Thriving In Motherhood Podcast | Productivity, Planning, Family Systems, Time Management, Survival Mode, Mental Health, Vision podcast

Goals vs Projects vs Habits in the Thriving in Motherhood Planner [Episode 315]

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I got a fantastic question from a mother who is using the 2024 Thriving in Motherhood Planner this year: "I get confused sometimes about the distinction between things like goals  (quarterly vs. yearly) vs. projects vs. habits vs. Big 3 vs. focus vs. tracking.  Should these things all be related or not necessarily? 

For example, on page 31, I'm not sure what goals vs projects are.  Do I choose a big goal and then break that down into projects, or are goals and projects different? Should my daily, weekly, and quarterly goals all go back to my 10-12 goals for the year?  I guess I'm just not clear on how these things are different or if they should all be connected!" 

In this week's episode are going to do a deep dive on the difference between Projects, Goals, and Habits and how you can practically organize your ideas to make things happen with the Thriving in Motherhood Planner.

First, use this how it works best for you!  There are no grades or right or wrong answers. But, if you’re curious, here’s how I use my Thriving in Motherhood Planner in these different areas.

  • Projects: Projects are things with multiple steps that need or want to happen. For example, on my list are creating a family meal binder, updating our family yearbooks, planting raspberries, planting a medicinal and culinary herb garden, and cleaning out garden pathways.  

  • Goals: Goals are a little more personal and stretching—definitely outside of my comfort zone. This year, I put three goals down: write a book, do community service as a family, and do a cooking camp with the kids. These are also multistep goals, but they are also about shaping who we are as people and doing things that are intentionally hard. 

  • Habits: Habits are also about becoming—but on a daily level. For me, I wrote about prepping for the next day and knowing what's going to happen so we get a head start, tracking finances, daily exercise, and reading with a commonplace notebook.

Could some of these be mixed in different places - absolutely.  

Another way to think about it is that Goals are things I want to HAVE, projects are things I want to DO, and Habits are things I want to BECOME.

Also, I don't fill out page 33 (Goals, Habits, Projects page) for the whole year all at once.  I do it quarter by quarter. Sometimes, it is in planning, and sometimes it is in review to just see an overview of what happened.

Will goals or habits have projects involved? Very possibly! Do I use the goal planning pages for a project? Sometimes! Do I not use a goal planning page for a goal? Yes!

I like to have my daily, weekly, and quarterly goals funnel down from my vision. Some years, my vision is clearly defined on page 33, and sometimes, it is NOT. But I am picking what I focus on each quarter based on my vision and my month based on the quarter. My big three for the week have at least one thing from my vision on it most weeks (and sometimes it's taken up with homeschooling, celebrating a birthday, or getting the car fixed).

Focus is usually more about who I want to be, a scripture that I want to remember, a thriving thought that is helping me navigate day-to-day life or something that is challenging me and I want to navigate it better. It is nice to have it as a reminder on my weekly page spread.

Tracking is for the daily habits I want to keep a record of accomplishing. In some seasons, it is really motivating to check them off, and other times, I think just doing the things is enough and could care less if there is a check in the checkbox.

If you have any more questions about how I use the Thriving in Motherhood Planner or whether it’s right for you, email me at [email protected], and I’ll get back to you!

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