Setting goals is something we all do in our own way. Some of us use a system such as the Eisenhower time management strategy, while some of us have daily goals or casual mental lists or set goals every new year. I know that I’ve never really kept a new year resolution, nor can I remember them. I’ve found that setting monthly goals is a great way to achieve what I’d like from the month ahead. Personally, it helps me achieve my to-do list more naturally and stay focussed on what’s important to me. Here are some monthly goals practices I hope will help you too.
Write it down
It may appear obvious but if you’re someone that keeps your monthly goals stored away safely in your head, I urge you to put pen to paper and jot it down. I’ve found that writing down my goals for the month helps me conclude what’s most important. Also, what I need to focus on. What can wait until next month and which tasks will be tackled in the week ahead, then the week after until everything you need to achieve in any one month is allocated. It also helps reflect on what is and isn’t important. If you have things on your list that aren’t benefitting you, maybe they can go? I also find it helpful to treat myself to a really nice journal and pen that I’ll enjoy penning down my to-dos in. If you’re more inclined to use your tablet, there are some great digital planners out there. It’s feels great to have a routine and know what you’re wanting to (going to) achieve.
Including habits in your monthly goals is also very positive practice when thinking about the month ahead. Do work in anything personal you’d like to fit into your month. Maybe you want to work on walking more and not using the car for small trips. Maybe you want to get up ten minutes earlier every day to fit in some stretching or get some time with the novel you’re reading before the day starts. Whatever it is, these monthly goals are just as important for your wellbeing and should also be accountable. Once I write things down, I do feel more likely to achieve, especially as it forces me to prioritise. And, having the monthly goals planner is just long enough to complete more without piling up the pressure a short-term list can. There’s time to achieve and that you will. It’s all about the small things.
Plan, plan and plan
When you’re thinking about what to write down, you should focus on all areas of your life and think about tasks you want to increase and possibly decrease. Think about what makes you feel good, what practical tasks need achieving, the habits you want to do more of. Achieve the goals that make you happy – whether it’s a coffee with a friend once a week, or an evening walk or run, a class you enjoy. Also, think about the things that don’t serve you, or make you happy and drop them from your monthly goals list. Factor in self-care activities into your lists, so you’re prioritising what you need for your wellbeing too, as well as those around you.
Visualise your goals
Visualisation can play an important part in achieving your monthly goals. The concept is simple – focus on the mental image of one of your goals to create the confidence to achieve it. If one of your personal goals is to walk more, visualise being outside in nature, and feel that moment. It helps you practice succeeding with your lists and promote the feel-good feeling once you have achieved the task at hand. Writing down your monthly goals will help you decide your goals, picture the scene and do it. Practice visualisation daily especially if you’re working up to one of your goals. It can be really motivating and positive thinking will help your wellbeing and the desire to complete all that’s on your busy list.
Remember, everything we jot down isn’t always going to be achieved within the time frame. It’s about focusing on what’s important, prioritising and creating that accountability. Things that can naturally wait may move into the next month and that’s fine. It’s a learning process when you’re gaining clarity into what’s an important balance in both your work-and-home life. You’ll figure it out for sure. Good luck!