Passion Planner | A Mother's Pace

5 Tips for Using a Planner in Your Daily Life

Lately I’ve been feeling like there are so many things I want to accomplish in a day and it’s hard to squeeze it all in. Family, running, reading, my Wildtree business, this blog, household chores and I could go on and on. I know that I can’t do it all but I have stumbled upon a way to organize it all that works for me.

I’ve never used a planner before but this year I ordered the Passion Planner to give it a try. I need to organize my brain and as much as I would like to do it through my phone and the computer I’ve found that I need a paper and pen approach.

Passion Planner | A Mother's Pace

I began switching over my 2015 calendar and adding items into my planner before 2016 started. A planner is so much more than a calendar because instead of just keeping dates it gives me space for my goals, to-do lists, meal planning and more.

This planner also has blank pages in the back and grid pages as well. I’ve found that it’s very handy to keep lists and information that I access a lot throughout the year on these pages. So far I have my 2015 Christmas list (so I can remember what I purchased!), a spot for my 2016 Christmas list, a birthday list for the year, my 2016 reading list, and some pages dedicated to my Wildtree business. There’s still a lot of extra space to add things throughout the year too!

As I have been using my planner I’ve come up with a few tips that may help you as you are deciding to write your life down in a planner.

  • Make goals. Actually writing out goals helps you to figure out what is important to you and what you want to make time to accomplish. We can’t do everything so a little planning and some goals can help you decide what is most important in your life.
  • Look at it every day. This one is an important tip that some people overlook. I plan my month and week out but I still look at my planner several times throughout the day. I add activities that I have done, cross items off my to-do list and write down what we actually ate for dinner.
  • Meal Plan. I have a list for the week going on a different calendar (one that has a magnet on the back that I can hang up to reference throughout the week) but in my planner I write out what we have actually eaten for dinner. This helps tremendously as I meal plan because I can look back on past meals and what we haven’t eaten for awhile. I also make notes on how it tasted so I know if I should make it again!
  • Star items that have been completed. An example of this is my running schedule. At the beginning of the week I write down the days that I want to run and then once I have done the run I go back and put a big star by it.
  • Make it fun. I doodle and use colorful pens in my planner. I thought that I would want everything color coded (different colors for the kids activities, meal planning, exercise, Wildtree events, etc.) but I ended up just liking a variety of colors on all the pages. I also haven’t invested in stickers or washi tape but I know there are a lot of options out there to make your planner colorful.
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Planner Tips | A Mother's Pace

My planner also keeps me accountable. I have several things that I like to do daily (like 20 minutes of reading or 5 minutes of tackling paper items) and I can cross them off when I finish that task each day. Is it strange that one of my goals each day is to read for 20 minutes? I’m telling you, if I don’t schedule it in these days it doesn’t get done!

The one thing holding me back from using a planner before was that I didn’t think I had time to do it! The opposite has actually happened though. Instead of wasting time figuring out what I need to do each day it’s all right there in front of me and I can just jump in when I have an extra 5 minutes here and there. I’ve gotten so much more accomplished in little bursts that it makes the small amount of time I’ve taken to write it all down very worth it.

This particular planner is so versatile and I’m very happy with my purchase. I’m telling you all about it because I’m loving it so much and not because I’m receiving any compensation at all from the folks over at Passion Planner.

Do you use a planner?

Are you a paper and pencil type or do you depend on electronics?

Passion Planner | A Mother's Pace

Running, Reading, Food and Family Goals for 2016

Goal setting at the beginning of the year is something that I look forward to. This year I broke my goals down into a few groups and I’m sharing them here with you today. Accountability is so important! Help me stay on top of my goals for the year. These goals also shed a light on the direction that I want to take my blog in 2016. Running, Healthy Food, Wildtree, Family, Reading. Those are all things I’m passionate about and all things I’ll share on the blog.


I miss running consistently but it is slowly coming back to me after the birth of my daughter in October. Setting running goals and competing in challenges is very motivating and helps me wake up in the morning. My biggest hurdle for these goals is being able to get my run in every day. It’s tricky to balance the timing of heading out for an early morning run and nursing a baby. I’m taking a no excuses approach to my running goal unless my baby girl needs to nurse. That’s obviously more important!

  • Goal 1: Run Consistently. Strive for 5 runs per week. Work up to about 30 miles per week.
  • Goal 2: Strength Train Regularly. Strive for at least 2 times per week.
  • Goal 3: Sign up for races or challenges. Having a race on the calendar or needing to hit a certain amount of miles for #Challengeville is highly motivating.
  • Goal 4: Eat Healthy Real Food. This goes hand in hand with my running goals for the year.

Wake up and Run | A Mother's Pace

Healthy Food | Real Food

I’ve been a Wildtree Representative for several months now and I can’t say enough good things about the company. The food is fantastic. It’s made with the finest natural and organic ingredients available. What I put on the table for my family is important for our health and I enjoy helping other families put healthy food on their table as well.

  • Goal 1: Menu Plan. Each week I’m planning on sharing my menu plan with you. I’ve been really good at planning out the week for us at home but I’m hoping that sharing it with you will help to give you some ideas on what to fix for dinner.
  • Goal 2: Organize Our Pantry. My goal in this area is to organize the pantry so it’s easier to get to the healthy food that I want our family to eat. Hopefully this is a short term goal and I can get it finished in January!
  • Goal 3: Eat a Variety of Food. I love when my kids try something new and like it! Trying new recipes exposes the kids (and us!) to different flavors and we’ve already found a lot that we enjoy. The photo below is from Wildtree’s Thai Green Curry that we made a few days ago. A completely new recipe and so delicious!

Wildtree Thai Green Curry | A Mother's Pace


Reading is so relaxing for me and my TBR (to be read) list is growing every day. When there is so much to be done every day it’s hard to get in reading unless I make it a priority. That’s why it’s one of my goals this year.

  • Goal 1: Read 24 books in 2016
  • Goal 2: Read for at least 20 minutes. Every. Single. Day.


Family is last on the list here but most important overall! My main goal for the year is to concentrate on spending quality time together. More game nights, more stories, more pretend play.

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So that’s it. Those are my goals for the year. I look at this list and all together it looks a little overwhelming along with all my daily responsibilities. But I have a plan to fit it all in and I’m sharing that with you next week!

Have a great weekend!

What is your top goal for the year?

Do you set aside time to do something fun for yourself, like reading?

Happy 2016!

Wow, I knew that it had been awhile since I had written a blog post but 8 months (!!!) is much longer than I had thought! Well, I’m back and ready to write again in 2016.

Happy New Year!

2015 was a crazy year with not a lot of running (or energy!) for me. My last post announced that we were expecting our fourth child and the pregnancy was exhausting and filled with challenges. I only ran through 21 weeks of my pregnancy and it wasn’t as often as I would have liked. Now, at 11 weeks postpartum, I’m just starting to feel the motivation to start consistent running again. That’s a long time away and it’s kinda like starting all over again. Every run is tough. Every run is slow. Every run is short.

But I’m doing it and I know that it will get easier the more I do it and eventually I’ll get back to my pre-pregnancy fitness level.

So let me introduce you to our little baby girl…

Baby A | A Mother's Pace

Our Baby A was born on October 15th and entered the world in quite a dramatic way. The abbreviated version is that shortly before our little girl was born we found out that she would need heart surgery very soon after birth. We had to leave for Colorado with just a couple of days notice so that I could deliver in a hospital where she would be able to have the surgery that she needed.

She had the surgery when she was 5 days old. It was the longest 6(ish) hours of my life! I may at some point share her birth and surgery story but for now I’ll let you know that the surgery was a complete success. Our Baby A is a healthy and thriving baby girl!

Baby A | A Mother's Pace

She’s 11 weeks old now and her smiles are the best! The older kids have all fallen in love with her and it is so sweet to watch them with their baby sister.

Today I’m just checking in but next week I’ll be back with some of my goals for the year and I’ll give an update on my plans for A Mother’s Pace in 2016.

Happy 2016!