I started running monthly planning sessions in January 2022, they were originally called Plan with Me. The idea when I started was to hold myself accountable for this activity by committing to being in the same place at the same time for an hour every month. I hoped someone would join me, and a handful did — most of whom are still with me after over a year.
What we do
On the fourth Monday of every month, we meet online at midday (UK time). The hour-long session includes:
- framing the space; why we’re there and how it works
- 20 minutes quiet time to review the previous month with prompts to guide reflection
- 5 minutes break to check-in and reset
- 20 minutes quiet time to preview the month ahead with prompts to guide planning
- 5 minutes wrap-up
There’s beauty in its simplicity and everyone who comes takes their own value from it. Here is some of the feedback I’ve received so far:
This is probably the most important online session I attend each month. It makes me take time to reflect on the previous month’s commitments and actual achievements and is super useful.
In my mission to manage my workload and my energy plus appreciate what I have done (not keep focusing on what I need to do) this session is just what I needed. Monthly planning is warm, expertly organised, really useful and attended by lovely people.
[Monthly planning] is so useful. I do it every month using your templates even if I can’t make the actual session.
Over the past 16 months, as numbers have grown, I’ve also recognised the value these sessions bring beyond accountability. Most of this, for me, lies in the insights shared during the breaks. Here are some of the things we’ve explored recently:
- strategies for keeping our plans and commitments for the month visible
- noticing all the unpaid work we do and the impact this has on paid work
- planning time for ourselves, but not so that it feels like yet another task on the list
- spotting patterns from month-to-month and taking action as a result of them
Ways to get involved
Would you like to give monthly planning a try? You can sign up to the next session for free via the event page.
If you’re keen to get stuck into monthly planning but know you can’t make the sessions, then you can download the monthly planning prompts we use. Set aside about an hour (preferably at the same time each month) and do it yourself.