organised
How To Get Organised For The Month Ahead
It’s the first week of July, which means it’s time to PLAN the month ahead! It’s one of my favourite things to do. A fresh month, four new weeks and lots of progress, action-taking and creating ahead of us!
I like to do various monthly planning things to get organised and aligned with my overall goals.
At the start of every month, I take some time to go through these planning steps. It makes me feel so much clearer on what I want to do and what I need to do to get through the month, make progress on my goals, and achieve what I want to achieve.
It also helps reduce stress and time-wasting, because I have a clear plan of what I want to do and when.
In today’s post, I just wanted to share some of the things I do to get organised for the month ahead. Let me know if you do any planning in the comments below!
So, before I start to plan my month I get everything I need. I like to write things down as well as type things up digitally. When it comes to this kind of planning, a journal works best for me.
I have just bought a new journal for the second half of the year, to start fresh on that front too. Putting my best foot forward is KEY this half of 2020.
Having my phone/laptop handy is necessary too because I also use some apps on there too.
Review The Previous Month
It’s important as part of the process of looking forward and planning your future, to also look back and review what you have just been doing.
I review the previous month, by asking a couple of simple questions, and going into detail about the answers.
Questions To Review The Previous Month
If you are reviewing your previous month, you could ask yourself:
- What went well last month?
- What achievements/successes did I have?
- How did I feel most of the time?
- What could have gone better? How?
- What would I have changed looking back?
- Did I make progress on my goals?
Asking these questions and reflecting on how things went really helps you to go deeper into how you’re spending your time, what is going well for you and what areas you need to work on.
You can’t move forward if you’re don’t know where you’re at!
Write out some notes on each of those questions and look at all the awesome things you’ve been through, the times you’ve struggled and the lessons learnt.
Over time, with this happening every single month, just imagine the life transformations you can have in a year, five years, and so on.
There’s a lot to be said for reflecting and looking back to learn those lessons.
Looking Ahead + Planning The Month
So, there are a few different things to plan when looking at the month ahead. For me, I’m working my 9-5 and running my business, so I have to consider my day job when I am planning my business activities.
For you, this might be slightly different.
Tweak the process in a way that makes sense for you and your life.
Things To Plan + Organise
There are a few different areas of life that I plan out and get organised on ahead of time. Here are my examples:
- Content plan for the month // blog posts, IG posts, rough IG stories ideas, the theme of the week etc
- Goals for the month // what progress do I want to make in each area of my life?
- Monthly to-do list // running list of the things I need to do in general each month
- Financial plans // check my budget, make adjustments where needed, look at debt repayment + plans for buying a house at the end of 2020 etc
- Bucket list // usually there are things that aren’t necessarily goals but are lifestyle things I would like to do that month, such as going to the beach, going to the cinema etc.
- Personal growth + learning plan // every month I try to make sure I am planning to learn as much as I can, so I think about which courses I want to take (or continue), which books I want to read, and who I want to spend time watching and learning more about (on YouTube or IG)
So, these are the main areas I plan out each month.
Let’s go into a bit more detail as to what I do, how I keep organised and plan with each area of these points.
Content Planning For The Month
This is an area I am really trying to get better at doing!
When I first started blogging again at the end of 2019, I wasn’t really planning anything, and most of the posts I was sharing at that point have now been deleted. The aim of the blog kind of pivoted and I gradually transitioned over from general lifestyle to my deeper level lifestyle and more valuable content around mindset, growth + online business.
Now that I have a proper area that I am focusing on, and I am also offering coaching/mentoring services, it has become a lot more important to plan my content and get ahead of the game.
I use a combination of tools to stay organised and plan ahead for content.
Some Great Tools To Help:
- Asana // I use Asana with a board project set up and then I can layout the posts that I plan to share on IG and the blog post ideas I have for each Saturday throughout the month (let me know if you want a full, detailed post on this!)
- Preview App // this app I use for checking what IG posts look like before I post them, and often have them scheduled through it to make sure I don’t forget to share (although I love IG so I never really forget!)
- Canva // this is a design tool that I use to create most of my content for my IG, my blog etc
And that’s it mostly! I try not to overcomplicate my plans too much and simply create valuable resources and fun, relationship-building content to connect deeper with my audience.
I simply plan how many IG posts per week I’m going to share, which is usually 3/4 times a week. Alongside this, I plan a weekly blog post that ties in with the theme of the week and the plans I have in other areas, as I’ll share further in this post!
So, that’s content planning for the month. Like I say, it’s quite simple and helps me stay on track without limiting myself too much.
Goal-Setting For The Month
The next part of my monthly planning process is setting up my goals for the month.
Keeping track of my big goals and creating steps to achieve them is really important to me, and I would definitely say it’s been one of the biggest game-changing activities that I do.
Each month I’ll look at where I’m at in the progress towards my big, life-time goals. I’ll reflect on things are going, how I’m feeling about everything, and whether I am still aligning to the right things for me.
Next, I’ll decide further monthly goals that help me move the needle towards what I really want.
By breaking those big goals down into smaller, more actionable chunks, you’re going to start seeing those results.
By doing the small steps, you’re moving towards that goal!
Monthly To-Do List
Alongside my goal-setting for the month, I also run a general to-do list.
This just covers off the generic things that I have to get done that month, that aren’t necessarily goals per se.
Usually, this covers things around the home, projects for us to try, and other tasks.
I keep this as a running list, that I add to as I go along and I review it all the time to make sure I’m not missing important things. I tend to push things back if they’re not that important, and prioritise my time on the things that have a genuine return on my time and money.
If something isn’t really that important, then it might get pushed back indefinitely!
I don’t believe in wasting my time on things that don’t fulfil me financially or move me forwards in life in my career, business or personal life, or provide me with proper enjoyment, relaxation, and soul-based satisfaction.
Why would I waste time stressing over something if it doesn’t have a proper impact?!
There are things that have to get done such as chores and looking after myself etc, but these are just a natural part of my life and I don’t overtly plan them. This is a mindset shift that’s happened more recently because I realised I was wasting time stressing over things that don’t really matter!
So I decided to stop and focus on what is truly important to me and brings real value to my life and those around me.
Financial Plans For The Month
I have a running budget that I follow for each month in terms of what bills I have to pay, how much and when.
I keep an expenses list, of everything I spend on top of those necessary bills, such as my Kindle Unlimited subscription etc.
Each month I review the budget, to make sure I haven’t missed anything or if there’s anything I need to add on. My partner is an Accountant so we are pretty on it when it comes to managing our money!
I have also been focusing on heavily paying off debt I had built up in my early twenties, as we are planning to buy a house at the end of the year. Each month I make sure I am paying off the maximum towards my debt that I possibly can.
Bucket List // Monthly Ideas
I also try to plan in monthly things that I would like to do that are fun and frivolous things or simply on my list of bucket list dreams.
Making sure to include time for restful days, time with friends and family, day trips out and holidays etc. Of course, with covid-19 it’s been a bit difficult because of the long-term lockdown, but that’s okay. We have to do what is right and be sensible when things have gone the way they have recently.
But once things go back to normal and we are able to get out and do more again, then I’ll be including these again for my monthly plans.
Personal Growth + Learning Plans
Each month, I also make plans for how I am going to continue my personal growth journey.
I want to make sure that I am continuing to learn each month, and building my skills and understanding as I go.
So, I make sure to factor in my monthly plans things certain things.
Monthly Personal Growth + Learning Activities:
- Progress on courses // any courses I am currently taking, I make sure I plan in time to work on them and not let them get left behind! When I’ve spent money on something, I want to make sure I get as much value from it as possible! At the moment, I am taking a Spiritual Life Coach course and I am also becoming an NLP Practitioner
- Decide on taking on new courses // due to my financial situation, I am not putting too much money into investing in new courses at the moment. Once we buy the house at the end of the year, then I’ll have the disposable income and credit to be able to invest further in many things, including a business coach and further education
- Choose books to read // I set myself a goal that I would read a new book every single month of 2020 and whilst I haven’t hit this every time, I’ve definitely read a lot more! I’ve read some great books so far this year, such as Master Your Emotions by Thibaut Meurisse and Who The Fuck Am I To Be A Coach?! by Megan Jo Willson. I’ve got many more planned, and this month it’s Self Love & Spiritual Alchemy by Dani Watson.
- Miscellaneous personal growth tasks // all kinds of things fall into this, but it’s just making time to try new skills, practice working on things, pushing myself out of my comfort zone etc.
Actually planning in time to work on these things makes them much more achievable. I also really enjoy learning and developing my skills, so these things are an absolute joy!
And that’s it! Everything I plan each month, and a good amount of the background detail into how I do it.
I hope you’ve found it useful and have got some inspiration into how you can monthly plan for life!
Before you move onto the next post, please sign up to my weekly email blast below, to make sure you don’t miss a post and get first-hand access to all the exclusives etc!