I go back to my first pages and look at the goals I set. I see one of them was to improve my fitness and be able to swim 40 laps at the pool and I did that! I have managed 40 laps a few times now and am averaging 110 per week! Others were to lose weight and I lost two kilos so that is ok. But what ever it is a new month is a good time to check your progress and then plan the month.
My gorgeous diary was a great investment. I am using it everyday. Sundays I plan my week. Each week I include something painful! those things that are a huge pain to get around to like the dentist, jobs we put off. This way I get one out of the way a week and thats 52 a year. So I gradually conquer things like air conditioner services, comparing insurance plans and all those things that we put off. I try to do them on Mondays so they are done and dusted.
The beginning of the month also is a good time to look ahead at each event and birthday and get them organised. We have four birthdays and Valentines Day. So that gets me thinking about them.
Now I haven't always done this. I have always liked writing a diary but I never really used it as organisation or planning or goals. But I suffered depression a few years ago and I learned to keep a gratitude journal and then to plan and organise and celebrate. I can't tell you how much this has helped me and how much more I get done.
My diary came with stickers and labels. I am amazed they even have my name on them. This diary is from Erin Condren and I will be getting another one next year! But really you can use any book as a planner. It's the time you take that makes it work and ends up saving you so much stress, money, sanity but also brings you so much joy. Feeling and being organised is such a huge thing to do towards feeling happy and not stressed.
At the end of each week and each month I add in a little list of all the things I was so grateful for and so happy I got done. Also anything that was special and I want to remember. Then I look at the week, month ahead.
Sundays I plan the week. Overall it saves me so much time. I often will look and realise that if I combine several things together I can save time, petrol etc so I will group them together and do them all on the same day. Sometimes just planning well ahead for birthdays I save a lot of money. I always over spend if I leave things to the last minute but if I plan ahead most times I have made gifts, written a letter and had time to make it look special.
There is real satisfaction in settling goals and reaching them. It gives you the confidence to set new goals and take little steps towards them.
One of my weekly get-it-out-of-the-way things was the doctor and annual unfortunate female tests... I did that a week ago. But I hadn't seen my doctor in a little while. She was really happy that I was fitter, thinner, swimming and my tests were done. I felt great. I knew each one was due to planning and goals. Or truly I would not have lost an ounce, swam 40 laps or exercised at all probably!
Remarkably small steps get you to amazing places. Like losing 12 kilos in a year is only 250gms a week or so. Really it all breaks down into such small changes. We just forget to do the daily little things and thats how planning helps.
Write it down. Break it down into little bits. Give yourself rewards too. And things go wrong and there are bad days and the wheels fall off. But big deal! Everyone has that. Nelson Mandela had bad days. Martine Luther King had bad days. Their bad days make mine look like a walk in the park. (While I'm not comparing myself to anyone like them!)
My little exercise so far today makes me feel really proud of what we have done so far this year and very grateful. It puts a spring in my step thinking about a new month!
And now to add to the story of Andy ... he has become a virtual celebrity in the nursing home and known now by Wilma and Kath, the two old ladies.... and one particular homeless man, Bruno, remembers Andy from the blessing bag before Christmas. Andy has seen him several times since and always chats to Bruno. So Andy came home to tell me Bruno sends his love. He just loves us apparently. And I think of something to send into Wilma and Kath every week and they are so excited to see him. So I get all these little messages and stories. And I share this because really Andy's morning job could be considered dead boring and badly paid. But instead it is a massive blessing and joy to us and to Wilma, Kath and Bruno as it turns out.