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How to Break It Down: Why We Love Mini Goals

We often say around here that we "do goals differently," and that can mean a lot of things–that we don't believe in anxiety-fueled goals, that we DO believe in attaching a strong WHY to each goal, or that we believe little by little progress is just as powerful as a big leap of faith. One of my favorite ways we do goals differently, though, is the way we actually go about tackling them–and THAT has a lot to do with mini goals.

The Cultivate What Matters proven process includes three steps:

1. First, uncover what matters to you: your passion, path, purpose, priorities, and big-picture vision
2. Then, make a plan: identify your big picture goals and clear starting steps
3. Finally, take action: think big picture and take small steps, experiencing change along the way

I am SO excited to say the 2019 PowerSheets, debuting this October, are going to reflect this process more clearly than ever before. As we reimagined the newest version, we wanted to reflect the way we see much of our community (that's you!) and our team setting goals. Instead of setting very concrete goals for the year, you are identifying "buckets" of areas that matter deeply to you and where you want to experience change. For example:

  • Love long-distance family members and friends well
  • Cultivate a life-giving home
  • Enjoy our family of three (before it becomes a family of four) (One of my 2018 goals!)
  • Love the things above, not the things of this world (Lara!)
  • Phone down, eyes up (Jess!)
  • Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit in motherhood
  • Intentionally take care of myself through activities I love (Kristin!)
  • Use my creative gifts well (Kaylee!)
  • Build a strong financial foundation (Jess!)

Personally, I LOVE goals in this format–they immediately fire me up, because I can so clearly see how they have the potential to transform someone's life, not just serve as another thing to check off a to-do list!

But, as we all know, to see a change in these areas, at some point we DO need to make them more concrete (which makes them more actionable). Breaking each big "bucket goal" down into mini goals helps us take the next step, and when we string many steps together over the course of a year, THAT is when we will see real change!

Our PowerSheets walk you through all the necessary steps to do this, including getting specific and visualizing what progress on your bucket goal might look like and identifying what success at the end of the year might look like. Once you have the why and the finish line, it's easier to fill in the middle!

Speaking of the middle, that's where your Tending List comes in. Every month, it gives you the opportunity to refocus on your big picture yearly goals, identify the next ways you can move forward for each, and then add those mini goals to your daily, weekly, and monthly slots. Let's look at one of my goals for the year as an example!

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Big picture yearly goal: Grow our family story through creating and maintaining a beautiful, simple visual narrative

Monthly goals I have completed so far this year:

  • Gather all of the loose printed photos in our home. Cull them to keep only favorites.
  • Sort loose printed photos into a box with sections (childhood, school, newlyweds, family life)
  • Choose a back-up solution for phone photos (we went with Amazon Prime)
  • Order new external hard drive for back-up
  • Create folder system on hard drive
  • Collect all random digital photos and sort them into folder system
  • Choose new favorite photos for display at home, print them, and frame them

This particular big picture goal hasn't had too many weekly goals, but I have had great success with daily goals here. As I work through organizing my backlog of phone photos especially, I'm editing, sorting, and transferring just one month per day of phone photos to our hard drive (i.e. January 2018, February 2018). It's not overwhelming, and I can clearly see myself making progress toward my big picture goal with each step!

If you are feeling stuck on a goal that you KNOW matters to you, this is the best way I know to start making progress. Break the big picture goal down into smaller and smaller chunks until it's almost impossible to NOT progress. That momentum builds, and soon enough, you'll be on your way.

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Meet the Fall 2018 MTH Encouragers!

It's been an exciting week in the Cultivate office as we celebrate Mid-Year Goals Prep Week, and we couldn't think of a better time to introduce our Fall Encouragement Speakers for our Making Things Happen Conference. These ladies are eager to cheer you on (in person!) as you take the next step to uncovering what matters, making a plan, and tending to it!

Every year, in Chapel Hill, NC, women just like you from all over the world and in all seasons of life, come together for the Making Things Happen Conference to do just that: make what matters happen. Our team likes to describe Making Things Happen as doing PowerSheets in person. MTH gives you a chance to step away from the busyness and distractions of everyday life to uncover meaningful intentional goals. There's nothing quite like it!

At Making Things Happen you'll dig deep but, you won't do it alone! Our founder, Lara Casey, is there to walk you through every step of the process! Eight incredible women come alongside Lara and serve as our team of Encouragement Speakers. Our Encouragers are women deeply passionate about helping you uncover what matters. They'll share their personal stories and encourage you in break-out sessions to bravely dig deeper together.

We're excited to introduce our Fall 2018 Encouragement Speakers and hear more of why they're excited about Making Things Happen and what advice they have for our future attendees!

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Lara Casey

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "Meeting YOU! Hearing your stories and watching transformations happen and light bulbs go off is a gift I don't take for granted. I can't wait to meet you!"

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "If you are able, stay at the Carolina Inn with other attendees and be sure to go to the fireside chats each night. That's where you'll build a community that will last a lifetime. You only get those two days together—make them count! And trust that everyone else is just as nervous as you are. Those nerves will fly out the window when we get started though!

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Heidi Dawson

Website 

What She's Most Excited for: "I am looking forward to sharing and listening to how others not only overcome the valleys in life and business but how to enjoy the mountaintops as well."

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "Don’t believe everything that you think."

Shunta Grant

Shunta Grant

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "I am looking forward to witnessing every woman in attendance experience the gift of taking two days out for herself to discover what matters most in her life and then do something about it!"

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "Come with no agenda other than to embrace the time spent together with honesty and an open heart and mind. It's going to be so good!"

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Gina Zeidler

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "Time to reflect, REVIVE and encourage each attendee and watch the transformation."

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "Get excited. I'm so proud of you for investing in YOU! I know you might feel all sorts of upside down, but JUST WAIT!"

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Maghon Taylor

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "I can't wait to speak encouragement and life into each attendee at MTH this fall! I enjoy this experience year after year and I feel like everyone who is in the room is there at that exact moment for a reason."

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "I was afraid too. I was worried about making friends, meeting people in my same industry, crying too much, my outfit -- the list goes on. I never thought about any of these fears after walking through the doors. Come as you are. This is going to change your life in the best way."

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Amber Housley

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "I am most looking forward to having these two days to reflect and be refreshed alongside dozens of other women. It's truly inspiring to be in a room with women who want to live an intentional life. It's magic!"

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "Come just as you are, right where you are."

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Katelyn James

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "I'm looking forward to sharing and encouraging attendees with what I have walked through in my recent season. I've learned so much about how even the darkest seasons can produce life-giving fruit."

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "There is no season that is too hard or too dark where transformation can't take place. Whatever season that you're in, it's purposeful!"

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Natascha Trapp

Website 

What She's Most Excited for: "I'm looking forward to my first experience with the MTH Conference, making new friends, and focusing on the goals I know the Lord has called me to."

Her one piece of encouragement for attendees: "Take the leap!"

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Nancy Ray

Website | Instagram

What She's Most Excited for: "I’m most looking forward to two days of no interruptions. No phone, no distractions, just focusing on my heart and my future. Every single time I go to MTH, it is the greatest gift to step away from life and gain perspective on my health, my relationships, my faith, and my family."

Her Encouragement for Attendees: "You’ll get out of it what you put into it. The more vulnerable you are, the better… there is no judgment in that room! Also, wear waterproof mascara and don’t wear jeans. You’ll be more comfy, I promise!"

We are thrilled that each of our Encouragement Speakers is taking the time to join us this fall, and we can't wait for you to learn from them!

Are you ready to take the leap and join us? Register nowNow through July 31st, you can get nearly 50% off your ticket with the early-bird rate!

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Welcome to Mid-Year Goals Prep Week

Today kicks off an exciting week in the Cultivate office: Mid-Year Goals Prep Week! Whether you're a brand new PowerSheets user or want some extra encouragement to keep tending to those goals, there's something this week for you.

The most important thing this week?

Take one step forward. Just one!

We believe there's power in each and every intentional step you take. If you take more than one step forward, that's great, too!

What do you need to move forward on your goals and take that one step? Choose your adventure this week:

Need a kick in the pants? Join us for daily live coaching.
Need help getting started with your PowerSheets? Read on in this post!
Need some goal-getter friends to cheer you on?Cultivate Community Groups are here!
Need some real-life examples from others? Be sure to follow us on social for inspiring stories and daily pep talks.
Need some motivation to take that action step you’ve been putting off? This is where we’re gonna get a little crazy. We’re going to take those action steps LIVE together!

But first, I'm going to ask you a question: What can you do right now to love your December self well?

Is there something you can say no to, giving you room for something more important?

Can you make a decision now that will bear fruit by the time December rolls around?

What habit could cultivate now that will help you love your December self well?

If you're like me, I'll bet you have an answer for each of these questions! Where I want to be in December doesn't happen overnight. Others might believe in quick fixes, but around here, we cultivators embrace little by little progress.

And that's what this week is all about. By spending time working on our PowerSheets together, we’re going plant the seeds now for the good things we want to grow in the second half of the year!

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Brand new to PowerSheets? How exciting! Over the course of this week, we’ll break down our proven process and walk you through your workbook day-by-day and page-by-page. The PowerSheets Prep Work has instructions on each worksheet for you to get started (it’s like having a coach in your back pocket!), but the Cultivate team wants to take it one step further and cheer you on. Each day, a different CWM gal will walk you through a piece of the PowerSheets Prep Work on Facebook Live at 3 pm ET. Sign up to join us!

Have goals you want to make progress on? Consider us your biggest cheerleaders! We've created a Cultivate Goal-Getter's Board in the office to celebrate YOU! When you take just ONE step on any of your goals this week, tell us! Leave a comment on Instagram or tell us in a Facebook Live, and we'll add your name to our board. Just like the progress bars on your Tending List, there's something exciting about seeing visual proof of progress!

Need some extra encouragement from fellow PowerSheets friends? Join our PowerSheets Facebook Group to find like-minded ladies near you! Once you do, consider starting (or joining!) a monthly meet-up with local friends using our brand new Community Groups resources.

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Your turn! Leave a comment and let us know if you have your PowerSheets in hand and are planning to tune in this week! Introduce yourself. Tell us where you live! How are you feeling about your goals? I'd love to see how many friends we'll be spending time with this week!

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What Can PowerSheets Help You Do?

As a community, we've had the privilege of watching thousands of women around the world cultivate what matters using PowerSheets. Whether they are creating a life-giving home, achieving career goals, building strong relationships, fostering friendships, working on wellness goals or anything else they can dream up—these women are making change happen in their lives and in the lives of those they love.

This is about so much more than planners and checklists. This isn’t traditional goal-setting like you’ve seen in the past.

We create the PowerSheets Goal Planner to help you take a leap of faith and set intentional, meaningful goals to simplify your life. It’s about you living on purpose. PowerSheets are a proven process of uncovering what matters most to you, setting grace-filled goals, and creating an action plan to make those things happen little by little, no perfection required.

Our guarantee is simple: when you intentionally use the PowerSheets, change will happen. But don't just listen to us! We're excited to introduce a few women who are sharing their PowerSheets stories below!

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Ready to see change happen in your life? We're ready to be your biggest cheerleader!

Grab a set of Six-Month Undated PowerSheets from the Cultivate Shop, and get started!

There's nothing magical about January 1st when it comes to setting goals. Today can be the day that everything changes! Your December 2018 self will thank you for taking the leap of faith.

We want to hear from you! What have PowerSheets helped you accomplish? Tell us below in the comments!

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Less is Actually More: What is a Low-Information Diet, and Is it Right for You?

The end of 2017 rolled around, and I felt myself craving margin. Life was full–full of some really good things–but full nonetheless. As I sat down to do my PowerSheetsPrep Work, I started to see a theme.

I had too much stuff.
I felt unsteady, wavering back and forth based on circumstances instead of truth.
I was no longer doing something I loved: reading.
My eyes were heavy.

The root of all those things? Information overload.

I had too much stuff because I was on every single shop mailing list. I felt unsteady because I spent too much time on Instagram, silently comparing myself during the scrolling. I was reading less because my free time was full of work and wedding planning and traveling. I was tired because I spent a lot of time staring at a screen–both for work, and after-hours while wedding planning.

It was a stark wake-up call. I immediately knew one of my PowerSheets goals needed to be "Phone Down, Eyes Up." Short, simple, but packs a big punch (the best kinds of goals often do that!).

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What is a Low-Information Diet? 

A Low-Information Diet means you're limiting the consumption of media in your life. Tim Ferris coined the term "Low-Information Diet" in his book The 4-Hour Work Week, where he talks about the importance of cultivating selective ignorance. "Selective" is an important word here! He doesn't talk about complete ignorance in all things, but instead talks about the disservice consuming what doesn't concern you does to yourself and those around you.

“Just as modern man consumes both too many calories and calories of no nutritional vale, information workers eat data both in excess and from the wrong sources.” -Tim Ferris

What's going to matter to you when you're 80?
What are the things you will look back on and want more of?

Not sure what those things are? That's okay! PowerSheets can help you uncover what matters most and make a plan to cultivate those things–the right things.

View More: http://ginazeidler.pass.us/cultivate2018springsummer

Those are the things you can start to cultivate now. Nothing says you have to wait until January 1st to start making changes. As cultivators, we're big believers in little by little progress!

Trying to decide if embracing a Low-Information Diet is right for you? Here are my three checkpoints I'd encourage you to try:

Check the phone usage in your battery life. On my iPhone, I can go to my Settings > Battery and it will show me what apps have used the largest percentage of my battery life over the past 24 hours or 7 days. This is eye-opening!

Answer this question: What is the first thing you reach for when you wake up each morning? If it's your cell phone to open your email, social media, or blog reader, your television remote, or a newspaper, it could be a sign it's time to take a step back.

Download the Moment app. Moment automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day, and it allows you to set limits based on the information you see!

Go-Do-Life

There's no better time than the start of summer to kick a bad habit to the curb. This can be your summer to thrive! Fill those longer days with the things that fire you up. Make your own list of things to do instead of scrolling or watching television, and start checking those off one-by-one!

We'll be kicking off a series on cultivating a Low-Information Diet over the next few weeks, and we're excited to learn together! Up next, practical ways to set yourself up for success and how to use your PowerSheets to keep the momentum going!
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