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Goal Action Ideas for Finance Goals

Today we're continuing our Goal Action Ideas series with a Finance edition, supplying you with a bank of ideas for your Tending Lists on that topic. Like all overwhelming things, cultivating a stronger, more streamlined financial life is done through embracing little by little progress, and digging in even when things seem messy. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas, so please drop them in the comments! (In fact, many of the ideas in this post came from awesome PowerSheets users in our Facebook group!)

Though I've loved all of the topics we've covered in this series, I most definitely have a soft spot for today's. First, because I am extremely passionate about the freedom that comes from having your financial house in order, and therefore so happy to be your enthusiastic tour guide in this world. Second, because finances can just be an icky subject–one that feels too complicated, too stuck, too hopeless to make any progress on.

There is SO much hope here, though, friends! As with everything, little by little progress is the name of the game–sometimes with a few big leaps along the way. I've compiled our best action ideas for finance goals below, and I hope it encourages you to dig in where you are!

Monthly Goals:

  • Do a comprehensive review of your finances and set a goal to work toward
  • Sign up for Financial Peace University or a similar personal finance course (PS users suggested Wallet Win!)
  • Read a personal finance book (try Total Money Makeover, The Financial Diet, Love Your Life Not Theirs, or The Millionaire Next Door - or tell us your favorite in the comments!)
  • Make a budget (see our tips here)
  • Choose a way to track your budget (more ideas here - consider an app like YNAB, Mint, Good Budget, or Every Dollar Counts)
  • Set up an initial review meeting with a financial planner (either in person or an online option like Learnvest)
  • Set up a retirement account (either a 401k if offered through your work or an IRA)
  • Total all of your debt, especially if you have multiple sources (this will give you a goal to work toward!)
  • Choose a financial mantra to keep you motivated and post it somewhere you'll see it every day (we suggest your refrigerator)
  • Similarly, choose a picture that represents your biggest financial goal and post it somewhere you'll see it every day
  • Increase your retirement contribution
  • Comb through your expenses from the last month and look for areas where you can cut back
  • Create a visual countdown of your debt and post it prominently where the whole family can see it (more paying down debt tips here)
  • Open a charitable giving account (donor-advised fund) to streamline and maximize your generosity
  • Open an account designated as an emergency fund and seed it with an initial deposit
  • Make a plan to fully fund an emergency fund (most experts recommend three to six months of expenses)
  • Purge your social media accounts: unfollow accounts that contribute to feelings of lack or make you want to spend money!
  • Take our friend Nancy's Contentment Challenge

Weekly Goals:

  • Listen to an episode of a personal finance podcast (Cultivate readers suggested Entreeleadership and Matrimoney!)
  • Sit down with your significant other (or yourself!) and review the week's budget and spending
  • Purge a room of your house (this helps identify waste, cultivate contentment, and curb spending)
  • Update your budget
  • Pay bills
  • Unsubscribe from sales emails
  • Sell something (and put the money toward debt or a savings goal)

Daily Goals:

  • No spending
  • Express gratitude

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

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

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Top 10 Tips for Uncovering Your Goals

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and we know you're working hard to wrap up that Christmas shopping (or get started😉), create traditions, and spend time with those you love. For every one thing you check off your to-do list, you add two new things at the bottom. It's a good season, but boy oh boy is it a FULL season.

While this season and your to-dos are important, we also know it's important to look ahead at the new year, too. That's why we've loved PowerSheets Prep Week last week! Evaluating what has and hasn't worked over the past year and uncovering goals takes time, but it can have a ripple effect on your family. That's why we have a special treat for you! Lara will be sharing her top 10 tips for uncovering your goals. The best part? She's doing it in less than 30 minutes! In the midst of the buzz of the holiday season, we want to be intentional with YOUR time.

Join Lara Casey for a free 30-minute class on Wednesday, December 20th at 2pm ET for Lara's Top 10 Tips for Uncovering Your 2018 Goals.

To kick off her Seventh Annual Goal-Setting Series on her blog, Lara will be spending 30 minutes with you to share her top 10 tips for uncovering your goals for the new year. Get your notebooks and pens ready, because it's sure to be an afternoon packed full of nuggets of wisdom (trust me, I read through her notes, and it's GOOD).

If you want to have PowerSheets in hand before January 1st, next Wednesday, December 20th is the last day to order PowerSheets for New Year's delivery. Don't delay! Grab your intentional goal planner, and let's make 2018 the best year yet!

If you are not able to join us live at 2pm ET, there's no need to fret! A replay will be available for all those that have registered, so be sure to sign up to receive access to the broadcast afterward! Please note: Crowdcast works best on the Google Chrome browser, and we recommend downloading it ahead of the webinar. If you experience technical difficulties, please reach out directly to Crowdcast support.

Leave us a comment to let us know you're coming! We can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for our Cultivate family!

Make sure you're signed up for our newsletter list so you don't miss Lara's Annual Goal-Setting Series. We'll send you an email each day there's a new post, and we can't wait to learn from Lara!

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Three Reasons MTH Conference Changed the Course of my Life

If we haven't had the chance to get acquainted yet, I'm Catherine! I'm a grateful editor here at Cultivate What Matters, and I'm your cheerleader and guide for all things Making Things Happen!

Long before I ever dreamed I could work on this team, I took the leap and registered for Making Things Happen in 2016. I didn't know anyone else who would be there, and I didn't know what to expect, but I knew this: I wanted a more intentional, more joyful, more purposeful life. What I got was that, plus an entirely new perspective on my days, practical strategies for prioritizing, and a whole lot of peace and grace.

You've likely heard us talk about Making Things Happen, but maybe you aren't quite sure what it is or if it's for you? Well, I'm here to answer all your questions and share the three biggest reasons MTH changed the course of my life!

MTH2016-146

See that redhead? She spent two days doing a lot of hard work that continues to have a ripple effect on my life and the lives of those whom I love.

1.  The most important investment you can make in living your best life is TIME. 

If you're wondering how you're ever going to make the life you've always imagined possible when all you can do right now is rush from one to-do to the next with your hair on fire, please, please join me at MTH. The single most powerful step I took was to block off the conference dates on my calendar and say to myself, my family, and my employer: these 2-3 days are mine. At MTH we shut out the emails, the text messages, the laundry, the messes, and all the noise (we will even take your phone from you!), and we devote two full, blissfully uninterrupted days to reflecting, dreaming, and strategizing. Sometimes the most important thing you can do when you feel like you don't have a single minute to spare is to hit pause, take a time out, and devote the time to figuring out how you're going to create real change.

2. Beautiful things grow out of getting messy and doing the hard work first.

Around here, we know that good things grow through the dirt, but how often do you really get outside of your comfort zone? We have so many wonderful resources here at Cultivate What Matters, but there is power in getting out from behind your computer and getting your hands dirty. (It is, after all, why we created the PowerSheets!) Lara is going to ask you some challenging questions at MTH. She's going to ask you to be honest with yourself and use your voice to banish your fears. It's kind of like having a personal trainer pushing you to live a more purposeful life (which makes sense, since Lara was once a personal trainer!). I want you to get in the room with us where there's nowhere to hide and believe that you can do hard things. If you're exhausted at the end of your first day at MTH, that's how you know you've put in the work to plant some good seeds.

3. Sharing stories and encouragement changes things. 

But MTH isn't all hard work. The challenging moments outside of your comfort zone are balanced with a whole lot of community. There is power when like-minded women sit in a beautiful room with a cup of coffee and share their hearts, their struggles, and their triumphs. MTH is your opportunity to connect with these women in person, let their stories inspire you, and make life-long friends to share in the journey of cultivating what matters with you. I was so amazed at how most of the women at MTH really wanted the same things as I do at the end of the day: deep relationships, a vibrant faith, a healthy lifestyle, and a rich legacy to name a few. I can't tell you how many practical and inspiring ideas I got from these women. Plus, MTH is not just about the two-day experience. We encourage you to exchange information and hold each other accountable, start PowerSheets groups in your city, and grow together long after you leave Chapel Hill!

It's time! Take the leap, and join us in Chapel Hill, NC this March! We can't wait to help you uncover your goals and start making them happen!

Our Early-Bird Rate (more than 50% off ticket price) ends on December 31st, and seats are filling up quickly! You can register here! I'm an email away and I'm ready to talk your ears off about why MTH is a good investment for you. Email me any questions you have or for more information on payment plans!

We know many of you shared your 2018 Vision Board in our Pinterest Contest and are crossing your fingers tight that you are the winner! Don't let that keep you from taking advantage of the Early-Bird Rate before it expires on December 31st. If the winner chosen is already registered, we'll make sure to issue a full refund!

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Let Your Good Goals Grow

What a week it's been kicking off our PowerSheets Prep Work alongside each of you! Together, we've started working on the first 33 pages of our PowerSheets, and we've uncovered so many good things for the year ahead. Want to peek at all we've done this week, here you go!

Still working on your Prep Work? That's great! Take the time you need to focus on these pages; you won't hear us rushing you!

There is a lot of pressure in today's world. Whether it's pressure put on us by others or pressure we put on ourselves, it can oftentimes feel overwhelming to get started on anything new. A fear of failure or underachievement oftentimes stops us dead in our tracks and paralyzes us from taking any action on the things that matter to us.

That's not what this is about. Around here, we believe in grace-filled goal-setting. We believe in community and encouragement. We believe that little by little progress pays off, and good things grow in our lives over time. While others go at their goals alone, we share our goals and progress, cheering each other on and offering a lot of high fives along the way!

Progress_Not_Perfection

PowerSheets Prep Week is only the beginning! We are going to let our goals marinate for a few days, but we're sure to share them with you in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, our team is ready to encourage and equip you to make your unique goals happen in 2018. We're ready to help you prioritize, sift through the junk, and stop saying yes to all the things so you can say yes to the right things.

But what now? Here are a few things to keep your eyes on in the coming weeks:

Lara's Annual Goal-Setting Series kicks off on December 20th on her blog. This is one of our favorite times of the year because Lara walks you through her personal PowerSheets Prep in a six-part series and shares her 2018 goals with you!

Follow us on social media and say hi! Share what you're learning as you dig into your PowerSheets and use the #PowerSheets hashtag!

Stay tuned to the Cultivate blog! We have lots of great content lined up for the coming months, and we love the chance to chat with you here!

Make your 2018 vision board, and enter our Pinterest contest. We're giving away a seat to our 2018 MTH Conference to one lucky winner. All the details here! Deadline is December 31st, so get to pinning!


The Cultivate Team shares day five of our PowerSheets Prep Work

Your turn! Leave a comment and share your favorite ah-ha moment from your PowerSheets Prep! I'll choose one lucky commenter on Monday to win a $25 gift card to the Cultivate Shop!

Don't forget to share your PowerSheets Prep Work with our team on Instagram! Remember, you must use the #PowerSheets hashtag and your profile must be public to be entered to win. One lucky winner will win a FREE 30-minute personal coaching call with Lara. Lara doesn't offer individual coaching sessions (she hosts the MTH Conference every year instead), so this is an extra special giveaway. We'll choose one winner on Monday, December 11th. There are no limits to number of entries, so share as often as you'd like! 

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Cultivate Your Best Year Pinterest Contest

A big thank you to everyone who entered our team loved looking through your boards! Congratulations to Michelle Franzetti!

If you're anything like us, your Pinterest boards are full of some of your hopes and dreams: meals you'd like to cook, rooms you'd like to decorate, parties you're hoping to throw, and more. But what if you could create a home for all your hopes, dreams, and goals for 2018? A place where you could add inspiring photos that fire you up!

Our big picture page in our PowerSheets gives you the chance to make a vision board for your year ahead. You can cut out magazine clippings, collage, draw, paint, use stickers, or whatever you'd like to fill the page with images that most inspire you to cultivate your best year yet.

We know this is a page that's easy to skip over, so we're going to incentivize you a little bit!

The prize? A seat to our 2018 Making Things Happen Conference on March 19-20th in Chapel Hill, NC. Note: the winner is responsible for travel and accommodations.

Ready to start dreaming up your best year yet and join us at the MTH Conference? Great! Here's how to get started:

  1. Follow @LaraCasey on Pinterest for your ultimate goal-setting inspiration.
  2. Create your own Pinterest board, titled "Cultivate My Best Year"
  3. Visit the Cultivate Your Best Year board to pin at least 10 pins you would include on your inspiration board, including one of the four inspiration board examples. Please note: five of the pins must be Cultivate Shop products.
  4. Confirm your entry by leaving a comment on this blog post with a link to your Pinterest board. Note: make sure your board is public!

Click here for official rules and regulations.

Get creative! We'll announce the lucky winner on January 2nd, so get to pinning! We can't wait to see what you dream up for 2018!

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