The Beauty in Small Goals with Liz Cox
What a treat we have for you today, friends! Liz has been a dear friend of Cultivate for many years (Kaylee actually worked with her in college in Kentucky!) and a user of PowerSheets® for almost as long. Her interview is filled with so many gems, but don't miss her answer to where she wants to be when she's 80—and how that led to what she's saying no to. There's power in your Prep Work, friends!
Let's dig in...
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?:
Hi, friends! I’m Liz Cox. I’m a small business owner who calls Lexington, Kentucky home. When I’m not helping women find their dream wedding dress or cheering on other entrepreneurs, you can find me filling my days with traveling to new places, reading the latest book off of “Reese’s Bookclub” list, being “Aunt Lizzie” to my besties’ babes, or keeping up with the latest news on the British Royals or Bachelor nation.
Why do PowerSheets continue to be a helpful tool for you?
For me, PowerSheets have been a great resource for accountability and have helped me keep my heart and mind focused on the bigger picture. It’s so easy to get bogged down by all our “to-do’s” in life, but when we’re able to break them down, it helps it all seem a little less overwhelming no matter how full our plates may be. PowerSheets have helped me accomplish a lot of things over the years, from opening businesses as well as closing them, to simple things such as creating healthy morning rhythms that have helped me cultivate more productive, joyful days.
What's one of your favorite pages in the Prep Work?
The “Let It Go” page is honestly my favorite, because it feels like permission to just breathe for a minute. Being able to physically write down what’s been weighing me down liberates me from the pressure in really unique ways. I love that this page come right before my second favorite page, “make what matters happen this month”—where I get to pour out all that’s ahead with excitement, hope, and healthy expectation.
Tell us about one or two of your goals this year. How have you broken them down on the way to completion?
In June 2018, my business partner and I decided to close the doors to one of our bridal boutiques, Meant To Be Boutique. This was a very tough decision, but with the help of PowerSheets, we were able to not only go back and remind ourselves of “where do we want to be when we’re 80” and how the closing of the store led to leaning into that vision more abundantly, but it also helped us break down everything that needed to be done to close our doors by the end of September.
We set numerical goals of how many dresses we needed to sell, how much money we needed to make. We set goals of the dates we needed to share the news with people and made goals within that of who needed to know first and so on. Being able to break down something as huge as closing down a brick and mortar business into mini goals over the course of four months made the whole process so much less stressful and gave us room to really embrace the closing of that chapter for all that that it was.
Do you use your PowerSheets for personal goals or business goals, or both?
Both! I’ve found that the majority of my monthly goals are centered around work, and my weekly and daily goals are more focused around personal goals. For example, a monthly goal is usually focused on a marketing plan we have going on at work or a trip for a client. Whereas a consistent weekly goal of mine is to clean one room of my apartment and a consistent daily goal I have is to read for 20 minutes each night before I go to bed.
Where do you want to be when you're 80?
This year when I was working through my PowerSheets and I got to this question, I just wrote out the first things that came to me and it kind of took my breath away after I put my pen down. I wrote, “When I’m 80, I want to be unashamed to tell my grandbabies the stories of my life.” So with that, I casted vision for myself to have a family of my own one day that is fueled by joy, honesty, and stories of a life well lived. I don’t ever want shame to have a grip on me in a way that makes me shy away from sharing the story God’s written for my life. When I’m 80, I want to feel abundantly free and deeply grateful for my life and the people in it.
As a busy, on-the-go lady, how do you incorporate your Tending List into your life?
My Tending List serves as my “heart check” each week. I typically look at it about 2-3 times a week to make sure I’m keeping my heart and mind focused on what matters.
Do you have any "PowerSheets hacks" you'd like to share with our community?
Simplicity is key. Over the years, I’ve learned that not every goal has to be some grandiose thing. Progress can be as simple as having daily goals of making the bed, waking up at 7:00am, going to bed by 10:00pm, and drinking 8 cups of water. Being able to check those things off my list is not only satisfying, but I can check them off knowing I’m cultivating behaviors and rhythms in my life that are pushing me towards that vision for what I want my life to be when I’m 80. Simple acts, when done consistently, can bring about some of the richest parts of your life.
What are your 3-5 daily essentials—the things that, if done, would make even a busy day a success? What tips do you have to make sure they happen?
For me, accomplishing a few really simple things help me feel some level of victory each day. Those things are: making my bed in the morning, spending intentional time with the Lord (shout out to Write the Word for being my favorite way to do this!), taking my lunch to work, drinking half my bodyweight in water, and washing my face before bed. I know those things may seem like no-brainers to some people but for me, no matter how much of a wash the rest of the day was, accomplishing those five things helps me feel like I did something productive and worthwhile—because I took care of myself.
To help make these things happen, I keep my Write the Word journal and a pen on my bedside table so it’s right there when I wake up or am getting ready for bed. I also keep a 48oz water jug at work and make sure I’m always drinking out of it throughout the day. Keeping things within reach is key to actually making goals happen for me!
We can't do it all and do it all well. What are some things you say "no" to in pursuit of your goals?
I love this question so much, because I think it’s easier to answer the question of what are you going to say “yes” to, but to answer what I’m going to say “no” to feels a little more challenging, in a good way.
For me, a lot of what I’m saying “no” to has to do with feelings that hold me back from pursuing what matters most. I am saying no to fear. I am saying no to the thought that my work isn’t worth someone’s time. I am saying no to comparison that wants to rob my joy. I’m saying no to mindless activities (cough cough... Netflix binges) that don’t bring true rest. I’m saying no to the lie that people don’t want me to take up space in their lives.
Saying “no” to these things enables me to say “yes” to a life full of purpose, joy, and beautiful community. That is the life I want to be known for, and it’s from there that I know the stories I long to tell when I’m 80 will be created.
Liz! What a joy to have you here. Friends, you can follow along with Liz on Instagram and visit Twirl if you're in the market for a wedding dress! And just for fun: what's something you're saying no to right now? We'd love to hear!
Thank you so much to The Malicotes for these photos! And thanks to the other lovely lady in these photos, sweet Ty, Liz's business partner and friend!