I have been so excited about sharing this post because it’s that time of year where I get to gush about one of the things I use DAILY- it’s POWERSHEETS Launch Day!! I can’t wait for my 2019 goal planner to arrive and give you all a peek at some of the goodness, but before that Iw anted to re-cap about some of the ways I’ve grown this year with the help of this marvelous tool.If you are a new reader or have somehow missed my Powersheets obsession, they are an intentional goal planning system that help you uncover what really matters in the long run and then helps you break those goals down into manageable steps so you can see the way your progress adds up. PowerSheets are not a calendar but they ARE your daily planner’s best friend. PowerSheets help you decide what to put in your planner so instead of trying to do all the things, you can focus on doing the right things. (And if you are not new and are ready to order your 2019 planners, you can CLICK HERE and then come back and finish reading!)
Here are just a few ways the PowerSheets goal planner has worked for me this year:
*PowerSheets helped me face one of my most daunting goals- “Build ENDURANCE and Get Stronger”- by breaking it down into manageable goals that MEAN something to me. So instead of coming up with a specific number I was working toward, (whether that be number of reps, the number on the weights I’m using during those reps, number of miles, or number on a scale), I thought about WHY I want to get stronger and took baby steps from there. For me, my why had a lot to do with quality of life and setting a good example for my kids. After battling HG during my second pregnancy, my body was pretty wrecked for most of my daughter’s first year of life and I wanted to build on the work I was doing to feel more “human” again instead of like a zombie who was constantly exhausted and hurt every time I moved. I cannot express how daunting this goal seemed at the beginning of the year. I was still nursing at the time, and that made my lifestyle extremely sedentary (even with the magic of baby wearing!). In fact, I was looking back at my tending lists from the beginning of the year as preparation for this post, and I was reminded that back in March it was a major struggle to hit even 5k steps each day…. when it was on my tending list that month I was only hitting half the time and often that was due to frantically pacing the house at night while reading. If I had started with the expectation of the recommended 10k steps a day I really think I’d have given up and thrown my Fitbit out the window. Instead, I built it up little by little and now I’m at a daily goal of 10k a day and definitely. hitting it more often than not! That’s just one of MANY examples of how this system has helped me break my goals down into manageable steps.
*Powersheets reminded me how much DOES NOT MATTER in the long run. This is a daily struggle sometimes. It is so easy to look at what other people are doing and wonder if I’m making a mistake in how I’m investing my time or money or attention and it is SO HELPFUL to look back at my prep work and remember why I chose where I want to focus this year, and to also remember that I can choose something new to focus on as long as it is true to myself in the quiet moments of reflection I take each month to review what is working and what is not. This helps me not to get caught up in the comparison trap and to make my decisions intentionally.
*Powersheets help me cherish my time, be more present, and celebrate others- the wording for this point came from looking back at my prep work. I have set aside time for my family more than I ever would have without giving it the forethought it deserves. I have been able to sense hams and seasons and to commit to small time periods of being busy (AKA RIGHT NOW with rehearsals and teaching and holidays coming) because I know that I have planned times of rest coming and that the busy is not an interminable way of life like it used to be. This means I spend a LOT less time feeling guilty for “not being productive” or for resting, which was the story of my life when I was a perfectionist.
*I now celebrate progress that is ongoing- so the step count story above is a clear, measurable success. But there are other areas where the progress is harder to notice because there aren’t hard numbers associated with it. Cultivating habits that make our home more peaceful is one example of this. Some days it feels like I have not made any progress there, and then I think about the morning routine I had in place and how I have seen the difference it makes to our whole days if I take those 20 minutes in the morning to complete that routine that I intentionally practiced and shaped to my and my family’s needs.
*I learned from my prep work that I felt called to being open to career shifts and opportunities- several times my response to the prep questions included the words: “sharing my time and talents,” or, “sharing what I’ve learned” and that meant that I was in a place where I was ready to say yes to a few opportunities that came my way as far as teaching and directing that I might have declined otherwise, if I hadn’t put the time and thought into this area of my life way back in January before I even had these decisions in mind. It meant I was already back in touch with my creative life by the time theatre work was a major component of my life again. Powersheets helped me prepare well.
*Powersheets are responsible for reminding me to trust myself, and the work I do in the quiet patches where I can think and pray, when things get crazy and I’m so overwhelmed I want to throw my hands up and not do ANYTHING or else want to jump on the band wagon of comparison and do what everyone else is doing at the same pace they are even though are lives are inevitably quite different. When I’m exhausted and can’t even think, I have a gameplay already in place. When I want to start to do ALL THE THINGS, I have a guide to remind me why I’m focusing on some very specific things in this season. It hasn’t cured my anxiety, and I still fight daily with perfectionism, but this tool has helped significantly and I’m so grateful.
Other accomplishments thanks to my work with the Powersheets:
*READING: I realized over the past year or two that I missed reading- I was a little burned out after grad school and after easing back into reading last year, I set a goal of reading 50 books this year- approximately one a week not counting the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas. Well… We are not quite at the end of October, and thanks to being intentional about my morning and evening routines and embracing small pockets of time to rest and recover, I’ve read 57 books and counting!
*RUNNING: I went from being in pain if I ran for more than a minute to running a 5k this spring, and hopefully running a virtual 10k by the end of the year! I’ve also begun hydrating more, and even though I’m still not sleeping as well or as long as I’d like, I do have more energy than I did at the beginning of the year, which was one of the main motivations for this goal.
*FINANCIAL STABILITY: Paying down medical and credit card debt- I remember feeling SO FRUSTRATED when my daughter turned a year old in January that we still had so much debt from my pregnancy and her birth to pay down. The Finance Guide paired perfectly with my Powersheets to help us plan a strategy to tackle these debts without getting overwhelmed. Thanks to weekly budget check ins and sacrificing a LOT to focus on this goal, we are done with both of these payments and those particular debts are gone. And that allowed us to focus on other things that were important to us such as:
*JOY: in the form of going to two weddings this summer, both of which required significant travel- and not going back into debt for them! This would have been impossible a year ago. Focusing on what we’d set as goals forced us to be really upfront about HOW we could make these trips work- for example, we could not stay in our own separate lodging- which was fine, because sharing places to stay with those we love was a blast! It also helped us make the decision to drive to San Francisco instead of flying, which led to a whole lot of exploring and adventure- a way I embraced my goal of being thankful and cherishing everyday events- even in extraordinary situations and travel.
*FAITH: I’ve spent more time in prayer through the rosary and my Write the Word journals and discovered so much more about the saints. That has been so important for me this year. When my faith felt shaky, (and that’s a whole other post but I’ll openly admit it has this year) I had new tools to renew it and hold onto.
There are so many more little and big examples as told in the “story of my tending lists” when I looked them over again. One last takeaway, though, and this brings me back to why I’m so excited to start in on my new 2019 Powersheets is that this goal planner helps me KNOW HOW TO MOVE FORWARD. If I’ve been successful with a goal and I’m ready to take the next step or figure out a new focus, there are prompts to help me do that. If I’ve been unsuccessful and need to re-group and approach my goal from a new direction, the process of assessing my goals and creating my tending lists each month let me know my best next step and what to say YES and NO to each month. The seasonal refreshes sometimes even help me realize that I need to put some goals on the back burner for a season and return to them in a few months.
So that’s why I’m so excited about the 2019 Dated PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner Are you a Powersheets user? Thinking of becoming one? Do you have any questions for me about this system? I’d love to answer them and can’t wait to show you more about next year’s planner!
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