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We’re Hiring for the Holidays!

Friends, one of our joys as a small business is to let you in on our journey—the high points and the low ones. Earlier this fall, we shared that we faced unexpected challenges with our shipping team. We've worked hard to resolve the situation over the last few weeks, and are excited to say that we're taking shipping in-house for the foreseeable future in order to get orders out lickety-split and in great condition!

And here's where we need your help! We're excited to hire two Shipping Managers and 4-5 Shipping Superstars to work with our team through the holiday season. Whether you're a college student, a Mom, or someone looking to earn extra money before Christmas, ditch the mall and come work with us! :)

For all positions, we are looking for people who are:
• Upbeat
• Motivated
• Detail-oriented
• Energized by a challenge
• Efficient and quick on their feet

For our managers, we are additionally looking for people who identify as go-getters and problem solvers, and who thrive under tight deadlines.

Location: The Chapel Hill region
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pay: Depending on experience, $12/hour for Shipping Superstars and $16/hour for Shipping Managers, plus the opportunity for additional bonus pay and overtime pay

PLEASE NOTE that this position requires availability on most weekdays and Saturdays in the month of December and the first two weeks of January, including December 22, December 26-30, and January 2-5.

To apply, please fill out this form. Applications are due by Sunday, November 26th at 11:59 ET. We are so excited to meet you!

P.S. Know someone this would be a perfect fit for? Please pass the application along! Thanks, friends!

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Goal Action Ideas for Relationship Goals

If we rounded up all the goals set by all the PowerSheets users, I'd venture to guess that cultivating stronger relationships, and specifically stronger relationships with our significant others, would be in the top three. It comes back to that question Lara so wisely steers us toward again and again: where do you want to be when you're 80? Who do you want to be? Who do you want beside you?

Today we're continuing our Goal Action Ideas series with a Relationships edition, supplying you with a bank of ideas for your Tending Lists on that topic. Like all overwhelming things, cultivating a stronger, more joyful marriage or dating relationship is done through embracing little by little progress, and digging in even when things seem messy. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas, so please drop them in the comments!

P.S. We know not everyone is in a relationship right now (and some who aren't might really want to be!). We see you. Happily, many of these goals work for non-romantic relationships, too!

Monthly:

  • Brainstorm TV-free activities to do together
  • Research marriage counseling (not just for "rocky marriages" -- listen to our friend Katelyn!)
  • Get out of the house for a date night
  • Read the same book or article and discuss it together (doesn't have to be marriage-related!)
  • Work through our Goal Guide for Couples
  • Order a yearly photo album or a wedding album, if you haven't done it yet (oops!)
  • Review your finances and set a goal to work toward together
  • Have another couple over for dinner (watching how other couples interact can be so inspiring!)
  • Write out your wedding and marriage story
  • Read one new-to-you book on marriage
  • Create a family mission statement (our goal guide can help you with that!)
  • Look ahead and make a plan for your anniversary
  • Print favorite photos from your life together and display them in your home
  • Write your wills

Weekly:

  • Ask "what's one way I can help you this week?"
  • Set aside one night for an at-home date night
  • Consult your calendars together and make a plan for the week
  • Get outside and do something active together

Daily:

  • Connect phone-free on a walk
  • Pray with each other
  • Sit down for a meal together
  • Laugh!
  • Show gratitude to each other
  • Pray for each other
  • Act on each other's love language

These are just a few suggestions for items to add to your Tending List each month to make progress on your relationship goals for the year!

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

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How to Pay Down Debt in 2017

When I look back at my twenties, one of the goals I'm most proud of accomplishing is paying off my student loans. Paying off debt is kind of a classic PowerSheets goal: it takes planning, little-by-little progress, perseverance when it seems like you're not getting anywhere, and a strong connection to your "why." That last one is especially important because it's easy to lose heart when you're slogging through the often long and tedious process.

For me, in addition to reducing the amount I'd spend in interest over my lifetime, the real WHY of paying off my debt was to move one step closer to financial freedom—because when you're financially free, you have more independence, more security, and more options in almost every part of your life.

If you're facing down debt, whether student loans, credit card, a car payment, or a mortgage, what's your WHY to get rid of it forever?

Got your why? Good! I also wanted to share a few of the tips and techniques we used as we paid off student loans, car payments, and our mortgage (ongoing!)

MakeBudget

1. Stick to a budget. Without a doubt, following a budget is the number one reason we were able to make progress on our goals. Without giving every dollar a name, we easily would have frittered away money we could have been putting toward our payments.

2. Schedule payments in advance. Sign up online for a monthly auto-debit for each of your accounts so that you’re never late with or forget a payment. Make it automatic - you won’t miss it as much as you think.

3. Feel the pinch. Every time our budget expanded, we chose to allocate the extra dollars toward debt reduction. Raise at work? Going toward debt. Bonus? Going toward debt. Sometimes in the last few years we looked at each other and were like, why do we feel poor?? But then we reminded ourselves that we were living at a lower standard of living by CHOICE. If you’re paying off debt and are not feeling the pinch in your lifestyle, you almost certainly have room to cut back and increase your payments.

4. Get a little crazy. My sister is working with "gazelle intensity" to pay off student loans from her physical therapy degree, and to help reach her goal faster, she started picking up PT shifts at a local hospital on the weekends in addition to her full-time job during the week. Does she love giving up that free time? No way! But for a season, she's willing to trade freedom now for much greater freedom in the future. Consider working extra hours, starting a side hustle, downsizing to one car, or something else "extreme" in the name of moving the needle a little faster.

How_To_Track_Spending

5. Pay more than the minimum amount. If you’re feeling the pinch you are likely already doing this, but it’s worth stating again: pay more than the regular monthly amount. At times, we were paying more than twelve times the required monthly payment on certain debts using the debt snowball. Which leads us to...

6. Roll the snowball. The debt snowball is simple, but it is by far the most important technique we used to pay off our debt early. The basic idea is to pay the minimum amount on all of your debts except one and then throw all of your other available resources at that one. Once that debt is paid, immediately move the payment for that debt toward another and so on until all of the debts are paid. Dave Ramsey suggests starting with the debt with the smallest dollar amount and moving toward the largest dollar amount; other experts recommend starting with the debt with the highest interest rate and moving toward the lowest interest rate or considering the taxability. We used a combination of these strategies. As long as you’re working aggressively toward your goal, I don’t think you can go wrong.

7. Track your progress. I kept a Google Doc spreadsheet that listed our debts, the current amount we paid per month on each, the outstanding total of each, and the month the last full payment was scheduled. Every time a payment processed, I’d go in and update the spreadsheet. It was extremely motivating to see everything shrink over time!

I would love to hear: Is paying off debt one of your PowerSheets goals? Where are you in the process? Are you using the debt snowball?

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PowerSheets Goal Inspiration

With SO many new friends receiving their PowerSheets over the last few weeks (2/3 of you who ordered in our recent sale were new customers!), there's been as much energy in our office lately as there is at the beginning of the year! As you set goals to cultivate what matters in the second half of 2017, we wanted to point you to a few resources from the first six months of the year that might help inspire your goals...

2017

Looking to make new friends, or deepen existing friendships? Purchase our Fruitful Friendships Workbook, and read about how to make new friends, how to create traditions with your friends, and how to take care of your relationships.

Want to grow closer to your significant other? Read about setting goals together.

Struggling with self care? Read about our renew breaks and why we do them, how to enjoy reading, and our best tips for getting some real rest.

Struggling with exercise? Read about how to get fit (and how embracing imperfection can help you get in the best shape of your life).

Want to take control of your money? Read about how to build a budget and how to track your spending.

Looking for some general tips about getting the most out of your PowerSheets? Read how to choose a focus word, some of our favorite hacks, and our very best PowerSheets tip.

And don't miss our round-up of 2017 goals from the beginning of the year, where there's tons of great inspiration from our community!

We're so excited for you, friends! Dive in!!

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Ways to Love on Your Momma

I was a little late getting this posted in time for Mother's Day to our Cultivate Team Summit, but I'm hopeful you'll bookmark Emily's list of favorites for the mommas for a day when they aren't expecting a gift. After all, as my mom likes to remind me, every day is Mother's Day :) -Jess

One of my favorite things about my PowerSheets is that they remind me to stop and look both forward and backward regularly - a good way to ensure I'm living an examined, and hopefully more purposeful and fruitful life! With that heart, I have Mother's Day in my sights this May. This month's favorites are all themed around lovely things the moms in your life might appreciate it (including, if applicable, you!).

Farmgirl Flowers | Bouquets from this company are a go-to gift for Lara. They're designed by florists usually the freshest blooms you know and love, and are delivered ready for gifting in a burlap wrap. So different from the stiff, plastic-y arrangements you might be familiar with from mail-order florists!
Mother of the Bride Guide | April showers bring May flowers AND weddings! Our sister brand, Southern Weddings, recently came out with this in-depth e-book detailing everything an MOB could ever want to know.
Plum Pretty Sugar pajamas | File "nice pajamas" under a luxury your mama never knew she wanted. Research suggests that going to bed in actual pajamas set aside for sleeping (instead of the same lounge clothes you use for the gym!) can help ensure a better night's sleep!
How to Celebrate Everything | I am mildly obsessed with this book! It's a beautiful celebration rituals and traditions that make life meaningful, and I know you will enjoy it just as much as I did.
Social Print Studio prints | One of my favorite gifts to give is a year of printed out Instagram photos! Social Print Studio offers a 4x4 size on stiff stock I love. My Mom practically cries tears of joy when her a handful in the mail, but only if they include grandbabies' faces
Pinhole Press memory game | Fun for big and little hands alike! Especially if your family is far-flung, printing a set of these cards with beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins is a great way to cultivate a closer family connection.
Life Handbook | Our own Life Handbook is the quintessential Mother's Day gift. It's an easy and beautiful way to collect all of your favorite stories and life advice to share with a loved one, through 150 pages of prompts to tell your best stories, memories and advice.

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