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March 2018 Goals Round-Up

Spring doesn't officially arrive for a few more weeks, but flipping the calendar to March 1st and soaking up the sunshine in the South has put a spring in my step (no pun intended)!

With the start of the Month comes a blank PowerSheets Tending List, and we love seeing what goals you are focusing on in the month ahead!

We intentionally created the PowerSheets Goal Planner in a way that makes it applicable for women in all seasons of life. Whether you a college graduate looking for your first job, a working professional, or a stay-at-home momma of three, intentional change will happen when you use PowerSheets. Our monthly goals round-ups give us a chance to share YOUR stories and goals! We gather blog posts each month from our Facebook community, so be sure to join if you aren't already a member.

We hope these round-ups give you some inspiration for making progress on your own unique goals this year! Remember to keep sharing your goals with us. We love knowing what you're working towards, and it helps us plan content that will be most beneficial to you!

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Photo by Rachel

Rachel's progress on her financial goals in February has me ready to buckle down and get to work on my own!

If you need a check-in on your goals, we recommend asking yourself the questions Emilie asks herself each month to determine if you're spending your time in the right places: "Am I making progress on the goals I’ve set for myself? Are those goals still relevant?"

Take advantage of tools and resources to help you make progress on your goals. As Kory is working to cultivate friendships this year, she is using our Fruitful Friendships Workbook. I love how she's breaking it down in her PowerSheets each month, and we're extra grateful she considers ours a good resource!

Feeling discouraged when you don't check off your daily goals? Take our friend Diana's advice and set a goal for the number of days you want to accomplish each of your daily goals to help you manage expectations and give yourself some room for grace.

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Photo by Kari

Each month Madison tapes her PowerSheets Tending List next to my bedside table with our Tending Tape so I she can track her progress., and we love that she sees her goals in the mornings and evenings.

We love seeing Kate's March PowerSheets goals make it in her "FRIYAY" post! It's a great reminder to include celebrations on your Tending List each month!

We're cheering Mattie on in her March PowerSheets as she focuses on growing what is unique about her season of life instead of trying to build habits or goals based on comparison.

If you've posted your goals somewhere, we'd love to see them! Feel free to drop them in the comments, too-no fancy blog required! We can't wait to take a peek and cheer you on!

Don't have PowerSheets yet, and feeling behind? Have no fear! We'll be restocking our Six-Month PowerSheets Goal Planner this spring. Sign up for our newsletter list to know when they're back in stock! 

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Celebrating Progress

As Amber so wonderfully reminded us this week, we're only six weeks into 2018! It's okay to not have fully mastered your 2018 PowerSheets goals yet. But a half-colored-in progress bar and empty boxes don't mean you can't celebrate your progress thus far! Bigger isn't always better and embracing those starting steps and little by little progress will give you the push you need to keep goal-getting!

Today, we asked some of the wonderful women who have been using PowerSheets over the past six weeks to share some of their progress with us, and we know you'll be encouraged!

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"Fitness is a major goal for me this year,  and I just couldn't gain much momentum until late January due to a bunch of travel the first 20 days of the year. Now, I've got a new trainer, am consistently practicing yoga, and am on fire with the new Weight Watchers freestyle plan.I'm loving the new Fitness Wildcard page!  -Kristin T.

"We have enough savings now to start the process of buying a house! This is, at least in part, due to our goals that I have put into my PowerSheets every month – savings goals and spending restrictions. PowerSheets also helped me to look at the bigger picture of why we want to own a home–for us, so we can foster full-time. The process is going to take a while for us because we are going through a first-time homebuyer program, so includes things like taking classes and getting pre-approved for loans before we even start looking. So while we are still working on the larger goal of actually buying a house, the first step is done!" -Sarah K.

"I became a Christian in December and soon after I started a daily Bible reading plan, and I added it to my PowerSheets goals. Yesterday I reached DAY 50! I wanted to share this and celebrate! I'm struggling with some of my other goals, but I'm using this progress to remind me to stay positive :)" - Abigail R.

"Using my PowerSheets, I've started and maintained a meaningful morning routine. I've joined a gym for the first time in my life in order to simply walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes a visit. I've saved 1/2 of the money I need for a trip to CA next month to see my mom and sister I've mailed each family member with a birthday a book from Amazon (this is the year of giving books as presents!) I've started a Book Club I've decluttered my nightstand and my clothes. I've made so much progress!" - Aimee K

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"We've paid off $10,000 in debt since starting our debt payoff process on January 22nd. Since that time, we've also increased our end of month cash flow by $800. To celebrate, we went out to eat for the first time in 2 months! It was worth the delayed gratification. I'm on day 85 of my chronological Bible plan, reading the Bible through in a year. To top it all off, I got paid for my writing for the first time in my whole life and had been dreaming of that since I was a teenager. - Nicole C.

"One of my big hairy PowerSheets goals for 2018 is to connect with the hearts of my boys. One way I am doing this by spending 1:1 time with them at bedtime. It's one of my daily goals on my Tending List. Have I done it every night since Jan 1? Nope. But I have done it way more frequently than if it were not on my Tending List. I also have lovely check marks next to my weekly tending list item of finding good books to share with my boys." - Melissa Q.

"I set a PowerSheets goal to read two books a month, and I'm already on book #7!" -Megan B.

"The thrill of checking off 'don’t spend any money' almost every day on my tending list has given such a psychological addiction to sticking to my goals! Thanks to my PowerSheets Tending List, I am 60% of the way to my goal of “Pay $10,000 toward my student loan debt beyond monthly payments.” The accountability of this little book has thrown my desire to make what matters happen into overdrive. I truly believe that without this community of amazing and uplifting women, I would not be anywhere near as far or could have dropped off the wagon. This community, these resources and the guidance of a tribe of women has enriched my life beyond imagination. I tell anyone who is willing to sit still long enough to listen about how amazing this goal setting process is!" - Kady C.

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Wasn't that fun? Hearing those stories makes me want to flip open the pages of my PowerSheets right now and get to work on my goals! As we wrap up Cultivate What Matters Week, we want to hear from you, too!

Leave a comment, and share some of your PowerSheets goal progress below! We're ready to be one of your biggest cheerleaders as you make little-by-little progress on those good goals!

Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire shop order this week! Stock up on stickers, one of our companion goal guidesLara's books, or our best-selling Write the Word journals!

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Starting Steps: Why Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Bigger is better. It's a lie we find ourselves believing at times, whether we realize it or not. It silently permeates itself into our culture: a bigger home, more clothes, a heftier bank account, and over time, we start to see it play out in our own lives.

But when it comes to our goals, less is more and smaller is better!

You don’t have to know the whole plan when you set your PowerSheets goals for the year—you just need to write out your specific starting steps and, in general, what has to happen after that. A bonus? Breaking down goals feels good because you experience tangible hope and momentum as you get those goals moving!

For some added inspiration, our team is sharing one of our 2018 PowerSheets goals and our first three starting steps below! You'll see that these starting steps are simple, tangible, and can be easily added to our Monthly Tending List! We hope you find some inspiration to start making progress on your goals, and buck the statistic. We hope you're encouraged!

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Amber Housley, Marketing Director
Goal: Read 24 books this year that support my other PowerSheets goals
Why: Reading is a form of self-care for me. It distresses me, and it helps influence my creativity.

1. Print out wildcard page
2. Make an inventory of current books on my shelf and review current Amazon wish list. Add these to my wildcard pages.
3. Choose my next 2 books for the upcoming weeks

Casey Marchbanks, Designer

Goal: Find a church home in our new city!
Why: To find life-giving community for my family. To have a place to serve regularly. To grow my relationship with the Lord and with others!

Starting Steps:
1. Research & create a list of churches in our area that align with our beliefs
2. Visit a church from our list every Sunday
3. Go to a discovery class, or meet with a Pastor at the church that God leads us to!

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Catherine Marks, Editor
Goal: Create a life-giving home in our new house
Why: Our little space is the domain God gave us to steward and shepherd well. It is the backdrop for our family’s life and a resource we can use to bless others.

Starting Steps:
1. Kon-mari (purge and tidy) every inch of our space so we have only the things we need and love (plus a place for everything and everything in its place)
2. Create a family goal and schedule wall where we can keep our mission statement and calendar, as well as track our goal progress
3. Order photos of our daughter to update our gallery wall to include her!

Emily Thomas, Creative Director
Goal: Refine our home
Why: Our home is the arena for learning, growth, ad unconditional love, and nothing matters more than love. If we can make it better, we should.

Starting Steps:
1. Walk our home and make a list of areas to be purged and decluttered. Use the PowerSheets Wildcard page.
2. Schedule each area of my calendar–no more than one per week
3. Pull together a new inspiration board for our first floor’s color scheme.

Jess Metcalf, Community and Content Manager
Goal: Phone down, eyes up
Why: Life is too short to be tied to your phone, and I want those around me to know how much I love and value them.

Starting Steps:
1. Set phone hours/boundaries
2. Order an alarm clock
3. Make a to-be-read list of books to read instead of mindlessly scrolling

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Kaylee Hobbs, Customer Delight and Operations Manager

Goal: Find time and space to use my creative gifts
Why: This fuels my excitement for life, and I feel energized when I’m learning more about a creative hobby.

Starting Steps:
1. Set up a regular meeting time with a friend who encourages me to use these gifts!
2. Create an inspiration collection on Instagram.
3. Read a blog post related to furthering a creative skill–in this case, photography!

Kristin Winchester, MTH Conference Chief Encourager
Goal: Intentionally take care of myself.
Why: Filling my tank will make me a better wife, mama, daughter, sister, and friend. It will give me the ability to pour out and love all of my people well.

1. Block off one morning a month on the calendar and make sure someone can watch the babies so I can go do something on my 'fires me up list' (i.e. coffee with a friend, a manicure, etc.).
2. Schedule an at-home date night with KPW in February to review calendars and try to schedule a summer vacation.
3. Pick out 6 for-fun books to read this year.

Lara Casey, Founder
Goal: Pray the Word of God while reading through the Chronological reading plan again. Study Psalm 119. Use my prayer journal, say my prayers out loud, or record my prayers to my phone notes.
Why: To directly connect with God and to align my life, expectations, and value with the truth of the Word of God, not the ways of the world. To grow my faith, the faith of my family, and to build up the faith of others.

Starting Steps:
1. Sign up for the Chronological reading plan again
2. Print Psalm 119 and put on flashcards and in phone album
3. Set up 2018 prayer journal

I know what you're thinking! These are great examples, but where do I start? You're in luck! We created Goal Action Plan Guides full of ideas to help you cultivate some broader goals! Check them out for some starting steps for yourPowerSheets Tending List:

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment and share one of your goals and your first three starting steps below. I'll choose one lucky commenter to win a Goal-Setting Sticker Book on Monday! 🎉

Having trouble coming up with starting steps? That's okay! We can help each other on in the comments and offer suggestions!

Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire shop order this week! Stock up on stickers, one of our companion goal guidesLara's books, or our best-selling Write the Word journals!

 

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10 Things We Love About the Cultivate Family

One of our greatest joys is serving the women in our community, and we thought there was no better time to share 10 things we love about the Cultivate family than the eve of Valentine's Day!

1. You don't give up. This is my favorite thing about our Cultivate family, and it's on display this week. When the rest of the world decides their goals aren't worth it and jump ship, you buck the statistic and keep moving forward. And you do it with excitement and energy!

2. You are wise! When we create our PowerSheets each year, we work extra hard to make the best product for your lives, but you continue to blow us away with how creative you are with using PowerSheets in your lives. I've adopted many of your  PowerSheets hacks and tips for using Tending Tape, and it's helped my goal-setting process so much!

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3. You are willing to step out of your comfort zone and be vulnerable for the sake of encouraging others. We've witnessed and heard of countless stories of connection in the PowerSheets Facebook group and on social media. When someone is sharing a struggle, you're willing to speak up and say, "me too" so that others don't feel alone.

4. You celebrate the little by little progress. The number of you celebrating Cultivate What Matters week with us is proof! When the end of the month rolls around, you don't look at the empty boxes on your Tending List with a sense of shame or defeat. Instead, you look at the progress you DID make on your goals with an excited vigor to keep moving forward.

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So many friends showed up to Lara's Cultivate book launch party to celebrate! We love you LaShawn and Maggie!

5. You have fun! There's never any shortage of emojis, GIFS, high fives, and exclamation points from you ladies, and we wholehearted approve of that :)

6. Your story of cultivating what matters is uniquely important, and it has the potential to impact others in a profound way when you choose to share it. Whether it's on a blog or in an email to a single individual (including myself), taking the time to share your story takes bravery, and it pushes others to step out and do the same.

7. You make us look forward to Monday. We love our weekends with our loved ones, especially when they're social media-free, but knowing we get to start our Monday mornings dreaming up content and products for our Cultivate community!

8. You know where you're headed. In a world where distractions are calling out for us from all sides, your unwavering commitment to your purpose and big picture inspires us to stay on the forward path. It's one thing to ask yourself the question, "Where do I want to be when I'm 80?" It's another thing to have a clear vision, and our Cultivate family does!

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Real-life PowerSheets users from our 2018 PowerSheets photo shoot: Brooke, Bailey, Deah, Elisa, and Kaylee!

9. You're everywhere! There are PowerSheets friends meeting in all states, in countries across the world. This is amazing!

10. You are leading the way. Whether you realize it not, every single time you take a step forward on your goals or encourage someone else, you are the start of a ripple effect that changes lives.

And because we love you so much, we couldn't narrow the list down to only 10!

11. You appreciate color just as much as we do, as evidenced by the support of our sold out PowerSheets Goal Planners and Write the Word journals! Because of that, we're extra giddy to release the new products we have in the queue. 

Use the code LETSCULTIVATE for 25% off your entire order this week in the shop! Now's a great time to stock up on gifts for yourself or loves ones!

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Happy Cultivate What Matters Week!

We have so many new faces in the Cultivate family (hi, friends!), and many of you loved celebrating this week alongside us last year!

Your calendars likely have Valentine's Day marked already, but in our office, we're celebrating something bigger than candy and flowers. Last year, we created a brand new holiday to combat a scary statistic we saw, and we're excited to dig in again this week with you!

Did you know February is statistically the month that gym membership attendance goes down, and fast food consumption goes up? Makes you think, doesn’t it? The forward momentum of January can leave us burned out and feeling guilty for not starting the new year as well as we had hoped. It's why we chant "There's nothing magical about January 1st" over and over again.

Here's what happens: people set goals and New Year's resolutions on January. Come February 15th (this week!),80% of those goals are forgotten completely. They've decided it's just not worth the time and energy.

If I had to guess, there's a chance you might be feeling that, too. Maybe you haven't opened your PowerSheets in weeks, or maybe you've made some progress but need a little extra motivation right about now!

Either way, this week, you have a choice.

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We get to make a choice, and we are choosing to flip this statistic on its head together. We are Cultivating What Matters!

No matter how imperfect our progress has been so far, we are not caving. We are saying yes to being a community of cultivators together.

What exactly is a Cultivator?

According to Merriam-Webster, a cultivator is one that cultivates, loosening the soil while crops are growing.

That means you are making a mess while the things in your life are growing. You aren't doing it perfectly, but you're making one seemingly small intentional decision after another.

A cultivator uncovers her own unique goal and path. Instead of looking to other people’s goals or social media feeds to define her own, she puts in the hard work of uncovering a path that fires her up.

A cultivator embraces little by little progress. She doesn’t believe in quick fixes or overnight results, but she knows it’s okay to grow slow.

A cultivator gets her hands dirty and takes action. Waiting for perfection might sound like a good idea, but she knows it’s worth it to dig in right now instead of waiting for the perfect timing or circumstances.

A cultivator examines where she is in order to leap to what’s next. Instead of ignoring what isn’t working, she takes the time to evaluate everything–both the good and the bad–to uncover the path forward.

A cultivator creates a long-term vision and gets after it. She refuses to keep going through the motions, doing the same things she’s always done. Instead, she steps forward into a new path.

A cultivator sets out on a purposeful path by uncovering cultivated goals. She’s tired of wandering aimlessly, with no goal, and she embraces her path with excitement and enthusiasm.

A cultivator finds joy in the journey instead of placing all her value in the finish line. She knows there is much to be learned in the in-between.

A cultivator doesn’t just embrace imperfect progress; she celebrates it. She’s tired of abandoning ship at the first bump in the road, and she knows that the best things in life grow slowly.

A cultivator believes in community. She shares her goals, encouraging others along the way, instead of trying to do it all alone.

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Whether you realize it or not, we just described you. Every decision we make has an arrow attached to it, pointing us in one direction or another. Your decision arrows have the power to fly through all the distractions and fear and hit the target, or they can float around and miss it completely. So how can you shoot one of your decision arrows in the right direction? It's easier than it seems, because it's not a giant leap. It's in the small decisions you make each and every day.

Putting the phone down in favor of climbing down to the floor to build legos with your son? You’re a cultivator.

Choosing to embrace conflict at work instead of brushing it under the rug? You’re a cultivator.

Saying no to an event with an acquaintance in lieu of a night at home with your husband? You're a cultivator.

Climbing out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button so you can lace up those running shoes? You're a cultivator.

Make a choice this week to aim your arrows in the right direction and to embrace little by little progress. Need some tips on how to get started? Check out these starting steps:

While Cultivate What Matters Week is only a week long, it's a week that serves as a marker in your year. Join us as we kick those preconceived notions about goals and resolutions to the side and say yes to embracing the little by little progress of cultivating what matters.

What do you say? Are you with us? If so, leave us a comment and let us know! We'll choose a lucky winner tomorrow to receive a $25 gift card to the Cultivate Shop!

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