Monthly review – focusing on being present

I do love this time of the year! We have birthdays on top of the usual end of school fun and Christmas festivities. It does mean the pace of family life speeds up a little and I noticed towards the end of November I starting getting a twitch to do things like multi-task, stay up later and push through to get some things done.

As you can see in my review table below, the consequences of this was less meditation in the daytime and a few days with me complaining. I don’t want December to be like that so I am honing my focus on to a daily morning mediation practice (as well as my evening practice) and being present. You cannot multitask if you are focusing on being present!

When we have busy weeks it is easy to move out of the present and always be thinking about what we need to be doing next, sometimes even going through mental to do lists of all the things we have to get through that day or week. Running through the lists in our heads over and over again through out the day, actually causes us significant stress and takes our mental energy away from what ever the activity is we are doing at that time.

This is where creating an effective to do list becomes a useful tool, not only to get stuff done but to keep us calm and feeling less frazzled. I take you through the process I use in this post Creating an effective to do list but it all starts Sunday night with a brain dump of all the things that are in my head that I think I need to do.

By taking the things out of my head and onto paper, it frees up my head space to be more present with each activity I undertake during the week. Writing the list is also a great way to see what tasks you can outsource to other members of the family to do!

I am also being very conscious of taking on any new commitments at the moment. I am using my goal of creating space in my life for creativity and calm as my decision making filter. If is not going to help me with my goal this month, then I have to say no.

What are you going to be focusing on for December?

HabitConnection to goalMonthly progress
37 pieces of clothing per season
Decision fatigue is a real thing - less clothes to choose from will free up mental energy! I am going to simplify my wardrobe to make choosing what to wear easier and having less items in my wardrobe will give me back needed physical space. I don't think I will ever go back to having an overflowing wardrobe again. Having fewer pieces makes me feel lighter and makes deciding what to wear so much easier.
How to simplify your wardrobe.
33 consecutive complaint free daysComplaining spreads negativity and I have so much to be grateful for. It is hard to be calm or creative when your mind is full of negativity. I have half heartedly worked on complaining less before, but to become a habit I need to track and measure it.You can read how I finally achieved it in this post -
Monthly review – planning and persevering

This month saw more days with complaints from me, which made me sad. I think there is a strong connection between this lapse and my meditation practice.
33 consecutive days of meditationI have dabbled a little with meditation and it makes a huge difference to the noise in my head. It makes me feel calmer, but I am yet to do this regularly. Doing so will help create an inner calm in my life regardless of the chaos around me.You can read how I built my meditation habit here -
Monthly review – building a meditation habit

While I meditated every night, there was a handful of days where I didn't meditate in the day as well. I could tell the difference on the days I didn't meditate.

This time of the year is full of fun and festive activities, but it does see an increase in workload from me to make it all happen.

My aim will be to meditate during the day every day in December so I can stay calm and ensure I keep my other habit of not complaining on track too.
33 items decluttered from the house each weekOn the surface our house looks relatively clutter free, but there are over flowing cupboards and drawers. Decluttering will give me a greater feeling of space and calm.I changed my plan on how I am tackling decluttering which you can read here.

Decluttering has ramped up significantly as we are swapping the rooms for kids. Currently in the phase where things look worse, but it should all come together in another week!
3 hours a week for creativityTime for creativity never made it to the top of my to do list as I didn't give it the value it deserved. If you want something to happen you have to schedule it. As the year is winding down, I feel like I am just starting to find my feet with this habit. Better late than never!

Achieved for November.