Menu

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!

 

Show Comments (5)

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.

IntentionalLifeList-Banner

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

Back2WhatMatters_NewsletterWhite2

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!

Show Comments (0)

Six Must-Do’s for Your Evenings

Preparing well. That’s what the evening routine is all about.

I know, I know! That sounds like more work. And you’re thinking “I just got done with all of the laundry/work/chores/everything by the evening. I don’t want to do more.

Preparing well can serve you well that evening and it sets you up to be able to cultivate what really matters the following day. When you are cultivating what matters, you positively impact everything about your life and everyone in it.

Before we jump in, let me say this: everyone’s night routine looks different depending on your life, but the key is to find what works for you and cultivate those habits each day. Consistency creates habits that ultimately determine the flow of your everyday life, and an evening routine is a great place to start. I'm excited to share six must-dos for my evenings, and I hope it helps you start to think through your own personal evening routine.

Something to straighten up. For me, it’s the kitchen. If the kitchen is straightened up—dishes in the dishwasher, clutter-free counter, things put away—it's much easier for me to relax. Take a quick few minutes to pass through your space, and put away random things that need to be put away. After you're finished, set out only what you will need for the morning. For me, it's a packed lunch to take to work, water bottle for an AM workout, or a sticky note of things to remember for the following day!

Something to help you plan ahead. Each evening, I spend five minutes running through the next day's calendar to see if there are any schedule changes, high-level to-dos, or something out of the ordinary that my husband and I need to remember. These are things like getting gas on my way to work, running an errand before heading to the office, or picking up something specific at the store for dinner. I write these things down on a sticky note, and I put it somewhere I see first thing in the morning so I can get off to a productive start. I also take a few moments to look over my PowerSheets Tending List to mark off my daily goals.

IMG_2330

Photo by Brooke

Something productive. While I'm going through my schedule, I ask myself if there are any tasks that can easily be done that evening. Whether it's dropping mail in the mailbox, prepping the next day's dinner, signing a document, or folding the lingering laundry in the dryer, I find that finishing one productive task not only helps me feel accomplished, but it keeps it from building up on the weekends. My best advice? Don't try to tackle huge project. These should be small and achievable tasks that take no more than 15 minutes.

Something encouraging. This one is my personal favorite! I try to take a few minutes to do something that encourage myself or someone else. I might write a note for my husband's lunch or send a quick text to a friend or loved one just to say hello and that I miss them. Sometimes, I'll spend time in my Write the Word Journal, taking note of what I'm grateful for in the "On My Heart" section. Whatever it is, this activity should be uplifting and help you set a stress-free tone for the evening. 

Something restful. A great way to wind down before bed is to do something that helps your mind start to slow down. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be something that works for you. Maybe it’s reading or journaling. Maybe dimming the lights and putting on a bedtime playlist of soft tunes while you brush your teeth and prepare for bed. Whatever it is, the idea here is that it’s calming, relaxing, and creating an environment conducive to getting a great night's sleep!

IMG_2329

Photo by Sarah

Something tech-free. We talk about this one often, but it's because we believe it's essential! Designating the last hour before bedtime screen-free helps you get better sleep. A few tricks: make the very first thing you do before all of the nighttime necessities—brushing your teething, washing your face—putting the phone away. In the closet. In the bedside drawer, or across the room. This not only frees you from distractions but is also a nice mental cap on the end of the day. Hint: If you use your phone as your alarm, try replacing it with an affordable alarm clock. You eliminate the distraction entirely, and you can charge your phone in a nearby room.

 I’d love to hear from you! Do you have an evening routine? What are the best aspects of your night routine? Leave a comment with your best tips and tricks!

Want to embrace mornings and make them productive, too? Check out eight tips for embracing mornings!

Show Comments (8)

What is Customer Delighting? Three Ways To Go Above and Beyond for your Community

From new shop products we create to weekly newsletter content to each social post we write, we ask ourselves this question: is this going to be encouraging and practical for our community? If the answer is no, we quickly (and happily) move on to something else!

Why? The heartbeat behind everything we do at Cultivate What Matters is simple—it's driven by a deep-rooted desire in our team to help you think big picture and live a purposeful life, cultivating what matters right where you are.

It's why Ashlea will stop everything she's working on when the office phone rings to help a customer.

It's why Casey creates fun and engaging graphics for social media.

It's why Emily spends hours planning our photo shoots, ensuring that all ages and backgrounds of our customers are represented in the images.

It's why Jess writes blog content to help you make little by little progress on your goals.

It's why Jordan responds to every single comment on social media.

It's why Kaylee keeps a close eye on the backend of our shop, making sure everything runs smoothly.

It's why Kristin will spend as much time on the phone with women helping them decide if MTH Conference is a good fit for them.

It's why Lara intentionally asks questions in her Instagram posts (and reads each of your answers!).

It's why Marissa seeks our partnerships with companies whose missions align with ours.

It's why our new Marketing Director looks at projections so we can order the right amount of PowerSheets to end up in your hands.

MTH_Spring_Group

I'm excited to take you behind the scenes in the Cultivate office to share three ways our team seeks to serve the Cultivate community each day:

Listen to your community. In our weekly team meetings, we have a dedicated time in our agenda to talk about Customer Headlines. Each team member shares what we are hearing from our community in their respective areas. It could be from a comment on a recent Instagram post, a post in the PowerSheets Facebook group, an email sent directly to a team member, or a piece of feedback from our recent survey results.. Not only does it give us great ideas for future content and products, but more importantly, it allows our team to shift our message and marketing to better serve you when needed. If someone has asked us when 2019 PowerSheets are releasing after we've announced it, it means we need to update our messaging in certain areas to make sure we're answering questions before they are being asked!

Believe in the Power of One. Our core values are what make our hearts goes pitter-patter each and every day, and they are the guiding force in our organization. One of our core values is the Power of One, and we believe that our reply to a single person's email is just as important and impactful as a newsletter that goes out to our entire newsletter family. This core value is infused into our day-to-day. For example, we reply to each social comment and Instagram direct message we receive. Does it take time out of our workdays? Yes. Is it the best use of our time? Some would argue no, but we want to thank and celebrate each women in our community who chooses to share her words with us!

Celebrate your people. When it comes to setting goals, we believe every step forward is worthy of celebrating! Our team loves sending small happy happy's to customers, celebrating every starting step on our Cultivate Goal Getters Board, hiding goody boxes around the country on Cultivators Appreciation Day, and sending you an exclusive discount code to use on your birthday. We're also pretty sure our most-used emoji would be the confetti! 🎉

We don't share these things to brag or tell you we do it perfectly (we have so much to learn!). We share them to remind you that it takes margin and intentional forethought to celebrate others well. If your schedule is packed to the brim day in and day out, it's going to be hard for you to remember your grandmother's birthday. As a team we've had to build time and, more importantly, rhythms and routines into our days so we are intentionally focusing on delighting our community.

Guess what! You don't have to be a business owner or team member to delight others! Start thinking outside the box, and we're positive the wheels will start spinning with great ideas. We have a Team Information and Operations project where we keep each team members' address, favorite snacks, working anniversary, favorite color, go-to meal orders, and more so it's easy to delight one another. Create a note on your phone for your friends and loved ones, and add to it as you learn more about them.

SeasonalCustomerDelightHiring_Square

Does hearing about customer delighting fire you up as much as it does our team? We'd love to have you on our team as we prepare for our 2019 PowerSheets Collection launch on October 24th!

We are hiring a seasonal Customer Delight Associate! All the details and application are available at the link. Please note: this is a part-time, seasonal position based in Chapel Hill, NC. We are not considering remote candidates at this time.

Read through the individual job description thoroughly for specific qualifications and job responsibilities you'll have. Attention to detail is part of the application :) Applications for our seasonal Customer Delight Associate are due on August 3rd.

Know someone who might be a good fit? We'd love for you to share this post with them!

Show Comments (2)

10 Things You Might Not Know About MTH

When we look back on our company PowerSheets each year, one of the highlights is always the Making Things Happen Conference. Twice a year, women from all over the world gather together for a two-day intensive to make what matters happen. Attendees spend time hearing from our Encouragers and digging deep to uncover intentional goals. We like to describe the MTH Conference as doing PowerSheets in person, and there's nothing quite like watching a room full of women uncover their purpose and make a plan to do something about it!

Chances are, you've likely heard us talk about Making Things Happen, but we wanted to share 10 things about the conference that surprise you!

1. You don't have to own a business or be a "creative". 

Making Things Happen is for everyone. The beauty of MTH is that it's about so much more than your career; it's about you as a person.

The love-at-home mom, corporate CEO, student, professor, creative, non-creative, and everyone in-between is welcome at MTH. Whether you already know what you want to make happen and need an action plan or you need help uncovering intentional goals, MTH is the perfect place for you.

2. You don't have to know anyone. 

The majority of our attendees take a leap of faith and walk into the Carolina Inn alone, but it doesn't stay that way for long! We have a Facebook group that allows you to meet friends ahead of time, arrange hotel accommodations, and chat about all things Making Things Happen. After the conference, we'll add you to our online network of more than 1,000 Making Things Happen alum who are ready to meet you!

3. You don't have to come alone. 

While you don't have to know anyone to enjoy Making Things Happen, we know that some attendees may want to come with a business partner or like-minded friend. We have special Partner Rate tickets available just for you!

View More: http://rachelcoffeyphoto.pass.us/mth-2018

4. You don't have to pay full price. 

We are firm believers in stewarding your money well and investing in things that last longer than you. When you register for Making Things Happen before July 31st, you can take advantage of our early-bird registration rate and save more than $1,000 off the price of your ticket!

5. You don't have to know all of the Encouragers.

Each year we carefully choose a group of Encouragement Speakers with a wide background to share the Making Things Happen experience with you. Each of our Encouragers are deeply passionate about helping you uncover what matters, and they are eager to cheer you on do the work alongside you!

6. You don't have to be a certain age. 

Over the past nine years, we've had women of all ages join us at Making Things Happen, and we love the diversity it provides. At Making Things Happen, college freshmen embarking on a new journey and women in their 60's who are ready for a new chapter all come together in the same room to make what matters happen. The unifying factor is a desire to live intentionally and make the most your life.

MTH_Conference_Spring_Attendees

7. You don't have to be an extrovert.

At Making Things Happen, we'll encourage you to break out of your identity box and meet new people, but we also know it's important to give you other opportunities to connect on a more one-to-one basis. Each attendees is assigned a breakout group based on their interests and season of life, and we host fireside chats both nights for you to unpack all you're learning! These moments are great opportunities for you to dig deep in a smaller setting and get to know your fellow attendees!

8. You don't have to pay for Making Things Happen all at once.

We know that Making Things Happen is a worthwhile investment, and we want you to have the opportunity to join us! Payment plans are available for Making Things Happen, and we can help you break down your ticket cost into three payments. Email Ashlea@CultivateWhatMatters.com for more information!

9. You don't have to worry about the little things. 

When it comes to Making Things Happen, our team's goal is to serve you so you can focus on yourself, providing encouragement and support at every turn! Our Encouragement Crew, made up of previous Making Things Happen alum, works hard behind the scenes to greet you with a bright smile, warm hug, and make sure you are well-fed!

MTH_Conference_Encouragement_Crew

10. You don't have to have it all figured out.

There's no need to come to Making Things Happen with all of your goals uncovered, the perfect action plan, or the perfect outfit.. As our Making Things Happen Encourager Gina Zeidler says, "Come as you are, even if you feel like you don't quite get what you are coming for or are nervous!" Even if you are a little unsure, take the leap!

It's time for you to take the leap and join us at Making Things Happen in Chapel Hill, NC on September 24-25th! Register before July 31st to save nearly 50% off your ticket with the early-bird rate! Tickets are going fast; register now!

Show Comments (2)

Login

Sorry it seems that your password/login is incorrect.
Forgot Password?
Sorry it seems that this email doesn't exist.
An email was sent with your new password, to your associated email address.

Make Your Goals Happen!

no perfection required
  • Connect With Other Goal-Getters
  • Live Goal Coaching Webinars
  • Post Your Goals And Stay Accountable
  • Goal Coaching And Encouragement
  • All Free-Hooray!
Unfortunately this email is allready used by someone.
Please use another email.
You have registered succesfully. Check your email for more details.