How to Get Out of a PowerSheets® Tending List Rut

How to Get Out of a PowerSheets® Tending List Rut

by: Emily Thomas

We've talked before about what to do when you're unmotivated on a goal (and we've got some great suggestions for you!). Today, we're chatting about what to do when you're tuned out of the PowerSheets® process itself—when you're just not feeling motivated to turn the page and fill out your Tending List for the next month.

As much as we'd like to think that no one would ever feel this way (and, of course, we pack your goal planner with beautiful design and great coaching to help this be a rare occurrence!), it's also totally natural to get in an occasional rut if you've been a PowerSheets user for any amount of time.

If you find yourself in that place, here are 7 ways to get yourself fired up for your next Tending List!

1. Don't give up on the process.

If you use PowerSheets long enough, you'll eventually get to a month where you feel uninspired to make your next Tending List. Don't panic! And don't abandon a system that's working just because of one blah month.

Remind yourself that you're not passionate about anything in life 100% of the time, that this is a process that works, and that you have tools in your toolkit to get yourself fired up again.

2. Look at examples.

For some people, looking at other people's PowerSheets can lead to comparison, or distract them from the goals that are right for their life. But if you need to shake up your routine, getting inspired by the ways other people are customizing their Tending Lists can be just the jolt of energy you need!

As you peruse, focus less on the specifics of others' goals and more on how they're making the layout their own: what encouraging words or priorities are they using? How are they splitting out their monthly, weekly, and daily action items? Are they using a Wildcard or adding color to the page in a fun way?

If you'd like to take a PowerSheets sightseeing tour, the albums in the PowerSheets Facebook group and the hashtag #PowerSheets are great places to start.

3. Give yourself a quick win.

If even thinking about making your Tending List feels hard and heavy, add something you KNOW you'll accomplish in the month ahead!

Do you already have a date on the calendar? Are your plans already in progress? Add it to your Tending List. This isn't cheating—it's hacking your brain chemistry :) For example, one of my yearly goals is to take one of my kids on a one-on-one date each quarter. My son and I already tickets for our June date, so there wasn't much left required of me than to enjoy the day, but I put it on my Tending List anyway!

4. Make the process enjoyable.

If filling in your Tending List sounds like a drag, make it something to look forward to! Curl up with your favorite blanket, brew a cup of coffee, take your planner outside, or listen to a great playlist while you work. Tune into these happy songs this summer if you need a pick-me-up!

5. Switch up your Tending List visually.

Do you always write in black pen? Do you cover your Tending List in stickers every single month? Do you doodle in the margins, or keep things super simple? Whatever your usual, switch it up next month!

If you're typically a minimalist, challenge yourself to to add a few stickers or fill your progress bars in with colorful markers. If you're a more-is-more gal, try keeping your page simple and clean. 

When your Tending List looks different from what you expect, your brain will react to it differently! It will engage more deeply and make you excited to look at it each day.

6. Don't carry over anything.

Most of us end the month, every month, with an action item or two we did not complete. That's more than okay—progress, not perfection, friends!—but when we carry over these lingering items month after month they can start to feel stale and frustrating.

This month, challenge yourself to start completely fresh on your Tending List. Don't carry over a single item—even daily habits!—from one month to the next. Starting from scratch will invite you to get creative about how to accomplish your goals in a new way!

7. Set a timer.

The oldest trick in the book for anything you're dragging your feet on! Set a timer for 15 minutes and promise yourself you'll quit once the time's up. What will really happen? Either you'll be finished and ready for a fresh month ahead, or you'll be motivated to keep going. Either way, you win!

We'd love to hear: if you've ever been in a PowerSheets Tending List rut, how have you gotten out of it?

1 comment

I found this year my tending list became the page on the left with the short next actions list for that month. Whatever I make progress on is a win and it’s not cumbersome with daily tracking. If I make progress but not fully complete it to a suffice level then it gets a partial check or half slash in the radio button. If I complete it fully I check it off. This way I get to see progress and progress to completion without the tracking bars which don’t work as well for me. 😊

Jacquelyn McCarthy

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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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