Cultivate What Matters Core Truths: Clarity Removes Distractions

Cultivate What Matters Core Truths: Clarity Removes Distractions

by: Emily Thomas

One of our favorite recent additions to the PowerSheets® goal planner is the core truths sprinkled throughout. These core truths—15 guiding phrases to ground your goal setting—summarize our "what-matters-most" approach to achieving more of what matters to you in a life-giving and joyful way.

Because it's one thing to have heard a truth like "any day can be a fresh start" or "naming what matters changes everything" and another to actually remember and believe it—and it's only when we move to this next level that our actions will follow. When life throws us a curveball or goal setting gets discouraging, we need to be reminded of what's true.

Enter: the core truths! As you work through the pages of your PowerSheets, you'll be reminded of what you love about this community and its approach to goal setting with every turn of the page. You'll be reminded of what's true.

Of course, we only had so much room in the PowerSheets—and so here on the blog, we're giving each core truth its moment to shine. One at a time, we'll unpack what each core truth means, how it applies to goal setting, and how you can make the most of it.

Up next: clarity removes distractions.

brain dump desk pad with tea and tulip

Why do we need this core truth?

In our device-driven and always-online world, distraction is the rule, not the exception. If we're not intentional about getting clear on what matters, cultivating our attention spans, and proactively planning our time, we'll find we never quite get around to those things we've always wanted to do.

Why do we love this core truth?

We love this truth because we love when women live out what matters, setting and achieving goals that create a ripple effect for the people they loveand those they might never meet. 

But it's hard! It's hard to stay focused in a world of endless distractions, limitless amusements, and very real needs everywhere you turn. 

Good news: when you know what matters, where you're headed, and what your next best step is—when you have a clear plan—you'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.

How can we live this out?

Three simple ideas for finding clarity and removing distractions in life and goal setting:

1. Uncover what matters. 

In the big things, yes, but also in the small. Of course, it's great to start with the big picture of what matters in the long term, and the PowerSheets® goal planner will help you do that. But make it a practice to ask yourself what matters on a daily, if not hourly, basis, too: what matters about this workday? What matters about this next free hour before school pick-up? What do I need? What would be a gift to my future self?

Pausing to answer this question will give you a clear, meaningful purpose for what's next, whether it's as simple as reading a book on Saturday morning (with your phone nowhere in sight!) or as weighty as boldly applying to a new job.

2. Break it down.

Most distraction creeps in when the task we're supposed to be focusing on doesn't really matter, or we feel overwhelmed by it. If it doesn't matter, we won't feel guilty about reaching for an amusement; if we're overwhelmed, we'll reach for anything to avoid doing the hard work of untangling what feels complicated.

Unfortunately, the only way through is through. If you're procrastinating on something that feels hard, weighty, or complicated, set a timer for 10 minutes and brain dump information, ideas, and possible routes forward onto a piece of paper. Break each to-do down into smaller and smaller pieces until they feel totally achievable.

  • For example, instead of "organize house," you might start to write things like "clear off kitchen table" or "clean out top desk drawer."
  • If a project deadline looms, you might write "outline first section" or "write one FAQ" instead of "complete audio course" or "finish website."

Don't let shame hold you back—the idea that you "shouldn't have to" break things down to do the work. You know what matters? Actually doing the work, not how you do it. And bonus: once you've broken down your goal into tiny pieces, you can complete many of them in one sitting and feel a little spark of pleasure each time you check one off!

3. Ease digital distractions.

Even the clearest goals and most reasonable, achievable plans can be waylaid by the lure of the smartphone or social media. Make it easy on yourself: put your device in another room or out of arm's reach while you're in focus-mode. If you must use your phone to complete the task, consider blocking certain apps while you do. 

We'd love to hear: how had clarity helped remove distractions in your life? Please share in the comments!

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Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

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