Welcome to March, friends!☘️ I’m not sure where the first two months of the year have gone, it seems like the year has been running. As today marks the first day of a new month, I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about what I do on the first of every month. I will break it down in several sections to make it easily comprehensible for you. The first of the month signifies a new beginning and a fresh start. March is particularly exciting to me because in my book, it is the first official month of spring. As a summer baby who loves the sun, I have eagerly been awaiting the end of the wintry months. As spring also represents the season of new beginnings, following a loose guideline of the points I’m about to lay out to refresh every month is helpful for me and I hope it serves as a helpful tool to you all too! For reference, I have already completed these items for March as I typically like to be done preparing for the month before the first day is over. If it takes you a little longer or if for example, the first of the month falls on a weekend, then taking a few days extra to get organized isn’t a bad thing.
- Plan for the month ahead
On the first of the month, I open my planner and look at the month ahead. If I plan for as much as possible in the beginning of the month, it’s less overwhelming to have to play catch-up as the weeks follow. Items to go ahead and enter into your planner are any appointments you have (dr, dentist, speciality, etc), trips you have planned (pre-covid of course), birthdays to remember, important dates and deadlines (eg. when to file taxes by), and self-care days (nail appts, hair appts, etc.). Filling in all of these dates ahead of time, especially if you already have them scheduled in advance, makes it easy to stick to them and also gives you something to look forward to throughout the month. These moments are a great time to think about what your month looks like. Does March seem like a busy month? Or will this be more of a recharge type of month? Planning out the month as much as I can on the first day honestly lifts such a weight off my shoulders because I feel much more focused and I know where to center my efforts towards.
2. Budget for the month
Before I actually jump into creating a budget for the new month, I go back to the previous month in my budget book and start totaling everything out for the various categories. I use a standard budget book to track what I spend on every month. I went ahead and looked at how I did in February to see which areas I could improve in and which areas I managed well in. By reflecting on the previous month before I create a new monthly budget, allows me the flexibility of understanding what would be a realistic spend structure for the upcoming month. While I’m creating my monthly budget, I first think of what the essential bills that I need to pay for are, the expected purchases that need to happen that month, and where I want to intentionally allocate leftover funds to. This looks different for me every month which solidifies my belief in revisiting my monthly budgets as much as possible. One month I may want to put leftover funds towards a debt (like student or car payment), perhaps its a saving month and I want to beef up my savings, or if I have extra money to splurge on with that month, I’ll know how much. I recently learned that every month is supposed to look different financially and thats a good thing. Many times we get tricked into thinking we always have to “spend less” than the previous month but since the 2 months aren’t identical then there is barely a comparison to be made. It is much more important to stick to your personal financial goals for that month than to try to “do better” than the month before. To me, it’s just important to keep it all in perspective.
3. Set/Reflect on goals
Since the beginning of the month feels like a clean slate, I think it serves as the perfect time to reassess the goals you set for yourself either at the beginning of the month or at the beginning of last month. This is a good reminder of where you are in achieving those goals and what more can be done in order to reach for one of those goals. Personally, I like to focus on 1-2 goals per month to make sure I’m giving ample amount of attention to each in achieving. What’s the point of setting a goal for yourself if you don’t take the time to nurture your path in achieving that goal? I choose a topic I want to focus my efforts on for that month and then choose either a book or an online course to gather more information and learn from. For example, if this month I wanted to focus more on gut health… I would look for a book most likely written by a well-known gastroenterologist filled with research findings. Or I would look online to see if those doctors offered online courses in understanding more about gut health. I would like to provide a caveat to this point though. Setting and achieving goals is important, but I want to stress that they are not the end all be all. Meaning that it’s okay to take a few rest days in between or just relax and soak up the day. Actually, if anything, those days of rejuvenation are vital to your success because you don’t want to burn yourself out. Finding time to pause and relax with your thoughts is never the enemy which is important for even myself to remember.
Even though February was a really fun month, I am even more excited for March to come because it is finally the start of spring. Temperatures will rise, the days will last longer, and hopefully there will be more opportunities to spend outside. I hope by using the points provided above serves as a helpful tool to guide you on a successful path in March. Please comment below if any of these tips stood out to you or if you are planning on implementing these strategies this March. Thanks for reading today’s blog post!
P.S. a little spring joke for ya- Does February like March?
No but April May. 🤣
Happy 1st of March everyone!
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