Monthly reflections are not popular as goal setting and new year resolution. Most of the time we give more preference and importance to planning rather than reflecting over a current state, in fact reflecting can be more insightful. I had for a long time done only planning and goal setting but it was just 2 years ago that I have developed a consistent practice of doing monthly reflections and they have made a huge change in my life.
If you are struggling to find a way to be intentional with your life then the monthly reflection is the right start.
- It comprehensively cover most ares of your life.
- It can be done in 15 minutes.
End of month review
I am a big fan of End of month reflection1planning, it brings much-needed clarity and peace to me.
Often we feel planning and refection takes a lot of time but trust me that’s not the case. I have been doing monthly planning and reflection for around 2 years now and it takes me just 30 min. Let me be honest there are times I do miss monthly refection or planning but I have observed when I miss it the following month is overwhelming and chaotic.
But why am I talking about monthly planning here? Because the first step towards monthly planning is reflecting on the previous month. To do good tomorrow you need to review your yesterday. and since the end of month reflections are so important and yet so less talked about that I thought of writing about it.
So without much adieu let’s get started with the monthly review and how to perform monthly reflection.
What is monthly reflection?
Monthly reflection is the end-of-month review of your progress for the month and a check on your overall wellbeing and work status and an assessment of your situations and action at the end of the month. There are many things that can be reviewed at the end of the month depending on situations, roles you play in life, and your priority. But ultimately monthly reflection is an intentional time spent with yourself looking back at the month to find things that work and do not work for you and get some meaningful insight into your life.
Why you should do End of month reflection?
We all are always busy and hustling through many things. Our minds are cluttered with thoughts and all we think is to get work at hand done, spending very little time to think about where we are, how do we feel and where do we wish to be. That is why the monthly review is important. Doing monthly reflection offer the following benefits
1) Keep you accountable
When you review the wins and misses for the month you feel more accountable for the way you spend your time entire months and the choices you make.
2) Help see the bigger picture
With routine tasks, we tend to lose focus on our goals and get distracted. Looking back at the entire month lets you see a glimpse instead of minor details of the day, this helps you plan better and allows you to align with your goals of life and take the right step to meet your goals.
3) Better track of progress
Review of monthly tasks and pending actions help you plan your work better and let you track your process towards the fulfillment of all the tasks that are needed to be completed in the month.
4) Help build habits
Building habits need consistency, we all make a resolution to build a habit but the consistency of following it for 66 days makes you build habits. Each month-end when you reflect to see the number of days you followed a habit forces you to stick to the habit.
5) Make you intentional
Reviewing your month help you find the opportunity for improvement, figure out your priorities. It let you introspect and be conscious of the way you spend your time and the choice you make, this makes you more intentional.
How to do Monthly reflection
Monthy reflection can include many things based on your preferences and need. I will soon make a post on the end-of-month reflection question covering different aspects of life. However, the details that I am sharing here are those that I prefer for monthly review and find sufficient to cover my life and suitable for the time available at hand. Although I would love to spend more time with journaling and reflection.
My monthly reflection simply includes answering below monthly reflection prompts. Answering these end-of-month reflection questions makes the process of monthly review easy and takes just 15 minutes.
1: Wins for the month
I like to start my monthly reflection with the achievements for the month. It gives a sense of satisfaction and motivates me to do better. Since I refer to my monthly plan when reflecting, the wins are mostly the major goals that I had planned for the month.
2: Enablers for the month
Next, I like to spend some time thinking about the things that allowed me to achieve my goals, or let me stick to the plan I made.
This also includes routine, practices, people that improved my productivity, mood and help me work better for the month. Things that enable you to work better or make your month good must be included more in your life.
3: Misses for the month
There is always a chance that you may miss on tasks or goals that you would have planned for the month. So during the monthly reflection, I like to make a note of these misses and make sure to include them in my next month’s plan.
It is also good to think why you had missed these things, it may be that you had overplanned for the month or there were certain distractions that did not let you complete the plan. Being aware of them can let you avoid them in the future.
4: Learning for the month
I like to reflect on the learnings for the month. These can be one or many. It is not necessary that the learning need be from books you read or skills learned at work. There are many good lessons of life that we learn across the routine day.
Making a note of learning as part of monthly reflection makes me more aware of the life experience and also reinforces the lessons.
5: Evaluate your performance for the month
Since I plan monthly tasks and habits. I like to evaluate where do I stand with those goals at the end of each month. This evaluation let me track my progress each month and plan better for the next month.
6: Things you need to stop doing
I have realized that intentionally or unintentionally we do things that are either hampering our productivity or affecting our mood leading to a bad month.
Making it a point to note things that I should stop doing, indulge me to think on these matters on a monthly basis and make me intentional of the choice I make, and maintain a good mindset.
7: Things you should start doing
Based on the experience of the past month I like to think of the things that I should start doing or change the way I am doing certain things.
This helps you do things better and not repeat the mistakes you have made in past. These can be small changes in your process or a total change in your work style.
For example, I observed that by evening I would feel exhausted and was unable to do things planned in the evening. So I started to take a 15 min break around that time and eat a snack to get some energy and it helped me.
8: Things you should continue to do
When something really works for you make sure to include it in your to be continued list. Thinking of only things to do and not to do makes you prone to only add or delete practices from your plan.
This can constantly make you change your plans and we will all agree that it takes time and effort to adjust to new changes. So, if you find something good make a point to stick to it.
9: Express Gratitude
Expressing gratitude has many physical and psychological benefits. Reflecting on the experience of the previous month and making note of at least one gratitude make you feel, hopeful for the coming months and spreads positivity.
There are times I would feel things are going the wrong way and life is hard but writing down gratitude for the month makes me feel thankful for the amazing people around me and the privileges I have
10: Review your routine
Lastly, I like to review my routine for the month if there are any changes required. This includes my morning routine, weekly routine, cleaning routine, and meal planning.
If I know my coming month will be unusually busy or there are changes in other family members’ schedules or weekends will not be available, I like to make changes to my routine. Also, If I come across a new routine or idea to try I go-ahead to change.
When you are working and have busy life routines are your best friend. You can read about my weekend routine to beat a busy schedule.
Final thoughts on monthly reflection
So these are the 10 points that can be used to guide you through monthly reflection covering most aspects of your life in a short amount of time.
You can add or delete based on your preference. Just know that monthly refection is just an intentional time spent with yourself and there is no right and wrong.
I would recommend blocking 15 min each month, to avoid spending excess time.
At times you may miss doing monthly reflection, just want to let you know it’s ok, don’t be hard on yourself. Life gets busy, do it when you find the time or the next month.
I hope you found this post helpful, make sure to give monthly reflection a try this month.
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