Best Laid Plans

Episode #147: Habits, Intention, and Overcoming Perfectionism with Monica Packer

May 22, 2023

In this month’s guest episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Monica Packer about habit formation, perfectionism, self-compassion, and more. Monica is the host of the About Progress podcast as well as a coach and mother of 5, from ages 3 months to 11!


Thanks to Jenny Eversole from Style Space for connecting Monica + me!

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An Exciting Heads Up:

Digital Detox Mini-Course info will be in my newsletter this week — please subscribe if you want the earliest info! This is a challenging topic but clearly something I have been passionate about for a long time. In this course, you will delve more deeply into your current screen habits, explore motivations to spend that time differently, and employ strategies with support. I know I cannot singlehandedly make change easy in this realm, but I also feel like more ideas and discussion in this realm are needed, so I hope I can make it a helpful and meaningful experience for those interested in addressing this challenge.

Signup details available mid-day Tuesday in the newsletter and will be posted later in the week if slots remain!


  • Reply Michelle May 22, 2023 at 6:45 am

    I’m so looking forward to the digital detox course! I just deactivated and deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. I miss Facebook Marketplace as I feel OfferUp is unreliable in my area and we’re decluttering our house to possibly sell. Anyway, after deleting social media, I still find myself glued to my phone during certain times of the day but I feel like I’ve taken the first step toward curtailing this habit.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 22, 2023 at 9:43 am

    This was a really interesting episode. I would characterize myself as a recovering perfectionist. When Monica talked about how previously, if she couldn’t hit the # of workouts/min of workouts she wanted to do, she’d just give up. That was me before I learned about Laura’s rule of 3 times/week is a habit. I’m still really careful about setting a lot of goals because I continue to struggle w/ being too hard on myself if I don’t accomplish what I set out to achieve. But I feel like I can still achieve things without setting detailed goals. I’ll definitely check out her content as it sounds perfect for this recovering perfectionist. 🙂 Now as a parent, my goal is to figure out how to not raise perfectionist children… Or to at least not encourage perfectionist tendencies.

    • Reply Grateful Kae May 22, 2023 at 11:53 am

      Ha, so far this hasn’t been an issue over here. Seems like my kids are more in the camp of, for example, “I kind of/ sort of pulled the blankets up.. that equals a made bed, right? Eh, so what if it’s totally lumpy and looks terrible… It’s “good enough”.” 😉 I sometimes WISH I saw a few more perfectionist tendencies out of my teenagers!!! 😂

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns May 22, 2023 at 6:11 pm

        Ha!! I wonder if there is a bit of a gender component to it. Like I wonder what percentage of upholders are women v men! I don’t personally know of any men who are perfectionists. So maybe my boys will avoid this. I can see how having a bit of a preference to do things perfectly once in awhile might be nice, though!!

    • Reply Ashley May 22, 2023 at 2:29 pm

      Oh man, I relate so strongly to this comment! I feel like it will be a lifetime process to un-install those perfectionist buttons.

  • Reply Alyce May 22, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    I haven’t had the chance to listen yet, but the topic reminds me of something I heard recently that if someone tells me they’re a perfectionist, what I actually hear is that they’re really hard on themselves when (not if) they’re not perfect. Also, I can’t help but think about the gendered tendencies towards perfection, and how it relates to the most recent Ezra Klein podcast episode with Jean Twenge about the research showing that the mental health crisis in teens can be attributed to social media. Apparently the research shows that liberal girls have experienced the sharpest declines in mental health and steepest increases in depression and suicidal ideation since the widespread use of smartphones and the rise of social media. Perhaps it’s social media that both reinforces the myth of perfection and reminds you that you’re not perfect so girls get it twice. Anyways, after listening to the podcast episode I left thinking that the researcher interviewed would make an excellent BOBW guest. And seeing your announced mini-course, the timing seems all the more apropos.

  • Reply KimW May 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    This was a great episode – in fact I need to listen to it a second time because there were some nuggets of wisdom I want to write down!

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