Maybe your thoughts have been similar to mine as December has begun: What does the year ahead hold? Have you caught yourself feeling doubtful, afraid, or unsure about 2018 already? Maybe you’ve felt a little overwhelmed about it, like you’ve failed before even starting.
My friend Lindsay said something last week about doing things for the good of her January self.
I really like that.
That’s what cultivating is all about: a little intentional forethought goes a long way!
Let’s do a little imagining together to kick the 2018 overwhelm to the curb, shall we?
Envision your January 2018 self.
How do you want to feel?
Where do you want your head and heart to be?
Dear All of Our January Selves,
We’re comin’ for ya!
We’re making intentional decisions for you now!
We’re thinking big picture to uncover some really good goals for you. Goals that make your heart sing. Goals that are about growing what matters. They might be challenging and hard work at times, but they will be WORTH IT!
Little by little, we’re taking steps forward for you.
January selves, you are gonna be great!
The year ahead may not be perfect, but it sure will be meaningful.
We’ve got you.
We love you.
We’re on it!
Our December 2017 Selves 😘
Starting Monday, I’m digging in for the good of my 2018 self (and everyone else!) as we kick off our annual PowerSheets Prep Week. I hope you will join me! We have a full week of goal inspiring tips, motivating prompts, and a free class on Thursday all about getting started with your PowerSheets (register here for free). I can’t wait to start my 2018 PowerSheets with you on Monday! If you haven’t ordered yet, you can still join us for the fun next week. We’re doing all the teaching early so you can do your PowerSheets prep anytime that’s best for you in December!
Here’s a look back at the progress I made on my November Goals and how I’m preparing for 2018:
We bought this 60-year-old piano on CraigsList a couple weeks ago, and the kids love it so much. It needs a tuning and some TLC, but it reminds me that things in life don’t need to be perfect to be meaningful!
November Monthly Goals:
– Prioritize with diligence. If everything is a priority, nothing is. I want to surrender the things that might be good, but might not be His priorities for me in this season–or at all. Read more about this in my November Goals post. // Yes! I learned a lot about prioritizing and seeking Him first in November. I am so grateful. It was hard and it was good. And part of this learning came in the form of an answered prayer today! Emily and I spent the morning creating a prayerful vision for the next 10 years in our company and I gained clarity on where I plan to let go of the vine. Prioritizing doesn’t mean doing more; it means doing the right things and surrendering the rest.
– Cultivate my calendar.– I feel the urgency to do this task now! Grace’s 6th birthday and Thanksgiving are ahead. // Yes, I did this in the clutch! Yesterday I went to do my December PowerSheets and realized that, even though it was the last day of the month, there was still time to make some progress on my November goals! I spent 25 minutes doing the steps we outlined in our class (watch the class for free here) and it was SO HELPFUL. I now have preparation days on the calendar for every month in 2018 and I know what holidays and celebrations to prioritize. A little intentional forethought goes a long way!
Our annual church family group Thanksgiving was made extra special with my mom in town!
– #GetAfterGrateful project. – My project? Writing 30 Ebenezers–30 specific remembrances of God’s faithfulness in our family (see Chapter 10 of Cultivate). // Yes, I also did this in the clutch and I’m so glad I did! I used the notes app on my phone and voice dictation to capture 30 things that God has done in our lives and it helped me prioritize. With each one I added, I saw more and more clearly His goodness and ways I can let go and trust Him! So so so helpful!
– Write my (7th annual!) 2018 Goal Setting Series with fresh eyes. – This is the most popular series here on the blog each year, and my hope is that this month prepares me to write it with fresh eyes and rooted faith. Mark your planners for December 20th, the first day of the series! // We walked through each post as a team but I am waiting till next week–PowerSheets Prep Week–to start my own 2018 goals! This goal will continue in December.
– Be a light-filled mom from resting in you, Lord. – My PostIt Prayers will help with this one. // Yes, November brought a new calm and gentleness as I practiced this–and everyone was happier as a result! I resolved to stay calm in the face of chaos, to pray more in the middle of the mess, and to not get one more thing done in favor of just being with the kids.
– Less house, more home. – We had several major home repairs made in October: replaced a cracked and moldy shower (black mold all through the insulation in our bathroom), kitchen repairs and updates, walls that were cracked from our foundation settling, leaky sinks, broken doors (our front door wouldn’t close!)–so many things needed fixing and updating. Let me tell you though, once you start fixing things, your eyes start noticing more things to fix. I want my eyes fixed elsewhere, knowing I can’t take this house to Heaven with me! While there are still many things to put back together after our repairs, my focus is on cultivating our life-giving home. Less working on the house; more nurturing the souls in it. // Piggy-backing on the goal above, this was also good. I let go of the house organizing in favor of time with the people who live here. I did, however, buy some new pillows on Cyber Monday for our bedroom in colors that Ari loves.
We celebrated 10 years of Southern Weddings this month–what a joy to reflect on all the Lord has done in this decade!
November Weekly Goals:
– Homeschool with diligence–careful and persistent work and effort. // I don’t think I succeeded in diligence, but rather gentleness. Rather than having a perfect plan and checking things off a list, I focused on cultivating her heart this month and it has been so good. We still learned a lot and did our handwriting and math, etc., but we also read a lot of books together and let our imaginations grow!
– Continue reading and implementing Traction. // YES! We completed 80% of the Traction Vision Traction Organizer today and will finish it with the team next week. This book is the best! See that little girl helping my mom bake? She turned 6 in November! I have a SIX-YEAR-OLD!!!
November Daily Goals:
– Raw prayer. // Yes, there was lots of this. Several challenging experiences in November allowed me to pour my heart out to Him in prayer, and for that I’m grateful.
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal.// Yes, and I’m SO EXCITED that it’s December! I can’t believe I’m going to finish the Bible again soon! The little by little has added up and I’m excited to celebrate at the end!
– #RunLiftPraise // I haven’t been super consistent in doing weights, so I’m making myself a sticker chart : ) I’m going to let the kids give me a sticker each time I do it in December! What for? I don’t need a prize. I just think I need to be reminded and this will help–they will love giving me stickers!
– Eat green + clean. // Yes, I am grateful for consistency here (with some chips and salsa + cookies mixed in!). I have made a lot of chicken soup, hard boiled eggs, salad, and my mom cooked for us for a week which was amazing!
And now onto December!
December Monthly Goals:
– Give LIGHT in the (7th annual!) 2018 Goal Setting Series. I hope to give truth and light to many through this year’s series! Mark your planners for December 20th, the first day of the series here on the blog.
– Pray through Advent with my friends and sisters, Kristy and Ruth, using the All Good Things Co devotional. We’re texting every day about what we learn and I’m so excited about it!
— Pray out our VTO. (So grateful to have already made progress today!)
— Serve with clarity at our End-of-Year Team Summit next week. I can’t wait for all of us to be together to celebrate this year and do our PowerSheets for 2018!
— Celebrate the holidays in the true meaning of the season.
— Give on my birthday. I have this dream of spending myself on my birthday for the good of others in gratitude for His grace these last 38 years!
— Celebrate Ari in his 40th birthday. I hope to encourage his faith on this special birthday. I have some surprises up my sleeve : )
— Give sacrificially. Ari and I want to give like the selfless widow.
Emily and I spent this first morning of December here dreaming and praying about the future!
December Weekly Goals:
– Cultivate Grace’s heart in homeschool. This is such a great example of how goals grow and change! Last month, I started with a focus on diligence and it grew into something different as I listened and learned. Cultivating her heart means doing a lot of praying and listening.
– Continue reading and implementing Traction.
December Daily Goals:
– Pray it out.
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal.
– #RunLiftPraise with my new sticker chart from the kids!
– Eat green. I’m comin’ for ya, January Self! 😊
Your turn! Do you have goals for December? 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 November’s winner, Samantha Stith!