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What’s Your Goal-Getting Personality? [FREE QUIZ]

If you've spent any amount of time around me, you know I'm a big personality test geek! One of my biggest contributions to the Cultivate team is getting everyone hooked on the Enneagram. Why? Because I firmly believe learning more about ourselves will only help us achieve our goals in the long run. Did you know your personality influences more than how you set goals? It actually affects how you achieve them, too!

Maybe you have a long list of ideas floating around in your head and need help choosing a few to focus on. Maybe you're so good at checking things off your list you've lost sight of what matters most to you. Maybe you need a gentle nudge to take a leap of faith and put your goals on paper. Or maybe, just maybe, you're skeptical of this whole goal-setting thing in general.

We get it! And guess what? We want to help you! Not only will our Goal-Getting Personality Quiz help you uncover your personality, but we'll also give you a list of blog posts, Cultivate Shop products, and resources to help you make things happen–no perfection required!

I'm curious! What did you get? Was it accurate? Leave a comment, and let me know your personality!

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Cultivate Your Closet in Seven Steps

One of my 2018 PowerSheets goals is to live a simplified life, and I've slowly been translating that into different aspects of my life. More recently? My wardrobe! If I had to guess, I've had some iteration of cleaning out my closet on my Tending List at least five times over the past three years, but I'm embracing our motto of "little by little progress"!

Based on some conversations in the PowerSheets Facebook group, I know I'm not alone! Today, I'm sharing seven tips that have been helpful for me as I've tackled cultivating my closet over the past few months (number three is a game-changer!), and I hope these are helpful for those of you who share a similar goal!

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Know your lifestyle. Before you can start cleaning out your closet, it's important to define what types of clothing you need. Caroline Joy of Unfancy offers a free printable wardrobe planner that serves as a great starting step for identifying what is and isn't working in your current wardrobe. My favorite part? She encourages you to make a pie chart evaluating how you spend your time and what activities you dress for on a daily basis. For example, my closet has quite a few business casual clothes from previous jobs, but the occasions to wear them now are few and far between. Putting this work in on the front end helps you identify trends, see holes in your closet, and think holistically about your clothing.

Establish purging guidelines. We know everyone's season of life is different, so instead of giving you specific questions or rules to ask as you go through your categories, we encourage you to set guidelines for what works best for YOU. Need a few ideas for questions to ask yourself? Here's a list you can pull from:

  • Does this fit me?
  • Have I worn this item in the last six months?
  • Is this item the best version of itself? (Does it need to be tailored? Is it worn out?)
  • Can I wear this with three other things in my closet?
  • Would I buy this now?
  • Do I already own a better version of this piece of clothing?
  • Does the care for this item fit my lifestyle?
  • How do I feel when I wear this?

Break it down. We've all had that throw-your-hands-in-the-air moment when cleaning out your closet. You know the moment I'm talking about? Every item of clothing you own is laying on your bed, and you're overwhelmed and just want to give up? Want to know how to prevent that paralysis from happening again? Break your closet sorting down into categories! Instead of saying you're going to clean out your entire closet in one weekend, break down the items you want to sort through and go category by category. It's a lot easier to tackle them in smaller chunks of time, and you'll stay motivated. Here's my current list: activewear, pajamas, swimsuits, undergarments, dresses and skirts, tops, bottoms, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. I downloaded a Goal Progress Wildcard Page, and I'm working through each section little by little! Another piece of advice? Start with the easiest categories first!

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Evaluate each piece of clothing. Using the guidelines you decided on above, go through each article of clothing one-by-one. A piece of advice from Marie Kondo's best-selling book is to pick up each piece of clothing you evaluate. I love how it slows down the process and forces you to focus on only the item in your hand. As you evaluate each item, add it to the right pile: Keep, Donate/Sell, Repair.

Follow through. Choose a date to drop off your donations, put the box in your car, and mark it in your planner or calendar. The longer you let your donate pile sit around your house, the more likely you are to second guess whether or not you should keep something in it! If there are clothes you're hoping to sell on Poshmark or a Buy/Sell/Trade group, go ahead and list those items right away. Decide on a "sell by" date, and if anything hasn't sold by then, make a plan to donate the remaining items.

Find a place for everything. Once you've decided on what's staying in your cultivated closet, find a home for it. Create a system that works for you! As you do this, fight the urge to rush out and buy brand new storage baskets, containers, or bins. If you need a way to corral your winter accessories, shop your house and use what you have first. You'll get a better sense of where you like things to be stored and what you might need, without being left with 17 storage containers.

Evaluate incoming purchases. This one is vital to maintaining a cultivated closet, and it's different for each person. Decide on a system for new purchases, and plan to stick to it! For some people with more limited space, it might make sense to implement a "one in, one out" rule where you donate an article of clothing for each new piece you bring home. For others, you may give yourself a buffer of a time period to avoid impulse purchases. One thing that works for me is keeping a Note on my iPhone of my perceived holes in my closet. Now, anytime I'm out shopping and see something I like, I can pull up my list and see if it fills a hole in my wardrobe. If the answer is no, then I'll pass!

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Speaking of incoming purchases, I can't pass up the opportunity to tell you about two articles of clothing in my wardrobe that get worn frequently! Seriously, these spend more time in the dirty hamper waiting to be washed and re-worn than they do in my dresser drawers! Exclusive Cultivate Apparel is available for preorder now through September 10th. You asked for them, and we're thrilled to give you a chance to own our Growing What Matters Tee (available in two colors) and Little By Little Pullover. Preorders will shop the week of October 8th, arriving just in time for our 2019 PowerSheets Collection launch on October 24th!

We'd love to hear from you! Have you conquered your closet and cultivated your wardrobe yet? Is this one of your PowerSheets goals? Leave your best tips and tricks below!

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Low-Information Diet: Five Tools You Need to Kick Your Phone Habit to the Curb

When you think about what's going to matter to you when you're 80 years old, where does your cell phone fall on that list? If you're anything like me, there's a good chance the amount of time you spend on your phone is disproportionate to how important it is in the big picture of your life. Little by little, it is possible to break the attachment we have towards our phones and replace them with the things that matter most to you.

Earlier this summer, we talked about a Low-Information Diet, and last month we shared 11 ways to eliminate digital overwhelm. Today, I'm thrilled to wrap up our Low-Information Diet series with five tools that are helping me—little by little—kick my phone habit to the curb.

Alarm clock. Our phones have become one of the first things we touch in the morning because we often use them for alarms, making it easy to roll over and start mindlessly scrolling through social media or emails. Remove the temptation by buying an actual alarm clock, and charge your phone in a different room at night.

Grayscale. Our cell phones and all the apps on it are designed to be addictive, but there are built-in ways to begin to break the addiction. By unlocking a feature within the accessibility feature in some phone's settings, you can change the color of your phone screen to grayscale. While it won't promise to kick your mindless scrolling to the curb entirely, it is a helpful (and free!) way to make social media and Snapchat less enticing! Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your phone grayscale if you'd like to give it a try.

A drawer. This could be a drawer, a box, or a countertop–it basically needs to serve as a home base for your phone when you're at home. Implementing phone hours is a great way to "out of sight, out of mind".

PowerSheets. I can say, without a doubt or hesitation, that the progress I've made on my yearly goal "Phone down, eyes up" is due largely in part to our PowerSheets Goal Planner. Working through the PowerSheets Prep Work helped my understand the WHY behind my goal, which has been the driving force for my commitment to making progress on it. I was able to outline starting steps, and I've been able to slowly add those to my monthly Tending List as monthly, weekly, and daily goals over these past few months. Our 2018 PowerSheets are sold out, but we can't wait to get the 2019 PowerSheets Goal Planners (and the rest of the collection!) in your hands on October 24th! Join our newsletter family, and you'll be the first to see our new collection in the coming weeks.

Accountability. Give people in your life permission to call you out and say, "You need to put the phone down." Community creates accountability. Accountability creates follow-through. Follow-through leads to results. Giving close friends permission to speak the hard truth to you in moments where you're on your phone takes maturity, and it's a surefire way to give yourself a kick in the pants. Sometimes my husband does this in a subtle way by asking, "what's on your phone?" Other times he'll reach across the couch, grab my phone, and put it on the coffee table. Both of these tactics get the point across! I'm often most blind to my own faults, and it sometimes takes someone I love and trust to give me a push and call me higher.

Saying no to distractions opens up space to say yes to something better. Our phones have the ability to do a lot of good when used purposefully–connecting us to so many wonderful people and organizations. Our best advice? Use social media and your times of connectivity on purpose. Write out a mission statement for how and why you will use them well. Post that mission statement to your computer or desk where you will see it often. If you find yourself mindlessly using social media again, check your motive and get back to cultivating what matters in your life!

I'd love to hear from you: are there other tools you are using to help you control your screen time? Did you enjoy this in-depth series on a particular goal area? What else would you like to see? Please leave a comment below; all comments welcome!

 

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Quick and Easy Recipe Round-Up

August often marks a season of transition—regardless of whether or not you have kids! Changing calendars means adjusting current routines and adopting new rhythms. We believe it's possible to be prepared and present at the same time. A little intentional forethought goes a long way, especially when it comes to meal planning!

Thanks to our Wellness Goal Guide, one of my weekly PowerSheets goals over the past few months has been weekly meal planning and prepping. It's been incredibly helpful to have a bank of easy meals to choose from, and I've found myself soliciting tried and true recipes from friends and family.

While we certainly won't claim to be food bloggers, trying a new recipe that's been given the thumbs-up from someone you trust is much easier than scouring Pinterest. Today we're sharing some of our favorite quick meals and tips to help you enter this new season with the ability to focus on the things that matter most to you!

  • The go-to meal for our Customer Delight and Conference Manager, Ashlea? A salad with Trader Joe's chili-lime chicken burgers on top. The patties come frozen, pre-portioned, and only take five minutes to cook.
  • Here's a great tip from our Marketing and Content Coordinator, Jordan, for houses that have pickier eaters: choose a meal that's easy to modify. For example, she often makes chicken quesadillas for her meat-loving husband, but can easily swap the meat portion out in hers if she wants something lighter without making two separate dinners.
  • Our Operations gal, Kaylee, loves a simple Caprese Pasta Salad. It's a delicious meal with only a few ingredients, and if the weather near you is as warm as North Carolina, then you can keep this in your rotation for a few more weeks!
  • Our Marketing Director (whom you will meet next month!) loves "dump-and-bake" meals, which means you dump all the ingredients in one pan (hello easy clean-up!). Pair it with a fresh salad and baguette, and you're good to go!
  • Conference Director Kristin has a go-to meal that's a proven crowd-pleaser: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas. Pair it with black beans and cilantro-lime rice, and you have a meal that's sure to leave people wanting seconds.
  • A recent favorite meal in our home is Chickpea Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes. We're not vegetarian, but we try to eat meat-free when possible to save money and make sure we're loading up on vegetables, and this is a hearty meal! My advice? Leave the crushed red pepper out of the main pot, and let each person add it to their finished bowl.
  • Our Designer, Casey, loves easy oven fajitas. Not only does it pair great with rice and beans, but you can easily double the batch for leftovers. Two tips from Casey? Skip all the individual spices and throw in a packet of the fajita mix and line the sheet pan with foil for easier clean-up.
  • If you live near a Trader Joe's, take a tip from Marissa, our PR and Partnerships Manager, and stock up on Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken for your freezer. Pair it with brown or cauliflower rice (your husband and children will never know, she says!), and you're ready to feed a crowd!

Do you have any easy recipes that have become favorites in your home? Feel free to share them below so we can add them to our recipe banks!

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How to Create a Cultivated Day [FREE DOWNLOAD]

There's a good chance if you're on social media, you've seen this post floating around Instagram. It's been reposted numerous times, and there are more than 600 comments on the original post. Halloween decorations are filling the shelves at my local grocery store, and the hobby stores in my area are already putting up holiday decorations. There is a sense of overwhelm beginning to creep into the air, and we're here to say it can be different. You have the potential to spend your days doing what matters most to you.

It is possible to be present and prepared at the same time. That's what cultivating what matters is all about. It's possible to live a cultivated life–a path with a clear purpose. It doesn't happen overnight, but it can happen little by little, through a series of small choices you make. And you can start today.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” You've likely heard the popular quote by Annie Dillard, and we couldn't agree with it more. It's why we created the PowerSheets Goal Planner–to help you uncover what matters most, make a plan for your big picture goals, and take action on them. Part of taking action on your goals is ensuring you have margin in your days to do the things you've always wanted to do.

Today, we're sharing four tips for creating "cultivated" days and a fun sale in the Cultivate Shop to set you up for success!

Decide what does (and doesn't) matter to you. When we say yes and no, we are making decisions. Each time you say no to one thing gives you the opportunity to say yes to something better, but it's important to make sure your yeses and no's are clearly defined. Download and print our FREE Intentional Life List. Write your list of what you are saying YES to and what you are saying NO to in your cultivated day, and then hang it somewhere you'll see it each day! Remember, there are no wrong answers, and it's okay if your list looks different than someone else's list. This list will serve as a summary of what to include in your cultivated days.

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Enter your email address below, and we'll give you the Intentional Life List!

Create meaningful routines. No matter how hard we try, our days will always only have 24 hours in them, and an important step in creating a cultivated day is to examine the "bookends" of your days. Establishing productive morning and evening routines will not only create consistency and help you cultivate important habits, but it will also ensure you are prepared to tackle the things that come up during your day! What are you already doing in your mornings and evenings that work for you? How can you do them better? You can even take it a step further and write out your ideal cultivated morning and evening routines to help you stick to them!

Stay true to yourself. In the same way your YES + NO list might look different than someone else's, it's important to remember that your cultivated day might look different, too! Resist the urge to create a cultivated day just because it "should" look that way. If you prefer to get moving first thing in the mornings, it probably won't make sense for you to schedule an hour of snuggling up with coffee and a blanket to reflect and meditate. Do what works best for you!

Equip yourself with the right tools. You wouldn't try to cook a spaghetti dinner without the noodles, and the same is true for creating your cultivated day! Get rid of what doesn't work, and replace it with something that does work! Be willing to try a new routine, and invest in the right tools to help you create cultivated days. With the right tools, you can

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Maybe you want to cultivate your faith, get your finances in orderprioritize what matters, or create new routines for your family–we've got you covered!

Everything in the Cultivate Shop is 25% off now through Monday, August 13th. All orders over $50 will receive free domestic shipping, too. (It's the next-best-thing to hand delivering your orders!). No code needed; offer applies to new orders only.

Are you ready to start fresh? Not sure where to start with some of your goals? Leave a comment, and let us know! We'll happily do some goal coaching in the comments and share what Cultivate Shop products will work best in your season of life!

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