What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

What Not Writing For Over A Month Taught Me

It’s been over a month since I have sat down to write something. Beyond your basic email or paragraph, I have not written anything down.

That time and space I’ve taken from writing have allowed me to understand my relationship with writing in a way I had never considered it before. For one thing, I had never truly appreciated writing until I took this impromptu break from it. Writing has not only become a way for me to express myself, but also a way for me to process information, think through new ideas and connect old ones.

You might be thinking that I sound a tad bit dramatic at this point, after all, plenty of people stop writing altogether after high school, aside from the basics. But when writing becomes such an intricate part of how you cope with life, not doing that activity can have a lot of negative impacts on you. Not having writing in my life dramatically impacted my mental health in ways I still don’t quite understand.

My time spent away from writing taught me to not only appreciate writing but use it as a resource and a tool to guide me through life. Without writing, I felt like I was floating and never truly grounded at the moment. A moment would pass, and it was as if it floated away too quickly, I would never get the chance to hold onto it. Writing allows me to process those moments, cherish them and above all, remember them.

There is something so relieving about putting pen to paper or typing your thoughts away on a keyboard that unless you cope with life this way, you may not understand.

This mini-break also made me realize how harsh and critical I was of my writing. I liked my voice and the tone that I used, but if someone didn’t then for some reason their perception of me became my reality. I learned that I put a lot of pressure on myself when I did write and that if I was simply writing a blog post it had to contain all the wisdom of the ages in it – spoiler alert, it doesn’t need to. The posts that I wrote from the heart, that detailed my experiences or even small snippets of lessons I had learned along the way were always the ones that resonated more with people.

I wish I had kept writing since the last time I posted here, but I haven’t. But it still taught me that writing is a part of me. That is not to say I am branding myself as a writer, but I am someone who writes. I am someone who writes to learn, to process, to understand, to think and to connect. Writing is so instrumental in my every day-to-day life, that it baffles my mind how little I used to appreciate it.

So to anyone who has stepped away from something they love for a while, here is your reminder to get back to it. It will make a world of a difference, I promise.

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.