It’s no secret around here that I’m a big fan of setting goals.
It’s a concept that many people often associate with their jobs. My husband shares with me the business goals he sets for work each year.
But what about for your personal life? Is it worth it to set goals for just…yourself? And your family?
And furthermore, how does one go about that, exactly?
I’ve been setting personal goals for myself for several years now, and I’ve tried quite a few tools. One of the most unique ones is a workbook called PowerSheets.
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What Are PowerSheets?
PowerSheets are a collection of goal-setting pages in a beautiful workbook. I like to think of them as having a paper life coach. They help you think through your priorities, get a vision and make goals, and then work towards them in practical steps.
Here’s how the Cultivate What Matters shop describes its popular product:
Thousands of women all over the world have made their goals happen with PowerSheets. Created by Lara Casey, best-selling author of Make It Happen and Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life.
- A proven process that works.
- 12 months of intentional goal-setting worksheets to help you make your goals a reality.
- The signature PowerSheets Prep™️ process to uncover the right goals for your season of life.
- Trusted goal coaching on every page so you stay motivated and on track.
- Exclusive seasonal worksheets to refresh and refocus your goals each season.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
I thought so. So I jumped on the Cultivate wagon in 2018 and dug in. I liked PowerSheets so much that I’ve used them every year since (yes, especially in this crazy year of 2020).
Getting Started: Brain Dumping and Life Assessment
If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going… – Terry Pratchett
If you’ve ever tried setting goals before, one easy way to get stuck right from the start is having no clue what direction you want your life to go.
So the first step is assessing where you’ve been.
The first several pages in the PowerSheets workbook are life assessment pages. They consist of open-ended questions about your personality, your hopes and dreams, how well the past year went and some ideas for what you want to do in the coming year.
There’s also a lot of open space to get messy, which I always appreciate.
This is one of my favorite parts of the workbook because you have permission to get to know yourself a little better. Why do you think those online personality quizzes are so much fun? I think it’s because we like to understand the way we think and act so that we can make the best use of our preferences and talents.
By knowing your strengths, weaknesses, who you are, how you’re motivated and where you’ve been, the future becomes a lot clearer.
The next step is to prioritize what’s most important. You start out by thinking about what you want your life to be like when you get to the end. What’s going to matter most then?
With that in mind, you work your backward. What can you focus on in the coming year that can push you towards that long-term vision?
My only critique is that this timeframe feels like a bit of a stretch. I hope I’ve got a few decades in between now and then!
I personally like to add intermediate steps, such as where I want to be in 5 years, as well as major milestones like when my kids graduate high school. But the PowerSheets workbook provides the space and flexibility to do that.
Choosing a Word of the Year
I’ve heard of people that use a “word of the year,” and honestly I’ve always thought it was a bit hokey. I mean seriously, summarizing an entire year of your life under one banner word or phrase? How is that practical?
But, since I was so impressed with the process already, I decided to run with it.
Based on the personal assessment pages, the word I landed on in 2018 was connection. I felt like it applied to the areas of my life where I was lacking.
Surprisingly, I found it extremely helpful. Not because the word in itself was so amazing, but because with all of the other tools in PowerSheets, I was able to stay rooted in it.
I posted this word in my kitchen where I keep all of my household paperwork. While I didn’t think about it constantly, it was a good visual reminder about my priorities. It was also useful whenever I revisited my PowerSheets on a monthly and quarterly basis.
What surprised me most was how much God led me to grow in connection throughout the year, in ways I didn’t expect or plan. I became more comfortable in getting vulnerable, crying without shame and giving my heart in scary ways.
In the years that have followed, I never regretted choosing a word. While I don’t think about it constantly, it does help me stop, reflect and focus on what matters to me.
My words for the past several years have been:
- connection (2018)
- rhythm (2019)
- freedom (2020)
Getting Intentional with Goal-Setting
After clearing up where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to go in a general sense, the PowerSheets workbook walks you through the nitty-gritty of goal-setting.
To start, you write out several specific goals you want to work on in the coming year. Then you break them down into smaller steps.
I used to do ten goals, and it felt really overwhelming to me. I can’t focus on that many big things at once. In the 2021 edition, it encourages you to do eight MAXIMUM (and you can always adjust later).
Whatever the number of goals you set, the targeting questions in Powersheets help you focus on the most important ones first, based on your current priorities, and then work on others later.
Looking book at the goals I set at the beginning of 2018, I was a little surprised that I only met two of them completely. That hurt my perfectionist heart a little bit.
But that didn’t mean I didn’t accomplish anything! I ended up dropping one of my goals completely, as it didn’t make sense anymore. As for the rest, I made progress significant progress on every one. Furthermore, as the year went on, I got better at defining my goals in a way that was realistic and relevant.
Each quarter in PowerSheets, you either recommit to your original goals or change them. As life shifts, so does your focus.
Overall, what really impressed me was that the process helped me appreciate the journey more than the destination. This phrase has helped me a lot:
In the following years, I haven’t felt like I HAD to fill in all of the spaces. I must be getting over my perfectionism
What I’ve loved over time is that I can tweak my PowerSheets to suit my needs. They’re here to serve me, not the other way around.
Staying Focused Day After Day, Week After Week, Month After Month
You know how it goes; you can get really excited about making some big changes and focusing on goals at the beginning of the year, only to lose momentum after a month or two. You then spend the majority of the year drifting through life, until you start all over again.
To combat this tendency, the PowerSheets workbook has the tools to keep you focused on your goals all year long:
- Seasonal reflection: Every three months, you can hit the “reset” button on your goals and on your life, as you monitor your long-term progress.
- Monthly reflection: Before you make your plans each month, you can reflect on how the last month went. You also look at your big goals and prioritize what you want to focus on next. There’s lots of space for brain-dumping so that you can clear the clutter and let go of the things you’re worried about that won’t really matter in the long-run.
- Tending list: This is a perforated sheet that you can tear out and keep wherever it’s convenient. You keep track of your progress, including monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals that help you work towards your big goals.
This system is brilliant. It’s simple, not overwhelming, and motivating all year long.
I admit, I haven’t been a perfect student using the tending list. I sometimes go over a week without glancing at it. Nevertheless, it still keeps me a lot more focused than I would be without it.
Another cool thing about the PowerSheets workbook is that it is not a daily calendar planner.
I love this because it’s versatile enough to use with the planner of your choice. I use a combination of Google Calendar and bullet journaling, and PowerSheets help me get the most out of them. (I explain my planning system more in the Ultimate Time Management Guide for Moms.)
The 2020 and 2021 editions do have month at a glance calendar pages, but to be honest I don’t refer to them much (I’d rather look at my wall calendar). But if you like to have everything in one place, those are handy.
Beyond the very thorough worksheets, you get several other perks with PowerSheets:
- A beautiful design and stickers galore: This is not a big deal to me, but if fun and colorful aesthetics are important to you, you won’t be disappointed.
- Wildcard pages: You can download customizable pages to insert into your PowerSheets, including budget pages, meal plans, grocery lists, health worksheets…you name it! I didn’t really take full advantage of these but would like to try more of them in the future.
- Support community: There’s an active PowerSheets Facebook group with over 12,000 members. So if you feel stuck or unmotivated you can just pop in there for two seconds. The Cultivate What Matters team also has a lot of resources that help you get the most out of your workbook.
- NEW in 2021: more robust quarterly goal planning pages. I’m thrilled with this feature, as I find that rehashing my goals quarterly helps keep me on target.
Are PowerSheets Worth It?
It’s obvious that I’m fan. But are PowerSheets a good choice for everyone?
The one-year PowerSheets workbook is not cheap, at $60 plus taxes and shipping. If your budget is tight, you may need to save up or ask for one as a gift.
To get the most out of it, you also should make a commitment to actually use it. And I’m not gonna lie; it takes time.
I personally need several hours to complete the assessment worksheets at the beginning of the workbook, and about an hour or two each month as I reflect on my progress.
PowerSheets are not for you if you’re not committed to investing time, energy and money in your personal growth. They are not magical and will not help you if you’re not willing to do the difficult work of self-examination, setting goals and following through.
If you’re the type of person who buys cool things but doesn’t use them, then you might want to think twice before ordering. Make sure you’re ready to put in the work.
PowerSheets are for you if you’re eager to live more intentionally and are committed to the investment that process takes.
Not Quite Ready for PowerSheets?
If you’re intrigued by the goal-setting process but not ready to invest, you may like the simple goal-setting workbook that you can download from my collection of free resources. This can point in the direction of living more intentionally until you’re ready to take the next step.
Leave a comment: What do you think about PowerSheets? Do you have any more questions about them?