Flip over your PowerSheets® Tending List and you'll find one of our favorite monthly pages—the Month in Review! Here's everything you need to know about this classic PowerSheets page, including tips from long-time Cultivators.
What is the PowerSheets Month in Review page?
The PowerSheets Month in Review page is the last page you fill out in your goal planner each month. Falling directly after the Tending List, the 2023 version includes six prompts:
- Good things
- Goals that are growing well
- What's not working
- What I read or listened to
- Favorite memories
It's a chance to reflect on the month you just lived, to notice and celebrate what's going well—and to notice and engage with what's been a challenge. For many of us here, cultivating what matters means moving purposefully through life, incorporating more of what matters and finding ways to minimize what doesn't. It means achieving goals and solving pain points (little by little!) along the way. The humble Month in Review page can help you with all of these things.
How do I use the PowerSheets Month in Review page?
Good news: you can't do it wrong! The Month in Review page is simple and flexible on purpose, so feel free to make it your own. Here are a few ideas from fellow Cultivators to get you started:
What are you particularly grateful for this month? From the tiny, everyday moments—warm morning sun through the windows, a brisk afternoon walk with your dog—to the big, life-changing ones—your teenager getting into her dream school, an all-clear report from oncology—they all deserve to be celebrated.
Research has shown that when we focus on positive memories and outcomes, we're more likely to feel positively about the future and experience more joy in our days. Yes!
"I list things here that are making life easier or more fun—like recipes or products," says Marcy. You might also jot down habits or routines that are working well, or "general gratitude things not tied to a specific event, like 'Marco Polo with friends' or 'son enjoying pre-K,'" like Sara.
Goals that are growing well:
Of course, it's great to flip back to your Tending List and celebrate what you accomplished in the last few weeks. Did you complete a monthly goal? Did you hit a daily or weekly habit streak? Write it down!
This is also a great time to flip back to your list of Yearly Goals and notice how your little-by-little progress has been adding up. It's easy to feel like your small steps are insignificant, but when you give yourself the perspective of how much has changed since the beginning of the year, you'll likely see it's added up!
What's not working:
Depending on your personality type, you might dread this square. But it's an important one, and it doesn't have to be painful! When you look back thoughtfully at where you've been and what you've done, you can harness the power of the past to change the future. Instead of feeling regret over decisions and actions you wish you'd handled differently, you can feel empowered to make better decisions in the future. (And at the least, to not make the same mistakes!) By iterating on what's come before, you'll go further, faster, in your pursuit of what matters.
So yes, notice what's not working. What goal has sat untouched on your PowerSheets for months? What goal fills you with dread when you think about it? What are the stickiest pain points in your day? What habit or routine feels stale?
Try to avoid judgment in favor of impartial observation. Then, consider how you might try something different going forward. What might you recommend to a friend or a loved one if she was in the same situation or had the same problem?
What I read or listened to:
Jot down favorite or thought-provoking pieces of media you consumed in the past month—it's handy to have a list to look back on, especially when a friend asks you for a recommendation. Consider logging:
- Podcast episodes
- Songs, albums, or playlists
- TV shows
- Opinion pieces, essays, articles, and issues of magazines
- Novels, memoirs, and non-fiction books
This is a spot for specific events that happened in the month. Did you spend a sunny afternoon in the park with a college friend? Tried a Chopped-style competition with your husband for an at-home date night? Got away to the beach for a milestone birthday? Big or small, write it down, relieving the happy memories as you go.
You might also take a moment to brainstorm how you could create more of these memories in the month ahead. Bonus points for grabbing your planner and taking the first steps to make them happen!
Tips for the PowerSheets Month in Review page:
A few final pieces of encouragement from PowerSheets users:
- "You can’t do it wrong! Sometimes the things you write in categories overlap and that’s okay. For example, good thing “I finished all the paperwork so we can put in an offer on a home” probably isn’t a favorite memory, but good thing “time with friends” might overlap with favorite memory “board game night with x and x.” —Lily
- "I fill out this page periodically throughout the month so I don't forget things or feel overwhelmed when I get to the end! It's easy to do—every time I check in on my Tending List, I just flip the page over to see if there's anything I should add." —Susanna
- "If a prompt isn't working for you, make it your own! Every month, I cross out 'good things' and write in 'lessons learned.' I've been doing this for years and it's a favorite swap of mine." —Cassie