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A Comprehensive Guide to Parenting Goals

We're back today with the next edition of our Goal Guide series! Many of us are striving toward the same things: deeper relationships, a growing faith, and a healthy lifestyle, to name a few. We created this series to spotlight one of those topics at a time and create a bank of ideas for your Tending List! Now, when you want to make progress on your fitness, faith, or nutrition goals, for instance, you can use these posts for inspiration!

This week's topic is parenting! I'm very new to this (10 weeks to be exact), but being the best mama I can be shot right to the top of my PowerSheets priorities the moment I found out I was expecting. As moms, we want to be more present, patient, and nurturing with our children. One thing that helps me make imperfect progress? Coming up with meaningful and practical ways I can love on my baby well. Thankfully I got some help from the Moms Cultivating What Matters with PowerSheets Facebook group. Veteran mamas, please share your ideas in the comments below as well!

Monthly Goals 

  • Read one new-to-you parenting book (We love the idea of inviting your husband to join you for this goal!)
  • Tackle an age-appropriate milestone goal such as sleep training, solid foods, weaning, or potty training
  • Do a seasonal craft, outing, or activity
  • Create a family mission statement
  • Get up-to-date in each child's baby book or scrapbook
  • Plan a family trip
  • Get involved in children's school activities
  • Join a moms' group or play group
  • Learn 2-3 new age-appropriate games
  • Create a chore chart or family values chart to track progress
  • Work through the Parents Goal Companion Guide
  • Pick a topic to learn about and check out several books on that topic from the library
  • Take an infant or child CPR class
  • Frame and hang photos of and artwork by your children

Weekly Goals

  • Have 3-5 sit-down family dinners together
  • Attend church and discuss what you learned
  • Write a letter, email, or diary entry to children to read when they're older
  • Take child to 1-2 activities such as play group, story time, or music class
  • Plan a special one-on-one date for each child
  • Call a mom friend to seek advice
  • Host a play date for each of your children to invite friends over
  • Memorize a weekly Bible verse together
  • Teach your child to cook a new dish with you
  • FaceTime a faraway family member
  • Make artwork together (Don't stress about making a mess!)

Daily Goals

  • Spend an hour of uninterrupted technology-free time with each child
  • Pray for and with each child
  • Read 2-3 books before bedtime
  • Keep your phone in another room during play time or conversations
  • Pack homemade lunch for each child (Adding an encouraging note while you're at it!)
  • Laugh together!
  • Talk about ways your children modeled your family values
  • Show gratitude for good behavior
  • Ask each child to list five things they are grateful for from the day
  • Get outside and active together: ride bikes or take an afternoon walk and talk about what you see
  • Practice patience: respond with grace and say yes whenever possible
  • Tell your children how much you love them!

These are just a few suggestions for items to add to your Tending List each month to make progress on your parenting goals for the year!

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

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A Comprehensive Guide to Nutrition Goals

We recognize that sometimes you know where you want to end up, but it's still hard to come up with the specific steps that will help to get you there! We're always looking for ways to encourage you on your PowerSheets journeys, so we've identified some broad categories of goals that are popular in the PowerSheets community and brainstormed a list of potential monthly, weekly, and daily goals to help you get the creative juices flowing. Today, we're back with a continuation of our goal guide series!

This is the natural companion to our first fitness goal guide: nutrition goals! I find that planning and checking off work-outs is often a bit more accessible than finding effective ways to improve my diet. In fact, meal planning may take a bit more forethought. But with these ideas and some of your own, we know you can make little by little progress on your nutrition goals!

Monthly Goals

  • Read one book on nutrition
  • Plan a dinner with a friend at a healthy restaurant
  • Purchase a recipe binder or box
  • Buy a few new kitchen appliances or tools to help you make healthy recipes
  • Clean out the refrigerator (especially sauces and dressings that live in the door!)
  • Devise a nutrition plan for what and how you want to eat
  • Try a meal delivery service (like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron)
  • Ask a friend to start eating healthier with you and to hold you accountable
  • Watch a health documentary
  • Compile list of healthy recipes
  • Make a bank of your favorite healthy recipes as a go-to meal-planning library
  • Download Plant Nanny to track water consumption
  • Clean out pantry and purge unhealthy or expired snacks
  • Invite friends over for supper at your place to ensure a healthy meal will be served and to practice your cooking skills
  • Eliminate caffeine

Weekly Goals

  • Meal plan for the week. Here are our best meal-planning tips!
  • Go grocery shopping for the full week ahead
  • Meal prep for the week ahead
  • Cook one plant-based dinner
  • Create containers of easy-to-grab washed and cut produce to snack on throughout the week

Daily Goals

  • Drink and record eight glasses of water
  • Start the day with a healthy breakfast
  • Make or reheat a homemade lunch and dinner
  • Make coffee before leaving for work
  • Eat slowly, away from your desk
  • Pack a snack so you aren't tempted by fast food or Starbucks trips

These are just a few suggestions of tangible goals you can add to your Tending List each month to make progress on your nutrition goals for the year! If you're enjoying this series, be sure to visit our Fitness and Faith goal guides.

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

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A Comprehensive Guide to Cultivating Faith

If you've been in the Cultivate family for long, you know that the heart behind everything we do is rooted in equipping and encouraging you to cultivate what matters in your life. We also know that when it comes to setting goals that work for your lifestyle, everyone is different, and sometimes you need a little inspiration when it comes to filling out your monthly PowerSheets Tending List.

We started a new series earlier this month to begin sharing a collection of monthly, weekly, and daily goals that align with larger themes we see in our PowerSheets community. Our hope is that you use these guides as resources when you're looking to make progress on one of your goals and need some inspiration to fill out the lines of your Tending List. Remember, these are simply suggestions to help get your wheels turning, and we welcome any additional suggestions in the comments!

Next up, goals to help you cultivate your faith! Whether you're new to this faith thing or you've been at it for years, the list below will give you some ideas for your Tending List if you're looking to cultivate a fresh faith.

Monthly Goals

  • Choose and purchase a Bible
  • Join a church
  • Find an accountability buddy
  • Create a faith playlist
  • Choose a Bible reading plan
  • Join a volunteer team at church
  • Memorize a passage of Scripture
  • Order a prayer journal
  • Join a small group
  • Order a Write the Word journal
  • Read a book that grows your faith
  • Download First5 App
  • Choose a SheReadsTruth study
  • Fill in prayer journal
  • Invite coworker to church

Weekly Goals

  • Attend service
  • Write the Word*
  • Attend small group
  • Serve at church
  • Tithe
  • Sabbath rest
  • Be generous

Daily Goals

  • Pray before reaching for phone
  • Read the Bible
  • Write the Word*
  • Pray with spouse
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Write in gratitude journal
  • Love someone

*Did you notice that some of these goals can be weekly or daily goals? That's the great thing about our goal guides; we give you ideas, and you decide where they fit into your Tending List. It might change each month, too!

These are just a few suggestions of tangible goals you can add to your Tending List each month to make progress on your faith goals for the year.

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

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Using PowerSheets in College

When Jess asked me to write about how to use PowerSheets as a student, I jumped on the opportunity because I benefitted from using them during my senior year! I am a proud University of Kentucky alum, and I’ll take any chance to relive the glory days.

One of my favorite thing about PowerSheets is that they aren't limited to a certain season of life, but they grow with you—PowerSheets can be used by anyone, anytime. I started my 2017 PowerSheets as a college student, and looking back at graduation in May, I can see how although my goals have changed quite a bit, my PowerSheets are still working.

One important thing to note is that my PowerSheets weren’t a homework, studying, and project to-do list.

While those things are important for success in college, I used PowerSheets as a means of uncovering what mattered to me—whether that be inside or outside of the classroom. College is a great time to grow in areas of your life that will last beyond student life—this could be community involvement, relationships, finances, healthy habits, etc. I'm delighted to share what I learned using PowerSheets as a student, and I'd love to hear from you!

1. Keep your Tending List visible.

PowerSheets only work if you use them. And to use them, you have to see them! I kept my backpack pretty much packed with the same items—my planner, a binder (that I used for all classes), a calculator, and a snack for the day, so there wasn’t a whole lot of space to bring my PowerSheets.

That's where the perforated Tending List comes in handy! Simply tear out your Tending List and tape it to the inside of your class binder or planner. You can consistently check in on a weekly basis and make adjustments without having to add another book to your school bag.

2. Use semester breaks to complete the PowerSheets Prep Work.

I received my 2017 PowerSheets as a gift over the holidays, and balancing family and friend time over the holiday break made it hard for me to start the Prep Work before my spring semester. Whether you’ll be using a Dated One-Year Workbook or a Six-Month Undated Workbook for 2018, I highly recommend starting as soon as you can leading up to winter break. This gives you enough time to enjoy the break and thoughtfully work through the Prep Work before filling out your January Tending List.

3. Focus on what matters to you.

Being a college student doesn’t mean life outside of class is put on pause. As I completed the Prep Work, I found that a lot of my focus for 2017 included uncovering what I wanted to do post-graduation, cultivating relationships I had built, and spending valuable time outside of class in a way that refreshed my soul. If you were to look at my Tending Lists from the beginning of the year, you will find a lot of goals focused on the student organizations I had leadership positions in and my community in Lexington, and that was a good thing! I chose the most important things, and I prioritized them on my Tending List each month.

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Many of my favorite college memories came from serving on the DanceBlue leadership team and planning #DB17, which showed up often on my PowerSheets. Marc was a great mentor for the year leading up to the 24-hour no sitting, no sleeping, dance marathon and now, post-graduation!

4. Be specific.

This tip can actually apply to anyone, and it’s been a game changer in how I write out my Tending List each month. For example, instead of “start saving”, I added “open a Roth IRA and invest $x”. The more specific my action steps were, the easier it was for me to make progress on them. It also made it easier to me to translate goals into my daily planner! To learn more about using your PowerSheets alongside your planner, join Lara and Emily Ley for a live class on How to Create a Cultivated Calendar!

5. Set aside time on your lightest class day to do your Tending List each month.

Try to keep your monthly check-ins consistent and mark it on your calendar. Maybe it’s during your Tuesday or Thursday break between classes, or maybe it's during homework break on your Monday afternoon library stints. Either way, consistency is key! One important thing to remember is that you don’t have to wait until the day before to do your Tending List for the upcoming month. I used to try to do it on the last day of each month, and when something came up I would feel guilty about not getting it done. Now, I start my PowerSheets the same time each month (the last Friday of the month), and it's been a game changer! This is why we give you a PowerSheets Prep Day sticker in our sticker book!

6. Give yourself margin during exam seasons.

Is it just me, or does it always seem like your professors met together and decided to give exams all on the same day? I found myself have one week with little projects or assignments due, and then another week with all my exams! Even if you aren't a student, I'm sure you can relate. In the “What’s Ahead” section, be sure to note if you have a busy month ahead in your classes and include dates. Writing out dates will help you see if certain weeks are heavier than others, and it will allow you to build in margin and avoid trying to do too much. In this case, feel the freedom to leave some of the lines on your Tending List blank!

7. Find inspiration from others! It was always helpful for me to see what goals other students were setting, so I flipped back through my PowerSheets to pull some examples for you below:

Monthly

  • Create a list of prospective companies I would like to work for (and why)
  • Research and open a Roth IRA + deposit summer savings
  • Create study plan for Finals week
  • Submit application for school organization leadership team

Weekly

  • Attend office hours for (insert your most difficult class here)
  • Encourage girls in bible study
  • Meet with career mentor/professor
  • Prepare well for DanceBlue meeting
  • Work on homework from a coffee shop - Breaking up my homework routine was so refreshing each week!

Daily

  • Pack a snack
  • Encourage a friend
  • Charge laptop
  • Pack backpack
  • Skip the bus and walk

Are you a student? Do you use PowerSheets? I'd love to hear any others tips you might below in the comments!

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A Comprehensive Guide to Fitness Goals

We've talked quite a bit in the past about how to get fit and how imperfection can help you get in the best shape of your life, and we firmly believe those posts are full of encouragement and practical advice for you. We also know that when it comes to setting goals that work for your lifestyle, everyone is different, and sometimes you need a little inspiration when it comes to filling out your monthly PowerSheets Tending List.

We're starting a new series where we're going to be sharing a collection of monthly, weekly, and daily goals that align with larger themes we see in our PowerSheets community. Our hope is that you use these guides as resources when you're looking to make progress on one of your goals and need some inspiration to fill out the lines of your Tending List. Remember, these are simply suggestions to help get your wheels turning, and we welcome any additional suggestions in the comments!

First up, fitness goals! Whether you're a triathlete or you hate running with every bone in your body (I certainly lean more towards one of those than the other), the list below will give you some ideas for your Tending List if you're looking to prioritize your health and fitness this year!

Monthly Goals

  • Download Couch to 5K
  • Find a personal trainer
  • Join a running club
  • Sign up for barre membership
  • Choose an exercise plan
  • Join the local YMCA
  • Buy a pair of running shoes
  • Purchase a Fitbit
  • Find an exercise buddy for accountability
  • Create a workout Spotify playlist

Weekly Goals

  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Run 10 miles
  • Track weight and measurements

Daily Goals

  • Be active
  • Take the stairs
  • Park far away
  • Hit 10,000 steps
  • Go on a walk after dinner
  • Lay out workout clothes before bed

These are just a few suggestions of tangible goals you can add to your Tending List each month to make progress on your fitness goals for the year!

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

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