Write a Monthly Review

I always look forward to the first of the month, and ironically it’s because there’s a bit of work that I do every first that I really look forward to. I write a couple monthly reviews.

One of them is for CruiseSheet, but another is just for life in general. I send it to two friends who usually send me monthly reviews back.

If you feel like you’re getting a lot done on a daily basis, that’s great. Or maybe it’s not. A very common trap, one I’ve spend a bit of time in myself, is immersing oneself in work that feels important and keeps one busy, but doesn’t actually produce anything. This applies to work beyond career ­— it could also be said about working out, learning, social life, or anything else.

Longer periods of time don’t have the same paradox. If you look back at your year and can list all of the things you accomplished that year, they’re probably all important. Busy work gets forgotten by the end of the year. A month is similar to a year in this regard. Looking back at a month is usually a pretty good reflection of your progress in life in general.

So I like to write a monthly review to see if I’m on track and to spot areas I’m overlooking. I have the same categories every month, and I’d like to share them and talk about why I include each one.

Income

One of my big goals this year was, for once in my life, to focus on income. I generally have a “do productive things and money will follow” attitude, but I started feeling like I was falling further and further behind my financial goals, which led me to question that assumption. So that’s why this section is first. I talk about how much money I made that month and where it came from. This section is usually pretty short — I just want to have an idea of trends here.

Coaching

Coaching is one of the things I’m most excited about, so here I talk about how many clients I have, the waiting list, some of the more exciting coaching successes (in very anonymous and privacy respecting terms) and things I’ve learned. The main reason I have a separate section for this is because of the trust people have put into me. A lot of people make big decisions based on my advice, so I make sure coaching is something I’m prioritizing and thinking a lot about.

Dating

Here I talk about how my relationship is going (great!), stuff I’ve learned, and my general optimism for our relationship. These past couple months we’ve been apart because we both had travel already planned, so recently I’ve talked about how I was surprised that I felt that we got closer even though we were apart.

Family

My family is incredibly important to me. I know I say it a lot, but I truly believe that my success is largely due to having an excellent family. Specifically, I’ve always had a large group of people who believed in me, had time for me, and wanted to see me succeed. Now that I’m getting older I’ve realized that I can contribute back/forward to my family, even just by doing simple things like reaching out and making sure I stay in touch with people and go out of my way to see them.

Friends

As someone who travels a lot, I try to take a lot of responsibility for keeping in touch with my friends. I also know that quality time spent with friends is the time I rate most highly, so I keep track of that, too. Usually this section is a list of things I did with my friends that month.

Misc

This section is just for random stuff that happens or that I want advice on. For a while it was full of hand-wringing about buying the Bentley, then it was about all of the home projects I did. Sometimes it’s a bit forward-looking to record what’s occupying my mind.

I always read the previous month’s update before writing the new one. By far my most common reaction is, “Wow, a lot has happened since then!” If I ever don’t feel that way, that will be a cue to make sure that I’m on track and not drifting.

Consider choosing a couple friends and writing monthly reviews with them. If you can’t find anyone, you can even send it to me if you don’t mind not getting a reply. It’s about an hour per month that helps you stay on track, be grateful for what you’ve accomplished, and focus on what’s important. And now I’m going to write this month’s…

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Photo is a progress shot of the island cabin. I didn’t want to bombard people with photos of it, but a lot of people have asked for more. And… that’s basically all I took photos of last month.

I’m pushing Life Nomadic 2 to December so that I can finish it properly on another cruise I’m going on.

Totally random, but if you’re interested in buying a 2005 Ducati Monster S2R, I’m selling mine in Vegas. I feel like one “fun” vehicle is more than enough and I don’t ride it anymore. It’s awesome, though.

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