As we near the end of this year’s first quarter, I find myself thinking a lot about the way my year has gone so far, and the things I’d like to do with the months that remain. With that thought in mind, I’d like to share a personal practice that has helped me to become more productive and focused.
On the first day of each month, I set my alarm clock a few minutes early, and use that time to write down five things that I want to accomplish over the ensuing month. This gives me a concrete, measurable list of goals to keep me on track as the month goes on, and also serves as a reminder of the things that are really important to me. This list might not always consist of the five most pressing tasks for the upcoming month, but every item is something that I feel is important for my mental, physical, professional, and/or emotional well-being.
For example, last month's goals included re-reading one of my favorite books, exercising for at least 30 minutes every single day, and calling a few friends who I hadn’t spoken with in a while. Every Sunday night before bed, I check in with my list (which I keep on my nightstand) and see how I’m doing. This ritual guides my mental action plan for the week ahead, eases anxiety, and--when I can cross an item off the list--boosts self-confidence.
When I first started making these lists it felt like a chore, but now I look forward to it every month. This weekend marked the first day of Spring, and I think we’d all be well-served by setting a few goals for the season ahead. Will setting monthly, weekly or even daily goals help inspire you? Comment below to tell us what you think!
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