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It’s Okay To Grow Slow

We might be wrapping up Cultivate What Matters Week, but that doesn't mean our little by little progress ends here! The Cultivate Team is committed to continuing to encourage and equip you on your journey to make what matters happen in your own lives!

Our final piece of encouragement to you is this–it's okay to grow slow. When we look at the defining moments in our company this past year, we see a thread of intentional decisions we have made as a team to grow deeper instead of wider. What does that mean exactly?

It means we ordered the exact number of 2017 PowerSheets our team knew we could handle well.

It means we've chosen to say no to opportunities we are excited about to ensure our team is not stretched too thin.

It means we say no to ordering larger quantities so that we can spend our time building relationships with each of you.

We want to stay small because small doesn't mean that we aren't making an impact. Small means we get to talk on the phone with many of you, one-to-one. We have the bandwidth to build relationships with you. Small means we get to know your stories, and then share those stories with the rest of our community. Small means we get quality over quantity, and we have no intentions of changing that.

When the world says do more, grow faster, go, go, GO, we are choosing to celebrate the sprouts we see coming through the dirt. Why?

We believe that growing an intentional life is possible, right where we are: in the mess, in the tension, in the wait, and in what may feel imperfect.

We believe that good things grow over time, through little-by-little progress.

We believe that cultivating what matters isn't magic: it takes hard work and intentional decisions. From tilling up the earth and planting seeds, to tending and pruning, to the harvest, growing good things takes muscle, heart, and leaps of faith.

We believe cultivating what matters changes everything.

Celebrate the little by little progress you've made on your goals, and trust that while you might now see the growth sprouting through the ground quite yet, the roots are growing deeper to support what is to come!

Download your Cultivate Manifesto, preorder your 2017 PowerSheets (scheduled to ship later this spring), and follow Lara's 2017 Goal-Setting Series to set intentional goals right now, right where you are! It's never too late to begin cultivating what matters. Thank you for allowing us to cheer you on!

 

 

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Our Very Best PowerSheets Tip

We're still celebrating Cultivate What Matters Week! Why? Did you know 50% of the US population sets goals or resolutions in January and by February 15th, half of them have given up on their goals! In light of that sobering statistic, I want to share the one piece of advice I recommend over and over again to our Cultivate family! You might be surprised to hear it...

Find a PowerSheets buddy to keep you accountable in making the little by little progress on your goals. Accountability is a game-changer! When someone emails me or leaves a comment on Instagram because they feel stuck on their goals, this is always where I start and what I tell them. It might seem scary at first, but I guarantee this pays off in the long run!

Feeling overwhelmed about how to find a buddy? No need to worry! Here are a few tips to help you get started in incorporating accountability into your goal-setting!

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These are some lovely ladies from a Raleigh PowerSheets Power Group that have been meeting monthly for a few years to talk through their goals, thanks to one lady stepping out of her comfort zone and asking for accountability! Photo by Robyn Van Dyke.

Be the person who asks. Yes, getting over the fear of rejection is the first step! Whether you ask a local friend or someone in the PowerSheets Facebook Group, we can assure you it's likely the person will be just as excited as you are to have a sounding board for their goals and some accountability!

Use technology to your advantage. The great thing about modern technology is we have a plethora of communication resources at our fingertips! From Skype to Facetime to Google Hangouts, it's easy to connect with a long-distance friend. You're not limited to your zip code!

Schedule it, and stick to it. Decide what schedule works best for you and your buddy, schedule it, and stick to it. Honor the commitment you made by showing up, even if you feel like you have no progress to report. We're sure you've accomplished more than you think because the little by little adds up! If anything, having a fresh set of eyes will help you feel encouraged by what you've done and refocus on what is still left!

Find a group (or groups!) that fit your interests and season of life on the Cultivate What Matters site! Click "Groups" at the top of the page and you'll see all the options! If you want to see what else you can do on the new CWM site, Nicole explained everything for you.

Like the Cultivate What Matters manifesto says, "we believe in growing together, in blooming where we've been planted, and in helping others do the same." Know you are not alone, friends! The Cultivate Team is cheering you on!

How do you stay accountable with your goals? We'd love to hear from you below in the comments!

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Stories from PowerSheets Giveaway Recipients

In celebration of Cultivate What Matters Week, we wanted to share the stories of some special women who are cultivating what matters in their own lives that we've recently "met," thanks to your generous nominations!

The whole reason we changed the name of our business last year was because we knew we needed a platform to tell other people's stories–YOUR stories! Last month, we posted an open call asking for nominations of special ladies to receive a sold out One-Year PowerSheets Workbook, and the stories that came in were incredible! The best part? These are ladies who have been cultivating what matters in their own lives before having PowerSheets in hand (though we changed that with some happy mail!)

As we celebrate a week of little by little progress, we thought there was no better time to celebrate these women. We hope these stories will touch your heart as much as they touched ours and encourage you to start cultivating what matters to you right now–right where you are! Like our Cultivate Manifesto says, "we believe that good things grow over time, through little by little progress."

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Sonia's Story, nominated by her daughter

"Sonia is my mother. Throughout my struggle with mental illness, she has stood with me and helped me to take the steps to heal. She has encouraged, shown compassion, and nudged me always in the right direction. She would give me the best advice each day: take it moment by moment, step by step. I feel that her belief in me helped me believe in myself. In the past two years my mother has experienced very extreme and severe hardship. She found out that her husband was battling numerous addictions, and she stood by his side sacrificing so much to serve him throughout treatment. When it became evident that he was not willing to recover, she bravely walked away from the emotionally abusive relationship. She welcomed my sister and brother into her home when they lost theirs. She took on two extra jobs to support herself and her children. During that time, she also began having health issues that were not covered when her insurance was unexpectantly terminated. She also is a caretaker for my grandmother and never fails to make time for her. Throughout all of her suffering, she has not once wavered in her belief that God has faith in her path and endurance. She continues to selflessly care for those around her. I nominate her because, as everything seems to be crumbling in her life, the PowerSheets may help her see a new light. They may be the ticket to healing and thriving when it can feel like there is so little hope for her to hold onto in this new season. After caring for so many people, I would like her to invest in her own healing."

Catherine's Story, nominated by her sister

"Catherine is my sister, and although younger by two years, she is my inspiration! She pursues her faith, relationships, and life-purpose so gracefully and generously and always encourages me in my own goals. She's my best friend. Catherine introduced me to the PowerSheets, and we both fantasized about getting sets and working on them together. However, they simply weren't in the budget for the foreseeable future. When she saw that you were hiding a set in our town of Greenville, SC on your PowerSheets Road Trip she hunted it down and (so generously!!) surprised me by gifting it to me instead of keeping it and enjoying it for herself. I would LOVE to be able to return the surprise and gift her!"

Marcie's Story, nominated by her husband

"Marcie is the love of my life, a wonderful mother, and my best friend. She is the lifeblood of our family, keeps us together, and on track with our goals."

Wilma's Story, nominated by her daughter

"Wilma is my momma, and she is always there when I need her! Every day, she teaches me what it means to be a strong woman! Because of her example, I have an amazing relationship with both of my daughters. She has atrial fibrillation and received a pacemaker in December. A month later, she was diagnosed with stage 3A breast cancer. She just started chemotherapy, and she is trying really hard to stay positive and upbeat. I think PowerSheets will help her set goals, manage her life in this season, and, most of all, encourage her. She is my rock, and at 48 years old, I still call my momma every single day!"

Allison's Story, nominated by her best friend

"Allison is my absolute best friend. She is an amazing woman of God, creative, smart, talented, beautiful and always there to encourage me! She is a homeschooling Mama who just made a cross-country move with her four young children to support her husband and his growing business. In this new season, she's trying to figure out her family's goals and direction for this new chapter. She wants the best for her family and just needs a bit of guidance in figuring out what their goals are. PowerSheets would be an amazing tool for her!"

Lilli's Story, nominated by a family friend

"Lilli is an incredible young woman who truly knows what she wants out of life. She's the toughest and smartest teenager I know! She is highly discerning and capable. Lilli is in a season of transition, having graduated high school early and now working on college decisions. She is in a place where she's looking to set goals and make progress. She really wanted a set, but didn't hear about PowerSheets until they were sold out!"

Katherine's Story, nominated by her daughter

"Katherine is my mom, and she is the most organized person I know! She plans ahead in years (it's crazy!) She loves to plan but more than anything she loves to help others plan. She sacrifices a lot to be able to selflessly give people what she wishes she could have had at a young age. She ordered a set of PowerSheets for herself but she remembered how much I wanted one and gave it to me when they were sold out! She's the true definition of a mom–sacrificing things she loves for her children."

We are grateful to the men and women who took the time to share these stories with us! It's not too late to get a set of PowerSheets; we've opened preorders for our Six-Month PowerSheets Workbooks that are expected to ship by late May!

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Happy Cultivate What Matters Week!

Yes, it's Valentine's week, but we made up another holiday that we're all pretty pumped about!

First, a few facts. Did you know February is statistically the month that gym membership attendance goes down, and fast food consumption goes up? Makes you think, doesn’t it? The forward momentum of January can leave us burned out and feeling guilty for not starting the new year as well as we had hoped. (Are you feeling that?)

Here's what happens: 50% of the US population sets goals or resolutions in January. Come February 15th, half of those people have given up or forgotten about their goals completely.

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But, not us.

Not you.

Not the Cultivate community.

No matter how imperfect our progress has been so far, we are not caving.

Why? We get to make a choice, and we are choosing to flip this statistic on its head together. We are Cultivating What Matters!

Here's what you can expect this week:

  • We'll be sharing what's new on the Cultivate What Matters site
  • Emily's best tips for setting goals with your significant other
  • Stories from women who have been cultivating what matters in their lives long before having PowerSheets in hands
  • The goal-setting tip I recommend more than anything else when I respond to social comments, emails or phone calls. (Here's a hint: it might surprise you!)
  • And much more!

We've written a new manifesto to remind us that intentional living is possible, and the imperfect and little by little progress that we all make together grows good things over time. Get it delivered right to your inbox!

Manifesto

Ready to get started?

  • Preorder your 2017 PowerSheetsPowerSheets preorders will ship by late May, but you can start today with Lara's Goal-Setting Series. You don't need PowerSheets in hand to cultivate what matters.
  • Follow us on social media and join the conversation this week. We'll be posting prompts and questions to get us talking about how we're taking the next step to make our little by little progress a reality!
  • Need some help getting motivated? Start here.
  • Print your Cultivate What Matters Manifesto  and hang it somewhere you will see it each and every day!
  • Eliminate the excess to make room for what matters, like the endless scrolling and comparison. Try starting with a social media-free weekend (or day). Check out our favorite tips to make this a reality!
  • Share on social media using the hashtag #CultivateWhatMatters, and tell us how you are cultivating what matters this week!

It's your turn! Are you joining us in cultivating what matters little by little this week? If so, leave us a comment and let us know!

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How To Choose Your Word for the Year

The PowerSheets Facebook Group is a wonderful place for inspiration and encouragement for friends as they dig into their PowerSheets. I recently saw a thread of comments from someone in the group feeling overwhelmed about how to choose a word of the year and asking for advice!

I completely understand the overwhelm–even though it isn't necessary! It often feels like there is a lot of pressure to choose the "perfect" word for your year, but I wanted to offer a pep talk and some advice that has been helpful to me, personally, to anyone who is feeling paralyzed by the choice!

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Photo by Lara Casey

Remind yourself that you don't have to be perfect. The PowerSheets process is not about doing everything perfectly; it's about discovering the perfect goals for you in this season. The same is true for your word of the year! If you start to feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that this isn't traditional goal-setting. This is grace-filled goal-setting, and there is plenty of room for you to get messy and change your mind!

Read through your Prep Work with a fresh set of eyes. Go back to page one of your PowerSheets (yes, page one!) and start from the beginning! Take a highlighter or colored pencil and start circling or underlining any themes that you see! (That's how Lara discovered her unexpected word for 2017!) When you look at all you’ve written so far, what word keeps popping up in your mind? Ask yourself what one word most resonates with you for the year ahead, pulling together all that you want to make happen?

Brain dump. Once you've read through your Prep Work again, find an empty page in your PowerSheets and start brainstorming a list of words you think could work, even if they aren't exactly right! Writing it down will get all your ideas on paper and give you a chance to see them all at once!

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Photo by Stephanie Williamson

Open a dictionary and thesaurus. Take your brainstorm list and use an old-fashioned dictionary/thesaurus to start researching your words! Look at the definition of each word, it's origin, and synonyms and antonyms. You may be amazed at what you discover!

Choose a word (or a few!) Don't box yourself into only choosing one word if multiple words or a phrase resonate with you. There is no word limit on this portion, so choose something that resonates with you!

Write your word down! Whether it's written on your Word of the Year Card or a post-it notes, write it down, and put it somewhere you'll see it every single day! It can go on your desk, on your bathroom mirror, or in your car, just make sure that you are being reminded of what you are focusing on for the next season!

Give yourself permission to change your mind! One of the greatest things about the PowerSheets process is how we've built in opportunities for you to reflect and redirect your goals every three months! In the Goal Refresh section, you can choose a new word or phrase to focus on in the next three months. You don't have to wait until three months to change your mind. Grab a post-it note or an old-fashioned bottle of white-out and add your new word over the old one! Progress, not perfection, friends!

Have you chosen your word for 2017? If so, leave it in the comments and let us know! We can't wait to see what you're focusing on in this next season!

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