It’s a new month which means new opportunities and time to set new goals! If you fell off the wagon last month with your goals that is okay it happens to everyone but now is the time time to start fresh. You can always improve yourself in some way so every month I look at what goals I had last month, what ones I reached and what ones I didn’t and see how I can improve myself even more. I also take note of the goals I made last month that I reached too quickly so I can set higher standards for myself and I don’t consistently set goals that I can reach in a couple days. No one knows you better than you know yourself so it’s important that you set a high enough standard for yourself so you can continue to grow. Setting short term goals keeps me motivated and organized so even during the holidays it doesn’t mess me up too much nor does it distract me from reaching the goals  I want to achieve but during the holidays I am actually more motivated to get things done. If you want to set yourself up for a successful month sometimes you maybe be able to wing but eventually, that way will tire out and you will run out of ideas and need to plan. Planning is something that is an important part of my life since starting this blog so today I am going to talk about what I do at the beginning of the month to set myself up for success.

Have a clear vision of your goals- The first thing you need to do when making your goals for the month you need to have a clear vision of what they are and how you plan on executing that goal and then write it down so you don’t forget it.  Sometimes I have fitness goal while others it’s about blogging but my goals are never the same and they are purely based on what I want to improve on.  Last month it was to improve my strength because I am incredibly weak in my upper body not training it when I had chronic pain. I did improve some strength but since it took years to lose it will probably take years of consistency to get it all back which sometimes I am not so great at. If you have a goal you want to reach you need a clear vision of what it is, how you are going to get there, and why you want to reach that goal. If you don’t have all three of those things you will lack motivation and likely give up when things start to get hard. Last month my goal was to improve my strength because I have weakness in my upper body from not training it when I had chronic pain and to work towards that goal I did a lot of weight training which I hated every minute of but afterward I treated myself with chocolate milk so I had something to look forward to. Whatever your goals are it will get difficult and test how motivated you really are so do it for the results! You will feel so accomplished once you reach that goal because you stayed committed.

Change my workout-   If you workout there is nothing more frustrating than putting in hours at the gym and not seeing results. Working out with bad form can cause you not to see results but also doing the same thing over and over again and never changing your workouts can do the same.  According to experts, you should be changing something about your workout every four to six weeks if you want to continue to crush your fitness goals and avoid a plateau. Whether that is running a different route or taking a different exercise class you should never do the same thing with the same amount of reps for too long or your body will get used to it and it won’t challenge you. When I workout I want to make sure I am always challenging my body because what is the point if I can do my workout when I am half asleep? There would be none and I might as well just throw in the towel and not do them if I was going to go that easy on myself! To continually improve my strength and stay on track of my fitness goals on the first of every month I change what I am doing and do an entirely different routine so I am always challenging my body. I have done many of the workouts multiple times but new ones are created weekly and even if I have done the same workout a hundred times I often go months without doing certain moves so when I finally do it again it’s like it’s a brand new workout but not really! You will only see change if you push yourself slightly out of your comfort zone otherwise it won’t change you.

Update old content I try to keep my Tuesday and Friday blogging schedule so my readers know when to expect a post from me but sometimes it’s hard to keep that schedule especially when I am not feeling well. Some days I have a migraine or I am feeling fatigued and not up to writing a new post and the good news is I don’t have to be cranking out as much content as I did in the beginning to get views. If I went an entire month and didn’t post I would see a small drop in my monthly views but as long as I still promoted my blog I would still get them it would just be at a slower rate because it’s eighty percent promotion anyways! I get followers almost daily so even if I don’t have the mental capacity to write a new post updating one of my older ones can bring value to many of my newer readers and even if you have been here since day one and have read all my posts there will be new information that everyone can take something away from. I am constantly improving posts and making them better so when I am not feeling well I don’t have to pressure myself to get a post done and all I have to do is reshare what I have tweaked and focus on getting better.

Plan new content– I have hundreds of posts that can always be updated and reshared at any time which I sometimes do but there is only so much you can say in updated posts and there comes a point you just have to create something new. New readers and people that have been with me since day one can take learn a lot from updated posts because it’s new information but if I don’t ever create new content at some point it will become repetitive and this blog will start to die because people will lose interest.  Some days I have migraines and don’t have the mental compacity to write while other times just like many other bloggers I lack the motivation to get it done. I can’t plan for when I am going to have a migraine or when I will be wildly motivated but I think ahead and plan topic for the month so if this does happen I already have what topics I want to write about planned out for me and don’t have to stress over finding one.  Sometimes once I start writing some of these topics change because they turn out to be total duds and that is why it’s important to brainstorm as a blogger because you will feel stuck if something doesn’t work out!

Improve my stretching routine– Some can’t workout or stretch because they don’t benefit from either of these things but if you can stretching can give you so many benefits. I have never been consistent with sticking with a stretching routine but since I starting making it a priority  I have less pain because I have increased flexibility and range of motion which if you have any type of chronic pain you would know that stretching is huge for reducing pain because it helps reduce muscle stiffness that causes pain. I don’t stretch for long lengths of time and there are some body parts I can’t stretch like abdominals (my stoma’s make this too painful) or legs since my hips are dislocated so there are very few stretches I benefit from when it comes to leg stretches but I do make sure I stretch my upper body! Since I walk with crutches all the time and lift weights I get tight constantly so once a month I improve my stretching routine by either finding new stretches or increasing how long I do one of my current stretches to try and help get some relief. I stretch multiple times a day and for many that may be overstretching and too much but for me, that is perfect because I walk with crutches and get tight so quickly I need to stretch more often so I can move. I am not worried about overstretching because I would have to stretch like hours for that to happen and currently I only do a couple minutes a few times a day!

Look at last month’s stats- Blogging is not all about the numbers but is about building connections and relationships and if you think all your content is going to be fantastic you are living in a delusional world because some of it will be duds whether you want to admit that or not. It’s so easy to obsess over the numbers as a blogger but instead of obsessing of them, we need to try and understand them. Throughout the month I do look at these numbers but at the beginning of the month when I am planning new content I really take note of this so I can plan something I know you will love! You shouldn’t obsess over your stats but you also shouldn’t ignore them because if you don’t know what they are saying or what worked and what didn’t you could just continually create content no one wants to read.  Every month I set goals to try and increase my follower count, social media followers, engagement, or monthly views, and although I don’t always reach these goals I am always working towards making this blog better.