An Ode to the Best Men in Our Lives

To celebrate Father's Day this past Sunday, I spent almost two hours on the phone with some of my favorite men–my father, brother, brother-in-law, and grandfather–celebrating what they mean to me. My grandfather celebrated his 58th Father's Day while my younger brother was celebrating his very first! Talk about legacy! This past weekend made us extra grateful to the special men in our lives, and we wanted to share some of the things we've learned from them over the years!


Growing up, my dad used to tell me and my sister, "Yangs never give up." It was frequently used whenever we got bored of mowing the lawn, fixing a broken toy, or learning a new skill, so we often just rolled our eyes and finished our task out of obligation. Today, though, that phrase carries the weight of our family's history of working hard even when the odds feel against you, and taking big risks knowing that you can always pick yourself up and start over again. -Nicole


My Dad taught me by example at a young age to be kind and offer help to others no matter their background. As a child, my dad owned an auto shop in a not so great part of town. Homeless people from the shelter down the street would pass by occasionally and ask for help. He would offer them jobs sweeping or little odd jobs here and there. He employed others who were recovering from substance abuse and the cast of characters who gathered around the Thanksgiving table was different every year. He made sure that everyone was welcome and felt like family. I'm grateful to him for the opportunity I had growing up and being exposed to all different backgrounds and seeing the small ways you can care for people who are in hard times. -Amber


Photo by Gina Zeidler

A lesson my dad taught me is to go after my creative pursuits just for the joy of it--even if they led me to not make a huge income. He just wanted me to use what the Lord had given me, and to my dad, music and art were just as valuable contributions to the world as medicine (his field). I know that's a rare encouragement from a parent, and I don't take it for granted. He's pretty special. Thanks, Dad! -Lara


My Dad is famous for having a number of phrases that were on repeat throughout my childhood, and they still regularly ring in my head even though we now live hundreds of miles apart. One that was a particularly hard lesson to learn was, "if you're going to give, give graciously." That meant that it wasn't enough to simply shove a coloring book across the table at my sister if I begrudgingly agreed to relinquish it; no, I was supposed to politely place it in her hands, ideally with a smile. My Dad taught (and still teaches) me so much about going the extra mile AND doing it with your heart in the right place, and for that, I'm grateful. -Emily


My dad is a man of few words, and he always chooses his words wisely. Growing up with three sisters, a chatty wife, and two daughters, he learned quite early on to choose his words wisely, in any situation. The thoughtfulness with which he speaks pushes me to fight my urge to ramble and focus on using my words purposefully. -Jess

I'd love to hear from you below! What have you learned from a father figure in your life! After you leave a comment, download our notecard and write a note of gratitude for him.

We know that while Father's Day is a joyful celebration for some, it is also a time of suffering for others. For those struggling with absent fathers, longing to be a father, those struggling with a family's past. We want you to know that wherever you are, we see you, and we hope this encouraged you to celebrate the men–father or not–in your life who have loved and encouraged you.

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You’re Invited to the Cultivate Book Launch Party

Friends, what a journey it's been over the past two years while Lara has written Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional LifeIn fact, I realized while reflecting on the excitement in the weeks ahead that it's only because of this book that I'm part of the Cultivate team. That in itself makes me grateful that Lara wrote her story down, and I hope so many of you are going to be encouraged by her words!

If there are two things we love to do, it's celebrate and spend time getting to know each of you! We tossed around the idea of a Cultivate Book Launch Party months ago but actually ended up tabling it. However, we kept coming back to what a wonderful opportunity it would be to get together and celebrate the release of Cultivate and all the wonderful things we've accomplished over the past two years.

Yes, this book party is about celebrating Lara's hard work, but we want to make it abundantly clear that the story in Cultivate isn't just Lara's story. It can be your story, too. Our time together is meant to be a celebration of community and progress in cultivating an intentional life, right where you are!

Venue: The Barn at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, NC

Date and Time: Saturday, June 24th from 12pm to 2pm

We have a fabulous venue lined up that is the perfect backdrop for Lara's book (it's a working flower farm!!), and we can't wait to spend time seeing old and new friends alike!

The event is free, but tickets are limited. Invite a friend to join you, and make haste in grabbing your ticket today! We hope you'll join us to celebrate!

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June Goals Round Up

Friends, do I have a treat for you today! Today's blog post is written by our newest member of the Cultivate team. We aren't introducing her just yet since we're still finalizing job roles and titles, but I can assure you that you will be seeing her lovely face in the coming weeks! I thought reading some of YOUR PowerSheets goals would be the best way for her to start to "meet" each of you, and I'm loving her takeaways from your progress! -Jess


We love how colorful Catherine's desk is with her PowerSheets and Write the Word journals!

If you need help figuring out a rhythm of using your PowerSheets with your planner, take a look at Amanda’s post! I love how she breaks it up into easy steps, one of which is to add stickers to help her focus more on what’s important that week.

Mary celebrated a full month in May, and I love how she moved her “in progress” goals from May to June!

Karyn’s honesty in evaluating where she is right now when she developed her June goals is so refreshing. After taking on too much in May, her focus for June was to be selective and spend her time doing what is truly important to her.


Isn't Natalie's What Fires Me Up page so fun?

If you've had your PowerSheets hidden away, or if you've felt like you haven't been in your groove, Kady's post is for you! I can definitely relate... I haven't gotten around to setting up my June tending list! These encouraging words were just what I needed to get going!

Courtney's June daily goals are all about simplifying. I love how she is focusing on how she can make habits that will allow for more time to achieve her weekly and monthly goals.

Rachel chose to keep some of her goals the same! Sometimes, it can take a little longer than a month to make daily goals and habits stick, so this is a great way to keep making progress!

If you've posted your goals somewhere, we'd love to see them! Feel free to drop them in the comments, too–no fancy blog required! We can't wait to take a peek into what this month holds and cheer you on!

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PowerSheets Party – June 2017

Happy June, friends!

On the final Friday of each month, the team hops on Instagram stories to share our personal PowerSheets prep with each of you! Join us in sharing your prep work each month using the hashtag #PowerSheets on social media so our team can cheer you on and encourage you as you cultivate what matters. I didn't download the Instagram stories before they expired last week, but I still wanted to provide practical tips as you work through your June PowerSheets. I asked for some of your questions, and I'm happy to provide simple frequently asked questions for the nuts and bolts of PowerSheets prep below!

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Do I need two separate PowerSheets for my work and personal goals? The answer is a resounding no! Last year, I used the same set of PowerSheets for both my work and personal goals. If you've been following us on social media, you've seen that this year I decided to separate my work and personal goals. I realized having a different set of PowerSheets gave more flexibility when planning within our fluid work calendar. Additionally, I knew I was working on some big goals this year (namely moving to a new city and transitioning to working remotely full-time) that wasn't quite ready to be made public, so I wanted a place to still track my progress without having to hide it when taking photos for social media :)

How do you start again when you haven't been making progress? Surprisingly, this is one of my favorite questions to answer because I've been there! My best advice is to start fresh, and that usually means giving yourself a pep talk. Remove any shame you might feel for empty pages, and tell yourself that you are going to use the rest of the year to make progress on what matters to you. That might mean ripping out empty pages so your stomach doesn't fill with guilt when you see them. It might mean using post-it notes over your original Prep Work so you can start from the beginning. Whatever it is, just start. We're not looking at your Monthly Tending Lists and keeping score. We're focused on cheering you on as you make little by little progress!


How do I stay motivated and check in each day? Keep your PowerSheets where you can see them! Whether it's open on your desk or folded into your daily planner, make it a priority to check in at the end of the day! It takes only a few minutes to mark off your progress, and it's so encouraging to see what you accomplished and where you need to focus your priorities!

Why can't I skip pages? Coming from a fellow page-skipper (usually the Cultivate Gratitude page), I completely understand why it's tempting to skip pages, and I still do it sometimes. However, I'm trying to be better about skipping pages with intentionality and not just for the sake of getting my PowerSheets finished faster each month. There might be times you skip your Goal Refresh and do it a month later or times where you are keeping your goals short and sweet so you don't need to brain stream a long list of things. But I can assure you that the pages are there for a reason, and the few minutes it takes to fill them out are worth it when I'm able to look back on my memories over the previous months.

What do the dots, checks and numbers in your PowerSheets mean? Great question! Shaded areas means it's a weekend for my work PowerSheets and not applicable. Numbers are the days I need to accomplish that goal. Checkmarks means I did it, and dots mean I didn't :)

Do you have other more specific questions about PowerSheets Prep each month? Let me know in the comments if you 'd like to see more posts like this! 

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Our Favorite Things – May

We skipped April favorites, which means I had an even harder time narrowing down my favorites for the month! We couldn't be more excited about welcoming summer! We're here to celebrate the progress that's been made, and to share a few of the things that have helped us cultivate joy, make progress on our goals, and live more purposeful days this month. We'd love for you to share what has helped you in your PowerSheets progress, too–just drop a note in the comments!

  1. You don't have to spend much time around the Cultivate office to know we're big fans of the Emily Ley team! They launched their 2017-2018 Simplified Planners earlier this month, and they are pretty dreamy! Even better than the gorgeous covers is the way each page (whether you use daily or weekly) helps you cultivate what matters most in the simplest way, hence the name :) Their mission is to inspire women to organize, simplify, and carve white space for the good stuff of life is why our team uses Emily's planners each day.
  2. After my one and only pair of summer sandals bit the dust a few weeks ago, I received a new pair as a gift, and I've had a hard time taking them off. One of my personal 2017 PowerSheets goals is to simplify and be happier with less, and these sandals are the perfect replacement. They're certainly an investment, but I know they'll last much longer than a pair of Target sandals (and they're ethically made!)
  3. Lara has long used the Things app to manage her running to-do list (in conjunction with Asana), and she was recently asked to beta test the new version (Things 3) and has been singing its praises. So much so, in fact, that a few ladies in the office have started using it too.
  4. Our new Workplace Health Initiative has all of us up and moving during the workday, but Lara took it to a whole new level with a stepper for her standing desk. We rotate using it during our team meetings to get some extra steps on our Fitbits.
  5. I have a bit of a confession for y'all. I love love love when PowerSheets go on sale each fall, but there's something about watching you set mid-year goals that has me even more excited! I love seeing our Undated Six-Month PowerSheets showing up on your doors and watching you dig in. Now is the perfect time to start if you want to snag a set from our shop before we sell out!
  6. Lara has recently starting preparing her garden for planting, and I must say, it's so fun to pull up every day and see the progress! Her Floret Flower seeds are the ones I'm most eagerly waiting to bloom! (Psst: If you tend to have a brown thumb like me, there is hope! Lara shared her Gardening 101 series on her blog and it is a great place to start!)
  7. This final one admittedly doesn't have much to do with my PowerSheets goals, but it has been a game-changer. I recently purchased a 6-foot phone charging cord, and having the extra length has been so helpful when I need to charge my phone at work but keep it nearby so I can see all your wonderful social comments!

What "things" are helping you make progress on your goals this month? We'd love to hear so we can add them to our lists!


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