Here’s the thing: Life gets busy.
Believe me, I know the hustle and familiarity of being in constant action, and how it can suck you into the never ending hamster wheel of DOING. But that’s not sustainable! You’ll end up totally out of touch with yourself and your needs, and constantly in survival mode.
If you’re not taking time to pause and reflect, you’re missing out on so many beautiful opportunities to cultivate gratitude, celebrate yourself, learn from your past behaviors, and step into alignment as you move forward. Especially for those of us navigating physical health struggles, we have to take that time to pause, reconnect, and simply just BE. We have to tune into what we truly need on a body, mind and soul level.
The goal? To switch from surviving to THRIVING, and be intentional with your mind and your time.
Of course there are many ways to embody a thriving state of being including the food you eat, the thoughts you think, the habits you make, etc. One of the most basic and foundational things you can do though is to take the time to connect with yourself and evaluate through a MONTHLY REVIEW. (And the best part? It’s freeeeeee!)
Let’s dive into how I do my monthly review and cover some FAQs:
- CELEBRATE: What did you accomplish?
- EVALUATE: What worked and what didn’t
- PROCESS: What is still lingering?
- ALIGN: What do you want moving forward?
And don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a downloadable PDF with space to write in your answers to make this easy peasy. Grab your free Monthly Review Guide here.
CELEBRATE: What did you accomplish?
Honestly, when was the last time you celebrated your accomplishments and what went well for you? And how often do you just keep moving through your to-do list without even acknowledging the hard work you put into what you just completed?
THIS is where you look back at everything you did and all the good things that happened and say “I am damn proud of myself and am so incredibly grateful”. THIS is where you get to shine a light on yourself, smile, and breathe in that good energy and gratitude. You are an incredible human being and your accomplishments need to be recognized no matter how big or small they may seem. I really want to stress here that it is ALL worth celebrating: the promotion, reaching the goal, getting out of bed, taking a walk, etc. The big, the small, and everything in between. If it’s important to you, then it matters. Period. Remember that this is your experience and wherever you’re at is completely valid.
Bonus points for bringing this list to your significant other/partner/family/close friends so they can celebrate with you!
EVALUATE: What worked and what didn’t
Here is where you have the opportunity to get curious (without judgement) about what really worked for you and what didn’t. Are your habits and routines serving you? Is your relationship to yourself holding you back? Is the food you’re eating providing you energy and joy?
The key here is to get super super specific so that you can know exactly what to continue and what needs to be changed. Really think about every moment of your day and how you are living your life, and question if it’s working for you and helping you to be the version of yourself you are striving to be, or if it’s holding you back and not supporting your values and goals. This is about what you CAN control in your life.
Can you go a step further and get clear on why each thing either worked or didn’t work?
PROCESS: What is still lingering?
Chances are, if you’ve been on that hamster wheel of action, you’re not taking time to process through your emotions and anything that may be holding you back. You may not even have taken the time to identify exactly what those things are.
Allow yourself the time to get real with yourself, and shed light on what’s keeping you stuck and preventing you from being present in your life. Not only is it important to get clear on the “what”, but also the “why”. Address the root cause and exactly why you are feeling the way you are. Once identified, you now know what you need to work on.
Is there anything that requires having a loving and honest conversation with someone else?
ALIGN: What do you want & need moving forward?
So you’ve celebrated your accomplishments (yes you are a badass), evaluated what’s been working and what hasn’t, and processed what is still lingering for you and why. You’ve gained clarity and now it’s time to make a plan for your next steps to show up as the version of yourself you want to be. Based on your previous answers, what do YOU need to continue or change? What do you need to do to further process any lingering emotions, and work on moving some of those items out of your “didn’t work” list?
Again, this is what you need. Take what you’ve listed out here and incorporate them into your routine. If you don’t make it happen for yourself, no one else will. You are your own responsibility 🙂
- Can you do this more or less frequently than once a month?
- Absolutely! Honestly you can do this whenever you’re feeling disconnected and need to reflect. You could do this weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. I find that monthly is a nice time frame where enough has happened to evaluate and process, and so you’re not overthinking things all the time. But do what you feel called to do and what you feel you need.
- Do I have to stick to these exact prompts, or can I make this my own?
- As with most things in life, I always recommend making things your own and making it work for YOU. So if after a while one of the provided topics just isn’t providing you much value, make some changes! I do recommend trying these prompts at least a few times to really see how they influence your life, and then adjust from there based on your needs.
- Is this monthly review helpful for work, as well as my personal life?
- 100% yes. For your work and professional life, you might want to integrate some additional prompts that are more strategic and specific to your job and your responsibilities, which will definitely depend on what you do for work. But if you already have a strategy heavy review that you do for work and are looking for something additional that’s more holistic and broad, this would be perfect! Personally, I do this review for both my work and personal life (since they’re highly integrated) at the same time, or do one after the other to make sure I stay focussed.
- Where should I do this review?
- I highly recommend getting in a comfortable and safe space where you won’t be interrupted, and giving yourself at least 15 minutes to really process through everything. You can do this review on a spreadsheet (to easily track how you/it evolves), in your regular journal, in the back of a planner, or wherever feels good to you. I do mine in a journal! You can also print out my Monthly Review PDF download and do the prompts directly on there.