12 Small Things You Can Do At the End of Every Month To Have A Successful Year

Visual Freedom

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If done correctly, a new month can be a fresh start and serve as a little reset. This little restart can influence your entire life because, unlike years, months are a great period to pause, reflect, gather feedback, and correct your course.

If you set a 12-month goal and reflect on it at the end of the period, you might realize that you’ve been chasing the wrong goal or following the wrong strategy for an entire year.

If you, however, break it down into months and view each month as a new beginning, you can minimize the risk of wasting your time.

Just because you’ve set a goal at the beginning of a year doesn’t mean you need to follow that goal for 12 months. Sometimes, you realize that your desires and priorities changed, and accordingly, you should change your plans and habits.

And the reality is that significant changes don’t happen all of a sudden anyway. They happen over time.

Your life won’t change because you do something once in a while. If you, however, keep doing it for months or years, you might indeed experience a shift.

Here are 12 small things you can do at the end of each month to make the most out of your time throughout the year:

Get an overview

My non-negotiable at the end of each month is to prepare the next one.

If you keep your calendar or planner up to date, this won’t take more than a few minutes, but it’ll help you gain mental clarity and be well-prepared.

To get a proper overview of the next month, have a critical look at all the events, appointments, and meetings that will happen in the following weeks.

Check whether there’s a clash of appointments and whether you overlooked any major events that might be happening soon.

If you have approaching deadlines, you could, for instance, block certain days in your calendar to ensure you’ll make enough time for that particular project.

If you realize that important birthdays or anniversaries are approaching, you can order greeting cards or presents, so you don’t have to worry later.

Through this quick check-in, you can save lots of time and energy throughout the next month.

Give yourself permission to celebrate life

Quite often, we get so mixed up in our daily lives that we forget to celebrate our wins and milestones.

That’s why you should take some time at the end of each month to be proud of yourself for all the things you’ve accomplished.

Have a look at your calendar and past to-do lists and appreciate your own efforts.

Additionally, take a moment to think of all the nice things that happened throughout the month:

Maybe you had a nice phone call with someone who’s important to you?
Maybe you’re proud of how often you worked out or meditated?
Or maybe you’re just proud of making it through the month despite lots of difficulties?

There’s always something you can be proud of. You just have to take the time to acknowledge the small wins and not-so-obvious beauties in your life. The end of a month is the perfect time to do so.

Count your blessings

Similar to your wins, you can also write down all the things you’re grateful for.

Most of the time, we take our lives and blessings for granted and keep wanting more instead of appreciating what we already have.

The end of a month is a great time to think of all the people, things, and opportunities you’re thankful for.

Grab your favorite journal or a piece of paper and write down all the things you don’t want to miss in your life.

And if you don’t know what to write, start with the things we’re often not even aware of: Be grateful for your home, your health, and your ability to breathe, think, and move.

Once you start writing, you’ll quickly realize that there are a lot more things you can be thankful for.

Check your finances

If you have financial goals for the year, the end of the month is an excellent opportunity to see if you’re on track to achieve those goals.

Regularly checking your finances helps you know whether you’re living within your means or above your budget.

Additionally, it helps you be more accountable and responsible, so you don’t face a shocking surprise at the end of the year.

Your monthly financial check-in depends on your money-related goals: You can reflect on your expenses and see whether you spent more money than necessary, or you can focus on your income.

Particularly if you’re self-employed or have a side-hustle, checking your earnings to see how much money you made might be even more interesting than reflecting on your purchases.

Of course, you can also combine the two and do an overall financial check-in.

If you track your expenses and income throughout the month, this whole financial reflection shouldn’t take more than 10–20 minutes.

Depending on your findings, you can set rules for the next month (e.g., limit purchasing certain items) to ensure you reach your long-term financial goals.

Pick your priorities

As Stephen Covey once wrote, the key to a successful life is not prioritizing what’s on your schedule but scheduling your priorities.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in our daily duties and to-dos that we forget to pause and reflect on where we’re actually heading.

Most people do a yearly reflection and set goals at the beginning of a new year, but it’s much more effective to do it every month.

That’s why I decide what I want to focus on throughout the next month before it starts.

And the truth is that even though a month is a lot of time, it often passes by quickly and we find ourselves not knowing what we actually did during the past weeks.

But if you have one to three specific priorities, validating how far you’ve come throughout the month becomes easier.

Additionally, setting monthly priorities will help you avoid wasting your time on tasks, relationships, or projects that don’t contribute to your overall satisfaction.

Reset your mind

The end of a month is a great time to get rid of thoughts that might be holding you back from being your best self.

A simple yet powerful way to eliminate those limiting thoughts is doing a brain dump and writing down all the things you’ve been worrying about in the past weeks.

Writing them down helps you get those thoughts out of your mind, making it easier to process and remove them.

Additionally, eliminating those fears and negative thoughts will help you make space for more positive emotions and experiences.

If possible, you could also try to disconnect from the digital world for a while to give your mind a digital reset.

Even half a day without constantly scrolling on social media can help you feel more relaxed and recharged.

Nourish your network

When we’re busy, we often overlook taking care of our loved ones and nourishing personal and professional relationships.

And the truth is that the pandemic didn’t make this easier.

That’s why you should create a networking plan to ensure you stay in touch with those who’re important to you.

This idea might first seem exaggerated, but it’s just a way to make sure you take care of your loved ones.

At the end of each month, ask yourself whether there are important people you didn’t talk to for a while.

Once you have a list of names, choose a specific date on which you’ll actually call or meet them.

Even if you’re just going to call your sister or grandpa, schedule it in your calendar as if it’s an actual appointment. If we don’t do that, we often delay these activities that are actually important to our overall happiness and satisfaction.

Clean up

Throughout the month, you might often be so busy getting stuff done that there’s no time left to tidy your home and keep it clean.

Yet, the reality is that it’s much easier to perform at your best and live a happy life if your home is clean and tidy instead of cluttered.

That’s why the end of the month is a great opportunity to do a quick round of cleaning and get your home back on track.

During this process, you can also get rid of old things you don’t use anymore and make space for the new month.

Clean your inboxes

In addition to cleaning your home, you can also take care of your inboxes.

With numerous messengers and chats across different platforms (email, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram,…), it can often be overwhelming to stay on track with all messages we receive.

And the reality is that most messages are probably not that important anyway. Yet, it still makes sense to clean your inboxes to ensure you don’t miss any exciting opportunities or important dates or deadlines.

Back up your data

Once you’ve cleaned up your inboxes, you might also want to spend a few minutes backing up your digital data, such as important documents you received throughout the month.

You can either create backups on an external hard disk or use a tool like Google Drive. I use both, depending on what exactly I back up.

If you’re a creative content creator or digital entrepreneur, you should also consider backing up your email list and the content you’ve created for various platforms.

As a creator, you never know whether you might get banned or blocked on a platform (even if it’s by accident), so you want to make sure you don’t lose much in such a case.

Choose one small habit that might change your life

A new month is a great opportunity to start a little monthly challenge and build a small yet helpful habit.

Most people fail to build powerful habits because they start with ambitions that are way too big. They want to go for a run, meditate, take a cold shower, and drink a healthy smoothie every day and they want to start immediately.

And that’s exactly why they fail.

However, if done correctly, small habits can indeed be life-changing, or at least life-improving. Yet, the most effective way to building them is by starting small.

At the end of each month, you can reflect on your current habits and decide whether you want to try a new one. In the best case, your new routine should be so simple that it doesn’t take you more than 10 minutes per day to start.

Otherwise, we often get tempted to skip one or two days which ends up being an entire skipped month. But if you start small, you can ensure that you actually stick to your routine.

A few such small habits you can immediately start are: Meditation, journaling, stretching, reading, breathing exercises, or eating more healthy foods (e.g., by snacking fruits or veggies).

Relax

During most months, we’re so busy that we often forget to pause and breathe.

We rush from one appointment to the other, work on endless to-do lists, try to show up for our loved ones, but often forget ourselves.

And even though you should take some time off more than just once per month, the last days of a month are a great time to schedule some me-time and nourish your body, mind, and soul.

Sometimes, all we need is an hour spent reading a great book while sipping our favorite drink or going on a long walk.

As Katie Reed beautifully states:

“Self care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.”

So make sure to take some time to do the things that help you wind down, relax, and take care of yourself.

No matter how busy the month ahead might seem like, the reality is that there’s always time to breathe, but it’s up to you to prioritize it.

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