I was in an endless loop each month. In the beginning, I’d write a never-ending list of to-do’s and goals and by the end, I was disappointed when I felt like I was going nowhere. Then it hit me.
I got so bogged down in the small day-to-day stuff that I lost sight of the things that actually mattered in my life. That’s when I shifted my focus from goals to intentions. Now each month I set my monthly intentions before writing down a single goal.
After a while of doing this, I’ve never looked back.
So if you’re someone like me and you LOOOVE filling up planners, setting goals and writing to-do’s, but you never seem to accomplish anything by the end of the month, then I’ve got you covered.
This episode of Imperfection with Intention is all about the power of setting monthly intentions and why you should do that before you write another goal.
Listen to the episode below, or keep reading to get the cliff-notes version!
listen to the episode here
Make your Month about more than just to-do’s
I lead with my vision before I set goals or to-dos. Most people live in small day-to-day things that seem to pop up endlessly. Think things like doctors appointments, grocery shopping, and work-related tasks. The types of things you deal with on a daily or weekly basis, but don’t satisfy your daydreams and vision.
By thinking bigger and reminding yourself of your vision, you’re more likely to set up your daily tasks AROUND your vision. Now, I know it’s satisfying to write down a ton of small and easy things to do so you know you’ll have a list full of checked off boxes, but focusing every day on the small stuff is the fastest way to let life pass by. Then you’re left wondering where all the time went.
People start to feel like their life is going nowhere when they aren’t focused on what actually FULFILLS them, but instead focus on checking off the boxes on the to-do list.
The best way to combat this? Set up your goals around your intention and vision! That’ll make it easier to spend at least a small portion of your day working on important parts of your life instead of just the small stuff.
I love checking off to-do checkboxes as much as the next gal, but I easily get lost in it. So, I force myself to start with the bigger picture by setting my intention and re-establishing my vision before I start to think about anything else. I write a page of monthly intentions.
You don’t have to set your page exactly like mine, the important thing is to stay high level on this page. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 😉
I break down my Monthly Intention page into these parts:
- What I’ll Do
- How I’ll Feel
- My Vision
- Quote to Keep Me Going
- Daily Rituals
- 3 very high-level goals
- Moon Phases
What I’ll Do
I like adding this because this reminds me of how I want to live my life. Over the last couple of months, these haven’t changed. They are something I look at each morning to remind myself not to get too bogged down in the day-to-day.
How I’ll Feel
This is my favorite section because it reminds me that I choose how I want to feel. In life, things happen that are outside of our control. But you know the only thing you do have control over? Your Feelings.
Just like reminding myself of how I want to live, I remind myself of how I want to feel on a daily basis.
If there’s one thing in this world that I believe in, it’s that a strong vision is vital to living the kind of life you want. In addition to writing my vision down each day in a journal, I read a short version of it on my Monthly Intentions page as well. I’m constantly reminded of what I want my life to look like. Since I have that reminder, it’s hard to ignore. If I haven’t done something that gets me closer to my vision, then I know I need to take action the next day. I’m more likely to take steps towards my vision, instead of making an excuse as to why I can’t.
Quote to Keep Me Going
I LOVE motivational quotes. But I noticed after a while that I’d read an inspirational quote and forget about it by the end of the day. Now I’ve decided I won’t forget a quote that I love. I pick one that resonates with me and addresses something that I’ve been struggling with the past month.
Habits make up the majority of our lives, so it’s important to make sure you have healthy habits established in your daily routine. (Psst… If you need some help establishing healthy habits, I’ve got you covered).
Just like the way you feel, you can decide what habits you want to have in your life. Writing them down and reviewing them each morning helps me actually stick to them.
3 High-Level Goals
My endless loop of writing a ton of goals at the beginning of the month and being disappointed with how little I had done was wearing on me. It was a constant cycle of overwhelm and negative self-talk, and I’d totally lose my motivation.
Since then, I realize that life throws curveballs, so I keep my goals list short. I have up to three goals I have each month. On a separate sheet of paper, I write out what I have to do each day to accomplish these goals.
So instead of creating a mile-long goal/to-do list, I keep it simple. Then I have a daily guide to help me take action and take steps towards accomplishing my goals.
This section may seem a little odd compared to the others, but it’s here for a good reason. I like to keep track of my personal menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle. I’ve realized I’m not the same person on each day of the month. Some days I’m executing my goals like a boss, and on other days I need to relax.
I have these dates of the lunar cycle written so if I feel my energy shift, I understand why. I won’t go into a ton of science and details here, but if you want more info you should check out Kate Northrup’s book Do Less.
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how will you Set Monthly Intentions?
Are you going to set intentions for the new month? If so, what are you going to focus on? I’d love to know! Come on over to Instagram @MonicaChats and DM me or leave a comment below.
And if you want more tips like this, free resources and stories make sure to download my FREE Plan Your Year Guide.
This guide will walk you through how to plan your best year yet (even if it’s not January). 💚