Tell Us Your Story and Win a Set of 2018 PowerSheets

Every day we hear from friends who have told us how their lives have been changed and inspired by using PowerSheets. Some have been able to quit their jobs and pursue a new career. Others have been able to simplify their lives and make what matters most happen. Others have used PowerSheets as a tool to, for the very first time in their lives, set meaningful and intentional goals. What’s your story? We want to hear it!

We’re looking for personal stories to share and celebrate in the 2018 PowerSheets launch. We want you to share in your video where you were before using PowerSheets, how you changed as a result of them, and where you are now today. Tell us your story in a short one-minute or less video, and you will be entered to win an advance copy of the entire 2018 PowerSheets Collection for you and a friend!

What's required in your video?

  • Film your video in horizontal orientation
  • Introduce yourself with your first name and where you live. "Hi! I'm Amber and I live in Nashville, TN..."
  • Answer the following questions:
    • Where were you in life before using PowerSheets? - "Before using PowerSheets, I was..."
    • Why did you decide to buy PowerSheets? - "I decided to buy PowerSheets because..."
    • What has been your biggest win in 2017? How did you do that using PowerSheets? - " I have paid off my student loan debt, bought a house, deepened my relationship with my husband by XYZ"
    • What results have you seen from using PowerSheets, and how it has impacted your life? - "PowerSheets have helped me..."

How do you enter to win?

Step One // Create your video: Create a one-minute or less video with your PowerSheets success story answering the questions above. Make sure you format your phone or camera to film in a horizontal orientation. Choose a quiet place so we can hear you clearly and see you in natural light. We recommend using a secure phone stand if possible!

Step Two // Submit your entry: Complete this form with your name, email address, phone number, and video upload (max 50mb). Please name your video file "FirstnameLastname", and be sure to read and agree to the terms and conditions.

We've worked hard to create the best PowerSheets collection yet for 2018, and we can't wait to choose one lucky winner! A random drawing of winner from video submissions will be selected and announced on September 20, 2017.

We can't wait to hear from so many of you and share your story with our newest PowerSheets users! Let us know if you have any questions!

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Our Favorite Things – July

It's been a big month of transition for me, and I must say, I'm looking forward to spending August settling into new rhythms and routines. 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!

  • Our friends at Emily Ley released their updated Home Base Binders this month, and I've already added one to my list (despite the fact that I'm living in a 250 square foot studio apartment!) For those of you looking for a central place to keep track of #allthethings (home, family, meals, finances, and more), this is the product for you!
  • If you're like me, you've been a long-time fan of Amazon Prime, but I've recently taken advantage of Amazon Prime Now for delivery within two hours, and it's been a huge timesaver. Now that I live in a much bigger city, sometimes it isn't worth my time to venture out into Atlanta traffic for one simple errand. I might be spending a few extra dollars for convenience, but I can already tell it's saving my money because I'm not browsing that dollar aisle at Target :)
  • In my recent move, I decided to try to eliminate paper towels from my daily use, and I purchased a handful of these Ikea dish towels to use as napkins. At only 79 cents each, it's an easy investment.
  • Nicole's PowerSheets goal about investing her purchases into companies that have a compelling mission has really resonated with me this year, and I've been trying to be more thoughtful about where I'm spending money. My friend Caroline (a fellow PowerSheets user) started making jewelry as an outlet for her anxiety and recently took her jewelry business full-time. If you're in the market for a new necklace or a gift, I recommend checking her (and other small businesses!) out!
  • Add some color to your Instagram feed by following the Color Factory, a newest color pop-up shop in San Francisco. I'd be lying if I said I haven't look at flights to San Fran :)
  • Poshmark has been so helpful as I've cleaned out my closet and replaced some worn items. I've found new homes for some of my clothes and added a few new pieces to my closet as well. Feel free to use my referral code UHUUS if you want $5 off your first purchase (I'll get $5, too!)
  • With quite a few thank you notes to send since my move, our Encouragement Postcards have helped me stay on top of things! Best part? They're 25% off in the shop right now! 20 postcards for $7 plus the cost of stamps? Yes, please!

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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How To Use Stickers In Your PowerSheets and Planner

If you've seen my PowerSheets or calendar on Instagram, you know that I'm a big fan of my favorite black pen. A year ago, I probably would have scoffed at the idea of using color in my planner or PowerSheets, but I've been converted after using our Cultivate What Matters Sticker Book for the past eight months! I'm here to share some of the ways I use stickers in my PowerSheets and Simplified Planner, and I'd love to hear from you, too!


PowerSheets Prep Day Stickers: We've said over and over again that we created our sticker book to be intentional, and I'd argue that this is one of the most intentional stickers in the whole book! I add a PowerSheets Prep Day sticker to my planner on the last Friday of each month to remind me to prepare well for the month ahead!

Establish a monthly planning day. This doesn't have to take a long time, but try to spend an hour at the beginning of the month looking at your calendar and PowerSheets. Tip: Do it right after you finish your PowerSheets prep for efficiency! Mark any upcoming birthdays, appointments, meetings, bills, coffee or play dates with stickers on your monthly calendar spread so you can visually see what's in store for the month. This will help you see the whole month at a glance, and prioritize or reschedule if you find one week is filling up faster than others.


Keep the stickers accessible! You won't use the stickers if they aren't near your PowerSheets or planner, so keep them together! I tore the page of stickers you see above out of my book, and I keep it in the front pocket of my planner. If I add a meeting, appointment, or get a bill notification, it's easy for me to add that to my calendar right then and there!

Use them to celebrate. Celebrating often conjures up this grand idea of throwing a party, going on a trip, or spending a lot of money, but what if we celebrated in a smaller way (and more frequently!?) While filling out my August PowerSheets, I decided that I wanted to try to use some of my stickers to mark my progress this month. I'm going to start by using the shopping cart sticker for my weekly goal of meal planning and prepping. Each time I put a sticker on my PowerSheets, I'll be reminded of the little by little progress!


Have fun! Don't take yourself too seriously! Use the stickers because they are exciting and help you focus on what matters, but don't get overwhelmed by making it look perfect! This is your planner, not a work of art! If you put too much pressure on yourself, you'll never even start!

Now through July 31st, everything in the Cultivate Shop is 25% off–no code needed! If you're as big of a fan of the sticker book as I am, now is the time to stock up. We are releasing a new sticker book at the end of the year, so when this one is gone, it's gone!

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Cultivating Habits in a Season of Transition

One of the greatest parts of my job is the ability to cheer the Cultivate family on as they make progress on their goals each month. On the flip side of that, I am consistently blown away by how encouraging everyone is to me as I make progress on my goals. One of my 2017 PowerSheets goals (and hardest because I kept it a secret from you, sorry about that!) was to transition to working remotely full-time as I prepared to move to Atlanta, GA.

I'm a month in, and by no means does a month make me an expert, but I wanted to share something I've been learning over the past few weeks in hopes that it encourages someone else in the midst of a transition.

Is it just me, or does the word transition often gets a bad wrap? I knew when thinking about and planning my transition, I wanted to reframe the narrative in my head. It's simply a matter of a perspective shift to go from "Gosh, I'm moving to a new city. I have to start all over." to "I have a unique chance to start fresh and create new habits!" Don't get me wrong; I know this is easier said than done at times, and I'll be the first to admit there were tears and nerves galore! Similar to starting a new journal or having fresh school supplies, there is something exciting about having a blank slate.

I've used the past month to focus on cultivating three healthy habits: Exercise, Organization, and Healthy Eating Habits. You've likely seen some of these on my PowerSheets goals on Instagram, but I wanted to share a bit more about them here in hopes it encourages anyone looking to cultivate new habits–no transition needed!


Exercise: Before transitioning to Atlanta, I was traveling almost every weekend. Whether it was going out of town to visit my boyfriend, heading home to see family, traveling for Southern Weddings editorial shoots, or celebrating friends' weddings, my suitcase essentially stayed packed. It was wonderful in so many ways, but it disrupted all my healthy exercising habits, too. Now that I have a central home base, I've found a local barre studio that is within walking distance to my new home, and I'm ending most of workdays with an exercise class.

  • Find what you enjoy, and do that!
  • Hold yourself accountable. I have exercising in my PowerSheets, and a more customer plan printed out and hung on my fridge. I mark off my progress in both places each day, and it's quite gratifying!
  • Create an incentive for yourself! I've created an incentive structure for my exercise plan! If I meet my goal for my summer plan, I'm allowing myself to purchase one new article of exercise clothing I wouldn't normally purchase. (Send me any suggestions you have!)


Organization: I went from a six-bedroom house with my own room to a 250 square foot apartment, and let me tell you, it's been one of the greatest things that could have happened to me. Why? I was forced to sort through my things and decide what was worth keeping, what was worth storing, and what needed to just get tossed, donated, or sold. A lot of my stuff went into storage, and over the past month, I've kept a list of what I need to grab on my next trip home. Guess what? That list is a lot smaller than I thought it would be.

  • Ask yourself "Would I pay money for this again right now?" If the answer is no, it's probably time to part ways with the item.
  • Throw stuff away! The craft supplies you've been keeping just  because? Toss them. The old  birthday card from someone you kind of know? Trash. My best advice here: do this right before trash collection day so all your full bags get picked up right away!
  • Sunk costs are always sunk. As you're going through your clothes, it will be tempting to think about how much you paid for something and decide to keep it on that factor alone. Don't fall into that trap! Think about if it's an article of clothing you love and wear often. if not, donate it, give it to a friend, or try to consign it. But don't hold onto it for that reason alone!


Eating healthy: In my case, there is a direct correlation between the number of my roommates and my eating habits. I shared my home in Durham with five other ladies who would often bring home leftover treats from work or decide to bake something yummy. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not shifting the blame to them by any means! While these things are great in moderation (I'm all about food freedom), having the ability to walk to the kitchen and cut off a slice of pound cake whenever my heart desired (including breakfast!), was not the healthiest thing to do. I moved very little food items, so I was essentially starting over with my fridge, freezer, and pantry. My first grocery trip may have been a bit more expensive than normal, but it was completely worth it. Now that I live alone, I have complete control over the food that comes in my house. Therefore, if I don't buy cookies at the store, I'm not tempted to eat them. It sounds elementary, but it works!

  • Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. You'll be much less tempted to buy those dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I'm looking at you Trader Joe's.
  • If you do buy a treat, but the smallest container of it. There is part of me that says "Jess, but if you buy 36 bagel bites you're saving money!" (Yes, I love bagel bites. No judgment!) But if I buy 36 bagels bites, I'm going to eat 36 bagel bites. If I buy 9, I'm only going to eat 9. I know that sounds so simple, but I have to remind myself of that often!
  • Keep a list of healthy and easy meals to plan and prepare ahead of the week. Knowing I have a meal to eat when I finish work fights my urge to go grab something quick or order out.

I'd love to hear from you! How do you cultivate healthy habits in the midst of a transition? Leave a comment below, and share your wisdom with me!

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Listening Ears: Podcast Edition

Sometime over the past two years, I transitioned from being a music-listener in the car to a podcast/audiobook listener. I'm not sure if it was because of my frequent travels or if I just found podcasts that I loved, but I'm grateful for the transition. I've learned and laughed so much from my podcast line-up, and after being asked by a few of you for recommendations, I thought I'd share.

I have quite a few podcasts that I check out on an episode-by-episode basis, but the ones I'm sharing today are in my regular line-up. I hope you find one or two new ones and give them a try!


Modern Love: The Modern Love podcast features the popular New York Times column, with readings by notable personalities and updates from the essayists themselves. I'm sure you've seen some of the viral Modern Love articles on your social feeds (examples here and here), and what I love about this podcast are the updates from the writers themselves.

Invisabilia: Latin for "invisible things", Invisibilia is all about the invisible forces that control human behavior–ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and emotions. The hosts do an incredible job of weaving narrative storytelling with scientific research and asking questions that leave you thinking. It's a great podcast to listen to on a car trip with a friend because you'll find yourself wanting to talk about it when it's over!

Young House Love Has a Podcast: I am, like their thousands of other loyal listeners, convinced that John, Sherry, and I could be the best of friends. I've been a Young House Love blog reader since 2008, and I was thrilled about their podcast launch last year. A combination of home renovation updates, what's happening in the design world, and life updates, I find myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions.

The Road Back to You Podcast: If you've been reading the blog for a while, it's no surprise to you that I'm a fan of the Enneagram personality test. This podcast looks at life through the lens Enneagram, an ancient personality type system that describes how human beings are wired, and each guest gives insight and perspective from their personal lives.

A Way With Words: This is the newest addition to my podcast line-up, thanks to my boyfriend! The hosts talk with callers about slang, old sayings, new words, grammar, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, and speaking and writing well. The most surprising thing about this podcast is the brilliance of the hosts! The show is live, and they are answering linguistic questions on the spot!


5 on 45 Podcast: I have a bit of a confession for you: while I know it's important to keep up with political affairs, it's not something that comes naturally to me. I'd venture to guess there are others like me out there, and I wholeheartedly recommend this podcast. It presents real-time commentary and analysis from experts at Brookings about the 45th POTUS, his administration, and Congress. The episodes are short and easy to digest, centered around a specific policy, so it's easy for me to listen to them!

From the Front Porch: One of my favorite hobbies is reading, and most of my TBR list is full of books that Annie and Chris recommend! Their weekly conversations weave together books, small business, and life in the South, and it's easy to see from their podcast why The Bookshelf is loved by many–both near and far. Now that I'm an Atlanta resident, I'm trying to figure out how to road trip to Thomasville, GA, where their bookstore, The Bookshelf, is located, because I'm convinced Annie is my spirit animal.

Revisionist History Podcast: The organizing principle around Malcolm Gladwell's (yes, that's a name you likely recognize) podcast is taking a second look at historical topics from the past: an event, a person, an idea. It's often something overlook or misunderstood. Gladwell is a phenomenal and engaging storyteller, and this podcast is a phenomenal one for all ages.

Planet Money: The Planet Money podcast description does is better than I could: "The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, 'Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy.' Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at Planet Money." This podcast is quite engaging for a girl who didn't do so well in ECON 101 (ahem, that's me!)

Risen Motherhood: This is, admittedly, not a podcast I'm subscribed to, but when I asked our Moms Cultivating What Matters Facebook group for recommendations, this one came highly recommended. Note: it does have a faith background, but there are a variety of other recommendations in the Facebook group! Mommas, feel free to sift through their responses for some new favorites!

Your turn! Do you have any favorite podcasts I should add to my regular line-up? Leave a comment, and share your favorites!

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