Welcome to 2016 Goal Setting! Anyone else get the heebee-jeebees hearing the words “goal setting?” Then, you are in the right place, my friend. We’re doing this differently. We’re sifting through all the noise and distractions, and we’re doing goal uncovering. We’re taking our time. We’re taking big leaps. We’re making what matters happen, little by little. If you are just joining us, you aren’t late to the party — there is nothing magical about January 1! Here are Part 1 and Part 2, for your reading pleasure. Enjoy and have fun working through each step!

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A little recap:

STEP ONE: What have you been chasing? And how has that been making you feel?
STEP TWO: How are you? Evaluate your garden.
STEP THREE: What worked in 2016? And what lessons did you learn?
STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change? What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like?
STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015?
STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015? Who inspired you to live on purpose?

Now, onto Part 3! We have lots of fun things to cover today.

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STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far! This is important! Circle or mark things that stand out to you as you read through. Rewrite things. Add to what you’ve written. Refine and get messy here! Dig through what you’ve written so far and see if you can find any themes.

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STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to. With everything you have written down thus far in mind, what are you going to need to say YES to more often in order to live on purpose in 2015, and what are you saying NO to? Think big picture here, and write down the things you are afraid to dive into, too. There is great potential hiding in your fear. Post your lists here in the comments to inspire others and keep yourself accountable. Remember: saying NO to one thing means you are saying YES to something better!

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–> PowerSheets owners and book friends, just a reminder that the steps in this series won’t exactly match what you have, as you have more steps! I’m sharing pieces of the process in hopes they spark your own progress : )

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STEP 9: Pick a core word for 2015. What one word most resonates with you for the year ahead? What word pulls together all that you want to make happen? Think hard about this.

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I shared mine yesterday on Periscope : ) Catch the replay here…

Research words that resonate with you. Pray on it. Then, write your word here in the comments (and give a virtual high five to those who might have the same word as you — we are bound to have some shared words!). Then, write that word in prominent places so you are reminded of your focus this year. Put it on a post it in your car. Put it on a post it literally inside of your fridge (I have a post-it in my fridge!). Make it your computer desktop. Write it anywhere and everywhere to remind you of where you are going!

Okay, I’ll be back later today for Part 4 for anyone who wants to take this weekend to dig in!

Need an extra kick in the pants? Welcome to the Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway! There are lots of prizes and fun ways to enter. Most of all, though, I hope you comment with your answers from each step as we go through this series. One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: A (spiral bound) One-Year PowerSheets Workbook. Yep! I have two left in the office, and one of you is getting one! I’m determined to motive you to dig in with me on these powerful steps : )

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1. A set of 2016 PowerSheets with a Make It Happen binder and colorful tab stickers
2. Five prints of your choice from the Lara Casey Shop
3. The Finishing School by Valerie Metrejean
4. The Make it Happen audio book, recorded by yours truly!
5. A Journaling Bible (NIV)
6. Five Make it Happen journals
7. Artist’s Loft Fundamentals Watercolor Set
8. Two tubs of Vega Protein and Greens + a Vega shaker cup. Bonus: sign up for a free Vega account to get $15, and I’ll get $15 too!
9. Ashley Brooke Too Legit water bottle
10. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! 10 2016 Simplified Planners (pineapple daily edition). Yes, TEN of them! Lots of chances to win!
11. What good shall I do this day? sign from Best Made Co
12. Five Make it Happen books
13. Jonathan Adler Grapefruit Candlelara-casey-new-year-fresh-faith-giveaway

 

– (Not pictured, but so fun!) $25 Amazon gift card for books. Some suggestions: AnythingRestlessEditThe Best YesEditA Confident HeartThe Fringe Hours, or anything on Nancy Ray’s Book Club list.

14. The Write the Word journal collection – volume 1, 2, and 3!
15. Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal
16. Naptime Diaries print of your choice
17. In the Wait study by Holly Holt
18. Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
19. How to Study Scripture E-Book by Jane Johnson
20. Make it Count 2016 Bible journaling kit from Illustrated Faith

Enter below and be sure to leave your answers to each step as you go through the series with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 13th. Winners will be announced on January 15th here on the blog. Shipping some of these items can get costly, so hard goods are for US entrants only. Lots of digital prize options though for my international friends! If you don’t claim your prize within 48 hours, another winner will be selected, so mark your planners and stay posted! : ) Also, this post contains some Amazon affiliates links. No extra cost to you, but it helps us raise funds for Love One Another Project!

206 Show Comments
  1. Amanda @ Two Blue Pillars

    Yesterday, I made my Pinterest board, and that really, really help. I took some time to myself to really think about things and listen – to meditate, to have a conversation with God – and I realized that even though I’d personally choose other words for 2016, my word is patience. Everything in my life that I’ve messed up has been because of patience. I have the drive and the creativity and the ability to do things NOW, which hinders me because I push too hard at once instead of little-by-little, and give up too easily when I don’t see the fruits. Patience will help make me a better mother. Patience will help make me a better teacher. Patience will help make me a better wife. Patience will help make me a better blogger and a better entrepreneur. Patience will bring me closer in my spiritual journey.

  2. Jessica

    My word for the year. I thought it was going to be discipline., but as I got to that step a different word was staring me in the face. I was scared to write it down because it would be harder than discipline. My word for 2016 is submission. I have tried to control my life, my marriage and my purpose. I want 2016 to be a year of submitting to not only God’s purpose for my life but also to my husband and allowing him leadership of our mmarriages

    • Janet K

      Wow Jessica that is huge! It is scary, but God wouldn’t give that word to you for this year, unless it was important for you. You can do this! Remember James 4:7-8 “Submit yourselves then to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you! Come near to God and God will come near to you.” God will give you the strength to do this.

  3. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    Lara, I love your YES to going to God FIRST! Amen! :) I need to prioritize prayer in 2016 and go to Him first. And honestly, even in this goal setting process, I feel like I could be praying more and really letting HIM lead. So this afternoon I hope to sit with Him in prayer and just review everything with an open heart… which leads me to my word of the year…

    My word for 2016 is OPEN. My life is too short not to love the story God has for me, so this next year is all about being OPEN to His plan for me. Open to new adventures. New ways to use my gifts, etc. :)

    WHAT I’M SAYING NO TO IN 2016

    Comparison
    Too much “screen time” (mindless scrolling)
    Any kind of mindless consumption (TV, social media, Internet, shopping)
    Doubt in the goodness of God’s plan for me
    Striving
    Trying to control the story God is writing in my life
    Clutter (mental and physical)
    Negativity
    Choosing anything over God
    Overwhelm
    Guilt
    Anxiety
    “Shoulds”
    Distraction + disorganization

    WHAT I’M SAYING YES TO IN 2016

    Living in the moment
    Surrender/being open to God’s plan for me
    Building strong/meaningful relationships
    New traditions (like family dinners on Sundays)
    Focusing on health/wellness
    New adventures
    Reading good books that inspire and challenge me
    Praising God’s goodness
    Making art “just because”
    Creativity
    Sharing my story
    Inspiration
    Whole/healthy foods
    Starting and ending my day with God
    Choosing God above all other things
    Simplifying
    Being still
    Kitty snuggles
    Prioritizing prayer
    Grace

    • Beverly V

      Love your word, Katie! Being open-handed to Him is something I am saying YES! to in 2016.

  4. Amber S

    For 2016, the word I have chosen is ‘Intentional’. In 2015 I spent a lot of time going where the wind blew me. Starting now I will be intentional with my relationships, intentional about what I say yes to, intentional about who I share my life and dreams with, intentional about bringing The Life Architect to fruition and intentional about my spiritual life.

  5. Meg Miller

    LIGHT

  6. Madeline

    My word for 2016 is grace. :) and joy. I couldn’t pick just one. But focusing on living a life of grace and joy and truly taking in all that this year will be.

    • Lara

      Breaking the “rules” is totally allowed! : ) I love your words!

  7. Sonja

    I love this process & each year it gets better & better. My word this year is share! Shre my heart, open up, step into the conversation!

    • Lara

      I’m so grateful you’ve been encouraged Sonja, and I love your word!

  8. Erin Smith

    Adventure

  9. Sarah Arthur Hogan

    Oh man how this would be amazing! My word for the year is “grace”. It actual had came about a few days ago. My husband and I almost got divorced over his infidelity but I am choosing grace when continuing to stay married.

    • Lara

      This is SO encouraging, Sarah. We have a similar story. God can heal all things!

  10. Jordan

    My word for 2016 is FREE. My 2015 word was brave, and I’ll probably carry it over a bit into the new year too :) Gonna have to go through your other posts and go through the series– I’ve never been one for goal setting in such a concrete way but want to try it this year!

  11. Erica Schipani

    This is an amazing giveaway and just what I need to get back on track in 2016!

  12. Kristin

    So thankful you are sharing truths about what really matters and how to refocus. It’s a lost art in our world today and it’s so refreshing to hear the truth from those who have gone before.

  13. Anna Campbell

    STEP ONE: What have you been chasing? I have been chasing acceptance, love and admiration.
    And how has that been making you feel? It makes me feel fake, sad, tired, and unsatisfied.

    STEP TWO: How are you? Evaluate your garden. I have been pulling a lot of weeds. I am working hard on building up good quality, nutrient rich dirt to plant my beautiful garden. My knees are a bit sore. lol!

    STEP THREE: What worked in 2015? Letting go has worked and really worn me out. The process has torn me apart, so God can put me back together.
    And what lessons did you learn? I learned to breathe and keeping moving forward, one step at a time. And I have learned to listen. Listen to my husband, my daughter, my family and friends.

    STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change? I would have more time to focus on what really matters. Building a life full of love, hope, and joy!

    What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like? My messy 2016 includes more time getting my hands dirty, creating gifts instead of just purchasing them, and spending quality time with those in my life instead of just scheduled time.

    STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015? Being bossy. Placing expectations on others. It is good to have goals and a rung in the ladder to reach for… but not to hold others to. Judging. I need to stop judging, accept, let go, and love.

    STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015? My husband has been an anchor, inspiration, and truly remarkable friend and life partner.

    Who inspired you to live on purpose? My friend Alma. She always considered time spent with friends and family to be the best time spent in life, and in her memory.. I am trying to remember her wisdom.

    STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far! Wow! It has been a true journey…

    STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to.
    I am saying yes to:
    bible study
    dancing lessons with my husband
    writing notes to family & friends
    writing meaningful blog posts
    spending quality time with family & friends

    I am saying no to:
    gossiping
    judging
    greed (shopping just because)
    not including my husband in my plans
    negative distractions

    STEP 9: Pick a core word for 2015. 
    Forgiveness

    Pick a core word for 2016.
    Love

  14. Missy Gipson

    My word is confidence. It’s the leading principle I teach to the young people I work with. Confidence in self, in goals, in others, in new adventures…the ability to risk, no matter the outcome. The confidence to step out and show up. It’s my word every year ❤️

  15. Kristin

    Oh! And my word for 2016 is “sweet.” God gave me the word and then this verse: “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  16. Amanda

    Move! It’s simple but an important word for me this year.

  17. Diana

    Love, love, love those Power Sheets !!!! Thank you Lara. Your blog is now my first stop on the Internet. Happy New Year!

  18. Erin M K

    Love these goal setting steps!

  19. Catherine Marks

    This is amazing! Thank you for your generosity. It’s so obvious you really just want us all to live our best lives, and that’s why I love your blog and your company!

  20. Summer

    My word for 2016 is THANKSGIVING. I want to walk through a very hard season in my life thanking God for every blessing. Approaching His gates in thanksgiving is what He calls us to do!

  21. My word for 2016 is Love - Mrs Anna Campbell

    […] the past few months I have been working through Goal Sheets created by Lara Casey. They have really helped me to focus, release, and […]

  22. Victoria

    My word for 2016 is fruitfulness.

  23. Vanessa

    Step1: I have been chasing to create the foundation of our home. It has made me feel that there is endless possibilities of how I would want my home to feel and say about us.

    Step2: I am happy, yet at times I feel like I get caught up in working hard to provide the things I want for our home which makes me serious at times.

    Step3: what has worked in 2015 is, having the determination to accomplish my goals I have set for work, changing my eating habits little by little, strengthening the relationship with my parents. The lessons I’ve learned were that I need to communicate more with my boyfriend in order to improve our relationship, how to manage money wisely, take some time for me to reset.

    Step4: If I were to stop chasing perfect, I would actually be my authentic self. I would feel free and open to whatever is presented. My perfectly imperfect “messy 2016″ is going to be a fun filled year with more vacation time, more accomplishments through work and school, more time spent to explore different recipes for meals, more gym time and healthy eating, more time for God and prayer.

    Step5: What hasn’t worked for 2015 is, the amount of time I’ve spent on social media, over thinking/analyzing, second guessing myself, letting my insecurities get the best of me, closing myself off from family and friends.

    Step6: My parents and boyfriend have helped me cultivate what matters in 2015. My boyfriend has inspired me to live on purpose.

    Step8: I’m saying yes to more time for God & prayer, to communicating and expressing what I feel to my boyfriend, to positive thoughts, taking charge of my own home, reading more, exercising more, exploring my cooking abilities.
    I’m say no to, negativity, seclusion, choosing to be silent, depression, impatience, anger.

    Step9: My core word would be happiness.

  24. Kaitlin

    My word is quality! Quality time with The Lord, friendships, my marriage. No more mindless scrolling. Spending time doing quality things that bring life. Quality over quantity.

  25. Kristi

    My word is Intentional….. I’ve never felt more excited about a new year thanks to your amazing Powersheets!

  26. Ami Lloyd

    Intentional

  27. Emily

    Love this! My word for this year is grounded. My husband and I have had two big international movies since getting married. We’ve finally settled in NC and I’m looking forward to being grounded and intentional about community, jobs, and next steps!

    • Beverly V

      Love your word, Emily! My husband and I moved cross country… twice… in under two years. I can relate to the desire to root and ground as big moves really shake me up. Best of luck in NC!

  28. faythe

    Whew, sometimes it takes my a good amount of time to really fill out each step. This one was a big one to me because I wanted to dive deep and really REALLY say NO to the things that didn’t work last year (or to be honest for many years), and give my FULL YES to things. So, on a journey I went, I had my husband watch the kids and I took a much needed morning at the beach with my Bible and tissues. Everyone has their secret place, the place where they feel God the closest. For some, it’s their bedroom, in the showers, at church, or on a long walk. For me it is near the ocean, where the wind and the waves remind me of how amazing He is, I can feel Him, hear Him, and know that in that space void of from everything man made, He is God.

    In 2016 I am saying NO to:
    Being so busy that I can’t pour into my family/friends.
    TV in our bedroom and the children’s bedrooms, off they go.
    Putting my health and healthy clean eating on the back burner because of being busy.
    Extended family judging my parenting and purpose
    Saying Yes, to the wrong things and spreading my time thin
    Letting social media control my time
    Being impatient for results
    Letting other professionals in my industry make me feel inadequate
    Comparing my success
    Letting negative people around myself and my family

    In 2016 I am saying YES to:
    Pouring time into my friends/family and younger women who need my friendship.
    Re-connecting in my marriage in the evenings with a couple’s Bible study and just talking again
    Investing time into our tiny, humble garden and clean eating. Bartering with local farmers and building relationships in our community
    Letting God define my worth, and seeing myself through His eyes.
    Setting BOUNDARIES, yes! In many areas of my life but specially extended family. Understanding that boundaries are good for myself and my family
    Removing social media from my evenings & weekends completely.
    Going fishing with our family more
    Taking the time to sit in the floor and teach my babies Hebrew and the history of the Bible
    Mostly, I am saying YES to relationships and cultivating strong ones.

    My word of the year is: RELATIONSHIP, starting with my personal relationship with God and intentionally setting time alone to be in HIS presence and opening my heart to His voice. Planning meaningful moments with my family and investing in my marriage and the future of my children, and making time for friendships, building strong connections with other women of faith. Most of all relationship to me means, making others feel important.

  29. Erin

    I love this process Lara. It’s so practical! I am currently working on my saying yes and saying no lists. I also have two words for 2016- Simplify and contentment. I need to learn to keep things simply this year and that involves knowing what to say yes and no to! I’m learning to love the season I’m in and be completely content with what God has blessed me with! Thanks for all of this Lara!

  30. Lendy Salazar

    My word is Conquer! I did so much growing in 2015. I read lots of books, stayed positive, lost 60lbs, became a Runner and most importantly, I set out to go on more adventures with my family which we did. I want to continue on my momentum and conquer 2016’s goals as well!

    • Janet K

      I don’t even know you, and I’m proud of you! You go girl! You have worked hard and now you will be able to do even more in 2016!

  31. Victoria

    I adore this series. Thank you so so much for taking the time to write this out!! It has helped me oh so much!

  32. Stephanie

    This is a wonderful giveaway! I hope I win!!

  33. Arabella

    SO many great prizes to win!!! Thank you! :)

  34. Jen H

    My word for 2016 is Purposeful! I want to do less by habit and have more purpose: in my spiritual life, my marriage, and my other relationships!

    • Carrie Beth

      YAY! Mine is PURPOSE – the noun and verb form! I’m going to purpose my heart and mind and body and spirit to live a life of purpose this year!

  35. Jocelyn

    I love the theme for this year’s Goal Setting, Lara! It speaks to my overly-perfectionists can heart!

  36. Callan Hinson

    Oh I would love this!

  37. Marissa Marks

    I have been wanting to set real goals that mean something but have been too scared to really dig in. I feel like I have found something that can really help me and asks the hard questions. Thank you!

  38. Kristen

    I’m struggling to come up with one word for 2016, but I know my phrase is: Be still and know that I am God. I’m ready to release “my” control and submit fully to the Lords plan, and I know I need to be still and listen in order to know Him and His plan.

    • Janet K

      If you don’t mind me putting in 2cents here, I have used 1 word for each New Year for several years now, and my word often links directly to a Bible verse. Since you already have the verse, choose a word that reminds you of that verse. It could be still, but listen could work too. Choose whichever one resonates best for you. You are on the right track!

  39. Dana Laymon

    I’m so so grateful that you post these steps and walk us through it each year. You have no idea how helpful it is! Happy New Year to you!!

  40. sara

    So excited about making 2016 the best year yet! Leaving some things behind in 2015 to make room for more life in 2016. Thank you for some tools that help make dreams a reality.

  41. Diana

    Thank you so much for providing this giveaway. 2015 was a frustrating and busy year for me. I only hope that 2016 can bring happiness into my life. Using the tools that you provide in this giveaway will help me get there. Thank you!

  42. Lauren Hughes

    I love all of this!! I am starting today!!

  43. Rachel

    Lara! What an encouragement you are to so many! Praise God for the work that you are doing.

  44. Amanda Lander

    What an awesome giveaway! I just heard about your power sheets book but it is already sold out. Would love to win one!

  45. Cindy

    This is so exciting! While I never win on these give aways… I have to say that your items are so inspiring. Thanks for doing a wonderful contest.

  46. Raendra Cummings

    Thank you for sharing this with us. My goals need direction and intention!

  47. Regina @ A Journaled Life

    I put my word everywhere, but also share it with friends and family. They have gotten so good about being on the look out for it and then sharing their “finds” with me. I am so grateful for the one word practice!

  48. Trisha

    Awesome! Happy New Year!

  49. Stephanie F

    I am ready for 2016 – and I was ready for 2015 to be over :)
    Here are my steps to a great 2016:

    Step 1 – I have been chasing my licensing exam to become a licensed acupuncturist. I graduated in April, studied for 4 months, only to miss the mark by four points. And now I am back to studying for 4 months. I go through waves of feeling on this chase. From enthusiasm, courage, fear, defeat, despair, discouraged, hope.

    Step 2 – I am finally feeling ready for the challenge again. I am ready for this Exam in March. I have all the tools necessary to achieve my goals.

    Step 3 – The first set of 4 month studies worked – my longterm memory is doing phenomenal. What didn’t work, was not being organized and committed to a plan. My plans kept changing, and i didn’t take control of them; I didn’t take responsibility of allowing changes to happen. I need to take control, and be responsible for my goals.

    Step 4 – I didn’t chase perfect for 2015, and need to for 2016. This year is not my year to be imperfectly messy. That didn’t work for me last year.

    Step 5 – what didn’t work in general in 2015, was to have great ideas but let them fall by the way side by little distractions that did not contribute any value to my life. Allowing myself to take it easy, did not work for 2015.

    Step 6 – seeing my husband build his business and stay true to his values inspired me to live on purpose. He has a specific vision, which is very clear to him, and any obstacle and animosity would not let him change his values and goals. I admire him for not giving up, when I would have easily thrown in the towel.

    Step 8 – I am saying “yes” to success. I am saying “no” to defeat. I am saying “yes” to structure. I am saying “no” to indecision. I am saying “yes” to overcoming fears. I am saying “no” to things holding me back.

    Step 9 – There are two words that I am taking with me into 2016: prosperity and Eshet Chayil – “She opens her hand to the needy, and extends her hand to the poor. She is robed in strength and dignity, and cheerfully faces whatever may come. She opens her mouth with wisdom. Her tongue is guided by kindness.” I will flourish and thrive in 2016, and I will be able to give unto others, as was given to me.

  50. Raendra Cummings

    My word for this year is Restore. I lost my mom to breast cancer this year and I watched her suffer with it for many years before that. I am looking forward to some quiet time with the Lord as He restores my heart and relationship with Him.

    • Janet K

      I am so sorry that your mom died. I am a cancer survivor, but I have had several good friends die of cancer. I have felt the need to restore, too. If you go to God in prayer and tell Him what you need, He will fill you up with Love, and Mercy, and Forgiveness, and Hope, and you will with time be restored. You are wise to take the time to do this. It will be healing. God bless you.

  51. Lauren

    My word for the year is intentional! I want to be more intentional with what I am putting into my body, with the message I’m sending out to the world, in my relationships especially with my fiancé. Just all around more intentional with what I am doing.

  52. Lauren

    I encouraged a friend this morning but sharing New Years greetings and reminding her this year is filled with big things: including her getting married! I can’t wait to see the good that comes in this year for her :)

  53. Bethany Mlinar

    My word for this year is Trust! I have been consistently seized by fear when I take steps forward in life, thinking that it’s “all on me” to make the right decisions for the right path at the right time etc. I want to Trust God’s promises for my life, Trust His plan, Trust Him to never leave or forsake me. Loads of Trust :) Thanks for all you do, Lara!

  54. Mackenzie

    My word for the year is uncomfortable! It’s a reminder that I found a lot of comfort in all the wrong things in 2015 (they kept coming up as “fillers” in my Powersheets!) and now it’s time to find my comfort in the Lord.

  55. Susan Byrd

    My word for 2016 is Focus. Focus on God, family, relationships, health, simplicity and over all happiness.

  56. Katie Wilkin

    I’m still working on each step, as I’m blogging them as well. Can’t wait to catch up!

    My word for 2016 is FIERCE! I often referenced the quote “And though she be but little, she is fierce” during my daughter’s battle with cancer. She showed me what it meant to push through and face each day with everything you have, no matter what! She is my inspiration! The quote I’ve found that resonates with me is this “This is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder, and unstoppable. This year I will be FIERCE!”

    I also encouraged many families who I am connected with in our area who have a child in treatment for cancer or who have lost a child to cancer. This time of year can be particularly trying, and I know how they feel. A kind word can go a long way. We are all in a club that we never dreamed to be a part of, but we have each other to lean on when we feel so overwhelmed. It’s a humbling experience all around.

  57. Siena

    This year I’m saying no to worry and yes to concern. Because worry is being afraid of things that are out of my control, things I can’t act on. While concern is something I can do something about. I’m saying no to my comfort zone, because in 2015, the best things happened when I was a little scared! That’s why I’m saying yes to scary, not ‘I’m alone in a dark ally’ kind of scary, but the kind of scary you feel when you’re telling someone about Jesus or feel the Holy Spirit pushing you on. I’m saying no to daubt and yes to trust and I’m saying no to ‘too busy’ because if something is really important, like my sister or the group of middle schoolers I lead, or God! – I wil make time for it. I’m saying yes to gratitude and kindness, because that’s what’s really going to change my life. I’m saying no to pride, because choosing my pride over loving my family, isn’t working and it isn’t ok. Most of all, I’m saying yes to my bible. The end of 2015 was very transformative for me as a Christian who reads the word. I purchased a journaling bible so that I could interact with scripture, and it’s changed my life! I now desire to be in the word, to study it and grow closer to my God. And I don’t want that to stop when a dry season comes up.
    2016 is scary already, but that’s ok, because I’m saying yes to scary. I’m nurvious, and a little unsure, but I’m exited, and I’ve never been exited to live. I still don’t know what my ‘it’ is- I don’t know what I want to make happen besides cultivating a relationship with my mom. I know God has big things for me, so it’s really hard for me to be in school, unable to be doing those things- I feel like I’m ‘purposeless’ because I can’t live out my dreams while in this season. Any advice would be warmly welcomed!
    Lara- thank you. Thank you thank you thank you times a million.

    • Siena

      Oh and my word for the year is change, because this is the year that everything changes. ❤️

  58. ALLISON

    Fearless!

  59. Sandra

    Wow!! 2016 is going to be a great year!

  60. Charis

    would love to win this! my word is delight

  61. Alison

    Thank you so much for sharing your process! It’s so inspiring and helpful. :o)

  62. Jess Westphal

    Intentional

  63. Goal Setting 2016 – Step 1 & 2 | Long Letter Memoir

    […] Gardening without getting your hands dirty is like trying to run with your running shoes sitting pretty in your closet. —Lara Casey […]

  64. Jess Westphal

    I just texted a dear friend who has been rather absent due to a rough patch in her marriage. I haven’t heard back every time, but I know that reachng out is more important than worrying about a response. At least she knows I am here when she is ready.

  65. Madeline

    Oops! This goes with Step 6: “Cultivate what matters.” I love that. The friends with whom I have walked through some devastating lows this year. Friends who have moved across the country (to NC, actually!) but just get me and know me from so far away. Friends who drop everything to pray and pursue those challenges and prayer requests. My parents who have taught me so much about sacrifice and empathy. My mentor/professor who sees more than public accountants sitting in his classroom, but world changers with enormous potential. (here’s my Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/madelinewieters/make-it-happen-2016/)

    Step 7: The words “celebrate” and “joy” stand out to me as I look back over everything I’ve written. Fitting, I suppose–I named my business “Jolie Joie” which means “beautiful joy” in French because I wanted it to be an outlet to spread the joy I have felt knowing that eternity is secure in Jesus. How exciting it is to think about how that will grow this year!

    Step 8: Lara! So funny you are saying “no” to company finances…need an accountant?! Seriously, I am looking for a finance job in publishing because I just can’t do the public accounting life and experience growth. Anyway…I’m saying no to materialism–my mom used to have a saying in our house “STOP THE STUFF.” I need that more as an adult than I did as a kid collecting happy meal toys! I’m saying no to pride and being defined by social media. I’m saying no to time commitments that suck joy from my days. I’m saying YES to talking on the phone and pursuing friendships. I’m saying yes to CELEBRATION of the ordinary moments. I’m saying yes to simplicity, studying Scripture, building a business based in JOY.

    Step 9: Cliche as I might think it to be, I’m choosing CELEBRATE as my word for 2016. I don’t want to get so caught up in the mundane of studying or working or whatever it may be that I lose sight of the moments that occur every day that deserve a little celebration. I will CELEBRATE in 2016.

  66. Colleen Stewart

    My word is TRUST!!

  67. Alysia H

    After listening to your scope, my 2016 word jumped right out at me…HOPE! :) Thanks for your help in making me the best me I can be in 2016! <3

  68. Jessica

    My word for 2016 is Strong. I will overcome my obstacles and find strength within myself.

  69. Melinda M.

    This is so helpful to me! My husband is a goal setter and loves chasing after them. I would rather do anything else!

  70. Melinda M.

    Also shared this with my sister who has some big dreams to chase this year!

  71. Kristi

    STEP ONE: What have you been chasing?
    Balance between work and home/ my students and my real babies.

    STEP TWO: How are you?
    Peaceful

    STEP THREE: What worked in 2015?
    Simplifying and clearing clutter.

    STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change?
    I don’t feel like I chase perfection, but I do compare myself to others often and that causes me to be self critical.

    What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like?
    Quality intentional time with my kids and husband.

    STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015?
    My job. I need to find a new one or find a better balance.

    STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015?
    The inspiring women I look up to.

    Who inspired you to live on purpose?
    My children!

    STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far!

    STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to.
    I am saying yes to:
    Living debt free
    Scheduling intentional time

    I am saying no to:
    Glorifying busy!

    STEP 9: Pick a core word for 2015.
    Survival (New baby, new home, debt free journey)

    Pick a core word for 2016.
    Gratitude

  72. Aimee

    STEP ONE: What have you been chasing? Sleep. Laundry is a close second.

    And how has that been making you feel? Like the days don’t end soon enough to get to the former and like I am wasting my time on things that aren’t all that important with the latter.

    STEP TWO: How are you? I’m going on 4 weeks of being sick with a cold while being pregnant wtih our third baby. I really scaled back due to my husband’s work travel with everything possible and I just feel like 2015 kicked me in the butt! Bye-bye 2015! Love you, 2016!

    STEP THREE: What worked in 2015? Saying yes to what I wanted to do and no to what ended up being no fun for my kids (hanging out while I volunteered just didn’t work for Minnie) and yes to stepping up my role in MOPS (Begina DGL this year has been really fulfilling work. Love pouring into the amazing women at my table. I’m able to use my favorite creative outlet – writitng!). Learning to navigate the waters of saying Yes and No to photography opportunities.

    And what lessons did you learn? People are OK hearing no! Ha! Who knew! Be gracious. It’s as easy at that!

    STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change? I’m just chasing two little girls and trying to put order into my house. Maybe I’m chasing “do as much as possible on your own.” I think I needt to ask for twice as much help and support as I think I need.

    What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like? Keeping up the date nights with Seth. Giving the girls some more quality time. Letting house chores go and/or trying to find a way to get some extra help. Finding my voice in photography – forget the comepetition. Write. And write some more. It’s what I’m best at and what I ignore the most. I want to research for that book. Set up for baby boy. Oh, wrap my mind around the fact that we will be havinga boy!

    STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015? Not having appropriate boundaries with some family members. Forgetting to fight with grace and humility. Sounds weird, but I’m sure it can be done. Working out what works for me regarding child care.

    STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015? My husband, inner-circle friends, reading more scripture.

    Who inspired you to live on purpose? Uh, you! I read your book last year and worked my way through half the workbook before travel got real crazy for my husband.

    STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far! I just re-read what I wrote last year. All I can say is that I was very honest and happy I focused on some much needed changes.

    STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to.

    I am saying yes to:
    Getting up befor the kids to read Jesus Calling and then write..and have hot cup of coffee!
    Doing outtings with the girls (Using our Dland passes, Children’s Museum passes, Garden Passes…all those passes!)
    Learning to use my Wacom tablet.
    Joining the gym with great childcare!
    Mommy and Me photos
    Photos of the kids.
    Organizing (Getting rid of excess!)

    I am saying no to:
    Staying up late.
    Free photo sessions that don’t bring me joy.
    Too much phone-in-hand time when the girls are around.

    STEP 9: Pick a core word for 2015.
    Survival.

    Pick a core word for 2016.
    Fun.

  73. Carrie

    Profound Kindness

  74. Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for this series, Lara!! Such a blessing.

  75. Elizabeth

    Entry…encouraged someone by shooting them a little love + thankfulness via email/google hangouts. :)

  76. Deborah

    Loved the periscope, praying the kiddos are both better, LOVE Gracie and how she loves. She just loves and that is so very wonderful!

  77. Melissa Grimsley Shafer

    I’m so grateful that you have your periscopes on katch!

  78. megan

    I just heard about powersheets, I’m so excited to see what they are all about , and how they can assist me in improving myself! I’m ready to get started on the steps!!!

  79. Shannon

    These power sheets have been game changers for me the last 3 years. Thank you, Lara, for following after God’s calling in your life. You have blessed me immensely. One day I’m going to give you the biggest hug whether it be this side of eternity or not! Just started reading Mke it Happen and I find myself nodding as I read. I relate so much!!! These resources here are amazing. This giveaway is awesome! I’d love to share with friends as some of them are already treasured possessions. You and your team rock, Lara!

  80. HollyB

    My 2016 word is GRATITUDE!

  81. Laurel

    I love this series!! And what a lovely giveaway!!

  82. Kayleen

    God made it very obvious what my word for this year is: SERVE. He has really been laying it on my heart to throw out my desire for perfection and waiting for “the right circumstances” and jump headfirst into serving others. (Although along with SERVE are two underlying foundations of ROOTing myself in God and being INTENTIONAL with my time.) One word, multiple factors playing into it. I have so much hope and expectation for the year ahead. Thank you Lara for all of your encouragement!

  83. Becca Luna

    My word for 2016 is Intentional! I want to iintentionally design my best life.

  84. Katie M

    So fun & inspiring! I love your products and Emily’s – would be great to try something new and put any of these tools to use in my life !

  85. Staisha M

    My word for 2016 is COMMITMENT. I’m committed to following through with my goals and won’t allow distractions/worry/fear lead me astray. I’m so excited and filled with hope for this year!

  86. Audrey C

    My word for the year is “Intentional”! Working from home with a toddler and a newborn can make it hard to be fully present. So being intentional with my day and Gods time is my prayer!

  87. Audrey C

    The person I encouraged was my husband, I told him all the ways he is an awesome father :)

  88. Alisa

    Just ordered your book on Amazon! I’m glad to have found Y’all! Happy New Year!

    The word for 2016 is Move! Not in the way that glitters and catches attention. Small, faithful, across the room, across the yard,across town. Your analogy of the pheony really spoke to my heart. Thank you.

  89. Lyn

    My word is Encourage. I believe in the Golden Rule and encouragement is a great place to start!! It’s easy to give/offer encouragement and it’s something I want. 2016 is going to be an excellent year!!

  90. Janet K

    Each year for several years now, I pick a word in December for the next New Year. This year I picked “Re-Focus”. Funny, but after I picked that word, I found this blog series. It fits right in, and I am enjoying going through the steps. I already have your book, and used it before, so I will be using it again this year. Thanks, Lara, for writing just what I needed.

  91. Jessica

    My word for 2016 is ACCEPTANCE. I am constantly comparing myself to others physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, etc. I forget that I am the way I am for a REASON. I need to accept myself, imperfections and all, the way that God accepts me.

  92. Jenn

    My word(s) for 2016 are two fold:

    1. Evergreen – Jesus spoke this over me during the Christmas season; just that he is an evergreen, constant, the same, never changing. In the dead of winter, when life is hard and cold and lonesome, the evergreen still stands true and beautiful and unchanging – in the spring it is the same tree

    2. Dawn – such a hopeful word; full of hope and promise

    • Beverly V

      I love the thoughtfulness behind your words, Jenn! Dawn also brings me peace, hope, and promise. The thought: “Awaken the dawn” gives me hope each morning, remembering that new mercies are given to me each day because He is faithful.

  93. Elly

    My word is LEARN! As i enrol in a psychology degree this year AND start my first teaching job in Grade One. A lot of learning to be done (by me, and hopefully my charges!).

  94. Christina

    My word is decisive- I tend to flounder around and not make decisions (my way of chasing perfect!) Looking forward to a new year, and loving the Powersheets!

  95. Camika

    My word for this year is “commitment.”

  96. P.Jeanne

    I’ve already worked through my powersheets but I’m loving this series as its getting me to dig even deeper into each step! So thank you for taking the time to do this :-) I also wanted to let you know I’ve been loving your periscopes…you are so genuine and have the kindest heart ♡ my word for this year is flourish…something I’ve been longing to do and know that this year is finally my year!

  97. Lauren D'Orazio

    My word for 2016 is Balance. I gave birth to our first child in 2015, went back to work full time a few months ago and am going to give birth to our second child in about 3 1/2 months. I have felt very unfocused and just out of whack . There’s a balance that’s missing in my life that I will be working towards finding.

  98. Ricci Neefer

    INTENTIONAL!

  99. Lizelle

    This is so exciting!!! I’ve been tossing over the idea of getting the powersheets for a while…thank you for allowing the chance for me to dip my toes in without fear ^_^

  100. Christina

    YES:
    JESUS! Early mornings in my Bible and journal. Respecting my husband and honoring him with my words and actions. Supporting my husband in all of his decisions. Spending QUALITY time with my family. Listening to my body. Accepting myself. Moderation. Planning. Humility. Creating good habits. Building new traditions with my new family.
    NO:
    Idle time. TV. The black pit of social media. Meanness toward others in my thoughts, words and actions. Putting myself and my wishes above my husband’s. Unwise, wasteful spending. Self-pity. Laziness. Wastefulness. Poison – food, drink, media, activities, people.

  101. Sarah

    I am saying yes to:traditions, margin, doing the work (like this) to advance where I want to be, a baby, focused family time, reading more, strong prayer life and time with God, health, strict budget to save more, quality time with others, and dates with my hubby!
    I am saying no to staying up too late, over planning dinners, excess screen time (phone scrolling), non consistent work outs, comparison, putting myself down.
    My word for 2016 is REFINE, which means to remove unwanted substances; to improve by making small changes.

  102. Sarah

    And I encouraged others by sending out a New Years prayer text.

  103. Amanda L. Paige

    My word for the year is Calm!

  104. Lynn Wigren

    My word for 2016 is FOCUS

  105. Abi

    I stumbled across this wonderful process two years ago. I think it’s taken until now to really see just how helpful it is. When I started the “what went well vs what didn’t” was really loaded with negative. Now, even though 2015 had some very tough news for me, at the end of the year I find myself looking back and seeing progress. The “what went well” list is definitely the longest! It looks as though 2016 will be tough medically again – although I’m now so thankful that things aren’t as bad as it looked as though they were going to be. So, I’m going to have to face facts that I can’t do as much as usual – but that that doesn’t have to be the end of the world. So my word for 2016 is CARE – for me and for other people. Wishing everyone here lots of goodness for 2016.

  106. Michelle Bills

    STEP 8: In 2016 I am saying Yes to more phone free time with mu kiddos, more Netflix free time with my husband, and definitely more prayer time with Jesus. I’m saying Yes to messy and leaving the dishes for later. Though i’m saying No to piles of laundry on the couch.
    STEP 9: I’ve been praying for a few weeks foe my word for 2016 and it has been showing itself over and over lately… JOY.

  107. sarah

    My word is choose. It seems like a strange word, but I want to be intentional in living life. I want to choose to do hard things. I want to choose my attitude. To often I am just reacting to my day, this year I want to choose my days, not just survive them.

  108. Katie Mac

    I love reading all the hard work you guys have been doing so far. Keep it up!

    My word for 2016 is CULTIVATE. For all you other word nerds out there, cultivate means to prepare and work on land, to promote or improve the growth of a plant by labor and attention, improve or develop by education or training, train, refine, promote growth or development, foster, to devote oneself to something.

    I have lots and lots of big dreams that frankly aren’t for this time in our life right now. I am thankful for the reminder to be where I am in this season, knowing that not only do I get to cultivate my talents, passions and purpose but the Lord is also cultivating me.

  109. Jessica P.

    STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far!
    Done.

    STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to.
    NO:
    Hitting snooze, watching too much TV, self doubt, saying ‘it’s okay’ – it’s never okay, clutter/unnecessary purchases, procrastination, worry/anxiety, stress, “things”, wasted time, spreading myself too thin, saying yes out of obligation,

    YES:
    adventures, self-reflection, “leaning in”, “I accept your apology”, “TV rules”/”Instead Of”, KonMari, more time spent with my daughter, dance parties, meaningful relationships, learning, gratitude, progress not perfection, simplify, getting rid of “noise”, experiences, enough is enough, being brave, living life, purpose over purchase.
    **Say no to the good so you can say yes to the great**

    STEP 9: Pick a core word for 2016.
    This is by far the hardest step for me. I thought I had it narrowed down to one, but then another word started showing up too. I have two words that are fighting to be my core word for the year.
    Brave: I have a lot of things I want to change and grow on – I need to be brave to do this.
    Start: I’m starting a lot of new things and it’s scary but it’s good too.

    I think I’m going to go with BRAVE because start is just what’s happening in my life – even with new things starting, I have to be brave with them! :)

  110. Caroline

    My word for 2016 is HIM. It is all about you, Jesus. Your glory. Your will. In EVERY moment. From daily tasks to huge dreams. Everything about 2016 is for Him.

    I am saying NO to:
    – seeking me
    – comparison
    – judgment
    – jealousy
    – inadequacy
    – obsession
    – unhealthy
    – temper
    – lack of faith
    – withholding prayer
    – not praying at all tines
    – pride and control
    – arguments with my husband

    I’m saying YES to:
    – seeking His word
    – studying His word
    – going into my prayer closet daily
    – joy
    – gratitude
    – peace
    – living in the moment
    – God launching something new
    – being healthy
    – being fit for the right reason
    – ideas from Christ and not ME
    – true friendships
    – humility
    – fruitful marriage
    – joy in marriage

  111. Tiffany

    This is an amazing giveaway for 2016!

  112. Tiffany

    Planning and focus on 2016!

  113. Karen

    Saying no to: clutter, laziness and eye rolling! Saying yes to: scripture, smiles and date nights! My word is LOVE

  114. Melinda

    I’m still working through the steps but I know 2016 will include less stuff- physical and mental!

  115. Lisa Gilbert

    Uh oh. Looking at step 9 it looks like I got a bit ahead of myself sharing my #oneword in my comment on part 1. Oh well! Guess I just planned ahead! :)

    Step 7: For me, I’m super visual, so I read through the steps that I have scrawled out in my chicken scratch and and circled and illustrated everything with my colorful pens. I have to say, it really helped me bring these steps to life! :) The picture of how this resulted is in my blog post at lisamgilbert.com/blog.
    Step 8: What am I saying YES to this year? Taking risks; adventures; more spontaneity; making decisions; being comfortable in my own skin; community; trying new things; Jesus, prayer, the word and church; asking God and seeking His advice; HOPE; occasionally putting me first and feeling okay about doing so; writing more, whether that be poetry or more blog posts; healthier living.
    What am I saying NO to this year? Worry and anxiety; materialism; pride; not asking for help; giving up; FEAR; rushing through all of the good stuff; spending as much (time, money, energy, etc.) on things that don’t matter; isolation; comparison; attempting to be perfect; disbelief; doing things like everyone else; control; wasted time and effort looking for peace and true now anywhere other than with Him.
    Step 9: My core word (or one word) for 2015 is fortitude! Fortitude: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously // My #oneword for 2015 was “dare.” This word played itself out in a lot of big ways. Graduating with my Master’s, leaving a state that was home for a number of years, relocating to SC where I didn’t know anyone to start my first big kid job, and adopting Sawyer were just the headlines, but my #oneword played itself out in little ways as well, every day. I’m hoping to see my #oneword2016 show up in both big and small ways. Now that I’ve made all of these daring changes in life, I’m hoping to continue moving forward.

  116. Ashley B

    My word for 2016 is “Listen.” Listen for God’s call, His whispers around me that affirm His calling for me, listen to my boys earnestly, listen to the students I counsel at work, listen to beauty around me, listen to my husband and notice what he’s going through and how I can pray for him.

  117. Katie Wilkin

    Today I encouraged a friend through facebook that I haven’ seen in years. We once were close, but our lives took different paths. She has struggled with addiction, and as the single mother of 4 boys (one who she gave up for adoption, but still has a close relationship with) she often feels alone and overwhelmed. Today she made a post about falling back into the traps of drugs and that she wants to kick 2016 off the sober way! I’m so proud of her for owning that so publicly, and I share my quote for the year, as well as my word of the year to hopefully give her a little inspiration as well.

  118. Katie Wilkin

    Posting here to hold myself accountable!

    Step 7
    Read over your progress so far. Rewrite. Add. Circle.
    Done. Done. and Done.

    Step 8
    A list of Yes and No for 2016

    Yes: Hope. Love. Less screen time. More play time. One on one time with my husband. Help from others. Communication. More time outside. Me time, to recharge. Being comfortable with ME. More adventure. More hands on experiences as a family. More community involvement. Kindness. Support. Pay it forward!

    No: Worry. Stress. Anxiety. Depression. Answering every notification. Negative chatter. Perfection. Being a hermit!! Laziness. Excuses. Yelling.

    Step 9
    My core word for 2016 is FIERCE. Be fierce in pursuing my goals. Be fierce in loving myself and all of my imperfections. “This is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder & unstoppable. This year I will be FIERCE!”

  119. Jacque

    My word or saying is “letting go” ” surrender control” over my kids, over perfection, over homeschooling etc.

  120. Stacey

    My word for the year is Progress, because I keep coming back to your “Progress, not perfection,” quote. I keep getting so hung up on things not being quite right that I either never even get started or give up right away. I’m tired of being stuck and ready to move forward, even if it’s in baby steps. :0)

  121. Liz

    2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

    I thought my word was going to be calm, but as I was searching for verses related to calmness I read the verse above and it spoke to me. My word for 2016 is power. I don’t mean power like a big job or a lot of responsibility, but to live my life knowing that I have the power of God. Knowing that with God I have the power to give and love and share more than I think I am capable of.

  122. amoryskaggs

    my word is less of a word a more of a phrase “COME AND SEE” as in Come and see what God has done. I want this year to be a year of declaring what God has done for me!

  123. Kelly

    Obedience; scariest word for me. and yet I’ve been feeling it for weeks now.

  124. Caitlin Sullivan

    My word is ENCOURAGE. It is always so life giving. This includes encouraging myself, too! :)

  125. Amanda

    JOY is the word I’m choosing. I want to focus on being joyful this year.

  126. Carrie Beth

    I’m saying NO to:

    Fear
    Approval of man
    Striving
    Anything good that’s not also GOD.
    Overcommitted and overcrowded schedule
    Comparison
    Over-buying/Debt
    Eating out too much
    Clutter
    Control
    Doubt
    Wasted time
    Exhaustion
    Toxic thoughts/relationships
    Not Enough
    Perfection
    Worry/Anxious thoughts

    I’m saying YES to:
    Looking to Christ alone for Hope, Joy, Identity
    Cheering others on!
    Writing
    Scripture memory
    Studying the Word
    Home
    Quality time with friends
    Encouraging others
    Whole living – exercise and healthy eating
    Prayer
    Personal worship time
    Rest
    Deep Wells
    Investing in the “iron” in my life
    Enough
    Speaking His promises over my life
    Opening my home to others
    Bible journaling

    My word this year is PURPOSE – both the noun and the very form of the word. I picked this before even stumbling across your sight and this series, Lara! I’m purposing my heart and mind and body and spirit to live a life a life of purpose this year.

  127. Jan

    Making a list of what worked in 2015 and what didn’t was so eye opening for me. Great prompt!

    My word for 2016 is “purposeful”.

  128. FJ

    STEP ONE: What have you been chasing? I also have been chasing perfection, acceptance, and approval.
    It makes me feel self conscious.

    STEP TWO: How are you? Stuck.In.a.Rut. Weeding the garden to make time for the flowers that mean the most to me.

    STEP THREE: What worked in 2015? Finding time to genuinely be grateful and finding the positive in every situation. Grateful for my health, wealth, husband, children, insurance and my new fur ball. He brings so much joy to each of us.

    STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change? I would find peace within myself and others.

    What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like? Focus on change. Just do it. Quit pondering, quit overthinking and start doing. Start following through on making change for the better.

    STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015? Comparison and worry. Gossip and judging. Lost focus.

    STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015? Definitely my husband. He has shown me so much unconditional love and support through this journey. My children keep me grounded. My mother, my sisters and various other friends and families.

    Who inspired you to live on purpose? My friend Roshael, she genuinely listens to me. She supports me, she has been an amazing rock to help me with my woes.

    STEP 7: Read over all of your progress so far! Time to focus on change. Time to remove the distraction and noise.

    STEP 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to.
    I am saying yes to:
    Practice prayer
    Regain my faith (thank you)
    Believe that I am enough
    Let go
    Focus on progress
    Being a cheerleader of GREATNESS to my friends and family
    Being myself
    Feeling grateful
    Creativity
    Whole health

    I am saying no to:
    greed
    perfection
    yelling
    FEAR of what others think of me, where I fit in and making mistakes
    Feeling insecure
    Dishonesty
    Comparison
    Wasting time on excess social media

    STEP 9: Pick a word for 2015.
    Patience.

    Pick a core word for 2016.
    Breakthrough.

  129. Jessica

    My word for 2016 is intentional. Being intentional in my actions, words, thoughts, and choices. Intentional in spending time with God. Intentional about finding community. Intentional in the way I encourage others. Intentional with my time. Intentional in spending money. Intentional about what I say yes to. Intentional about what I say no to. I hope to be mindful of all of these things throughout 2016!

  130. Charmaine

    The themes that I kept seeing are waiting, chasing. moving forward, letting go, change, action, growing , gratitude, being where I need to be and I can do hard things – STRONG!
    I’m saying NO to:
    time wasters-
    jealously
    not trying
    not giving my all
    not being enough
    giving up
    taking the easy way out

    I’m saying YES to:
    God
    Prayer
    Pondering
    Scripture
    Seeking
    Husband
    Children
    Hope
    Being Present
    Challenge
    Learning
    Open Mind
    Open Heart
    Listening
    Desire
    Belief
    Allow
    Gratitude
    Not just being but Doing
    Exercise

    My Word is STRONG!!!
    Strong in health, in mind, in endurance, in exercising ,
    in the way I use my money and time.

  131. Kara-Anne

    Here we go again!

    8: I am saying NO to…
    – Being anxious for nothing
    – Procrastination and laziness (lack of discipline)
    – Spending unnecessarily
    – Reminding myself of my past failures
    – Getting worked up over little things
    – Spending time on things that don’t make my heart sing and that brings me away from my peace
    – Luxury items that I don’t need — I do not have a point to prove
    – Falling off the bandwagon

    I am saying YES to…
    – Doing / trying things in business just because — I’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain in many occasions!
    – Reading the Bible everyday
    – Fellowshipping with women on SRT and Influence Net
    – Saving for the future
    – Being in the present and loving / ENJOYING what I have
    – Giving grace in all situations, especially in marriage
    – Putting myself out there more — I have jumped on calls, webinars and coaching calls SO MANY TIMES in 2015 even though it made my stomach churn. But it was worth every single second!
    – Praying and loving on my husband
    – Being peaceful in my dealings with clients
    – Using my God-given gifts unabashedly
    – Leaping with faith!
    – Being focused on the goal
    – Being organized in my business and streamlining my client processes :)

    9: My 2016 word is…
    MOVE.

    Be always moving. Action-taking. Move to love. Move to work. Move to grow my business. Move to do more. Move to initiate. Move to bring everything to another level.

  132. Jackie Ray

    Lots of great stuff I can use to help me start setting goals this year! Thank you, Jackie

  133. Hayley

    Thank you for all your inspiration!

  134. Kathleen Sullivan

    my word for 2016 is GRACE. letting go of control and pride, having true genuine love for those around me, finding balance in this crazy life through HIM, and having grace in all of my relationships.

  135. Jessica Mansfield

    loving this goal setting series!

  136. Jennifer

    I am saying Yes to:
    -praying more frequently
    -reading my Bible more often
    -trusting that God has my back
    -tackling my fears and projects that scare me head on
    -strengthening my marriage
    -building a supportive community
    -communicating my feelings with love
    -showing gratitude for my blessings
    -spending face to face time with my Grandpa (he recently moved to NJ)
    -walking in faith and with courage
    -being vulnerable
    -using my gifts for God’s glory

    I’m saying No to:
    -going to bed angry about anything
    -comparison
    -letting fear control my life
    -worry
    -anxiety
    -overcommitment
    -limiting beliefs
    -my ego
    -letting my past determine my present
    -shame
    -being late to everything
    -avoiding situations that I know I should resolve or take action on
    -bottling up my feelings and emotions

    My word for this year is: LEGACY. This word kept coming up for me as I worked on my powersheets and dealt with the death of my paternal grandmother. Before she passed, I had started some of the prework for my powersheets. I knew that this year I wanted to honor her in some way. Little did I know that God was going to draw me closer to her in a way that I least expected.

    When I went out to Ohio for her funeral, I felt drawn to look through some of her bookcases. I found a large print Bible that belonged to her. As I thumbed through the pages, I could see where she marked specific passages that she liked. Photos, postcards and a handwritten speech were pressed between the pages.. Reading the speech she prepared, I learned things about her that I didn’t know previously. I also found journals and scrapbooks that she made. I loved that I could read her words and see the story she told on the pages of her journals and scrapbooks come to life. God led me to find these stories and I’m so thankful that I did.

    I want to focus on what God is calling me to start and/or build up (projects, businesses, activities) that will add to the legacy my husband and I will leave behind.

  137. Machelle

    My word for 2016 is Beloved. I want to do things in a way that will glorify God and do so as a beloved daughter. Valuing my worth and identity in Christ as a beloved daughter. :)

  138. Bethany

    What I am saying yes to:
    Careful planning and preparation instead of carelessly rushing through everything.
    Paying attention to my husband, loving him with his love languages.
    Enjoying my son and helping him learn and grow.
    Weekends
    Viewing my job as a ministry, not as an obligation.
    Giving grace- to my husband, my son, my family, my friends, and my church. And giving grace to myself.
    Spending time in the Word.
    Praying aloud in the car.
    Rising early.
    Cultivating genuine friendships.
    Caring for my home as an act of love for my family.
    Setting aside social media and TV when upset, and humbly going before the Lord in prayer as my source of peace.
    Laughing at the days to come.
    Rejoicing and giving thanks in all circumstances.
    Hoping in the Lord and His promises.
    Relying on God for strength to be the believer, wife, mother, and secretary He wants me to be.
    Slowing down in my heart, even when life is not slow.
    Embracing the mess!
    Being fully present and all-there during church and youth group.
    Developing relationships with the youth group girls.
    Showering
    Organizing and simplifying.
    Dying to self.

    What I am saying no to:
    Pride
    Insisting on my own way
    Choosing self over others
    Not taking care of myself.
    Seeking after man’s approval and applause
    Fear and worry
    Laziness and procrastination
    Getting worked up and stressed over things both big and small
    Trying to do it all on my own

    My word for 2016:
    Stewardship.

    “The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.”

    As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
    1 Peter 4:10 ESV

    Proverbs 31

    I want to be a good steward of the gifts, roles, and life that God has given me. I want to be a good steward of my marriage. Of my child. Of my job at the church. Of my ministry with the girls. Of my friendships. Of my household. Of my talents. Of the time God has given me.

    • Lauren

      I love your list! And your word! – It definitely seems to sum up what you want to accomplish!

  139. Charmaine Moore

    My word for 2016 is “Progress ” Thank you again so much for such a beautiful way to accomplish things, Lara. I am having such revelations while using the PowerSheets. It’s even better than I thought and expected it to be!

  140. Nicole Hayes

    My word for 2016 is “Ability”. I have the ability to do more than I think I can and I’m going to go for it!

  141. Megan Lewellen

    I am saying yes to God and no to distractions from my life! I really want to live my life this year and not be watching from the sidelines.

  142. Adalia

    I encouraged my daughter to get rest so she could be the best version of herself.

  143. Joanna Hyatt

    8. YES: More Jesus
    Laughter and memory making with my girls
    Deepening friendships
    Vulnerability – in writing, relationships
    Speaking truth but in love
    Praying in ALL things
    Loving and serving My Husband
    Learning: more reading, work on second language
    JOY
    Healthy body and healthy family
    Mentoring/discipling

    NO: Comparison
    Expectations
    Failure to trust
    Biting Remarks, particularly to my husband
    Wasted time on Social Media
    Lack of Faith in the face of the unexpected
    Complaining: to God and my husband!

    9. Still haven’t picked a word….praying over that!

  144. Beverly V

    Goal “uncovering”… love this, Lara! This is probably the first year I have been allowing myself to slow down, pray more, and trust that He has this year. But also to move forward taking action in faith. The little by little prayerful revealing of good, wise goals – my overarching January goal.

    So, this year I am:
    – Saying NO to tight-fisted control for my ways, so I can say YES! to open-handed surrender to His ways.
    – Saying NO to hoping in anything other than God, so I can say YES! to hoping *for* His good gifts, as I (seek Him first) putting hope *in* Him alone.
    – Saying NO to chasing perfection (outcomes and empty worldly things), so I can say YES! to accepting His perfect love in and through *all* things.
    – Saying NO to critical and condemning thoughts and words, so I can say YES! to life-giving words and thoughts of encouragement and growth. Changing those thought patterns and attitudes! (As I constantly allow Him to do the hard work of changing my heart.)
    – Saying NO to unstructured, aimless uses of my time, so that I can say YES! to intentional, organized, meaningful time spent with Him and loved ones and on the good things He places on my heart.

    My word for 2016 is ARISE!
    Isaiah 60:1 has been catching my eye a lot recently.
    “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD shines over you.”
    As I followed cross references from this verse (Isaiah 9:2, Ephesians 5:13-14, Malachi 4:2, Luke 1:78-79), I discovered that they all point to Christ. This gave my heart an overwhelming peace and joy. He is the light, my light. I want to arise and shine for Him.
    In 2015 (and earlier years), I all too often cowered to my anxieties and fears. I would mistakenly hope IN and focus ON all the wrong/worldly things. God patiently and mercifully has been drawing me closer to Him through the crumbling of all those things – more so in the last year than ever before.
    2016 is the year that I ARISE, shine for my light has come (Jesus!), and His glory shines over me. No matter what this year holds or what works or doesn’t work – He is my light and I will ARISE trusting Him through whatever comes my way. Hoping in Him, only Him. He is/will be the daily source of my peace and my strength (Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 73:26).

    Thanks so much for this space to really detangle and organize my heart and goal ideas. I’ve been so blessed and encouraged by your words for the past few years. Grateful for you and your heart for others, Lara Isaacson!

  145. Morgan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’ve never been that into goal setting, but watching you go through this process has been so life-giving for me! I am inspired to actually sit down and ask God what he wants to do with this year. Thank you for seeking Him and encouraging others to do the same!

  146. Ashley Terry

    Sending out a Lara Casey encouragement postcard to my best friend today just to tell her how amazing she is and how much she is loved, so she never forgets. It’s in the mail!

  147. Steph

    My word is intentions. I never really ask myself “why” I’m doing things and therefore, I’m never doing things with purpose and it leads to stress and giving up.

  148. Alea Moore

    My word for 2016 is -To BREATHE. I feel like for the past several years I have been going through each day with my fists tight, bearing down, and holding my breath. I refuse to keep this as my normal because without breathing I am unable to allow quiet and without quiet I am unable to hear my God. Unable to listen to the truth and the plans He truly desires for me. So thankful for this constant encouragement to push for better!

  149. Ashley Flores

    My word is Grace. Not because I need more of it, but because I need to understand it better. I know I abused it in 2015. I broke free of a bondage that was drowning me and it caused me to just run full speed towards whatever wasn’t like what I’d been experiencing. I need to know what God says Grace is. xoxo

  150. Caroline (Djursholm, Sweden)

    I’m saying yes to:
    * exercise
    * healthy living
    * spending time with the kids, and being present in the now (not working at the same time…)
    * learning new things
    *listen rather than judge
    * getting things done on our house
    * doing excursions with the family to create memories and to be in the present.

    I’m saying no to:
    * worry
    * comparison
    * multitasking

    My words this year (can’t pick just one) are relationships and health.

  151. Annerien

    Reflection, definitely should make more time for this!

    Yes! I am saying YES to – Prayer in everything, living in the moment, fearless love, writing, reading the Bible, healthy body, starting, me time, patience, compromise, trust, away weekends, using talents, passion, dancing, creating, seeing progress, gratefulness, communication, intimacy, eternal values

    Saying NO to – compromising on my passion, health or future, pleasing people, negative self talk, having everything figured out, worrying about peoples actions, thoughts and reactions, enemies lies, road rage, financial worries, sweating the small, comparison, feeling inadequate, feeling like I have not accomplished enough.

    My word for 2016 is – Fearless! Having a fearless love for people because God has loved them first. Having a fearless approach to starting, knowing that God is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

  152. Jenny

    Saying YES to going to bed early and getting up early, planning, focus, creativity, reading, believing God for the impossible, patience, smiles/affection, a simpler schedule!

  153. Kathy

    My word for the year is achieve! !

  154. Megan Lewellen

    7) My themes were Hope, Family, community, God
    8) No to paralysis, distractions like social media and TV, worry/anxiety, self doubt, control. Yes to movement, Hope, God, community, being still in winter, scary new steps
    9) Hope

  155. Rachel

    Hi Lara! Hope you and your family are feeling better. I was sick last week, not fun!!! I wanted to continue the steps here for Part 3…

    …Step 7: Reading over everything, re-writing things and finding themes. I took a day off of doing this from step 6 because when you walk away and come back to what you are writing, you are able to focus. That was scary. I found that I am down on myself way too much, no self confidence in myself, habits that I have can definitely be improved, I need to do the work and not just say I am doing the work, and finally this is real life not a dreamed up fantasy. Truth hurts but the truth will set me free…

    …Step 8: I had a huge list but here are a few of them for saying NO to: perfection, hostility, sensitiveness, withholding forgiveness for myself and others, and taking things for granted. Saying YES to: believing, truth, improving my marriage, nourishing friendships, managing time better, and more self confidence.

    …Step 9: I came to this word in an instant after soaking up all of this goal setting and reading others posts and reviewing what happened to me in 2015. My word is WORK. I haven’t worked hard enough to get what I want and keep what I want. I have too many excuses, distractions, and comfort zones that I prevent myself from doing the work that is important in my life. This is the first year I have ever done anything like this so I pray for encouragement that I will continue this feeling all year long.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of Part 4 and 5 to finish this and have this be the best year ever… :)

  156. Luisa

    The NO / YES list is one of my favorites part in the prep-work. It reminds me of the “what are you filling your jars with?” section in previous Powersheets.

    I am saying NO to control, worry and focusing inward. Saying YES to making a mess (I like this one a lot Lara!), being thankful, going to JESUS for my peace and calm.

    My word this year is SURRENDER.

    I am laying down my “everything” for HIS plan. His ways are better than mine. So exciting.

  157. Kaitlin

    My word for 2016 is GRACE. I want to be filled and even overflowing with grace. I want to have grace in my speech, dreams, goals, hopes, desires, and fears. I want to radiate grace as I surrender my will and give up control.

  158. Josie

    My word for 2016 is TWO words! Love well! My goal is to love my family well, love my husband well, and love my friends well!

  159. Bailey Robert

    I’m loving going back to these while going through my PowerSheets! A perfect kick in the pants for the start of the semester ;)

    Step 7: Read over all of your progress so far! // Woohoo! Done and done!

    Step 8: Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2016 and what you are saying NO to. // YES to spontaneity, being saturated in Scripture, BELIEF, big faith, trusting God, making my health a priority, small acts of faithfulness, active waiting, delighting in discipline, self control.

    Step 9: Pick a core word for 2015. // BELIEVE!

  160. Dawn Wolff

    Still stuck on my word, but I’m feeling super inspired now! Thank you Laura!

  161. Laura

    My word for 2016 is surrender. Surrendering to what God wants for my life instead of plowing ahead with what I want. Excited (and a little anxious!) to see where that takes me! Making the leap!

  162. Laura

    And I encouraged a friend today who had a family member die earlier this week…texted her to let her know I was thinking about and praying for her.

  163. Brett Marie

    Great giveaway! Thanks for the goal writing inspiration.

  164. Adeola Ogunbekun

    So excited about thisgiveaway! I’m hoping I win something. Even more so excited about getting 2016 powersheets

  165. Ade Ogun

    STEP ONE: What have you been chasing? And how has that been making you feel?
    Balance, Clarity, Direction. Making me feel very overwhelmed.

    STEP TWO: How are you? Evaluate your garden.
    Overwhelmed. Garden needs to be tended to, remove weeds, do some pruning

    STEP THREE: What worked in 2016? And what lessons did you learn?
    Making meaningful connections, Staying present, Choosing faith over anxiety, Waking up very early is one of the keys to a successful and productive day, breathing & meditation

    STEP FOUR: If you stopped chasing “perfect”—or whatever you’ve been chasing that is wearing you out— how would your life change? What does your perfectly imperfect “Messy 2016″ look like?

    Peaceful, Serene, Clear, intentional, meaningful, more balance, less stress, less weight gain, more control

    STEP FIVE: What hasn’t been working in 2015?
    Not working out, not finding time for myself and things I enjoy, letting my business run, not sticking to boundaries.Shortchanging myself

    STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2015? Who inspired you to live on purpose
    My mom, My sister, My Cousins and business partner!
    My dad inspires me to live on purpose. I am always reminded by his continued legacy and God’s hand upon his life

  166. Yarixa Marcos

    I love the fact that Lara Casey is doing this giveaway! This is such a good way to start 2016. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.

  167. Amber

    My word for 2016 is intentional – intentional time spent in the Word, intentional family time, intentional purchases, intentional connections with people, intentional action.

  168. BriAnne

    I can’t wait to get started on my “Yes – No” list!! I think it will really open my eyes and be beneficial. I have been trying to figure out my word for 2016 and I keep coming back to “Me”. I kept fighting it because I felt like it “didn’t count” and that it wasn’t really a word. But in doing this series, I have realized that all I want for this year is to work on me and put me first. Yes, there are a few physical things I would love like to start a business but feel that I can’t start a business until I am happy with me.

  169. Jenna Gilbreath

    Step 7 – It’s super satisfying to go back through the homework in this blog series as well as the Make it Happen prompts! I’m finding that my themes are — feeling trapped and anxious from a job that I allowed perfectionism to control, finding and naming my sin, and taking a leap of faith to switch careers into something more fulfilling for my passions.

    Step 8 – Saying NO to – dreading the mornings, putting work above God and my family, looking back at “what might have been” when God has moved me on, being anxious for approval and doubting myself and my potential. Saying YES to – keeping a Sabbath, work-life balance, adoption, creative pursuits as a career.

    Step 9 – I know it’s a weird word, but I keep going back to “Leap”! Taking a leap of faith is super scary, but once your feet have left the ground, faith is needed and adventure is bound to happen!

  170. Mary

    My 2016 word is CRAVE. I want to crave more of God, crave more of His Word, crave to look more like Him. I want to want it so badly it keeps me up at night and consumes my every moment.

  171. Ashley

    I love reading through the comments…so inspiring! What incredible “yes” categories people have!

  172. Kristina Paulsen

    I am so happy I saw this today, this giveaway would be so powerful for this weary mama! God is so good, and Lacey you are such a gift. :)

  173. Kristina Paulsen

    Autocorrect changed Lara to Lacey , how silly!

  174. Kameya Shows-Ciers

    Step 7: It is shocking for me to read over this and see how transparent I’ve been. I think it is freeing to be more honest with myself and others. That is something that I will continue in 2016.

    Step 8: I will say No to: criticizing, toxic thoughts, more tasks, spending Money to feel better, to being on time, committing to more than I can handle.

    I will say Yes to: more Jesus and time with the Spirit, being more available to my husband, to taking care myself, more structure for the little one, having more quality time with my mom, to getting my app launched.

    Step 9: My core word for 2016 is .Prepared! Be because I want to be prepared for this blessing and the calling He has on my life.

  175. Caroline

    I have just loved this series! I have become obsessed with the thought of chasing purpose not perfect. This is my first year teaching middle school, and I am definitely a “perfect” seeking person. I just want everything to be, well perfect… and that is so not reality. It has been so nice to read through all your posts and challenge myself and my thought process on my life right now. So what I needed! Thanks for sharing and challenging us all!

  176. Terri

    Step 7: BETTER!! That’s my word for 2016. Better me, better mom, better friend, better Christian, better woman, better…better…better. Better=Growth. Any level of growth is progress.

    Step 8: Saying no to comparison! That’s a big one for me! Saying yes to faith, hope, prayer, growth, loving myself.

    Step 9: Growth is my core word! It takes me from complacency to thriving!

  177. Melissa Grimsley Shafer

    My word is flourish!

  178. Bethany

    So thankful for these words of encouragement in goal setting! I’ve never been one to set goals for the year, but this series has not only empowered me, but also excited me about the year to come! 2016 is going to be great.

  179. Margaret

    My word is rest. I loved reading the beginning of your series where you describe being rushed and always trying to do more. That is me the last couple of years trying to improve my situation, running around like crazy, feeling like not enough, always trying to do more instead of sitting back, having quiet time with God, and re-evaluating how things are going and what to do next. This year is going to be a whole different ball game:)

  180. You are Everything We Could Ever Need – Light Love Lauren

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  181. Michelle Castillejos

    My word for 2016: Endurance

  182. Sara

    Are the steps and resources to go through each step of goal setting found in the powersheets or somewhere else? Will there be a restock of the full notebooks? I’m completely moved and obsessed right now with your hearts and your journeys as I have been in the same place of chasing perfect for nearly 29 years and God has very recently revealed how deep that has gone in me and broken that chain and is consuming my heart with fire and passion.

  183. Megan

    Encouraged to read through the thread of comments as I pick my career-oriented 2016 word. (I do separate personal and career goals – personal is in conjunction w/ our wedding anniversary and normally happens in Dec/Jan, whereas my career goals are done after “busy season” – I’m a CPA who does audit work.) After going through the R2Strengths Profiler, I’ve learned that a lot of my unrealised strengths (the things I find energising and perform well, but don’t use so often) are focused around “building” – esteem builder, rapport builder, relationship deepener, improver – so I’m going with BUILD as my 2016 career word.