It’s the first week of April, my neighbor’s tulips are blooming, and a thick green film of pollen is covering every exposed outdoor surface.
That can only mean one thing: Spring is here!
Well, I mean, technically it is. Today as I write this, it’s freezing cold and pouring rain…but I’m not mad about it, if it washes away all the nasty pollen.
Spring brings longer days and (when the skies clear up) playing outside, fresh fruit slowly starting to appear in the stores again, and (hopefully soon) the boxing up of boots and coats to make room for sandals and sunscreen.
This year it also means it’s time for my Spring Goal Refresh in my Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters.
I wrote about setting up my Powersheets back at the first of the year. For the past three months they have proven to be a fantastic tool for narrowing my focus and increasing my progress toward the goals I want to be cultivating. The Spring Goal Refresh was no exception.
Am I the only person who finds the extended afternoon sunlight exposing the all the places where dust has hidden in quiet shadows all winter?
Spring is a good time to shift things around, clean behind the couch, and wipe down all the cabinets, sure. But the Spring Goal Refresh focused more on clearing internal clutter than it did on external clutter.
One particular area of recommendation is Internet Clutter. This is something I talked about last year on Instagram when I hosted the 35 Days of Intention Challenge (#35daysofintention). Some ways to clear internet clutter (recommended in Powersheets) are:
- Try a social media free weekend. (I also recommend this, and wrote about the first time I tried it here.)
- Gut your social media feeds and blog lists. (I talked about Muting and Unfollowing accounts on Instagram and Facebook during the challenge. It’s a good way to quiet your social media and reduce stress without getting off the platforms altogether.)
- Unsubscribe from emails. I actually took a looooong day over Christmas to do this, as well as clearing out my overflowing inbox. (Y’all there were emails in there from a job I had seven years ago. Buh-bye!) But it’s so easy to throw your email address in a form to get a freebie, and the next thing you know…you’re back in over your head.
- Organize and simplify your computer desktop. I need to organize my entire computer filing system. I’m currently using a desktop, but there are also important files on my old laptop. Consolidating all of that and organizing it sounds huge and overwhelming, but I’m sure it would make my life so much easier.
- Turn off notifications that distract you. I did this several weeks ago after starting to work through this article on optimizing your iphone use. I had to add back Badges on some apps, as I was missing stuff, but overall, the absence of those little red numbers hovering around my screen has helped lessen my stress tremendously. And I still want to work through the rest of that article as well.
After working through the Clutter Clearing worksheet, I jumped into the Goal Refresh. On these pages I was asked to rank my satisfaction with different areas of my life, on a scale of 1-10. I really like this process, because it forces me to honestly evaluate how I’m doing in my health, my relationships, my finances, and my work. When I’m tired, or stressed, it’s easy for me to buy into the lie that everything is terrible. But that’s simply not true. Rating things, explaining my reasons, and determining what I will say “yes” to, as well as what I will say “no” to in each area really brings things into perspective.
Another thing I love about Powersheets is how they help me discover truths inside of my own brain, which I haven’t even realized were there. As well as the Word of the Year I chose back in January (steward), the Spring Refresh asked me to choose a word for the next three months. When I first turned to the blank page, I had no idea what my word should be. But as I worked through the prompts, one word jumped out: consistency.
Stewardship requires consistency, and right now, there are multiple places in my life which would benefit from greater consistency. Having that one word as my focus helps me feel like a cohesive whole, rather than bits and pieces of a person being pulled in multiple directions. Whether it’s my health and wellness goals, my writing, my parenting, my marriage, or my friendships, consistency is the key to moving up into the next level of stewardship.
April’s Tending List
I haven’t shared my tending lists from January – March, because a lot of the items are personal or, perhaps, too dull for anyone to find interesting. But I added a couple things on April’s list that I wanted to share.
- Daily habits: In addition to keeping my Chronological Bible plan on my daily checklist, as well as working on Scripture memorization with Abby, I added the 100 Day Project to the list this month. I’ll be hand-lettering something every day and posting to my Instagram stories. Follow @theindecisivemama there to see them all!
- Weekly tasks: I have some basic things on the weekly list, such as taking a weekly social media break (usually on Sunday) and posting a new blog each Friday. I also put in reminders to check in with friends and family. Something I’m trying to add (but haven’t been too successful with yet,) is planning out my writing tasks in advance. It’s a work in progress, but I know it will make a huge difference if I can be consistent.
- Monthly action items: The first thing I listed this month was “take a podcast fast.” This is one of those things I felt like I needed to do a couple weeks ago, and have been trying to ignore. But with the encouragement to clear digital clutter this spring, I know it’s time. I love listening to podcasts, but if I’m filling my head with other people’s voices all day long, it’s easy for God’s voice to get lost in the chatter. Other items I’m hoping to tackle this month: research and writing the blog post I mentioned last week, as well as brainstorming a new idea which just came to me last week. There is also always more physical clutter to be cleared around here, so my next task in that arena will be my laundry room. Additionally, I’m hoping to be proactive with making plans for Abby’s Spring and Summer breaks, and finally get some reading done (I’ve finished exactly ONE book in 2019 so far.)
This list is maybe a bit ambitious (as has been the case every month so far) but I am trying to hold it loosely and remember the adage “progress over perfection.”
Greater consistency in all of these areas will lead to becoming a better steward of the resources and opportunities God has granted me. I’m excited to see what He’s growing in me as I grow in stewardship.