Using the Monthly Pages
Getting Started - The Monthly Pages
Learn to Recognize Patterns
Learning, on its most fundamental level, is about patterns.
We test our environment and put our trust in the patterns that we believe to be true.
Without intentionality we all gravitate towards patterns that are easy to fall into. We enter an autopilot mode in our lives.
Our months present the perfect opportunity to turn off autopilot and assess
Where are we going?
How are we progressing?
What have we learned?
What’s working and what’s not?
Find the Bottlenecks
What are the things you didn’t get done. Does it matter? When we take time to reflect on each month, we realize most things aren’t as important as we originally thought.
With our monthly check-ins we also realize activity is not synonymous with progress.
Our monthly pages show us which activities, events, and people truly matter. And we see which areas of our lives need more love, attention, and energy.
Be honest with yourself during your monthly check-in. Celebrate your growth. And look for areas to improve.
Rethink Your Daily Routines
Our months are a perfect time to reflect on the routines and habits that direct much of our lives. Much of what we do is a product of inertia and only changes when we critically assess which behavioral patterns are serving us well and which are not. As you inventory the pillars of your life, you are in a unique position to address these patterns and set a new course.
Pay particular attention to your morning and evening routines/rituals. These time periods tend to be relatively predictable which makes them ideal starting points for building positive habits.
Set a Theme to Live By
By picking a monthly theme you are placing a word, idea or aspiration as a lens through which you will engage your month. The theme should be something you’d like to see grow in your life. By habitually reflecting and introducing your theme to your daily experience you will find the theme envelope the events, actions and relationships in your life.
There is no “wrong way” to fill in your pages. That said, here are some step-by-step instructions for filling in your monthly, weekly, and daily pages.
We recommend having your Monk Manual in hand as you follow along the steps.
Monthly Pages: How to Prepare
PRO TIP: Do this on the last day of the month right after you reflect on your previous month
Step 1: Label the month in the top left corner
Example: January 2020
Step 2: Take a moment to think of 1 habit that you will try to incorporate or cull during the month
Example: Use the MM at 8pm each night
Step 3: Fill in the dates for the month
Example: January 1st is on a Tuesday, so you would put 1 in the first Tuesday square
Step 4: Write in any pre-scheduled appointments and/or important events on the appropriate days of your monthly calendar
Example: If you have a doctor appointment on January 15th, you can write “dr. appt. @ 2pm” in the Jan 15th box
Step 5: Think of your top priorities for the upcoming month and list them in the priority section at the bottom of the page
Example: “Review finances before the 30th” or “Visit mom and dad twice”
Step 6: Take a moment to think of a theme that you will live by during the next 30 days.
Example: “Staying calm under pressure” or “Trust“
Step 7: Check in with yourself and be honest.
Example: Place a check where you fall on the spectrum between thumbs down and thumbs up
Step 8: Notice which facet of your life is closest to the thumbs down mark, then write 1 way you can improve this area of your life
Example: Relationships are my lowest score, so each week, I will make 1 of my priorities, “time with ‘so and so’”
Step 9: Think of 1 question you would like to answer this month
Example: What are my goals for 2020?
Monthly Pages: How to Reflect (tip do this on the last day of the month)
Step 1: Take a moment to read through your weekly and daily pages.
Step 2: List your biggest accomplishments (don’t overthink this)
Example: “Reconnected with my old friend, Erin” or “signed Company ABC as a new client”
Step 3: Reflect on and list the relationships that you’re grateful for
Example: Names of new or old friends, your significant other, or your parents, etc
Step 4: Reflect on the insights you’ve gained over the last month.
Example: Don’t worry about things before they happen. You’re simply making yourself live through the worry twice.
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