I love firsts. I love the first of a new year, but also a new month, a new week, even a new day. There are so many opportunities to be re-evaluate and to refresh the feel of your life. This is something that is very important to me because I am certain about one thing – I do not want to let anymore time pass without me becoming a better human being or having a better experience of life.
Here is a glimpse of some of the things I like to look at at the beginning of a new month.
I love to commit to some kind of 30 day challenge each month.
Sometimes it is just for fun, sometimes it is to deepen a skill, sometimes it is to learn a new one, sometimes just to see if it is something I would want to commit to long term or not.
Something to let go of
Then I ask myself, what can I let go of this month? Can I give up eating chocolate? Can I give up swearing, coffee, the internet/social media – there is so much to let go of.
And those are just the tangible things I can let go of.
Perhaps I can also let go of anger, resentment, unforgiveness, gossip, or criticizing people.
It’s important to have a way of tracking how well you are doing with your monthly challenges. It also gives me a feeling of satisfaction each day I am able to fulfill my promises to myself.
For me, the most effective form of tracking is often in the form of a simple calendar, trying to mark off each day that I have completed the task, and striving to keep a long string of successes.
Important days, Ekadashi, the lunar cycle
Now it’s time for me to bring out my calendar and mark out the lunar calendar. I like to know when full moons and new moons are in the month, as they influence my meditation on that day. I also love to honour the lunar cycle through practicing the Chandra Namaskar.
I also take note of any other special days happening in the month, such as Ekadashis (days of fasting – usually twice a month), shivrathris, navrathris etc.
I make a list of creative projects I would like to focus on during the month.
For example, I like to try baking one new kind of cake/dessert each month, or, perhaps there is a short story that I’m writing, or a collection of poetry that I would like to complete, or a photography project or shoot, a new piece on the piano – these are the usual suspects for me personally.
And I think about new creative projects that I would like to dip my toes in to, like painting, drawing, letter writing etc.
Whatever it is, I choose a few, and write them down at the side of my calendar.
And then there’s work. At the moment, I am studying for Step 1 of the USMLEs so that I may do residency in the US. So I will have some study goals for myself, topics I would like to have covered, books to read, flashcards to learn, questions to complete etc. Fun times.
Since getting married, somehow weekends have turned into these precious pockets of time that are gone too soon. I’m not sure why that is! Time just seems to fly when you’re married (time flies when you are having fun, right husband?), and I guess weekends are special because that’s when my husband feels most free from the responsibilities of work.
So we love to have some adventures on the weekends. We take some time to research places we could go, things we could do, and dedicate weekends to these things.
We have a look at how we spent money last month, and how we plan to spend money this month. Where did we go wrong, and where did we go right? Do we have any big purchases coming up?
Yesterday evening was the first time in months that I felt a little bit chilly. It was nice. I had a conversation with my husband, I said “I guess summer is coming to an end.”
“Ugh, don’t say that” husband says.
“Every season is beautiful it it’s own way.”
“No that’s not true. Summer is the only good one” – him.
And that made me giggle.
The beginning of this month is particularly significant in that I am noticing the subtle hints of fall, and that is a beautiful thing!
Fall brings such a different, fresh yet cozy energy to my life and I like to reflect that in how I keep our home, and the clothes I wear.
So, I just keeping in mind that soon it will be time to fill our living room with scented candles that smell like apple pie, warm knit blankets and maybe some nice autumnal themed center pieces.
We like to do a quick de-clutter at the end of every week, but end of month decluttering tends to be a bit more in depth.
Weekly decluttering tends to be getting rid of all the random papers, packaging or empties that I’ve accumulated throughout the week.
Monthly decluttering is more about looking at my wardrobe, make up and skin care products etc.
And that’s about it.
How do you like to begin a new month?
I wish you all a blessed September!
Jai Guru Dev,Shantee.Sukhriya! 😉
I thank you so much for all your positivity, your love of life, your joie de vivre! Reading your post helped lift me out of the doldrums of the changing weather (i’m more like your husband, I guess) and to say, hey, I can try some of these ideas and it’ll be FUN! I’ve also been dreading doing a budget, thinking I have to go back and tally a year’s worth to get it done right, but I like what you are planning to do, which is just go back one month and start from there. Having the right perspective is a great thing indeed! Thanks SO MUCH!
Thank you for your kind words!
You know what, there used to be a time when I hated every season but summer. For me, summer meant happiness and coming to life, and winter just seemed so depressing. And fall was just a reminder that winter was coming. I hated how it got dark so early – that I woke up in darkness, and returned home in darkness.
Then I realized if I only enjoyed the summer, I technically only enjoyed one quarter of the year. I didn’t like that ratio of happiness to unhappiness.
Somehow since then I find beauty in all the seasons, because each one brings something new, a new kind of energy to my days. When I focus on that type of energy and live according to that, everything flows so easy and I love it. Now I actually like the darkness of the second half of the year. It’s cozy. It makes me focus my life around comfort, warmth, nestling, coming home, creating my own light, cold outside, warm inside, collecting ideas, inspiration, creating art from my darker shadowy spaces.
I don’t know…there’s beauty in that for me.
Ah, the budget. Not a fun thing lol. My husband is really good at policing me about it haha! But, there’s this small sense of accomplishment when we are able to work together to stick to the budget, or meet our financial goals. Feels good. He uses mint.com for that kind of stuff. Have you used it? He seems to like it.
I personally think a year is too long to leave before evaluating anything in my life. This includes budgets but also other aspects of myself and life. I need to do it more frequently than that. I prefer lots of small steps frequently rather than big steps less frequently – especially when you can’t bank on the success of them, hey?
Anyway, so glad you are inspired! Would love to hear what kind of plans and goals you are making for yourself for this season and/or month.
Many thanks for your considerate reply. I have recently found three short pointed words to help me let go of the fear of change, at least in this instance, the change in seasons. “Welcome What Is”. The word “welcome” reminds me to keep my heart and mind open and not retreat into fear and anxiety. That way, it is easier for me to find the beauty that is there in the new season. I went to the arboretum last week and saw the most beautiful array of summer-into-fall colors of flowers and leaves – I wish I could share some of my pics with you! The word “is” reminds me that like it or not, this moment IS a moment of reality, and what is more wondrous than Now! Don’t waste each moment wishing for something else. Be alive now!
As for the budgeting, thanks for reminding me of Mint.com. I had heard but forgotten about it. I did check it out, but it wasn’t quite me. So, I did my old-fashioned “what did i spend my money on last month?” tally and realized I haven’t been mindful of what I need vs what I want. Once I got that clarity, I felt a weight lifted off of me. I know what to do now. (note: I thought i’ve been mindful but obviously not so.)
It’s amazing how sometimes just talking/writing it out with another human being, like in this case, yourself, and just sharing our own experiences, helps to move us closer to our own solutions. So, I really thank you for walking with me for a bit and helping me move along.