Another calendar page has come and gone, and as you reflect on the weeks prior, you wonder how you let another month go by with no forward motion in your personal and household goals.
I know that feeling all too well. As someone who thrives on organized calendar spreads and detailed to-do lists, making sure that I make time to prepare for the month ahead is paramount.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, with practice, planning out your month can be easy and fun!
Why Should I Make A Monthly Plan?
I don’t know about you, but some days I need more than twenty-four hours. The demands of my children’s schedules, my workload, household chores, and mealtimes can be stressful if I don’t have a plan, which can make our home feel a bit too unsteady for my liking.
However, maintaining a monthly schedule helps you to cultivate the important things.
This could be anything from small habits you wish to incorporate into your daily life to big dreams that you are working towards. When you have a monthly plan, you are saying “Yes” to the things that matter.
As you begin to figure out what works best with your personality type, you will see where you benefit the most from planning.
When Should I Create A Monthly Plan?
Because I thrive with a good list, my monthly planning has three parts: monthly, weekly, and daily.
For monthly planning, my rule of thumb is to carve out time that allows me to breathe, relax, and create.
This could be the week before the new month starts to allow ample time over the week to plan, or it could be as short as over the weekend. Whatever works for you, and remember, make it fun!
The idea is to create a space where you can dream and be intentional with what you want to accomplish in the next month.
My Sunday evenings are set aside to plan out the week ahead. It is here that I am more detailed with my upcoming appointments, what needs to be done for the week, and where I distribute my monthly goals into more attainable steps.
I also like to plan out meals for the week because trying to plan out dinner when you’re hungry after a long day is next to impossible. (Any “hangry” people know what I am talking about?)
Daily planning can happen before you go to bed or first thing when you get up in the morning.
This is flexible for me because life happens. My daily planning is more concentrated than my weekly plan. Each day, I decide what smaller targets I want to achieve within my weekly goals.
This is also where I practice the daily habits I wish to cultivate, such as reading for thirty minutes, taking my vitamins, and drinking plenty of water.
By breaking up my monthly plans into smaller weekly and daily goals, my month is much more manageable physically, mentally, and emotionally.
How Do I Make A Monthly Plan?
This part is the most enjoyable and less stressful of monthly planning. Because each of us is wired to be creative in some fashion, monthly planning is versatile enough to develop what works best with your creativity level.
The first step is to grab a notebook or sheet of paper and begin to “brain dump.”
This is where I write down everything I can think of that needs to be done, such as home repairs, appointments that need to be made, or even a list of habits that I want to flourish.
Because my brain thrives with organization in my calendar, I add a splash of color to my “brain dump” by giving each person or task a specific color. Not only does it make it less boring to look at, but this makes it easier to categorize what needs to be done.
After my “brain dump”, I begin to fill in my calendar with important meetings, birthdays, family outings, and bill due dates.
Once my monthly spread is complete (make sure to leave space for things that will come up throughout the month), I now have a reference point as I am working on planning each week.
What Kind Of Planner Should I Use?
While I love a good paper calendar, I also really love the flexibility of a digital planner.
Because I never leave home without my tablet, my digital planner goes with me wherever we go.
I love the flexibility of not carrying the additional bulk of a planner, pens, or highlighters with me. And because it’s conveniently located on one device, long gone are the days of overplanning and double booking my schedule!
With digital planners offering an array of font styles and colors, stickers, and taking up no space on your desk or bookshelf, it is easy to make the seamless switch!