Team Cultivate's Favorite Discoveries of 2021

Have you flipped to the very end of your 2021 PowerSheets® yet? There you'll find a really fun page we added this year—the year in review! Before the end of December, take a few minutes to flip back through your goal planner—your year of Prep Work, Tending Lists, months in review, and refreshes—and fill in your "bests" and "favorites." If you'd like, share yours on Instagram with the Cultivate community, too! 

Here in the office, we've been chatting about our "bests" and "favorites"
—the finds, practices, rhythms, and habits that have made our lives easier and more joyful in 2021—and we wanted to share a few of them with you, too.

TO KEEP IT ALL TOGETHER:

  • "We started using a whiteboard calendar to move plans from digital to analog to stay on the same page as a family. At the end of every month, my husband and I sit down with our digital calendars and both add events to the whiteboard. We also pick our date night, etc." —Courtney
  • "We started making the dreadful to-dos FUN! For example, I've started setting monthly money dates with my husband. This month, that looked like making a cheese and charcuterie board for our meeting. Next month, we're going to get out of the house and meet at our favorite coffee shop. On months when we live below our budget, we reward ourselves with a nice dinner afterwards." —Alexa
  • "Auto-refills for prescriptions. I know this has been a thing for quite some time, but we turned on auto-refills for all prescriptions. This simple task takes another thing from sitting on my to-do list."—Marissa
  • "Over the summer, Aaron and I talked through what brings us joy and what drains our joy (a conversation inspired by one that we had in a Team Summit!). In doing so, we found that we balanced each other out in some areas we hadn't formerly recognized. For example, I hate grocery shopping, he loves it. I love to cook, he doesn't have time in the evenings to do so. So now I take on cooking and planning meals, and he does all the shopping! We both feel the weight lifted, and feel empowered to fully own our individual responsibilities."—Alexa
  • "I started taking my emails for a walk for 30-45 min in the morning after quiet time. I respond to texts, read emails, read the news, call my mom, and pray for a friend. It goes by so fast, and I'm getting movement in at the same time!"—Casey
  • "We hung the Cultivate wall calendar at eye-level for our five-year-old and keep it updated with all events that affect her (school spirit days, babysitters, days off, vacations, soccer practice, etc.). This has been so helpful to get things done day-to-day but also teaches her important self-regulation and executive functioning skills." —Emily
  • "I tried being more aware of the way I use my time throughout 2021 — which helped me be more efficient and embrace rest in a healthy way! I broke my workday up into time chunks which helped my efficiency and also refreshed my brain. We used a visual timer with our kiddos for homework/chores/bedtime which seemed to help eliminate the 92837 reminders ;) —Meg
  • Planning ahead during busier seasons and activating our meal delivery service for a few weeks at a time eliminates one area of decisions (and errands!) from my plate." —Meg

TO PRIORITIZE WHAT MATTERS MOST:
  • "I set a goal to see a sunset or sunrise 1-2x a day. I love it—it makes me pause and take in the beauty of my life."—Casey
  • "I know it's not always an option, but making room in our budget for a periodic housecleaner has been a game changer for two working parents. We are so grateful to get the time back to spend together!" —Courtney
  • "I started planning my workouts on Sunday for the week ahead AND going ahead and signing up for classes at my studio. It's great accountability!"—Abbie
  • "We hired a financial planner—a true investment to save us time and get us to where we want to be. We know we can't be experts in everything and know this expense will help us go farther, faster."—Abbie
  • "I set a weekly priority to take a hot bath and enjoy a night in to myself every week. It's made a world of difference, and is a treat I look forward to every week! It's permission for myself to ENJOY and RELAX."—Casey
  • "I've chosen a few new people to learn from in the areas of personal growth and mental health: Adam Grant, Dr. Caroline Leaf, and Dr. Amen. I've followed them on social media, read their books, and listened to podcast episodes and have learned so much." —Abbie
  • "I use the Peloton app for strength training, stretching, yoga, and more. The machines are pretty expensive but $13/month feels like a great deal to have so many classes at my fingertips." —Bailey

TO CONNECT:

  • "Conversation cards!! They've been a fun tool to bring along on vacations to spark intentional conversations. We've now brought them to 3 different cities in Colorado!" —Alexa
  • "This book has inspired so many fun family dinners and celebrations! Self care by way of cheese." —Irene
  • "Why does the carpool line take so long? Instead of consuming more information (podcasts, scrolling on social) I called family or friends during this time at the end of my workday. It was a great way to stay connected with others and also pass the time in a refreshing way!"—Meg

JUST GOOD STUFF:

  • "FELIX GREY BLUE LIGHT GLASSES! Literally the last person to hop on this train—and cannot believe I waited so long. Note: cheaper Amazon knockoffs are NOT the same. Goodbye, permanent end of day headache!" —Irene
  • "I realized that I can buy a catering tray of Chick-fil-a mac and cheese, serve one third to my family as a dinner side, and freeze the other two thirds for future dinners. Cost-effective, minimal labor on my part, delicious." —Emily
  • "Bluetooth outlets. I may be late to the party here, but wow! We have bluetooth outlets for all our holiday decorations, making it extra easy to turn everything off at night or even put it on a schedule." —Marissa
  • "I learned about THIS magic at the PS shoot from one of the stylists - a game changer for curls in humidity, and keeps me from having to do my hair every day!" —Irene
  • "The biggest (continual) discovery: doing less is always better." —Lara

We'd love to hear: what's one of your favorite discoveries, silly or serious, from 2021?

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