My #1 Goal Setting Tool

My #1 Goal Setting Tool

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here. I personally use and adore the PowerSheets and many products from the Cultivate What Matters Shop. I greatly appreciate you shopping with my link! 

Have you ever found something that you never knew you needed, but once you had it you couldn’t imagine life without it?

For me, that is the PowerSheets.

That may sound a bit dramatic to feel that way about a beautifully bound intentional goal setting planner, but if you own a set you totally understand.

When the happy mail arrives

If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ve surely seen my monthly posts about my progress and goals using the incredible PowerSheets.

I have always been a fan of planners and writing things down. For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed in the power of goals and the importance of setting them. Before the PowerSheets came into my life, I would write down my goals, sure, but they didn’t always have a true sense of purpose. I felt a little lost in setting them, so they weren’t as meaningful as I would hope.

My well-loved PowerSheets through the years: 2017, 2018, 2019

Last year, 2017, was my first experience with PowerSheets. I could hardly wait to start the prep work and get my goals ready! Although it was challenging and it certainly took a good amount of time to thoughtfully work through and prepare my goals, I was hooked. I finally had a vision for my goals and goal setting in general.

My PowerSheets feels like a cheerleader I can carry around with me. She encourages me to reach farther and picks me up when a goal isn’t accomplished or a dream changes direction.

Because of my work in my PowerSheets, I think about my goals, my time, and my daily actions differently. I’m better (and improving) at letting things go that don’t serve me in this season. I’m understanding it’s okay to say no because that means I can say yes to what’s more important. I’m learning and experiencing each day that little by little progress adds up!

I am a Cultivator.

I strive to cultivate beautiful things in my life.

Faith.
Relationships.
Health and wellness.
Financial peace.
Success at work.
Contentment.
Peace.
Rest.
Joy.

You know what the best part is? We don’t have to do this alone. You can be a Cultivator too and you can start right now. Do you need some guidance? Start with your very own set of PowerSheets. You can do things in these final few months of 2018 that will set up 2019 to be your best year YET!

#1: Order your PowerSheets Oct 24th at 10am EST!

#2: Dig into the work and get messy.

I promise you won’t regret it ❤

What I love most about the PowerSheets is the prep work. These are pages before you even get to setting your goals where you consider what’s working/not working, how different areas of your life are currently, and how you want to grow in the coming year.

The question that always makes me ponder hard and smile at the same time: Where do I want to be when I’m 80? My answer to that question helps me cultivate a life that adds up to 80 year old Rachel’s reality.

It’s hard to say where I would be today without my trusty PowerSheets, but I’m glad I don’t have to know. I believe this amazing tool has allowed me to reach higher and go farther than I would’ve done all on my own. It has helped me to realize goals and go after things that are scary, but ultimately so good!

Friend, if you’re feeling stuck in your goals, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a community of Cultivators waiting to cheer you on! Grab your goal setting tool and lets dig in.

Will you be grabbing your set of PowerSheets!? Let me know below so we can crush our goals together! Do you have any questions about how to cultivate what matters?

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Cultivating healthy phone boundaries

Cultivating healthy phone boundaries

We have a powerful tool right at our fingertips: our phone.

It’s an amazing source for connection, business, and entertainment. It’s also an unfortunate source of distraction as I’m sure we’ve all experienced. How many hours have you wasted mindlessly scrolling Instagram or checking your email for the 104th time? For me, it’s way too many to count.

I love those apps on my phone, but there’s a time and a place for using and enjoying them. I knew something about my habit needed to change when I was beginning and ending my day on my phone. That kept me up too late and took away precious time I could/should be using for other more important things.

Boundaries needed to be determined. 

The boundaries have been set and my relationship with my phone is so much healthier. To help make the boundary setting easier for you, I’m sharing nine tips that I used to make it happen.

Use an actual alarm clock, not your phone.

I’m not as self disciplined as I need to be first thing in the morning. If I use my phone as my alarm clock, it’s way too easy to just open it up and play with it in bed. That’s not how I want to use my first moments of the day. Spend the money and purchase an alarm clock — it’s well worth it.

Charge your phone away from your bed.

Since your phone is no longer your alarm clock, you can move it away from your nightstand. Put your phone to “bed” at your designated time and let it charge there. Ideally this is outside of your bedroom, but at the very least across your room. Removing it from your immediate space will keep you from mindlessly using it.

Set and respect time limits.

I highly recommend limiting your screen time. I’ve found it’s easiest for me when I create concrete “rules” (like no phone after 10pm) because it takes the thought out of it. Set time limits that work best for you. The blue light emitted from our devices negatively affects our sleep, so take that into consideration when choosing your phone’s bedtime.

Apple released a built in app called Screen Time and it’s the best! You can set time limits for certain apps, big ones for me being social networking and productivity (apps like email). It tracks your usage and will actually “lock” apps if you’ve gone over your limit. I have my time limit set from 10pm-10am so that I’m giving myself plenty of time at night and in the morning to take care of myself and have a break from my phone. If you have an iPhone, this is a must! I’ve heard of other apps and websites that do similar functions, but I love that it’s just built into the phone’s software.

Unfollow/unsubscribe/delete.

Clean up your digital life. Are you following someone you don’t enjoy seeing? Unfollow. Are you getting emails that you always delete? Unsubscribe. Are there apps on your phone that you never use? Delete. You’ll spend less time on your phone when you’re not having to sort through so much extra stuff.

Turn off push notifications.

If you’re anything like me, you feel a sudden need to check your phone when a notification comes through. The point of push notifications is to grab your attention and make you click through to whatever it’s notifying you about. Use your phone on your own time and desire, so say goodbye to those push notifications. You can check in when you want and the notifications will still be there.

Practice social media/phone free time.

It’s a great habit to practice social media free days and phone free time. For my husband and I, date nights are generally phone free. We don’t mind a quick Instagram story to share something cool we’re doing or grabbing a photo to document the fact that we dressed up. BUT we don’t want to be the couple that’s spending their whole dinner with faces in the phones. The best things in life are experienced away from our phones.

Schedule posts in advance.

You might be someone that runs a small business and absolutely needs to use your phone — I totally get it! Try creating and scheduling your posts (social media, blog, podcast, etc) in advance and then set aside some time to engage on that post once it’s live. You’ll be more intentional with your time and actually free yourself from feeling like you need to be glued to your phone.

Enjoy phone free hobbies.

Get outside. Read a physical book. Play a board or card game. Take your dog on a walk. Put the phone down and enjoy. And don’t feel the pressure to pick up the phone to share about what you’re doing with all your friends. It still happened even if you didn’t share it.

Seek accountability.

Accountability can be with another person or with your phone itself. The Screen Time app I was talking about provides a huge source of accountability for me. It literally “locks” my apps at a certain time so I can have downtime. It’s helpful to share your goals for healthy boundaries with someone else because they may have good ideas to overcome your struggles and can encourage you to be phone free when you’re together. I believe accountability is always a good thing when we’re talking about something we want to improve.

There ya have it! Nine tangible tips and my favorite tool to help you cultivate healthy phone boundaries. Is this an area you struggle in? Which tip will you implement first?

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Flourishing Contentment: The Challenge

Flourishing Contentment: The Challenge

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

I have found the best way for me to overcome a bad habit and cultivate a good habit is to participate in a challenge. Sometimes that’s a challenge that I’m doing alone. Sometimes that’s a challenge I’m doing with others. Regardless, I love having a goal to focus on and a set time period to push for it.

It can be overwhelming to try to overhaul our life for forever, but we can make changes for a set period of time and see how it works. Usually it sticks or at least moves me closer towards the ultimate goal.

Spending money used to be a major bad habit. I would mindlessly spend (usually on a credit card), but it was never fulfilling. The moment of opening a new Amazon package would bring a moment of happiness and then that would fade. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve noticed that shopping still has grips on my heart and happiness. The social media comparison certainly doesn’t help.

I’ve been wanting to do a challenge like this for a while, but I always thought “oh this isn’t the best time.” As with anything, there will never be a perfect time, so might as well go for it! So here we are: The Flourishing Contentment Challenge.

To put it simply, this is 30 days of no new stuff and minimizing the stuff you already have in order to make space for peace, joy, and contentment. I was inspired by Nancy Ray’s Contentment Challenge and The Minimalists’ Minimalism Game and thought it would be brilliant to blend the two and put my flourishing spin on it.

The Commitment

  • I commit to not purchasing anything new for 30 days. I am blessed and already have all the things I need. 
  • I commit to decluttering my home little by little for 30 days. I am blessed and have way more than I need.

Read the guidelines below for more information about how we are going to make these two commitments happen.

The Guidelines

  • Determine your why for completing this challenge
    It doesn’t have to be anything grand (although it can be), but having a why will help carry you through the 30 days. It can be something simple like “I want to see if I can do it” or something deep like “I use shopping as a way of coping with stress or sadness and I want to break the chains.” This is totally up to you, but take some time to think about what’s drawing you to this challenge.
  • Prepare in advance
    Prepare your heart and your actual space. Do any last minute shopping. This is not a last minute splurge shopping trip (we’re breaking up with that habit, remember?), but an opportunity to get items you actually need. If there are others living in your home, have a discussion with them about your intentions and goals for this challenge. Set a date to begin and put it on the calendar.
  • Choose something inspirational to consume
    This may be a book, podcast, blog, or YouTube channel. Whatever you choose, try not to purchase it. Maybe it’s something you already own or you can borrow from a friend. The library is an incredible resource! Podcasts, blogs, and YouTube videos are free. Some of my favorites are The Joy of Less by Francine Jay (book), A Simplified Life by Emily Ley (book), and The Rachel Cruze Show (YouTube).
  • Gifts + necessities are okay
    Please continue to purchase food and needed items from the grocery store. Buy your mother a thoughtful gift for her birthday. The point is not to completely cut down your lifestyle or refrain from celebrating loved ones, but to reset your heart when it comes to stuff. With this challenge in mind and the shift it causes, I can pretty much guarantee you will shop differently.
  • Replace your tendency to shop with something fulfilling
    When we’re trying to cultivate a new habit, it’s important to replace the “bad” with something “good.” We’re taking away shopping from our life for 30 days, so that’s going to leave a hole that will be filled. Lets fill it intentionally. This may be a hobby, prayer, journaling, a walk outside. Whatever sounds enjoyable and fulfilling to you.
  • Simplify your space
    Each day of the challenge you will declutter an item, but this will increase each day. For example, on day 1 of the challenge you will declutter 1 item; day 2 = 2 items; day 3 = 3 items; day 9 = 9 items; day 30 = 30 items. Make sense? Anything, big or small, can go! Donate, sell, or trash.

The less clutter, the more breathing room you have for what matters. -Emily Ley

Are you ready to truly cultivate peace and contentment? Let me know in the comments below when you will begin this challenge. I believe it has the power to shift your heart and create a happier home.

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September Progress | October Goals 2018

September Progress | October Goals 2018

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

Happy October, friends. I love this season more and more as I get older. Summer is certainly fun, but fall has a special kind of magic. I’m a fan of changes: weather, seasons, focus. It feels fresh and I’m a fan.

We’re officially within the last 90 days of 2018 — can you believe it!? My PowerSheets help me stay laser focused on what’s most important which becomes even more crucial as we glide into the holiday season. I feel good about the progress I made in September and I’m fired up about the goals I have set for October.

September Progress

Monthly Goals

  • Budget communicationWe’re in a good rhythm and still going strong. We’re working towards our savings goals and are making good progress already.
  • Read book: I actually read two books in September. Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig since I had just finished my second round of Whole30. I also read Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker. I enjoyed both for different reasons. Both encouraged me — the first more practically and the second through stories and good truth.
  • Friend date: Being intentional with my friends and cultivating relationships is important to me. I understand it’s not going to fall into my lap, so we have to make an effort to reach out and then follow through on the plans we make. Coffee and dinner dates are so sweet with girlfriends.
  • Simplify a space: It’s overwhelming to make a goal to “declutter the house.” Like when would that ever get done?? Writing out all the different spaces in our home where clutter accumulates (closets, drawers, cabinets, rooms, etc) and then choosing a space to focus on makes it possible. In September I tackled our hall closet upstairs and my office. Little by little progress adds up in every area.
  • Growth + progress at work: I’m learning and growing a little bit each day. There’s of course still so much I don’t know, but I’m learning.
  • Nurture plants: I was worried about how my outdoor plants would do during the hurricane, but luckily they all did pretty well. My gorgeous yellow/pink potted plant got wind blown since I put them back out too early, but I think they’ll be okay. Plant mom in progress!
  • Begin new small group season well: Our small group is back up and running since our summer break. It’s so sweet to have this weekly gathering in our lives again. It also encourages me to go deeper in weekly sermons since we’re doing a message based study. All around good stuff.
  • Create healthy phone boundaries: I’m going to do a whole post on this soon since I think it’s such a struggle spot for so many of us. Although I wasn’t good at actually implementing, I created some phone boundaries that I want to exist in my life. Now to work on cultivating them.

Weekly Goals

  • Be curious — ask good questions — Achieved 4/4 weeks
  • Speak up for myself — Achieved 4/4 weeks
  • Rest — do nothing — Achieved 3/4 weeks
  • Blog post published x2 — Achieved 4/4 weeks
  • Mindful spending — Achieved 4/4 weeks
  • Life giving routine — Achieved 4/4 weeks

Using my voice well has been a theme lately. Using my voice to ask good questions, to speak up for myself, and to share my thoughts and encouragement right here through written words. I’m learning about how our words have the power of life or death. I want mine to bring life. Doing this well doesn’t happen in a month. It’ll take more time to be mindful of it and practice. It’s worth the time it takes because I believe it’s so important to use the voice and platform we’ve been entrusted with well.

Daily Goals

  • Pray with E — Achieved 26/30 days
  • Love E well — Achieved 8/24 days
  • Bible plan — Achieved 30/30 days
  • WTW (Write the Word) Journal — Achieved 27/30 days
  • Dental care — Achieved 30/30 days

Loving Eric well was a challenge we did in September inspired by Rachel & Dave Hollis. I’m not going into detail here, but it definitely challenged us. Although we were far from perfect with it (33% accomplishment), it still brought us closer and improved our communication. That was eye-opening to me. Even when I’m not perfect, even when I “miss” way more than half, goodness can still come from it. It’s easy to look back and see how far off you were, but what if you looked back to see how far you have came? 

October Goals

Monthly Goals

  • Last 90 Days Challenge
  • Add $2,000 to savings — budget communication
  • Contentment Challenge
  • Parade of Homes — represent well
  • Growth at work — 3 sales
  • Simplify a space
  • Celebrate + Share PowerSheets Launch
  • Create “Facts of Life” book
  • Create “Personal Timeline”
  • Dream about future

Weekly Goals

  • Speak life to/over Eric
  • Be an encouragement
  • Blog post published + shared intentionally 
  • Use my voice — boldly + mindfully
  • Rest + care
  • Cultivate healthy phone boundaries

Daily Goals

Your steam may be running low, but don’t let all that motivation and intention drift away until New Year’s Day. There’s nothing special about January 1st (except that it’s my birthday, so that’s pretty special). Your life is happening right now. Each day is a new opportunity, lets use it.

What will you do with these last 90 days? We are pushing forward together! ❤

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September 2018 Round Up

September 2018 Round Up

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

We are officially moving into the final quarter of 2018 — can you believe it!? September felt a little wild, especially with a major hurricane thrown into the middle of it. I hope that your month was productive, restful, and fabulous! Lets do a little recap of September!

3 things I’m excited about

  1. Football is back! I know it’s been back for a bit, but we finally made it to a NCSU football game, so it feels real! I have so many fun memories involving games (partly thanks to the tailgating) and I love being able to make more. We weren’t able to make it to any last year, so hopefully we can do better this season. Go Wolfpack! Go Panthers!
  2. Parade of Homes: The Triangle Parade of Homes kicks off in October. Our model home is a part of the parade, so that’s going to mean lots of people visiting our community. Hoping our beautiful model in WoodCreek will bring home the gold!
  3. PowerSheets 2019 Launch: If you’ve been around here for more than 5 minutes, you have heard of PowerSheets. In case you’re new, it’s essentially a goal planner. It’s one of my favorite resources ever because it encourages me to really dig into what matters most to me. It has been a catalyst for great changes in my life and I cannot say enough good things. The 2019 PowerSheets will be launching October 24th! They sell out every year, so I highly recommend you grab yours ASAP!

Quote I’ve been meditating on

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” -1 Corinthians 16:13-14

The Word is full of truth and wisdom that I want to carry with me. This verse in particular stuck out to me during my quiet time and I thought it would be the perfect words to meditate on for this month. Or really any month.

Be on your guard.
Stand firm in the faith.
Be courageous.
Be strong.
Do everything in love. 

I want my life to be an example of this, especially the last part. If you do everything in love you can’t go wrong. ❤

Who or what I’m adoring

Mesh laundry bags

This is a very adult thing to be excited about, but hey, that’s where I’m at. And I’m all about little hacks that make life easier. Have you ever put something into the dryer that you didn’t mean to because you missed it when moving clothes over? It used to happen to me all the time, specifically with black clothes cause they just blend together. I would have to carefully move over one piece at a time to pull anything out that needed to be air dried, but of course I would miss something. Mesh laundry bags to the rescue! Simply put the air-dry clothes into the bags, wash as normal and then pull the bags out when it’s time to move the load over and hang up the clothes. How did I live so long without these??

Favorite memory from September

Hurricane Florence came through the Carolinas in mid-September. They were originally calling for the eye of the storm to go right over Raleigh (where we live), but the storm shifted and we got minimal damage, thank God. Many parts of our state were not as lucky, but it has been so amazing to see the community come together. People everywhere have seeking out ways to donate and serve to support the hurricane victims. My favorite memory from September was volunteering for Operation Airdrop with our small group.

We were scheduled to meet for small group as usual, but decided last minute our time would be better spent as a group at RDU collecting and preparing donations. I’m so glad we did! Volunteer pilots donated their time and planes to fly tons of food, water, and supplies to the areas that needed it most. So many communities weren’t accessible by road because of flooding and damage, so this was crucial. We were able to truly live out our church’s mission of loving people where they are. Ironically I also reconnected with a sorority sister who was a couple years ahead of me — what are the chances!? It feels good to serve others and do it alongside awesome people. We are still praying for our state and the rebuilding of communities and lives that are now taking place.

A good lesson I learned

Serve others however you can. It all adds up and makes a difference.

We all have gifts and resources that we can use to positively impact others. I can’t help everyone and fix every need, but when we come together, our efforts add up. You don’t have to wait for a tragedy or natural disaster — there are people all around that need you. Think small like a smile, conversation, or hug. Think big like a financial donation or providing a car to a family in need. No man is an island… we need each other. Serve and love — it’ll never be too small to make a difference.

In October…

I’m saying no to: isolation and loneliness.

I’m saying yes to: loving my people well.

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How to spend less + make progress in your finances

How to spend less + make progress in your finances

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a recovering shopaholic.

After graduating college and one job change, I found myself in a job that paid us weekly. Is that the best thing ever or what!? Money was coming in weekly. I wasn’t rich in any sense, but I felt like I was and I certainly spent like I was. Amazon orders and other online shopping boxes showed up at the apartment at least weekly. I didn’t keep a budget. I just spent what I wanted until I literally couldn’t spend anymore.

I had my wake up call when I had to ask my parents for money because I didn’t think I could make the next bill. My parents are gracious and loving, so they didn’t think twice about helping me, but I was a grown, college educated, employed woman who needed help from her parents because she wasn’t handling her money well.

If you are in that place, no judgement at all. I’ve been there, but you don’t have to stay there. Please, learn from my mistakes.

It’s really hard to make progress in our finances when there’s no extra money left over at the end of the month. Maybe you have debt payoff or savings goals — those can’t be met without excess money to go towards it.

One solution: spend less.

Another solution: earn more.

Best case scenario is to do both simultaneously, but if you have to choose just one for now, choose to spend less. You may think that’s impossible. Keep reading because I’m giving you TWELVE tips that I have personally used to get out of debt and save more than I ever thought was possible for me. And I still use these tips. Are you ready to start making progress on your financial goals!? These are in no specific order except for #1…

#1: Budget + Track Spending

If you do nothing else, do this. Budgeting and tracking makes the biggest difference because you’re being mindful of where your money is going. And now that you’re paying attention, you’ll be more wise with it. You may even feel like you’ve gotten a raise! Once those numbers are written down, you can make the choices about where your next dollar will go. “Is it worth going out to eat when I have food at home instead of putting this $30 towards my goal?” That’s up to you.

#2: Utilize a wish list

My husband and I follow Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, so this is something I started doing once our debt was paid off and we had fun money to spend again. I made a note in my phone called “Wishes” and anytime I thought of something I wanted, I’d add it to that list. This gave me the space to really consider if I wanted/needed that item — many times the want for it would fade. I do the same with my Amazon Wish List. I don’t need to buy everything immediately when I want it. Impulse purchase cure.

#3: Don’t kill time in stores

This may seem obvious, but I would still do it. I would use Target or HomeGoods as a way to kill time during my lunch break or waiting for an appointment. We both know you never walk out of those stores empty handed. So, stop flirting with the temptation!

#4: Create + stick to a shopping list

Again, seems obvious, but I used to grocery shop without a list. That was dreadful because I would forget something and purchase way more than I needed. Now I go into stores with a purpose.

#5: Utilize reusable products

What kind of things do you buy often that you could switch out for something reusable? It’s probably the little things, but those add up. I love using straws for my drinks, but I hated having to buy them every month. I also hated the extra waste (#savetheturtles), so I spent $7 on Amazon for 4 stainless steel straws that will last me forever! I bought some magical microfiber cloths to clean my surfaces instead of having to use paper towels and cleaning supplies. It may cost a little more upfront, but it’ll help both your wallet and the planet in the long run.

#6: DIY

This can be applied to any area of your life. Instead of purchasing something, can you make it/do it yourself for free or cheaper? The first example that comes to mind is fruit/veggie cleaner. Instead of purchasing a $15 bottle, I make my own with products already in my kitchen. Another recent example: a tree fell in our backyard a few weeks ago during Hurricane Florence. We could have spent almost $5,000 to have a company remove it, but we decided to get a little help and do it ourselves. It costed us an afternoon — worth it.

#7: Declutter

If you want to change your life and your finances, decluttering is a must! You probably don’t realize the amount of stuff you already have. Why else would you buy 7 of essentially the same black t-shirt?? When you declutter, you will find things you forgot you had that are actually useful to you and you’ll see the things you do have (that you won’t need to purchase). Plus you won’t get suckered into buying all those fun organizational tools. You don’t need em if you don’t have so much crap.

#8: Meal plan + prep

Another one of those things that will take some time and energy upfront, but will save you so much! Meal plan, make your grocery list based on that plan/what you already have, grocery shop, then prep it. This simple rhythm will make your weeks smoother and more enjoyable. You won’t waste food because you’re buying what you need and using it, you won’t eat out as much, and you’ll eat healthier. All around winning!

#9: Get creative with dates

Spouse dates, friend dates — think outside the box. It doesn’t have to be dinner at a restaurant to be meaningful. Go for a walk. Cook dinner at home. Bring over a bottle of wine to your girlfriend’s house and catch up on their comfy couch. Have a movie night. There are many ways to spend time together that are free or super affordable.

#10: Be resourceful

Use the things you already have. I haven’t bought gift wrapping in years except for maybe a few times for wedding gifts. In a large bin I keep gift wrapping (bags, tissue paper, gift card holders, etc) that I’ve been given and use them for gifting others. I remove the labeling and clean out glass jars from candles, cooking supplies, sauces to use for storage. I check out books from my local library instead of buying every one I want to read. Little things add up.

#11: Simplify

Along the lines of decluttering, simplify your space, your schedule, your life. You don’t have to say yes to every event or get together. You don’t have to decorate for every single holiday and season. You don’t have to fill up your walls and counters with home decor. It’s okay to remove things from your plate.

#12: Contentment

Once I started being grateful for the things I already had, something in my heart shifted. As Rachel Cruze says, “live your life, not theirs.” You gotta do what’s best for you. Things will not make you happy. Doing more will not make you happy. Joy comes from within and I believe that starts with being content with your life.

Lets be free from the mindset that we must spend money to be meaningful, to have fun, to display our value. Money is a powerful tool, but when we use it mindlessly we hurt ourselves and others. You get to choose how you spend it. How you spent it demonstrates your priorities.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
-Matthew 6:19-21

In October, I want to challenge myself specifically in the area of contentment. I’ll be sharing all the details about this Contentment Challenge in an upcoming post, but if this sounds like something you want to grow in, stick around. I would love to do this with others!

Will you be using any of these tips? Share your favorite below ❤

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20 of my favorite podcasts

20 of my favorite podcasts

I love podcasts! I don’t remember the first one I listened to or how I got introduced to the podcast world, but I’ve haven’t looked back since. Free content on literally any subject you can think of — what more could you ask for!? I use podcasts as an opportunity for growth in different areas such as personal, health, and business. They’re also just entertaining! I listen to episodes while I’m getting ready, doing chores, driving — pretty much any time I’m doing a relatively mindless activity. It’s a great way to productively multitask. I know multitasking isn’t really a thing, but in this one case… it is!

You may be new to the world of podcasts or you’re just looking for some new episodes to check out. There are tons of podcasts out there and it can be hard to figure out which are worth listening to, so I’m here to help! These are the podcast that make me most excited when a new episode is available. Listen + enjoy!

Personal Development Podcasts

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Rise Together Podcast with Rachel & Dave Hollis

By now you’ve likely heard of Rachel Hollis and her best selling book, Girl Wash Your Face. Rachel and her husband, Dave, are goals. Although I’m sure #goals takes lots of hard work every day. They are open and honest about their own struggles and take every opportunity to share the lessons learned. No topic is off limits (they did an entire episode on sex sooo I really mean that). I enjoy hearing the perspective from both sides. If you’re striving to be a better person, married or not, give this a listen.

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Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis

Lets be real: I can’t get enough Rachel Hollis.

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Girls Night with Stephanie May Wilson

Girls Night feels like an actual coffee date chat with a girlfriend. Stephanie interviews awesome ladies and has truthful conversations. I love that she’s a Christian, but her beliefs don’t feel forced upon others. She discusses topics like healthy relationships, finding a mentor, friendship, depression, and business. I’m a little bit better after each episode because of her loving wisdom.

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin

The title of this podcast pretty much explains the way I feel about it. Gretchen Rubin and her little sister, Elizabeth Craft, are the co-hosts of this sweet show. The sisters share practical and manageable advice about happiness and good habits. My favorite part of each episode is probably the “try this at home” segment where they share a tip or hack to try. I’m all about some life hacks!

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Oprah’s Master Class

Anything Oprah does is gold, right?? This is no different. Oprah brings on people from various arenas: actors, musicians, public figures, athletes — the masters of their work. People like Justin Timberlake, Reba McEntire, Shaquille O’Neal, and Dwayne Johnson. Oprah jumps in from time to time to provide a background story or other helpful information, but otherwise it’s a one sided conversation of life lessons and personal insight.

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Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Again, Oprah = gold. This one is an interview style conversation with her guest.

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Over It & On With It with Christine Hassler

Christine Hassler is a life coach. She coaches a caller live, providing a blend of practical and spiritual advice to help both the caller and listener. It’s so interesting to hear about the challenges for which the caller needs coaching and then how Christine walks with them through it. She also does a “Coach’s Corner” where she will speak solo or bring on a guest to discuss a topic. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology, so this is right up my alley!

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That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

This podcast is truly fun! I think Annie is hilarious and her bubbly, Enneagram 7 personality shines through! She’s a Christian author and speaker — one I’m so glad I found. All guests are her friends (or people she wants to be friends with), so the conversations feel effortless. She’s a lover of the Enneagram and soccer, so don’t be surprised if these come up in most of the conversations.

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The Dave Ramsey Show

If you need help with your finances (lets be honest, doesn’t pretty much everyone??) you should subscribe to this one. Dave answers caller questions about money and celebrates people as they come on to do their debt free screams. I’ve learned a lot through this free resource — it has actually been a big part of our debt free journey.

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Typology with Ian Morgan Cron

If you’re interested in learning more about the Enneagram, this is it! In case that word is new to you, the Enneagram is pretty much a personality test, but that’s way oversimplifying it. Ian speaks with guests through the lens of the Enneagram typing system, discussing how to use it as a tool to become our best, most authentic selves. I’m here for it.

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Your Kick-Ass Life with Andrea Owen

Andrea is another life coach that I love. She’s no nonsense and isn’t afraid to speak about any topic. She’s open about her past struggles with alcohol and addiction and is someone that believes in showing up and doing the work. She provides self-help in a easy-to-digest, no sugar-coating it kind of way that I love!

Faith Podcasts

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Hope Community Church Podcasts

Hope Community Church is our home church in Apex, North Carolina. I try to attend the live service as often as I can, but sometimes I’m not able to or I want to listen to the message again. I do miss the worship music when I’m not able to be there in person, but I love that these episodes jump right into the teaching.

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Your Move with Andy Stanley

The hope behind Andy’s messages is that you will “discover how to make better decisions and live with few regrets.” Yes please! Andy Stanley is a senior pastor and he’s one of my favorite speakers. The topics can get pretty heavy, but he always balances that by bringing in humor and personal stories to engage and teach. These weekly 30 minute episodes are the gut checks I need to help stay on track with my life and faith.

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The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast

I will never stop needing wisdom from women who have gone before me. Proverbs 31 Ministries provides many amazing resources for women who are trying to grow in their relationship with Jesus and this is one of my favorites. Every episode features a variety of teachings on something valuable, so no matter your age, background, or life stage, you will walk away with something good.

Health Podcasts

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The Health Code with Sarah & Kurt

Sarah and Kurt are an Australian couple that strive to live their healthiest, happiest lives. I could listen to them talk all day because of their Aussie accents and lingo. While they’re not technically experts, they share openly about things that work (and don’t work) for them, which I find incredibly helpful. Self-care, rest, going hard in the gym, nutrition, skin care, relationships and more.

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The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson

You may have heard of Shawn Stevenson from his hit book, Sleep Smarter. If you haven’t heard of him, you have now and should probably learn more. He’s an author and nutritionist that has lived his own transformation from illness to wellness. Shawn is an excellent role model and uses his own insights to help us live our best lives. Although the episodes are generally quite long (over an hour), they’re entertaining and full of useful information.

Business Podcasts

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The Buyer’s Mind with Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is a real estate expert and trainer. I actually learned about him through his books and training at work. I was thrilled when I found out he has a podcast! The episodes are usually short and sweet, always with at least one helpful takeaway. You don’t have to be in the real estate industry to benefit from his insight — any sales professional will gain from time listening to Jeff.

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The Brian Buffini Show

Brian Buffini is in the real estate space, so that immediately drew me to him. I just also love his Irish accent. He is the classic American rags-to-riches story and we can all learn something from his work ethic, successes, and mistakes. He shares interviews as well as solo episodes of “how-tos,” encouragement, and lessons learned.

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Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher

Jenna is a wedding photographer turned business queen. She’s real and full of so much good entrepreneurial information. I love her show because it isn’t always just business talk. She also discusses subjects that matter to her like pregnancy (and their heartbreaking struggles with miscarriages), body image, and self care. She is full of girl power, spunk, and empowerment.

Most likely to binge-listen Podcast

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Up and Vanished with Payne Lindsey

I binge-listened to season 1 (24 full episodes + many bonus episodes) in a matter of a couple weeks if that says anything about how interesting this show is. Payne is an Atlanta filmmaker turned amateur investigator. In season 1 he decided to investigate an 11-year-old cold case in Georgia to see what information he could gather. The podcast follows his investigation and aims to share the true story of the missing teacher/beauty queen. Currently downloading available season 2 episodes…

What podcasts are you loving!? Share in the comments below — I go through them so fast, so I’m always looking for new, good ones!

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