Cultivate What Matters Core Truths

Cultivate What Matters Core Truths

by: Emily Thomas

By now, we hope you've opened up your PowerSheets® goal planner and are loving everything you've found inside. If you've been with us for a few years, there's one new element that might have caught your eye: the core truths sprinkled throughout the book. These core truths15 guiding phrases to ground your goal settingare one of our favorite new inclusions. We have more than a few phrases we love around here, and this is a special way to give them the focus they deserve! Including them in this way means you'll be reminded of what you love about this community with every turn of the page.

Today, we thought we'd share a little background on each of these phrases.

Any day can be a fresh start.

There is nothing magical about January 1, or your birthday, or the start of a new school year. Any day you are breathing, free, and open to change can be the beginning of something new. Don't believe the lie that you have to wait for perfect timing to start fresh!

Clarity removes distractions.

When you know what matters, where you're headed, and what your next best step iswhen you have a clear planyou're less likely to be tempted by distractions. The pull of the endless scroll, binging a show, or rearranging the same bookshelf for the tenth time loses some of its power when you have a clear next step to take instead.

Naming what matters changes everything.

Naming what matters—more specifically, separating what does matter from what doesn't matter—is the beginning of living intentionally. When you're clear on what matters to you, it changes how you act. And how you act changes the course of your life, and the lives of the people around you. It changes everything.

We can't do it all and do it all well, but we can choose to cultivate what matters.

Our time on this earth is finite. We will never get to everything that is worth doing, or to everything we want to doin fact, missing out on almost everything is guaranteed. This is freeing! Acknowledging this truth allows us to choose a few things to cultivate with care, and in doing so, imbue them with even more meaningbecause they represent the willing sacrifice of all the other ways we could have spent that time, but didn't.

Reflection reaps rewards.

When we look back thoughtfully at where we've been and what we've done, we can harness the power of the past to change the future. Instead of feeling regret over decisions and actions we wish we'd handled differently, we can feel empowered to make better decisions in the future. (And at the least, to not make the same mistakes!) By iterating on what's come before, we'll go further, faster, in the pursuit of what matters.

Change is possible.

No matter who you are, where you are, or what you've done (or haven't done), change is possible. You can write a new story. You can make different decisions than you have in the past. You can treat people differently, value different things, spend your money or time differently, pursue your goals differently. Your life and your future are not set in stone, and that is very good news!

Legacies start with one small seed.

A legacy—what we leave behind when we're gone—can feel big and intimidating. But in the words of Lin Manuel Miranda, legacy is "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see." And we know how to plant seeds around here!

Like all good things, even the most impressive legacies are created one step at a time—one hug at a time, one lunch at a time, one conversation, one email, one phone call, one "are you busy" or "do you have a minute" at a time. The legacy you dream of might seem impossible to reach, but all that's required to start is one small seed.

Little by little adds up.

Cultivating what matters starts with one small seed and continues in the same waywith tiny, consistent actions that add up over time. If you want to achieve your goals, long-term consistency in the right direction will beat out occasional big leaps every time.

Goals grow when we pursue progress, not perfection.

If you fall down seven times and get up eight, you're making progress. If you complete a habit just ten days out of the month, you're still making progress. Inconsistency eventually gives way to consistency, while the pursuit of perfection leads to guilt, shame, and inaction. Every goal in the history of the world has been achieved through imperfect progress, so forget about perfection—life is free, fun, and fruitful on the other side! :)

We must believe in what we can't yet see.

Most goalsand, more generally, most of the best parts of liferequire a period of quiet, unseen work before they burst into bloom. Like a gardener, we must plant seeds deep under the soil, believing that our efforts will eventually bear fruit if we tend to them consistently. Don't give up if you have to wait on those first green shoots of progress!

It's okay to grow slow.

The world will tell you that the only valuable pace is fast: we want our successes immediately, overnight, yesterday. But when we race beyond our capacity, not only do we risk flaming out and giving up on what matters, but we miss the gifts gathered at a slower pace: we miss human connection, and lessons learned, and the chance to cultivate traits like humility and patience. Anything worth achieving in a month will still be worth achieving if it takes you a year.

To everything there is a season.

Not every goal, routine, or habit is a fit for every season. Even a great goal can be the wrong goal in the wrong season! We'll find the most fulfillment and satisfaction when our goals serve us in the season we're in, not in the season we wish we were in. 

Break it down to get it done.

We love to think big picture here, but the only way to make a big-picture vision come to life is to break it down: break it down into small, concrete action steps, and then break it down even more until the next step is so simple and obvious you can't help but take it! 

It's better when we grow together.

Being in community while you set and work toward your goals is like adding fertilizer to a garden—everything grows bigger, healthier, more quickly, and more beautifully! Don't go it alone, friends

Endings can be new beginnings.

Endings can be devastating: the end of a dream, the end of a relationship, the end of a season of life. Even a desired ending can leave you feeling adrift and aimless. The good news: every ending is also a new beginning. You might not be able to see or name it yet, but there is good ahead for you, no matter what you're facing.

We'd love to hear: Which of these core truths has been most impactful for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas has been writing content for Cultivate What Matters for over four years. Her passion is helping women unlock what matters most in their lives and living the lives they’ve always dreamed of. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, three kids, and Golden Retriever, Dolly.

Cultivate What Matters Podcast

We want to invite women to join us in our conversation about our great God, and be encouraged to seek a deeper knowledge of God that leads them to live their lives for God’s glory as they grow in love and awe in response to who He is.

Goal School

Your favorite Bible studies and resources right at your fingertips!