Who’s Ready for a Refresh?

Wow! We have made it through the first 90 days of the year! How are you feeling? I know that I have been feeling really in need of a refresh (and not solely because I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to in this first quarter of 2021) but because I have come to the realization that I need to re-prioritize my goals and areas of my life.

Today I want to walk through my Spring Refresh with you in full detail rather than just leave you with the glimpse you get into my personal powersheets on the podcast – so grab your powersheets, your favorite pens, and let’s dive in a make a mess! (Don’t know what powersheets are? Start here!)

In this blog, I am going to share my refresh in more detail and show you how to break down your refreshed goals!

If you haven’t heard the most recent episode of chronically cultivating and want to not only hear about how I did my Spring Refresh, but hear from the rest of The PSP Gals – listen to our Spring Refresh podcast episode below!

What I love about the 90 day refreshes in our powersheets is the ability to take a step back and reevaluate.

Maybe you are looking at your goals and are celebrating all you’ve accomplished, and it’s time to set new goals

Maybe your goals are growing well, but you want to change them up a bit to tailor them to your current season of life

Maybe you are looking at your 2021 prep work and feel like in 90 days your life looks entirely different and you want to do redo everything

No matter where you fall, this is exactly what the refresh is for.

Before we get started, I want to remind you that here, we wholeheartedly believe that comparison is the thief of joy. Your powersheets and goals are going to look different than mine, just like mine are going to look different than yours. So I don’t want anyone to walk away from this conversation and go on to feel discouraged, because we are not about comparison here. So I just want to remind you, as an honorary PSP gal, that we don’t compare here. If we look at our refresh through the eyes of comparison, we are missing out on the good things that God has prepared for us. So I just want us to remember that and going into this conversation.

Cultivate What Matters completely refreshed and redesigned these refresh sections in the 2021 powersheets edition, and I am in LOVE with these new changes!

Cultivated Life Evaluation Check In (pg. 74)

The most important thing for you to remember as you start this page (and work through the rest of this refresh) is that if you aren’t completely honest with yourself – you are not going to be able to be honest in your goals. If we can’t be honest with the goals we are setting, we are not only going to be less likely to complete them, but we will miss out on what God can do with us and probably set some unrealistic goals. So get vulnerable with yourself and be honest – no one has to see this page except you.

Also don’t be afraid to make this page your own! If the 1-10 scale doesn’t work for you, change what the 1 and the 10 mean! For instance, rating my health on a scale of 1-10 with “1 being unsatisfied and a big change needing to be made and 10 meaning things couldn’t be better” just isn’t going to work for me. The last thing I want to do is look at my body that lives with a progressive connective tissue disorder and rate it on a scale of 1-10. So I changed it, rather than focusing on how much I’ve declined, I gave myself a rating based on how well I am doing within these circumstances and through what I can control.

Prep Work Refresh (pg. 75)

One of the things that I find that is most helpful when doing this page is going back and looking at my original yes and no list. Because I think sometimes we can forget to flip back to our prep work – and there’s so much there that is so helpful!

So I just want to throw that out there that I would encourage you to go back to page 19 in your prep work. If you look at your month in reviews each month so far, you’re able to also look at what do wanted to say yes and no to and ask yourself, “how can you incorporate that into the next 90 days?”

Maybe there were things that you were originally saying yes to or saying no to that you want to flip around completely! I just think it’s really good to go back to that and look. I know for me this quarter, I am going to be really, really focused on re-prioritizing my time, my energy, and my spoons. So as you’re making your list, if you have not had a chance to go back and look at your past month in review pages or your original yes and no list, I think it will definitely help you focus because I know it really helped me to look back at what I wanted to do at the beginning of the of the year, and ask myself, “how can I carry that through now?”

For me this refresh, here is my Yes and No list:

What I’m saying Yes to:

  • Worship + Grace
  • Soaking Up Sunshine
  • Refreshing Boundaries, Accounts, and Priorities
  • Pacing Myself
  • Quite Time > Everything
  • Enjoy the Garden
  • Sabbath: Make Room for Rest + Grief
  • Refresh. Root. Rest. Repeat.
  • Discernment + Bold Prayers
  • Asking for Help
  • Doing My Best and Letting Him Do the Rest

What I’m saying No to:

  • Doing It All
  • Transcribing Old Episodes (while I’m in the middle of Season 2)
  • Waiting Until the Last Minute
  • Clutter
  • Making Decisions without Praying
  • Focusing on 25
  • Over-Committing
  • Work Before Quiet Time

On this page, Cultivate also gave us an exercise to try: a Time Audit. This allows you to see how you are spending your days to give you more of an insight on what priorities we are putting out/living first. I am really enjoying the activity, but making sure to remind myself that I am *NOT* an able-bodied person so I don’t misuse this exercise. You can check it out here!

Keep Moving Forward (pg. 76)

This was a new page added to the refresh that I’m OBSESSED with. I’m obsessed because it was HARD. It made me face my fears and goals as my most honest self.

Truly, though! The question that grabbed me the most was: “what would have to change for you to move forward on this goal?” So something about living with a progressive chronic illness is that it’s progressive, and in that you’re constantly in a state of moving through and figuring life out in a different way. I think something that is really important with our goals, if we’re going to make progress, is we need to be deeply connected to the why of that goal, or else we’re not going to really stick to it.

It took quite a while for me to understand why that was important, and I think for me in this season of life, when I’m looking at, “what do I want to move forward on?” I first need to be really deeply connected to the why of each goal. Then I need to make my priorities clear so that I know how to best focus the energy that I do have because I have not been prioritizing in a way that would be most helpful to me.

Yes, I’m always going to be working through processing decline and figuring out where my body is going to be. Yet I think sometimes I forget that I have to process those things or else I can’t continue to move forward. So it’s kind of balancing, “Yes, this is progressive and my life is going to look a lot like processing and grieving consistently. But I still have to make time for it.” And as cultivate says right here, “To have the time we need for the things we want, we must be ruthless about not filling our time with things that aren’t a priority.” So if I’m going to make what matters happen, I need to focus on where my energy can be best spent; and if right now my energy is best spent on healing and processing, that time is just as important as working on a more physical, tangible goal.

So if you’re looking at your page, and maybe you’ve already filled it out, but you weren’t fully honest – it’s okay to take a sticky note and redo the question(s) because if we’re not honest in our goal setting, and with ourselves, like we’re never going to make any progress.

My Refreshed Goals (pg. 77)

Okay, so the BEST pro tip I can give you is sticky note this page and then do you action plans FIRST before filling this out because sometimes your goals change as you work on the action plans.

My Refreshed Goals for the next 90 days are:

Marriage Goal: Learn how to love one another best

Platform/Ministry Goal: Grow Chronically Cultivating + Refresh my Instagram

Faith + Spiritual Growth Goal: Prioritize Him First

Garden Goal: Delight in the Garden

Medical + Health Goal: Process Progression + Decline

Friends Goal: Cultivate @ThePSPGals

Personal Growth Goal: Discern. Refresh. Refocus.

Goal Action Plans (Pg. 78-81)

This is easily the other best change that was made to the 2021 Powersheets Edition. Having us focus on one mini goal a quarter for each goal with action step brainstorming space is so helpful and is a GAME CHANGER. I think one of the questions, I see asked most often is, “how do I break down a goal?” With that being said, I want to share some of my action plan pages with you.

If this page is overwhelming, take a breath, and let me remind you of a couple things:

It’s okay if some of your refreshed goals don’t line up with one of (or any of) your original yearly goals – a lot changes in 90 days!

It’s okay if you only know the first action step of your goal – I promise – you don’t have to have it all figured out right away. Sometimes we just need to focus on doing the next right thing and taking time to discern what comes next is good!

It’s okay to only have a couple goals or fill even box – some goals will take 30 days to complete whereas other goals take 90 or even 365 days!! You know yourself, your schedule, your availability, and your limitations better than anyone else so do what is BEST for YOU!

(This is why being super honest in your prep work and your refresh prep work is SO important)

So here’s what I want to do. I want to show you two different goals as one is a little harder to measure as it is a “growth” based goal whereas the second one is a more “tangible” goal as in it’s easier to measure success.

Growth Goal Breakdown:

Yearly Goal: Worship Him In All Things

PRO TIP: if your goal HAS an original yearly goal, go back to your original Action Plan for the yearly goal and review those pages. Mark what you did accomplish from your first mini goal and the action steps under there. If you didn’t complete all the action steps you listed there decide if you want to carry those over into this quarter or leave them behind if they don’t fit what you are feeling called to now. The goal of going back is to help you not hurt you.

Mini Goal for the next 90 days: Prioritize Him First

OKAY STOP!

Before you create action steps (again, if your goal has an original yearly goal) go back and read your why.

Remember – if we aren’t deeply connected to our why we probably won’t follow through.

Now brainstorm a list of possible action items (Sticky notes are my best friend!)

Then look at what you determined success in this goal would look like, what would happen if you didn’t make progress on this goal, the people who would be positively affected by this goal, and how you are going to have fun along the way. If those boxes don’t fit what you are doing for the next 90 days, sticky note over them with the date for what will serve you best in THIS quarter! Celebrate your success do that fun “thing” you decided to do along the way if you haven’t already and throw some confetti!

Once we know (or at least have an idea of) what success in that goal looks like FOR US, we can look at our list of brainstormed action step ideas to see which ones will bring us closest to the success we are looking for.

Then fill it out!

My Action Steps for this Goal:

  • Keep my Bible upstairs: Jared and I like to get in the Word together when we can at night and I am more likely to get in the Word when my Bible is near me and accessible
  • * Find my Rhythm – Quiet Time FIRST: I am going to be trying to get into a good rhythm (not schedule as that would be dependent on a specific timeline.) I say rhythm because my body is so inconsistent and unreliable that sticking to schedule is nearly impossible, but sticking to a routine is much more doable. I am going to measure this by tracking how often I am in the Word before working on anything else
  • Loosely plan out my days and week in advance: I do not know if this is achievable as I have strayed away from this practice very intentionally, but might do some trial and error in the coming (probably later end of) 90 days.
  • * Make a page to track my “chapter” success: One of the tangible ways I wanted to track my progress is in reading a certain amount of chapters this year so I want to make a cross of page to keep in the back of my powersheets.

What I like to do before I finish, is chose what steps need to be the starting step. I star that starting step and plan to put it on my April Tending List. Doing this helps me from being tempted to put all these action items on my April Tending List. Remember – you can’t do it all and do it well. Many of my Action Steps could be “checked off” in this upcoming month, but getting into the habit of putting the Lord before all other things will take hard work and time. So in April, I will focus on putting Him first and making a space for me to track how often I am in the Word. In May if those are going well I might make an additional action step off of moving my Bible upstairs to something like: make sure I am in the Word with Jared in the evening x amount of times a week – but I am going to focus on the RIGHT NOW so I can do my best at those starting steps and reevaluate at the end of the month. There is no rush – don’t let your brain fool you. YOU HAVE 90 DAYS!

Tangible Goal Break Down:

Yearly Goal: Cultivate the Garden

Mini Goal for the next 90 days: Delight in the Garden

OKAY STOP!

Before you create action steps (again, if your goal has an original yearly goal) go back and read your why.

Remember – if we aren’t deeply connected to our why we probably won’t follow through.

Now brainstorm a list of possible action items (Sticky notes are my best friend!)

Then look at what you determined success in this goal would look like, what would happen if you didn’t make progress on this goal, the people who would be positively affected by this goal, and how you are going to have fun along the way. If those boxes don’t fit what you are doing for the next 90 days, sticky note over them with the date for what will serve you best in THIS quarter! Celebrate your success do that fun “thing” you decided to do along the way if you haven’t already and throw some confetti!

Once we know (or at least have an idea of) what success in that goal looks like FOR US, we can look at our list of brainstormed action step ideas to see which ones will bring us closest to the success we are looking for.

Then fill it out!

My Action Steps for this Goal:

  • * Clean Up The Sunroom: This was the goal I completed already! My parents had some time so they came over last weekend to help us get the sun porch ready. It was really messy as a bunch of things where put in there after the tree collapsed in my office so we were finally getting things back to normal.
  • * Send garden bed to be fixed and stained: This is most important as after our last frost (end of April) I will need it to plant!
  • Transplant plants into garden bed: all the seed pods have to go somewhere lol
  • Reorganize Cart: My gardening cart
  • Get Sticky Traps: to prevent gnats
  • Tend and Weed
  • Make it my prayer spot

What I like to do before I finish, is chose what steps need to be the starting step. I star that starting step and plan to put it on my April Tending List. Doing this helps me from being tempted to put all these action items on my April Tending List. Remember – you can’t do it all and do it well. Funny enough though, I was so excited to get started on this goal that I got my first goal accomplished in March! So I added a second star to keep me focused on pacing myself.

Lastly: Add in a Quarterly Wildcard!

Finally I always add my favorite quarterly wildcard to my refresh!

Want to download your own? Find all my wildcards here!

Congrats! You did it! You finished your 2021 Spring Refresh! I’m throwing some confetti for you here!

In case you didn’t know, here on Living the Chronic Illness Life you now have access to the Grace + Goals Resource Library which helps you tailor your goal setting and powersheets to seasons of uncertainty. You can find all the info here!

Don’t have a set of Powersheets yet? Don’t worry you can get a 6 month set now!


Cassie Nolin is a married spoonie who lives the chronic illness life with EDS + Co. (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it’s comorbid conditions.) She challenges others to choose grace over guilt while goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through Grace + Goals and The Spoonie Study. She loves planting, hand lettering, and sharing the hope she has found in Jesus. Her blog, Living the Chronic Illness Life, is in the top 100 chronic illness blogs and in 2019 she launched her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, where Cassie encourages women to live authentic and intentional lives through their diagnosis’ not in spite of them. You can learn more about her at www.livingthechronicillnesslife.com

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