Monthly Goals

Monthly Goals

Some people find planning an entire month to be daunting or useless – and I get that, I do. But planning things ahead of time allows you to decide when things will happen, how they will happen and give you more time than you thought you had.

Monthly goals are an excellent way to set up your month, plan out a strategy to reach your short- or long-term goals and overall visualize what is to come in the month or months ahead.

Here are a few things I do when planning for my month:

1.       Breaking down yearly goals

Although we aren’t in January or February anymore, we should still be working towards our yearly or long-term goals. By revisiting those goals, you set out at the beginning of the year, you can allow yourself to create a list of smaller tasks that will help you further those goals. It does not have to be anything crazy but accomplishing one or two smaller tasks a month can eventually lead you to accomplish your yearly goal.  By looking back on your goals, you are better able to see what you need to get done this month to make sure you are actively working towards those goals.

2.       Personal development

The beginning of every month also allows you to start fresh on your development journey. Although you can do this any day of the week, starting the month with a few habits you want to incorporate into your routine is a great way to start. The way I prefer to go about this is by creating a monthly habit tracker. Not only is the habit tracker a visual reminder to complete a certain habit, but it will help you stay on top of the various habits by condensing it all into one space.

3.      Appointments, dates, deadlines…

This one is obvious, but it can often just go over our heads. It’s a lot easier to know what’s coming at the beginning of the month than to forget something really important last minute. Take a few minutes to write down any appointments, birthdays, events or deadlines you might have coming up.

4.       Non-negotiables

Our monthly schedules can get full and hectic fast, so you need to schedule some downtime and some fun hobbies or activities. By planning these things ahead of time, you won’t need to reschedule them if something else pops up. It’s important to plug in these non-negotiables into our calendar because often they are what refuels us and keeps us going.

If you have a few minutes today, grab your planner or a calendar and just sit down and look at the month ahead. Take a look at your goals, your habits, your hobbies, chores, and ask yourself how can I plan this month in a way that gives a balance between all these things? How can I make sure that I am organized, productive and also prioritizing myself? At the end of the day, planning is a way of prioritizing yourself and what you need or want to get done.

Time Blocking: The Organization Tool You Need

Working from home has presented a unique set of challenges, whether you are a student, self-employed or an employee. One of the most challenging things I have experienced while working from home is the lack of routine and structure in my day. When we need to leave our house to go to work, school or appointments, it instills in us this idea that we have a place to be, therefore we need to do x,y,z before we leave or when we return. We are creatures of habit and routine, so when our normal day to day routine was abruptly thrown out the window because of the pandemic, it became difficult to jump into the new normal.

One of the ways that I dealt with this as a student was by time blocking. It is not a new phenomenon, but it honestly got me through my last semester. I did not realize how much I needed a sense of structure and routine to accomplish the tasks I needed to do. Time blocking also gave me a sense of control over the week or month ahead of me. This is why, I want to share with you all just a basic way you can time block your day to day living, and hopefully it will help you be more disciplined and productive.

*Please note that I am using google calendar, but any calendar will do! Even a piece of paper and a pen will work.

1) Non-negotiables

I first start by plugging in the basics of my week ahead. In the spirit of creating a routine, I even go so far as to plug in my designated lunch break, what time I want to get up and any classes or appointments I might have this week. Start your time blocking by adding in things that you consider essential is a fundamental way to encourage you to incorporate habits you want to develop. For example, you could also include time for a workout, calling a loved one or a friend, meditation, journaling, etc. It’s important to understand that by plugging in your non-negotiables, you are acknowledging that they are important, but you are also prioritizing them in your everyday life.

2) Add in your Priorities

At the beginning of each week, I find it helpful to write out a list of priorities. This establishes what needs to get done first and is more important. Take a few moments to jot down what needs to get accomplished this week, and then add in the tasks in decreasing order of importance. Now that you understand what is important you can begin carving out time in your week to work on these tasks.

3) Add in Breaks/Chill Time

Life gets chaotic and hectic—that much is inevitable, but you must allow yourself the time to relax and do things that you like. As you can see down below, I have included time to work on my blog and even dedicated a portion of my morning to just chilling and relaxing. Not everyone can do that, and most weeks I can’t either, but on days when I can’t, I try to schedule a break, which can be seen in yellow. This is what the finished schedule looks like:

4) Add some colour

When it comes to good old pen and paper, I usually tend to stick with black or blue ink. But when looking at a screen, I need as much colour as possible to fully understand where I am spending most of my time and energy. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing for the eye, but it’s also useful when you get to the end of your week. At the end of the week, analyze the colours used and the tasks you did. Did you spend a lot of time doing one type of thing? Did you include enough breaks? Does your schedule need to be more flexible or perhaps more disciplined? Colour coding allows you to see where you might be spending too much time and how you could deal with that.

I hope those tips helped you, and I hope you consider trying time blocking! Sometimes doing a full week can be intimidating try mapping out one day at a time and see how it affects your life.

If you have any other tips to share about time blocking, make sure to leave them in the comments down below!

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

Organization Tools You Need For 2021

If you are anything like me, then you probably have a slightly unhealthy addiction to all things stationery, notebooks, and planners. I will say, I did not invest in a planner in 2020, but instead utilized the bullet journal because at least I could customize it to my crazy and unpredictable schedule. However, in 2021 I decided to take the plunge and invest in a planner. The way I see it is that if I’m going to invest in something it will be in myself and a tool, I can use to set myself up for success.  

I know a lot of people are hesitant to buy a planner or even just plan out their goals for 2021, and I spoke about it in my last post, but with that, I still think it’s important to work towards something or structure the work or job we currently have. With that in mind, I have also included a few online resources that you can utilize that are free, so you don’t have to monetarily invest them. But they still do an excellent job at helping you create an organizational system that works for you and your goals. Without further delay, here are a few of my favourite organizational tools!   

  • Monthly calendar

A monthly calendar is the number one organizational tool I would recommend to anyone. Whether you use it on your phone, your laptop, or a paper version, using a monthly calendar can set you up for success in the best way possible. First, it forces you to write down important deadlines, events, meetings, or appointments. This makes it easy for you to remember your busy schedule, and generally frees your brains from having to remember every little detail that is on your calendar. Second, it signals to you what needs to be accomplished, what tasks have to be completed and by when. When you utilize your monthly calendar to its fullest extent, you are doing half the work already. You are pre-planning your tasks and prioritizing them without even making a to-do list.

  • Planner

As I mentioned earlier, I did decide to invest in a paper planner. The one I am using is by STIL Classics, and I will say it is a bit pricier. But there are so many places that sell agendas to suit every budget and price range such as Indigo. One of the reasons why I love this planner is because there’s a section called monthly rituals and routines. After the Holidays I have had a tough time creating my morning and night routines. But this planner helped me make a concrete plan or idea of what I want in my mornings and evenings to look like. Another feature that I love about this agenda is that there is a weekly spread where you can write out your to-do list but then on the following page there’s also a weekly spread where you can schedule it out and I find those two together just help me visualize my week and time-block properly.    

  • Notebooks and Notepads

Having a notebook or notepad on your desk is one of the best ways to free your mind from distractions. Sometimes you get a random thought or idea not related to the work you are doing at that moment, but you still want to remember it. Having a notebook or notepad nearby can help with that. I also find that when I am feeling overwhelmed, just taking a few minutes to jot down my thoughts in this notebook helps me clear my mind and refocus on the task at hand. Another way I use my notebooks is just for to-do lists. In the middle of 2020, I was solely relying on to-do lists in my notebooks to get me through the day and the work that I need to do. It is endlessly customizable and allows you to structure your organizational system however you want.

  • Stationery

I am a big stationery lover and have far too many pens and highlighters for one person. Although I do not colour code everything in my life, I find that using colours in my notebooks or bullet journal helps add a bit of life to the page and encourage my creativity to flow more smoothly. Fancy stationery is not essential to your organization system but testing out how you plan with a bit of colour might be more incentivizing for you, or help you plan and organize yourself better.

  • Online Resources

Here are two online tools that I have used and find extremely useful and are free for those of us who do not want to use any paper or are on a budget. Trello is an amazing online tool that lets you customize the board you are using to organize your work. I used it heavily throughout university and mainly used it because it was easy to reshuffle my to-do lists and tasks, without having to physically change or create a whole new to-do list. Monday.Com I have just recently started using this platform, but it was created in such a way where it keeps you accountable on your deadlines and is amazing if you are working with other people on projects.

I hope these tools will help you create an organizational system that works for you and will help you accomplish whatever you need to do. Soon, I will talk about the organization system I have created and hopefully that can help one of you.

The beauty of organization is that it is truly customizable and at the base of it all you just need a pen and paper (or phone), and the motivation and courage to outline what needs to get done, and the discipline to accomplish it. But that system that you create is entirely yours and can be shaped and formed however you need It to be.  

*Please note that none of the links above are sponsored or affiliate links these are just things that I have truly come to love and I’m linking just for people who are interested*

Planning For 2021

2020 was a tough year, collectively and personally. It was a year that upended many aspects of our lives and a year that showed no mercy. The goals that I had set at the beginning of the year were completely thrown out the window by March. I honestly just floated through the rest of the year without a single goal in mind.

In a way, it was refreshing. I did my day-to-day things; I tried my best in school and blogged a bit, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to adapt my goals or start from scratch. Which is exactly the mentality I am taking with me into 2021. But this time, I have decided that instead of setting yearly goals, I would just take it month by month. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you can’t plan life. You can’t plan or predict what will happen tomorrow, and although that scares me, it has also been a sort of comfort to know that I just need to get my shit together one month at a time.

Everything in my life as of this point is beyond uncertain. I guess you could say I am in a unique position in my life, but I think it’s a rather common one that a lot of us have faced. It’s that point where one chapter has closed, and another one hasn’t yet open so here we are just standing in the in-between of life. At least, that is how it feels to me.

But with this in-between phase, I still have things I want to do and goals to reach but I am taking a much more relaxed approach to them. So, for January 2021, here are a few of my goals and what I am focusing on.

  • Career – I am at that point in my life where I am ready, and need, a proper adult job, if you will, so one of my goals is not necessary to get a job but it is to apply to quite a lot of jobs.
    • Apply to 5 jobs a week
    • Create a job application tracker
    • Update and translate my Resume
  • The Life We Dream Of Blog
    • Grow my followers (no amount specified, because again I am trying not to put pressure on myself)
    • Post once a week
    • Update and organize website layout and content
  • Personal
    • Read 4 books (my goal is to read 50 books this year, if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments!)
    • Re-establish a morning routine
    • Work on my relationship with money and finances

Just remember, last year was extremely challenging and the fact of the matter is, 2021 will be equally as challenging. Keep that in mind when you are creating your goals, do not put pressure on yourself to reach these impossible standards. Take a deep breath, it has been a long year but remember everything can change in a year. Just take it one month at a time. 

2021 & The New Normal

Things don’t have to go back to what it was before the pandemic if you don’t want it to. It doesn’t have to go back to what it was before 2020. Too much has happened that I think falling back into old patterns won’t do anyone good.


We can’t go back to what used to be, I think this pandemic revealed so many flaws in our systems that why would we want to go back to it? If we are at a point where we can start again why not choose that? Why not rethink things? Why not see what the new normal can be?
Because here’s the thing, we can make it better. We can care about one another, help each other succeed, believe in ourselves and just be better than we were before or during this shit show of 2020. We don’t have to go back to what was, because it’s not who we are anymore.
I know that everything that has happened to everyone has been a lot to process. Some would even say it was too much to bear – regardless of where you live, you probably know someone who got the virus, lost their job, faced financial difficulties, had trouble with their mental health, missed loved ones, or couldn’t do what makes them happy. This year has been too much for most of us, but I hope you all take away this one thing.

We don’t need to go back to what was, it quite literally will never be possible since too much has changed, and we have experienced far too many profound things in our lives. So, take that with you and look at the year ahead and decide your new normal. Not what the world thinks should be normal, but the normal you want to live. Think about the normal you crave, the actual normal. Not the habits we want to fall back on but explore what could be. This year has shown that for better or for worse anything can happen. As much as the bad has happened this year, the good can also come. You just need to be open to the idea that our version of normal needs to adapt to the changing times.

My wish and hope for you are that you have an easy transition into the new year, that you take a few deep breaths and remember that the life you want to live is up to you and that if you choose to, you can live it. But perhaps it all starts with accepting the fact that there is no going back and that we all need to collectively go forward and embrace what’s to come.