I can hardly believe it's almost the end of November! At school, in particular, this gets my attention because November is the last full month of the semester. Returning from Thanksgiving break only to have to flip the calendar page to December offers a serious reality check.

Over time, I've discovered a few tips that help to keep the shock of "you mean that's next week?" at bay. They're not foolproof, but their consistent use has kept me from missing many important events and appointments.

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"Managing the Transition from One Month to the Next" by Lisa Hess (CatholicMom.com) Via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

Look ahead. Flipping the calendar page to the next month is the simplest way to see what lies ahead. The trick is to do this far enough ahead of time that you have the opportunity to prepare for what lies ahead. Ten days to two weeks ahead of time is usually sufficient, but even doing so on the last day of the month can provide a little warning for events that are closer than you thought they were.

Create a sign post. Always meaning to look ahead, but forgetting to do so? Jot important first-week-of-the-next month tasks or appointments on a a small, square sticky note and attach it to a calendar square at the beginning of the last week of the month.

Do a weekly check-in. My family just loves this (yes, that's sarcasm), but it helps us to make sure that we align our calendars and don't miss appointments. It also helps with planning. We usually have our "calendar meeting" at dinner on Friday, but you can pencil in any time that works for your family. Once this becomes a habit, it's something you can accomplish in five minutes or less.

Investing a little time in your calendar can make things run more smoothly every day of this month...and the next one as well.

Copyright 2016 Lisa Hess