Part Six: How To Make a Monthly Tending List
You’ve pushed through the PowerSheets® Prep Work, created (and color-coded 😉) goals that are connected to what matters most to you, flipped the page to your January Tending List… and you’re stuck.
How in the world do you break down those big goals into smaller action steps for your Tending List? How do you decide what to focus on each month? How do you create a Tending List with action steps connected to your goals, and not just another to-do list?
In a bonus episode of our five-part How to Get Started on your 2019 Goals video series, we’re here to share our best tips for taking a blank page and turning it into a Tending List you’ll look at each day!
Don’t try to do it all at once. I thought about calling this first step “easy, tiger” because I know how it feels to be raring to go, especially on January 1st! You‘re feeding off the momentum of setting the best goals you've ever had, and you’re ready to dive in and accomplish all the things! But. But. But! Remember, we do goals differently around here. We know good things grow slowly—including our goals. Give yourself room to let your goals flourish over the next month, and don't try to accomplish all your starting steps in 31 days.
Review your goals. Whether it’s your first Tending List or your fiftieth, before you start working on your Tending List, remind yourself of what you’re working towards! Look at your Action Plan Overview and your Goal Refresh sections (if applicable) to be reminded of your WHY. You're going to be excited about your new goal of exercising when you connect it back to the reason you're doing it.
Pay attention to what’s ahead. The Prepare Well page in your Monthly Tending pages help you know what’s on your calendar, important to-dos, and things you’re excited about and want to celebrate in the coming months. Don’t stop at your personal paper or digital calendar, though! Be sure to check your significant other’s work calendar, your children’s school calendar, and birthdays and anniversaries in your Celebrations Binder for loved ones, too.
Write all your ideas down.This is the fun part! Write out all you want to cultivate or accomplish this month: goals you want to take action on, habits you want to grow, ways you’ll rest or recharge, and relationships you want to cultivate. Need a few ideas?
- Look at starting steps in your Goal Action Overview Pages. Are there steps that you wrote out that fall into the current month or season? Great! Move those to the Brain Stream page in your monthly Tending section. Remember in the PowerSheets Prep Work when we asked you which three areas of your life you most want to cultivate moving forward? Pay extra attention to those goals!
- Get ideas from your Celebrations Binder. Have traditions or celebrations–big or small––you want to plan this month? Move those over to this page, too!
- Browse our Goal Action Plan blog series for inspiration. We broke out some common goal buckets (such as parenting, fitness, nutrition, and finances) into simple monthly, weekly, and daily goals to give you starting steps.
Simplify. I know what you’re thinking! “But Jess, you just told me to write them all down!” Once you’ve written everything you think you want to do this month on paper, it’s time to cut it down and focus on the most important things. Don’t be afraid to get messy—circle a priority, scratch things out, and highlight to your heart’s content to help you start to get a visual for what’s ahead. Now is a great time to look back at your calendar. If you have a full schedule and are traveling multiple weekends, consider taking on fewer goals for the month.
Sort your action items. Assign each action item as monthly, weekly, or daily. If it's something you can make progress on in a month or more big picture, it's a monthly action item. If it's something you want to tend to a little at a time, it's a weekly action step. If it's a habit you want to cultivate, it's a daily action step. I find it particularly helpful to use different colors on my Brain Stream page to differentiate between monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
Start each action step with a verb. Once you’ve decided what’s going on your Tending List, start filling it in! Starting each of your goals with an action verb makes them less passive and will give you a kick in the pants each time you read them!
Color-code to stay focused. Our Goal Setting Sticker Book includes color coding tools to help you see progress on your yearly goals and remind you of where you’re going each month. When Lara mentioned color coding her goals, I have to admit, I initially scoffed and thought, "that's not for me." Boy was I wrong! I love having a visual representation of where I'm spending my time! Here are a few tips to help you to get started!
Don’t overthink it or compare your goals. No one expects you to have perfect goals each and every month. After all, this isn't traditional goal setting; it’s grace-filled goal setting! Commit to daily tending. Our lives bloom through daily decisions and habits—not just the giant leaps made once in a while. Lean into the little by little progress, and be willing to celebrate all that you do accomplish in the coming weeks!
Come up with a systemfor checking your Tending List and marking your progress. Even good goals can't come to life when you don't know what they are! Put your Tending List where you'll see it every day—whether you keep your PowerSheets open on your desk or use the perforation to tear it out and hang it on your fridge or mirror. And join Team Cultivate for #TendingListTuesday every day when we mark our own personal PowerSheets progress!
Put next month’s PowerSheets Prep Day on your calendar! Team Cultivate uses the last Friday of each month to do our monthly PowerSheets Prep Work, and it's marked on our team calendar each month as a reminder. We love sharing our monthly prep on Instagram stories to encourage you! Whether you join us on that day or use a different one, go ahead and mark it in your calendar!
Don’t have your 2019 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner yet? Now is the perfect time to dig in! Order yours today, and we’ll get it in your hands in a jiffy. Not sure if PowerSheets are right for you? Send us a note, and we'll be happy to help!
Did you find these tips helpful? What else would you add to this list?We’d love to hear from you in the comments!