“A month from now you can either have a month of progress or a month of excuses as to why you didn’t.”
I don’t think we realize how much can change from month to month. In just one month we can go from summer to autumn or winter to spring. Sometimes I feel like my life is on autopilot and I get stuck following the same routine without much change or pazazz. This causes me to feel restless and bored and I’m sure in someway, you do too.
I believe that we as a general public we are fairly optimistic but not always happy. We always strive for a better life which leaves less room to be happy in the now. Yet, because we believe it is possible to achieve better, we’re optimistic. I believe a better way to see great changes is to concentrate on making monthly achievable goals because though major transformations do take time, it’s possible to impose positive, impactful change into your life in a much shorter time frame. By focusing on a few important habits you can your life in unexpected ways in as little as a month.
I have a small list of habits that I, too, am going to follow to improve my life in as little as a month.
1. Prioritize things that matter.
This can go as deep as your life priorities or as shallow as your daily tasks priorities. I would start off by making a list of your life priorities then beside the item try to number them. It’s okay to have two things under one number just know that somethings will have to be prioritized differently than others.
“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
Now as far as daily tasks, wake up everyday and make a list of your top three tasks that you want to concur by the end of the day. (i.e, work, 20 minutes of movement, drinking 60 oz of water) It can be whatever task you feel is important to you that day. Begin with the hardest task and end with the easiest one. You may feel like you have an endless task list and thats okay but in my opinion by prioritizing our tasks and our goals, we can focus on what’s important and recognize the urgent and not-so-urgent in our lives.
Prioritization helps us to clearly define our goals and our visions and allows us to cut out the things that don’t actually matter.
2. Learn how to manage (down)time.
This is something that I personally have to work on. Allowing myself to have a good balance of downtime and using my downtime to be productive in other areas that I lack in. We all need time and space to refuel and recharge. We should honor our downtime in the sense that we should set aside some time for ourselves and stick with it.
But not so much time that we feel stuck and boring. I personally love waking up early enough so that I have some extra time in the morning to do wha tI want to do even if that just means drinking coffee and scrolling on social media.
As a “working-mom” I sometimes feel like I have a really busy home/work balance. Especially with homeschool I find myself trying to multi-task a lot to “maximize my time” but sometimes I end up just getting lost in multitasking. When we get caught up in the manic multitasking storm, we lose focus on the things that actually get matter and become blinded to anything but results. By learning to multitask less, you can actually keep yourself focused and grounded to produce better work in whatever field you choose.
3. Take up Meal Planning
I applaud those of you who can meal plan ad stick to it. I’ve never actually tired and I feel like I could if it was just me but as far as my fiance, he wants no part in it. Now your month of transformation doesn’t have to be just mental, it can be physical too. Meal planning can mean just planning out your dinner meals for the next two weeks to help remain organized and not have to wonder every day what you’re going to eat for dinner. It’s also helpful when you are shopping for groceries.
It can also mean something different. Try to take an hour each weekend to sketch out a week’s worth of meal plans and grocery lists. Try to incorporate easy, healthy meals into your diet that align with the fitness and health goals you have for yourself. Collect the recipes that you need and source lists and ingredients that you can reuse in the future.
True change takes place not just on the inside, but the outside too. Be considerate of the ways your fuel your body too.
4. Start a Journaling Practice
I have wanted to try journaling, specifically the art of bullet journaling. I love writing, clearly. I feel like it’s a safe way to get thoughts out of my head and with journaling you can feel like it’s somewhere safe. You can remove the things that are troubling you (and the feelings you have that surround the situation) and put it somewhere separate and free of judgement.
Try to take 10-20 minutes a day to release what’s going on in your mind or in your life. Don’t forget details like how you’re feeling and why. Let it all out. Don’t edit or change yourself because no one is going to see this but you unless you choose.
5. Get Creative Again
This is something I’m excited for and have been working on myself. My friends and i decided to start a tee shirt business and I have been drawing more and it feels so good. Use your “me time” to get in touch with your creative spirit and let our work flow into existence. This actually goes pretty well with the journaling idea. Write, draw, paint and bring to life what dwells in your heart and mind.
6. Start a Dream List
Dreams are a great way to keep one inspired. I have a mental dream list that I haven’t quite gotten around to writing down. Having dreams and goals is a great way to help us strive to do better. Taking time to write down a dream list can be beneficial. Just make a list of things you would love to do, add to it every week or so and look at it when you are ever feeling down or losing sight of your goals.
“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”
– Douglas H. Everett
Dreams may sometimes be ridiculous but that doesn’t mean there unattainable. They might just be the thing that can initiate the change that we want to see in life.
7. Be Proactive
Following up with the dream list. There are dreamers and there are doers. There are people who can be both but you have to be active in deciding what you want to accomplish in life. As we continue to take on the month and the months following, take a few moments to consider the days ahead and the things that you need to achieve in that time. Do your best to identify any challenges you may tend to face and consider what you can do to overcome those obstacles. You see failure is inevitable. As W. Clement Stone once said, “Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again.”
You always have the option that when you fail, to fail forward. To learn from the mishaps and become wiser the next time around. So jump on those challenges before they jump on you, face them head on. Be proactive about going after your goals and get proactive too about facing the things that prevent you from getting what you want.
8. Get Organized
We often underestimate the power of a clean space. This goes from mentally and physically. It can truly work wonders on motivating and inspiring us to get everything done.
My suggestion would be picking a space for month, or even a week, and dedicating your time to declutter some things and get organized. Preferably a manageable area that way you don’t find yourself getting too overwhelmed too quick.
Purge it of the things that you no longer use, want or need and give up things that keep you stuck to the past and the person that you once were.
This isn;t a very big one but it is certainly one to consider. Unplugging for a few minutes everyday can actually improve your well being. I personally struggle with get consumed with all the wealth of knowledge we have so easily accessible at our fingertips.. and social media. But all of that fast moving information all coming at you at one time isn’t really healthy and it’s filling your brain with unnecessary stuff.
I sound like a grandma, but aside from all of that, being “plugged in” not only fills your brain and wastes your time it also takes you away from what’s happening around you and being productive in ways that could benefit you in the future.
Start with short “no-tech” breaks of just 15 minutes. Turn off your phone, computer or tablet and put it out of sight (if possible). Do something else to distract yourself and increase the amount of time you go without your phone gradually.
You can really do this anyway that you like but honestly I believe it’ll truly be beneficial in the long run to a happy, healthier you.
10. Remember to be Grateful.
Last year, I learned a lot about being grateful. I took advantage of a lot of things that I wish i didn’t. From simple things like spending time with family and being able to go to the gym to bigger things such as free childhood education and the benefits of allowing my child to socialize and just be with kids her age.
Getting stuck in the negative is an easy thing to do in todays world. There’s so much to negativity that can simply engulf you if you allow it. Having bad days is inevitable but wallowing in those bad days and negative thoughts is a choice. When we forget to be grateful, we lose touch with the things and the people that matter most to us.
Gratitude is about being present in the moment and allowing yourself to accept things “as is” but also seeing everything for what is. Somethings in life are given to us as an opportunity to learn and you should see it as so and be grateful for the opportunity.
Gratitude is a conscious choice and one that takes refreshed commitment every single day. In your journal that we discussed early, make a list of things you are thankful for and reconnect the things in life that bring you joy. I have a planner that at the beginning of every month it asks what you’re thankful for this month and I simply love that and the idea of that.
Life is worth living because of the people and experiences we are surrounded by every single day. Learn to see the beauty in them and be grateful for the chance.
So sit with me and imagine how your life would be different if you just hanged things for one month. If you changed just a few simple habits, could you transform yourself and your circumstances for the better? Science says yes, you can. Remember to be grateful and get proactive about the goals that light your heart up. Prioritize the things that matter and remember that no one is perfect, but we have to learn how to respect our feelings in order to make a true and lasting change.
You’ll be surprised to see what 30 days can do in life of transformation.