How Creating Themes For Your Months Keeps You Motivated With Your Goals

A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 87

Today we’re going to talk about creating themes so that you can have urgency. You can have less guilt and you can have a focus on your goals.

Because one of the things that I noticed is that moms will make a ton of goals and then feel like they have to conquer them right away. Or they’ll make all these goals and then they don’t know where to start and they have too many goals.

Did you know that there is such a thing as having too many goals? You need to be thematic and you need to be strategic about your goal plans because when you have these strategic goal plans, instead of flailing around and being super unfocused on your goals. You can really anchor into what matters the most.

So we’re going to talk about how to create themes today, why they’re important, how they fit into your 12-week goal setting.

And I’m going to show you how to create them and what to do with them.

So if you’re able to take some notes, grab a piece of paper and let’s get started.

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How Creating Themes For Your Months Keeps You Motivated With Your Goals

I figured if we’re going to start deep diving into topics, we got to talk about goal setting. It’s January, it’s the new year. And I teach a quarterly goal breakdown. That’s the way I look at goals, the way I approach goals. And today we’re going to talk about creating themes so that you can have urgency.

You can have less guilt and you can have focus on your goals. Because one of the things that I noticed is that moms will make a ton of goals and then feel like they have to conquer them right away. Or they’ll make all these goals and then they don’t know where to start and they have too many goals.

Did you know that there is such a thing as having too many goals and I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t be ambitious. I’m not telling you don’t go after your dreams. I’m telling you, you need to be thematic and you need to be strategic about your goal plans because when you have these strategic goal plans, instead of flailing around and being super unfocused on your goals, You can really anchor in to what matters the most.

So we’re going to talk about how to create themes today, why they’re important, how they fit in to your 12 week goal setting. And I’m going to show you how to create them and what to do with them. So if you’re able to take some notes, grab a piece of paper or a Trello board, or wherever you take notes.

And if you’re interested in just like diving in with me, let’s do it. So themes, super simple. They’re just simply picking an area to focus on for your goals. Now, why do you do it? The reason we create themes for our goals is because it allows you to take your goals and prioritize them in a strategic order.

It doesn’t make sense to have certain goals out of order. So I’m going to talk a little bit about like, If you should declutter before you deep, clean, before you organize, like those are all different things. And when you do batch work on your goals, so say you’re doing batch decluttering. If you were to declutter and work on deep cleaning, and we’re going to organizing all at the same time, it would slow you down.

Instead do a batching process 

Where you have you do all the decluttering first, then all the deep cleaning, then all the organizing, because. When we’re starting and stopping and starting and stopping, we’re just wasting time. And so when you create these themes, you’re actually going to be looking at the next few months and asking yourself what makes sense, what fits in, where instead of, Hey, this is some sort of random goal that I feel like could fit somewhere.

It’s very strategic. Now. It does require you to have forward-thinking. It does require you to stop and say. Um, where does this make sense? What do I have going on? And a lot of people don’t want to do that. I think we live in this like urgent, urgent, go, go, go. Where instead of doing that, well, we can do is we can stop, pause and plan.

We can say, this is what I have going on. And this is what makes sense. Instead of haphazardly going after your goals, you’ve got to plan because you know, the order that makes sense for you around what’s important to you. We talk a lot here about priority based productivity and what priority based productivity is, is deciding on goals, right?

That makes sense to you and your family in this moment. It’s all about choosing what matters the most for you guys. Okay. And so I might tell you an order today and you’re like, no, Cara, that doesn’t work for me. That’s fine. It doesn’t have to work for you. Take the concept and make it fit. So the other reason I like themes is because it just the guilt that you’re not working on everything at the same time.

Right. And so it was like, go, go, do do. And then sometimes we feel like, well, I only have one goal I’m working on, or I’m not going to conquer this. Or, you know, I said, I was going to run a half marathon, but I also wanted to learn the guitar and I need to keep my house cleaned. And you know, if I don’t ever do this, I’m never going to get to it.

We need to ditch that guilt

That makes us feel like if we’re not Uber productive all the time and doing all the things that you know, at the same time, then we’re not doing any it’s wrong. And so when you create beams, you can ditch the guilt. So you’re not saying I’m not going to work on my goal right now.

You’re saying I’m going to get to my goal when it makes sense for me, you’re saying I’m going to work on this. At a later date, you’re not pushing it back. So for example, if you were to look, you get your goals and you have this goal of, you know, like running a half marathon this year. So that was like one of your big goals.

And I live in the Northeast. It’s cold. It’s winter. I don’t want to go outside and run. Right. So maybe because it’s the winter, you’re like, you know what, I do want to work on this goal of running a half marathon, but it doesn’t actually make sense to start that goal during the first quarter of the year, because it’s cold.

So where does the goal make the most sense? We’ll probably in the spring. So I’m going to start that goal in the spring. It’s not saying. I’m not going to work on my goal. It’s not saying I’m never going to become a runner. It’s saying, where does this actually make sense? Instead of trying to fit like a square peg into a round hole.

Right? And then. You go a little bit further and you say, well, if I’m not going to work on this goal at this moment, is there something I do that can build me up to it? So maybe in the winter you start doing strength training. Cause we know like you strengthen, turn your legs, your legs get strong. They’re strong enough to carry you while you’re running, whatever, you know, whatever the case is.

So you say, well, what’s a smaller goal or a smaller habit or a smaller routine that I can work on. You know, that would help me get to that place that I need to be at. And then we get rid of the guilt, right? That nagging voice saying you’re not doing enough. You’re never going to get there. See, I knew you were going to make this goal and not get to it.

We don’t need that voice. The other thing that the themes do though, is it does give you urgency because if you can plan out the 12 weeks, if you know what’s coming next, then you’re like, well, I have to complete the school. One of the things I notice is that we don’t always give ourselves like self-imposed urgency.

When you have a job, you have deadlines, you have due dates. So you have things that have to happen, right? And so you get them done because they’re right. Do on a date. But when it comes to our personal goals, we often will forget to do that. We’ll often be like, nah, I’ll just, um, you know, I’ll get to it leader type of a thing.

Um, and that’s not the best way to think about it. You’ve got to give yourself the same deadlines you would give yourself at a job. And so when you’ve got this plan, the strategic plan that will allow for some flexibility that will allow for some hiccups that are going to come along the way. Then you can say, Hey, maybe today didn’t work for me, but I’ve got to keep going on this goal because I know that if I don’t declutter my house, I will be able to move to the deep cleaning part, which is my next goal or whatever it is.

Okay. So it gives you those things. 

These themes are going to give you urgency

They’re going to give you order and they’re going to take away the guilt. Now, how did these fit into a 12 week year concept? I talk about this a lot. 12 week year is a book by Brian P. Moran. It’s wonderful. We’re actually reading it in book club right now in the club.

And it really just talks about this mini years concept and how, whenever you decide at the end of the year, you’re going to get things done. You’re going to put it off and put it off. So I don’t have to give you an example. Um, Trying to lose some weight this year. That was one of my goals. I’d gained 20 pounds in 2020.

And I was like, Oh man, I really want to lose some weight and feel more comfortable in my skin. Cause like I’m not liking the way my pants fit and I’m cranky about it. So here’s what we’re going to do if I want to lose 40 pounds. Um, and so. If I said to myself, I want to lose 40 pounds. And this is what happened in 2020, right?

You’re like, I’m going to lose 40 pounds and then the year goes on and it goes on and it goes on. And then all of a sudden it’s October, and you said you were going to lose 40 pounds and you haven’t really done anything. So now you try to crash diet and jam everything in because you feel like it’s what you’re supposed to do.

And you know, then you find Christmas cookies and you’re like, well, I’m not doing this anymore. And you give up. And you quit and it’s because you didn’t have that urgency. If you do it in a 12 week concept where you break your goals down and I teach two different ways of breaking them down, well, then you know, well, 40 pounds in a year, that’s like a pound a week with some, like with literally 12 weeks of leeway.

So, you know, maybe that’s like even 0.7, five pounds. I should have done that math and advanced, but you know, it’s less than a pound a week. That’s doable, that’s maintainable. That’s something that you can actually do and achieve. And then you look at it in the 12 weeks. Okay. Well, if I want to lose. We’ll say 52 pounds.

Cause that’s easier math for me top of my head. But if I want to lose 52 pounds this year, I know that that’s 12 pounds a quarter. So my quarterly goal is not to lose 52 pounds. My quarterly goal is to lose 12 pounds. 12 pounds is one pound a week. Okay. Then you break it down. How am I going to get there?

This allows you to have. This urgency. And again, it fits in perfectly when you’re doing 12 week goal setting, because you can create themes for your quarter. You can create themes for your month. You know, I don’t recommend themes for the week just because then it gets like too nitty-gritty, but I do recommend you create themes for the quarter and then themes for the month.

So what does this actually look like? 

Okay. So I want you to think about like the next couple of months. So let’s look at like January, February, and March. And write those months down. The first question you’re going to ask yourself is like, what are some dates and events that I have actually happening during this time?

I think a lot of times we go ahead and we make these ambitions goals and we forget to say, Hey, what else is going on in my life? Right. So if I have something super busy, so in March, which is the purpose of her mom’s summit, that’s my biggest event of the year. Last year, we had 4,000 moms at it’s absolutely free to attend.

The waitlist is coming up. It’s huge. It takes so much work to pull this event off. It does not make sense for me during March to also have a super ambitious personal goal, right. Or a super ambitious, another work goal, like a pile of work on top or something like that, because I know that my, all my eggs need to be like in that basket of summit summit summit.

Now, does it mean that I’m not going to have tiny goals that will lead me towards a bigger goal for my personal life? Yeah. I’m not going to ignore it completely. Yeah. But again, it would not make any sense for me to say, I mean, I’ve got the summit and I’m also going to do, you know, this huge training program for a half marathon.

Like none of that makes sense, but we never do that. We don’t ever ask ourselves what fits where, so I want you to write down events, whether it’s like work events or birthdays or holidays or anything like that. This way, you can see where you want to put a more intense goal and where you want to put a more mild goal.

Because again, it’s not about always pushing, pushing, pushing your, you know, your goal could be like, for me, March, I’ve got the summit. My personal goal could literally be that I take 15 minutes a day to rest or meditate or have quiet time. Like my goal could actually be to rest because I know that it’s going to be heavier in another season of my life.

But again, We don’t know these things, if we don’t look so write down, you know, for January, February, March, and if you’ve already done your January goals and you want to do this for March, April, I’m sorry, February, March, April do that as well. And again, I will say this about the 12 week year. It doesn’t have to start January 1st and go 12 weeks.

The quarters align nicely on a calendar, but if you’re like, this is cool, know, make an equals yet for January. Have no fear. Um, you can go ahead and. You can start it. Now. I also have a class. If you go to a purpose driven mom.com/goals, it’s a free workshop on how to take action on your goals without overwhelm and burnout.

And it talks about how to make your goals for the quarter. So if you’re like …

How do you make goals for the new year? 

Just go to apurposedrivenmom.com/goals Go watch that class. I think it’s going to help you feel really good about starting and creating a path. Okay. So you’ve asked yourself what events you have going on.

Then the next thing is determining what your themes are going to be for like the whole quarter as a whole, and then the months. So for the quarter as a whole, I tend to pick a area of my life. So I know for example, that I don’t really have much going on in January and February for work. And then I have the summit.

So it actually is a good quarter for me to do more stuff. That’s family-focused because I know that in the business, I’m literally just working on the summit. Like I don’t have a lot of big PR, like it’s my one big project I work on all quarter. So, because I know that it means that I don’t have too much, besides that going on, it would actually be a great time for me to make some really good family and home goals.

So because of this, I’m going to say that my focus area for the whole quarter is going to be home. So you start with, what’s your big focus area. So let’s go through this home example. All right. I know that in the past three months, my home has taken a beating. It looks like, you know, the gifts have thrown up everywhere and stuffs, you know, jammed in into jurors.

And you’ll see that when you’re like, Oh, I have to put up my Christmas decorations. I’m going to jam every frame I have that I need the shelf space for him to have a drawer. Like everything’s kind of a mess right now. And it needs some love. So I need to focus on my home. That’s my goal for the quarter.

First create your theme for the quarter

Then you’re going to create the theme for each month around your goal. So you have a couple options. You could take that one theme and stretch it out over the course of three months, or you can do it separately. So I might say, okay. If home is my goal for Q1, then January is goal is going to be decluttering.

Like I know that I need to get this house decluttered now. Honestly, I think decluttering is a 12 week project, but maybe you’re super ambitious. And we’re going to say for now, it’s like some month project. Like I could probably, it would probably take me. And it is actually one of my goals. This quarter is to declutter my home and I’m making that my goal for the entire quarter.

But you might be like, um, I’ve got nothing else going on and I’m going to work on it in a month so you can decide. February, his goal is going to be deep cleaning. Now, the reason it’s in this order is because we know that it’s a lot easier to clean when you have less stuff. Now you might be saying, Kara, why don’t you just declutter and deep clean at the same time, because it’s not batching.

It’s not going to, it doesn’t make sense. Now if I take a bunch of stuff off the shelf, right, my bookshelves, I’m going to wipe down the shelf and then put everything back. But I don’t want to get caught up in like, well, now I got to go to the baseboards. I gotta move the bookshop. I gotta do behind the bookshelf.

Like, I don’t want to get caught into that because that’s when you get off momentum from your goals, because now you’re like, I got to do this and I got to do that singularly focused. Okay. So then. January. My theme is decluttering February. My theme is going to be deep cleaning and March. My theme is going to be organizing.

Cause again, organizing and decluttering. They’re not the same thing. I heard this in one of the books we read last year for the club, um, decluttering at the speed of life by Dana K white. And she says this and it was like light bulb. I was trying to make organizing the same as decluttering decluttering is literally just.

Having less stuff and organizing is making it look nice. So you don’t want to say like, okay, I’m going to do the bookshelves, but now, so, cause this is the trap ready. I’m going to declutter deep, clean and organized. That’s the goal. Every time I do it. And I’m not bashing, I should do it. So I’m doing the bookshelves today.

So I start checking the bookshelves off. Well, now, like I said before, now I’ve got to move the bookshelf so I can clean the baseboards behind the bookshop. Oh. And then I want to put them back on. Oh. But I don’t have a cute system. And I want all the books to look in this rainbow order that I’ve seen on Tik TOK.

And now everything looks nice. And then I’ve got to go to the store, hold on. Time to go to the container store to get book containers or what are they bookends or whatever you want. Right. It’s going to throw you off course. When you have a singular focus, you can say my goal in January. Is to declutter.

That is all I’m doing. I’m going to take the books off. I’m going to wipe the shelf and just do it. Regular dust. I’m going to put them back on. Going to get rid of the stuff I don’t want, because I know because I’ve created themes in February, I’m going to deep clean. So I’m not going to get worried about it.

I’m not going to get bogged down. I know that in February, I’m going to go through and do the deep clean. Now I recommend you do that before you do the organizing, because you’ll probably get rid of more stuff and then you’ll really see like what you need then. All right. I’m not going to worry about organizing, even though I want to get distracted and get a pretty container and make everything look nice.

I’m going to wait. And then in March, because I’ve done my declutter, I’ve done my Gleed clean. Now I’m going to organize everything and it’s batched out. Okay. So see how, when you make those themes, you’ve got the order. You know, that if I don’t finish decluttering, I’m not gonna be able to get to the big planet.

I’m not going to be able to get to the organizing. Okay. And you also know that you can say singularly focused and you ditch the guilt of saying, I didn’t deep, clean this while I was doing it. It’s okay. You’re gonna get to it next time. All right. And so that’s how you kind of think, all right, this is how I make my themes.

This is how I know what I’m going to focus on

This is where I’m going to keep my mind. Now, what do you do with these themes? There, it’s one thing to be like, this is what I’m going to do, but like, what could this look like in practice? So obviously the first is you make a goal around the theme, right? So if I have a decluttering goal, you could use the system that I teach in the 15 minute formula.

You could break it down with the formula and you can make a really great plan of when and where you’re going to tack this decluttering goal. So it actually happens. So you take the goal. For decluttering, you break it down before the quarter starts, you take the goal of deep cleaning and you break it down, you take the goal of organizing and you break it down.

You do all of this before your 12 weeks starts

So if you’re listening to this and you’ve not done this, this, this system, I would recommend you spend the next week and you really break it down. And again, if you need help, um, a 15 minute formula is where it’s going to be at to show you how to do all these things.

You can learn more about that at apurposedrivenmom.com/goals. I talk about it in the course. So, obviously you go through your break down, your course, then the next thing you do is you create kind of a learning plan around it. And this is where all the things you’re learning that month, all lead back to it. I find that if I’m decluttering and I’m listening to a podcast on decluttering, I’m more likely to keep decluttering.

It gets in your head. Okay. And so what I recommend you do is you find books about the topic you find courses about the topic you find podcasts about the topic, and you really immerse yourself in it. I bought a course cleaner. Like you made it from Kendra Hennessy from other like a boss to teach you how to clean.

Like I needed this course because I was like, I don’t know how to clean and this way I could learn how to do it. Right. And so then you do it in parallel. Not only are you going to achieve your goal of, maybe you have a goal, like I do one personal course a month, but then you’re also going to get your house cleaned at the same time.

Cause you’re learning about it. So you kind of want to go back and forth and say. This is where I’ve created a goal around my theme, but also where what’s it going to look like an activity? How am I going to learn and grow? I think we just assume. That we’re supposed to know how to do stuff. It’s okay to not know how to do.

Like, I had to really suck up my pride and say like, Oh my gosh, I don’t know how to clean my house. Like, I’m really embarrassed. Like I just bought a course, the one I’m taking right now and it’s on gentle parenting. Cause I was getting so frustrated with yelling at my kids and I was like, this doesn’t feel good.

And it felt like I felt like a failure as a mom because I had to buy a course to have someone teach me how to. Be kinder to my kids. Like this is an awful vulnerable thing to say, but that’s how I felt. And I had to get over that because my why of why I wanted to achieve that goal was bigger than my pride.

So if you’re like drowning and stuff, like I am with the clutter, like I I’m taking course I I’m a course junkie. Like I take tons, of course. And I love to learn, um, my friend Diana, she has a course that minimalist starts here and it’s amazing. And yeah. It’s about how to get your house decluttered. And so I’m, this month I’m taking that goal or that course, and I’m learning and I’m immersing myself in her Facebook community.

And just being around people doing the same thing will help you move towards your goal. So find that. Um, and then also find accountability buddies, if you, this is your goal. Um, one of the things we do in the club is we have accountability pods where like, you can pick a different goal each month and then you pick it up a pod of people and they tag each other and it’s fun.

But find people find a friend who has a similar goal, text them, say, Hey, like, this is a goal that I have. This is something that I want to do. Can we hold each other accountable? And what does that look like? And then this way you were going to feel like really focused and really themed so that you know, your, your plan, you know, what’s going on and you know, the next steps.

So what I want to encourage you to do is if you haven’t created themes for the next couple of months is go through this process. Okay. Ask yourself, what do you have going on in the next few months? What themes make the most sense? And then what’s a goal that fits your theme. And what’s a learning plan that fits your theme.

Search, find courses, find, you know, get some recommendations. I will, um, try to remember to make sure we link up to some of these courses that I talked about, but to send me a DM, I I’m telling you I’m a course junkie I’ll point in the right direction to a lot of courses that I have, because I know that they’re going to be able to help you.

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