How I plan my month | June 2018

Hi guys! I know that it's been a few months since I have posted but I have some really exciting things on the way! I have challenged myself to blog weekly the whole month of July because I may or may not have something up my sleeve. ;) I have started brainstorming for future posts but one thing that I would love to do is be a little more interactive with my readers. I know that I have a close relationship with a lot of my readers and some I don't. Some I may not even know at all. What I would like to ask is that you guys would send me some topics to touch on. What is close to your heart? In what area do you need encouragement? What do you want to read about? I'll put these topics together and write about them! One topic that is close to my heart is trauma. What exactly is trauma? What does the Bible say about trauma? How does trauma impact us as adults and as children? I really want to dive into this and do my research. I am not a professional, I only know what I find in my research and what I feel in my heart. This topic is close to me because I know that we have all experienced trauma in one way or another and we don't always realize how deeply it impacts us. With that being said, that is one topic that I may touch on this month. Again, I am not a professional. I simply love to write about things that I'm passionate about and for me, it is digging into how things that we go through have an impact on our story. I'm so excited to hear from everyone! Starting July 4th, I plan on posting every Wednesday in July.

In this post I want to share with you guys how I plan my month. At the end of each month I begin to prepare for the following month. Before I get into that I guess I can give you guys a little update on my life!

- Jake and I just celebrated our one year anniversary on June 11th! Year one of marriage has been such a blessing filled with so much joy and love. I feel like we continue to learn and grow together every single day.

- April marked another one year anniversary for this year. One year since I started my blog!!! That is such a special accomplishment for me because it was something that I took a leap to begin and stuck with it! I have always struggled with consistency but this year has been a year full of learning to be consistent regardless of temporary feelings. I am so passionate about writing and I'm so thankful for those that take the time to read my blog.

- Even though I haven't written on my blog in a few months, I still spend a lot of my time writing! During the months that I wasn't posting I kind of put my blog and book on the back burner and focused on more personal writing. Because of that, I have learned A LOT about myself through journaling and pouring my heart out on paper. I'm of course still passionate about sharing my story but I will say that this season of writing to myself has helped me a lot with being able to write my story to the public.

How I plan my month:

As I get ready to fill out the month of July in my Happy Planner, I figured that I would give you a little peak into how I do that. It's nothing crazy and I'm sure that a lot of you already have your own monthly routine but seeing things on paper has helped me a lot! I asked my husband, Jake for a planner for my birthday and it has been a life changer. Once the month is filled out, I leave my planner open on our dresser for the month. Each morning we will take a quick look at it, see if we have anything planned, and see which goals still need to be achieved. The other day I sent Jake a text message that said "I'm not getting on social media today. When I planned the month I said that I would spend 24 hrs without social media and I chose today". He responded "Yeah I looked at the planner this morning and saw it". I thought that was so neat because we used to just go with the flow (which is okay, we just didn't have much of a routine) and be super forgetful. Also, we would say that we wanted to get certain things done around the house but never actually did it. Since I started utilizing my planner, in the blank space I make a to-do list and a goal list. The to-do list are things that absolutely have to be done and the goal list are things that I would love to achieve but I'm not going to beat myself up if we don't get to it.

I have noticed that putting it on paper and being able to check it off and say "wow, we got it done!" is so encouraging and motivating. That's kind of our new thing now is to decide what we are going to challenge ourselves to do that month. Our big around the house goal in July is to tackle our nightmare of a closet.....yikes. Anyways! Below I will list a couple of steps that I take to map out my month with examples of to-dos and goals.

1. I go through my phone and write down any events, birthdays, or plans that have already been made.

2. Write down reminders for specific days.

3. Make a small list of cleaning to-dos not including daily cleaning. For me this includes one or two rooms that I may want to deep clean or reorganize. Like I said above, next month is de-cluttering/organizing our closet. I will also do this on a weekly basis just to give myself a little push. Personally, I'm better at getting things accomplished if I can physically go and draw a line through the task when I complete it.

4. In the "Notes" section of the month I write down my goals and to-dos. This month I kept seeing a picture going around on Facebook with a list of things that you should plan your month around - lunch date, 24 hours social media free, 1 day outdoors, 1 night out with friends, 1 date night, 1 breakfast meetup, 1 movie night, 1 day serving others, and 1 day to yourself. Cool, right?

I was already doing a few of those things each month but one thing that I really wanted to add was doing 24 hours social media free. I already did this for the month of June and I got so much accomplished that day! I was super motivated to get some writing done, I got a couple of things done with a project that I am working on (stay tuned!) and I spent a lot more time engaging in conversation. It was so refreshing and I'm considering doing it once a week rather than once a month! Another one that I added is one day serving others. I try to do this in small ways throughout each day even if it's something as small as taking a task off of my husband's plate but I would love to make a whole day of this. It could be taking a meal to a busy friend, offering to babysit so a mom friend can get some rest, allowing your spouse to rest and you take care of everything that day. Those are just a couple that I plan to do but I know that it can look different for all of us!

I hope that I have inspired you to be more intentional with your month, your goals, and your to-dos. This is all very new for me because I used to just go with flow of each day and show up where I needed to show up. A planner + lists have changed my life! I get so much more accomplished and it has helped me achieve goals that I used to put on hold. Take this and personalize it! Do whatever works for YOU and your family. For some, that's putting your goals and to-dos in the note section of your phone. For others, it's a small magnet pad on the fridge to glance at on the go. Whatever it looks like for you, I hope that it helps you like it helps me. Also, give me some feedback! If you already do monthly planning, what do you do that I don't? Let's encourage and be encouraged. This month a couple of my goals included journaling and reading at least 2x a week, take our dog on more long walks, let my husband go to bed early and take care of feeding our pets + putting the dog to bed, do research for an upcoming project, and prepare for blogging every week in July!

Shay M.

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