If you’ve been following my series of posts about staying on track with your resolutions, goals or challenges, then you will be well on your way to success. Your daily practices will be as routine as brushing your teeth, and the list of weekly intentions will be driving your goal forward. This week I am going to share tips on creating a Monthly Care Plan.
When I started my blog in 2013 – and subsequently wrote my book, How I Changed MyLife in a Year – I had to create a monthly plan to inspire me to succeed, month-after-month.
As with any goal, you will only achieve success if you are 100% committed. Alongside the commitment comes planning.
Let me ask you a question – what have you achieved in your life that made you felt great? Big or small, it doesn’t matter, just remember the feeling that washed over you and settled in your stomach; it’s called pride.
That’s what we want - to feel the euphoria of achievement.
It could be the sense of pride you feel as you survive your first day without a cigarette or saying no when the biscuits get handed around the office. Or it could be the achievement of opening a new business or publishing your first book.
When I started my Resolution Challenge in 2013, I used my weekly intention list to break my chosen monthly challenge into more manageable chunks. The big picture doesn’t seem so overwhelming when you concentrate on it weekly. A good planning structure comes in at this point. When I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – a writing competition to complete a 50,000-word novel in 30 days), I only concentrated on the 12,500 words I needed to write each week. I then broke this down further by assigning a daily word count of 1,666.
In the previous posts, we asked ourselves those all-important three questions:
1. Why am I doing this?
2. When am I doing this?
3. What do I need to do to achieve success?
For my NaNoWriMo challenge, I could respond to my questions easily.
1. I love to write and want to complete the first draft of my fantasy novel.
2. November 1st – 30th
3. Laptop, notepad, pen, spare pen, LOTS of coffee and time blocked off in my diary to write.
That last answer is where my weekly intentions kicked in. In my diary, I blocked out sections of time that I could dedicate to writing. I stopped watching TV and instead used this time to write each evening. At the weekends I scribbled notes as I dropped the kids off at social events and clubs, then I typed it up later in the evening. I also told my family and friends that I’d see them in December! I was 100% committed to succeeding, and by planning I was able to drive my goal forward and achieve the 50,000-word finish line – twice!
As my challenge months flew past, I discovered other elements that were just as important as planning and made up another section of my monthly care plan - self-help.
Monthly Care Plan – Self-Help Tips
· If your mind is whirling with ideas, thoughts, plans and your to-do list, use a brain dump diary. Before bed, jot down every thought and feeling you have about your goal – great help for insomnia!
· Schedule a mid-month treat. A coffee with a friend is perfect as you can help support one another and offer advice or inspiration when it’s needed.
· Fresh air. A fifteen-minute walk can reboot the brain and awaken your muscles. The benefits of walking and getting outside are well documented. Inspiration can strike at any time, but when you are living in the moment, enjoying nature and boosting your happy hormones then you are more likely to uncover the answers you are searching to find. Make a date in your diary to have a ‘Fresh Air Friday’ – add it to your weekly intention list and stick a photograph of your favourite park or beach on your pin board.
· Pamper time. Even though I run a holistic health business, I am not very good at including pamper time for myself. I can, however, use my wonderful clients as a fine example. Many of my ladies have been coming to me for over six years. They make repeat appointments for a monthly treatment. That might be a reflexology session, a back massage or a meditation class. They find the time because they are 100% committed to their wellbeing. If, like me, you forget to look after yourself on occasion, then a simple bubble bath on a Sunday afternoon will work. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you add it to your weekly intention list. Tell the family that you will be busy for an hour and enjoy your pamper time.
In a nutshell, the Monthly Care Plan consists of using your daily practices, your weekly intentions and including a diary dump, exercise, socialising and pamper time.
Our goals will happen if we drive them forward, but the most important thing to remember is to have fun and live your life. Stressing ourselves out when we don’t achieve tasks can only lead to negative feelings, and that’s not what we want. If you don’t manage to do something this week, try again next week.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this; and if you use another monthly incentive to help you achieve then share it with us in the comments below.
Photographs are via freedigitalphotos.net
3D Desktop Calendar - Renjith Krishrian
Casual Women Enjoying Coffee - Stockimages