The 2018 PowerSheets are HERE and, thanks to you, our launch has been a joy! As a small team, this week, more than ever, your encouragement and support have truly meant the world to us.

This week continues to be a turning point for all of us, and for so many of you as well. You’re getting your 2018 PowerSheets, and setting yourself up for an intentional year ahead. We are all excited and grateful to walk this journey alongside you!

As I shared in my last post, this launch has been hard work but it has also been grounded, rooted and calm at the same time.

Why has it been calm?

Was it the matching T’s?

The balloons and confetti?

While that was all fun (and my office floor never looked so festive after those confetti canons exploded!), I believe it was something else–something that has been growing for many months now.

One of our core values as a team–the heartbeat of why we do what we do–is The Power of One. We believe one of the most powerful ways we can cultivate what matters is by focusing on affecting just one person’s life. One by one, little by little, we know that what we do every day matters in the big and small interactions.

And so, we’ve been paying attention over the last months. Listening to each other and to you. Preparing our soil and helping you prepare yours. Digging into the hard stuff to get to the good stuff. We’ve been focusing on the big picture and taking small steps. We’ve been embracing imperfect progress, knowing imperfect progress is still progress.

We’ve been cultivating.

This has brought a steadfast calm as a team–even when one of us has the occasional moment of panic or fear (speaking for myself here!). This week, I’ve seen our team working harder than ever, with their heads and hearts focused on what lasts longer than us.

Each Friday, we share updates as a team–what we accomplished and what’s ahead. This is what I wrote to everyone last Friday:

Team, this week has been a great one. We have all worked hard, and with joy–even in challenges! We’re in the final stretch where preparation is key. As we move into this launch, here are some things for us all to keep in mind. Our impact potential is very real: if even a small number of people use PowerSheets, imagine the domino affect that has on others. Most people’s goals trickle out to impact family and coworkers and children and friends. If even 100 people use PowerSheets, and just 2 people are affected by each person, that’s 300 people’s lives have been changed for the better. One by one, the PowerSheets experience can change people–and it starts now. I see you all impacting people already–readying them for their PowerSheets journeys! Through email exchanges, social interactions, generous decisions, and meaningful conversations, you are changing lives. We’ve worked so hard to get to this week, and the best part is that this is just the beginning. Next week marks the START for thousands of women. A new path ahead, new hope, new possibilities. We have the privilege of shepherding our community from here on as we kick off a new PowerSheets year for all of us!

Are we perfect in this pursuit of helping people cultivate what matters? No. We aren’t perfect, but I’m grateful for a God who is. I need His grace and guidance in all of this. We are imperfect people, but we believe that progress matters, not perfection. The pursuit of doing this work is worth all the mistakes we might make along the way.

The same is true for all of us and for what we will grow in the year ahead. Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we. Good things grow not despite our flaws and failures, but right in the middle of them!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite moments from launch day and what’s ahead!

We are a really small team of 9 women. This is us on launch day!

Kristin is on maternity leave, four of us work remotely, and the other four of us work from my house here in Chapel Hill, NC, with my kiddos running around under the same roof.

Josh, Sarah, and Gracie thoroughly enjoyed the launch day festivities!

We started Launch Day at 10 am with some excitement, including a free shipping error that caused several hundred emails and phone calls to flood in within the first 7 minutes of going live. I went into go-mode and took over the phones. Our team flew into action, solving the glitch by adding a free shipping code everywhere we could think to add it so our customers could be served well. Nothing like a tech error to start your heart thumping for the day! We’re so grateful for our customer family being so patient with us and encouraging. Many of you got on live chat and sent us emails just to cheer us on–this meant so much!

Kaylee was our conductor for customer delight, telling us how to serve people well and making sure our fulfillment team here in NC was handling the flood of orders well.
Emily started the day on live chat on the shop site and then moved to our email system.
Jess took over social content and a portion of email land.
Catherine took another portion of email land and live chat on the shop.
Amber monitored Facebook and our data across the company, helping us keep an eye on inventory.
Marissa delighted customers in our direct messages.
Nicole was our tech wizard, helping ensure orders were processed correctly.

And this all continues! We’re still here, working hard on helping customers make the right decision for their particular goals, working through customer delight tasks, and helping our fulfillment team get orders out the door.

A few of our favorite things this week:

From me: I am especially grateful for all of our new Cultivate family who will be digging into 2018 goals with us (hi!!). It was a joy to talk to many of you on the phone and in messages this week, and there was even some dancing with some of you on my live broadcast. Get the free replay and see inside the PowerSheets collection LIVE.

Another favorite was a last-minute project that Nicole and I tackled the day before we launched. If you can’t tell from this 2018 PowerSheets video, we had a little fun making this (wait for it… don’t miss the ending)!

The 2018 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner from Lara Casey on Vimeo.

From Nicole: Yes! I loved finishing up the PowerSheets product video! It was a last-minute product but ended up being really fun to make and to watch. I hope it helps customers get to know PowerSheets more thoroughly and get a few laughs, too.

From Catherine: My favorite part of the launch day was when Emily was filming an Instagram story talking about the party poppers, and Kaylee popped hers and scared her! 🙂 But I also loved dressing my baby up in her Cultivate onesie to match mama. And of course, hearing from all our lovely customers about how excited they are to get their PowerSheets!!

From Emily: I love how launch days allow us to dive into different parts of the business than we usually do. Instead of my normal behind the scenes team duties and creative director things, I got to talk with YOU on live chat and customer service. And y’all were so excited and encouraging!!! And so many of you are new to PowerSheets! We can’t wait to get to know you better over the next few weeks and months!

From Amber: My favorite part of yesterday was seeing the excitement of so many new customers who are joining the Cultivate family and using PowerSheets for the very first time. Even better — the past users encouraging them and sharing their own stories about how PowerSheets has impacted their lives since they first started using them. It truly is a community here and I’m excited for the year ahead for everyone!

From Marissa: I loved talking with our customers who were buying PowerSheets as gifts for their sisters and friends! What a gift to give! And I loved the behind the scenes laughs we shared, the confetti pops, and cowbell rings with our entire team to continually celebrate such an exciting week!

From Kaylee: My favorite part of Launch Week has been getting to interact with new PowerSheets users! How exciting it is to know the impact the PowerSheets will have on these ladies. A close second was seeing the whole team (and kiddos!) in their Sprout onesies and tees.

From Jess: My favorite part has been seeing how seamlessly our teamed worked together this week to serve our customers and one another! We embraced each thing that could be seen as an obstacle as an opportunity to embrace our motto of “progress, not perfection,” and we had a lot of fun along the way too! It’s a reminder that we’re all on this journey together!

And our two favorite team members of the day…. the Winchester twins.

Friends, thank you! Thank you for your encouragement and support. Your kindness and enthusiasm have meant the world to us this week as we continue to do this work. This is just the beginning for all of us!

We are excited for the happy mail coming soon to all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, many military bases (thank you for your service!) and 22 countries. Our shipping team here in North Carolina is working so hard getting orders out the door. I wish I could hop into every box and give you a hug and a high five and hear all about what you are cultivating in the year ahead!

P.S. We’re hiring (and now open to remote candidates for highly skilled applicants!) 

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Just this morning, Grace and I picked the Meyer lemon that has been growing for over a year on our little tree. One beautiful sunny yellow lemon. On the surface, you may be wondering why this is significant–it’s just one lemon, right?

Last winter was especially challenging. I was deep in the thick of writing Cultivate, and slowly coming out of one of the hardest seasons of my life.

But, there on the lemon tree (who had somehow lost all of her leaves at that point) was a bloom. One little bloom.

It was a surprising sight. And that little tree wasn’t done! She soon burst with dozens of fragrant lemon blossoms. It was a gift–a clear reminder that out of hard things come good things, and there is good in every season–even when we can’t see it or feel it.

It gets too cold here in North Carolina for the lemon trees to stay outside, so we bring them in for the winter. Grace and I take on the role of bees and hand-pollinate our trees with a little paintbrush in the winter months.

We tended to that tree little-by-little, and today just happened to be the day the fruit was ripe.

This sunny lemon sure did pick a perfect day to be ready to enjoy, because, like the lemon taking a year to ripen, today is THE DAY here in our little office too! Our 2018 PowerSheets release (and start shipping!) this morning after over a year of hard work, tending, and prayer.

This year and this week and this day have already felt different than before. They have felt cultivated.

Our readers have told us this launch has felt very calm, and they’ve felt our excitement. It has indeed been calm. There has been a lot going on, but we feel confident in these products. And we are truly excited about this new beginning.

Today isn’t about a product launch for me, it’s about a new opportunity to cultivate what matters most in our lives, from the exact spot we’re sitting.

It’s not about doing more or being more. It’s not about striving for perfection or having it all together. It’s about growing the right things. It’s about growing what you’ve been given right where you are. It’s about growing what lasts longer than you. That’s what matters.

I created the 2018 PowerSheets Goal Planner to help women uncover cultivated goals and do something about them.

The 2018 PowerSheets are for all of us — in every stage of life, every role, and every season. From love-at-home moms to students, entrepreneurs, and empty nesters, the PowerSheets are for anyone who desires a grace-filled system that, if you are faithful in the process, works.

My hope is that we are equipped to prioritize with confidence, giving us more time for what’s truly important.

Because at the end of the day, isn’t time what we need most to invest in what matters?

Less time spent scrolling and comparing. More time spent walking in your unique path.

Less time saying “yes” without thinking about boundaries. More time spent with the people who you love.

Here are some more details about what The PowerSheets Goal Planner is. There are three simple sections inside:

Part 1: The PowerSheets Prep. The first 35 pages help you uncover your unique goals and what matters to you.
Part 2: Intentional Action Plans. Then, I walk you step-by-step through creating a simple action plan for each of your goals with S.M.A.R.T. starting steps.
Part 3: Monthly Tending Pages. After uncovering your goals and action plans, now it’s time to live them out in your everyday! 

What’s in the new One-Year Goal Planner:

– NEW! Goal Refresh and Month In Review pages
– Expanded Goal Action Plan pages
– Wildcard pages to download and personalize your PowerSheets Goal Planner
– 188 pages of inspiring quotes and worksheets (12 more than 2017 // 21 additional full-color pages)
– Simple, impactful design
– 12-month dated monthly workbook with January 2018 start month
– Inside pages measure 7 x 10 inches, overall goal planner measures 9 x 10 inches
– Sturdy, yet flexible spiral binding and full-color tabs
– Water-resistant, flexible cover with rounded corners
– Free bonus materials, including a “Word of the Year” card, encouragement postcard, and inspirational desk card
– Exclusive to the One-Year edition: seasonal worksheets and colorful tabs that are dated by month
– Worksheets include the Goal Action Ideas, Monthly/Weekly/Daily Tending Lists, Relationship Tending, Cultivating Gratitude, What Fires Me Up, Things I Want to Learn/Things I Learned, and more!
– Includes exclusive access to the Cultivate What Matters community and PowerSheets Facebook Group
– Two full pages of our signature goal setting stickers (because goal setting should be fun)!

Important to know: now through Friday, October 27th, you’ll get free domestic shipping when you spend more than $100 in the Cultivate Shop. USE CODE FREESHIP at checkout. You can pair your One-Year PowerSheets Goal Planner with our PowerSheets Accessories Bundle to get free shipping. (I love our new Goal Setting Sticker Book that’s in the bundle.)

The 2018 PowerSheets help you cultivate your unique goals, but what gets me most excited is that they help you cultivate your relationships with those who matter most to you. Setting good goals–cultivated goals–can have a ripple effect on your family, your children, your friend, your coworkers. This is why I do this work!! You have the potential to impact your life, right where you are, starting today.

Maybe you’re happy where you are right now, or maybe you’re already feeling overwhelmed about starting fresh and you’re scared. Remember that peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we. Little by little progress takes time, but it adds up.

And you won’t be walking this path alone. I know you’re reading these words as pixels on a screen, but I am a real person typing this. Cultivating what matters and helping women do the same is my life’s work–my passion and part of what the Lord has given me to cultivate. Lord willing, I’m going to walk you through every step of the process–from your PowerSheets Prep to defining your unique goals to making little-by-little progress on your Tending List each week. You are not doing this alone. And I have a wonderful team of women I work alongside who is with you too!

Thank you so much to the many friends who have encouraged us and prayed for us throughout the last year as we’ve grown these new intentional tools. The little-by-little has added up, and we’re so grateful to celebrate this new beginning with you!

And that sunny little lemon? I am making lemonade for everyone today!

Order your 2018 PowerSheets One-Year Goal Planner here.

Have questions? Head to our FAQ party page and join my FREE live class today at Noon ET for an inside look at how PowerSheets work. If you can’t join live, a free replay will be available.

If you’re new here, welcome to the Cultivate family! I am so grateful to be on this journey with you!

P.S. One of the greatest joys of doing this work is getting a front row seat to see women cultivate what matters in their own lives. Here are a few words from some of the many women who have used PowerSheets.

“PowerSheets are even more useful than they are beautiful! They have made me reconsider what I want to spend my time on and help me focus on what is important I am so proud of the progress I’ve made with them! They change my perspective, lift my spirits, and they work. What a blessing!” – Amanda N.

“The PowerSheets have given me the ability to see goals as a clear meaningful path instead of just another to-do list! If you are at all questioning whether or not this product is for you… it is! Little by little progress adds up, and the PowerSheets will help you set a plan to put your goals into action!” – Sarah

“As a grandmother on medical retirement, I wasn’t sure that PowerSheets were right for me. After using them and with the encouragement of the Cultivate team, I realized I still want the rest of my life to matter. I want to live with intention and leave a legacy for my children, grandchildren and beyond. Through the PowerSheets process, I’ve been able to uncover my good goals. Some of them are lofty and some of them are simply feeding my family better through consistent meal planning and time organization. Many of my goals include relationship building between myself and God, my husband, my family, and friends. No, I’m not building a business or traveling across the country for my company, but I’ve found PowerSheets to be relevant for me. Today. Right where I am. Thank you, Lara and team for enriching my life and helping me live intentionally.” – Carol W.

“The PowerSheets are one of the best investments in myself I have ever made. I have actively used my Powersheets for 18 months. I cannot say enough great things about how fantastic the system is for helping you explore your priorities so you create goals that really matter to you and your life. This is a GRACE filled system that is flexible enough to change with you and your life circumstances as the months progress; in fact, the PowerSheets prompt you to pause and re-evaluate your goals/progress quarterly. There is no rigidity in the process, only opportunities for you to really brainstorm what’s important, what you want to achieve, and where you want to go. The PowerSheets help you craft tactical ideas to get there and provide an easy and intuitive way to track your progress. We all have things we want to do- PowerSheets have turned my desires into accomplishments. If you are someone who really wants to make changes and live life with intentionality and purpose. Don’t hesitate to make this investment. Trust me when I say you will want the FULL year! It’s the more prudent investment and value. You can’t put a price tag on living the life you aspire to have!” – Kristin T.

“I always thought that I was the kind of person who could set goals in my mind and just check them mentally when I felt I’d accomplished what I wanted to. The concept of intentionally setting goals and putting it all down on paper didn’t quite resonate with me. Of course, my goals were intentional–otherwise, why would I set them for myself?! Nonetheless, at the end of a particularly stressful year, I found myself wanting to do better and be better at the things that were most important to me. So on a whim, I purchased the PowerSheets. Best. Decision. Ever. Mind blown/life changed- I think that’s the best way to describe how this has impacted my life. Nothing is perfect, sometimes I forget to update my progress and other times I realize goals I set weren’t goals I ultimately wanted to complete–that’s the beauty of it. PowerSheets help me be intentional with how I spend my time, so I’m not always exhausted at the end of the day doing all of the things for everyone. This, in turn, has allowed me to have more energy and time for the things I actually want to do and spend time with those I love. PowerSheets has given me the tools to be a better person by keeping me focused on the people and things that truly matter. There is always room for improvement, but this year has set a good pace for me. If you’re on the fence, don’t be- take the leap of faith. I promise it’s totally worth it! Bonus: the team’s Instagram always makes you feel like you’re setting goals with friends–they’re great!” – Daniella

Get your 2018 PowerSheets One-Year Goal Planner today.

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The 2018 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner releases one week from today, and what I’m about to say may make you do a double-take:

You don’t need PowerSheets to cultivate what matters.

Have they helped thousands of women? Yes.
Are the 2018 editions our best yet? Most definitely.
Do I believe that they will help you uncover and make progress on your goals? Yes, but you technically don’t need any thing to live intentionally.

There’s something you need before you even consider uncovering goals with the PowerSheets: one essential truth.

Want to know the rock-solid truth that I think we lose sight of most often?

We were created for a purpose.

Do you believe that? (And if you don’t, I’m so glad you’re here with me right now!) You see, there’s this thing that can happen when we look at other people’s lives, other people’s dreams, other people’s relationships or smarts or progress: comparison.

Comparison knocks us from “I have a purpose” to “I’m not as good as _____, so how can I have a purpose??”
Comparison is the greatest killer of contentment.
Comparison isn’t just the thief of joy, it’s the thief of everything.

My friend, if the Lord takes me home tomorrow, and this is the last note I ever get to type to you, I hope you let these words take root:

Don’t let comparison keep you from doing your life and your unique path.

You’re not “just” a stay at home mom (and let’s be real – there’s no “staying” when you’re a mom!).
You’re not “just” a student.
You’re not “just” an empty-nester.
You’re not “just” a ______ (fill in whatever it is you’ve caught yourself feeling lately).

You’re YOU.
Marvelous, wonderful you!

Your goals matter enough to cultivate them–growing them over time as you take small steps forward (and some big leaps along the way, too). Your cultivated life matters enough to tend it like a garden and trust that each effort invested will add up.

I’m a real person typing this to you. I’m not perfect. And yet, I know for sure I have a purpose. Do I sometimes lose sight of that? Yes! But that’s why I believe we were connected together–to keep each other holding on to the truth that what we do here together on this earth matters.

If you do choose to use the 2018 PowerSheets alongside me this year, I hope you live out these words and don’t let comparison distract you from getting after this life. And in the times you forget, I’ll happily remind you that living your unique purpose is about cultivating what you’ve been given (what you already have!): your relationships, your money, your work, your home, your health, and your time.

Everyone else is going to tell you to do it all, to be it all, and to do life like all those other people.

I’m not.

The most radical thing we can do is consistently walk our own unique path.
It’s okay to grow slow.
And failure is just fertilizer.

Have you struggled with comparison or saying “I’m just a ____?” I’d love to hear from you. And I’m so grateful to walk this path alongside you!

—-

The collection officially releases to our Cultivate Shop next Wednesday, October 25 at 10 am Eastern.

It’s here!!! Download our 2018 PowerSheets and Accessories Guide now to see all the details (and new products!).

And here’s a replay of the 2018 product reveal!

 

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From my days as a personal trainer to where I am now, I have seen it all with goal setting! I’ve seen people’s lives transform in profound ways and I’ve also seen people chasing their tails–not making progress, lacking motivation, and eventually giving up.

Photos by Gina with my good friends Brooke and Bailey… and a first peek at the 2018 PowerSheets! 🙂

Over the last 15 years, I have led the Making Things Happen Conference 52 times, witnessed thousands of PowerSheets journeys, and studied how people make their goals happen. Traditional goal setting does not work for me, and it turns out, it doesn’t work for a whole lot of other people too.

Here are 9 solid truths about what doesn’t work in goal setting (surefire ways to chase your tail!)–and what does work.

1. How to chase your tail: Look at other people’s goals and progress to define your own.
How to make progress: Uncover your own unique goals and path.

2. How to chase your tail: Believe in quick fixes.
How to make progress: Embrace little by little progress.

3. How to chase your tail: Wait for perfection before you dig in.
How to make progress: Get your hands dirty and take action.

4. How to chase your tail: Ignore what’s not working.
How to make progress: Examine where you are in order to leap to what’s next.

5. How to chase your tail: Go through the motions, doing the same things you’ve always done.
How to make progress: Create a long-term vision and get after it.

6. How to chase your tail: Wander aimlessly, not setting goals at all.
How to make progress: Set out on a purposeful path by uncovering cultivated goals.

7. How to chase your tail: Place all of your value in the finish line.
How to make progress: Find joy in the journey.

8. How to chase your tail: When you don’t make perfect progress, abandon ship.
How to make progress: Embrace and celebrate imperfect progress.

9. How to chase your tail: Do it alone.
How to make progress: Be in community, sharing your goals and encouraging others along the way.

Have you ever chased your tail in any of these ways? (I have!)

There is good news.

The makes-me-want-to-do-a-praise-dance good news is that it’s not too late for some major change. I have seen this countless times. You can start fresh, falling down seven times and getting up eight. Your next step can be in the right direction, and your little-by-little steps forward will add up. I’m excited for you!

More good news: I have so much in store here on the blog in the days and weeks ahead to help all of us uncover and make progress on cultivated goals. We’re releasing the 2018 PowerSheets on October 25th and I have my best tips and grace-fueled goal setting advice coming your way along with them.

Your turn! Which of the things that don’t work  (and the things that do work) stood out to you the most? I’d love to hear!

P.S. We are hiring an Art Director, and I would be so grateful for your help spreading the word. We can’t wait to share an office with our new team member, Lord willing, very soon!

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This may seem like an unusual place to start one of my monthly goal posts, but I’ve never felt more connected or passionate about cultivating what matters than I feel this week.

I don’t know what you are experiencing right now. Perhaps you are hurting. Perhaps you are not sure how to feel. There have been hurricanes and fires, earthquakes, suffering all over the world, and unfathomable loss in Las Vegas.

My initial reaction was to fervently call on God to help those who are hurting.

My second reaction, however, was fear. I wanted to gather all the kids in my arms and keep them close to me for the rest of my days, never going too far. Not leaving my house. Not putting myself out there.

Until something shifted.

After the kids were asleep on Monday night, Ari and I sat down for dinner and he prayed. Four times during dinner, he stopped to pray for those who are hurting in Las Vegas and in the world. He prayed almost spontaneously, at unexpected moments.

I share this little window into our dinner as a contrast to something you may not know: just a few years ago, Ari did not have a relationship with God and our marriage was a mess. If you know our story, you know his faith and the fact that we are still married is a miracle.

I wrote those words about praying for our marriage and for Ari’s heart in that difficult season. As I listened to him pray on Monday night, it hit me: I was witnessing miracles. Real life miracles right in front of me.

Reminders of God’s power to give us new life.
Reminders that God is big and He hears our prayers.
Reminders that life is fleeting and what we do here matters.

Hope flooded in.

As Ari prayed, I felt God leading me away from fear to a new place. It was as if He was saying, Lara, let the pain of the world lead you to My feet, on your knees, interceding for those who are hurting and using all you have been given to sow seeds of hope and love in this world. Use your hands and feet and mind and heart to give. And, Lara… do not hide. Get out there and give this life all you’ve got.

As we mourn and pray and give to those who are deeply hurting, I hope we don’t simultaneously fall into the trap that I almost did. The enemy wants us to give up, to hide, to run away in fear and escape. (Which is different than grieving and experiencing deep sorrow, as Jesus Himself experienced.) I truly cannot fathom directly experiencing one of these events and feel inadequate to help through my words here. I have been through devastating hurricanes that changed my family, but I certainly don’t know the specific pain that so many are experiencing right now. My heart aches and grieves and hurts for so many.

For those, like me, who were not on the ground for one of these horrific events, I hope we don’t return to life as usual, but rather life anew. My prayer is that we would be spurred on in a new direction: loving more passionately than ever and giving away our gifts and talents with greater generosity. Let us see all that we’ve been given as opportunities to grow something good in this world. And let us not take this life for granted, because we do not know if we will get tomorrow.

This fact could lead us to fear, or it could lead us to faith.

I pray we pour out our gifts with new tenderness and passion, knowing that there are so many that are hurting and need what we have been given. I pray this leads us to love the people right in front of us and afar with more conviction.

I don’t know what you are experiencing, but I do know the Light that pierces the darkness.

Lord, help us. Help us walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Help us give and love and grieve and give some more. Help us be more like You. Help us use the gift of this life to pour love into others who desperately need it. Help us to dig in right where we are and grow what lasts longer than us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

More than ever, I want to cultivate what matters–even as just one little person in this great big world. (And I sincerely feel so small!) But, I know that it only takes a tiny seed to grow into a towering tree that lasts for generations–providing shade and cleaner air and fruit for many. What we do here on this earth, no matter how small we think it is, matters.

In this new month, I’m keeping my eyes wide open for miracles that remind me of God’s power to do the impossible–taking imperfect people like me and Ari and giving us new life so that we could reflect His light right back to others.

I know I won’t be perfect in using my gifts to grow love in this world, but I think the pursuit of growing good things is worth the risk of not doing it perfectly. Here’s a little recap of September and what I hope to sow and grow in October.

September was a month full of change for us. I started homeschooling Grace (more on that below) and there were some enormous answered prayers.

Friends, thank you. I shared about the challenges we have experienced with Sarah in my last post, and so many of you offered prayers and helpful encouragement. It was incredibly helpful for both Ari and me to not feel alone in having a little one with some special needs. I want you to know that your prayers mattered. They were heard. I didn’t expect to be giving you this update, especially this quickly, but we had one of the best months with her. We have seen some surprising changes in her in the last two weeks, and our ability to help her has grown as well. This is so healing for all of us. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the gift of your prayers. I love her so much.

My girls. Photo by Gina.

My September Goals Progress:

– Start homeschool with joy. – Wow, what a transition! Yes, there have been meltdowns and a few moments of Grace literally standing on her head in protest during handwriting lessons, but overall this has been so good. I am so grateful to get to spend this time with her and grateful for these reminders that are on repeat in this new season.

If there was a photo that captured Grace’s personality, this is it.

– Give and teach the Cultivate book. – Yes, I was grateful to share lessons from the book several times, and I’m especially grateful to continue learning and living them out myself.
– Read + DO What’s Best Next – I don’t often have alone time in a car, but there were a couple evenings this month where I had to run errands after the kids were asleep. I used that time to listen to the audio version of this book.
– Love on Josh in his preschool transition. – Yes, he has loved preschool, specifically playing with playdough and snack time 🙂

This kid. I just love him.

– Wisely and diligently prepare for our 2018 PowerSheets launch. – Yes, I shared a behind-the-scenes look at our shop and how the PowerSheets were first created, and there have been several changes in our business that have helped me immensely in making progress on this goal–and on the future in general.

My PowerSheets progress from September.

– Model our new Incentive-Based Bonus System to see how it works and implement it. – Yes, Emily and I completed this.
– Decide on and plan Ari’s 40th birthday celebration for December. – I wrote out what I think will make him feel most loved, but I moved the tactical planning to October.
– Write and prep the “Cultivated Calendar” webinar with Emily Ley. – I so enjoyed teaching this with Emily and loved reading everyone’s favorite takeaways. Catch the free replay here.
– Pray for and determine our 2018 vision plan. – Yes, praise to God, we have done this.
– Write the Gracie’s Garden book. – I made a little progress here, but I didn’t complete this. Moved to October.

Breakfast before the sun comes up at our house–these three are my early alarm clock!

September weekly goals:
– Continue to practice leaning out our grocery budget. – With lots of sickness in our house and transitions happening in September, this was not a strong focus. We did use what we learned in August during our $100/week challenge though and we were much more mindful of our spending than in previous months.
– Love on my buddy for the month, Nicole. – Every month we have a different office “buddy” to encourage. I loved having Nicole as my buddy for September.
– Laugh and pray in our date nights. – Sickness strikes again. The kids got viruses, then I got a mean one, then Ari, but we did enjoy one date night in September.

September daily goals:
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal. – Yes, I made it to the New Testament and am so grateful for all I’ve learned so far.
– #RunLiftPraise – I continued walking in the mornings (with the exception of a couple morning when I couldn’t get out of bed thanks to the aforementioned mean virus), but I only did weights once in September. Writing this update is so helpful to keep me accountable and choose progress, not perfection. Back in the saddle I go this week…
– Delight our children – I truly had a wonderful month with the kids–sickness, transitions, meltdowns and all. Is may sound cheesy to say, but I love being their mom. It’s one of my greatest joys. We had a lot of fun together this month and I focused on being intentional with them more than ever.

We harvested carrots from the garden in September and hung our new bee house.

– Eat more green. – I made a strong effort here and feel much better thanks to a little spinach at most meals plus lots of veggie soup.
– SLEEP + REST (i.e. Read a good book before bed instead of looking at my phone which keeps me from falling asleep well) – Yes. I made progress here.

Here are my PowerSheets goals for October:

My October PowerSheets goals. The PostIt is the list of blog and newsletters I have to write this month for our PowerSheets launch.

October Monthly Goals:

– Read + DO What’s Best Next .
– Cultivate our 2018 release with prayer (no better fertilizer and soil nutrient!). The 2018 PowerSheets go on sale on October 25th.
– Write Gracie’s Garden.
– Uncover God’s wisdom for our family with Ari. We came to a point with three very different children at different developmental stages, where we needed to get on the same page to help them flourish. From resetting our approach to discipline in these new stages to making progress on our family goals, this has been so helpful already. We started talking through it this week, hitting on the “pain points” first: What situations arise where we don’t feel unified in our approach to family conflict and issues with the kids? What can we do better together to show them God’s love? Even in one brief conversation so far, we’ve seen a difference in how the kids react to us being together on how we love and guide them. Much more to come here.
– Nurture the hearts in this home in new ways. This goes hand-in-hand with the goal above. Once we uncover God’s wisdom, putting it into practice together.
– Create my Cultivate Calendar for Q4 (the last three months of this year) and 2018. I am so excited to go through all 10 of the steps I shared here for the weeks and months ahead.
– Set joyful plans for Ari’s 40th birthday.
– Set our new budget. It has been on our prayer list for many months to be more sacrificial in giving. Resetting our budget is a focus in October.
– Start reading Traction.

October Weekly Goals:

– Meal prep. I am so grateful for a tip I learned from this book about flipping the script on “meal planning.” I am not a meal planner. With Ari’s unpredictable work schedule and kids who eat dinner at 4 pm, I need the flexibility to make meals that fit our families needs that day. I loved the idea of focusing on meal prep – preparing ingredients to be made into quick and easy meals – instead of meal planning, and doing it right when you bring groceries into the house. I gave it a try this weekend and it has been so helpful.
– Homeschool with joy. This may seem small, but this is one of the goals that I feel so deeply passionate about in the wake of all of these tragedies. I pray I can sow as much love into Grace’s heart as I can in my lifetime.

October Daily Goals:

– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal.
– #RunLiftPraise – Start weights back up again so I can have strength to love my family well.
– Eat green + clean for the same reason as above.
– Rest in the Spirit. This points to my verse this month: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).
– Raw prayer (I am grateful for my prayer journal). So much prayer continues to pour out for so many needs in the world, in our community, and in this home. I am grateful for a God who hears us.
– My words for the quarter and for the month: Rely (on God, not myself) + Cultivate (do what He says — dig in, little by little).

Your turn! Do you have goals for October? What are you cultivating in this new month?

I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts! Congrats to September’s winner, Jaclyn!

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