I almost gave up yesterday. I woke up feeling anxious about all I needed to get done, the kids were being wild (Sarah has been pulling Josh’s pants down lately–all the big eye emojis!), and I considered skipping my weights. This may seem small, but it’s the seemingly-small decisions we make that add up over time. Even if I had decided to skip strength training that morning, it would have been fine–progress matters, not perfection–but I learned something in that moment. I stopped, I got still, and I asked myself why I wanted to quit. It’s so easy to get narrowly focused on today, and lose sight of what will matter when we’re 80. For me, being healthy so I can live strong and healthy for my family is part of my big picture. The to-do’s that felt so urgent, causing me to consider not cultivating what matters, suddenly paled in comparison. So, I took a deep breath and pushed through. I’m so glad I did.

You see, it wasn’t about pushing through a workout. It’s never really about what’s on the surface.

It was about laying down the worry I was experiencing, which was really about not trusting God in that moment. I was trying to get ahead instead of get still. Trying to achieve instead of abide.

That’s big. These decisions add up.

Making progress on goals isn’t about checking something off of a list, or making perfect steps forward; it’s about growing something that lasts longer than us. When the big picture is in view, real motivation happens. Real motivation is the kind of fire you can tap into when you don’t feel like it. (Hand raised here on tapping into that a lot!) Real motivation is grace-filled, and gives you the freedom to change plans and miss a step (or ten) on the path, as long as you are still on the path.

IMG_9183Out in the garden yesterday morning.

Get this: February is statistically the month that gym membership attendance goes down, and fast food consumption goes up. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Many of us feel burned out, or guilty for not starting the new year like we had hoped. (Are you feeling that?) Here’s what happens: 50% of the US population sets goals in January. Come February 15th, half of those people give up.

But, not us.
Not you.

No matter how imperfect our progress has been so far, we. are. not. caving.

We are getting back up and shaking things up.

Instead, we’re celebrating the power of little by little (sometimes imperfect!) progress, and we’re flipping this statistic on its head together!

cultivate-what-matters-manifesto

Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we.

We believe that growing an intentional life is possible, right where we are: in the mess, in the tension, in the wait, and in what may feel imperfect.

We believe the imperfect is rich growing ground. We do not have to have it all together or do it all to live a purposeful life.

We believe that goal setting can be life-giving instead of guilt-inducing. We believe that good goals have the power to simplify our lives, and give us our time back!

We believe that good things grow over time, through little-by-little progress

We believe that cultivating what matters isn’t magic: it takes hard work and intentional decisions. From tilling up the earth and planting seeds, to tending and pruning, to the harvest, growing good things takes muscle, heart, and leaps of faith.

We believe in growing together, in blooming where we’ve been planted, and in helping others do the same.

We believe cultivating what matters changes everything.

For tips and ideas on how to get motivated, refreshed, or how to start over on your grace-filled goals completely, we’ve got you covered! Join us on the new CultivateWhatMatters.com today.

You get two choices this week: become a part of this statistic and give up, or shake things up and cultivate. We’re excited to dig in with you! Which one are you choosing?

5 Show Comments
  1. Saun

    Thank you Lara your words are right on time…I am choosing to face the tension caused by my fear and as you share… get my hands dirty. Praying to cultivate the beautiful picture you paint of an intentional purposeful life…Seeking faith to quelch my fears. Thankful you remind us to pray at evert turn …. praying to silence my self doubt..Tomorrow I meet with my Women’s Ministry Pastor to discuss leading a workshop at our retreat… That God would use me is incredible…a testimony to his mercy and grace… So grateful for the tending list…Thanks to your encouragement and graciousness… I will post my 1st Make It Happen PowerSheets Book Club Babes FB post…I still can’t believe it! Praying that God allow my imperfect self to grow good things…I want to “get it right” as a thank you to God and for all you have done for me and countless women and men… knowing that I am imperfect and the progress prayerfully will take place as you say little by little… I am willing to learn and grow. I have never lead anything on social media… I have never even been on social media until CWM and your blog… I am willing to learn…be pruned. Watching tutorials and gaining good ground. I am choosing to take the leap of faith… Your book shares to take a Deep Breathe and Exhale… I am! Please keep the posts coming :) They are balm for this determined imperfect gardener! Thank you Lara!

  2. Rose

    I forgot to say… Sarah brought such a smile to my face… regarding her brother : ) Thank you for all the laughs and smiles you bring to the day!

  3. Charlotte

    After reading this post, I googled abide. I needed to cement that in my mind. I found this great post – http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-abide-christ/. So much good stuff there!

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