I will be sharing my answers to the monthly reflection questions in my passion planner, highlighting all my achievements and observations about April 2020. I usually begin to answer these questions after reviewing all my journals in order to remember details and also to be inspired.
Question 1: What was the most memorable part of this month? Describe it.
When outside life slowed down due quarantine I got the chance to achieve two important personal goals that were already on my 2020 goals list, which are:
1. My Podcast
Decluttering was actually a big goal for me, however, I did not expect to make this much progress on it so early in the year, it needed time and I finally had the time. I covered the pain areas including my bedroom, my kids’ rooms, my multi-purpose office area. I discovered a lot about myself and my relationship to stuff has been definitely complicated. I’m improving and finding it easier to get rid of stuff that don’t add value or beauty to my life or simple taking space I’d better save for more meaningful items and activities.
Question 2: What were the three biggest lessons you’ve learned in the past month?
- I love my home. I just did not have the time to appreciate it before. I finally cleared out stuff that blocked air and light and even my kids from moving freely in it and enjoying it.
- I am at my best when I create. When I ship my work like this blog or a new podcast episode, I feel the best rush of energy.
- When I feel uninspired and stuck at a task- which I can tell if it’s taking too long, I’m making many mistakes, or I’m restarting over and over- just PAUSE. I should leave the task for a while until recharge. This way I‘d be able to finish it faster.
Question 3: Review your planner for the past month and assess your priorities. Are you happy with how you spend your time? If not, what steps can you take next to adjust them.
Yes, I am very happy of how I spent my time creating work I’m proud of and more space at home. I also noticed that compared to the first 2 weeks of quarantine back in March, I didn’t play much with the kids in April but I’m proud that I committed to daily bedtime stories, reading 4 stories sometimes.
There is always, however, room for improvement.
In May, I want less time on my phone and to make time on phone intentional for creating, engaging with others, initiating or responding to contact. Not for mindless scrolling.
Question 4: What did you accomplish this past month? What are you most proud of?
- 4 Podcast episodes.
- 3 Blog posts
- 4 Instagram videos
- Finished 4 books (decluttering at the speed of life, how to manage your home without losing your mind, money tree, life’s greatest question) the first 2 books helped me achieve the below tasks.
- Decluttering my bedroom 100% , kids’ rooms 80%, office room 100%. I would like to change its name to learning/arts room, since kids are spending most of their time with me there during the day when I work or home school, still thinking about it.
- Developing home management routines that helped make my home feel more comfortable (example: laundry day routine)
- Recording a Zoom call with my friend on how we are spending our time home positively as mothers.
- Starting a book discussion series about the (Power of Now) with my friend by video-recording the first episode.
- Developing a new habit of walking daily for 20 to 45 minutes.
- Commiting to my 5am habits and especially to meditation.
- Spending 2 social-media free weekends
Question 5: How are you different between this past month and the month before it?
I am closer to my kids and know them better and proud of their relationship’s progress and how they learned to get along better than before.
I am better aware of my triggers around my kids and working on enhancing my reactions especially during home schooling.
I feel more self-confident of my creative energy to ship my work to the world.
I now really know that what it takes to produce a podcast.
I feel lighter with less stuff at home and proud that my relationship to possessions is changing.
I’ve never loved my home as much as I loved it this month.
Question 6: What or who are you especially grateful for this past month?
My home. The breathtaking sunset view. Spring beauty wherever I look outside and having lovely outdoors area for kids to run.
My husband’s energy who got so much done around the house and washed the cars many times followed by rain.
My father and mother in law who live downstairs and their love and attention for the kids and their great food.
After 40 days I got to spend few nights at my parents’, enjoyed being spoiled with food and staying up late with them.
My accountability partner Rania and our special talks.
My best friend’s patience listening to my long voice messages of frustration.
Ladies in my 5am group, their wonderful wisdom, energy, honesty and the momentum we enjoyed.
The amazing support and helpful feedback I received about my new podcast and all the amazing testimonials about it.
Dana K. white’s books about home management.
Question 7: Name three things you can improve on this upcoming month. What concrete actions can you take to work towards these improvement?
- Patience during home schooling by being more mentally prepared for class, adding more silence for my child to think, expecting different (I don’t know) scenarios and practicing my response to them because I get frustrated if we already covered the material. Also to keep consistent math and reading aloud practice.
- More respect for my body by going back to intermittent fasting, less chips, replace it with yogurt and cucumbers and seeds. Also observe my coffee intake.
- Get in touch with parenting books to remember parenting strategies and leave the room when feeling frustrated to be able to respond wisely to kids.
Question 8: From one to 10, how do you feel overall about this past month?
7 out of 10
Other questions I like from PowerSheets Goal Planner
Question 9: In the new month I am saying no to:
Anger. Anger begets anger, just like any habit. I can break this habit by pausing and choosing a different response. Also by starting my day imagining things going wrong in advance with kids’ moods and behavior and practicing a different response (when they…. I will… ) example: when they start bickering /I will separate them kindly but firmly in their rooms until a timer goes off).
Social media in weekends and mornings. Mornings are way fruitful and weekends are more peaceful when I am off social media. I can check it after I create my own content. As Chase Jarvis always says: Create before you consume.
Question:10 In the new month I am saying yes to:
Flexibility, patience, adding 10-min strength training every other day, power naps, starting the day setting schedules with kids.
After answering the 10 questions I fill the Tending List in Powersheets where I write the Monthly action items, the weekly action items and the daily action items/habits.
Example of monthly action items is launching 2-3 podcast episodes, organize summer clothes, finish chapter 3 of a course in miracles, finish contagious you book and deliver a project at work.
Example of weekly action items may be one podcast episode and one Instagram video per week.
In May my daily habits would include walking 30 minutes, writing in evening journals, having fruits and seeds.
Other funny things worth mentioning about this past month is that I finally had the time to read the dishwasher and the washing machine manuals. I found out what those little codes meant. I chose the best program for my dishwasher and I even adjusted the height of the racks, who knew this was even possible? I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I learned the correct way to set up the cutlery in the top rack. For 2 years I did it as the handyman who installed it instructed me to, without ever verifying his advice. Perhaps I’ll share a picture later. It was so funny.
I hope this review encouraged you to start this practice and make it your own. This will help you track your successes and learn from your mistakes.
Let me know if you do a monthly review in the comments, and what other helpful questions we can think about every month.
You can listen to this epsiode in Arabic through my podcast: