*We are so grateful that ALL of our 2018 PowerSheets are headed to happy homes! Sign up to know when we restock our Six-Month Undated PowerSheets later this Spring!

Welcome to my Seventh-Annual Make It Happen Goal Setting Series! I’m so grateful for this series, and for all of you who join each year. How has it been seven years, friends? I’m so pumped for this year!!!

Want to listen to this post instead of reading? Here you go!

Let’s get right to it: what brought you here?

Maybe you feel frustrated as you look back at 2017.

Perhaps you didn’t make progress on some goals, or forgot about them completely (You are not alone! I have done that in years past!).

Maybe traditional goal setting has failed you before and you feel defeated already thinking about 2018.

Maybe you stumbled on this post because you want change to have happened yesterday.

Well, I have good news.

Really good news!

After almost a decade of studying goal setting and what motivates people to change and follow-through on their goals, here’s what I know for sure:

What causes people to change is one pivotal moment. It’s the moment where you decide that the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

This moment might just be that moment for you.

Maybe your thoughts have been something like mine lately: I want my life (or an area of my life) to change/grow/be simplified. I don’t know how it will happen and the unknown is scary, but I KNOW I don’t want to stay the same any longer!

Friends, your restlessness is welcome here.

In fact, it’s a really good thing.

We’re gonna use our restlessness and frustration to propel us forward to CHANGE. Really good life-giving change!

If you’ve been craving something new, you are in the right place. And if you aren’t convinced yet that goals can be life-giving, you’re in the right place, too!

If you are new to this series, welcome—you’re in for a treat this year! Let me back up a bit and introduce myself, because we’re going to have some fun together over the next few days as we go through this 5-part series. I’m Lara. I’m a mom to three, a grateful wife, CEO of a growing company, and I love getting my hands dirty in my garden here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

I’ve written two books about goal setting and intentional living. (My book deal came from an editor at Thomas Nelson reading this annual series!) I’ve led a conference called Making Things Happen for 9 years. My nickname when I was a personal trainer in New York City was “Ms. Motivator.” But! This all makes me giggle a little bit because I haven’t always loved goal setting. In fact, the words “goal setting” used to give me the heebie-jeebies!

I have a lot of things to take care of in my life (like you), and I don’t have room for a whole lot more (I’m guessing that’s like you, too), and I get tense even thinking about the pressure to accomplish something beyond my current capacity (areyouwithme?).

I started seeing real results in my goals when I flipped the usual process on its head. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do together here.

This is goal setting for people who hate goal setting!

We don’t do traditional pressure-filled, do-it-all goal setting around here. We uncover intentional, less-is-more goals. I call these “cultivated goals.”

Cultivated goals are about growing what you’ve been given–what you already have: your relationships, your money, your possessions, your work, your children, your home, your health, and your time. A little intentional forethought goes a long way!

Over the last seven years that I’ve been writing this series, as my life has dramatically changed, so has this goal uncovering process. I’ve studied what makes people feel unmotivated, and I have listened to you. I’ve followed your stories and challenges and incredible successes over these years as we’ve done this together. Through it all, I’ve discovered some pretty amazing not-so-secret secrets to getting unstuck.

Uncovering cultivated goals is not about doing it all; it’s about doing what matters. Whether you’re a mom, a student, a business owner, in transition, in the wait—in any place where you are in life, we’re going to let go of guilt-filled, fleeting resolutions, and embrace a whole new way of doing this goal setting thing. For those of you like me who do not like traditional goal setting, you are in the right place.

Listen in as I tell you my story…

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life from Lara Casey on Vimeo.

Consider the script officially flipped!

From here on out, when I mention “goals” or “goal setting,” know that I’m talking about cultivated goals.

Here’s what cultivated GOALS are all about:

Grow what matters
One step
At a time
Little by little your
Seeds will grow

The alternative to uncovering cultivated goals is going through the motions, not feeling confident that you’re on the right path, lacking motivation, and not taking care of what you’ve been given well. (Speaking from experience here.)

Cultivated goals–the kind we are going to uncover together–give you direction and motivation. You can’t simultaneously do it all and do life wellBut you can choose to cultivate what matters, right where you are.

Here’s what you can expect in this five-part series: Each day of the series, I’m going to walk through a mix of goal uncovering steps from my first book, Make it Happen (which you can sample here), insight from my new book, Cultivate, prompts from the 2018 PowerSheets, and I have some new ones that we’ve never done before!

The PowerSheets and my books have many more goal uncovering prompts than I’ve listed in this series. This is just a sampling.

A peek above at one of the new pages this year: the Break Your Identity Box page. And, yes, I love PostIts! 

A word of freedom here! Do you need the PowerSheets and books to have an intentional year? No. You don’t need them to live this life well. They are powerful tools if you choose to use them, but if you only do this blog series, and use scrap paper to write your answers, that’s great, too. 🙂 Use what you have! If you are someone who has been stuck in indecision lately or feeling fear about diving into new things, practice what I call “making a mess!” Use whatever you have available to write with, and on. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just dig in.

As we go through each step together, use the comment area here to leave your answers, or write them in your PowerSheets, a journal, or on scrap paper. Don’t just think your answers. Thinking them doesn’t count. Write them out and, if you want accountability, leave them boldly here in the comments. I want to cheer you on, and this year I’m going to leave some of my answers in the comments, too. Friends, help me out here and cheer each other on, too. You never know who how your words might change someone. If you need an extra kick in the pants to make it happen, I have a giveaway at the end that might encourage you!

Ready to dig in? Step 1, here we go!

lara-casey-goal-setting-step-1

STEP ONE: In order to leap into the new, we first must know where we are leaping from. I’m going to ask you the golden question: How are you? Really. How are you? Let’s look at each area of our lives and do a little check-in. Look at the categories below and write out how you are doing in each one:

– Health
– Friends
– Family (including your significant other, if applicable)
– Finances
– Spiritual + Personal Growth
– Work
– Recreation

Feel free to write in your own categories, too! Give each area of your life a rating between 1 and 10, along with a few thoughts on why you chose that number. 1 means you are not satisfied in this area and want to see radical change. 10 means you are happy as a bee on honeysuckle!

One of the new 2018 PowerSheets features: The Cultivated Life Evaluation. This is a simple check-in that helps you to know where you are and where you want to go in each key area of your life!

This is step one for a reason. “How are you?” seems like a simple question, but when answered from our heart of hearts, it can help set you on an entirely new path.

Knowing where you are now, mess and all, helps you to leap to where you’re going.

The soil you’re standing on right now is your growing ground.

How are you? What’s in that soil of yours right now?

Reply in the comments, or on paper right now. I’ll leave my answers in the comments too! And don’t get stuck in the negative soil. Include thoughts about what is good in each area! For instance, as for my feelings about finances: I’ve been challenged by contentment and emotional spending at times, but I have become skilled at managing money. It took ten years, but I now feel comfortable navigating Quickbooks, doing our business finances, and analyzing where we are. (A couple years ago I wouldn’t have been able to type that!) Allow yourself to write the things that may feel undone, imperfect, or hard, and write in some positive thoughts too—even if the positive feels tiny!

Now, a bonus challenge: let the dirt be dirt. Once you’ve written everything out, be still with your feelings for a moment—whatever they may be—without trying to change them or push them away immediately. Let the challenges and places you’d like to grow sink in a little. If you’re like me, I often want to fix my circumstances right away instead of letting myself feel anything at all. My instinct is to reach for a distraction when faced with something that feels hard. (Anyone tempted to go scroll Instagram right now?) But, that never brings me peace or clarity. So, let’s not do that. Maybe the soil of your life needs some fresh nutrients, or maybe there are some big rocks in the way of you planting new things. The only way you’ll know though, is to see what’s there first.

Besides…

All those rocks and weeds?

They are pockets of purpose waiting to be transformed!

lara-casey-goal-setting-step-2

STEP TWO: Watch this video (or at least the first 30-ish seconds) that some of my closest friends and I made for you…

What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year? Do you feel like you are “chasing perfect” in some ways—attempting to measure up to an impossible standard? Write or type here what you have been chasing, and how that has been making you feel. Maybe you’ve been chasing success, significance, or approval. Maybe you’ve been trying to keep up, survive, or just get through. Whatever you’ve been chasing, name it boldly and know that you are not alone. To name your chase is to destroy it.

lara-casey-goal-setting-step-3

STEP THREE: In traditional goal setting, you focus on the future, and on achieving your goals as fast as humanly possible. That is a recipe for b.u.r.n.o.u.t. I’ve done it many times in the past, and it’s no bueno. But! Uncovering really good goals means learning from the past in order to cultivate what’s next. The past has a lot to teach us! Let’s take a look back at the last year.

What good things happened in 2017? What grew well? What are you grateful for from the last twelve months?

I know this can be a challenging step. We often don’t like counting our blessings because it may feel self-indulgent or like it won’t get us anywhere fast, or perhaps you are thinking that there were no good things that happened in 2017! It’s easy to look back at an entire year and see only the hard parts, like when something happens to you at the end of the day and you automatically call it a bad day, regardless of what happened the other twenty-three hours.

Let’s do a little digging! A few tips to unearth the good stuff:

– Talk to your significant other or a close friend about your year and ask him or her to reflect some of the highlights back to you. He or she may remember some that you have forgotten! This is also a great way to celebrate the good things of the past year with others. Make it your dinner conversation tonight.

– Take a look back at your calendar, blog posts, social media updates, or photos. Those might give you a clue into some of the good things you’ve forgotten.

– If you are a PowerSheets user, read through your 2017 PowerSheets!

–  Review your finances from the year. This is like reading a journal of places you went, and what some of your priorities were.

My Good Things: My word for 2017 was LIGHT, and even in the challenges, it was a year of God’s light changing me and, even in the hard things, a feeling of lightness after a heavy and hard 2016.

A little recap from the last seven years:

2011 – Our marriage is falling apart and then the impossible happens. My husband, Ari, becomes a believer and Grace is born.

2012 – We are parents and life is crazy. I go through post-partum depression and try to figure out how to be a mom and run a growing small business.

2013 – The Lara Casey Shop opens and we release the first version of the PowerSheets. Out little shop takes off faster than we expected. After reading this goal-setting series, a publisher offers me a book contract. I begin writing Make It Happen.

2014 – We try to have another baby and miscarry. Through the grief, I write and release Make it Happen. We start thinking and praying about adoption. The same night I finish our adoption paperwork, I feel a little off. I am pregnant with Josh!

2015 – I start writing Cultivate and Josh is born in August. We match with our birth mom and, with much prayer and open hearts, we say yes to two babies in the span of six months.

nancyray-sarahnewborn-1076Photo by Nancy Ray

2016 – We adopt Sarah and I finally finish writing Cultivate in the middle of the mess. 2016 was a challenging year (I wanted to quit my business), but, I learn that good things grow out of hard things. I let my hair down, we change the name of our company and I pass the torch for my role as Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings.

2017 – I finally release Cultivate after two years of writing and re-writing and I begin homeschooling Grace. Our company grows like wisteria in March (a lot!) and I spend the year living what I wrote in Cultivate: ‘Getting our hands dirty in the soil–hands and heart undistracted. Celebrating sprouting seeds, golden yellow weeds, and everything in between. Rejoicing in our weakness. And receiving God’s limitless grace during the many, many, many times we mess up.’

This year, I was so grateful to see all that we teach in action in my own life and goals! I set four goals for the year and made more progress in each than I ever thought possible. A year ago, I knew I’d be so grateful I started these goals, and little by little, they happened! Did I mess up every along the way? Yes! Did I have some challenges? Definitely. But, imperfect progress is still progress and when you embrace that fact, you are far less likely to completely jump ship. 🙂

My four 2017 goals:

Goal 1: Read the whole Bible again. Yes! Read all about this goal here. I am on track to finish the Chronological reading plan on December 31 and I’m probably gonna cry when I finish I’m so grateful for this! I’ve decided to celebrate by going back through all the highlights I’ve collected in my YouVersion Bible app all year and marking them in Grace’s journaling Bible with love notes to her. I’m so excited to do this!

Goal 2: Run, and finally get back into weight training. The former personal trainer in me was a little ashamed of this at first, but you guys, I have made progress! I haven’t had a gym membership since Grace was born, and I haven’t done real weight training in just as long. I used to love being in the gym and feeling strong. But, the logistics with kids and the gym just haven’t worked out. So, I made it work! Read more here.

Goal 3: Live a year of radical gratitude and praise. After a challenging 2016, this was something I needed to cultivate. As I wrote about in Cultivate, complaints are clues. They reveal to us places in our hearts where we don’t trust in God’s goodness or His power. While cultivating gratitude is a life-long pursuit, I am so grateful for how I dug into this goal this year! From praise dance parties to practicing praising God through really hard challenges, this was really good. You can read more about how I made progress in the monthly posts I’ll share in a minute…

Goal 4: Cultivate our life-giving home. This included starting homeschool with Grace this fall, living with less, living in a life-giving space, implementing a plan for the office to semi-transition out of our house, growing our marriage, and planting a family legacy within the seemingly-mundane everyday routines of life, and the bigger celebrations of life (holidays, traditions, milestones) too. Wow, I am in awe that so much of this happened! We started homeschool and we have been loving it. It was a big transition for my work schedule and it has caused me to have to say no a lot more, but it has been worth it. We also made some much-needed home repairs this year, and I created our Cultivated Calendar for 2018. The one thing that changed here was moving the office out of the house. Instead, we made the office better (reveal coming in a few weeks) and I’m so glad we made it work! P.S. My friend Sally wrote a beautiful book about cultivating a life-giving home that I highly recommend! Also, you can catch our live broadcast together here.

You can read all the details of my 2017 goal progress in my monthly updates:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December (this month isn’t over yet–I’m still making little-by-little progress!)

My list of good things from 2017 in my PowerSheets is above. *You’ll notice I have some things covered in my PowerSheets throughout this series. If I wrote about something that had to do with another person, for their privacy, I covered those names and items. Some highlights:

  • The progress I made on my four goals this year! 🙌
  • Through many challenges we’ve experienced together this year, our marriage grew! We are stronger and more joy-filled because of all we have been through.
  • I started homeschool with Grace.
  • Our business grew in a new life-giving direction. I was invited to join C12, we added several new team members, and we are excited about the future.
  • I finished writing my second book! This was a HUGE praise after two years of writing (and re-writing!).
  • There’s more, but I don’t want to do all the talking! I’m sharing just a few things on my list to get your mind turning. I would love to hear from you.

Name three lessons you learned from the good things. For example, in my life there were many times last year that good things happened when I let go of control—whether getting on my knees (literally) in prayer or in looking at how I could change instead of hoping others would change. The lesson for me was a big one: let go. Surrender. Humble yourself. That’s where change begins. I continued to learn that it’s okay to grow slow, and embracing change can be good.

Your turn! Today’s Goal Uncovering Steps:

1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

Then, share your answers here in the comments to encourage others. I can’t wait to personally cheer you on!

And remember this: There is no room for comparison in cultivating what matters. A page from my 2016 PowerSheets:

lara casey goal setting comparisson

Whether you had one good thing happen or twenty, celebrate the good stuff and let’s help each other do the same. Let’s turn comparison into compassion and cheering on.

Okay, that’s it for today and that’s plenty to work on. I’ll be back Friday with more goal uncovering goodness!

Take your time with this and remember, cultivating what matters is about progress, not perfection. This is not about writing the perfect list of perfect goals with a perfect pen. It’s about digging into the dirt, right where you are, to grow, tend, and harvest what you’ve been given. This process will have a big payoff, but you have to commit to working through it. Let your 2018 goals bake, like a pan of homemade hot cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. They wouldn’t be flaky and yummy zapped quickly in the microwave, would they? They’d end up as a big pile of mushy dough. I’m not going to hand you your 2018 goals; we’re going to do this right and bake them well together, little-by-little, with some bold leaps of faith along the way. Sound good? Awesome!

Need an extra kick in the pants? How about this for motivation? 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. I can’t wait to read your answers, and share mine with you too! One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: one of everything from the Cultivate Shop! Yes!!! This includes 2018 PowerSheets, the Cultivate What Matters sticker book, books, journals, art prints and so much more!

A big thank you to everyone who entered! What a joy it was to hear your responses and get to chat with you in the comments! Congratulations to our winners below! If you’re a winner, fill out this form to collect your prize!

1. 10 sets of 2018 PowerSheets! — Gail boos, Sara Baker, Carrie Condra, Cydney Levin, Melissa Kelly, Cierra LaShay, Kara Wallitsch Tydlacka, Charis K, Staci Good Bedenbaugh, and Cara Gordon
2. A Fitbit Flex Amber Cavasoz
3. A gift card for a massage — Chris Koiro
4. The 2018 Floret wall calendar — Jen Harris
5. A 2018 Yearly prayer journal from Val Marie PaperHeather Chollar
6. Keepsake Kitchen Diary from Lily and Val — Zulema Uscanga
7. Farmgirl Flowers bouquet — Bianca Norman
8. Our popular PowerSheets Companion Bundle — Christy S
9. 1-year membership to Thrive MarketVanessa Wright
10. 2018 Simplified Planner — Sarah Gonzales
11. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! A free house cleaning! — Kara Earhart
12. 5 signed copies of Cultivate — Madelyn Smith, Emily Soroka, Julie Davis, Cortney P, and Shannon Hunsley
13. A seat at Financial Peace UniversityKady Curtis
14. 5 signed copies Make It Happen — Keatyn Bergsten, Emily Montgomery, Jenna King,  Samantha Hawthrone, and Kaitlyn Payne
15. Write the Word All Seasons Collection — Lacey Cabalas
16. A Meyer lemon tree – a family favorite around here! — Lindsey Abrego
17. A 6-month membership to Skillshare — Veronica Ilioi
18. A LegacyBox! (Amazing!) — Kerry Batty
19. One of everything from the Cultivate Shop! — Sarah Kemer

Why am I doing this? I want you—yes YOU—to get renewed, and to uncover a solid direction for the year ahead. Help me spread the word, and let’s get all our friends in on this! Here’s to a meaningful, intentional 2018—I am cheering you on friends.

Read Part Two of my 2018 Goal-Setting Series!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on January 31st here on the blog. Hard goods are for US entrants only. 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 and all proceeds are donated!

Photos by Gina Zeidler

622 Show Comments
  1. Jenn

    I am so excited about setting my goals for 2018!! This is going to be my year to ROCK my life and business!!

  2. Sarah

    I can’t wait to start living my intentional life in 2018. The power sheets are so easy to do and you and your team keep me inspired to keep going! I cant’ wait to see what you have to share each day. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Amanda

    I am SO excited about this series! 2017 has been a crazy awesome year for me – I feel like it’s the year I decided to really “own” my life.

    So I’m generally good – I enjoyed doing the evaluation in my PowerSheets! I can’t wait to be intentional with goals and progress in 2018!

    For me, 2017 was a giant blessing filled with good things: I went to a decision making workshop that was AMAZING, I took a leap of faith, quit my job, took a trip around the world, and decided to start a small business. God is doing amazing things in helping me trust Him and His plan, even if my life right now looks nothing like I’d imagined it a year ago!

    One of the biggest blessings I’m SO excited about are the two friends who are doing PowerSheets with me! I can’t wait to work on building our lives and community!

    • Lara

      I am praising Him for all 2017 brought you, Amanda! And how wonderful that you have friends to work on your goals with!

    • Debbie

      Amanda – I loved your comment. Curious about your Decision Making workshop. I LOVE the power sheets but find I can’t make decisions easily and then regret them! Would love to know where you found the workshop.

    • Kat

      Yes please Amanda, can you share more about this workshop?

  4. Dahlena

    Thank you for being such a huge cheerleader for us all!

  5. Lindsey Driscoll

    Great post to kick off the final stretch into Christmas and New Years.. As a newlywed I am looking forward to setting realistic goals that respect myself and my husband as well as our shared goals in the couples guide!

    • Lara

      I hope you are blessed by the Couples Guide, Lindsey! Wishing you a wonderful first newly-married Christmas!

  6. Julie

    Woo hoo! I’m so excited about this new-to-me process of goal-setting. This year I’m focusing on family: specifically parenting my 3 wild sons and having deeper connections with our extended family. I want to be more disciplined in my spiritual, well, disciplines and also some personal habits I’d like to cultivate. And recreation! I have 10,000 ideas for crafts and writing projects–things that I would so enjoy. I’m not going to deny myself those pleasures this year!

    As to what I’ve been chasing? Well, mostly I feel like I’ve been one step behind it!!! So I think this time of slowing down and being wise about what I focus on will help me feel less breathless.

    Good things from 2017: being a lot more flexible and spontaneous, lots of planning ahead, then holding those plans loosely. Using my Spanish more and not worrying so much about speaking perfectly. Not always saying what I am thinking. 🤣 Having a routine of cleaning in place so that our home is generally clean. Not being hyper about having a perfectly clean home! Having more people over–overnight guests! Dinners! Meetings! People dropping in! This was a huge area of growth for me.

    • Lara

      It sounds like you made some incredible progress in 2017, Julie! Cheering you on!

  7. Julie

    Encouraging my MOM to have some goals for 2018! We live with her and I want to help her accomplish some of her personal goals and do some work around the house with her. She likes to float through life 🙂 So I want to encourage her to live with more purpose!

    • Lara

      Just have to say I love this goal, as well! One of the best things about the PowerSheets is the ripple effect they can create!

    • Rebecca

      What a wonderful Idea Julie! My mother in law is discouraged right now with life. I want her to know that God has given her a meaningful life despite all her losses. She is also a floater. 🙂

  8. Linda B

    I found out about the Powersheets about a week ago. I’m at the lowest point of my life, and I knew something had to change. So I ordered your first book (thank you Amazon Prime!) and halfway through reading it, I knew God was calling me to come back to him. I still have no true understanding of the reasons behind my current situation, but I know I can move forward with God. Big changes were needed in my life, and I’m scared AND excited for what’s to come!

    • Lara

      Wow, Linda, I am praising Him for all that He is doing, has done, and will do in your life! We are so happy to have you here!

  9. Allie Mock

    Step One: My averaged life rating for the 8 categories listed in the PowerSheets is a 5.5. Some areas were higher and some where lower but they ALL need some radical changes to occur. My three top priorities for 2017 are health, spiritual + personal growth, and work (my work is college).

    Step Two: This past year I was soley chasing SURVIVAL. My life motto became “Surviving NOT thriving.” When I stepped back and really looked at what that meant it broke my heart that I had so naively accepeted that life style over the way God created me to live. He created me to THRIVE. This step is where I realized what my word of the year needed to be. My word for 2017 seemed to accidentally be SURVIVING so my word for 2018 needed to be the opposite, THRIVING.

    Step Three:
    In 2017:
    -I grew my relationship with my boyfriend. Now we’re engaged.
    -I cultivated my prayer life.
    -I got really sick, BUT I was able to tend to my helath. I now know how to take care of my body.

  10. Tiffany G.

    I have been feeling blessed, but with some uneasiness hiding in me that flares up. My life is stable and filled with love. I think this stability makes me nervous because there was a lot of instability for some years in my life. I want to reach some goals that I have put off for no real reason. Love this post. This year will be my first powersheet year.

    • Lara

      Little by little progress, friend. We are cheering you on in your first PowerSheets year!

  11. Chris

    I have started to dig in and am grateful! This is my first year with powersheets. Hard work? Yes. Good? Yes! Looking toward the good that will continue? Yes! Thank you for the steady encouragements. (And thank you for the opportunity with the giveaway too.)

    • Lara

      I love hearing from those in their first year of PowerSheets! Cheering you on, Chris!

  12. aubrey miller

    I have waited to the last minute to plan my 2018 goals. I could use this to get me motivated again.

    • Lara

      There is nothing magical about January 1st, friend! Today is a great day to get started!

  13. Brianna Shults

    So excited about this! Thank you always for your encouraging words!

  14. Kaitlyn

    So excited about digging deeper into my good goals this week! I’ll be a first time Powersheets user in 2018, and I’m ready to get started!! Thanks, Lara, for leading us all on this journey!

    • Lara

      It’s my pleasure, Kaitlyn! I’m excited for your first year with PowerSheets!

  15. Kristin

    I am so excited to make 2018 my year! Can’t wait!

  16. Kristin

    Also, I texted my sister after I read this to encourage her and to get her involved in this too!

  17. Andrea

    Thank you for offering this giveaway!what a huge blessing it would be to me and my friends 🙂

  18. Heather Dutra

    Reflecting on the last year is so helpful and reassuring, like giving myself a big hug and pat on the back for all the hard work I didn’t even realize I was doing each day. Looking forward to using that motivation to plan out next years goals!

    • Lara

      I love this, Heather! We should all be giving ourselves hugs every day! : )

  19. Lexie

    This is so exciting and so motivating already! Here we go 2018

  20. Audra

    What I would give to have had this when I was a young stay at home mom!! But I’m turning 50 in 2018 and while part of me still cringes at the thought (time sure does fly) I have decided to embrace it and be thankful God has given me so much time on this earth with my loved ones!! This is going to be my best year yet!! No matter what challenges are thrown my way I know that God has me in the palm of His hands!! My word for the year is SURRENDER! Surrender to God, surrender to the process, surrender to my goals! I’ve always been good a starting things with a bang but had poor follow through but 2018 is going to be the year to get stuff DONE!! Thanks so much to the Cultivate Team!! I’ve never been so surrounded by so much positivity, even if it is through a computer!!

    • Lara

      I love your perspective so much, Audra! We are so happy to have you here!

  21. Wendy

    I’m so excited to kick off 2018 with my first set of Power Sheets! I’m planning to use them for my personal life and my business.

    • Lara

      So happy to hear you are finding us for the first time! Cheering you on, Wendy!

  22. Rebecca G

    Step One: I am HOPEFUL for the year to come. 2017 was a trying year for me and my husband. But we are stronger because of it. I am thankful for the lessons learned but I am excited about 2018!
    Step Two: I have been chasing what other’s dream for my life. But I am excited that I am taking control of how I let what other’s think of me determine my actions. I don’t need to let other’s view/opinions of me sway how I view myself and my life. 2018 is a new year!
    Step Three:2017 brought financial hardship to our life, but choosing to rely on the LORD and lean into my husband allowed for those relationships to bloom. I took control of my physical health, and that has helped me tremendously this year. I also bloomed where I am planted, and I have seen contentment grow in my heart.

    • Lara

      What beautiful outcomes from a trying year, Rebecca! Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. Cierra Otis

    Very thankful for what are doing to encourage others to chase their dreams and set reachable goals for themselves! This post gave me the motivation to evaluate what I really want for myself in 2018! To be continued with areas of my life I want to take control of and grow! Thank you!!

  24. Emily DeArdo

    Lara! I love this series so much! I am so excited about 2018. 2017 had some GREAT things happen, but I can’t wait to build on that and make 2018 EVEN BETTER. 🙂

  25. Kelsey

    Lara, thank you so so much for all you do to encourage and lift us up! 2018 will be my third year using powersheets, and they have helped me cultivate so much peace and joy!

    I really enjoyed following the goal setting steps this morning and identified health, family, and work as areas I want to focus on in 2018.

    I realized that over the past few months I’ve been chasing perfection through discouragement, procrastination, and insecurity. I’ve adopted an attitude of “if I can’t do it perfectly I won’t do it at all.”

    That being said, 2017 was one of my most blessed years! I became a certified health and wellness coach, moved across the country, and became a mom to beautiful baby girl! I can’t wait to cultivate some life-giving goals for 2018!!

  26. Elizabeth Brady

    1. How am I? …I’ve had an exciting year with lots of changes – new job, new house, new marriage. I’m feeling happy about these new steps, but antsy about cultivating them well so they each have a strong foundation! The three areas I want to really focus on this year are finances, marriage, and faith.
    2. What have I been chasing? …This one is hard for me to pinpoint, but I think it’s approval when I really boil it down.
    3. What has worked and what have I learned from that? …a few of the things that have really worked well this year are : *My husband and I found a church and have been attending pretty consistently and getting more involved – this has taught me that connection with my faith and community give me a sense of stability and “home” that I need. *I have a running text with two of my friends and sometimes we connect daily, sometimes less, but I always know where I can go for encouragement or commiseration or a laugh – this has taught me that despite distance, cultivating deep meaningful friendships is worth the little bit of effort it takes.

  27. Elizabeth Brady

    Also, I texted two of my friends (the two on my running group text from my previous comment) to encourage them for the day! It opened up conversation for one of my friends to let me know about some issues she’s been struggling with. I’m glad I reached out and was able to be a sounding board!

  28. Teish

    OK, so 2017 threw bricks at my head. From the outside, everything looked better than ever, but panic attacks, debilitating anxiety, depression, and dealing with a painful past that I’d ignored for too long made just getting through the day harder than it should have been.

    However, I did make some small progress on small things last year, and that’s more than I would have done if I hadn’t been setting goals! 2017 taught me a lot. It gave me perspective. I needed 2017 before I could set good goals for 2018. 🙂

    • Lara

      Little by little progress is the theme of my life, Teish. So glad you’re here!

  29. Ky

    1. I’m ashamed of not stewarding my marriage well and not loving my husband well in the midst of being a mom with two young kiddos and working full-time. Each area of my life could absolutely use some improvement and change, good change. However, my marriage is the area I most want to improve.

    2. I’ve been chasing a perfect marriage and perfect home and both have left me feeling like I’m failing.

    3. Good things I’ve learned this past year:
    – smile more, especially when talking to my children and husband, it makes a world of a difference.
    – saving small amounts of money adds up rather quickly
    – asking for help, whether that’s asking God or asking my family or friends
    – reading with a friend
    – being still and intentionally planning periods of rest, which sometimes might just be 10 minutes of alone time
    -preparing ahead of time, whether that is meals or laying out clothes for school/work the night before

    • Lara

      We have to know where we are before we can change, and it sounds like you have done so much good work on that front, Ky. And what solid lessons you’ve learned from 2017!!

  30. Katie

    I’m so looking forward to this. I’ve been working on goals, and want to focus on my health. This year I’m going to be a good mother to myself (and my kids too! :-)).

  31. Evalyn

    Excited to make my goals for 2018! This year seemed to rush by; I want 2018 to be the year I savor. More of some–love, laughter, family, travel, home–and less of stuff, anxiety, doubt.

  32. DeAnna Witzenburger

    Thank you so much for offering a voice recorded option for this series! I am so grateful as that is the best way for me to fit in following the series! I am so excited to start up part 2 tomorrow!

  33. Kim McCulley

    I’m so excited to get started on my very first set of Power Sheets!!

  34. Cortney

    I am super excited about the coming year and the progress I will make on my goals. It will be the first time in a long time where I feel like I’m free from school (I graduated last Sunday), and all distractions enough to concentrate on what truly matters to me in other areas of my life. I’m also excited to have my sister with me on this journey for the first time with her powersheets as well.

    • Lara

      Congratulations on your graduation, Cortney! So glad you and your sister are on this journey together!

  35. Jamie

    I am a first time powesheets user and I have really been enjoying the prep work and goal setting! I can feel that 2018 is going to be a great year! Here are my answers to the challenges from this post.
    1. How am I? 2017 was a very challenging year. We suffered a miscarriage in January and then welcomed a new baby girl just 3 weeks ago. This year has been the hardest of my life, but I am ready to tackle some life areas that I have been putting on the back burner for a long time. Specifically, my health, my spiritual life, and my career.
    2. Lately I have been chasing survival. I have been in survival mode all year, mostly out of necessity, but it has caused me to neglect areas that really need tending.
    3. This year was hard. But there was still good. I have a beautiful newborn daughter and the most joy filled son. My husband and I grew close in our grief. And I learned that I was strong even in the midst of horrible circumstances. I got a promotion at work and our finances are in the best place they have ever been.. I know I am capable of making progress on my 2018 goals because of the storms we weathered in 2017.
    Thank you for this series. I am excited to keep going.

  36. Anne

    Dear Lara,
    thanks so much for guiding us through this messy life and seeing it as purposeful! I am ready to write down some new goals and to get started really working towards them. I hope God will help me and I am sure that your work helps!

  37. Katri

    This is my first time using the power sheets and I’m so excited, I’m a blank canvas and willing to Grow .The past five years have been exceedingly hard for my family and I, growing pains are not easy but I’m grateful for the lessons I have learned. Rating each area of my life was a bit hard everything was so low, but it’s ok because it’s under construction my spiritual growth is most important I believe that’s how the other pieces will fall into place the way they need to. As far as what have I been chasing lately..I’m just trying to get through each day, some days it’s unbearable others I can see little God moment’s and that’s what keeps me going.My list of good things: the few friends I do have are God fearing women, Drawing closer to God to see Life through his eyes when I can’t see the good, spending more time with My daughter and My husband’s eyes being opened. Leasons To look for Joy and wake up and spend tome with God and give thanks.

    • Lara

      I am excited for you, Katri! The areas we rate lower have the most opportunity for radical change. I’m cheering you on!

  38. Candace

    Super excited to get this process started and see what 2018 has to bring!!!

  39. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    Hi, Lara! I look forward to this series every year! I’ve been a powersheets user for quite a few years now, and it’s made such a wonderful difference in my life!

    My main priorities for 2018 are health, relationships, faith, finances, and work/ministry.

    2017 was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a long time. It was a season of heartbreak for me, a season of broken and redirected dreams, but I have seen His faithfulness to me in my grief, and I know He has been growing me and strengthening me through it all. I know the best is yet to come, and my story isn’t over yet.

    Good Things From 2017:
    New adventures (my trip to Nashville)
    Learning and growing (I read and was encouraged by so many good books – including Cultivate!)
    Praising through the pain (I got to worship with my sister and with some of my favorite worship artists this year: Rend Collective and Elevation Worship)
    Bold prayers (even in the face of disappointment, I found God prompting me to keep praying boldly; I’m excited to see the ways He answers each of those prayers)
    I went deeper in my Bible study and am so excited to continue this more in-depth study in 2018

    Challenges in 2017
    The complete unraveling of a dream (a relationship I thought was leading to marriage)
    Doubt and discouragement in God’s plan for me
    Comparison

    Two of the main lessons I learned this year:
    *I want to live so FULLY surrendered to Him that I trust and praise Him even when the story looks like it has gone terribly wrong.
    *And I want the story that gives Him the most glory — even if it looks “different.”

    Thank you again for your encouragement and guidance, Lara! I’m grateful for this community you’ve created, and I’m excited to continue this year’s goal-cultivating process! 🙂

    • Lara

      I am so glad you are here, sweet friend! Thank you for sharing here so generously.

  40. Lisa A Johns

    My bonus “How are you?” category is “Self Talk” and is tied to many of the pain points in other categories… lack of trust in relationships, lack of confidence at work. I’m guessing my number one goal will be to address that somehow!

    Looking forward to the rest of the series and powersheets!

    • Lara

      There’s so much possibility for change there, Lisa! I am excited for you!

    • Lisa A Johns

      I have been chasing perfection and I feel shame. “Shame” was my word of the year for 2017. Oh how I want to flip that script to “acceptance!”

      Good things we’re getting engaged, going to a Spirit-filled counselor, and becoming self aware. I’ve learned a little more of how Christ loves me because of how my fiance loves me and because of how I am so much more unlovable than I ever thought and yet, He loves me still.

  41. Rebecca

    This is a WHOLE new world for this Type B girl here!
    But I’m going to do my best, cover this new adventure in prayer, and step out and be BRAVE! I think that’s my word for the year.
    1. How am I? Great question. I am all over the place. Moved to ATL from NC in Feb. after I got married. Feb was a season of CHANGE, everything all at once. I haven’t felt like I’ve found my footing yet. Even in 10 months. I feel uneasy, a little lost, and out of place.
    My avg 1-10 rating is about a 6. I want to improve everywhere! Haha, but I think the areas that really stand out to me that need some extra love and attention are
    -my walk with God,
    -exercise/health, and
    -my work life/being brave with my small business.
    2. I have been chasing quick fixes and temporary reliefs FOR SURE! I can so relate with reaching out for distractions when things feel too hard. I don’t like feeling lost or like I don’t know what to do. I have been chasing the need to “be the best” not just “good enough”, and chasing recognition.
    This makes me feel so tired, all the time. This makes me feel dumb and uneducated, incapable, and powerless.
    3. Good things I have learned:
    -I got married this year, so that is such a highlight. I am continuing to learn how God designed Tyler for me.
    -God is totally for me and never against me.
    -Having a consistent prayer life (or not having) changes my spirit more that I know.
    -I have THE most supportive and encouraging friends and family
    -It’s okay to not be okay.
    -God has given me talent for HIS reasons and glory

    I am really looking forward to 2018 and being a part of this!

  42. Quinn

    I’ll be honest there is excitement, but nervous about goal planning

    • Lara

      That is a beautiful place to be, Quinn. I hope you keep pressing in to the nerves. We are grateful to have you here!

  43. Sarah

    I’m determined to actually set goals this year!! I’ve seen this done for awhile, but never taken the plunge. So here’s my leap of faith!! I’m looking forward to following this series and living a more intentional 2018!!

    Step 1: Health [6] — I’ve been better about running more and consistently, but I want to get to longer distances and curb my sweet tooth!! Friends [1] — I have acquaintances at work and church, but no real close friends. I’m determined to make close friends and be a better friend. 🙂 Family [5] — My relationships with my parents and sister are good, but my brothers are more distant. I want to extend more grace to them. Finances [4] — I’m still saving, but I should do less unplanned spending. I have done well with handling a car, but I REALLY need to learn to budget. Spiritual & Personal Growth [6] — Though I’m currently in a dry season, I’ve been way more consistent this year. Who doesn’t want to grow more?! 🙂 Work [6] — My full-time job is a good learning experience, but it’s not what I want to do forever. It’s not the most fulfilling. Some days are slow, and I wish I was better most days. Part of me wants to work more (a side job?). Recreation [2] — I really want to plan more recreation (hiking, time with my sister on the weekends, accomplishing more tasks around the house). I default to movies and social media too much!

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing love, success, and significance. But I feel rejected, inadequate, spinning my wheels, without purpose, empty, unfulfilled, lacking substance. There are priorities that need to be changed and goals that need to be set so that I don’t get off track.

    Step 3: When I stop to think about it, I really have had so many blessings and learned so many good lessons this year. Thank you, Lara for making me take the time to reflect on these! 🙂
    We completed our Senior Design Exhibition; I GRADUATED! God is faithful!! I got a hired, and I got a car; God provides! I have learned (and am still learning patience! Family vacation at the beach. I cleared some clutter out of my life (email, clothes, room). I got to celebrate my birthday with my family. God comforts in sorrow! God is enough! (Still learning!) I have a great Christian community!!

    • Lara

      There is so much opportunity in what you’ve outlined here, Sarah! I am excited to see what He will do in your life!

  44. Kim

    So excited for the changes to the 2018 Powersheets! Love all the color on the worksheets.

  45. Rachel Lewis

    This is the first year I have completed powersheets! I am so thankful for your help on setting goals and excited to see what my year holds!

  46. Diane

    Thank you Lara for sharing so much of yourself on your blog. It helps me work through my thoughts and feelings.
    I have been chasing validation and approval with my website and that leaves me feeling unfulfilled and crappy. One of my goals for 2018 is to share with the intention to connect (not sell). I want to help as many people as I can tell their stories with photos and words and I can only do that from a place of vulnerability and honesty. Yay for cultivated goals!

  47. Diane

    This is my encourage someone comment — I asked my bff how she was doing with her powersheets prep and suggested that we get together this weekend to talk it out and support each other.

  48. Mandy

    I was incredibly intimidated, although excited, to use PowerSheets. However, I have dived in and am making great, purposeful goals! Thank you for using your gifts so well!

  49. Mandy

    Encouraging someone:

    I have a friend who I introduced to Cultivate What Matters and PowerSheets. She wants to order her own PowerSheets, but hasn’t yet. I text to encourage her dive right in and set fear aside! Now is the time to take the step of faith and start living on purpose.

  50. Jennifer

    This is a wonderful way to scaffold goal setting. I am very impressed and inspired!

  51. Madelyn

    I’m excited, hopeful and ready to dig into 2018 intentionally and with both feet! A huge goal is to dig into daily Scripture as fuel for the rest of my day (and this means starting my day with it instead of sprinkling it at random throughout my week)!

    Lately I’ve been chasing others’ perception of “success” when it comes to my job and season of life, and not listening to what the Lord would have for me. Praying my goal of more time daily in the Word will help refocus my scattered brain on what matters most!

    3 good things:
    -Big beautiful tomato/basil garden this summer!
    -Met a huge goal of running a statewide relay and half marathon after lots of physical therapy and post-injury fears
    -Growing in taking care of my body through what I’m eating/roommate meal sharing

    • Lara

      You know I love hearing about a garden success, Madelyn! Cheering you on!

  52. Bailey Jean

    Oh Lara! You know I love this series and I just love your heart! I took a social media and blogging break in August, and I plan to jump in at the New Year, but I’m still making time to work through my 2018 PowerSheets and this series beforehand 🙂 I always intend to answer your steps here but rarely follow through, so here we go:

    1. How am I ? Honestly, a little run down but also really excited for the Christmas break and the fresh start with a new year and new semester of teaching. This year my word was SIMPLIFY. In some ways (moving in with a roommate, taking a social media break) I made big changes, and in others I over packed my schedule and over-extended myself so much that I finally realize the NEED to simplify. For 2018 I chose the word JOY, but I have also chosen a phrase of three key words that will act as vision for my goals, taken from Proverbs 31:25.

    + Strength, to prioritize physical health and strength.
    + Dignity, to prioritize financial responsibility in order to get of out debt.
    + Laughter, to prioritize doing what fires me up, fills my tank, and centers me on Jesus.

    Also, I’ve worked through my PowerSheets and have chosen 8 goals for the year, but as the new year approaches, I’m thinking of narrowing it down to these three.

    2. What have I been chasing lately? Too much. I’ve said yes to too many things that were not necessary, wanting to feel needed and appreciated. A friend actually challenged me to say “no” to one thing every day this week, and it’s been so helpful. I’m feeling burnt out and a bit overlooked, but also determined to protect more time for myself in the future and to simplify my commitments going into the new year.

    3. Good things:
    + A better awareness of what I’m feeling and what I need.
    + A growing theatre program.
    + Thriving in local community.
    + A successful fall play with my students.
    + A life-giving home and great roommate.
    + More love for the Word.
    + A year of travel and adventures.
    + Grace for the struggles in between.

    Lessons Learned:
    + I don’t have to do it all.
    + I can’t do it all even if I tried.
    + Just because I have the capability doesn’t mean I have the capacity.
    + Taking time to rest helps every area of my life.
    + Nothing satisfies like Jesus.
    + A relationship with the right guy at the right time is worth waiting for, rather than forcing something because it “should” work.

    So excited for the rest of this series! <3

    • Katie @ A Place to Dwell

      Yay, Bailey!! So happy to see your comment here. 🙂 I love your phrase of focus for 2018. Cheering you on, friend!

    • Lara

      I missed you, Bailey! Proud of you for stepping back, stepping in, and making some firm choices. And I can’t wait to encourage you in 2018! : )

  53. Laura

    So excited for this series!
    1) By God’s grace, my spouse, family, friends, work, and recreation categories are rated around 8-9. These are things I worked on in 2017 and I’ve seen the results! Health, finances, and spiritual growth are my focus for 2018. I’m hoping my goal to complete the Write the Word series will increase my faith!
    2) I chased a perfect home at the expense of spending time with my kids inside the home. I did chores instead of quality time. Although it makes me feel shame, I have a glimmer of hope because I can do better!
    3) 2017 good things: moving, praying for my marriage, realizing my need for help with my anxiety, talking to my husband more, grace with my kids. God can redeem any marriage! God will keep you where he needs you until it is time to move, then he places you perfectly again! I can trust Him with my heart and mind – He can heal if I am willing!
    I encouraged my sister Sarah with this and hopefully she joins the Cultivate community.

    • Lara

      Thank you for sharing, Laura! I love that your good progress from 2017 will energize your 2018 goals!

  54. Jessie Ansley

    I’m so excited for 2018! My word is Nurture and my goals are simple and close to my heart.

  55. Whitney

    The three things I learned in 2017: Trusting God with His plan for my life is key. It eliminates stress and anxiety when I surrender to Him and allows me to relax in His Presence. (Isaiah 41:10) 2. Despite what the world tries to tell us, slowing down isn’t a bad thing. It provides renewal and rejuvenation especially when you’re using that time to grow spiritually. 3. Persevere and be faithful in your commitments despite the suffering you may face. No matter how difficult the race, there is peace at the finish line. (Romans 5:3-4)

    • Lara

      It is definitely okay to grow slow, Whitney. I love the verses you’ve chosen for the lessons you’ve learned.

  56. Alisha Brandon

    What a giveaway!! Here are my steps Im working on. I an ready for a change and this is best system I have found that will allow self reflection and growth. With being a mom of 6 and hubby busy with work, I feel like I have been stuck and stagnant, Time for goals but I have a tendency to try to work on so many goals all at the same time and then get burnout. Im hoping this system will change that for me and that I can take one step at a time in my changes.

    Step 1- I did my cultivated life evaluation and I got from 3 to 8 in the different areas. Some areas to work on is family, finances and spiritual + personal growth. With my family, I am going to be working on getting to know my kids better on a one on one basis. I need to become more responsible and focused in my spending and being more intentional with the money we are earning and possibility getting a job myself and spiritually I want to improve in my prayers and scripture study. I am looking forward to learning who I am again.

    2017 was a year of change with moving across country leaving sweet friends and my oldest finishing her last semester of HS. Now she is off to college and this is a new phase and change to our family. Plus with moving and new job brings changes of their own for everyone else.

    Step 2- chasing perfect has a been a life long problem of mine and I am ready to stop and find me again.

    Step 3- Good things that happened for us- now job for growth and joy for my hubby, new adventures in a new place, owning a home again, being closer to family and friends, feeling closer to God and my Savior, options for Healthy alternatives for my boys and their health issues, being healthy!

    2018 is going to be amazing year thanks to this direction and guidance!

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for sharing, Alisha! It sounds like there is much good ahead!

  57. Megan

    This year was one of getting through it rather than setting goals and accomplishment. I hope 2018 will be a year of inspiring goals for me!

  58. Sarah Gusky Kemer

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    -my health needs the most work I think. We’re finally on a good track with our finances. Our relationship with friends and family are on good ground right now. I’m always working to be closer to the Lord! Work is steady for my husband and I – lots of learning and classes and training for good stuff.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?
    – I’ve been chasing ease in the wrong ways. Ease in terms of idleness. I got some good stern answers from God just today about that!! I’m turning “ease” to “joy,” which requires mindful work, prayer, and a shift in attitude.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    – family always good. My kids are thriving in school and my husband and I have been communicating pretty well! I’m glad for the small moments we’ve had this year. This summer was amazing and this fall has been exhausting. We’re looking forward to the holidays and continuing in faith together.
    – i got an A in my graphic design class and it feels like the right move to keep forward with it! My next class starts mid January. I’m excited.
    – a HUGE work project finished up and we’ve been getting great feedback. Huge motivator.
    – I have two weeks off of work now to recoup and regroup and soak up so much family I’ll be sick of them.
    – i learned the difference between ease and joy. I’ve learned what diligence v idleness can bring WITHOUT the hustle and bustle. I’ve learned to turn to the Lord ALWAYS for everything, for without Him I could do none of this.

    • Sarah Gusky Kemer

      OH! Hugest lesson h my writing can come in spurts and it’s still writing. I’ve been published on three platforms in a year’s time. Nothing more than 2000 words. That’s three more platforms than I’ve ever been published!

    • Lara

      What beautiful lessons He has taught you, Sarah!

  59. Sarah Gusky Kemer

    Just encouraged my friend!! She needed a little lift. Easy to give, she’s very bright!

  60. Sarah Wahlstedt

    2017 is the first year that I’ve ever set goals. I broke them down into daily, weekly, & monthly steps and guess what? I accomplished so much more than I had in years past! Not that I didn’t accomplish anything before, but this year I actually accomplished things that helped me make progress towards something (not just a clean toilet). I wanted our family to be “outdoorsy” – so our daily goal is “small” just “go outside.” That’s it. And did we do it everyday…no, but we did it much more than the previous year because I had a reason to do it. Sadly, I did not do as well with my monthly/quarterly goals.I think because they just weren’t in front of me and because I wasn’t checking in on them. The daily goals were on my “to do” list every day so I saw them. They others were easier to forget. In 2018 I want to keep even BIG goals in front of myself regularly for increased accountability. My friend also just started a monthly accountability group to sit down at the end of each month and review goals. I am excited to put my time to more efficient use and to be held to those standards by other women who are committed to doing the same!

  61. Anna

    I was initially very intimidated by the new Cultivated Life Evaluation page, but found it to be SO eye opening and helpful this year. The concept of not being able to do it all and do it all very really reasonates with me, someone who has previously wanted to set goals for all areas of my life and then felt overwhelmed. I love being asked to consider what are the top 3 things I want to focus on this year (for me, my significant other, finances, and health/self-care). It’s not that the other things are not important (I had some guilt about not putting family on that list), but the 3 things I have choosen will positively impact my family and other areas of my life. I think this year is going to be a year of refinement–determining what should be my north star and setting all priorities to align with that pinnacle.

    • Lara

      I love these insights, Anna. So glad the Cultivated Life Evaluation page was helpful for you!

  62. Allison

    SO very excited as this is my first time digging into the PowerSheets. I’ve finished my prep work and I’m almost done setting my 2018 goals. These PowerSheets have already been a game-changer for me and the New Year hasn’t even started!!

    GOOD THINGS:
    Joined a gym, attended a photography workshop, breastfed my son until he was 6 months old, built boundaries with my business, launched a FB Live weekly series, got pregnant (!!), simplified my home, remained debt free, and started a college savings plan for my children

    CHALLENGES:
    Too much social media overload, rely too much on email communication with clients (need more of a personal touch), not allowing myself to rest, doubted myself, and felt overwhelmed by chasing perfection

    • Lara

      It sounds like you are making wonderful progress already! Cheering you on!

  63. Natalie

    Step 1: I’m not going to write everything here (it’s in my PowerSheets & my journal). But I will sum up by saying that there’s room for improvement in all areas. I did the Fruitful Friendships Workbook last month, and I realized that while I have close friendships, they’re not based in the right/real things (too much gossip, etc.). There’s room for personal growth there as well. The main thing I want to share is that for recreation, or exercise, I’m training for a 24 hour run/walk for Cancer in April. The goal is to do 50 miles in 24 hours. I’m going to do it and encourage others along the way, but I need to train hard for this! And I’m just walking it by the way.

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing success, but not really in a productive way. I’ve coveted others’ success, and I know that there are certain things that I want to do. I just need to start taking steps towards them.

    Step 3: A lot of good happened in 2017. I helped out my parents; my dad is getting ready to retire so we signed up for Medicare and whatnot. I walked two 10ks and one 5k ( the 5k was called the Bubble Run and it was so fun). I went to some parks and the beach for time outside. I presented at a conference which was huge, and I was just notified that I was accepted to present again in 2018! I bought a new car because my finances are finally in order. I gained confidence in my work although I still I have a long way to go. My best friend got married (I was a bridesmaid), and her bachelorette winery crawl and wedding were so much fun! There’s more, but I’ll stop there.

    It’s scary to be this vulnerable (although still really vague), but I appreciate this community that let’s everyone share without judgement.

    • Lara

      I am so glad you’re here, Natalie! Thank you for sharing so generously.

  64. Alyssa

    I need to go back and read this a few dozen times! It is a lot of good info that I need time to let sink in.

  65. Allison

    I texted two of my girlfriends and encouraged them to invest in PowerSheets for 2018!!

  66. Rachel

    This is such an awesome series – thanks for doing every year. Last year I read along and wrote in my own journal, and I’ve seen such growth that this year, I purchased the Powersheets and I love.

    1. For me, Health was at a 6; I need a better balance of discipline and not obsession. Friends was an 8; I love my close intentional relationships and did much better at choosing my family over friends. Finances was an 8; this year I want to grow in generosity not just savings. Spiritual was a 7; I’d like to grow my knowledge and practice of Sabbath. Spouse was 8; I loved the marriage class we took this year and I’m loving our new level of intentionality. Family, sadly a 5; am I ever going to feel like I’m doing great here, or is feeling like you could do more, play more dress up with my kids, etc always exist/? I don’t work, so I ranked my leadership in my MOPS group as a 9; I’ve released so much control. Recreation; a 1 – ouch. Although sadly not something I crave much of. I love your idea of #runliftpraise that you get moving to worship music – I’ve been doing with Christmas music and I like the change so far.

    I want to grow most with my family (including deeper relationship with my parents), spouse (it’s so easy to become like ‘roommates’ again with little dis), and spiritual.

    2. I’ve been chasing perception. This perception giving people that I can do it all, that I”m not weak — but I’ve been challenged that my living that lie I’m stealing from the gospel. If I could do it all, then I wouldn’t need Christ, and I never want to communicate that to my kids, family, and friends.

    3. Good things: saying ‘no’ to obligations that add stress; reading great books that challenge me; staying home to raise my girls; marriage matters class; decision to definitely homeschool; being more aware of our budget to live well; planning home days to ease the stress of busy weeks; birthday trip away with my mom; continuing with Bible Study Fellowship.

    Lessons learned: I”m an introvert and need downtime; intentionality is key with my marriage; State expectations early, I set the tone in my home – make it good; I enjoy creative cooking; bookclub isn’t for me; The power of the Armor of God – use it!

  67. Erin W

    So thankful for the recording!! I got to listen while I worked!
    Step One: On average for all the groups, I am a 6.5. It was so fun doing this part because I was able to think about the items I had on my tending lists throughout the year and how they have helped me grow on these! One in particular that I was excited to see growth on was work and finances. I’m better at managing my work so I have weekends/nights off and I’m getting so much better at managing my finances, but there is definitely still room for growth there!
    Step Two: I’ve been chasing having a “popular” business rather than a successful business. Something that I didn’t realize until the last couple of months. I’ve also been chasing well-planned family time by thinking our time together had to be doing something new or going somewhere rather than focusing on little bits of family time during the normal day.
    Step Three: Things I watched grow in 2017 and what I learned – I watched my son grow from a baby to a toddler (getting to see him walk for the first time, weaning him from nursing, finding out his personality) which has taught me patience haha. My family has grown and experienced things as a family of three and my husband and I learned how to function in public with a baby! And finally, I have watched my business grow and I’ve learned what should be a no-brainer, but I’ve learned it takes hard work and consistency.
    I just started my power sheet prep last night, and I realized what a better place I’m at mentally this year than last year, and it is so exciting and makes me so grateful!!

    • Lara

      I’m so glad you loved the recording, Erin! Thank you so much for sharing!

  68. Nicole C.

    Been looking forward to this for weeks!!! Thank Lara for investing your time, energy, and heart into this goal-setting series.

    1. Life evaluation. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve? I want to improve my health and fitness, my marriage, and our business most.

    Health – 5, have made progress here and have been working with a personal trainer leading into 2018. I have a ways to go! So 50/50.
    Friends – 8, I had a goal every month last year to cultivate relationships with my friends and the ladies on our team. But I can get better!
    Spouse – 7, I’ve made some great progress here in the past year, especially in my own self-image so that I don’t look to him as my source and then get offended. But I still have some areas I need to work on.
    Family – 5, I really let time get away from me with my family. I could be more intentional here.
    Finances – 7, we’ve made progress, but still have some big goals to accomplish here.
    Spiritual/personal growth – 7, 2017 was a year of growth in this area for me, but it’s time to kick it to the next level. I’m doing the chronological Bible plan daily as we head into 2018. And want to keep working on growing me. It’s time to go out on faith, trust God, and surrender.
    Our business (aka work) – 6, we’ve made progress, but we’ve also fallen short in a lot of areas. It’s time to take our business to the next level and move on once and for all.
    Recreation – 8, we’ve done a lot more exploring and had new experiences together this year, but I could be more adventurous and spontaneous, that’s how I see this category for me personal.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel? I’ve been chasing control. My word for the year is Surrender because of this. It’s time to let go and breathe easy again, trusting my God to go before me and move this year.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    #1 good thing – powersheets!! 🙂
    I’ve grown greatly in my personal discipline and have made a lot of progress in my personal growth.
    My self-image grew
    Spent more time in the Word
    Realized how much more I am capable of and that I DO KNOW WHAT I’M DOING as it relates to our business.
    Made progress in my weight and health and fitness, although a bit of a ways to go.

  69. Angel

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    I really need to improve in the areas of Health, Friends, Spiritual Growth and Recreation. I eat well, but don’t have a regular workout routine. I haven’t been hanging out with my friends much due to work and just being a homebody. I can always grow more in my relationship with the Lord! Need a new study to do. Any suggestions would be great! I don’t tend to go out and have fun. I need to stop focusing on the tasks at home so much and enjoy life!

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?
    Lately, I’ve been chasing comparison. It makes me feel unfulfilled. I need to keep my eyes on my life and not everyone else’s.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    I learned my house doesn’t have to be perfectly clean to be able to rest in it. I’ve learned I don’t need to scroll through Instagram constantly or I start having negative thoughts. I’ve learned it’s okay to stop the tasks and sit down a read a book or nap instead of constantly going (but still learning this too!).

  70. Angela Wilson

    Thank you for this opportunity!!

    Step One: I actually feel really healthy but know I need to work out consistently – 5. I really worked on opening myself up to friends this year, and would like to continue that journey as I tend to be closed off from new people – 4. I love my family and progress I am making to build my own – 9. Always trying to have a better relationship with finances – 3. Spiritual and personal growth has both soared and stalled this year. This journey needs to continue! – 2. I changed my entire career to a passion and I am so excited cultivating this insane opportunity! -7. Recreation this year has been amazing and I am so grateful for all the time I’ve been given to spend with the people I love -10.

    Step Two – I have been chasing a dream career that isn’t fully formed and trying to action towards it each day. I always chase money – stress about it and let it run my life. I am trying not to do that anymore.

    Step Three: I have so much to be grateful for 2017!! I left a job I hated for one that I LOVE. I got engaged and married! I took so many risks and really felt true to myself this year. I have really high hopes for 2018 and I really look forward to what the future brings! Thank you!!

    • Lara

      It sounds like 2017 was an amazing year, Angela! I’m so glad you’re here!

  71. Kate

    1) How am I? Health (6)- I do my best to eat well, but pregnancy + perpetual sickness + sleeping difficulty has been trying. Sleep has become more of a priority, however. Family (8)- We have grown so much this year has a family. Our marriage feels more grounded, we’ve grown in communication and handling conflict with grace. It’s been great to see growth in our almost 2 year old. We do want to invest well in him and help him adjust to new things. Spiritual Growth (8)- this was a big focus for 2017. So grateful for morning and evening rhythms, spiritual direction and cultivating a liturgically sensitive life. Recreation (1)- what’s this? Re-termed self care. Mental health hardships, I don’t even know where to start …………….. 2) I’ve chasing trying to be everything to everyone. I choose to get overwhelmed, I choose to compare. …………..3) What went well? *living liturgically, *welcoming a new baby, *reaching a savings goal, *starting spiritual direction/daily mass rhythms, *practicing contentment, *morning and evening routines as a family. I’ve learned that I need help. and can’t be it all.

  72. Shantell Robinson

    I’m so grateful for you and your team and all that you ladies do to help women live well!

    1. How am I?
    Health – 5
    Friends – 5
    Family – 5
    Finances – 6
    Spiritual – 7
    Work – 3
    Recreation – 10 (I get to go to London during the time of the Royal Wedding next year and I am sooo excited!!)

    2. What have I been chasing?
    I have to agree with you and the ladies from the video. Perfection. I feel so behind sometimes. Overwhelmed. Less than. All because I’m not measuring up to my own expectations of myself. Or the expectations I’ve created because of overly consuming social media. This coming year I hope to let go of perfection and grab on to purpose.

    3. What good things happened in 2017/What am I grateful for?
    -My word for this year was Overcomer. I think that fit in a lot of ways. There was a lot of emotional baggage that I let go of. I really feel so different and much more healthy in that respect.
    -I’ve been on a very long journey of trying to finish up my undergrad degree and just this month I was accepted to UF to finish my degree in Psychology. I start next month and I couldnt be more excited for God’s faithfulness in this area!
    -I’ve found contentment, gratefulness, and courage as a stay at home mom. I fought this title and season of life for a while. Complained, made excuses, and was ready to just give up and get a job and send the kids to daycare because I felt like a total failure. This is probably my biggest testimony of the year. I pursued God so much in this area. Time after time, he was faithful. He grew me and helped me. He taught me how to keep going, how to just simply love my kids and let go of the need to be “perfect mom.”

    Thank you for doing this giveaway. Praying for you, your family, and your staff. God Bless and Merry Christmas!

    • Lara

      Thank you for sharing, Shantell! I loved reading your thoughts here, especially how He has been faithful to you!

  73. Elizabeth

    Step 1: This year has been a whirlwind. We miscarried in January quite a few weeks into the second trimester with what would have been our third baby. I’m now pregnant again and having our sweet third girl in less than two months! Through all of this, God has showed us time and time again that his plan is bigger and better than ours. I can’t control everything (though I’d like to). The one area I really wish was better was my fitness/health. As a previous personal trainer and regular exerciser through my last two pregnancies, I’ve let that fall on the back burner this year.

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing success this year. After our miscarriage, I threw myself into my photography work and my business increased by so many new and returning clients. It was a beautiful blessing in a very hard time, but I also realized I didn’t have the measures in place to make sure that it didn’t take over my life since I stay home with my girls on top of it. I reached complete burnout on top of going through an unexpectedly difficult pregnancy. I want to just be still in 2018 when I feel the need to. Not looking to meet others’ expectations, but truly sit where I am and see what God wants. Set clear client goals and politely say no to anything outside of that. My family & my sanity deserves it.

    Step 3: I’m so grateful for the growth in my photography business in 2017. It was a welcome surprise and helped affirm that leaving my previous career to stay home was the right decision. Growing this new little one in my womb has reignited my faith in so many ways. I’ve also learned that superwoman is so overrated. I’ve known this for a long time, but for some reason always reach for that unattainable status. I’ve come to dislike it enough to want to change it. I’m looking forward to resting next year and focusing on my family.

  74. Elizabeth Heyerdahl

    The only area in my life right now that’s higher than a 5 was Work. Everything else was a 5 or below so I’ve got work to do. I too chase perfection , mostly the idea in my head of being a perfect mom, having a perfectly clean out, etc . It’s exhausting and i don’t want to chase that anymore. I’ve got work to do there as well. Finally I will share that I excitedly bought a 2017 PowerSheets, worked through the setup and then never used it so this year I’m DETERMINED to use it to follow through on some very worthy goals and aspirations. Thank you!

    • Lara

      It sounds like you have lots of room to grow, Elizabeth – I am excited for you!

  75. K.

    I worked through the PowerSheets Prep section and found it awesomely eye opening – so many tears! But a new question that Lara has brought up in this post is what have I been chasing? I’ve been chasing being everything to everyone. And it makes me feel exhausted, defeated, empty and resentful. Time to let that go!

  76. Amanda

    I always seem to be pointed this direction when I’m struggling, and I’m grateful I stopped by here today; I needed to hear your inspirational words once again.

    1. I feel like I’m always treading water, with my head bobbing right at the point of going under. Honestly, I think I’ve been a failure at it all this year. I want to improve my relationship with my little family, each and every one, and grow stronger in the Lord.

    2. I feel like I’ve been chasing a fulfilling bond with God. I struggle with wanting approval, yet being so far from the perfectionist I want to be. From God, my husband, my kids, perfect strangers, everyone. I’m lost and hopeful at the same time.

    3. I know God, I have a great family. I am so blessed to be alive in this world, with everything I have been given. It’s all about perception right now:

    The most important is we have been blessed with another little (surprise) bundle of joy, due next year. At first, I was upset, because I wasn’t “ready” to accept His gift to us. Then, a few weeks ago, we found out the baby has some serious problems, some that could be incompatible with life. All those other things immediately fell to the wayside. We were given this baby, no matter her complications. I have found peace with it. Every single moment I have with her, every tiny movement I feel, God has chosen me to be her mother. I am grateful for everything about her, even the possibility of losing her.

    So 2017 has been extremely challenging. 2018 is going to test us in different ways, but we are blessed. Thank you, as always, for your inspiring words.

  77. Summer Lee

    2017 has been an incredibly hard year. My daughter had her second open heart surgery, my husband started the process of recovery and went to rehab for 30 days, and I gave birth to my third baby. I could FULL STOP there (and throw a pity party), but I’m so thankful that you asked that we dig up the good stuff. I was reminded that God is faithful to answer prayers and change life courses. I was able to see the lavish love of my church and my community and understand why its so vital. I learned that my children and my time with them is borrowed and a sweet gift. I learned that I AM NOT STRONG, it is only God within me. I need Him like I need water. Lately I having being chasing purpose and fulfillment. I seek it through perfection and escapism. Its left me empty and feeling stuff and not enough. I’m looking forward to this next year of seeking JOY. The deep abiding kind that stays alive through hard things and tastes even sweeter through good times.

  78. Emily M Wood

    Oh my goodness!!! This series is EXACTLY what I need!!!
    I love goal setting….but by the end of the year….I always end up basically discouraged because I don’t feel that I have accomplished anything.

    1. Here is where I stand in the following areas:
    Health (5): I’m not overweight, but I could eat healthier and exercise more
    Friends (6): I have friends, but I don’t do much with my friends.
    Family (9): This year I lost my mother in law. It caused me to be so much more intentional in this area! I’ve done more with my family this year than I have in a long time.
    Marriage (8): My husband and I have a strong marriage, but we don’t spend much one on one time with each other. Date nights and a getaway are definitely in order!
    Finances (6): We aren’t in debt and we don’t live check to check….but we do NOT have a budget. BIG goal for the coming year.
    Spiritual Growth (8): I would love to lead a Bible study this year. My prayer life and quiet time have been more consistent this year, but have room for improvement.
    Personal Growth (8): This year, I started a blog which was my 2017 goal. I have learned so much, but would like to learn more. I would also love to start a Foster/Adoptive Parent support group in our county.
    WORK: Stay at Home Mom(6): I LOVE staying at home with my boys….but I feel completely out of sync most of the time. I just need some kind of schedule….the house stays a mess….I need to meal plan….etc.
    Recreation (2) : Recreation? I don’t think I even know what this is. LOL

    2. I have been chasing perfection….my life nemesis. I want my blog to be perfect. I want my house to be perfect. I want my meals to be perfect. The list could go on and on and on….. This such a discouraging place to be because everything always comes up short. I feel like I can never get ahead because everything could always be better.

    3. Good things: I spent more time with family;took a huge step of faith and I started a blog; I have a new network of blogging friends; staying home with my boys; my oldest son accepted Christ; stayed focused on contentment (my word for the year)

    Lessons learned: I can’t do EVERYTHING; my relationship with Christ has to be #1; it isn’t about ME…it is about HIM; God calls me to be faithful in the ordinary; most people don’t pay attention to the very things I fret over most

  79. Staci B

    Loving this series and so excited about working on my goals for 2018! Lara- you and team have been such a huge inspiration to me already and I’m just getting started. I feel like I’ve found my “tribe” among your team, these women and others connected to you. So excited for 2018!

    Oh! And I sent a text to encourage a friend who is in a really difficult season of transition. Aaaaaand I’m coming back for more to answer all the questions after I get off work!! 🙂

    • Staci B

      Back for more…

      1. I’ve been learning that I’m not as “OK“ as I think I am. I tend to put my head down, work through all my todos, get it all done, and then realize on the back end that I haven’t cared well for my heart in the process. And I haven’t stopped to just “be” while I’ve been so busy “doing.” So that’s my focus on 2018. I want to learn how to BE.

      Going through this page in my power sheets made me realize how many things I have to work on in every area of my life (overwhelming!)… But it also made me realize that while there are certainly some areas I’m really struggling with, there are several where I feel really confident as well. Thus, In 2018 I really want to focus on my health, my spouse, and my spiritual development.

      2. What I’ve been chasing…Survival. I’ve spent this year pregnant with baby #2 and with a newborn since August, so Life is all about survival. Surviving as a working mom of 2…surviving physically with pregnancy, recovery and lack of sleep..surviving at work after taking 3 months off…surviving in my marriage as we adjust with this big transition. It makes me feel tired just thinking about it…and I SO desire to Thrive, not just survive going forward.

      3. Good things: had a healthy baby boy in August, gave more than ever to kingdom causes- practicing extravagant generosity, took big steps in spiritual development through an intense course on Freedom in Christ, the team I lead at work was the #1 team in North America in my division this year!

      Through these things i learned that you truly do reap what you sow. We sowed seeds financially this year and Prayed specific prayers and God delivered above and beyond in blessings back to us. I also learned that Freedom is possible from things that have weighed me down for years. (And excited to keep pursuing that in 2018) Oh and of course I’ve learned that despite the craziness and the struggles and the survival mode- my husband is the best. He’s always been my rock and I plan to spend 2018 intentionally pursuing his heart!

    • Lara

      I am excited for you, Staci! We are so glad you are here!

  80. K.

    Encouraging others: I sent a message to let my best friend know how strong she is as she fights a tough health battle.

  81. Kim

    1. This was great for me to separate into different areas. Health, significant other, and spiritual growth were high areas (much thanks to your books for that!) Areas of growth are friends/family (putting in the effort!) finances and work.
    2. I have been chasing success and that feeling like I accomplished someting.
    3. Lessons from the good things:
    -Selfish and earthly goals do not lead to success or motivate me.
    -When I pay attention and am intentional, things grow.
    -It’s okay to grow slow
    -Slowing down can be as simple as an attitude change.

  82. Shelby

    I just moved from CA to CO, and I started 2 new jobs. In so many ways this Goal Setting is the perfect thing for me to focus my energy without getting overwhelmed because if I’m going to be honest, I’m really overwhelmed. So, how am I doing? Health-8 I’m really stressed right now, learning to manage my time and learn new processes for my 2 jobs. Friends- 5 I don’t have any friends in our new town, which is kind of lonely even though I text my best friend and sister in a group text everyday back in Texas. Family- 4 I lost my grandfather to Lung Cancer in February since then my grandmother has become bitter and angry, I’m having a hard time being compassionate when it should be the obvious reaction. Finances- 2 Another thing taking it’s toll on my health, the expenses of moving, the holidays, and only one of my jobs pays regularly. Spiritual & Personal Growth- 6 I could have given myself a higher score on this one, I’ve grown so much in the last year and I’m challenged daily by my work in a good & exciting way. Work- 7 I LOVE one of my jobs, it’s where my heart & skills & passion collide and I’m in love but it doesn’t pay me consistently. My other job is easy but stressful as I haven’t worked outside my home in 3 years. Recreation- 4 I now live in this beautiful place but I’m so busy juggling work, and home life I’m not doing a lot of hiking or exploring. What have you been chasing? success in my career & with that the approval of my parents- I feel like I’ll never live up to what they expect of me since my path has been very non-linear so to speak. I’m also chasing financial security, which I fear is far far away and unlikely given how much it costs to live in our new place. My 2017 Good List: I was given the Styling Love award from my previous employer in January, I joined a new committee outside my comfort zone at church- it wasn’t a good fit for me but I wanted to try, hosted an ethical fashion party in March with a few friends and was a fun experience, emailed a start up on a whim & now I work for them, moved to Colorado- this was a very good but expensive thing.

    • Kristina

      My answer to „What are you chasing“ was very similar as yours. I feel you, friend! Cheering you on as you navigate this new season in your life!
      Fun fact: I used to live in Colorado and miss it terribly 😉

    • Lara

      Wow, Shelby! It sounds like you have had quite a year. Excited to see what 2018 will hold for you!

  83. Emily M Wood

    Loved the video!!! LOVED it!! I sent encouraging messages to several dear friends in my life!!!

  84. Kinsey

    Lara, thank you for posting this! I’ve never been much of a goal-setter, but this year, I want to try it.

    Step 1: I averaged between 6-8 in these categories. There was always at least a few good things I could point to. I’ve had a lot of change happen right at the end of the year, so some things feel up in the air, but I know they will settle after the holidays.

    Step 2: Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m chasing much of anything. I’m too okay with leaving things undone, and, like I mentioned, I haven’t set many goals. This year, I want to find something meaningful to chase after.

    Step 3: I celebrated the marriages of four different couples this year, and I learned how much hope there is in every wedding, even when the styles and the couples are completely different. My husband and I took our longest road trip yet together, driving from Dallas, Texas, to Orlando, Florida, and we didn’t fight at all (at least, not that I remember…it was in January!). I also learned to quit books I’m not enjoying reading, which allowed me to achieve my goal of reading 100 books this year early—I’m on book 119 now! And I learned that presence is powerful by spending a lot of time with family in the hospital and while recuperating at home.

  85. Sarah Wittcop

    I took my business full time in 2017 and that made life a little crazy. I want to intentionally grow my business while simplifying my life. I am learning that I can simplify a lot of areas of my life while making great progress in others. My Power Sheets have me pumped for 2018. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish for the Lord in the new year!

  86. Kylee

    I seem to get stuck at the goal part! I feel like every time I get ready to write down my goals for 2018 I have none. Or at least I can’t figure out what they should be. This tends to keep me from moving forward and not doing the power sheets!

    • Lara

      My advice is to just start with one area where you want to see change! You can always add more later!

  87. Michelle

    Loving this series, Lara! I finished my PowerSheets Prep about two weeks ago and then moved… and needed some recharge to dive into the goal-setting phase. Thanks for the encouragement and pep-talk and grace and fun! So looking forward to a new year of purpose and direction in the midst of the mess and beauty of life.

  88. Mackenzie

    Lara! I love this series so much. I have been a Powersheets user since 2014. Down the line I always tend to get side tracked and forget about them. 2017 was better, but I am so ready to fully conquer them this year!

    This year was so tough for me. Like really really tough. But so many good things are on the horizon! So much good still happened that I am beyond thankful for.

    • Lara

      I’m so grateful you’ve been with us for so long, Mackenzie! Cheering you on!

  89. Sabie

    Love this! So excited to follow along.

  90. Ally

    So excited to dig into PowerSheets. Even more excited to share this with my sister and encourage her to do this with me this year! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  91. jessica Smith

    I.am so excited for 2018. I started powersheets for the first time in June of 2017. Little by little, I am making progress on my goals.

  92. Debra Dane

    Thank you so much for this series – loved day 1 and for a change i did not put it off to get to another time. i am committed for 2018 (my word is “integrity”) and am already living my word xx

  93. Kristina

    It‘s past midnight here in Germany but I just felt an urge to start with the series write away. I used the blank back pages in my powersheets because they were within reach on my nightstand. Make a mess, right?! 😉

    1) I am actually doing rather good (compared to years past) in most of these areas. But finances and health got a low rating because I didn‘t reach my 2017 goals in these areas and want to do better next year.
    2) I have been chasing approval from family and friends forgetting that the only One whose approval I need already loves me unconditionally.
    3) I need purpose-filled work in a life giving environment to thrive at my job.
    There is a season for everything and not every friendship is meant to last for multiple seasons – it‘s ok to let go.
    Change might be hard but is so good!

    Thank you, Lara, for doing the recording. I loved listening to you and cannot wait for part 2!

  94. Olivia

    I’ve been mulling over my intentions and goals for 2018 for a few weeks now, and your goal setting guide came out at the perfect time! I just received my first set of PowerSheets and I’m looking forward to digging in. 2017 was a year of personal growth for me (I really had to explore my heart and wrestle with some tough things like anxiety and work-related stress). But once I started making time for myself and growing myself, I noticed a change. Less stress. More energy. Being present for all of the amazing people in my life. And what was even one of the best gifts of all was that my boss told me today how much he has seen me grown, both personally and professionally. I guess when you focus on slow growth, it really does add up. Every journal entry. Every chapter read in an inspiring book. It all matters. I’m really looking forward to using the PowerSheets to grow more in 2018 and use 2017 as my teacher. I don’t know what the new year brings, but I think the PowerSheets will help me uncover that! Thank you for all that you do Lara and the community you have built – you’re really touching the lives of so many people.

    • Lara

      Wow, Olivia, thank you so much for your encouragement! It is most definitely okay to grow slow!

  95. Jia-Ni

    1. I am content! The last year has felt like a transition and shift in focus in areas I am focusing on cultivating! From my relationship with my man (which is going incredibly well, thanks to all the cultivating!) to more meaningful friendships. From focusing on simplifying our business and focusing on the foundations to taking things to a bigger level!

    2. I’ve been chasing this idea of where I ‘should’ be now. It’s a little tiring, and very discouraging! I’m ready to let it go (whew!) and embrace cultivating what matters to me exactly where I am – with what I have!

    3. I loved doing this part of my Powersheets! It helped me realise that there were more good things (than I thought I had experienced) in 2017: We travelled, made incredible new friends, grew our business… I learnt so much on letting go of the past this year, and I discovered that I had much more room to improve when it comes to my faith. I’m excited for these in 2018!

  96. Ashely

    1) I feel like I’m eh in all areas of my life except for family. I am looking forward to focusing on finances, work and health in 2018.

    2) I have been chasing the past. I live in what went wrong and regret instead of focusing on the present and the future.

    3) Good things:
    — Spent time with family
    — Brother was married
    — Became more aware of my finances
    — Enjoyed time with my friend’s kids

    Lesson learned: sometimes, we’re in the waiting period and we have to do just that…wait. I started power sheets during the summer but don’t feel like I made ‘real progress’. But, I’ve realized there’s been a lot of resting and waiting which I think has been preparing me for what is to come.

    • Lara

      It sounds like there is exciting room for progress, Ashely! Excited for you!

  97. Kayla Jones

    I love this Lara!!! Thank you for taking the time to invest in us and empower us at the same time. You are amazing!

  98. Kayla Jones

    Step one: I ranged 4-8 in the categories. The ones I am really trying to hone in 2018 is health, finances, and my marriage. I have been dealing with some health issues lately and I want to devote time to truly loving myself and seeking the right methods to recover properly. Finances were rocky in 2017 so I want to stabilize those. And my marriage has had a tough year with communication, I want to communicate better and love even when it’s hard.

    Step two: I feel like I’ve been chasing purpose lately. I really want to be walking in my purpose and pursuing what God has for me to do. I want to work in a position that is purpose filled and gives me a creative outlet.

    Step three: I was able to step out of my comfort zone this year and do things that I thought I couldn’t do. It was empowering to really trust the Lord and allow him to help me through my anxious thoughts. I got some much needed rest this year. Started volunteering for an amazing non profit, and made precious memories with my husband. My husband and I are both registered to finish our degrees and we are super excited for that milestone as well.

  99. Jenn

    This will be my first year using Power Sheets and I am so very excited. My order arrives tomorrow and after reading this poist, I know what to expect and how to get started. Looking forward to CHOOSING PURPOSE OVER PERFECT!

  100. Bethany Brown

    I am so excited about this coming year and the changes God is going to do in our family. My word for the year is “Abide,” which will remind me to abide in Christ and keep my heart abiding at home instead of chasing stuff and other things outside of our home and family. I am so pumped and have thoroughly loved what my Powersheets have uncovered so far!!!

  101. Baylie

    Step 1: Mostly 5-7’s. I’m doing quite well in general. I have gone through some MAJOR changes (mostly internal) this year and it has been so hard and so good. This has been my best year yet and I cannot wait to see what is next!

    Step 2: Control. I cannot do anything well on my own. BUT I am not alone! I MUST pray and let GOD have control over my life on a daily basis. I’ve taken leaps and bounds in this area but there is always so much growth (and release) to happen in this!

    Step 3: I am so grateful for 2017!!! I have purged my home and that alone is such an amazing success but God did so much more. I have started living with purpose and intention. I am a better mother. I am a better wife.
    I am cultivating BRAVE friendships by reaching out and MAKING IT HAPPEN. Kids make it so easy to start friendship. It’s like “Hey, your people and my people: the park, let’s go.”

    Lessons: 1.Less is MORE is MORE is MORE is MORE!!!
    2. Being in relationship with God doesn’t have to be complicated. Heck, nothing has to be complicated
    3. I can change. God’s love is so big and I can do all things with HIS POWER!!

    <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

  102. Barbara

    1. So tired! but pushing through the holidays to our big move to California! For the first part of the year at least, my focus will be simplifying (also my word for 2018). Focusing on the here and now, building relationships with my young children, deepening my connection to my husband, and building a home filled with love and joy.

    2. I chase EVERYTHING. That’s why my word is simplify! It’s overwhelming and I compare my failure to others’ successes. Not fair to me!

    3. So many good things! Good foundation building with our little family, started a write the word – habit that I’m hoping to keep up. Starting to focus and see what actually brings me joy. And starting Powersheets! I’m so excited to see how this is going to help me with my goals!

  103. Janet K

    From doing the Life Evaluation, I came up with 2 goals –1. Stop chasing a ministry/purpose and just be who I am. 2. For recreation, have fun! It has been kind of repetitive and boring. Change that!

  104. Aine

    Love this giveaway

  105. Alyce

    The biggest thing I’ve realised “already” thanks to this series is seeing how I actually HAVE made progress from last year. Some areas have been slow progress, others have had huge achievements. So I want to thank you, Lara, for taking time each year to write this series, because I am truly grateful for the grace and faith-filled way in which you guide us through these steps.

  106. Michelle A

    Still working through my answers over here but I know I’m leaving 2017 feeling solidly ‘good’ in many areas, and so ready to focus in finances, my relationship (we’re getting married!) and getting visible with my work in 2018. I’m so grateful for all that 2017 taught me about myself – especially in terms of being an introvert who still *needs* connection and collaboration to feel like my best self. That revelation was so huge. So excited to keep going with this series!

  107. Michelle A

    Happy to report I also just sat down with my fiance and encouraged him to think about how to bring some serious intentionality into 2018, and make space for more of the experiences he really values – because he deserves it. <3

  108. Amy

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your work, Lara. I only just heard of you in the last week or so, thanks to an Instagram ad for the 2018 powersheets workbook. I looked into it and I just couldn’t justify the cost for us right now. But let me tell you, it was SO freeing to listen to this and hear you say to just go through this with you with what I have now, that THAT is ENOUGH. I don’t need the fancy pretty tools (of course I’d love them) but just as I am now is ENOUGH. So when I realized there is a book and my local Barnes and Noble had ONE copy left, I gave in to my need for instant gratification and drove across town TONIGHT to spend my last $20 of my birthday money on Cultivate (paperback) and a coffee. Just the intro had me nodding and in tears. I truly hope this is the day everything changes, because I have “started over” so many times before. I get super excited in the beginning and then just kind of fizzle out in those in between stages. I hope that is no more!

    So here goes:
    1) How am I? I am sick of survival mode. I am ready to THRIVE. But I want all the thriving and blooming to happen right freakin’ now, and I am so tired. I feel like every area of my life needs attention NOW and I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m a mess. I love my life, don’t get me wrong, I just feel like I’m just here, just treading water and floating through instead of taking the reigns and owning it. I feel like it’s all going so fast and I can’t catch my breath to even enjoy the ride.

    2) I am definitely not chasing some idea of perfection, but I guess you could say I am chasing my purpose. My ultimate goal is Heaven, for myself, and for my family. But that seems so abstract and so hard to break into the things of everyday life and the here and now. I’m frustrated because I’ve been living the opposite of a purposeful life, I’ve been aimless, lost at sea. I feel like I should know what needs to be done and when and how to do it by now, but every day just seems to get away from me.

    3) Good things that happened in 2017 and what I learned from them:
    -We sold our house and moved back to live near friends, currently renting my parents’ house while they travel. I’ve learned that I am not content anywhere, and I need to work on that. But it has helped me figure out what I DON’T want in a home and place to live, so that is getting us closer to figuring out what we do want. It’s also been a little sad, but I’m learning that you don’t get joy without the sadness, no new beginnings without other endings.
    -I’ve been enjoying the little joys of just being home with my girls, which is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve learned it’s a blessing, but that blessings are still WORK, and we find purpose in our work, and that is GOOD.
    -I’ve been watching my girls grow and change and get bigger, and it keeps reminding me that I need to quit worrying about the future and just BE. Just enjoy where we are right now before it’s gone. Because I don’t want to look back with regret.

    I am so looking forward to going through this journey. It came along at just the right time for me, and I know it was the Holy Spirit. And oy vey was this long, so if you read all of this, God bless you! And thanks!

    • Lara

      I am SO glad you’re here, Amy! Thank you for sharing so generously! I trust good things are ahead in 2018!

  109. Jennifer

    I’m still thinking over specific goals for 2018, but I feel as if my word for the year should be Joy. Thank you so much for this series!

  110. Anna

    So excited for this goal setting series and to be a first time power sheets user in 2018. I can already tell that this is going to be such a good thing.

    For my the answers to my questions are:
    1) I think overall I’m doing pretty well. The main areas I want to cultivate in 2018 are my faith, relationships, and my work.
    2) I am a nurse by degree but have a passion writing. I think I am constantly having to remind myself to stop chasing someone else’s goal or dream. I feel like I need to start a business or build a platform, but really my only job is to be faithful in my writing and point people to Jesus.
    3) Two of my favorite takeaways from last year were: You can’t change people, you can only love them. And It is easy to get distracted. We must WORK to stay focused on what is important.

    • Lara

      So excited you’re using PowerSheets for the first time, Anna! Cheering you on!

  111. Angela

    From step 2 – I am naming my chase tonight to destroy it. I have been chasing surviving. I am looking forward to using power sheets in 2018. It’s time to flourish.

  112. Hannah

    The main areas I want to improve in 2018 are health, spouse/significant other, and health. The only two things I rated above a 5 on my Life Evaluation were spouse/significant other and family (and I later revised my family rating to a 5), and I feel like there’s so much more I could be doing to make those relationships wonderful. As for health, I need to be doing much more.

    Three lessons I learned this year:
    1) It’s okay to be limited.
    2) Staying off my phone and focusing on one thing help me feel so much better.
    3) Realistic expectations make a world of difference.

    • Lara

      It sounds like there is great room for growth there, Hannah! I am excited for you!

  113. Cindy B

    1. How am I? I’m struggling. This is a season of waiting for me- after a long season of the pain of being in the wrong place. The Lord asked me to take a leap of faith and I did. Now I’m waiting for the next step. What I want to work on most in 2018 is Work, Health and Finances. 2. I’ve been chasing the next step- I need to wait for His time not mine. 3. The sum of my long list of lessons is that the Lord will provide. Trust Him.

  114. Cindy B

    This is my encouragement comment- I lifted up my husband. He has been struggling to find a job. I’m praying for him- for us- but also I’m encouraging him.

  115. Jessica Burnette

    I am excited to follow along with this series. I want to start goal setting in 2018 because I am starting a new job and I want a fresh start in every area of my life (financially, physical health, spiritual health, and mental health). I can’t wait to learn about how to set positive goals and actually reach them.

  116. Sharon K

    I am just getting started – so happy to find this!! I’ll post again when I’ve completed the first few steps!!

  117. Lara M

    I think I’m a little weary. I’m looking forward to a break in January. The holidays can be extra hard when you have sensory kids and this year has been harder than years past due to travel and family stuff beyond our control. Add to that a messed up shoulder for mom and I’m ready for our normal schedule and January 1. I feel like I’m wishing the holidays away and like I did a terrible job protecting our downtime this year, but I also know that some of it could not be helped. I’m trying to extend grace to myself and praying for lots of extra grace to share with the people who are guaranteed to see my kids acting out over the next week. My PowerSheets are my quiet time and reprieve right now.

    • Lara

      Praying you will find joy and peace in this season, friend! So grateful for you!

  118. Idunnu

    I am beyond excited to have my 2018 power sheets and to be working through the goal setting with you. I stumbled on your page on Instagram, read the reviews and was determined to get one for myself. Got my power sheets in the mail today and I haven’t been the same.
    Much love.

  119. Latricia Jackson

    Hi Lara,

    This is my first year doing the power sheets and I don’t know if I should be excited or scared. See I have a problem with writing out goals because if I don’t accomplish them, then I feel like I’ve wasted time and energy. So we will see what 2018 will bring. Here are the results of my evaluation.

    Health – 6
    Friends – 2
    Spouse – 4
    Family – 10
    Finances – 6
    Spiritual – 1
    Work – 1
    Recreation – 1

    I hope and pray that doing the power sheets will help me in these areas. Thanks for creating the power sheet. Wish me luck.

    • Lara

      It sounds like there is exciting ground for growth, Latricia! Cheering you on!

  120. Amy W

    I loved the cultivated life page in this year’s Powersheets! It made me realize some goals and desires I have for recreation as a family. I’ve got 4 boys that are 6 and under. With an infant recreation tends to slow down in the winter months and I was envy to find creative ways to play and stay engaged together as a family. I love it in the summer and it’s so bonding for our boys’ relationships. I think it’s a love language of theirs!

    I was also encouraged that I met my goal of reading through the Bible in a year! My first time ever!!! Im praising God for that and thankful for you version during nursing sessions.

    I have been changing simplicity and less and freedom from stuff and the busyness and it feels wonderful.

    I’ve learned to 1) abide – in God’s presence, 2) dwell in His word, 3) trust Him in my prayers.

    Thanks for this series. I’m so excited for 2018!! I’m still mulling over ideas for my word. Embrace is one of them. We’ll see.

  121. Amy W

    I encouraged someone by writing a letter in a card and put that on their present (which just happened to be Powersheets!!) rather than just a name tag.

  122. Linda B

    Step One: everywhere from 1 to 9. Lots of lows, but some highs. It’s good to know that it’s not all bad. Sometimes the bad brings some good with it. There are always things to be thankful about.

    Step Two: I tried do hard to be the perfect wife and yet that didn’t keep my husband from cheating on me. What I learned is that no matter how hard we try to be perfect, if we don’t do it for ourselves, then it’s worth nothing. We can’t change other people. That’s God’s territory.

    Step Three: Ohmigosh, so many things learned. So much good stuff inspire of the terrible lows. The short list: 1. I learned I’m stronger than I thought I was. I can rise up from a huge fall, and be strong and wade through fear and pain, and be okay with the unknown. 2. I learned that only by trusting everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to God, can things change. I’m early in this process, but i’m excited about what’s ahead. 3. I learned that I have a gift that can be shared! So I’m applying to get a MS in Counseling. God has shown me a life that has a purpose – serving and helping others.

  123. Jen

    1. Some areas rank higher than others. Finances and Work ranked low, as my husband lost his job a few weeks ago (it was our only source of income). But we will weather through this somehow – we have to! Family, recreation, and health ranked high – I invested in these areas, and can’t wait to see more growth there!
    2. I’ve been in a coding boot camp, chasing my return to work. With the loss of income, it’s become even more important to get that job, and I have to admit, I’m anxious and stressed. What was supposed to be a slow pursuit has been elevated to MUST COMPLETE ASAP status.

    3. We did SO much this year. We went on a long, epic road trip. We renovated our kitchen. I finished a coding boot camp and can’t wait to get my hands dirty with web development. My little girls are thriving at school. My husband has a break from an extremely stressful job situation. Despite the life-changing event of my husband’s job loss, it was a good year, and we are extremely blessed.

    • Lara

      Wow, Jen, what a beautiful perspective and recognition of the good in the midst of the hard! Cheering you on!

  124. Pam

    Thank you for the giveaway! I love your saying, “The soil you’re standing on right now is your growing ground” and I think it would make a wonderful print in your shop. A simple reminder to live in the mess and cultivate the beauty He’s given us!

  125. Mhay

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

    I can happily say I’m a little sprout. 🌱 It’s been a little over 3 months since I’ve have made major changes in my life and I just continue to grow in things that matter. I definitely want to keep growing personally and spiritually. I recently read the Miricale Morning by Hal Elrod (HIGHLY RECCOMEND!) and it made this statement that is so powerful: “you must first dedicate time each day to becoming the person you need to be, one who is qualified and capable of consistently attracting, creating, and sustaining the levels of success you want.” So before my family, health, friends, and so on can improve, I have to first start within.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

    I was chasing the world’s definition of success: busy, big paycheck, perfect Instagram feed, and many material possessions. This made me feel so empty and depressed. But not anymore, because I started making changes. Little by little and that little by little has added up to a me that’s busy in the important things and is giving grace to myself for the times I fall short.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    Like seeds that you plant in a garden once you cover them with dirt you can’t see them! Likewise I learned you must start within (personal/spiritual growth) before anything else in your life can change. So I had made huge changes in the way I think of myself and circumstances. I strived hard to shift my thinking into a more positive light and this has helped me even in the more difficult situations that I had to endure through. (Phil 4:8) I have been learning to take advantage of the gift of prayer and it has helped me immensely by giving me peace in this season of waiting I’m in. (Phil. 4:6) This has resulted in finding true contentment and joy.

    This turned into a mini essay so I’ll stop here and I look forward to what you have in store for the next parts in this series. Thank you and your team for all that you do. (Heb 6:10)

    • Lara

      It sounds like you have learned so much already, Mhay! I am so proud of you!

  126. Heather

    Well this year was one of surviving not thriving. I’ve already done this part of my Powrrsheets but it was nice to go back thru them as I’m working on my goals. This year was one of surviving, my husband was working full time and doing a cross continent MBA which meant lots of travel and school work. So I was home with our 3 kiddos oh and did I mention that we live in the Middle East. It was a year that things happened but more by chance then on purpose. I had some goad but because I didn’t receive them frequently they were often forgotten. I’m really looking forward to being more intentional with my husband, kids, and friends this next year. And doing things with more purpose! Thanks for alll your encouragement!

  127. Kailee

    1. How am I? I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately. I feel torn between wonderful and horrible. We are in the process of moving back to the USA after almost 2 years in China and looking back on all that we’ve done and the plans that I had for our time here, I am thrilled at some things and utterly disappointed in others. We have traveled and gotten closer as a family and my faith and relationship with God has flourished! On the other side, my physical health is not much better and I still feel like I am floundering on my life calling. Overall, I am so happy that this last year was more good than bad! Next year I would really like to put a lot of focus on my health and my work because I’ll be going back to a full-time position and I’d like to make sure my life is still in balance with the changes coming up.

    2. I feel like that as people in the technology era, we can’t help but chase perfect sometimes. I definitely have tried to be “perfect” in the past and sometimes still find myself playing the comparison game. When I do that, I am not the only one that suffers. I’m tired of chasing things that just aren’t me.

    3. Good things in 2017: Trip to Italy, Cruise to Japan, Trip to Beijing, lots of trips to Shanghai, dinners with family and friends, visits from our family to China, a wonderful 2-week visit to the states, and finding out that we are going home in February! I read the entire bible this year! My daughter turned 3 and is more amazing every day. My husband and I are much better at communicating. I learned to cook and eat a lot of great new foods. I read a lot of good books that allowed me to make plans and set goals for my life (and I feel like they are within my reach). Lots of music, singing and dance parties. Love. 🙂

  128. Victoria

    I’m only a few weeks into Powersheets and it’s feeling life changing already! There have been boulders buried deep in my soil that, instead of removing, I’ve just been placing more soil on top of them. While some things flourished simply because of how much dirt has been on top, there’s still a mighty weight pulling me down.

    One of the big things I’ve been chasing this year (and previous years) is the finish line. I want to be at the end right now. A lot of your goals sound similar to mine, and I’m not going to lie, I grew bitter reading your successes, because I just wanted to be there, I just want it to be over. I want all of the rewards and to fast forward through the work. This is not giving myself the opportunity to grow slow, and those words have been my mantra over the past couple of weeks. I need to grow slow. A plant that bursts from the ground quickly doesn’t live as long as one that takes its time to become firmly rooted in the soil. I’ve realized that I’m a plant dangerously close to being toppled by the storm.

    I seriously thank you so much for this series, for Powersheets, for it all. I am really hoping to make PROGRESS on removing the boulders from my life and laying down new roots (Progress, not completion!! I will not rush to the finish line! This is a marathon, not a 5K!).

    • Lara

      Wow, Victoria! Thank you so much for sharing! We love little by little progress around here and will be cheering you on!

  129. Paige

    For the better part of 2017 I have been chasing the idea of perfection, knowing it isn’t what I want. desire what I think I should, so I set goals then so often I would get stuck in the middle of wanting and doing. Never making true change or progress. I looked forward to getting the goal or task over with and not enjoying how I got there or what God was teaching me through it.

    BUT GOD Y’ALL!… In the later parts of 2017 God has been so so faithful, revealing truths I didn’t know I desired. Calling me to a life of “middle joy.” One that thrives in the process. I was a collegiate athlete and my goal setting never had to last more than a season (August – March). I set my goal, trained for it, and accomplished it, physically, tangibly accomplished what I set out to do. Life isn’t like that, some things are tangible, but many are not. I am in a season of growing and I know 2018 will bring much growth. My word of the year is PERSIT, in seasons of struggle, persist. In seasons of lack, persist. In seasons of abundance, persist. When I am lost and don’t know what’s next, persist. My God is writing my story, if I try to skip to the ending I miss the best parts.

  130. Melissa S.

    I had a pretty good 2017. God is moving me out of my desire for easy, and bringing me into a season of doing the hard work of making changes. Changes to improve my health, marriage, and family time. So, my goals for 2018 are to keep digging in the dirt in those areas, continuing to exercise regularly for fitness and energy, date nights and growing in my marriage , and connecting better with my two teenage sons, whom I homeschool, doing things to talk to them about and do with them that don’t revolve around school.

  131. Jenny

    Would love to win any one of these things! Ordered my power sheets yesterday, can’t wait!

  132. Melissa

    Thank you for sharing your amazing process for living your goals. I just had a baby myself and I’m excited to find a new rhythm for my life using your system. Thank you again!

  133. Gin

    I’m so excited to be starting this! Your story has really inspired me.

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Gin. It’s my pleasure to share!

  134. Cynthia

    Hi Lara,

    I am doing fairly well, but really wanting to make the leap for a new job, kick the weight off for good, and tend to my very best friends.

    Step 2. I’ve been chasing perfection at work and it is not working at all. Things are going horribly wrong.

    Step 3. Good things. I experienced growth that I didn’t know was possible.at my job. It came from a hard place..like being tested.
    I learned that grace is a wonderful thing and it’s where I feel a little magic inside me. I extend it whenever given the chance.. Writing that I realize that I do this with strangers (like while driving) but I don’t give it as freely to those close to me.

    • Lara

      It sounds like you’re learning some great lessons, Cynthia, and that there is much room for growth! I’m excited for you!

  135. Dannie Fountain

    I am so excited that so many people use powersheets for their goalsetting. I also love getting to dive in on my own goals each year – in 2018 I am focused on finding a functional work life balance.

  136. Regina Collins Simon

    I am so grateful this process. It has been beneficial for me to do my prep work BEFORE Christmas so that I could come out of the frenzy of the holiday (even though we’re doing really simple this year) with intentional next steps. It’s not a brag, but a confirmation for me knowing that I am more able to keep the focus on Christ going into Christmas knowing that it isn’t all getting ready for one day. Thank you for sharing your past years. I haven’t had BIG years or a lot of outward progress, but think that with doing Powersheets for the 4th year in a row now, that I am clear why. And that’s a win!

  137. Jessica

    I can’t wait to get started on the Goal Setting Series for 2018! I’m excited to set intentional and realistic goals for the year.

  138. Ashley Flores

    I’ve come to really look forward to this series each year. It always helps me get back focused and even has another positive effect that you may not even have thought it; it makes me read more! Everything is so short this days. These blog posts are meaty and long and it forces me to sit still and really READ! Not listen on my audible while I walk around doing a million other things, but READ. 🙂

    xoxo

  139. Alison Templin

    So excited to give this an honest try this year. I’ve been watching from the sidelines for over a year and this is the year to Make It Happen!

  140. Beth

    I want to spend the year being more intentional about achieving my goals and growing

  141. Sara Baker

    I can’t wait to get goals on paper for 2018! I’ve almost completed all of my PowerSheets prep and the first part of the Goal Setting Series has really helped! As far as where I am right now, I feel like overall wellness needs to be my focus for 2018. Wellness in mind, body, spirit – all relationships, finances, health – every aspect needs me to be active and present. I think my Word for 2018 is going to be ACTIVE. Not in the sense of physically running and doing, but of being present and an active participant in my life; not just sitting on the sidelines.

    As for what I’ve been chasing…it’s not perfect so much as that I’ve been chasing an unrealistic set of expectations. When those were going unmet, I felt inadequate and defeated which led to me just “getting by” and letting everything spiral out of control. Basically, just sitting on the sidelines and letting life happen without making life happen.

    Good things from 2017…well, we bought our first house! 🙂 From that I really focused our budget and finances and made it work when it looked like an impossibility before. We also raised a happy, healthy, almost 1 year old and I am excited to say we are going to make it out of the first year of parenthood mostly unscathed. I found a new job in a career field I didn’t know about before and absolutely love it! I also really learned a lot about myself and learned to stand up for my decisions. It was a year of crazy growth, with a lot of setbacks, but I know I can only go up from here.

  142. Elisha

    This is so exciting! One of favorite things to do is goal setting for the New Year!

    1. I have grown so much this last year. My word for 2017 was BRAVE and I can honestly say it was lived out well and I grew so much as a woman, wife, mom, in my business, health and more! I found my voice and confidence that has been pushed down so many times before and I stood and spoke even when my voice was shaking. I didn’t see the scale move as much as I wanted to with weight but I found freedom and more understanding in battling an autoimmune disease. I saw my business grow and God answer show me this is where I am supposed to be!

    2. For some of the year I felt I was chasing lies that were spoken to me about who I am when I was a child. But after much prayer, personal growth and learning- I am breaking free of those and speaking life into myself.

    3. Good things that happened in 2017- freedom in finding a homeschool rhythm and plan that works for our family. Growing our side hustle business more this year as a family. Camping as a family in the fall. Finding support and effective health tools for my oldest son’s anxiety. Seeing my youngest son become more confident in himself. Watching my husband find joy in coaching others and take charge of his health. Seeing my oldest brother get married. Watching my youngest brother become a parent for the first time. cultivating a homeschool community in our local city.

    3 lessons I learned from the good things: Knowing that is truly is okay to grow slow- just keep cultivating and you will see growth. Speaking life to those around you and smiling more are key parts to each day. Be happy in the moment.

  143. Cindy Simmons

    My new set of powersheets came in the mail the same day this series started! I am so excited to follow along in my new powersheets!

  144. Sarabeth

    Hi Lara! This is my first year on this journey with you. I am ready to set some cultivated goals and 2018 is going to rock. PS. Thank you for doing this – all of your hard work leads others to their own hard work and, well, that’s *hard* work! In case you don’t hear it enough – I appreciate you.

    How are you? On average I am a 6 when looking at my Cultivated Life Evaluation. Overall, I am a happy + positive spirit but I feel like I can experience huge growth when I focus. I am looking forward to this year being a year for me to grow in Spiritual & Personal Growth, Finances, Work & Family.

    What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year? Freedom. I have been chasing the freedom to set my own schedule. To be a mom when I need to be a mom. This year is the year that changes!

    What good things happened in 2017? What grew well? What are you grateful for from the last twelve months? Lots of great things happened! I am thoroughly blessed by God’s grace. I experienced new things with my two boys, we camped, we went on trips, I built a better relationship with my significant other, I discovered God’s grace for the first time in my life, I met my monthly goals at work, serve on a board with my professional peers, started a new business, wrote a new business plan, traveled to Italy, started praying, read more books than ever. Wow!

    • Lara

      Wow is right, Sarabeth! So glad you are here and excited for all that is to come!

  145. Christine

    My word for 2017 was Grow. At first, I thought that I failed at it, but upon further reflection, I saw that I did grow, even if it was slow. I had a baby this year, and the pregnancy and birth were a time of growing in dependence on God. (I grew both physically and spiritually.) We joined a new church, which placed me out of my comfort zone, and caused me to grow and stretch. For 2018, I want my life to consist of more love, less judgment. I want to be an encourager rather than a pessimist. I want to deepen my walk with God. Some practical ways include: reading through the Life Principles Bible, using my Val Marie Prayer journal to pray, doing a nightly Examen (thanking God for the blessings of the day, confessing my sin, and praising God), and meditating on His word throughout the day. I want to be healthy. My practical steps for that are sleeping more (which is challenging with a young baby), and limiting my sugar intake. I want to be an encourager to my husband and children.

    • Lara

      I’m so glad this series has helped you see the fruit, Christine! It sounds like there was a lot of good in 2017!

  146. Leah Grabovac

    I’m so excited to start goal setting for 2018 and this article has helped me feel motivated and not so overwhelmed with the process.

  147. Ginger

    2018 will be my third year doing powersheets and it’s been life changing! So glad to be part of this with you and so thankful for you for creating such a useful tool!!

    • Lara

      Thank you SO much for the encouragement, Ginger! We’re so glad to have you!

  148. Ginger

    I simply reached out to two friends today! Nothing fancy or special, but I made it happen

  149. MARIBEL Becerra

    Just ordered my powersheets and I’m so excited! This is my first time with this program and can’t wait to get my goals accomplished this year! Thanks ❤

  150. Carrie

    1. I am in a season of massive transition (got married about 9 months ago, received my undergrad degree this month, looking to relocate in the months to come, and am on the search for a full time job). So thankful for the power sheets and this preparation time to dig up purpose and clarity and seek direction from this Lord in this time of change. The areas I most want to improve the year are: Health, Spouse, Spiritual Growth, and Work.

    2. As a new wife and recent graduate I have been chasing to meet the standards set by everyone around me. This has left me feeling like I am not enough and can never measure up. That video was so perfect for me right now as I have been leaning towards “purpose” to be my word for the year. Trusting that the Lord has a purpose in this season of transition and unknown. And that my purpose is unique, not the same as anyone else’s, so no need for comparison.

    3. So many good things this year! The Lord is so good to us. Marriage, making our new house a life giving home for ourselves and many friends who enter, finishing college, being financially stable and able to give generously, and so many more! I have learned that the Lord will fulfill the promises he makes, he never lets us down. I have learned the importance of having a few close friends whom I can share burdens with. I have learned a whole lot about marriage and Christlikeness in this honeymoon season of marriage—knowing there is so much more to learn over the rest of our lifetime together.

  151. Mailee

    So excited to set good goals and make what matters happen!

  152. Jennifer Ronan

    Can’t wait to get started!

  153. Toni

    i would love to enhance goal setting this year! Such life giving products!

  154. Jessica

    2017 was quite a sad year. Nothing major, husband and kids are loved, living and healthy, but I lost my job, and went through a burn out before that, despite some serious goal setting at the beginning of the year.
    I can’t wait for 2017 to be over, and I really hope I can turn the table for 2018. Feeling a bit desperate right now, but I hope I’ll make it thanks to this series and other tools . anyway thank you so much for what you share here and in your books.

  155. Alicia

    Oh my word. I am so overwhelmed already. I have so much to work on how do I choose what’s most important? I bought my powersheets shortly after they were launched and I’ve looked at them twice. I want 2018 to be a radical change for me, especially my perspective. Staying positive isn’t easy for me. But I gotta try. Lara you are so upbeat and have much wisdom and experience to offer. So excited for these next 4 blogs. Keep bringing on the encouragement!!!

    • Lara

      Just start somewhere, Alicia, with one area where you want to see change! You can add on from there : )

    • Alicia

      Okay!
      I did sit down yesterday and begin filling in some pages of the powersheets. That made me feel better!

  156. Jessica

    Excited to live a more intently year for 2018!

  157. Alicia

    I reached out to a friend. Don’t know how encouraging I am when I feel I’m floundering ( lol) but I have to think beyond myself.

  158. Caitlin

    2018 will be my first year using Powersheets, and I have never been more excited for the new year. I never set goals, and I’ve realized lately that I need to live more intentionally if I want to love God, my family, and my friends better. I started the prep work in November and I can already tell that 2018 is going to be my best year yet. Thank you for creating such an incredible product, Lara!

  159. Brittany H.

    So excited for my first year of PowerSheets! The prep work was hard for me because I realized quickly how hard and dark 2017 has been for me. My life evaluations range from 2-8 which really helped me see the 3 areas I need to focus on: spouse, health/spiritual growth, and finances. My biggest area of improvement to work on will most definitely be my relationship with my husband.
    I have been chasing the perfect, quick fix to all the problem areas in our marriage. Instead of being grateful for progress (even though small), I continued to try to cover up, fix immediately, or not give gratitude when needed. This makes me EXHAUSTED.
    One thing off of my list of Good Things: I started reading my Bible, digging into His word, and praying daily. Back in August when it seemed like my life turned for the worst, instead of going down that horrible path and making poor decisions for myself and family, I chose to turn to the Lord and give it all to him. This has taught me to turn my anger and frustrations into gratitude, all though very difficult at times, I could not be more happy with this life choice.

    That felt so good to share with complete strangers 🙂 Happy goal planning!

    • Lara

      Wow, Brittany. I am grateful for your generous sharing and wisdom! We will be cheering you on!

  160. Desemba

    I’m so grateful for finding you on Instagram. You have truly been a blessing in my journey through some very difficult times this year. you seemed to always pop into my feed with exactly what I needed so for that I say thank you Lara.

    1. I’M GRATEFUL that friends 7, family 7 and spiritual and personal growth 8 are doing well. I need to put more time into health 6, work 6, finances 4, and recreation 3. I’ve spent time this year reconnecting with loved ones and building up my spiritual self but did not always make the best choices when it came to putting others before myself. circumstances outside of my control have wreaked havoc on finances which have left little time for recreation and led to more time working unfulfilling jobs. I look forward to creating a better balance.

    2.I’VE BEEN CHASING perfection, but more specifically the perfect time. Its been a never-ending battle with using excuse of Ill start my business after i do this or right after this happens. I now know the perfect time is now. the longer i put something off the less likely I am to reach that goal.

    3.I LEARNED
    a. that sometimes a negative situation is a lesson/blessing in disguise.
    b. sometimes you have to just let go and let God.
    c. to be careful with your energy. It is a precious commodity and should be treated as such. My energy is always best served on something positive.
    d. saying no and taking time for myself is not mean or selfish; its love.

    This has been very insightful experience so far. id like to thank you again for doing this. I couldnt afford your book or the powersheets but i am more than willing to get messy and fill up an old sketchbook with all the lessons that i know i will learn with this goal setting series. Thank you Lara

    • Lara

      I’m so glad you’re here, Desembra! Thank you for digging in and sharing!

  161. Julie

    Today I encouraged my husband as he plans the year ahead: church planting work, seminary classes, teaching, and our family spending a summer in Mexico improving our Spanish.

  162. Julie B

    So excited for my first year of PowerSheets! I’m not so good at planning and I hope to get better at it in 2018!!

  163. Gina

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

    I am content, weary, ready, conflicted, tired. I want to understand and know myself better. I want to be able to give into the sweet spots but know my boundaries. I want to understand the tangled web of my heart and learn its purpose. I want to channel that overwhelming flow of love into something good and positive. I want to live for God!

    HEALTH – (3) I need to drink more water, make healthier choices, move my body!
    FRIENDS – (8) I cling to one person at a time, I give too much of myself, I have friends who love me
    SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER – (1) I don’t have one, I need to wait openly, God’s in control
    FAMILY – (5) Help my mom more, call/visit my Nanny more, call/visit my Uncle Marc more
    FINANCES – (5) I made progress on debt in 2017, I need to save money this year!
    WORK – (7) I love my job, I care about the people, I need to learn to chill, I need to learn to deal with difficult people
    SPIRITUAL + PERSONAL GROWTH – (5) I’m getting there, need to say no more, need to PRAY more, need more time with Jesus and His word
    RECREATION – (3) focus on something for me

    I most want to improve finances, spiritual + personal growth, work.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

    I have been chasing control and always being right and comparison. It never gets me where I want to go and it just makes me seem like an angry, miserable person. I need and WANT to CHANGE all of this!

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

    GOOD THINGS
    *Learning boundaries – Medium Gina
    *Spending time with my niece and nephews
    *Focusing more on GOD
    *Books that mean something
    *Working in an office again
    *Therapy
    *Focusing on my goals
    *Learning from others/listening
    *New friends/old friends
    *Continuing to move forward
    *Paying down/off debt
    *Finishing college!!!
    *Speaking my mind
    *Routines

    LESSONS I LEARNED
    *ALWAYS lean in God
    *Take time for self care
    *Keep going – you’ve got this
    *Love but guard your heart
    *Life with ALWAYS change
    *Stop overthinking so much
    *Keep loving on people
    *Gratitude ALWAYS!
    *I can’t control everything
    *I can’t do everything
    *God can renew you
    *You will have bad days – keep going
    *Budgets work if you do
    *I need people
    *Therapy is good for me
    *Breath!!!

  164. katyrenee

    Love this series…

  165. Becca

    Just got my Powersheets in the mail and love working through these questions and recording them in there. 2017 felt like a giant tizzy where I was chasing everything and really doing nothing. 2018 I was more calm, more joy, and I feel like the powersheets and these series is defintley going to help.

  166. Becca

    I encouraged someone by sending them one of my favorite quotes “Hard is not the same as bad.” It’s always fun to get a little surprise in the mail.

  167. Casey

    Lara, I’m so grateful that the Lord led me to your business this past year. I’m making progress towards reading Cultivate and Make It Happen.. I’m also journaling thru Write the Word- Renew. I bought the 2018 Powersheets and am working thru the prep work! I’m already experiencing the fruit of cultivating what matters and all that you teach….and I’m just getting started! So excited for the coming year! Thank you!

  168. Angelise

    Thank you for all you and the team do to point us towards cultivating what truly matters. I see life starting to flourish in areas that were once dry and your tools have been hugely instrumental in this journey for me.

    1. I rated myself as growing in many areas. Love the reminder to focus on little by little progress instead of bailing myself for where I fell short. Such a life giving perspective shift. The area I want to see more growth in is in my relationship with my spouse. I think one of the big weeds is my attitude towards something he truly loves and that is my area that I need boldness to let go of and love in hard places in 2018.

    2. I think what I have been truly chasing is others approval: my parents, my spouse, my inlaws, my friends. Chasing others approval (even if it is to make them comfortable) will always let you down. It has made me feel unworthy and unloved when I fail.

    3. The biggest lesson I learned in 2017 and wrote in my first ever year long powersheets for 2018 (Woohoo!!) is that His opinion is the only one that matters.

  169. Mere Hamilton

    I was pleasantly surprised by my life evaluation. Going into it, I really felt like I would score each area pretty low, but I decided to answer instinctively without overthinking it & ended up scoring an average of around 7! I realized that I’ve made a lot of progress in this area over the last couple of years and that while I tend to bring the negative things to mind first, overall, I really am pretty happy with my life. Still have plenty of room for improvement though 🙂

  170. Mere Hamilton

    So what am I chasing….going through the prep work has made one thing very apparent to me. Even though I’m pleased with how I instinctively feel about my life evaluation, I chase the negative tendrils that seeking perfectionism tempts me with FAR too often. I’m better at responding to my negative self-talk, but the negative self-talk is still happening far too frequently. I start lots of fantastic projects, then never finish them because I’m afraid that I might not follow through with the changes I’m seeing in my life as a result of the projects I’ve started. I let my desire for perfectionism paralyze me with fear and my chase becomes the haphazard drifting of my purposelessness in the current of my own life. BUT….I AM READY FOR CHANGE!!!

  171. Mere Hamilton

    Good things and the lessons I’ve learned from them this last year?
    1) I actually planned monthly budgets several times in 2017. When I do this, I find that I don’t worry about money as much and all the doubts about not being a good money manager don’t have as tight a grip on me. Lesson: Budget EVERY month in 2018!
    2) Spending time with God and getting regular exercise. Again, the mental health aspects are tremendous! Lesson: I really enjoyed my “Walk & Talk” time as I called them & felt much closer to God during the two months that I was deeply committed to this. When my company’s fiscal year end came, I wasn’t purposeful about continuing this habit and now, two months later, I haven’t been doing it.
    3) Along with number one above, I actually set aside money for Christmas/birthday gifts for my children ahead of time & there was so much less stress and anxiety and it felt really good to be able to provide a little extra for them when they needed it this year. Also, planned specific donation giving & even though I didn’t have a budget in place every month, this commitment stuck & I was able to give more than I ever have in the past and it feels WONDERFUL to be able to give !

  172. Kristen

    This year has been a one-of-a-kind for my family and I. After 11 years of living overseas serving the US military we have moved to California ( home) for one year. It has been a years of tremendous adjustments for all of us. Our diet has taken a huge hit, from almost no processed food to a world full of it ( even in healthy stores) . That is not all that is new, church, school, friends, routines and recreational activities are all new! I knew that I needed to ‘fight for joy’ through prayer and we truly have. The adjustments to this new way of living has not been easy but we have been able to see the good in it and we have clearly seen God’s hand in all of it.
    1. How am I? Tired from all the adjusting but I’m so grateful for a mostly smooth transition. I want to be still this next year and get back to simplicity .
    2. The really good things that happen are too many to list but here’s a few.. a new neighborhood that we love, neighbors that are amazing, my children all have new friends, I have a tight group of friends in my Bible journaling group. Yes, all this in 6 months!!! We knew God was sending us back to CA for a year to shine Christ to our family and we have done that which makes me so happy. The military has stationed us in Monterey so we have been driving on the weekends 2-3 hours to visit family just to live on them. Being gone so long has made us really appreciate family.

    I think my word for 2018 will be still or simplify. I just want to be Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus and from there do what He wants me to do.

    • Lara

      Beautiful, Kristen. Thank you so much for sharing. It sounds like you are doing so much good!

  173. Toby

    First, I tell everyone I know about you, Lara, and your Team. In the 3 or 4 short months that I’ve known you (I really feel I do), I feel like I’ve been given a new lease on life; a new understanding and new motivation — and I’m (only) 23 years old!!

    1. My life Check In:
    *Health 8/10. I’ve made tremendous progress in this area this year, but a little more balance would go a long way.
    *Friends 8/10. I’ve made extra effort to connect with friends and I really feel they are there for me, as I for them.
    *Spouse UNRATED. I left this section unrated because this a new adventure for me. I got married 10 months ago and my biggest goal for this year is to cultivate and nurture my relationship with my husband.
    *Family 7/10. I’ve felt the closest I ever had in my adult life to my family, but I do feel the room for growth and need for more precise and individual connection.
    *Finances UNRATED. I left this section unrated as well because maintaining a home and managing finances is completely new for me. I’m hoping to learn and study all about finances and money this coming year.
    *Spiritual and personal growth 4/10. This section, specifically the spiritual growth is my area of greatest need. I feel a strong connection to G-d but my goal for the next year is to pray regularly.
    *Work 7/10. As a new nurse, I love what I do. However, my current job isn’t allowing me to nurture and cultivate my other goals like I dream of. Which means I’ll be looking for a new job that can serve me and my family well!
    *Recreation 5/10. Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to recreation recently, it kinda fell off my radar as my life got busier. I don’t really know where to start to incorporate this back into my life.

    So that’s my LIFE EVAL in a nutshell.

    2. What am I chasing that is draining me?
    I feel like I’ve been chasing to do the max and the best all the time in everything I do. I keep forgetting to breathe and the lack of oxygen (metaphorically) is causing me to miss out on real living. I feel drained and no more happy because even when I do perfect in one area, “I cannot do it all and do it well,” so I’m left feeling inadequate and exhausted. In other words, I’m chasing my imaginary tail. I need to focus on the things that truly matter to me, do my best in those areas, and let the rest go.

    3. Highlights of 2017 🙂
    LOTS. So much GOOD. And I’m so grateful.
    *Marrying and loving my husband
    *Cultivating gratitude
    *Becoming an Registered Nurse
    *Starting a job
    *Recovery and cultivating wellness and balance
    *Preparing to be a mother
    *Traveling to Israel
    *Discovering Lara Casey and Cultivate What Matters
    *Discovering Emily Ley and The Simplified Planner

    4. Lessons I learned in 2017
    *Hard work pays off
    *Working hard on what matters is what matters
    *Its okay to not know and its okay to let go and let God.
    *Rest and restoration is essential for progress and growth.
    *Practice makes permanence
    *Its okay to grow slow. The best change happens over time.

    Wow, so I didn’t think I’d be able to share all that, but I did because I hope that if I’ve helped even one person by writing all of this for the public, it was definitely worth it. One of my absolute passions is helping others. It makes me feel the most alive. I hope this has helped someone.

    And again, Thank you Lara and Jess!
    .

    • Lara

      What generous encouragement, Toby! We are so glad you are here! Your sharing absolutely helps others!!

  174. Kathy

    Ok this was not the easiest thing for me to face my how am I ? Who am I? I have some things to work on OK a lot of things to work on! I am going to crush my identity box and move forward, like a newborn baby! As I cultivated my life evaluation I see areas that are more important to me and that I will be focusing on first! Letting go is very important to me as I grow in this! My fears are hard for me and will take steps to conquer them, let them go! I have so many things to be grateful for in 2017 selling our home and downsizing has been wonderful! My son has completed an 18 month recovery program is working towards this as a life long theme. I am grateful he is alive and well! I am grateful for my newest granddaughter! I am grateful for an engagement that has taken place last year! I could go on and on but I won;t for now have to save some for later!
    Kathy

  175. Ade

    Not so many things to say yet, but the exciting thing is that 2017 is the year I stumbled on intentional goal planning using the powersheets and got hooked!

    This has birthed my decision to CULTIVATE DESTINY & CALLING every single year for the rest of my life and this is gradually unfolding a number of things God wants me to do for others and His kingdom that I have been ignoring.

    I am also celebrating progress, although little at the moment.
    I know in 2018, I will be more deliberate in making things happen.
    Imaging God telling me to “Make it Happen” one early morning as I was praying & meditating. That book is a close companion to me now
    Thank you Lara for giving to the Lord

  176. Alisha Brandon

    Traveling across the country right now with my daughter and we have talked about goal setting especially as she heads off to college. Chatted about my Cultivate power sheets with friends in Indiana. I am pumped about this program!

  177. Rosie

    I’m behind in answering the questions, sorry!

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

    I feel like I’m doing well, but that there’s room for improvement! I specifically want to focus on growing myself and cultivating my heart so that God can use me. Also, I want to focus on my little family and the budding friendships I’ve made. <3

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

    Perfection, definitely. It's making me feel tired, overwhlemed, and never good enough. I set the bar for myself way too high, and I know I need to change.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    Good things:
    a. Lived more intentionally! (Yay, social media free weekends!)
    b. Family Vacations.
    c. Moving home!
    d. Welcoming baby boy #2. <3

    Lessons learned:
    a. I'm stronger than I know.
    b. God will ALWAYS provide.
    c. Our marriage has a strong foundation.
    d. I really am a good mom, unlike what the devil likes to whisper in my ear.

  178. Ann E.

    Step 1: How am I? To most people, I am fine. But in my soul, I am standing on a precipice – I am either going to make a big leap and radically change my modus operandi, or I am going to fall back into habits I have unknowingly spent years “cultivating”. I think I am finally coming out of a long season of changes and I want to refocus myself and jump start my life again.

    Step 2: What have I been chasing? I can’t even say I’ve been chasing anything. I feel more like I’m being chased: by time, by money, by circumstances. I have definitely been living “life by accident.”

    Step 3: Good things:
    I can cook!
    Going out with friends
    Steady job
    Girls each taking big steps (into college and high school)

    Lessons learned:
    Like Rosie above, I am stronger than I know
    I am a good mom
    Life goes on but it doesn’t leave you behind – it will drag you kicking and screaming and if that happens, you miss so much
    Learning that life doesn’t have to be this way

    • Kerry

      Ann, I just want you to know that I feel you on Step 2. I have felt like I was just reacting to everything instead of making decisions about anything. “living life by accident” – I totally get it.

      Sending you a cyber hug!

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for sharing, Ann! There are good things ahead!

  179. Tatiana

    I am so excited about this series. This year, it was such a fulfilling process doing my Powersheets. I’m ready for 2018. My three areas of focus this year are my friends, health, and finances. These are all areas where I have not put a ton of focus in and I want to be an amazing friend. I want the ones I value most to know that I care about them After dealing with an IBS diagnosis this year, I just want to become more in tune with what I’m putting in my body and staying active. My finances has always been scary for me. With a mound of student loans and just the scared feeling of owning my finances it’s been tough. I am happy to know that this will be changing this year.

    Lately I’ve been chasing TOO MUCH! I’ve been trying to do it all and that’s my nature. I have lost sight of enjoying moments and just enjoying the journey. I’ve let comparison dictate who I should proceed in my life and that stops. I’m still going to do a ton but I’m hoping to create a balance and know that it’s ok if I don’t conquer everything….that wouldn’t be normal lol.

    Good things I learned this year…hmmm definitely the journey, the uncertainty, and the struggle is worth it. God always has a greater plan for us. I learned that I am a pretty amazing woman and that I can do anything I set my mind to. I was always so negative and down on myself and I ‘ve learned to look on the bright side because things always work out.
    Lara, thank you for creating such an amazing series, product, and business! It’s such a joy to be part of the movement!

    • Lara

      It’s a joy to have you here, Tatiana! There is so much good growing ground ahead!

  180. Taylor

    I just discovered you and Powersheets this past week and I am so excited to learn more! All of this came into my life at the exact right time and I’m remember that God is so good and mindful of us!
    Step One: On average for all of the things listed, plus a few that I added (including ‘home’) I’m at a 5. Some areas I’m doing really well in, but I was able to clearly see some of the things that I can focus more on in 2018. Specifically family, finances, and my spiritual health.
    Step Two: I’ve definitely been chasing SURVIVAL this year (and reading through the comments helped me see that I’m not alone in this) but this is not the way that I want to be living.
    Step Three: Good things from 2017:
    – My husband and I are now expecting our first baby, a girl, who’s due in February.
    – I realized/recognized God’s hand more in my life and decided to turn to Him more fully.
    – My progress in learning how to cope with my anxiety and PTSD this year has been amazing and I’m proud of all the work I’ve accomplished there.
    – I’m grateful that my husband graduated and that he found a job, and even though it’s in a different city, we get a new start!

    Thank you for this amazing series, I can’t wait to read the rest and to set intentional goals that will help me grow and change my life!

  181. Ashley Rice

    1. I am tired and feel like I focus too much on the hard things that go on around me rather than enjoying the positive and finding the daily joys that are present. I have been better this last year about communicating with the people closest to me as well as spending time doing things I want to do rather than what everyone else wants. I am enjoying making new friends and cultivating the relationships I already have. I want to improve this next year my personal habits and my family relationships. I want to spend more intentional and quality time with my husband and two boys and I want to keep my expectations for myself realistic.
    2. I have been chasing perfection and high personal expectations which leaves me feeling less than and like I am failing when I know I am not. I notice I am trying to take care of everyone else without taking care of myself first. I want to start doing more things for myself and having God fill me up so that I can love on others well.
    3. My amazing husband who helps me so much and always points me to truth. my 2 healthy boys and my own personal health. I am thankful for new friendships and growing and deepening friendships that were already in place. What I have learned this year is that I cannot do it all, and I need God’s help to do what He is asking me. I need to communicate better even when it is hard. and I need to manage my own expectations and not expect too much from myself and to ask God for direction with what He wants me to do and what He requires.

  182. Lori

    Thank you so much for this series! Here are my answers.
    Step one: Health – 6 Started weight lifting and saw muscle gains. Still need to work on the eating part.m Friends – 4 Feel somewhat disconnected and needing more intentional interaction. Family – 8 Loving it! But I do want to see my marriage grow more. My husband and I are often so busy and tired that we get the leftovers. Finances – 10. I’m just extremely grat ful! Spiritual – 8 I’ve had more quiet and space with just Jesus. Work – 5 Homeschool has gone well, but I need to bring more fun and joy and encouragement to the table to nourish my little people. Recreation – 4 What is this? I need to carve time for this.

    Step Two: I’ve been trying to keep all the various plates spinning. It’s hard to say no often, and I guess to put a name to it, I’ve been chasing – Doing it all. And you can’t.

    Step Three- Good things- We moved! Did lots of home projects. I’m making a new home. I’m grateful for more space, specifically my screened in porch and trees and woods! I’m grateful for the peace and spiritual refreshment it has given. I started lifting weights and can dead lift 175 pounds. I’m making progress. I’m grateful for this opportunity to grow physical strength. I’m grateful for connections with new neighbors and being closer to our church to be more of a community.

    Grateful for a chance to win the giveaway, too 😊

    • Lara

      It sounds like you have seen great little by little progress, Lori! I am excited for you!

  183. Melissa

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    — I made *great* progress in the last 7 months of 2017 on the things which matter to me. My “scores” are in the 5-8 range, and the area I most want to improve is my “family”. We are in the middle of a giant homestead project and I need to be sure that in the middle of it all, I spend time and energy cultivating my relationship with my husband and two boys.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel? — I have made great strides in learning not to chase things. Surprisingly, this is a slow time for me (professionally and personally) and I find myself chasing whatever I can to fill up some time and help me feel like I’m actually getting somewhere. That’s looked like a little too much time checking the internet or feeling a little down. My time would be better spent chasing those things that actually fuel me and give me direction!

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned. — My good things include my homemaking rhythm; external accountability; after-schooling; saying “no” to e-courses, a nd family read-alouds. In the last 7 months, I’ve learned that my oldest boy’s heart and sleep benefit from some 1:1 time at bedtime; tracking habits works for me; adding color to my planner is actually kinda fun; and “things go smoother when I go slower”.

    Thanks for this series, Lara! Good things are going to happen in 2018.

  184. Natalie

    It’s my first year with Power Sheets. I’m excited, and a little nervous to dive in. Lara, your posts are inspiring, as are the comments from so many who follow you. Here’s to making 2018 more intentional and less perfect!

  185. Kerry

    Step 1: I’m mostly 3s, some 7s or 8s. I have some small things to work on & some larger issues. Mostly the category I’m most committed to is Spiritual + Personal Growth. Feeling very low in that one.

    Step 2: I think I have been seeking approval & validation through perfection. Feel more like a mess for the effort and what I was really doing was chasing my tail. Life is messy. So am I sometimes. Letting that go.

    Step 3: Some big stuff happened this year!
    *I saved a lot of money this year. Enough to pay our property taxes in full. My daughters college account is healthy as our our retirement accounts.

    *We complete rebuilt our house & it’s finally finished. 2+ years later but it’s habitable…more than that actually it’s beautiful.

    *Our daughter is developing into a very healthy, delightful person. Not all 2 year olds get invited to people’s houses who don’t have kids, but ours does. People genuinely enjoy her company. She started pre-school this year and is THRIVING there.

  186. Rosanne Bowman

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    2017 has been a hard, difficult year. My dad passed away in September after a 4 year battle with cancer. Things have also been very unsure with jobs and my oldest son’s hit a sort of crisis of identity as he looks at changing his major and we had to rehaul my younger son’s diet to get rid of gluten when his health issues reached a crisis point. Add to that so much upheaval in the world in general, and 2017 has been kind of difficult. With that said, there are several things I really want to focus on this year. The first is my health. The second is my writing (started my middle grade fiction novel and even though the last few months have been crazy, I keep trying to chip away at it – little by little). And finally, I want to work to grow my relationships.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel? Security and control – even though I’ve never thought of myself as someone who is controlling or even all that caught up in security. I’ve been trying to do all the things, and when I get to the nitty gritty of why, it has a lot to do with security and control.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned. God is faithful. He was faithful when my brother committed suicide in 2015 and He has been faithful as I’ve walked through the loss of my dad. God is showing me that I can trust Him – no matter what happens or what things I thought were firm foundations are really unreliable.

  187. Kerry

    I forgot! Super excited to approach goal setting differently this year.

    I’ve read this series before but never participated. I don’t know why…but I felt this last year and a half have meant big changes for me that I didn’t see coming, that have rocked me in some ways & thrown me off my usual self. I need a change, to approach 2018 differently and with a different sense of purpose than before.

    Thanks for the opportunity to do that with help! One of my goals (resolutions???) for 2018 is to ask for more help & it feels good to already be starting that now.

  188. Rachael Manzo

    I am doing ok. I seem to need change in my life in order to achieve the things that mean the most. Health is number 1 right now and i struggle with taking the first step. I am continually in awe of people who achieve the impossible and I would like to be one of those people! I am ready for this and power sheets wil help me!

  189. Laura

    This is my first time using powersheets and I’m so excited! I’m so thankful God helped me discover it, your books, blog, etc. Such an answer to prayer for how I’ve been feeling/living the last couple years.
    Step one: I average around a 5. I want to make changes in so many areas! I’d say family, health, spiritual life, finances are my top ones.
    Step 2: I feel like I’ve been chasing perfect and chasing survival. Every day I just try to get through the day with young kids. I feel like I’m surviving, not thriving. I also spend too much time trying to have the perfectly clean home, and organized to-do lists, that I’m not cultivating the things that matter – like investing in the lives of my kids.
    Step 3: My son was born. (Now I have 3 kids!)
    I discovered powersheets!

  190. Amanda

    Step One: I’m tired. Across the areas in my life listed I average a 6. I most want to improve our home/schedule. It will impact the other areas I want to improve.

    Step Two: I’ve been chasing everything (and acceptance is part of the issue, the other is a special needs kid with lots of demands to keep up with). Trying to do WAY too much and feeling I’m failing at it all. I’m tired.

    Step Three: Good things- grew a bit in my relationship with God, had more family fun this year, lost a little weight, three successful surgeries on 3 people in our family, lots of God providing what we need when we needed it. Lessons learned – I need more help. We all do better when we pay to have some of my load done by someone else, I don’t need to feel guilty for it. I know my kids best and my instinct is right. Life is better for the whole family when I say no to many things I want to say yes too.

    • Lara

      It sounds like you have seen little by little progress, Amanda! Cheering you on!

  191. Ashley

    Very hopeful and encouraged to start 2018. Started using Powersheets the second half of 2017 and my Type A heart was so fulfilled. Even when I didn’t fully complete a task or goal, seeing the progress and focusing on small steps helped me not quit and I can’t wait to see how much good work is done in the new year.

  192. Emily

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

    Until. a traumatic event i. September, I would have been an 8 in a lot of areas, but now I would say a 5-6 in many. In 2018, I will invest more in recreation and finances in terms of stewardship.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

    I am not sure about this one. Maybe friendship… I want to focus on it not being an idol in my life.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

    I am still working on this step!

  193. Christina Estrada

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the amazing work you do!!! Lara you have inspired me to start the next chapter in my life. I was feeling lost, uninspired, overwhelmed, and sad with life. I first starting following you via Instastories, and now I am here loving everything you are saying!!! This last half of the year has felt extremely hard and lonely. I slowly feel like I’m stepping out of this fog I have been walking in, and thanks to you I am feeling better. Not 100% like myself, and a work in progress. ¡Mil gracias!

    • Lara

      Wow, Christina, thank you so much for that encouragement! It means so much! It sounds like there is great good ahead for you!

  194. Elisabeth

    I wrote a friend a card and I will mail it to her tomorrow morning! 🙂

  195. Elisabeth

    Thanks so much for recording this series Lara! It makes it SO easy for me to access the content much quicker than if I planned on reading it. Yay!
    My answers to your prompts:
    1. I am feeling a little discouraged I didn’t make as much progress as I would have hoped in 2017 (my 1st year using PowerSheets!). I am trying to remind myself that little by little progress adds up, but feeling frustrated with myself that I didn’t make more movement in some of my goals. In 2018, I plan on making progress in my relationship with my husband, improving my health and giving some extra love to my friendships. 🙂
    2. Lately I have been chasing other people. Seeking for my motherhood to look like hers, or my gifts to be exhibited like hers, my house to look like hers, etc. This has left me feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, inadequate and depressed.
    3. My most exciting good thing (because God has blessed me so much!) is sticking to a budget for the entire year- the first time in my life!!! Major praise!! I have learned that margin is key (leave some unscheduled days) and when I try to take control from God, He lovingly yet definitively shows me I have no control. Thank you Jesus!
    Thanks for your encouraging words Lara! 🙂

  196. Angela

    Lara, I needed to find this so badly today – the timing is impeccable! I love this time of year, especially because I get into goal setting mode and your series always serves as an amazing thought starter for me. So thank you in advance for everything you’re about to share!

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve? –> To be brutally honest, tired. Which is why I’m thrilled to have spent my afternoon working through this today! Looking back on those life categories, it’s clear where I’ve invested the majority of my time….and not enough time. Relationships are definitely an area I want to improve most, as well as some work/career-related things. I feel great about my health and fitness, as well as personal development and progress made in these areas this year.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel? Success, approval (self and others), belonging…. big ones. Yikes!

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned. I came up with a big list for this (yay!) but some top learnings were 1) When I want something badly enough, I commit 110%; 2) When I’m doing work that I love, it doesn’t feel like work; 3) I feel best when my mind, body and spirit are being nourished, not just my body in the form of exercise and food – the area I’ve always focused most on in my endurance athlete past.

    Can’t wait to get into the next post!

  197. Elizabeth

    The first half of this year was hard. I lost both my parents this summer after a long term illness.
    Step 1: It has been a mixed year for me. I lost my parents, gained some weight, and started a at home advertising sales job that is ever so challenging me.
    Step 2: chasing?
    Success, sales, the phone. It’s very hard to get ahold of businesses. I’ve made some good sales, actual money, but it is a number game. It Requires patience, time & much energy!
    Contentment
    Courage
    Step 3: This year was rough . Full of many challenges yet full of many cherished memories.
    I started a blog ministry which I’m working on.
    The word that God gave me for 2017 was: Dreams Becoming Reality. I am actually making money from home, working on putting together a blog ministry that God has placed on my heart for sometime. This year I was to begin. I-This year was the beginning of dreams becoming reality
    God truely has been in the midst of me & and I wasn’t moved !
    I am looking forward to what God has in store for me in 2018!
    My verse for next year: 1 Cor. 2:9

  198. Courtney

    I think my initial (much longer comment) didn’t post 🙁 🙁 🙁 and of course, I didn’t save it. bummer!
    regardless, I’ll give a shortened version, just in case it didn’t post.
    step1: how are you? feeling defeated. there are SO many things I want to do to live a simplified, more meaningful life. BUT I’m very hopeful for what these Powersheets will bring for 2018. and I’m confident I willllll make some changes in the new year!
    step2: what have I been chasing? I don’t feel as though I’m chasing anything. perfection probably. that video really hit home. I think I’m chasing the idea that everything has to be and look perfect in life that a lot of the time I miss some of the good and great right in front of me.
    step3: there is SO much good in my life. my husband. my children. our HEALTH. 2017 has taught me to be thankful and grateful for all the little things. not to be so hard on myself. to give grace. a lot of the times I need to give myself more grace. I can’t do it all. and I should expect to accomplish EVERYthing. and that’s okay. there’s a season for everything.
    my first post was better. ha! looking forward to what Powersheets help me to accomplish in 2018. thank you Lara and your team for this amazing tool!

    • Lara

      So grateful you are here, Courtney! Thank you for your encouragement, too!

  199. Liz Carver

    Yes Please! I love this giveaway and Lara Casey! Thank you for all you do to help so many.

  200. Emily

    Step One: My life rating in those categories averages out to about a 5/6. I think the perfectionist in me thinks I could be doing better at everything. So, to narrow it down, my three top priorities for 2017 are health, spiritual + personal growth, and work (I am praying about making a job change this summer).

    Step Two: This past year I was chasing myself and what would make ME happy in this moment (which is not always a bad thing). However, I want my life to be pleasing to Christ and to be a witness to others. I don’t want to be chasing after what the world provides, only to be left empty when it doesn’t satisfy.

    Step Three:
    In 2017:
    -I began a relationship with my boyfriend and it’s grown to be really great (I want to keep working on this in 2018!)
    -I worked on being healthier by picking up running and doing the Whole30 twice. I learned that meal prepping is a lifesaver and that I can meet small goals that I put my mind to!
    -I read 100 books! I made a goal to read more and watch less and this was a very tangible way for me to see that I met it. And, I loved tracking my progress on Goodreads!

  201. Dena

    Step One: my life rating varies depending on the area it is. I think on average (some being a 10 and some being on the low side) my life evaluation is about a 5 or a 6. With very specific areas I know I need to work on. my top priorities this year are Finishing my architecture exams, friendships, and paying down debt.

    Step two: this past year I have been chasing perfection. this has been a difficult year but a happy one. happy because of my family but difficult because my boys and I married into a family for which I am now the step-mom and it is hard to be the step-mom and have no say in how your stepchildren are raised. I pray a lot on this subject and God has really helped to take away my anxiety and help fill me with joy and to not seek perfection within my family.

    Step Three:
    In 2017 I married my Fiance on New years eve, I gained a loving family.
    I got motivated to find a way to pass my exams
    My faith has grown by leaps and bounds
    I have started to pay down debt.

  202. Dena

    I just got my book and am looking forward to setting my goals. 🙂 one of them is a goal that is on my list every year. And each year I do not make it happen. that is to pass my architecture exams. there are 7 long and intimidating exams that I need to spend 6 weeks studying for each. my hang up is that I am afraid of failure. I think I struggle with confidence because I have taken all and passed them once. But I missed the deadline by 3 months and had to start over so essentially I failed them. This has really affected me emotionally and has made me afraid to try again. my inner voice says “Who do you think you are? You have failed once, so you will fail again.” but I need to say to myself “You have passed once, so you can pass again.” this is the goal that has been on my list the longest (18 years to be exact) and each year that goes by I do not get it done due to intimidation and being afraid of failure. I decided that I have to do something different, even radical from what I normally do. I have to take the “bull by the horns” so to speak and really get past these exams and get them off my yearly to-do list. And the power sheets is what I am trying to see if that helps me write out my limitations, my fears, and think about what it looks like to move past these exams. I have never done that before and I am hoping it helps me to be able to take my career to the next level. Thank you, Lara!

  203. Jessica Lyn Newell

    Lara, I have been using powersheets for about 3 years now and they have truly been life changing for me as I’ve cultivated goals that have pulled my life forward in more ways than I could have imagined!

    I started going through the 2018 powersheets today and am feeling so motivated for the new year. I’m so grateful for what you and your team do each day to bring this work into the world. You are serving so many in their lives and callings!!! Thank you 🙂

  204. Kerry

    I encouraged others by posting a reminder on my personal fb page that this time of year can be tough on people and bring about extra pain or frustration, and to offer others (and ourselves) extra kindness and grace.

  205. Dawn Simpson

    Lara,
    I listened to your Crowdcast “Powersheet Prep” and I cried almost the entire time! The Holy Spirit was using what you said at just the right time in my heart and mind! I am thankful for you and how He is using you in the life of others! Merry Christmas 🎄🎁

  206. Layale Matta

    1. My health is a 2. I need to commit to eating 3 meals a day, take care of my skin and exercise more.

    My friends are a 7. I have a few close and precious friends that I should be more present with them this coming year.

    My spouse/significant other is an 8. Although I am single, I am happy with myself and waiting openly and confidently, knowing that Mr. Right will come at the right time.

    My family is also an 8. I need to show up more, love them all, love better and not loose my termper.

    My finances are a 9. I didn’t expect this raise I got this past year. I still need to save more and not buy silly useless things.

    My spiritual + personal growth is a 6. Forgiveness and Praise!

    My work is a 6. I need to be more productive. This is the year to LEARN!

    My recreation is a 4. I need a hobby, yoga would help me as well as seeing more nature.

    2. I have been trying to chase Perfect too but instead I got uncompleted tasks, goals and fullfillments. I am lucky having good coe friends, a good job that pays well and a loving family. But all I need is to take care of myself to be able to take care of them.

    3. A lot of good things: I met my friend Tom for the first time in person. I got a raise. I made some precious friends at work. I made some Apps that I am proud to put on my resume as a Software Engineer. I attended some Women in Tech conferences. I created @PlasTinkers with Mom.

    4. Some lessons I learned: Motivate yourself, only you can do it, and if you can’t ask God for help. Love your future self. Everything is easy if I dare to try and learn.

  207. Denise

    My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years, and we’ve been through more than most couples do in a life time. It might seem small to some, but one of things I want to cultivate is joyfulness in the difficult times. In the past I’ve reacted with negative emotions due to our circumstances, and not being able to do things that normal families get to do. (It’s not a financial issue. We are a ‘sandwich’ family and it’s very difficult to say the least). Not sure how to cultivate this, but I’m sure it will come to me. Thanks Lara for all you do!

  208. Leigh Lindsey

    So exciting!

  209. Liv Lemon

    Wow Lara, this is so powerful! I try to have some reflecting time every day and decided to journal on these questions as a prompt for my day yesterday. A couple of sentences in, when thinking about all of the good things from the past year, the rain started to pour. I was stunned at the power of these questions! It’s not very often we think of our lives in years and distill our messy lives into pithy bulletpoints. I had to dig to find some of my highlights from year, like great moments of living out my faith and mentoring others – moments that were burried by the past couple of months. I saw a pattern of running full speed in so many different directions. Maybe I am too willing to adapt to the requests and expectations of others. There must be another way, and I feel blessed to have found your instagram, read this page, and sat with this encouragement for an afternoon.

    Like so many humans, I am chasing a sense of purpose and place – in a new place this year! – while trying to stay flexible to meet different obligations. Just writing that down allowed me to see the opposition in those two concepts of place and flexibility.

    How are you? A marvelously simple question that requires a sharp focus into areas of our lives. I paused on each question to really think about what a perfect 10 would be, and saw that things I thought were going well, like growing new friendships and making time for exploring in a new city, are only on the 4-7 range. I also loved the encouragement to take ownership over my environment. Even though it doesn’t come from within, our environments shape us and we need to participate as we can! Your post encouraged me to reach-out to long beloved friends and share my heart with them, because we are all so quick to just say “I’m great!”

  210. Jenny

    Hi, Kathy and Jenny here. We are cousins, sisters in the Lord, and now PowerSheets companions.

    I (Jenny) am a Chinese living in the states since 1999, and started my “cultivate what matters” journey when I discovered book “make it happen” this July. I introduced Kathy to CWM when her family came from China and stayed with me for a 3-week vacation in August. Kathy’s heart got so touched by what she read in “meet your fear”, a chapter in “make it happen”, that she decided to join me as companions in using PowerSheets to help cultivate what matters for year 2018. It was a huge leap of faith for Kathy because of the well-known difference and barrier in language, culture, ways of thinking, lifestyle, etc.

    We bought our 2018 PowerSheets on its launch day. While Kathy was eagerly waiting for it to arrive on Dec. 9 (China time), I got busy planning on walking her through the PowerSheets till Jan. 2018 tending list as my Dec. top priority tending item. Though we could not keep up with the online PowerSheets prep week, we did the similar at a much needed slower pace, i.e., 3 days for each of 5 parts in the first 33 pages. Almost every day we shared ideas/resources, asked/answered questions, encouraged/supported one another, and had a joyful summary phone call for each part.

    I have been thinking of logging our process as much as possible for future reference, and the 2018 goal setting series sounds like a wonderful platform to do that. Besides the purpose of bookkeeping, we would love to give Lara and her team some raw and firsthand inputs from a team of CWM freshmen deeply rooted in Chinese culture and way of thinking, hoping to shed some lights on how to adapt CWM methods and/or PowerSheets for reaching out more Chinese users one day, which we know (from what our family/friends and church sisters’ feedback already) and feel (from our observations) in tremendous need.

    With the above two purposes in heart (let’s practice commenting blog posts on purpose here 🙂 ), we will share Kathy’s answers to every step in 2018 goal setting series (followed by my translation) , and some of our key reflections on how Chinese would take on that step of CMW methods and PowerSheets.

    2018 goal setting, part 1 –
    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    [Kathy] https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ–y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipO-zBmGnMOu2jbrJ5doc5FQ5E2uua2K7QRKj7IZ?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ–y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipPHl0jisqD2zRm2l22uPNF4Q8M-6p1wA2PKO7as?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB
    [translation]
    Health: God healed me, as my base line (scored 9), now: stay up late and get up early, feel tired and prone to sickness, making some adjustments (scored 6)
    Friends: absolutely no time for friends, but thank God, we easily connect whenever we feel the need (scored 3)
    Spouse/significant other: we need more time together (scored 5)
    Family: need more father-daughter and mother-son time (scored 7)
    Finances: At least I became more aware that I can make effort in this area. My growth here will make good influence on my family (scored 1)
    Spiritual/personal growth: need more time to be with God (scored 6)
    Work: As a full time housewife, I am improving in time management, cooking, caring for family. (scored 8)
    Recreation: question mark (scored 1)

    [reflections]
    Kathy – My first thought at this PowerSheets page is that my life can be viewed as composition of these areas! Then came the impression that I have never carefully examined these life areas, and I don’t know myself and my life as well as I thought. I am grateful for this new start. I sincerely hope more Chinese people may have access to this tool! I felt discouraged at these scores I gave to each area out of first impression. My hope is to become that “happy bee on honeysuckle” at end of year 2018.
    Jenny – I can see how shocked a Chinese may feel on this approach to life. We may reflect on where we are momentarily at best, then hurry forward, thanks to much louder and busier Chinese lifestyle. We may have an overall blurry impression, but digging in every life area with a score is nearly unheard of. Planning on finances, spiritual growth, or recreation can be specially difficult, since we have little concepts/resources. Full-time housewife is hardly considered as a job title as contributive to the family as a breadwinner. I shared with Kathy how working as a housewife may contribute to family finance. Chinese tend to be hard on ourselves by overemphasizing on the negative, so we feel grateful and very helpful for the tip of “write in some positive thoughts too”. Kathy so loves lively expressions such as “happy bee on honeysuckle” that she literally giggled quite a while! We dreamed and laughed at some possible literal translations of this expression in the future Chinese version PowerSheets, and finally we decided to settle with ideas of free translation.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?
    [Kathy] 过去几个月我好像一直在跟时间赛跑,结果就是累的半死可身后仍是一堆没有做完的事。
    [translation] In past months, I seemed to have been racing against time. I felt exhausted, but there were still tons left to do.

    [reflections]
    Jenny – I would say most Chinese get so used to busyness out of pressure of life that we would probably feel lost and don’t know what to do if we are told to be still for hours. Some may not know how to point out clearly what he/she is chasing. Acknowledging and then expressing our feelings can be very hard and strange. I expect some may get stuck here for loooog time.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    [Kathy] https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ–y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipP8VEUd1ndq9KfdMuNe0sUxgx8Cv0DsEpls9m7a?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

    https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ–y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipPDWmyAXg0EPLuXX2avzZyvKsOlfQiGuJjoIUSx?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

    [translation]
    1) Going to bed at 10:30pm and getting up on 5:30am helped me start well the next morning/day. Read bible in the morning.
    2) On-time communicating with my husband and daughter worked better than finding a separate communication time later.
    3) Simple, clean and orderly environment benefited whole being of my kids.
    4) Gentle and friend-like communication style touched heart of my daughter, better than direct teaching.
    5) Encouraging and supporting my daughter nurtured our relation.
    6) Simple yet nutritious diet is the most needed in my family.
    7) Weekly meal planning helped decrease cooking/shopping time, which made me happy.
    8) Dining twice on weekend was appreciated by my kids, and it functioned as quality family time.
    9) this is a private item, so I am skipping 🙂
    10) Immediately responding to spontaneous thoughts (e.g. thinking of texting someone, taking notes of new ideas) was a good habit, and led to good results. Don’t wait.
    11) Little by little, make a mess, love more, no need to be perfect – I’m impressed by such great ideas!
    12) A good try on reduce family expenses, though the result was not clear yet. Worth keeping trying.
    13) Clear family responsibilities for everyone, so that everyone knew what to do next.
    14) Blocking social media alerts resulted in less distractions and interruptions.

    [reflections]
    Kathy – I love this part. I was so thankful when writing the list. I feel I need more space here! Maybe we Chinese are good at making a summary. Jenny complimented me on my more specific descriptions and my starting to use stickers!
    Jenny – This is where I see Kathy started to really get the key principles of “cultivate what matters”, as she wrote point 11 in English (Again we had fun trying to translate these to Chinese). She enjoyed putting good things down in writing, something she can see and feel refreshed and strengthened to look forward to the best yet to come. I hope more Chinese friends have such chance of appreciating and celebrating the good things before pressing self to make more progress.

    • Jenny

      I found all links in the original comment are broken, because commenting system improperly replace any — (two dashes) in urls to –

      To access online pictures of Kathy’s original answers, please copy the url link to your browser url address, replace FFIZQ– with FFIZQ–, and press enter.

      I forgot to translate lessons Kathy learned from list of the good things. Here they are:
      Lessons Kathy learned from the good things (preceded by a star):
      1) More detailed a project is divided, more smooth it proceeds forward.
      2) Fine food and travel are favorites of all my family members.
      3) taking notes of ideas/inspirations is a good habit.
      4) summarizing and communicating after each family activities helps make improvement next time.
      5) blocking social media alerts helps.
      6) My joy, peace and taking initiatives is the best blessing to my family and my kids.

    • Jenny

      OK. looks like there is a consistent bug in this commenting system that has to deal with two dash letters. I am doing some experiments here trying to find a solution.

      1. two consecutive dash letters: —
      2. two dash letters, with a backslash letter in between, trying to compensate the system’s improper processing
      3. add a backslash letter between every two dash letters in a url: https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ--y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipO-zBmGnMOu2jbrJ5doc5FQ5E2uua2K7QRKj7IZ?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

    • Jenny

      Yay! adding a backslash letter between two dash letters in a url fixed the bug!

      OK. Here are all the right links to pictures of Kathy’s answers to part 1:

      1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
      https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ--y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipO-zBmGnMOu2jbrJ5doc5FQ5E2uua2K7QRKj7IZ?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

      https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ--y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipPHl0jisqD2zRm2l22uPNF4Q8M-6p1wA2PKO7as?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

      3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
      https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ--y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipOhPCNT6iFR2FvWZRgYPzA8VGqV7Ap5FbkuqICN?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

      https://photos.google.com/u/1/share/AF1QipNPrQRzfwi1EM9Y72JmYauOqsJ5wtXu-FFIZQ--y5c9Yt4G6pzGVsUXwlGzMgo_FA/photo/AF1QipPDWmyAXg0EPLuXX2avzZyvKsOlfQiGuJjoIUSx?key=QW9rZmJPM1VlcTZTWXJrblVwY0ZVem5xc0lZS3JB

  211. APRIL EMERY

    1. Overall I am doing okay with most areas, but definitely need to improve in the area of friends, finances, work and having fun.

    2. I am chasing doing it all and doing it perfectly. Frankly, I’m exhausted and get frustrated with myself when I compare my progress to others.

    3. Good things: read 17 books this past year, made progress on fixing our home, healthier, found church home, made some great friends, got rid of excess.

  212. April McMillan

    Hi Everyone!!

    I am SO thankful for this series — especially the audio!! I have listened to the first parts a couple of times and now I am sitting down to write. I like letting this stuff soak in.

    1. I feel like most areas rate between 5 and 7; they’re ok, but not as good as I would like. Really, what I am dissatisfied with is my own effort. I know I can give more to the areas of parenting, marriage, and health. I really need more discipline and less distraction.

    2. I guess that ties right in with my chase. It is definitely perfection for me. I have a hard time staying in a place of grace where I’m neither trying to make everything perfect nor beating myself up about the imperfections. I think I’m getting better although it’s been slow growth, and that includes learning to be OK with slow growth itself. I tend to want an all-at-once-transformation but I realize it is because I often haven’t had the patience for baby steps.

    3. I feel embarrassed that it was hard for me to think of my good things off the top of my head. I know there is plenty to be thankful for but my mind was simply blank at first!

    Ok, for one, we had to evacuate for Hurricane Irma and we really didn’t know what to expect when we came home, but our little community was totally unscathed. That was HUGE. We have several friends who suffered some level of loss. I made a decision to start the process of transitioning out of graphic design and preparing to pursue other artistic business goals. Just making that official and saying it out loud was also big… and so freeing! (I’ve wanted this for a long time.) I started learning some Hebrew and growing in my understanding of the Bible, which has been life-changing. My husband and I had some very important breakthroughs in an area where we were starting to struggle. I finally have a working sewing machine and it’s like riding a bike! I know that I am growing in good ways. 🙂

  213. Karla

    Step 1: I’ve really struggled this last year in all areas. I’m hoping for a more intentional 2018. I decided to take a leap of faith and ordered the Powersheets. The prep work has been very helpful and uncovered things I need to focus on. The three areas I’m going to cultivate this year are spouse, family and recreation.

    Step 2: I’m also chasing trying to do it all and gain the approval of others. As a stay at home/homeschool mom, I’ve been trying to do so many things and I’m not doing any of them well. I’m overwhelmed and burned out.

    Step 3: Good things – Reading good books with the kids and praying together, completed a Whole 30, have a wonderful husband who helps, supports, and encourages me. I learned alot this year about what doesn’t work. I work best with a plan and direction and I’m hoping to cultivate that this year and live with more intention!

  214. Marian

    Lara, will you please delete my comments? After posting them I decided I would rather keep them private and simply continue with your wonderfully-helpful goal-setting challenges personally. I initially commented to be entered in the give-away but when I saw all of the extra things that would be helpful to do aside from following the 5-day challenges, I have decided to continue privately. Thank you so much for your fabulous work!!
    Blessings,
    Marian 🙂

  215. Mary Troyer

    – Health  6 I am fairly happy a to where I am but wat to lose a good 15lb and build muscles to gave energy to keep yo with my husband and children,eat healthy,know my why to being fit!!
    – Friends 4 though I have moved forward a lot I still struggle being transparent and just being there for friends,making new friends.
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) I struggle being a supportive wife and mother. I want to be a more engaged wife ,momma ,to encourage them !!
    – Finances 6 I want to use discernment in my wants vs needs in the moment,be frugal, too stay on too of it daily/weekly.
    – Spiritual + Personal Growth 5 daily time with my Father, listening to Him
    – Work 4 do diligent housework so that I can be comfortable hosting friends and strangers
    – Recreation using my voice,  hosting parties, writing, photography
    Step2 Step 2 what have you been chasing?
    Perfectionist, comparison, people pleasing,jealousy
    Trying to appeal to what I think needs to be a perfect life, comparing myself to other people when we are all uniquely different just the way God made us. Trying to please people in doing what they say and having a fear of people or displaying them.  I declare God’s abundant live over me and boldness and discernment.  Not fear of men.  I see myself getting jealous of others especially when I compare myself to them.
    Step 3.I am grateful for my husband and all his hard work and love for me, his children and God. I lost a good amount of weight.
    I am grateful that I have been learning to be transparent, learning what my voice is and that it is valued, that my voice is to be heard!! thankful that we have a house, thankful for our garden we had, thankful for my friendships,my children thankful that I have a relationship with God my true Father! Abba Father I belong to you!!!

  216. April McMillan

    I forgot to share my lessons learned! Well, some of the good things I did not mention were actually hard things at the time. There were several things I was anxious about and that felt really huge but ultimately they worked out.

    I feel like the biggest lesson in all that was that even when I feel like no one can speak to what I’m feeling, I should resist isolation. Even if they can’t solve it, just being heard is still valuable, and I should not assume what someone else could have to say about what I’m feeling. I don’t know what is silently happening in other’s minds that God might use to help me.

    Also, that isolation so easily creeps into marriage and “space” can become toxic when you let it happen too much. I learned that my trust issues are even deeper than I have realized and I need to be more deliberate about trusting my husband with whatever I’m carrying inside. The whole point of two becoming one is to walk together! I also learned when discouragement comes, there is always already an answer lined up for me, and I just need to be determined to keep my peace and protect my contentment in the “middle.”

    I’m also learning that feeling insecure about the timing of my life is useless and only hinders me moving forward and making the changes I need. I’ve learned that I am tired of allowing fear and insecurity to steal from me. I also realized that writing down “sort of” goals year after year has not worked because I need to keep them in front of me to stay focused and I need to have courage to be specific and clear. I haven’t done that because my fear has caused me to be indecisive and to lose faith in my ability to make things happen. But resources like this are coming along to help me change my approach in great ways. I am becoming so encouraged and hopeful for the next 12 months!

  217. Katie

    How am I? I feel like my 2017 lacked intentionality. I felt like I was constantly in a state of trying to catch up or keep up with the responsibilities of life and home. Here are my scores from my CWM evaluation: Health- 7; Proud that I was able to stay away from a lot of sugar during this holiday season but need to always strive for moderation in this area. Also, would love to be consistently exercising! Friends- 7; Grateful that I’ve been cultivating some friendships lately that have been meaningful. Alway need to be more intentional in reaching out to my friends and deepening those relationships. Spouse/Significant Other- 2; There are many days where I feel like my husband is just not a priority. This is the area of my life where I need to devote the most focus. My marriage often becomes a “last thing”, rather than what it should be, a “first thing”. Even though I feel like I need to work on myself in my marriage, I am so grateful for my husband who loves me well and who is willing to talk things out and voice his concerns with how things are going. Family- 4; This one ties into my marriage. Overall, I feel like these two areas need the most attention and a little bit of TLC (or maybe a lot!). Finances- 6; I say a 6 because I’m not drowning in debt or unable to save– However, I feel like I begin each year planning to be more intentional with tracking our spending and give up sooner than what I should. Spiritual/Personal Growth- 6; I feel like I have a sensitive heart towards God and his word and His leading in my life, yet don’t always make time for personal bible study. I gave myself a 6 because I know the word of God and time in it fuels the rest of my life. Work= 5; Here, again, there needs to be more intentionality on how I organize and manage my work. Recreation- 4; I don’t typically take a lot of time for rest or commit a lot of time to hobbies right now.

    Step 2– As I reflect on 2017, I see someone who was chasing after perfect a lot. If I’m totally honest, it’s because I’m concerned with what others might think of me.

    3. Good Things– Raising and showing a goat with my son and gaining a good friend through that, What I learned? Goats are incredibly stubborn and my boy is a hard worker. My middle child started kindergarten and loved it. Not knowing how the transition would go I was pleased. I watched my sister and husband commit to loving their friends well through an extremely trying time. What I learned? That friendship is important and takes commitment, dedication and lots of love.

  218. Theresa Hotze

    So excited to dig into my powersheets

  219. Chelsea

    1. 2018 is definitely going to be focused on health & spiritual/personal growth. By allowing myself to grow, I hope it helps me define my purpose and motivate me to work towards pursuing the things I love.

    Health-3. I picked 3 because I haven’t been on top of it like I should and know I can be. I haven’t been to the gym consistently but I have been there and had some pretty awesome workouts.

    Friends-5. We had one friends get together this year and we’d like a few more to really show how important they are to us.

    Family-8. I’ve been in really good communication with my family despite how far we are from each other. My siblings and I started a group message to keep each other updated. My relationship with Dustin is full of growth.

    Finances-6. I’ve been guilty of emotional spending and being lazy about making meals, but I’ve managed to balance a checkbook again to see where my money is going!

    Spiritual/Personal Growth-6. This one has come a long ways the last few months of the year. I am beginning to build routine because that seems to keep me sane.

    Work-4. I’m hoping 2018 will allow me to take the steps to pursue what I’m passionate about and leave my current job.

    Recreation-6. Concerts fill my well. We’ve been to a couple this year and have a couple scheduled for 2018 and I can’t wait.

    2. I have been chasing ideas, unintentional goals, & a false sense of community that I’m scared to create. It leaves me feeling less than, anxious, and unhappy.

    3. Good things-

    Lessons learned-

  220. Chelsea

    3. Good things – traveling to see family this year, more time with the kids, more conversations about growth with Dustin

    Lessons learned- don’t just talk about doing or finishing things, simplifying allows space for things I love!!

  221. Ashley

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    **I’m overwhelmed with what I need to do to get life ‘back in order’ like I think it should be. But my *think it should be* is a bit unrealistic for a mom with 3 (youngest is 4 months). I feel like I’m maintaining most of my areas of life, with only two just plain drowning. I mostly want to improve finances, family (we also homeschool, and I have a husband who is a pilot and comes and goes) & my relationship with God

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?
    I’ve been chasing calm. But not from God. From having new clothes, a clean house, pretty pictures, cookies. And it’s not working out too well….

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    Good things – I sat for two weeks straight with our new baby while my husband kept the house afloat. I learned that resting is always good & it’s ok if the floors are not mopped!
    Encouraging someone is always worth the time it takes

  222. Jennifer

    1. I am treading water in a busy season. I have spent the past few months studying goals/planning/intentionality, listening to podcasts, audiobooks on the subject. Reading. I’m ready to put things into practice, but I’m only finding snippets of time. I have 3 young kids, and I have a hard time coming back to the reflection multiple times as I try and journal and think. I am excited to be getting some time away soon–and to have time to really flesh out these questions!
    2. I’ve been chasing perfection. I’m finally seeing ways through the perfection. I’m loving Lara’s metaphor of garden + dirt. I’m understanding how getting dirty is the way through perfection to accomplishing goals. I’m excited to continue to build on that in 2018!
    3. I’m grateful for so much. that in 2016 we worked on our marriage so it could be strong enough to withstand the last few months of busyness. (and I’m looking forward to more intentionality again in marriage in 2018!) I’m grateful for how much my husband supports and serves me and our kids and our home. I’m grateful for the opportunity to homeschool my children and how that process is growing me into a stronger mom. I’m also grateful for all of the ways God has given me to cultivate an identity outside of my house/family/homeschool. It’s tricky to balance those things, but my husband and I both agree it’s important.
    Lessons Learned: my biggest lesson is that all the work I had done to get rid of that “inner voice” that would berate me–well, it didn’t really go away–it just hid in my children. As in, every time they whined/complained/asked me to meet their needs, I heard it as criticism of myself as a mom. HUGE realization for me. It’s natural that my kids will come to me to ask for things, it’s a good thing even. Yet, it wasn’t how I heard (or even now hear) it. I’m working through that and letting it go. It’s a work in progress for sure. But I’m thankful I saw it.

  223. Cydney

    2017 really was a happy year, and I’m looking forward to so much more growth in 2018!

  224. Kim Davis

    I am so excited for this Goal Planning Series!! Below are answers to the questions.

    1. I am doing well, and using PowerSheets last year really helped me really cultivate joy in my life throughout the year. Last year at this time I felt liked I was going through the motions and to be honest I wasn’t really enjoying life. However, after really digging in and working at it, I can truly say that I am leaving 2017 with a full heart, a lot of peace, and incredible memories throughout the year.

    2. Lately I’ve been finding myself chasing significance and approval through my accomplishments at work, versus finding my worth in Christ. This makes me feel like I am always trying to earn acceptance, instead of trusting where He will lead me and knowing He will give me the knowledge, wisdom, and skills to achieve all that He calls me to do.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

    My Relationship with my husband – Celebrating 10 years of marriage and all the amazing lessons I’ve learned over the past 10 years on how to love unselfishlessly.

    My Career – My role in my career keeps getting more established, and leadership opportunities continue to grow.

    Making our house a home – working to make our house a place of rest, encouragement, and joy.

    Family Time with Parents and In-Laws – Making Time each week for family dinners to catch up on life.

    Building New Friendships – Being open to building new friendships has brought so many great memories to 2017.

    Celebrating the arrival of my niece – Perfect way to end this year.

  225. Courtney

    1. I feel like some areas of my life are doing really, really great, but maybe at the expense of the other areas. Friends and spouse and family rated really high but recreation and health were extremely low.

    2. I think I’ve been chasing one more, one more. One more fun Christmas activity with the girls, one more cookie will give me the oomph to get them there, one more errand to run before nap time and it’s all too much for my family.

    3. Good things:
    Getting to stay home w my girls
    Visiting my Mimi
    Small group
    New home in the perfect place for us
    Playhouse for the girls
    Getting to know my neighbors
    Lessons learned:
    Quiet is good
    Hurricane Irma allowed us to serve and meet our neighbors
    The girls love to stay home
    Sometimes you need help to organize!
    Prioritize friendships, they’re not all equal
    Jesus doesn’t want us to live in shame and fear
    A condemning voice saying “you should have..” isn’t God

  226. Alexa

    Can’t wait to get started. Encouraged a close friend.

  227. Mariia

    Hello everybody! I am excited to be getting intentional with you all this season!
    1. This season I am definitely overwhelmed and tired. This year’s highlight was move to a different state, changing schools and helping a recovering member of family by welcoming her in our home and getting a blue heeler puppy. 2017 was also a year I have been emotionally invested into facilitating a better family culture and relationship between my husband’s side of the family. I want to see them all communicating and happy, but there is only so much I can do. However God is all powerful and I believe He will shine His light in this situation.
    The areas in life I need to tend to this year are my health (I have lupus), growing stronger in faith as a family with my husband, make friends and become a great friend myself(just moved to a different state) and live by a principle “less is more” this year (less things, less clothes, less commitments).
    Good things in 2017:
    1. Worked a lot on patience. I always considered myself patient, up till we got the blue heeler puppy. This ball of energy definitely made me re-thing a lot, get into being a good doggy trainer and generally to become more patient and focused.
    2. My husband changed careers, which was a great thing for our family. He no longer has to be absent for half of a month each month, and it helps us to be closer and communicate better.

  228. July

    Im so excited to be doing this early this year . Setting my intentional goals for the year . Living on less and simplifying my life . I can’t wait to share my journey .

  229. Julia Noel

    Thanks so much for this amazing series, Lara! I can’t wait to go through each of the blog posts and get a head start on making 2018 my best year yet! God bless!

  230. Nita K.

    I noticed that most of my good things from the year involve connecting with others. Specifically, connecting with family. I am really looking forward to more of that in the coming year.

    I most want to improve health and home, though spiritual growth will always be a priority, too.

  231. Brandy

    I’m definitely tired & overwhelmed this year. My husband has a business which I help with in many areas. All the areas I’m below a 4. I’ve been chasing staying alive. The good things this year are my daughters are growing & the best kids. My husband’s business is growing & I’ve figured out a working schedule being a nurse to be more present with his business. I’m excited to use the powersheets & praying I will be above a 5.

  232. Julia Noel

    1) Health is a 6 because I’m generally healthy, but I’ve gained 10-15 lbs this year because of bad eating habits and lack of exercise. I know how to do better, I’m just never motivated to stick with anything.

    Friends is a 6 as well because I’m finally beginning to see some friendships bear fruit. At church, I’m met some truly wonderful friends who I connect with on a deeper level and I’m letting go of fruitless relationships of my past. I just need to get better at giving as much as I am receiving.

    Family is a 5. I live with my family but I often feel disconnected from them (I live with my parents and sister). Other family relationships are strained due to difference in beliefs/lifestyles.

    Finances is a 1. I’m in tons of debt out of grad school and I do not yet have a job. I’m totally dependent upon my parents for financial help right now.

    Spiritual/Personal Growth is a 3. I’ve been “yo-yoing” with my faith and obedience to God lately. I keep falling back into bad habits that I need to let go of in order to grow closer to God and work toward more personal development.

    Work is a 1 because I’m unemployed right now. I need a job, but I’m jaded by the challenges and responsibilities that come with it.

    Recreation is a 2. I go through hobbies like water…I never stick to anything long enough to consider it a fruitful hobby. I say I want to try lots of things but rarely follow through. I need to be more intentional with how I spend my free time.

  233. Julia Noel

    2) I’ve been chasing perfection in school and internships. I tried so hard to be the perfect intern and often compared myself to my classmates out of worry that I didn’t measure up. This often left me feeling inadequate, dumb, and unfulfilled. I felt empty in other areas of my life if things weren’t going well with school or work. So much of my self-image and self-worth were wrapped up in how others saw me and I am still wrestling with this now.

  234. Julia Noel

    3) There were a few really good things that happened in 2017. I graduated with my Master’s in Clinical Nutrition and I became much closer to my bible study group and leaders at church. My family also got tons of help from my church during an unexpected move into our new home and they didn’t charge us a penny for it. These things have taught me these 3 lessons:
    1) God does not bless me based on how much I deserve to be blessed. It is because of His goodness, grace, love, and mercy that He blesses me…all of this in spite of my mistakes and failures.
    2) I have learned not to be afraid to ask for help when I really need it. If I hadn’t shared my family’s need for prayer and financial help at church, no one would have come to help us.
    3) I’ve also learned that I have so much more growing to do. I may now have my degree, but I still need to work toward using my God-given gifts practically, both with professional work and my endeavors to help and serve others.

  235. Corinne

    Step 1 and Step 2: My biggest area of struggle right now is health. In my “chasing perfect” for my family (see Step 2), I completely lost myself and ended up overweight, out of shape, unhealthy, totally stressed, and left sitting with a lot of worry, fear and regret.
    Step 3: I am grateful for God who hasn’t given up on me or my family. I made a greater commitment the last three months to let him be in charge and listen for his guidance instead of me constantly bargaining and telling him what I need him to do. I am choosing to trust him more.
    So grateful I found your blog and the power sheets and excited to grow

  236. Jordan Vela

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your article! I have been really working on my well-being and goals since October and some of them worked out while other didn’t but i felt awesome for completing one of them! I am excited and looking forward to 2018 with a renewed drive.

  237. Lindsay Reimers

    Lara, I’m so inspired by your journey and all you share . I picked JOY as my word for 2018 because your Joyfullness was always so apparent and I want more of that in my life. But now rethinking and wondering if Light is the word….thank you for all you do!

  238. Faythe Eloise

    A little late for commenting, I will be honest, at first I didn’t jump into leaving a comment because I am an extremely private person with my goals, business, family; well everything. It is hard for me to open up in a transparent way and share myself with others, something I am working on little by little. Step 1& 2 I am struggling with health and overworking and overmommin that I don’t leave time for myself and I don’t focus on my health, red bull, coffee, and soda all day long keeping me going. Step 3 I am grateful that I have a healthy family, it’s generic but SO true in this season, as many mothers I hear from are dealing with severe health issues with one or more of their children. Thankful for health for my boys and now I need to focus on that for myself

  239. Shauna

    The biggest lessons I have learned in 2017 is that God has a plan and I need to trust it. Every time something doesnt make sense, I stress out and get anxious I find that God already had it planned out. I need to be patient, trust in His plan, and worry about what I can control while He works it out.

  240. Erin

    Hi Lara! As a first timer, I’m so glad to be here in this positive and inspiring space! I just listened to your message, and can’t wait to get my Powersheets! So far my favorite “take away” has been to not stress on the actual planning of my day/life. It doesn’t matter what I’ve crossed off the list, but instead how I’m being more present in my life. No more doing things to just do them, but to be more awake and alive in this beautiful life God has given me! Thank you! I can’t wait to learn more and grow in 2018!

  241. Grace Hahn

    Here we go – last year when I was doing my prep work I was lost! I was about to have a baby in March and couldn’t think about anything else but the tidal wave of change that was coming my (our) way. After reading Cultivate I should have just put that down as my number 1 goal – embrace parenthood and love myself in the process. I am hoping this year will be more settled so here are my answers to the first few questions:
    1) When filling this out I was expecting to score low in most areas (I’m pretty hard on myself) but have found that I’m actually doing relatively ok…… so I need to give myself a break! I picked a top three: Recreation (I have no hobbies to speak of…. so I need to find something for myself!), Finances (insert weekly daycare payments and we’ve got to get serious about saving now), and Work/PhD program (how to balance it all with a little guy at home). Health and Spiritual growth were hard not to put in the top 3. So I would just say I have have a top 5. I’ve been using the cultivate faith journal and getting more connected with our church – so I’m most excited about this currently!

    2) I am chasing perfection. Unrealistic expectations of myself and what my life should be – what my CAPACITY IS. I am chasing validation and love from others and using that as a foundation for my life. This is not ok. I am feeling tired, overwhelmed and out of time.

    3)There were so many more good things than I realized! I worked as a team with my husband to parent our little guy. I BIRTHED A HUMAN and made it through some mental and physical health challenges by reaching out for support and asking for help. My family has grown in our community at church and the scary part of “putting yourself out there” has lead to good relationships with new friends in the church community. I’ve taken steps to reclaim my health and body post baby and I’ve been working on my internship (on top of my 40/50 hour a week job) for my doctoral program. Most importantly I’ve loved the HECK out of this little boy who is already 9 months old.

    Thank you for giving of yourself and sharing your story so that others can learn and grow. Your work is in the process of changing my life – I can’t wait to continue to grow with all of these wonderful women!

  242. Laura Schillaci

    better late than never for me havent been feeling so great and now better and excited to start my goals for 2018… and your doing an AMAZING giveaway

    Today GOALS and STEPS

    Step 1

    Health-7 … Goal- get healthier, more orgnaic eating, more walking,clean up products around the house and what i use
    Friends-7 … Goal – talk more. Keeping in touch with my friends far away
    Family-7…Goal – Making our family bigger. Its just hubby and i and we want a baby and have been trying for 2 years and taking next steps to making a baby.
    Finances-6…Goal.. Save more, husband making work changes to make it easier to be a one income house hold….and me….start blogging like ive always wanted to..also go back to knitting and selling to help out.
    Spiritual + Persona Growth-8..Goal…We became a big part of our church this year an would love to voulenteer more and give back more next year
    Work-9…Goal… take away more..i watch a few differnt children as a nanny and would like to pay more attention to me and my other goals and need to cut back.
    Recreation-5… Goal more husband and wife time. We usually do alot together even just small getaways.Next year goal is to plan more, do more, have fun more.

    Step 2
    What have i been chasing? This is a couple of different things…my mine thing ive been chasing is becoming a mom. This has been the toughest thing in my life because all i have done is watch children and all i have ever dreamed of was to be a mom and it taking longer than i hope and pray for has been tough on me mentally, emotionaly and physically. Also another chase is going back to school…next year has to be the year no matter what .. time to push and not be scared.

    Step 3
    Some good things from this year was going to the doctor and being put on Clomid to try to conceive. Second was becoming Eucharistic Ministers with my husband for our church. Coming closer and stronger as a marriage. Another plus is getting more family together..always a struggle with everyones schedules.

    This is great how your doing steps..loving this so far.. wish i had the organizers…still trying to decide on a planner for next year and do these goals is helping a ton 🙂

  243. Annette Brown

    Annette Brown
    Hi, I’m just getting started and want to add – STEP 1 – My rating is teetering around an average of 7 for the year with each area needing to be cultivated. My soil although was very fertile in the first quarter is very much in need of nutrients in this 4 quarter. STEP 2 – I would have never name perfection, but the analyzation revealed that this was the very thing I was chasing and IT is lonely, exhaustive and something I will never obtain, but the definition changes every second. In realizing this, I am vowing to get of that merry-go-round and choose to be me with all the imperfections as well as freedom and liberation and joy it bring. I choose to live on purpose. STEP 3 My 2017 Good Things – I launched my event planning business in October, I had the opportunity to re-evaluate friendships. I gifted a celebratory event for someone. I am more grateful. Looking forward to the next entry

  244. Rosemary Berry

    Step 1: My ratings came up pretty poor…I think I’m just feeling really discouraged today. I want to especially improve this year in the areas of My Writing (Work), my Spiritual Growth, and My Family.
    Step 2: I think I’ve been chasing approval, and I don’t think I will ever find it, so I should just let go of it!
    Step 3: I spent the first half of 2017 working at a stressful job, and then I made the good decision to leave it. In the second half of the year, I think I flipped the other way and wasted too much time. (Worked too hard the first half, worked too little the second half. LOL) Now it’s time to find the Balance. Balance. What does Balance mean exactly? Finding the even keel of my ship…as I sail toward my Master. I know He has already plotted my course, I just need to find the way that He wants me to go.
    Encouraging someone else: This morning, a friend having surgery texted me, feeling anxious and discouraged. I gave her words of prayer and encouragement, and I believe, by God’s help, I was able to help a little!!

  245. Megan

    I finally started filling out my POWER SHEETS!!! EEK! So exciting. Curious – I feel the need to check all of the boxes on page 9. And at first, I was like maybe this is bad because I”m not choosing – but then I thought – I’m more than one thing. We are all more than one thing. And so, if we’re excited or encouraged by more than one thing, that’s OK? Right? 🙂

  246. Heidi Floyd

    SO excited and grateful to be using power sheets for the first time in 2018! Thank you for all the time you spent pulling together this series — excited to listen and be encouraged to dig in! 2017 was such a great year in so many ways – and also SO hard in so many ways. The looking back exercise was hard, but cathartic.

  247. Alison

    Health -3, Family-7, Friends-5, Work-7, Spiritual growth 8/9 (super excited to be able to say that this year!), Recreation-5

    I have been chasing:
    – Approval from other women, moms, business owners
    – A clean and perfect home
    – “Likes” and acceptance on social media
    – Contentment in the wrong things

    Good things from 2017:
    Spiritual growth, bible literacy
    Marriage – good year of communication
    Full wedding season
    My daughter’s excitement for the bible
    A fun friendcation

    Lessons learned:
    Everything is better when Christ is the focus

  248. Heather

    You’re such an inspiration! Thanks for all the uplifting support and ideas!

  249. Charlene

    One of my biggest lessons was that I can do anything with consistent effort. I trained for my 1st marathon and I learned how important consistent small steps are compared to inconsistent leaps. At times during my training it was the memory of the small runs that got me through the 19 mile runs.

  250. Carol

    The PS are so challenging and thought-provoking, which is how I know they are worthwhile!

    1. 1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    Most of my areas are in the middle range, although I am most proud of my work in the spouse and finances categories. On the other hand, I need the most improvement in the categories of spiritual and personal growth, work (looking for a new job), and family (I have included home here).

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?

    I am always chasing perfection and it keeps me from even starting most of the time. It gives me decision paralysis, which is frustrating and exhausting. Pushing myself to start where I am is a huge goal for 2018.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

    I had so many blessings in 2018:
    – We got married!!!
    – We took an amazing honeymoon and our first true vacation in years
    – We have downsized and upgraded a few things around the apartment (more work is needed, but I am celebrating our little by little progress and the fact that I STARTED knowing it wasn’t all going to be perfect or immediate)
    – I led my first Bible study
    – I cultivated good friendships

    I have learned that I need to invest more in my personal faith, as well as scheduling. We have been blessed to be entrusted with a lot of responsibility and invited to many amazing celebrations, but we need to calendar ourselves first instead of fitting our goals in the time left over.

    2018 is going to be a challenge, but I am ready! Thanks for making such an amazing product and providing such encouragement, Lara!

  251. Veronica

    Im from Mexico, all these is new form me, these are my steps:
    Step 1: How are you? Of the 6 areas I have 3 of them low, in 4, 5 and 6 points in finances, health and friends, I liked to realize that, although what concerns me most are my finances, there are other areas that I also have to pay attention and work in them to grow holistically. Family, work and Spiritual are in 8 points.
    Step 2: Choose purpose over perfect. Although for a long time I do not care what people say, if I have chosen to be a perfectionist with myself, not to rest, because time is wasted, when things have to be done by me because if they do not go well, going tumbling but for more work to be done it seems that it does not come to anything, because in reality I have not chosen the purpose, if not the perfect

    —————Detectar idiomaAfrikáansAlbanésAlemánAmáricoÁrabeArmenioAzerbaiyanoBengalíBielorrusoBirmanoBosnioBúlgaroCanarésCatalánCebuanoChecoChino (Simplificado)Chino (Tradicional)CingalésCoreanoCorsoCriollo haitianoCroataDanésEslovacoEslovenoEspañolEsperantoEstonioEuskeraFinésFrancésFrisón occidentalGaélico escocésGalésGallegoGeorgianoGriegoGuyaratíHausaHawaianoHebreoHindiHmongHúngaroIgboIndonesioInglésIrlandésIslandésItalianoJaponésJavanésJemerKazajoKirguísKurdoLaoLatínLetónLituanoLuxemburguésMacedonioMalayalamMalayoMalgacheMaltésMaoríMaratíMongolNeerlandésNepalíNoruegoNyanjaPanyabíPastúnPersaPolacoPortuguésRumanoRusoSamoanoSerbioSesotho meridionalShonaSindhiSomalíSuajiliSuecoSundanésTagaloTailandésTamilTayikoTeluguTurcoUcranianoUrduUzbekoVietnamitaXhosaYidisYorubaZulúEspañol
    Step 3: What good things happened and why am I grateful?
    Many good things happened, among them I finished an expert degree in graphology and graphoscopy, I joined a wonderful reading group, I met great friends in these last two activities, I learned new book binding techniques, I ended a relationship in which I was not well, survived an earthquake, another year without pancreatitis. Thankful, for all this, for three beautiful nieces, for I have my parents, friends who are with me in the good times and the bad, my brothers and sisters, for having a house and food. And for be here and start to living with a PRPOSE!

  252. Jordan

    So excited to start this coming year using Power Sheets. First time! The prep work has uncovered a lot of amazing stuff I had been oblivious to or just didn’t want to address.

    1. How am I? Currently doing well but living in fear of not having set goals for a lot of areas in my life. I want to improve on work. It’s hard to find a balance and think long term.

    2. What have I been chasing lately? I’ve been chasing approval by anyone. But mostly from myself. It’s felt tiring and draining. I’ve been constantly feeling like I need to do more. Get to perfection. Not “settling” for progress.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    I finished college – learned that I miss having a goal to work towards.
    Traveled to see friends – realized that I really crave deep and quality time with other women.
    I started freelance graphic design – followed my passion but this is when I realized I really need to have good goals.

  253. Kim

    To start off, I heard about your goal setting challenge from Leah Boden on her Instagram account. She is a charlotte mason homeschool mama who is infused with light and life so since she highly loves you I thought I’d pop over and take a look. At first glance I thought….no! This is not for me. Too much structure. Too many expectations. Too much opportunity for more failure. I listened to your podcast one day, told myself I could not possibly do this. But then I thought back on all the things I wished I would have done years ago and figured if I keep going this way I’ll not ever change. So I’m taking the leap of faith! PLUS, your personality is so upbeat and bubbly it makes me feel happy just listening to you!

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?
    We live in Anchorage, Alaska. We have homeschooled our three children ages 14, 11, and 7 for eight years now.
    Well all life topics are at a 5 right except for growing spiritually which I’d give myself a 6. My health is needing focus in terms of nourishment and adequate rest. Relationships with friends and family need help because I am like a turtle and retreat into hiding way too much. I can feel so frustrated with myself that I become frustrated with everyone else. Homeschooling adds a layer of complexity. Finances are in huge need of reset because I search and buy and search and buy but then I cry that I’ve spent too much time and money on searching where there are no real answers. Work (homeschooling) and recreation are both sabotaged by distraction. And my environment shows that I search and buy too much.
    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel?
    I’ve been chasing a magic bullet. I’ve been chasing feeling approved, a part of something, being acceptable. I feel empty and numb.
    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.
    This year we purchased a motorhome and traveled the state with our son who golfs in tournaments. That was so fun. We finished a kitchen remodel that should have been done before we moved into this house 16 years ago but it’s so beautiful now! I’ve decluttered in here and its a treat cooking in here. Journaling is something I really enjoy doing as well as dabbling in art and creative outlets and I’ve taken time in the mornings to do this. I had bunion surgery which was quite overdue. So worth it. It is lovely not to have a pain in the foot anymore. We also went on a golf trip to Seattle this summer and watched our son play in a tournament there. Super fun. Plus we were able to visit friends we had not seen in over 16 years.
    I’ve learned that when I finally get around to things it’s really better late than never – but really it isn’t too late. I can make things seem way over complicated by thinking too much instead of acting with faith. And instead of looking around for validation I can feel fully equipped to be who I’m meant to be in every situation.
    Thank you Lara for this space and your encouragement.

  254. Samantha

    I am so excited for 2018. I sat in a coffee shop and listened to the 4 audios (recorded so far) while I made a big old mess in my Power Sheets, This is my 3rd year using them and I feel like they get better each year as I “get” the process more each time I go through it.

  255. Bri Crumbley

    Step 1: I had some very clear highs and very clear lows which showed me that I prioritize Work, Finances and Friends / Family, but neglect Myself. My bottom were Recreation, Spiritual/Personal Growth, and Health (none above 5). I tend to put others first, which while not an issue, becomes a problem if I’m not ALSO taking care of myself.

    Step 2:
    I’ve been chasing importance and validation for most of my life. I want to matter, not in general, just to those around me. I want people to care about me as much as I care about them, which seems like an unfair expectation give that (as discovered above) I don’t seem to care for myself much.

    Step 3: It was hard to start the list, but some really great things happened this year. They mostly fall into the category of me finding and building community in a new city after about 8 months of being unhappy and wishing I wasn’t here. This happened through intentional progress and I feel great about it.
    What that has taught me is that I’m so much stronger than I give myself credit for. I know that I struggle with confidence, but I think that what feels to me like humbly is actually low self-esteem, and that feels like something to set some goals around 🙂

    Thanks for this series Lara, I’m so excited!

  256. Kate

    I don’t think my comment went through earlier so I’m trying again- although I accidentally deleted what I had written before…. Oops

    ONE:
    In 2018 I want to focus on four areas actually. I want to cultivate friendships. I moved to a new city by myself two years ago and I have made so many friends, but I need to tend those relationships. I also need to work on my spiritual growth. I want to spend more time with Jesus, and in the Word.
    I need to find a hobby! As a music teacher, my hobby revolves around the instruments I play. I’d like to find something non-musical.
    Finally, I need to be better at staying within my budget each month.

    TWO:
    I have been chasing perfection and saying “yes”to everything in order to please everyone. It is a way of ensuring affirmation. It has left me tired and burnt out.

    THREE:
    – I have build a good foundation of healthy eating and exercising
    – Planning for success this school year has made my time at work more enjoyable and less stressful
    – Going to bed at a decent hour even if I didn’t get everything done

  257. Hilary

    Step one: How are you and rate your self?
    I am proud of what I have accomplished in my life and this past year but I know that mentally I need some help. I am incredibly depressed and I need to find my grounding in the world. I need to know firmly what I believe in and what I want and need in life so that in the midst of chaos I am firm and calm.
    Step 2: What are you chasing?
    Perfect mommy status while being a stay at work from home mom.

    Step 3: What grew well? What good things happened and what went well?
    Choosing my word “intentional” created a lot of growth in our family dynamics. I learned that slowing down is the only way that I can be a intentional mother and stopping my business was the best thing for my daughter. I grew in my relationship with the Lord and created a open dialogue with him to be led where he needs me. I accepted that my daughter needed help that was beyond me and I surrendered to accepting help and getting her the speech therapy that she needed. My husband grew his thinking in regards to his job and we decided to open a custom furniture business to help us get out of debt.

  258. Michele

    Thank you for all your hard work! This is such a useful way of taking stock and setting actionable goals. I wrote quite a bit in a notebook in response to the prompts you provided. Trying this out using the prompts has made me want to try using the PowerSheets. Here are my personal highlights:

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

    I am surviving but I could be better! I gave myself mostly 5s and 6s because there is a lot to be grateful for in each area but there is room for improvement in all of them.. I most want to improve how I’m doing with work, finances and personal relationships, and my personal growth is tied in with that.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that , making you feel?

    I’ve been chasing escape from all the overwhelm I feel, and instead it’s making me feel the overwhelm more acutely. Not an effective approach. This helps me see that my word for 2018 might want to be ENGAGE.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned.

    Highlights of my list of good things include getting my national certification in my field after years of effort, commissioning a wonderful personalized autoharp and playing great music on it, making strides in my jazz singing, and helping care for my mother-in-law. I’ve also benefitted from asking for help and information and being alert to the good things that often come, and I’ve learned how vital that is. I’ve learned I can complete a long-term & difficult goal, and I can support others in difficult times. It is very rewarding to be of service. I am also reminded that music-making has given me a community of friends, deeply enriched my life and continually refreshes my soul..

    I called and encouraged a couple of my relatives today!

    Thanks again for the inspiration and encouragement!

  259. Cheri

    Step 1-How am I? I’m so adrift right now, all of my ratings are poor. Positive notes: I’ve lost 20 lbs since the beginning of 2017. I have friends, but want to spend more time growing my relationships. My family still loves me, even though I’ve been dedicated to my work. God will make our finances ok. I still have a job and God will find me, and my husband and son, new jobs. I work hard, and now I need to work hard at finding balance. My husband loves to get out and explore, and I’m grateful because it gets ME out. I want to participate more!

    Step 2 – I HAVE been chasing perfection, trying to keep up with what I think I have to be – relentless, dedicated worker; perfect friend; consummate professional; outsanding organizer… and all I feel is pressure and frustration and incompleteness, and overwhelmed. I feel I’ll never get everything done – my home office, craft room, and all of ‘my’ areas will always be a wreck – I won’t have time for family and friends, let alone myself. I am disheartened and sad. And I’m angry, and I’m tired, and I want things to CHANGE.

    Step 3 – 2017 has been a whirlwind! My husband retired from the Air Force after 32 years, and so many family and friends came to help us celebrate!! We decided to move without job or home in place – a true leap of faith. We drove from East Coast (MD) to mountains (CO)! We BOUGHT a new home! I still have a job, now done remotely, and became an unlikely Project Manager! My husband and boys did most of the moving in while I was working full time and also spent a month in TX! We’ve celebrated Christmas in our new home and actually sent Christmas cards for the first time in many years!!

    I am so ready to make purposeful change in 2018, and I look forward to participating in the rest of the course!

    Thank you, Lara, for taking the time to do this… you are helping so many (and me) find release from the bog of pressure and frustration!!

  260. Katherin

    Well I’m here. I hate goal-setting, but I want to do better and be motivated…

    How am I? I’m stressed out, worn down, and stuck in a rut. All of the numbers I gave myself are under 5, even if there are areas where I can see some positive things happening. But like you say, it is growing ground, and I’m going to cultivate it.

    I’ve been chasing success and happiness and not really finding anything. I wonder if I am running headfirst into goals that are not really what God is planning for me, but then I have no idea what else to be doing.

    A few good things that did happen this year- we bought a house and moved out. It’s a beautiful little home, and we were giddy about it when we first moved. Our business also LOOKS better, but it’s still attracting no one…

    And lastly.. I’m not sure that I learned much this year- I’ve had the realization lately that I have been quite selfish. I’m learning to LISTEN though, however slow that might be.

  261. Cheri

    I made it through Part 2!! Hooray!!!

    Step 4 – What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? I need to get a handle on my health!!! I need to remember to take care of me, because no one else can. I need good sleep and exercise!!!

    Step 5. What challenges did you experience in 2017? 1) being impatient and even jealous of things my family was doing, because I felt “stuck” at work – setting up the house after our move, learning my way around our new community – and even feeling guilty on top of it. 2) Allowing work to rul emy time, almost to the exclusion of everything else. 3) Not taking care of myself. 4) Feeling like everything and everyone deserves/demands all of my time.
    What lessons did you learn? 1) It takes time to set things up and amke a house our home, to learn my way around, and that’s ok. I still have plenty of opportunities to make my mark on this house, to feel it is MY home, too. 2) I need balance!!! 3) If I’m not healthy, I can’t help others. 4) There has to be a way to balance!!!

    Part 6. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My loving husband. He kept things moving at home while I was mired in the bog of work. He lifted me out of my office mess and took me on adventures in our new home state. He feeds us, and feeds us well. My friends, who shared their homes and hospitality during our move, the friends who stay in touch, who have known me for years and ‘get’ me. God. For my faith, though tenuous at times, that reminds me God’s got this – every facet of my life, and that I can, should , and must depend on Him for everything good in my life. It’s up to me to cultivate that faith… it takes my work AND God’s help to make it grow! Heidi, Tom, Connie, Lisa, Velma, Lana, Billy, Candy, Cassie, Mom and Dad, Cheryll, my sons… so many people!

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! I’ll be starting my board tonight, and will post a link when I have it finished!!!

    Thank you again, Lara!!! I look forward to Part 3!!

  262. Gretchen

    This year I’ve been chasing personal development at the expense of my friendships, my health, and my finances. I’ve grown a LOT, but I need to reassess my priorities because in reflection I feel like I’ve been trying to prove myself…

  263. Alaina Monts

    Step 1: How am I? I averaged around a 6.5, with highs in spirituality/faith (a goal of mine from last year!) and my work life. This step helped me realize that I need more balance–working at work time, playing at play time, resting at rest time…when I focus too much on any one part of my life, my whole life gets twisted up! This was eye opening this year!

    Step 2: What have I been chasing lately? How is that making me feel? I *haven’t* been chasing anything lately, instead, I’ve lived in fear and apathy which has caused my productivity to halt, and I feel anxious and nervous about it.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned. Some good things: taking a sabbath, co-working instead of doing all my work at home alone in an office, gratitude journaling, no tech in bed!!, daily AM prayer, using instacart for groceries. Some lessons: ask for help EARLY, planning means nothing without action, my work matters, we are all made to be (and we work better when we’re) in community with one another.

  264. Carmen

    I just discovered this blog and the products. I am beyond excited to start on a journey of doing more introspection, doing more purposeful goal setting and growing!

  265. Becky

    1. I feel like I’m doing pretty good in most areas. The one area I want to improve the most is health. I want to radically change my eating habits so I crave more of what’s good for me.

    2. I have been chasing perfection, and what an exhausting race that has been. It has left me feeling tired, burned out, shame, bitterness, and disappointed. Yuck! Ready to give all that up!

    3.
    -Work that matters
    – Work that is challenging
    – Fun new friendships
    – Traveled to some great places

    Lessons learned – When I’m not distracted by comparison and perfection, I can hone in on my sweet spot and enjoy the journey.

  266. Jaclyn K Elwell

    Love following along and hearing your thought process and your encouragement!

    Step 1. How am I? I have ALWAYS had a hard time with rating myself but I know it can be helpful to get a baseline. I’m currently having a hard time with my health – just haven’t paid much attention to it this last year and I want that to change! Health, Spouse and Faith are the 3 areas I am putting the most focus in 2018

    Step 2: What Have I been chasing lately: Trying to do everything “okay” instead of the few important things really well! Feel like life has been buzzing lately and I can’t keep up! Im worn down most of the time and that’s not who I want to be for me or my family!

    Step 3: Write your list of good things and lessons you learned; Good things: more slow weekends – didn’t pack it all end. Spent time (and money) on therapy to help work through my PPD – this was so necessary to take care of me! Built a community on our block. Spontaneous Trips to see family. Applied for jobs instead of feeling stuck. Lots of laughing with Jon and Claire. Let people help me. Honest conversations.
    LESSONS learned: honesty and transparency are so refreshing, I can’t do it all. In my weakness I am strong! I need to tend to my marriage – it won’t just strengthen on its own. My emotions can’t be my anchor. I need slow weekends – not packing the schedule! I need community.

  267. Beth

    1. How are you? How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve? My average score was 5 and I most want to improve my faith walk and fitness.

    2. What have you been chasing lately? How is that making you feel? Perfection, makes me feel like a failure.

    3. Write your list of good things and lessons you learned. Read thru the Bible which taught me I have so much more to learn about my faith. Spontaneous trips with my daughter taught me to embrace the moment.