How to Choose Your Cultivated Life Evaluation Free Choice Category in the PowerSheets

How to Choose Your Cultivated Life Evaluation Free Choice Category in the PowerSheets

by: Emily Thomas

In the garden, a key to growth is healthy soil.

It's the same with growing good things in our lives. For years, we've helped PowerSheets® users cultivate fertile soil for their goals by encouraging them to check in on different areas of their lives—areas that, together, cover a wide range of roles and commitments they might hold.

This is a practice that helps us notice. What areas have been growing well? What might need more nourishment or attention to flourish? Left to our own devices, it's easy to skip over the areas we find more challenging or that we feel discouraged by, but confronting them honestly and acknowledging where things stand is the first step in change—and change is possible!

Traditionally, the PowerSheets goal planner has included eight Cultivated Life Evaluation categories:

  • Community
  • Family
  • Finances
  • Fun + Recreation
  • Health + Wellness
  • Home + Spaces
  • Spiritual + Personal Growth
  • Work + Learning

In the 2024 version, we made what felt like a big change: we left one category blank for you to fill in! After listening to Cultivator feedback, we wanted to give you the space to fill in an area of your unique life you'd like to focus on in the year ahead.

Some Cultivators knew just what category to choose, while others needed a few ideas to get their wheels turning. We shared a bunch of suggestions in an earlier blog post, but what if none of them feels quite right? Today's post is for you!

Here are five simple questions to consider if you're stuck on the Free Choice category in your PowerSheets Cultivated Life Evaluation.

Cultivate What Matters' PowerSheets goal planner open to the Brainstorm Your Goals page with desk supplies on a pink backdrop

1. What is a major pain point in your life?

What feels hard or frustrating? Is it a routine, a time of day, a health challenge or illness, a relationship? Shining a bright light on a challenge can give you the motivation to take action.

2. What transition will you soon be facing, or are you facing now?

Moving, bringing a new baby into your family, a deployment, retiring, changing careers, getting married—these are all major life transitions that take time to adjust to. Naming and planning for the practical and emotional effort required makes the lift seem a bit lighter.

3. What is a dream you're ready to take action on?

Is it a new business? A move? A home project? A career change? Going back to school? Staying home with kids or starting to homeschool? Traveling the world in retirement? Learning something new? Dreams need lots of care and feeding—keeping tabs on them through your CLE can help.

4. What is something that brings you joy and that you'd like to prioritize?

While it can be helpful to set goals are pain points, weaknesses, and things that feel hard, it's equally powerful to focus on emphasizing your strengths—the things that are going well and that bring you joy! Maybe it's your relationship with your grandchildren, volunteering, mentoring others, gardening, reading, visiting state parks or baseball stadiums, or a particular hobby. 

Goals can feel hard. Don't forget to make them fun, too!

5. What is an area in your life that needs extra focus?

Finally, a catch-all category.

What we give our attention, grows. If we don't make an intentional and clear choice, whatever is loudest and most urgent will win, and it will likely be someone else's priority, not ours. So, make a choice, even if it doesn't feel perfect. Progress, not perfection, friends!

We'd love to hear: What category did you choose in 2024? Leave a comment and let us know!

Pssst: Love the Cultivated Life Evaluation and ready to go deeper? We just might have a new accessory you'll love in the 2025 PowerSheets Collection! Stay tuned...!

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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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