I say it every month, but how is it the end of May already?! This month was simultaneously endless and flew by. Again, describes almost every month. Because the months fly by so quickly – even when individual days and hours can drag on forever, amIright?! – I find it a hugely helpful practice to reflect.
Reflecting is a fancy way of saying “Think about the month – what I can still remember – and write down what I want to remember and apply to life moving forward.” Some months I’m on it and keep a running list so this is easy. (I’m looking at you, BuJo.)
Other months are survival mode and the fact that my family and I are still alive and haven’t burned down the house is a huge success.
I highly encourage you to reflect and keep a list of key things you learn each month as well! Without further delay, here’s May:
(I promise, that last paragraph wasn’t an intentional cheesy dad rhyme. But once it was there, I just couldn’t get rid of it.)
1. Communication matters.
It is SO incredibly easy to miscommunicate – to think that you are communicating more clearly than you are. Did you actually say what you thought you said? Or did you assume that your recipient knew more than they actually did?
I’ve gotten a surprising number of emails lately that were less than clear, and required multiple follow ups to confirm what should have been simple questions. It’s infuriating! It also made me think more about how often I’m the one sending the unclear messages, and to take some extra time proofreading.
Am I being as clear as possible? Is this all of the information needed, or am I making assumptions about what someone else knows and where they can find the rest of the information?
2. Reading is important –
even especially fluffy relaxing reading.
I realized a few weeks ago that my time spent reading had dropped dramatically this spring. I’ve been fairly stressed out lately, and started to wonder if that was one of the reasons why. I’ve always been more likely to head for a book than the TV for relaxation.
I’m usually in the middle of several books at once – typically a mix of business-y non-fiction, inspirational non-fiction, and fiction that ranges from a little bit fluffy to incredibly fluffy. I had been using my limited reading time to get through some interesting, but not super relaxing non-fiction. I grabbed a few super fluffy reads from the library and flew through them with a big exhale of relaxation. (Feel free to follow/friend me on GoodReads if you want to share reading lists and ideas.)
3. Sun is life-changing.
April and May in Oregon are rough. The rest of the world starts talking about sun and BBQs and pools, and we’ve got endless, endless rain. Memorial Day weekend gave us some much needed sun and warmth, and it was incredible. My boys are entering the golden age of summer, spending time running back and forth to the neighbor’s house, playing in the back yard and the cul-de-sac, helping out with lemonade stands and playing with water balloons.
4. YNAB is amazing. Really.
I started using YNAB to manage my budet several years ago, and fell in love even more when they added a cloud-based version that imports transactions from your bank account. If you and I have ever talked about money, I’ve probably told you that you have to try YNAB. And if we haven’t, I’m telling you now. You have to try YNAB. They even have a 34-day free trial (so you can see the full benefits of tracking and reconciling an entire month’s budget).
5. Sugar is not good for me.
No matter how much I’d like to think otherwise, I really do feel better when I don’t eat sugar. I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish, and then read The Case Against Sugar. (Note: Don’t read this if you want to happily continue to eat sugar. Although it is a fascinating case study on human behavior.) A friend and I started a Whole30 yesterday to get back on track. I’m only about 85% mentally committed this time around, so we’ll see how successful it is.
6. A simple plan executed well (or even simply executed), is better than endless ideas.
I love ideas, and organizing and plans. I’m great at making elaborate plans and then failing to follow through. I recently reviewed a plan for an upcoming project I’m working on with my friend Mandi on the Ultimate Bundles team. I felt like the plan was a little light, but Mandi didn’t. It was a great reminder to me that actually executing the small plan (which really isn’t as small as I think it is!) is far better than an elaborate plan left in a drawer.
What have you learned lately? Share below or drop me a note!