*We are so grateful that ALL of the dated One-Year 2018 PowerSheets are headed to happy homes! If you haven’t ordered your PowerSheets yet, we still have three beautiful color options for undated six-month sets that are shipping now! The Prep Work is identical to the one-year sets. Get yours here.*

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

Welcome to the final post in my seventh-annual Goal Setting Series! Each year, I am left in awe of the leaps of faith you take as we go through this process together, and this year tops them all. We are all so excited for you we couldn’t help but dance!!!

The Cultivate Team Just Wants to Dance from Lara Casey on Vimeo.

Here we come 2018! You are doing the hard work, making a mess, and making meaningful progress! I’m so grateful for how this process has been refined over the last seven years. What a joy to do this work alongside you, friends. If you are just joining, it’s never too late to begin and you aren’t “behind” one bit. Now is the best time to get started!

Part 1: What Worked and Where to Start!
Part 2: What Didn’t Work + What I Learned
Part 3: Say Yes, Say No, Choose a Word
Part 4: Uncover Intentional Goals

Okay, now let’s do some dreaming together! Imagine the end of 2018. The weather gets colder, December 2018 rolls around, and you start looking back at the year you’ve just lived. What would it take for you to look back and know that you cultivated what mattered? What will you wish you had started today? Fill in the blanks below (get your free printable here!):

Knowing where you want to be at the end of 2018, what do you need to cultivate today? Literally today. Every decision we make has an arrow attached to it, pointing us in one direction or another. Your decision arrows have the power to fly through all the distractions and fear and hit the target, OR they can float around and miss it completely. However many hours or minutes are left as you read this (even if you are reading this in bed), how can you shoot one of your decision arrows in the right direction?

I want my decision arrows aimed right at the target. That’s what being intentional is all about.

As I finished my 2018 PowerSheets and this goal uncovering process today, I made some decisions, aiming my arrows at the target. The goals I’m about to share with you may seem simple, but these are my favorite goals I’ve ever written. I have great hope in these goals, knowing that God can change everything on my path. And you know what? His plans have always been better than mine. I’m up for it.

I’m all in.

Grow Fruitful Friendships

Maybe you are feeling the same hesitant-scared+excited-I’mALLin(I think!) feeling with me right this second! Maybe it makes you feel a little uneasy like you’re stepping into the unknown. Let’s step forward together, believing in what we can’t yet see. I’m choosing faith over my fear and I invite you to take the leap with me. Let’s take some steps forward and, little by little, the fear part will dry up. We’re not going to fertilize the fear this year, friend! Are you with me?

Let’s decide to take action on goals that cut through all the things to get to the things that matter.

If you feel hesitant to set goals, remember this my dear, passionate, capable, inspiring friends: you were created to grow and change. We are always “in progress.” Your goals may do the same! As you grow, your goals may shift. As you go through different seasons, your priorities may change. As you learn new lessons and take on new life responsibilities, your capacity to do different things may change. So, as you write out your goals, remember that you don’t have to set them for the calendar year. Set them for just this season ahead, and refresh your goals every few months. This is why I put a Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets for every season. We were created for seasons. This gives me so much freedom in knowing that these don’t have to be forever, and I hope it encourages you too!

Ahhhh!!! I’m so ready!

Write out your goals using these helpful prompts. I call this the Cultivate What Matters Method. Here are some tips for each prompt help you:

Goal: Your words don’t have to be perfect. Just write the goal in whatever words you have! We’re just WRITING here, not doing anything about it yet. So, be brave and get the words out!
Why? Remember by training clients who came to me with arbitrary goals? We aren’t doing that. Write out why you want to cultivate your goal, and connect it to something that really means something to you.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: How will this goal change you and others? Think of the biggest possibilities here—the most profound positive impact this goal could have. Even if your goal feels “small,” write out the big possibilities! This can be a huge motivating factor when you define the possibilities.
– How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Imagine it. You made progress, finished your goal, or made it to a milestone. How will that feel? Remember: focus on progress, not perfection!
– Starting steps: I used to write out “action steps,” but after listening to thousands of women tell me how stuck they felt in starting things that mattered to them, I realized that the most important steps were the first ones. So, write out some very small starting steps. You’ll see my examples below!
– How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Most of my goals don’t have an “end” date, but it’s important to be able to measure your progress somehow. How will you know you made progress on this goal? Write out some ideas.
– Encouraging words: Give yourself a strong pep talk, encouraging words, or a Bible verse to go with each goal.
– How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Writing this out helped me so much this year! One of my 2016 goals was to pray. A lot. Without ceasing. And the way I envisioned celebrating at the end of 2016 was to, “paint my answered prayers on Christmas Day on a big canvas for our living room with Grace.” Well, at Grace’s request, we started early in the fall. And we didn’t use paints, we used pressed flowers. Here’s what we created!

unspecifiedPhoto by my dear friend Gina Zeidler

We pressed flowers from our garden and special milestones all year—in cookbooks, Bibles, and anything that had pages! Then, we used some Mod Podge and sealed these onto the canvas. It is so special! Better than we could have imagined. This reminds us of God’s faithfulness and so many answered prayers through each season of this year. I love it so much.

Okay, let’s write out some 2018 goals! Are you ready?

Here are my 2018 Goals for this year of LIGHT SPACE (and I can’t wait to hear yours too!). You’ll see here that some of my prompts are still undone and in-progress. If you don’t have an answer yet, that’s okay! But, don’t get stuck because of fear of your plans or answers not being perfect. For me, some of these things I genuinely don’t know yet, and I’ll wait on God to tell me!

goal-1-lara-casey

Goal 1: Read and pray through the Bible. Pray the Word of God while reading through the Chronological reading plan again. Memorize Psalm 119. Use my prayer journal, say my prayers out loud, or record my prayers to my phone notes.

Why? To directly connect with God and to align my life, expectations, and value with the truth of the Word of God, not the ways of the world. To grow my faith, the faith of my family, and to build up the faith of others.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This will help me to be rooted in faith, to trust, and to love others abundantly.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Solid. Matured. Rooted. At peace.

Starting steps: 1. Sign up for the Chronological reading plan again. 2. Print Psalm 119 and put it on flashcards and on digital flashcards for my phone. 3. Set up my 2018 prayer journal.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will make progress in reading through my Bible plan each day + documenting or saying prayers out loud.

Encouraging words: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path…” (Psalm 119:105). “For the Word of God is alive and active…” (Hebrews 4:12).

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I am not sure yet. Any ideas?

goal-2-lara-casey

Goal 2: Love the things above, not the things of the world. This includes minimalism as a spiritual joy, cultivating contentment in our children, clearing out the stuff and information overload, and generous and wise stewardship of what we’ve been entrusted with.

Why? We can’t take our stuff to Heaven with us! To gain a deeper love for God and joyful contentment as we GIVE and let go.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I believe it will bring all of us joy in the Lord, closeness with each other, and the ability to see and meet the needs of others so much more.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: So refreshed and grateful, like we are on the right path!

Starting steps: 1. Make a “Heaven is Our Home” date with Ari (January 6th!) to pray over our home, giving, and financial stewardship goals—and to set action steps together as a family. 2. Talk to our financial advisor + bookkeeper to get their guidance. 3. Ruthlessly clear out the house, my office, and our cars by January 15th.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: We will make major progress on our budget goals, give more, and spend less time cleaning the house so we can spend more time loving the people in it—and hosting others.

Encouraging words: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:15-17).

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Giving! By giving even more as a family!

goal-3-lara-casey

Goal 3: Make 2018 The Year of Kissing! 

Why? To cultivate closeness and our daily bond as a family so we can love each other well and serve God together. To grow our family narrative—one of faithfulness and affection. To build Ari up and encourage him daily.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: We will be closer and more joyful as a family and close to the Lord. Planting kisses is planting seeds of legacy!

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Light. Grateful. Bonded together.

Starting steps: 1. Kiss Ari! (today!) 2. Pray about this goal to seek God’s guidance and to always do this from a heart of gratitude and loving because I have been loved, not to check this off my list each day. 3. Set date nights for January.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will kiss Ari each day! 🙂 And we will all feel closer.

Encouraging words: (Anyone have suggestions??)

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: A celebratory date night at the end of the year to reflect on God’s faithfulness.

goal-4-lara-casey

Goal 4: Cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit in motherhood.

Why? To cultivate the same in our children. To grow their hearts for the Lord. This is cultivating—growing little hearts, one seed at a time.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: We will all, Lord willing, feel rooted, joyful, at peace, and grateful. Our roots will grow deeper in rich soil, and we will bear fruit to share!

Starting steps: 1. Write or print Galatians 5:22-23 and put it throughout the house where we will see it often. 2. Pray for the Lord to grow these gifts in each of our children. 3. Set a starting plan for Grace’s spring homeschool in 2018.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: We will see and feel change in our own hearts and our children.

Encouraging words: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23).

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I will serve a yummy feast of fruit for Ari and the kids for New Year’s!

Goal 5: Re-creation! Space for stepping away, play, being outdoors, moving our bodies, creativity, silliness with the kids, and strength—space for worship!

Why? To be made new, more like Him, day by day. And to rejoice in His faithfulness! This is a space of worship and joy and surrender.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: We will feel ALIVE—living in the Spirit!

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Alive! Light. Grateful. Strong and at peace.

Starting steps: 1. Make my 2018 “Re-Creation” playlist on Spotify for my workouts and another for dance parties with the kids. 2. Set times of intentional sabbatical on the calendar. Times of stepping away. 3. Make room in my workload little by little. (I will break this down more in January!)

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: We will feel less overwhelmed as we trust in His strength and power over our own. We will do more playing, spending time in the garden with undistracted hands and hearts, having praise dance parties, painting, nature study, praying together, and I will have more times of intentional sabattical—times of stepping away to be in this re-creation space. This goal also includes me working out like an athlete, refreshing and strengthening the body God gave me!

Encouraging words: “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has passed away—behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: We will have an all-out praise dance party with the kids (and maybe a few friends and glowsticks too!).

Goal 6: Serve my team and help women (you included!) cultivate what matters, right where they are. 

Why? Because God has entrusted me with the care of the women I work alongside, and He has given us a shared vision that is changing a culture.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Changed hearts and strengthened families. Blooming faith. Eternal impact.

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Completely in awe of the Lord’s power.

Starting steps: 1. Pray over our company’s 2018 PowerSheets goals before our 2018 kick-off meeting on January 3rd (read our word of the year here!). 2. Pray over each individual team member (and our new hires!). 3. Pray over all of our PowerSheets and Write the Word family, for your clarity in the year ahead, and for God to give you wisdom in planting your goals and tending to them little by little.

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Our team will grow in leadership and our impact will strengthen. Our company culture will thrive. Our ability to give will increase.

Encouraging words: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3).

Trust in the Lord. In His plans, not necessarily in what a great business book says or what another person says.

Do good. Bless others. Bless our team. Give people words and products and interactions that add value to their lives.

Dwell in the land. Look around–this is good! Celebrate what’s here right now. Cultivate what matters right where we are.

Befriend faithfulness. Always giving it to God. Faithful in small things and in big. Faithful in prayer. Faithful in hope. Faith-full. Believing in what we can’t yet see.

How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: We will celebrate God’s faithfulness at our team end of the year dinner, but I want to keep a few things a surprise. I have some fun ideas here!

Love this series? Please share it with friends!

Whether you came up with two goals or twenty, I hope you feel more focused on what matters most having done each step alongside me! I am excited to check in with you here on the blog throughout the year to see how you are doing and encourage you. Tell me in the comments: what are your 2018 goals? (And remember, there’s no rush here! Take your time growing your goals if you need more time.)

What a year! I’m so grateful!

Lastly, thank you! Thank you for joining me on this journey. I am going to be reading every blog comment here and cheering you on. Taking this little by little has been worth it and I am praying you find the same is true for you. Choose to focus on progress—little by little progress—not perfection. Your seemingly small steps forward today will add up, and a year from now, you will be so grateful you started today! Get messy and make it happen, friend! (And if you need help, just ask!)

⭐️  What’s next? I’ll be back to share my top 10 tips for getting started on your goals! : )

Need some extra 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 in this series—I can’t wait to hear your answers! 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!

1. 10 sets of 2018 PowerSheets!
2. A Fitbit Flex
3. A gift card for a massage
4. The 2018 Floret wall calendar
5. A 2018 Yearly prayer journal from Val Marie Paper
6. Keepsake Kitchen Diary from Lily and Val
7. Farmgirl Flowers bouquet
8. Our popular PowerSheets Companion Bundle
9. 1-year membership to Thrive Market
10. 2018 Simplified Planner
11. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! A free house cleaning!
12. 5 signed copies of Cultivate
13. A seat at Financial Peace University
14. 5 signed copies Make It Happen
15. Write the Word All Seasons Collection
16. A Meyer lemon tree – a family favorite around here!
17. A 6-month membership to Skillshare
18. A LegacyBox! (Amazing!)

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

P.S. After starting this series, need more direction? 4 great places to start:

 

1. Grab a copy of my first book, Make it Happen, and my new book, CultivateI was so grateful to get to record the audiobooks for both too!

2. Order your PowerSheets for much more goal uncovering goodness! And get tons of Action Ideas and tips for making your goals happen here!

3. Get on my email list here for more inspiration and encouragement, and to know when our new products release.

4. Join me in person for the Making Things Happen Conference in March. The early-bird rate ends December 31st, and there are only a few seats left. See you there!

212 Show Comments
  1. Victoria Hershman

    Your goal five is similar to one of mine!! We’re planning a camping trip in our new home in Hawai’i as celebration for making progress on that goal!! I did feel that some of my goals were not intentional (for right now), and I definitely feel that pull of things are going to change throughout the year. But I’m going to allow myself to be fluid and not static! Happy New Year!

  2. Victoria Hershman

    Also, the freebie download link is not working.

  3. Emily DeArdo

    I love all your goals, Lara, especially the kissing one, that’s great. For inspiring words there, how about 2 Corinthians 13:12? “Greet one another with a holy kiss”?

    So I’ve been blogging along with this series on my own blog, and I don’t want to write a MONSTER COMMENT (LOL!), but here are my goals for 2018:

    1) Do Dave Ramsey’s baby steps: for financial peace, to cultivate giving and gratitude; to be a good steward of what God has given me.

    2) Find an agent for my memoir: it’s the big dream that God has planted in my heart; to share God’s love and provision with others; to inspire others to trust in God.

    3) To deepen and strengthen my relationship with God: Because He is the center and the wellspring. I have to have a deep relationship with Him to thrive! He is the source!

    4) Continue to lose weight and treat my body well: So I can do all that God has asked me to do, and to honor my body, which God has made.

    5) Grow my craft business: To help with Goal #1, but also to express my creativity and for personal enjoyment.

    6) To have a beautiful, peaceful, welcoming home: To encourage hospitality; to be a good steward; to remember that God isn’t in STUFF; to help with Goal #1; to cultivate peace and contentment!

    7) Nurture my creativity: For inner peace, stress-relief, and to cultivate talents that God has given me–for fun. 🙂

  4. Sarah Gusky Kemer

    Goals:

    1. Make and grow my skills. This includes not only my shifting position at work but also continuing my graphic design certificate program.

    2. Steward my whole body well. My mental health requires more out of my physical health and it all ties together.

    3. Consecrate my life to the Lord. It’s a continuing process that requires study, so much prayer, my church calling, and temple attendance. But it all makes my life richer and God-led.

    4. Rest and Refresh myself. Going going going does no one well! This includes social media. I’m on a current 2 week fast during our time off and I’m loving it.

    5. Lift my family. “I lift thee, and thou lift me, and we’ll ascend together.”

    6. Create, anything, not for work. This includes finding more places to get published, and allowing creativity to be many things!

  5. Nicole C.

    I like the way you described the intentional arrows shooting at my goals, that analogy really helped me!

    My 2018 goals are in 5 major groups, with smaller goals inside of the groupings…
    1) Cultivate our business – big rewards trip in the fall, replace my income, create great relationships with those on our team, stability, grow our income
    2) Cultivate our marriage and home – his love language(s), care for our home weekly, be present, positive attitude, affirm him.
    3) Cultivate my Faith – wake up to pray and read the chronological Bible plan (about 40 days in already), gratitude, daily affirmations.
    4) Cultivate our finances – budget and meal plan, we are paying off all of our debt right now which is cool, give and save 10% each.
    5) Cultivate myself – personal training (started about a month ago already), get in shape before we have kids, no sugar, more water, personal growth regimen (books, daily habits, etc)

    Thank you Lara, this has been such a blessed journey to go on through your goal setting series and of course my powersheets!!!

    • Susan

      That’s very cool! I’m on Day 27 of the Chronological bible myself!

    • Jessica

      I love how you picked 5 areas. This helped me to focus and get organzied on my goals!

    • Lara

      I’m so glad you’re here, Nicole! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Beth

    Connecting-make more time for those I love
    Spending- use discipline to master spending and change mindset
    Eating- so I can live to be 80 and strong
    Moving- for physical and mental well being
    Contributing- add value and make a difference
    Resting- time to be calm, quiet and grow with God
    Morning Routine-daily habits
    Minimalism- get rid of stuff and enjoy what I have

  7. carley

    Thank you for sharing this! It was full of great encouragement!

    My 2018 goals are:

    1. Cultivate my spiritual growth
    2. Cultivate my finances
    3. Cultivate my self care
    4. Cultivate my health
    5. Cultivate my writing
    6. Cultivate my relationships (bf+siblings+friends)
    7.Cultivate my work (Children’s Librarian)

  8. Amy

    My word for the year is illuminate, which means to me… the light of the gospel to shine in and on and through every area of my life. I want to be faithful to all that God has for me while gloriously reflecting Christ. To prepare for eternity like a bride prepares for her wedding day. And to rejoice that His mercies are new everyday.

    I haven’t done all the prompts yet but here are the thoughts I have on each goal. I’m still deciding if any goals should merge.

    Goal 1. to grow in godliness. I want to read through the Bible in a year (2017 was the first time I ever successfully did it! Praise God. And I’m thankful for Powersheets to lead me to this). To be a well watered garden (Isaiah 58:11). Am I dying (to myself) well to love well (for the Lord and others). Dwell/Abide/Trust: Dwell in the Word. Abide in Christ. Trust God in prayer. Love well and walk with my eyes open, aware of what others are going through. Pray for them!

    2. Invest in our marriage. Date nights and date night swaps with a friend. Pray regularly for my husband. Develop family hobbies he enjoys.

    3. Simplify. Think of living like traveling light. This world is not our home. Uncluttered home and unattached heart to stuff. Undivided heart, fully present, undistracted by things. Re-read A Simplified Life. Live with less and give more.

    4. Stewardship. I’m still deciding if this and #3 go together. Joyfully give and model giving to our kids. Build opportunities for our kids to practice giving. Guard the good deposit entrusted to me (my faith) and hold things loosely. Use what we have. Eliminate waste. Give more. Embrace the season God has for us.

    5. Cultivate our life giving home. Finish this book The Life giving home. Continue to look well the ways of our household (Prov 31). Cultivate my children’s hearts for the joy of the gospel. Intentionally plant gospel seeds. Desire my kids to see Christ reflected in me. Homeschool with love and grace to the glory of God. Slow down and do one thing at a time with school. Write out weekly plan for the kids to see. Diffuser on. Windows open. Refresh pictures on the walls. Simplify our space. Delight my family through their taste buds. Grow in hospitality – practice.

    6. Recreation. Healthy and active lifestyle as a family. Keep up with our 4 boys 6 and under. Move together. Play together have fun. Laugh.

    7. Self care. For this: Rest (hopefully baby will sleep through the night next year…) Recreation – play as a family Fitness – keep up with my current routine. Go through my clothes and get rid of what doesn’t fit or I don’t like. Have my favorite colors in more places. Refresh my make up. Read good books. Pray for my friendships and time with them.
    8. Continue with photo archiving (delete duplicate photos and just keep the good ones – using Nancy Rays photography class on this! I made huge progress in 2017!) make the next iMovie of family videos that merges all 2017 video clips. Make a plan for Shutterfly albums.

    That’s it. I’m letting this all sit before I write out my goals. Thanks again for sharing this series. It’s such a blessing!

  9. Katie B

    I am so encouraged by this post! Looking forward to a date night with my husband to discuss our 2018 goals and savor the year ahead! Thank you, Lara, for prompting me!! xo

  10. Katherine

    Goal 1: Getting into the Word daily. How can I listen if I don’t know the language? How can I build a relationship, if I’m not spending TIME with Him?

    Goal 2: Praying daily with my husband, and being HONEST in them. I want to be real with him, and I want us to have this foundation to rest on- that we can go to God together as well as separately.

    Goal 3: Getting a hobby. I need time for my brain to be quiet so that maybe I can actually hear from God. I haven’t had a hobby in over a year, and if I’m constantly doing things I feel RESPONSIBLE for, it’s not very calming. And I take that stress out on myself and my husband.

    Goal 4: Being a better wife by cultivating Christ-like love… being filled with and overflowing Christ-like submission and humility, gentleness, kindness.. mulling over these things in the bible and keeping them close to my heart.

    Goal 5: Let the business go wherever God wants it. This one is big and scary to me… but it’s starting steps are in with me getting more into His Word.

  11. Teish

    1. Bible in one year. Scripture got me through this year, so in 2018, I want more of it in my day!

    2. Weekly Movie Night and Game Night with the kiddos. Two intentional evenings a week spent with the ones who matter most.

    3. One new healthy habit per month. Even very small habits will add up by the end of the year.

    4. Read 3 books per month. One fiction, one non-fiction, and one about writing.

    5. Tend our space well. Decluttering, gardening, refreshing a room or two… making our space beautiful and peaceful.

    6. Write the hard. Journaling, blogging, and fiction writing are on the plan for 2018. I have so many words to write down!

    7. Weekly tea time with the kids. Reading poetry, drinking tea, and discussing books. Cultivating relationships and conversation!

    8. Memorize Scripture with the kids!

    9. Save an emergency fund.

  12. Betty

    My goals for 2018 are these:
    1. To invite people from my church into my home so that we can get to know each other better and to practice hospitality.
    2. To make my home a safe haven of rest, love and laughter.
    3. To make a really concentrated effort to show my husband that our life together is my greatest blessing. (we have 46 years under our belt and I can incorporate your kissing goal in this too)
    4. To dig deeper into the Psalms and really study it and learn from what the book contains.
    5. Re-read the book of Proverbs and pick out at least 10 verses and put them into action in my life.
    6. Be a servant in church and out in the community.

  13. Kirsten Turner

    Love this.

  14. Susan

    My goals this year are to: Grow my faith, become more fit, Cook real FOOD, Love my family, Cultivate my friendships, Have more FUN, Be Fearless, and Grow my finances… Yes, All F’s! It just turned out that way. I want to add one- Find a simple life…. Because Simple doesn’t start with an “F”. And my word for the year is “Focus”… 😀 😀

  15. Mackenzie

    Goal 1: Develop life-giving habits to take care of myself and my health.
    Why? I cannot take care of others well when I cannot take care of myself. I cannot love myself well when I feel self conscious and that I could be living much healthier than I am. Exercise soothes the mind and soul, good food fuels the body.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Being able to look in the mirror and be proud of the body I have, feel better throughout the day and show those around me that I care to take care of my body. Feeling better inside, longer days and more productive days. A clearer mind. Confidence.
    How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Proud. Less frantic and stressed. Lighter. Sexier.
    Starting steps: 1. Schedule workouts for the week on Sunday. 2. Meal prep on Sundays. 3. Decide how you want to eliminate sugar/or do Whole30. 3. Come up with a few different challenges for each month.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Consistent workouts each week, better eating and more healthy habits daily. Losing 30 pounds.
    Encouraging words: There is so much more life has to offer and you cannot get there by not taking care of yourself! When you feel like giving up, remember why you started.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Small celebrations at the completion of different goals – & hopefully needing new clothes! Maybe a Peloton?

    Goal 2: Eliminate debt and build a stronger financial foundation.
    Why? The stress of making ends meet and living paycheck to paycheck is unbearable. To be able to provide of our family, and maybe one day, others.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Increased margin of funds. Less stress each month. More experiences for the kids, and the ability to take care of an unexpected emergency.
    How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: So. Freakin. Proud. Stable, and relieved.
    Starting steps: 1. Create a budget. 2. Start working to save $1000 emergency fund. 3. Start working on snowball to pay off credit cards, loans, etc.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Less monthly payments. Stewarding our money better, more responsible spending. Will be able to find contentment in what we already have.
    Encouraging words: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.” Proverbs 3:9
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Plan a vacation!

    Goal 3: Become an early riser!
    Why? The morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Rather than sleeping away time, I want to set myself up for success and work on the goals I have. More hours in the day = more accomplishments.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: More time to set up my day. Workouts in the morning, time with God. The ability to get more done during the day for myself and family.
    How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: More in charge of my life. Most likely an entirely different person.
    Starting steps: 1. Cultivate a morning and evening routine. Decide what I want to accomplish in those first hours of the day. How do I want to end my days? 2. Create a morning playlist. 3. Look into recommendations from Powersheets group.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Less snoozing. Getting more done.
    Encouraging words: “The time just before dawn contains the most energy of all hours of the day. This has helped me become an early riser and an early doer… When I wake to see that it’s light out already, I feel the world has started without me.”
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: With a proud smile on my face!

    Goal 4: Finish reading through the entire Bible.
    Why? To grow closer to God and learn his word. The become educated on the books of the Bible, memorize scripture and have guidance in the toughest of my days.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: A stronger faith.
    How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Solid foundation. Accomplished. Rooted. Closing to my God.
    Starting steps: 1. Find a plan you want to follow. 2. Schedule it out. Figure out when you’d like to do your reading (morning/night). 3. Write scriptures on cards and put them around the house.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: By completing it! Stronger in my prayers. Following the cloud. Knowing Scripture by heart. Guiding my family closer to Him with me.
    Encouraging words: Isaiah 41:10, Romans 1:16
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: With a home decorated with my favorite scriptures, by hearing God and having found a home in Christ.

    Goal 5: Cultivate a life-giving home.
    Why? Home is a retreat. It should provide rest, energy, love and trust. Less clutter, more stability and an abundance amount of laughs. A stronger relationship with Derrick, a place to look forward to home cooked meals and cuddles. Housework should not feel like a chore, it should feel easy and right.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Through a multitude of monthly/weekly goals, we will be able to save money, create an oasis at home and feel better all around.
    How I will feel at the end of the year having made progress on this goal: Relieved and proud of myself. Less anxious.
    Starting steps: 1. Declutter each room (purge/donate/simplify). 2. Create a list of go-to and well loved meals (dinners & lunches for you AND D). Make time to prep for them. 3. Kiss Derrick daily.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: By getting licensed (!!!), cultivating a less cluttered/more content home. Creating a home that feels like an oasis and charges our family up. Bonded with Derrick, Harley and Hayden.
    Encouraging words: Home is where the heart is.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: A celebratory family feast at home with a favorite meal from them year! A home-baked cake!

  16. Christine

    My 2018 goals are:
    1. To draw near to God. I plan to do that by: reading through the Life Principles Daily Bible, doing a daily Examen, praying through my prayer journal, and meditating on God’s word throughout the day.
    2. To encourage my husband and 7 children. I want to build them up. One way I want to encourage my children is by very intentionally spending quality time with them.
    3. Take care of my health by limiting my refined sugar intake and eating/drinking greens.
    4. Declutter my house.
    5. Be intentional about my cell phone and social media usage.

  17. Sarah

    2018 will be my first year using the power sheets and I’m so excited and nervous to see how God uses this process to help redirect my heart and cultivate what matters to Him and me (not everybody else)!

  18. chris

    I am still in process of getting my goals written out on the action sheets, but have words for some already formulated: intentional living, resting in God’s presence, marriage, my daughter still at home, self care, home/life balance, financial purpose, and meaningful family/friend times. I think these came, in part, by the life evaluation pages – and that stresses me a little – like I’m going to end up trying to tackle it all. Then I remember what’s being said – this is a new place, new way of looking at things, it’s ok to go slow, to set a few goals in front to work toward, and then evaluate and switch as you change and grow. No burnout necessary 🙂 How refreshing! I like seeing the ways you are encouraged where you are personally, and am especially grateful that you are speaking words over and over that we should not be looking side to side to come up with “what we should be doing” but looking at our own lives, where we live, what we currently have, and seek to work well here. That is a gift – and unique. Thank you for that. Looking forward to finishing the goals pages, and starting January’s pages!

    • Lara

      Yes!! So glad the process is resonating with you, Chris!

    • Julie

      I’m feeling overwhelmed, too, with all the “to do”s that I’ve come up with for myself for the year ahead. I appreciate all the reminders that there’s nothing “magic” about January–and “progress, not perfection.” Keep going!

  19. Sarabeth

    EEK! It is totally scary sharing something so personal. But, you have lead us fearlessly on this journey so I will follow fearlessly:

    1. Read the Bible chronologically + 10 other books. (Thank you for the inspiration to make this my #1) Reason: I am a new Christian and believe that the way to have a relationship with Him is through prayer + His word.

    2. Focus (my word of the year) on my two little ones. Develop a loving home and embrace the mess.

    3. Leap into ______ with total trust and confidence.

    4. Financial Literacy.

    5. Complete my CPCE.

    6. Experience spiritual growth with my significant other.

    7. Cultivate a relationship with my significant other’s daughter.

    8. Find a business mentor. Be a mentor.

    9. Complete an adventure race.

    10. Blog every single week.

  20. Eli

    My 2018 goals are to be healthy in mind, body, spirit, career and relationships. I’m finishing out specific and measurable goals for each category.

    Thanks for all your encouragement!

  21. Rachel McCloud

    1. Understand my very strongwilled child and grow in the process.

    2. Get healthier (was going to put lose weight but we’re dealing with infertility)

    3. Get closer to my husband

    4. Read the Bible through in a year.

    5. Life giving home.

    6. Self Care

    7. Pray Intentionally

    8. Less Phone Time

    9. Work more efficiently during business hours

    10. Cultivate my friendships.

  22. Jenn

    My 2018 goals are:

    1. More focus on the Godly, less focus on the worldly

    2. Draw closer to God through His word and prayer – be ROOTED in the word of God, and find FREEDOM through my identity in Christ

    3.Live a life of health and wellness – prioritizing self-care/rest, and embracing the body I’ve been given

    4. Grow our new marriage – with a focus on being Christ-centered (and continue to figure out what it means to be married)

    5. Focus on saving for our future and paying down debt

    6. Create space/time for activities I enjoy, but do not currently prioritize (often because I’m busy looking at a screen)

  23. Alaina Monts

    Thanks for taking us through this series Lara!

    A church I’m visiting uses a “living compass” system to help their members think about living intentional lives and I’ve taken the four points of the compass to build goals from! Those points are heart (relationships and emotions), soul (spirituality and rest & play), mind (vocation and organization), and strength (stress resiliency and care for the body). Here are the goals I’ve come up with!

    1. Be vulnerable, trusting, and honest in relations. (Psalm 133:1)
    2. Prioritize mental health and listen to my emotions. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
    3. Cultivate spiritual discipline. (Job 36:10-11, Luke 5:16)
    4. More life-giving self- care activities. (Matthew 11:28)
    5. Be resilient and incorporate stress relief in my daily practices. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
    6. Listen to and care for my body well. (Romans 12:1)
    7. Maintain a daily writing practice. (James 1:4)
    8. Develop sustainable personal organization systems (Proverbs 27:23)

    THanks for helping me uncover these goals Lara! I can’t wait to dig in next year!

  24. Beth

    My goals a few but huge: 1. Daily prayer and Bible study. 2. Establish and stick to an exercise routine.

  25. Becky

    This is a little scary to share, but here goes! Still a work in progress:

    1) Follow a Bible reading plan
    Why? I want to intentionally have a plan for studying God’s Word. I want to directly connect with God and let His Word guide me in my walk
    Positive effect: This will help me be rooted in faith and help me grow in my spiritual journey.
    How will I feel? Comforted, peaceful, assured
    Starting steps: Identify the reading plan I will use
    How will know I accomplished or made progress? Reading the plan according to the schedule, journaling, prayer
    Encouraging words: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path…” (Psalm 119:105).
    2) Discipline in fitness and nutrition
    Why? I want to improve my health so I have more energy and feel more confident.
    Positive effect: More energy, clearer mind, clothes fit better, less illnesses, healthier skin
    How will I feel? Energetic, happy, sore
    Starting steps: Track meals in app, work out 3 times a week
    Progress: Weight loss, clothing size
    3) Save for big purchases at the end of the year
    Why? We need to be prepared financially
    Positive effect: We won’t be stressed when the time comes to buy a new car.
    How will I feel? Secure, prepared
    Starting steps: Identify how much we need to save
    Progress: We save the amount needed.
    5) Declutter home and create spaces that are life-giving
    Why? Clutter weighs me down and stresses me out!
    Positive effect: ready to host or entertain at a moment’s notice, don’t spend evenings and weekends on “housework” that I always feel like I have to catch up on
    How will I feel? Lighter, less stressed
    Starting steps: Make a de-clutter tracker and tackle one project at a time
    Progress: When rooms are orderly and serve their purpose
    6) Exercise creativity
    Why? When I have the opportunity to participate in a creative outlet, it ends up fueling me in a good and happy way!
    Positive effect: Causes me to utilize other parts of my brain which improves my work and relationships, bonding moments with my husband and friends, sense of accomplishment that isn’t just my 9-5 work
    How will I feel? Relaxed, accomplished, energized
    Starting steps: Map out project ideas and what tools / resources are needed
    Progress: Completed projects

  26. Beth

    I sent a text encouraging my best friend to check out this series!

  27. Holly

    Lara,
    How about Song of songs 1:2 as the bride declares her love, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.”

  28. K.

    I’ve taken a week off from “stuff” of all kinds, including my PowerSheets. I’ve followed your posts, however, and I can’t wait to get back home to write out everything that’s been brewing this week, including my 2018 goals!

  29. Jen

    Oh how I would love to win this bundle. An illness has derailed my focus and goals, however I’m working hard to regain a clear path for my dreams. I am looking for the tools to implement my plans and guidance to plan without jumping down the rabbit hole. I enjoy your blog so much and your posts on IG. If I don’t win I’ll keep saving.

  30. Shauna

    2018 Goals!:

    1. Read entire Bible
    2. Take Control of Finances
    3. Lose 40 pounds
    4. Love my husband better
    5. Slow down and enjoy this life: self care, better mommy, find beauty in small things, balance work and life better

    Fewer than I have ever made but they feel obtainable and real. Super excited.

  31. Becky

    Being retired my goals are rather simple. I want to get deeper into the study of God’s Word, certainly more regular. I want to love my family so that should my cancer return they will remember the love. I also want to declutter and organize my time and house.

  32. Katrina

    I’m still working on fine-tuning my 2018 goals but some I want to include are: serve God well, love my family well, love myself well, etc. I think this is the most excited I’ve been about my goals since starting this goal-setting process 4 years ago!

  33. Bola

    Thank you so much for this blog post it has really helped me break down my goals for 2018 . Also being prompted to encourage a friend is always great!

  34. Bree

    I keep coming back to the Culitvate Shop, eyeing the Powersheets and wanting to jump in. I keep hesitating. It’s money, it’s a fear of failure, it’s life changes coming (baby due is May) and much more that have me stuck. Please know you’ve been the light I needed to see, hear, and read. I’m waiting for a push, im waiting for a sign. Thanks for being so sweet Lara and Crew, not sure where I’d be without you all.

    • Lara

      Get started right here with this series, Bree! We’re cheering you on!

  35. Brooke

    Hey Lara! My goal #1 is just like your #1. I was having a hard time coming up with a way to celebrate too. I finally decided that I would take a day to just sit in the Lord’s presence for a day. Be with Him, pray, read, reflect. I was thinking I could also do something similar to what you did last year, where I creatively reflect on what He taught me over the year and what prayers He answered. I’ll draw or paint, or something, to reflect on the goodness of the Lord. Just wanted to throw that out there since you asked for a suggestion 🙂

  36. Shelby

    Goals:
    1. Run again- because I miss it and I feel better when I’m healthy
    2. Help the start up I’m working for grow with all the talents I can contribute- I want this passion project to be successful and I want to contribute my fair amount of talent and experiences for it’s success.
    3. Financial Stability- stop renting
    4. Have fun & make friends- I just moved to a new state & town and want to make sure I build new relationships and don’t forget to have fun among all the other things in life.

  37. Kel

    A text for Goal 3. Jeremiah 31:3. Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

  38. Rachel Gillespie

    1. Grow our family appetite for the ways of God.
    Why? This is the home and legacy I want for my family – our appetite drives us and I want mine to drive me to Jesus.
    Positive Effect: Scripture in their hearts will never leave them – this is a gift I can give them.
    How I’ll feel: peace, joy, His presence here.
    How I”ll know I succeeded? More fruit of the spirit evident in our home.
    Encouraging words: He will bless our effort here, He is a good God.
    How I’ll celebrate: Getting the girls’ life verses printed for their rooms.
    First steps: Research scripture memory programs, Read a book on Sabbath, Ask Josh to be my Sabbath accountability partner.

    2. Less technology & more face time with my people
    Why? They are what really matters to me and I want them to know it.
    Positive Effect: My family knows their value isn’t in what they do but who they are — this will echo in my heart.
    How will I see progress: Increased mutual respect in our home.
    How I”ll feel: connected.
    Encouraging words: Let them see your eyes to see your love.
    How ill celebrate: One on one dates between Christmas and New Years.
    First steps: Add one-on-ones to the calendar for January. Figure out way to have consistent one-on-one time with Evie. evening schedule to redeem our family time together.

    3. Adjust budget to allow for intentional generosity.
    Why? God has asked us to be generous and I want to show my trust in Him through obedience.
    Positive effect: Joy, opening of our hearts to help
    How i’ll feel: “lighter” joyful, grateful to be able to give
    How i’ll know I’ve accomplished: We will have generous given money away
    How I’ll celebrate: Look at holiday budget to build in wild giving
    Starting steps: Look at budget with Josh, Call insurance companies to negotiate rates, look at adjusting saving priorities.

    4. Intentionally reserve my best self for my time with Josh.
    Why? I’ve been too tired for too long and he matters too much. I want my marriage to flourish not die.
    Positive: closer, more laughs, he feels valued
    How I”ll feel: closer to Josh, well invested
    How I”ll know I accomplished: intentionality in date night, tea time back in our schedule.
    How I”ll celebrate: Plan a weekend get away to grand canyon
    Starting steps: Walk through couples guide, make a date night idea jar, invest on Savannah trip rather than worry about kids.

    5. Seek out genuine life-giving community for my family.
    Why? I believe there is beauty here and it will grow our hearts abundantly.
    Positive effect: Community for Josh
    How I”ll feel: accepted, loved deeply
    How I”ll know: new community we are thriving in
    Encouraging words: little by little
    How I’ll celebrate: new year’s eve party with our new community.

  39. Donna Martin

    My goals so far:
    1. Daily prayer and devotion time. Daily Bible Reading. Journal through the book of Ephesians
    2. Self-publish my book! (scary)
    3. Healthy Habits (exercise, clean eating)
    4. Purposeful routines for my kids
    5. Invest in my gift/calling
    6. Declutter/Clear out every room of the house (this will be a year long goal)
    7. Self-care days
    8. More ministry with my husband (side by side)
    9. Intentionally address fear. Each day address whatever fear or worry is trying to creep in. Attack it with the Word of God and an action that is in opposition to the fear.

  40. Katie

    Goal #1: Build financial health in order to afford taking the next step in my life- whenever or whatever that may be. This goal will change me by giving me the freedom to do the big things like buy a house, travel, get married, start a family. I will feel confident in my ability to provide for myself & will make me feel prepared. I will know I accomplished it by eliminating all frivolous debt (aka credit cards). “The goal isn’t more money. The goal is living life on my own terms.” And I will celebrate by treating myself to a mini & a budgeted shopping spree for the new clothes I’m going to need for accomplishing goal #2.

  41. Katie

    Goal #2: Build physical health so I can have more energy and so I can live to be 80! I will have more energy and have more endorphins to help me to continue to cultivate patience. I will feel more confident in my body and its abilities, and I will know I accomplished it by losing 40 pounds and being able to run a 15 minute mile (or just a mile without walking or stopping). “Your body deserves your best treatment.” I will treat myself with new clothes for my new body! 🙂

  42. Katie

    Goal 3. Build my career. To help with Goal 1.
    Goal 4: Build my relationships. To ensure I’m serving others well.
    Goal 5: Build a self care routine. To simplify my days and ensure my heart, mind, and soul are fueled.

  43. Betsy Hockaday

    LOVE the series of questions after each goal and will definitely be doing this and sharing it with my team!

  44. Lovely Links - Heather's Dish

    […] goal-setting series is incredible. Cannot recommend it […]

  45. Emily Steinkamp

    LOVE this post and your view on the Lord- true inspiration. Can’t wait to create my goals!! Thank you for sharing yours.

  46. Cara Gordon

    For your Goal #3 Encouraging Words…Song of Songs 1:2, 4- May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.

    This verse has spoken to me since 2001 about how the Lord kisses us with His words from the Bible. It can also remind us to kiss our spouse with our kind words and literal kisses!!!

  47. Morgan Roberts

    I can’t wait to sit down and really dive into this step!!! So thankful for this workshop blog series!

  48. Melissa

    I have 8 goals that I am cultivating this year 🙂

    Cultivate my relationship with Jesus
    Build a flourishing business
    Cultivate my relationships & Friendships
    Cultivate my Relationship with my Boyfriend
    Live a Whole & Healthy Lifestyle
    Organize & Simplify
    Budget: Save more, Spend Less
    Selah…

    I’m excited to see the things God has planted inside of me FLOURISH. <3

  49. Nicole

    This has been such a great series so thank you!!
    You & your team are such a blessing.

  50. Allie

    My final goal list for 2018:

    Goal 1: grow in the Lord
    Goal 2: cultivate gratitude
    Goal 3: sow a heart of service
    Goal 4: be active and fuel my body well
    Goal 5 treat college like a job and FOCUS
    Goal 6: love Matthew well
    Goal 7: Spend less, save more
    Goal 8: take care of me
    Goal 9: minimize

  51. Regina

    Thank you for setting the example for how to dig deeper. I saw some things reflected in my heart when I looked back at my rewards; I appreciated the simplicity of yours – though I’ve still got some pretty big wish list stuff on there.🤓

    This was my best experience with Powersheets yet! I sense powerful change coming in taking these intentional steps.

    I’ll be posting my goals on my blog!

    Happy New Year to you and your team and your families too!

  52. Bekah

    Still working on the goals, but they’ll include healthier sleep and exercise habits, intentional relationship nurturing with family and friends, and depending on prayer in a deeper way. Thank you for modeling how your goals look!

  53. Rosemary

    How exciting! For the encouraging, today I encouraged my daughter with kind words and a smile!
    My Goals for 2018 are:
    Publish My First Mystery Novel
    Love on my kids more
    Declutter my whole house
    Every Day:Meditate with God, Do my Pilates, Write/Edit

    I will do this, God willing! I’m very motivated!! Thank you, Lara!!

  54. Laura

    This is my first time using the 12 month Powersheets and the prep work has been such a blessing!
    Goal 1) Pray more. Why? To connect with the Lord, adore Him, pursue Him, honor Him. Positive effect? Deeper faith. How I’ll feel at the end of the year? Peaceful and mighty. Starting steps? Write out prayers every morning in my Write the Word journal. How I’ll know I made progress? Prayer will be my first choice instead of last resort. Encouraging words? 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Celebrate? Buy a new prayer journal.
    Goal 2) Read more, Bible and books. Why? To increase wisdom. Positive effect? More knowledge, understanding, and trust of the Lord. How I’ll feel at the end of the year? More confident in Biblical knowledge. Starting steps? Write the Word journal daily, chronological Bible reading daily, read one book per month. How I’ll know I made progress? Books read, knowledge increased, understanding deepened. Encouraging words? Psalm 1:2. Celebrate? Buy more books!
    Goal 3) Lose weight. Why? To be healthier. Positive effect? Healthy body will feel better, help me serve my family, feel confident in self image. How I’ll feel at the end of the year? Healthy, confident, strong. Starting steps? Stretch daily, walk/run once a week, portion control, smarter meal and snack choices. How I’ll know I made progress? Less physical discomfort, more strength, less tummy trouble. Encouraging words? Proverbs 20:29. Celebrate? Buy new clothes!
    Goal 4) Save money. Why? Chris won’t have to worry so much about work and we can give more. Positive effect? Giving more! How I’ll feel at the end of the year? At ease, happy to give. Starting steps? Start paying off credit, end unnecessary spending, save cash. How I’ll know I made progress? Credit down, tithe up, a savings account. Encouraging words? Proverbs 21:5. Celebrate? Give great Christmas gifts!
    Thank you so much for this series and for Powersheets!

  55. Bri Crumbley

    Lara,
    Thank you for this and the work that you’ve been doing. The language and process of Cultivating what Matters speaks to me in a way that most goal setting or personal development processes just never have, so I’m incredibly grateful for that and your vulnerability and willingness to invest emotionally in this community. I’m excited to be a part of it.

    Happy New Year!

    My 2018 Goals:

    – To listen to and learn from myself, mind, body, and soul. Is one overarching goal that split into 3 sub goals
    1. To get back inside of my body.
    2. Become a Soul Minimalist
    3. Discover my Inner Scholar

    – Be all in – building intentional and lasting community in my new city. Figuring out what that means and what that looks like, but not living a life where i always have one food out the door.

    – Becoming my own best friend, fiercest advocate, and biggest cheerleader.

  56. Rosie Lapp

    Oops! I guess I posted my goals yesterday instead of my goal ideas. Haha! Oh well. Here are my answers to my goals!!

    Goal #1: Cultivate Contentment in My Heart and Mind
    Why: Because I want to be content in every season. Because I want to live as an example to my sons. Because I am tired of living for the future and the next chapter. I want to be present and satisfied with what I have NOW.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others:
    It will help me live in the present and be thankful for where I am and what I have.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal:
    Satisfied and at peace… and GRATEFUL. <3
    Starting steps:
    1. Write contentment themed verses on index cards and scatter them where I will see them often. 2. Whenever I am tempted to compare myself to others or be discontent, I will list five things I'm thankful for.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal:
    When I am less concerned about the future and happy where I am instead.
    Encouraging words:
    On your own, this would be impossible. But not with God! Little by little with His help YOU CAN.
    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018?: Make a contentment tree or gratitude tree for Thanksgiving (I know, a bit early before the end of the year!).

    Goal #2: SIMPLIFY our home and lives.
    Why? Simplifying will make more room for more important things!
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others:  Helps me be more confident about having people over. And it will help me not have too big a mess to clean!
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal:  Again, so satisfied and grateful.
    Starting steps: 1. Simplify the meal plan! Start theme nights. 2. Clear the clutter! Go room by room.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: When I have peace of mind and simple comes easy(ier) to me.
    Encouraging words: When I'm 80, I won't remember the messes but I will remember the memories. Give yourself grace. Two under two is hard!
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Host a party!
    Goal #3:Cultivate a richer marriage.
    Why?: Because I want our marriage to be a light to others. Because our marriage needs daily, weekly, and monthly tending.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Our marriage is and will be an example to our boys about what marriage means. It will change us for the better.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal:  Stable, secure. Like we're on the right path.
    Starting steps: 1. Weekly check-ins. Go deeper than "how are yous?" 2. Start Praying together daily.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I'm honestly not sure. I think it will be a continual journey!
    Encouraging words: You both have come so far and through what seems like a lot. Keep on!
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Can you say date night!?!? 
    Goal #4: Be PRESENT and INTENTIONAL about Family Time.
    Why? Because these will be the times they remember. And they deserve our full attention. <3
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: It will have a generational impact, I think. And be a positive experience for everyone involved.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Excited for what's to come!
    Starting steps: 1. Family vacation once a year. 2. Sabbath Day. Commit and defend it! 3. Create boundaries for extended family.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: When intentional family time isn't a second thought. When putting the phone down is a habit.
    Encouraging words: The days are long but the years are short.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Family fun night!
    Goal #5: FOSTER a safe and welcoming home for friends and family to enter into.
    Why? Because our heart has always been to be generous with what we have. Because we have always wanted our home to be a sanctuary to others- a lighthouse in the dark.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Hopefully, we will be a blessing to others. And hopefully it will teach our boys to love well and give much.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: My heart will be full with all the memories.  
    Starting steps: 1. Invite someone over. Start with once a month! 2. Establish better cleaning routines.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: When hospitality is a constant thing.
    Encouraging words: Run wild, live free, love strong. You and me.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Having a party!
    Goal #6: Cultivate JOY instead of comparison.
    Why? To help me stay grateful and content. To remember that social media isn't real. It often only shows the good.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: It will change my outlook. Joy is contagious, so hopefully others will catch it!
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Successful. Joyful.
    Starting steps: 1. Write scripture on cards and scatter them around the house. 2. Tell depression NO when it comes.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: When depression doesn't knock on my door as often. When the Joy of the Lord flows through me.
    Encouraging words: Choosing Joy is hard in the face of depression. But He who is in you is greater!
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Praising God!

    There you have it! There are my goals. I LOVE your third goal, Lara!! Makes me think of my own marriage. Haha! God bless you and your team for everything you do!! Your books have totally changed my life for the better. <3

    • Lara

      Thank you for that encouragement, Rosie! So glad you’re here!

  57. rebecca

    i have seven goals this year and for cultivaring my faith i want to read the bible in a year which ive always wanted to do, keep up with my daily wtw journals, go to church weekly with my bf, 🙂 i have 6 other goals such as being debt free, being debt free will allow for finances to take a vacation or weekend trip which i never get to do. looking forward to this year and how progressing on my goals will have other new and fun things pop up

  58. Desemba

    I decided to only post two of my goals as I work on the rest.

    Goal 1: Create a sustainable intentional daily routine for myself.
    Why? To help build healthy habits
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will make healthier food choices exercise regularly, create more time with family and be more focused and organized.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: I will feel calm and healthier
    Starting steps: create weekly meal plans and shopping lists, build a daily schedule that includes workouts, one on one time with each time, time for prayer and time for studying/practicing art.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal:
    Encouraging words: Its okay to grow slow. – Lara Casey
    You cant do it all today, but you can do it. Big goals can only be reached with patience, persistence, and actions in their direction a little more every single day. –Doe Zantamata
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Not sure yet

    Goa 2l: Build a portfolio
    Why? To sharpen my skills and showcase work for business
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: this will allow me to build a business around my work which will, in turn, create an ability for me to work from home and make way for my husband to work one job
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: I will feel accomplished and happy
    Starting steps: I will research art portfolio, I will choose current work to refine and brainstorm ideas for new pieces
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: when I have one or more completed portfolios
    Encouraging words: This is the beginning of anything you want – unknown Finished, not perfect – Jake Parker
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I don’t know

  59. Renata Musial

    I love the idea of creating an inspirational playlist for 2018! Can’t wait to get started with my powersheets this weekend!

  60. Katie

    My 2018 Goals:

    1- To be more present with the people right in front of me. Plan of action: 1 Social Media-Free Weekend/Month, Limit phone use after 4 p.m (when kids get home!) and Unplug after 9 p.m
    2- Consistently get up early so that I’m ready to engage with my kids when they are getting ready for school.
    3- Cultivate and focus on my marriage- 1 date night/month!
    4- Take time to strengthen my body– Eat clean, drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces, exercise/strength train 3x/week
    5- Spend more focused time planning for children’s ministry which my husband and I direct
    6- Deepening my relationship with Jesus- Spend time in the word daily and use car pick-up time for something more valuable than scanning through social media.
    7-Write out my prayers this year!
    8- I will track my spending more diligently and work harder at staying on budget.
    9- Sunday will be for rest and for family adventures!

  61. Mallorie

    I’ve finished setting my goals for 2018 and I’m so excited to get started! However, as I’m filling out my Starting Steps and the rest of my Power Sheets sections, I’m struggling to come up with ways to celebrate completing my goals at the end of 2018. Any suggestions of what I could do to celebrate 1) getting into shape, 2) taking care of my mental health, or 3) strengthening my relationship with God?

    • Lara

      For getting into shape, maybe new sneakers or workout clothes? For mental health, maybe you could give away books that have meant something to you to friends with inscriptions? Excited for you!

    • Mallorie

      These sound absolutely perfect! Thank you so much! Because of my Power Sheets and new goals, I am so excited for the year ahead!

  62. Charlene

    This year I want to remain STEADFAST in well doing. Here are my goals.
    1) Be a good steward of my temple
    2) Be a good steward of my financial blessings
    3) Live a simplified life with more margin
    4) Achieve a specific income
    5) Cultivate spiritual disciplines in my life
    6) Do the BIG and SCARY things
    7) Rib living
    8) Live Well Love Well
    9) Read more books
    10) Published and public speaking

  63. Jenny

    Hi Kathy and Jenny here, for 2018 goal setting, part 5

    [translation of Kathy’s goals]
    Goal 1 – Get closer to God. Understand more clearly God’s gifts, His plans and how to use me. Walk with God in year 2018!
    Why: This is foundation of all – my family, friends, daily living. It helps me choose what matters.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will feel deeper rest, peace and joy, more driving forces, sense of direction, and more specific actions (which will influence people the most).
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: joyful and blessed.
    Starting steps: 1. read Bible according to the Bible reading plan (1/1); 2. Meditation journal and prayer book (starting Jan.)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: read the whole Bible in the year, meditation journal, prayer book of prayer requests and answers.
    Encouraging words: Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:3)
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I would love to receive a gift or a word of confirmation from those closest to me, to prove God’s work on me is true).
    Goal 2 – Get closer to David my husband, love and help him more practically. Bless him on his connections and interactions with parents and kids.
    Why: This is where I can testify “Christ is the Lord of my family” the best, and embody truth of my faith.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: My family will see and experience God’s grace, mercies and love, to testify the reality of salvation.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: filled and renewed by God’s love in my daily life. I will feel so happy.
    Starting steps: 1. Set up a communication book to record what happens in my family every day, and send the daily record to my husband who works away from home. I will invite him to do the same. (12/26). 2. Weekend family dine-out dinner date. (starting Dec. 2017)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Maybe from relations among my family members.
    Encouraging words: By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Everyone in my family shares what he/she is grateful for.

    Goal 3 – Grow to be a blessing to my family, kids, and marriage which I am managing as a full-time housewife (Handy cooking + healthy home environment + household duties + time management).
    Why: My house is not only a residence for my family, but a place of God’s blessings and His presence, where everyone enjoys dwell.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: refreshed, recharged , hopeful, blessed.
    Starting steps: 1. Read a book about this topic. 2. Enjoy cooking. Find a good weekly meal planning pdf. 3. bookkeep family expenses. (starting 1/1)
    Encouraging words: My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.(1 John 3:18)
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: candle light family party!

    Goal 4 – Prayerfully and consistently care for mom. Cultivate our healthy relation with godly boundaries, to help her come closer to God.
    Why: Only God is my mom’s Savior, and I would be His chosen channel for her to see Jesus.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: interacting with mom will become more intentional, and bears fruit. Believing in God will be life changing to her.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Most meaning. A testimony to God’s salvation
    Starting steps: 1. Set up a prayer book for mom. (now) 2. Pray for mom twice every week. (starting Jan.) 3. Greet her, care for her and have dinner together once every two days.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Kneel down in thanksgiving before God.

    Goal 5 – Cultivate intimate and influential relation with my kids, and guide them to live godly life.
    Why: Jesus is my kids’ lifelong companions, and I, as closest to them, will influence them profoundly.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: my kids will have fresh firsthand knowledge and experiences about Jesus, and they will walk in this path more solidly.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: feel excited about how I may influence my kids, and feel awe-inspired by God’s authority assigned to parents.
    Starting steps: 1. Pray with/for kids every day. 2. Set up a growth book for Maggie and Daniel respectively. 3. Make the year-end souvenir with Maggie.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will keep a record of how God responds to my kids’ prayers, and display somewhere for everyone to see.
    Encouraging words: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.(3 John 1:4)
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: diy a souvenir to testify God’s grace on my kids.

    Goal 6 – Continue to keep company with and bless my church discipleship sisters, to help their faith and experience in the Lord.
    Why: This is my burden and ministry in church, and I believe I am the one most blessed.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will experience and testify for God’s work together with my discipleship sisters. Everyone will be changed and renewed by the Lord, and become blessings to more others.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Excited and encouraged to know how I may help others and how God may bless us. How amazing!
    Starting steps: 1. Pray for 2 sisters every week. 2. Make a book of growth for every sister. 3. Have a meeting once every two weeks. Have an online prayer meeting once every week. (starting Jan.)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will make and gift a book of growth to every sister, which can keep track of God’s work on her.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Together we will come up with an good idea.

    Goal 7 – Cultivate healthy living (exercises, work and rest, moderation)
    Why: This is where God’s glory can be seen through men. May I present more of His beauty and fragrance.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will become more attractive, more energetic, and have more influence on others.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Proud and joyful to be temple of God.
    Starting steps: 1. Prepare a pot of tea for myself every morning. 2. Exercise at least 15 minutes every day. 3. abdominal type deep breathing before going to bed every night. (starting Jan.)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Weight controlled around 95lb. Keep in good shape, with flat belly.

    Goal 8 – Offer help to mom/mom-to-be friends.
    Why: As a mom of two, I know feelings and anxiety of other mom/mom-to-be friends. They have urgent and practical needs. I would love to help them a little.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: mom friends will feel less anxious, and their needs will be satisfied practically.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Excited and grateful, for I can bless others this way.
    Starting steps:1. Make a notebook to record informations, suggestions, methods, and tools for caring for both kids and moms). (Feb.?)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will use my writings, texting, meeting and demonstrations to help my mom friends care for their kids.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I will give each mom friend a little gift and a personal card.

    [reflections]
    Jenny – It’s hard for Chinese to write out this goal action plan, because most of those prompts are incompatible with Chinese way of doing everyday life. Kathy (and I sometimes too) felt so lacking in term of ideas and/or words, so we need to make intentional efforts. But finally it worked really well. We both felt excited for year 2018. It will be amazing!

    Thank you, Lara and your team, for this wonderful CWM method, and pouring your lives into us. The Lord remember your labor of love, and bless you and your family!

    • Jenny

      Hi, Kathy and Jenny, the Chinese PowerSheets team here, for a little summary.

      [Kathy]
      首先我要庆祝自己完成PowerSheets前五部分!撒花~

      对于我来讲,最大的挑战是
      1,语言和语境的挑战,常常是看得懂文字却不能真正明白意思。就如what fires me up,这一部分差点就写成让我抓狂的事情,而where do you want to be when you’re 80? 着实让我费了一通脑筋来想自己老了会在世界哪个角落!
      2,直白地面对自己的生活,并且用文字具体地表达出来,这不是中国人擅长的事,但感谢神!虽然有些艰难却很有收获。meet your fears这一部分对自己的帮助特别大,让我看清楚2018年自己的需要。
      3,中西方思维习惯和做事方法的不同让我在目标设定这一块特别茫然,将大目标细分成不同的具体的小目标,以及设定每一个目标的具体实行步骤让我特别崩溃。

      说说收获:
      1,走到现在我最大的感受是,神给了我一个很好用的宝贝。我希望把它介绍给更多中国的朋友,我知道太多身边的朋友正处在水深火热之中,他们实在很需要这样一个好用的工具来帮助他们走出各种的混乱和无助。
      2,我特别喜欢PowerSheets里的文字,带着温暖,接纳和鼓励帮助每个使用的人不断向前。
      3,对我来说有特别意义的部分:break your identity box让我开始反思我究竟是谁,meet your fears让我开始明白自己的需要,learn from the past教我开始发现一些有意思的事实,goals setting带我来到自己里面的大石头面前,发现自己正在做的这件事不只是新鲜有趣,而是严肃而深刻的,也发现自己在思维和做事方法中缺乏具体深入的能力(or意愿)。

      过程中自己的反思:
      1,在做的过程当中,我不断问自己:这些目标是我真正想要的吗?我愿意为它们舍己吗?这使我一次次回到神面前,在祂眼中最重要的是什么?然后出现的是“人”这个字。这让我坚定了自己的目标并继续下去的决心。
      2,2018年有比以往任何时候都有更清楚的目标,而且也有更具体的步骤,还有可衡量的跟进工具,有可以同行扶持的伙伴,最重要的是,我定意跟随神,这些是对我来说是非常重要的因素,帮助我持续走下去。我很想看看年尾我将收获什么。
      3,我很感恩在2017年认识了这样一个团队,很感恩神给我预备了一位最棒的同伴,虽然新年未到,我却预见我将收获远超我的所求所想。

      [Translation]
      First of all, I would celebrate on getting the PowerSheets prep work done! YAY!

      These are the biggest challenges to me:
      1. language and its cultural context. Sometimes I understood English words but had hard time grasping what they really convey on that particular page. For example, I got mistaken “what fires me up” by “what causes me to lose temper”. “Where do you want to be when you’re 80” triggered me to go through all my favorite places in the world 🙂 !
      2. Face my life plainly, and express it in writing. Chinese are not good at it. But thank God! It was hard but what came out is so worth my effort. I got tremendous help from “meet your fears”, which clarifies my needs for year 2018.
      3. I felt so lost in “uncovering and setting the goals”, due to my Chinese way of thinking and doing things, which is very different from western style. It was so hard to break somehow abstract and faint goal ideas into specific and practical goals and actions.

      My rewards:
      1. When I was walking through the whole process, what touched me most was that this is something useful given to me by God. I hope I can introduce it to more of my Chinese friends, most of who I know are living their lives in deep distress and dire suffering. They are in great need of such useful tool to help them get out of confusions and helplessness.
      2. I especially love the writing in PowerSheets. They make me feel warm, accepted, and encouraged to move forward.
      3. The most helpful pages to me: “break your identity box” started to make me think who I really am; “meet your fears” started to make me understand my own needs; “learn from the past” uncovered some interest facts; “goals setting” brought me to what are blocking me from within. I realized what I am doing (using PowerSheets to uncover intentional goals) is not only interesting, but serious and profoud. And I found I need to go deep and specific in my way of thinking and doing life.

      Reflections while walking through PowerSheets prep work:
      1. I had been asking myself if these goals are really what I want, and if I would sacrifice myself to get them. It made me return to God again and again, praying what are most important in His eyes. What came out in the end was the word “man”, which affirmed me to press steadfast forwards my goals.
      2. Compared with previous years, for year 2018, I have clearer goals, more specific action plans, better measurable follow-up tools, and supportive companion. Most importantly, I have determined to walk with God, who will help me move forward. I feel excited for the harvest at the end of year 2018.
      3. I feel so grateful for getting to know Lara and her team this year, and a good companion. Though the new year day has not come, I seem to foresee the abundant rewards in year 2018 which are above all that I asked or thought.

      [Jenny]
      What seemed to me the most challenging (and thus also most helpful) to Chinese is to understand and apply the key CWM principles as often as possible, especially “who I really am”, “life evaluation”, “no comparison/uncover your personal path”, “know where you are” and “the big picture” for PowerSheets prep; “be specific and in details” for goal setting.

      I will set “help Kathy’s transition to live on purpose” as my Jan. and Feb. 2018 priority tending item. I feel “start where you are”, “you can’t do it all and do it well”, “little by little”, “cultivate gratitude”, “accountability” will be the most helpful principles to anchor and guide us (and my Chinese friends in the future) through.

      Thanks again to you dear Lara and your wonderful CMW team! Thanks for investing your lives in ours with passion and love. The Lord remembers and reward you abundantly!

      And I pray for Cultivate What Matters Conference to be held in China, and/or PowerSheets Chinese Version launch 🙂 !

    • Jenny

      Hi Lara, if your kissing goal is between you and Ari, How do you like “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – For your love is better than wine. (Song of Solomon 1:2)”?

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for sharing, ladies! : )

  64. Natalie

    So, my word for the year is ACTIVE, and I tried to word my goals accordingly. I’m still working on my action plans in my PowerSheets, but I’m pretty sure these are the final FIVE! Of course, these five have many subgoals that will be apparent throughout my tending lists.

    1. Live an ACTIVE life/ Prepare to walk 50 miles in 24 hours.
    -I’m excited to use the Fitness Plan Wildcard Page for this one.

    2. ACTIVate accountability through routines.
    – early rising/morning routines; bedtime routines where I pick out my outfit for the next day, etc.

    3. Process emotions constructively.
    -craft; read; exercise/be ACTIVE (see goal 1); journal

    4. Cultivate fruitful relationships.
    -Be an ACTIVE participant in friendships; be the first to reach out to friends

    5. Practice proACTIVE librarianship.
    -I’m an academic librarian, and I am passionate about helping students research. I have a lot of flexibility and margin in my schedule though, so I am going to take initiative to find new projects and draft ideas to publish and present in 2018. I’ve already got one presentation proposal accepted!

  65. Lisa A Johns

    I know I need to keep these goals pretty simple and few in order to truly focus on them and not get back on that performance treadmill which will only make things worse. So I’ve got these for goals for my next season.

    1. Cultivate a worship playlist (s) and use it/them.
    2. Cultivate dinner conversation with my husband-to-be.
    3. “Disconnect” in order to reconnect to what matters.
    4. Find them cultivate a healthy response to stress.

    I am still working on the action plans for each of those but I feel solid about them so far!

  66. Alex Prosser

    Love this process. I crash to bed early, but I stayed up till midnight because it was so life-giving and exciting! Still fine-tuning a few of these calls and thinking they may need to be separated out into more specific categories, but here goes !

    1.) to saturate the soil of my heart with truth.
    – why? Because truth is the only thing to base my life on. The soil of my heart is full of lies and weeds and it’s time for fresh soil of truth!
    The effect will be that I will be more in tune with truth so that God’s light can shine in my heart and shine out to others, especially my husband and children. I need healthy soil in my heart so that I can cultivate what matters in the hearts of my children and marriage.
    I will feel so much more grounded and rooted after a year of steeping in the truth!
    My encouraging word is that “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!”
    My action steps are to listen through the entire Bible and to do a one a month study of the fruit of the Spirit.
    How will I know I have made progress? I will actually remember the Old Testament stories as my children read them in their toddler Bibles. I will see connections between the big picture story that God has written and I will be reminded of truth as I go throughout my day.
    Celebrate? Not sure yet-perhaps writing out a favorite word or series of words on a piece of art to hang in our bedroom or kitchen.
    2.) to cultivate my personal relationship with God and better emotional and mental health that comes from looking to Him first.
    Why? Because I don’t want to just chase the fruits of the spirit but I want to grow in my meaningful connection with God and learning to rest my heart in him instead of the approval of others or my circumstances.
    The effect: this may greatly improve my ability to experience peace from trusting in God instead of anxiety and distraction. This may help me be more present and patient mother.
    How would I feel? After a year of making it a habit to look to God instead of my own wisdom, I will feel peaceful. Rooted. Secure. Light filled.
    Encouraging words: your word is a light to my feet and a lamp into my path, and trust on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
    Action steps: starting a raw prayer journal, and cultivating the habit of choosing to write in that prayer journal before I text or call a friend over anxiety. Choosing to start my days being still listening to God, worshiping him, and pouring my heart out to him instead of just checking off my Bible study homework.
    How will I know I have made progress: my prayer journal will be fuller than my text queue! I will catch myself making a habit of choosing gratitude, worship, and crying out to God more often than giving into overwhelmed and exploding at my family or complaining.
    Celebration: purchasing a lovely new journal and set of pans for the next year’s prayer journal !
    3.)
    3.) to cultivate healthy habits that in turn enable me to cultivate more of what matters.
    Why? Because when I am 80 I Will not regret investing in things of eternal value but I will regret spending 80 percent of my time making chores more complicated than necessary!
    What effect? Healthy habits may enable me to have much more time for meaningful connections and relationships. I may feel less overwhelmed by my house and schedule and more joy and freedom to dive into things that really matter. Less wasted time money and resources!
    How would I feel? Peaceful. Content. Clearheaded. Less panicked.
    Encouraging word: how you spend your days are how you spend your life. And “therefore let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due time we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up ”
    How will I know I have made progress? We get to places on time without me losing my head or leaving the house a wreck. We eat dinner on time. The children know what to expect in their daily schedule.
    Action steps:
    To cultivate and strengthen healthy habits for laundry, house cleaning, meal planning, and dishes. Starting with a rotating limited menu, a laundry schedule, and a Friday “cleaning day” each week.
    How I will celebrate: by being able to enjoy quality time with my family and relax in my own home because my chores are under control and I can plan for what matters. Maybe I will plan a game night / fun for New Years!

    4.) to cultivate my physical health in a grace filled way.
    why? So that my body supports my ability to cultivate what matters instead of distracting from it.
    What effect? Having a healthier body may enable me to be more active with my children, be more focused mentally and more motivated, and to set good examples for my children and husband.
    How will I feel at the end of the year? glad I started. Stronger. Less neck aches and tension headaches from bad posture. More alive. Less self-conscious.
    Encouraging words: it’s OK to grow slow. A year from now you’ll be glad you started today!
    Action steps:
    Go to the chiropractor. Start 15 minutes of free weights in the morning and core strengthening exercises. Start with being active 15 minutes a day with my children either playing outside or doing praise dancing! Try new recipes with more vegetables. Enjoy sugar and treats mindfully and purposefully. To remind myself to pursue health with grace and freedom instead of fear and shame.
    How will I know I am making progress: I will have more stamina. I will have more energy. I will think less negative thoughts about my body and my food and more about what matters.
    Celebrating plans: to mindfully enjoy some Christmas candy without guilt at the end of the year!

    Goal 5.) cultivate healthy financial habits, attitudes, and communication.
    Why? Because money is a tool to help cultivate what matters. And because my husband and I need to be on the same page!
    What effect? We will have more unity. Getting on top of our finances may help us create a clear vision for our finances, including saving well for the children’s future, informing my husband’s job decisions, and a clear vision of what generosity can look like in our own lives.
    How I will feel at the end of the year: relieved. Peaceful. Grateful.
    How I will know we are making progress: being able to have a financial discussion without it escalating into an argument. Being able to make a financial decision without confusion over whether or not we have the money.
    Encouraging words: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
    Action steps:
    Find a financial app that my husband and I can both use together. Settle on a consistent grocery amount and use cash at the grocery if necessary. Research savings accounts for our children.
    How we will celebrate at the end of the year: by being able to buy formula for my father-in-law’s ministry in Haiti, and being clear on what funds we have available to purchase that formula!

  67. April

    I have SO appreciated and enjoyed this series!!!

    I have a bunch more goals to write out, but I am very inspired by your goals and all the things I see in my own notes from all the steps we have done. WOW. This is definitely the way to go every year.

    I am excited and I feel like dreams are going to come true in 2018, just because I have never approached a new year with so much forethought and detailed planning. I finally feel like I am NOT afraid to set real, measurable goals!!

    Thanks to you Lara, and the CWM team, so much!! All the richest blessings to you <3

  68. Courtney Kirkland

    I’ve heard you talk about “praying through scripture” and “praying God’s word” a few times in your posts and on your Instagram/Facebook. I’ve always wondered exactly what that consists of? Just praying scripture in general? Praying specific things from those passages you’re reading? I’m always to up the ante on my prayer life. <3

    • Lara

      Hi Courtney! You might like the Cultivate Your Faith guide on the front page on my site, if you haven’t already seen it! : ) http://laracasey.com/

  69. Liv Lemon

    Goal 1: Honesty, Intention, and Prayer: To read the Psalms every day and pray about my intentions
    Why? To listen more closely to Gods will, talk with Him more honestly, and live with purpose to follow his light.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will feel more rooted and confident in the path that I am taking, and I will be able to share His love and light with buoyant energy to those around me, including other seekers of His light.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: I will feel humbled by His presence and I will feel less like a tree blown over in the wind.
    Starting steps: 1. Copy down a Psalm in my journal 2. Let the Psalm rest in my heart 3. Pray over the Psalm (Lectio Divina)
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will have Psalm verses readily available in my mind and on my heart.
    Encouraging words: Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: I will sing and recite some of my favorite Psalms!

    Goal 2: Steadfastness
    Why? I want to grow in deeper communion with others and share my skills with young adults and students.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: It will allow me to serve others using my gifts the best that I am able and grow in the loving friendship and support of others seeking to adore Him.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: 
    Starting steps: 1. Reach out to friends monthly with deep difficult questions to grow together. 2. Host or put-together some kind of young adult event with friends in this new city to allow for friendships to blossom. 3. Apply and volunteer to mentor high school students 4. Plan childrens choir curriculum in advance and hold the choristers to this higher standard of behavior and music-making.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: 1. Friends will call and write to me more often. 2. I will look back and feel like I have found true friends in my new city. 3. I will have helped a high schooler on their path to academic fulfillment 4. The choir will sing in two parts. Encouraging words: James 1:4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: Send notes of gratitude to friends old and new.

    Goal 3: Nourishing home
    Why? We will thrive in our home if it is designed well for rest and inspiration nourishment
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: To make our home a place of joy, comfort, and renewal for our family and guests.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: 
    Starting steps: 1) Small design projects 2) Meal planning 3) Monthly family meetings 4) Plan for intentional giving to church and our favorite charity
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: We will be moved into a new home! Our family will be aligned on our values and we will have planned well for increased giving at the end of the year.
    Encouraging words: 
    How I will celebrate at the end of 2018: We joyfully give a donation to our favorite charity and buy a flower for our home.

  70. Chelsea

    At 2018 end, I want to see more deliberate growth, more lasting memories with family, and less unintentional goal setting, less talking more finishing.

    I want to have cultivated a strong daily routine centered around daily workouts, time with God, drinking water, reading more books, blogging everyday, and Sunday resets.

    I want to choose meaningful growth over fake goal setting.

    In order to make things happen today I need to plan out my daily schedule to see what works and what does not.

    I have decided to listen to Christian music the entire year (aside from workouts) to stay in a more peaceful mindset throughout this transition.

    At the end of the year, I will celebrate progress not perfection by taking a small weekend/week-long trip to a cabin in the hills.

    My Goals for 2018:
    1. Build a Daily Routine.
    2. Make time for God.
    3. More books.
    4. Daily workouts.
    5. Sunday resets.
    6. Blog everyday of 2018.

  71. Amanda

    Lara I love your goals. I’m finding myself coming back and changing mine. God is working on me getting a great start and already weeding through what I don’t need to focus on – mostly just waiting till later in the year for those ones. Powersheets have changed my life and outlook. So thankful for YOU and your team 🙂

  72. Julia Noel

    I am so thankful for this goal setting series!! It has truly been a wonderful experience reading everyone’s goals for 2018. Such a great motivator for getting settled on my own!

    I’m still in the process of writing mine out, but I want to share my number one goal here:

    1. Choose and actively participate in one service project/activity each month.
    Why: To learn and find joy in serving God by serving His people that are in need. “…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matt 25:40
    Positive effect: I believe this will allow me to grow closer to God through serving in my community. It will help me to better understand the needs of those in my city and find what role God has for me in serving and doing mission work here. It is an opportunity to help save lives and make a difference.
    How I will feel: Rather than feeling any pride or sense of accomplishment, I pray that it humbles me and gives me a true hunger for God through serving the poor, hungry, elderly and sick. I hope that it spurs me on to continue and invite others to join me.
    Starting steps: Look up 2-3 projects ideas to get involved in and review my calendar for January-March. (ideas: Meals on Wheels, upcoming events at St. Jude, contacting Emily about volunteer opportunities at her church)
    How I’ll know I made progress: I plan to have pictures and memories to share with others about serving in my hometown. I’ll be able to look back on each month and reflect on how God’s worked in and through me to be a blessing to someone else.
    Encouraging words: Get excited about this wonderful opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus! You’ve been wanting to do this for years, and it’s finally your time. Read Romans 12:1, Gal 5:13, Hebrews 6:10, Luke 6:38, Mark 10:45, 1 Peter 4:10, and Romans 12:9-13 for biblical reminders of why this is such a good goal for 2018.
    How I will celebrate in 2018: I hope to make a cork board of pictures from all the times I served in 2018. It will be a memory board to remind me of God’s faithfulness, compassion and goodness. I also want to write thank you notes to the ones who joined me along the way.

  73. Heather

    I have four goals for this year: lose fat and build muscle, strengthen my relationships with my husband and children as they grow and change, continue working routines and implement necessary ones to help our daily life flow easier and focus on myself by giving myself the self care I have not had time for with small children. Looking forward to a great year of growth and renewal!

  74. Mhay

    What are your 2018 goals?

    I uncovered 7 goals through my prep work. I’m so excited to start digging in them!

    Goal 1: Draw closer to God (James 4:8)

    Goal 2: Be Positive. Fill my mind with Holy and good things. (Phil. 4:8)

    Goal 3: Make healthier Choices! (Romans 12:1)

    Goal 4: Take care of my family (Isaiah 58:13,14)

    Goal 5: Practice/ Make Art (Eccl 3:12,13)

    Goal 6: Cultivate zeal in my ministry. 2 Cor 3:5)

    Goal 7: Simplicity (Phil 1:10)

    So excited for the new year and wanted to thank you Lara for this amazing goal setting series! So grateful to have you as if you’re alongside me for this journey of 2018. May you and your family have a blessed year!!

  75. Holly

    1. Praise more
    2. Prayer more
    3. Prepare more
    4. Press On more
    5. Play more.
    6. Pause more.

  76. Kate

    1. Be intentional in my walk with God: including fasting, journaling and spending time at his feet. I want to have a regularly scheduled time with him each day.
    Why? Because this relationship is the most important one to me. If this relationship isn’t right, none of my relationships will be.
    First steps: get up at the same time each day for our time together.
    First steps: Gratitude, worship

    2. Read through the Bible in a year
    Why? Because I want to learn more about the Lord and I want to study to show myself approved.
    First steps: find a reading plan, and schedule that into my day

    3. Be intentional with my health
    Why? Because I want to be healthy and happy, as well as have enough energy
    First steps: get a Britta water bottle for work that is at least 30 ounces
    Workout once a week
    New plan/prep

    4. Stick to my budget
    Why? So I can save money each month
    First steps: track expenses WHEN I make purchases, not later. Always stop and do it immediately

    5. Find a non-musical hobby
    Why? So I have me time and I spend less time on social media
    First steps: spend time doing things like reading to explore things I like instead of wasting time on social media

    6. Be intentional with others: including building others up, texting and getting back with others promptly, and cultivating friendships
    Why? To be a good friend
    First steps: text people back promptly

  77. Amanda

    My goals:
    1. I am taking a year long photography class to move my hobby to something else, or to walk away. However it works out.
    2. I will post a photo to FB every Friday to get my work out there.
    3. I will see friends. I have two on the calendar and am working on two more.
    4. I will organize my day and house. It’s time to get it done and free up “organizing” time for fun time.
    5. I am going to finish at least two scrapbooks and watch the excitement on my babies faces.
    6. I have updated my birthday list and will be remembering more friends throughout the year.

  78. Cheri

    Part 5 – I have GOALS!! 🙂

    First, though, I want to tell you how much I was impacted by your statement, Lara, that things change, and that we can set goals for a season. I’m not stuck with something that isn’t working. I can review and reset. That was so liberating for me!!! THANK YOU!!!

    I think I’ll end up with 5 goals. I have 3 almost finished, and still need to work on the other 2.

    Goal #1: FOCUS on my Health!
    Why: If I’m not healthy, I can’t be helpful to others.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will have more energy and be happier, and I will have more energy to do things with and for family and friends.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Lighter. Stronger. I will feel satisfaction knowing I set the goal and kept striving toward it.
    Step 1) Dedicate time for my physical health: 30 min, M-F. Step 2) Make a plan for each workout – exercises, music, etc. 3) START!!!
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will track my workouts to get the habit started. I will have labs done in March and the numbers will improve. Ultimately, I’ll meet my doctor’s recommendation to lose 10% of my weight!
    Encouraging words: Ben Sira 30:16 – No riches are greater than a healthy body; and no happiness than a joyful heart. Also, 1Cor 6:9-20.
    How I will celebrate: Maybe I will set a spa day for myself. Perhaps a family hike on New Year’s Eve. I’m still undecided.

    Goal #2: Break open God’s Word!
    Why: Because I want to grow closer to Him, and to read His Word is to get to know Him better.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will grow in peace and have more faith, which will reflect to others.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Positive, like I’m doing what God wants me to do.
    Step 1) Set time on my calendar. 2) Find a study plan to follow. 3) Take notes.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will track my progress, I will be able to physically see how far I make it into the Bible.
    Encouraging words: Hebrews 4:12 – Indeed the Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edge sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
    How I will celebrate: ???

    Goal #3: Be Creative – CREATE and Be Crafty!!
    Why? Creating rejuvenates me. I enjoy the thought of joy someone will feel upon receiving something I’ve created.
    The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I get to make things, and my loved ones, family, friends, and those who need them, get to receive things.
    How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: I will feel more relaxed. Generous. Giving. Positive.
    Step 1) Set time on my calendar. 2) Make my craft time a priority, a kind of reward for working hard and taking care of my family. 3) Make a project list and prioritize it.
    How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: Track the times I allow myself to be crafty, finishing projects, giving gifts to others.
    Encouraging words: Luke 6:38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
    How I will celebrate: I will take pictures of progress and completion of projects, wrapping and packaging them for distribution, with notes telling them of my hopes of the recipients’ enjoyment. At the end of the year I’ll make a collage for myself!

    Goal #4: Take time for “adulting” tasks!

    Goal #5: Take part in the fun of family life and friendship!!

    Lara, thank you (and your team) again for this opportunity to really stop, think, and discern my goals for 2018… and for telling me that they can change. I’m so thankful I stumbled across your blog 4 short days ago! 🙂

  79. Jordan

    I am still getting my goals together but
    1. Trust God and His plan
    2. Live life fully
    3. Live with purpose
    4. Grow my relationship with my husband

  80. Samantha Reid

    My goals are to :
    1. Improve my fitness so I can serve the kingdom and the little people who live in our place within it.
    2. Improve the quality of what I put into my body,
    3. Love my man . Proverbs 31
    4. grow as a homemaker . It is my passion and my calling but my commitment isn’t alway there.
    5. Continue to learn about and implement Charlotte Mason Home,schooling .
    6. Stop drinking alcohol for at least 100 days. See what that cultivates.
    7. Read 55 books.
    8, find time to be alone and recharge ( I’m an introvert and need solo time)
    9,go deeper in my relationship s with my friends, my sister, my mother, my sister in law, grow together
    10. Grow as a child of god. LEarn how to glorify him. What does that mean? What does that look like?

  81. Happy New Year! 2018 Goals - Kyla Mary

    […] between resolutions and meaningful, deeply rooted goals, it’s not too late to start! This series positively changed my life four years ago and I haven’t looked […]

  82. Kirstin

    Last step! This has been such a rewarding process and I’m amazed at how much my goals came together today.

    My word was Redeem, but changed it today to Redemption and focused each goal on God’s redemption in those areas.

    We’ve been married for 5 years and have had so many huge life changes/events that have left us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

    Goals:
    1) Redemption in our marriage. Steps: working through your goals for couples booklet together, twice a month datenights (already have first three months scheduled!), attending Weekend To Remember.

    2) Redemption in my relationship with God. Steps: lean into the materials I already have, research ways to strengthen my prayer life, schedule sabbath margin.

    3) Redemption of our possessions. Steps: PURGE the house (garage and basement included), pray over our finances and create goals together for this area, ask for help with chores when needed.

    4) Redemption of my health. Steps: gluten free for January and February, daily supplements, more water, time away (girls nights and dinner with friends).

    Here we go!!!

  83. Lauren

    I’ve LOVED this series and I’m excited to get order my own PowerSheets! The BESTYEAR code does not seem to be working. Is it too late to use it? Thanks! 🙂

  84. Kinsey Owen

    I’m starting with just 2 goals this year, though some others are beginning to form.

    1. Read more of the books I already own + books from the library. Stop purchasing clearance books I don’t know anything about “just because they sound good” in order to spend money on books by authors I genuinely want to support. Get rid of books I no longer want to make room for those I truly love.

    2. Be in the Word of God every day, both alone and with my husband.

  85. Katie Skerpon

    Goals for 2018

    1) To make my body a reflection of who God has created me to be
    – to be a better LOVER to my husabnd
    – to be a better MOM for my kiddos
    – to be a better STAFF PERSON at my Church
    – to be a better ME FOR ME
    (lose weight, become more active, eat better)

    2) To go deeper in our marriage as we enter year 13 so that we are setting a forever foundation and an example for our kids
    (begin every morning with a Kiss, 2 monthly date nights – 1 in and 1 out, a 3 night get-away for just us, reading the 5 Love Languages together, joining a couples small group at church)

    3) to help my kids discover who God has created them to be
    (establish a better morning and evening routine including prayer times, for each of us to have 1 on 1 time with each kid every week – even just 30 minutes, to work on finding out what parenting styles work best for each of them as individuals and to consciously do it!)

    4) To build friendships that support each of us individually and as a couple
    (join a couples small group, rekindle friendships that we’ve let slip, scheduled ‘friend dates’ for each of us to make sure that it happens!)

    5)To rediscover my relationship with Jesus because I can’t give what I don’t have – to my kids, to my husband, to my Church
    (morning devotional time, prepare for Mass each week, weekly holy hour)

    First year with PowerSheets and I am so excited!

  86. Clara

    Hi Lara,

    I’m so happy to be using Powersheets for the third year. I think each year gets better and better, both for my goal setting skills and your products!

    I’m working on the goal pages at the beginning of the Powersheets. They are set up nicely, so I have many “starting steps.” Six goals x3 starting steps (or more) is at least 18 steps. Now I’m feeling overwhelmed. Do you (or anyone else out there) have ideas or examples of how you prioritized your starting steps? Most are baby steps, so pretty easy, but I can’t possibly tackle them all in January. Did you focus on part of each goal in every month, or some goals only appeared in certain months? Help!
    Thanks!

  87. Linda B

    6 goals (feels big, but I’m trusting Him)
    1. Create a stronger connection with God.
    2. Make meaningful connections to my children.
    3. Work on reinventing my marriage and praying for my husband daily.
    4. Take care of myself
    5. Focus on upcoming graduate school program
    6. Purge purge purge. Make breathing space for my family. Definitely going to Kondo the heck out of our place.

  88. Linda B

    Forgot to mention… Thank you, Lara and team! What a blessing you guys have been!

  89. Laura

    1. Exhibit fruit of the spirit. 2. Nurture marriage. 3. Consistent with housework and homeschool.

  90. Baylie

    My 2018 Goals!

    4.) Love well so I can instill blessings that last generations

    Steward my time wisely because if I create rhythms in my time and meet deadlines, I can make head space for the little things that matter more than “when am I going to load the dishwasher?”

    Create financial peace and stability
    Why? I can’t continue going on without a budget and plan anymore, running out of money at the end of the month and having to use a credit card. It’s time to get serious with a budget. If things get to a place of peace and stability, we can grow and give and serve more diligently!

    Heal my body
    I want to live my life powerfully for the Kingdom of God without limit and reservation. I don’t want to wonder if I will wake up too sick to move that day. I have been gifted lives to love and steward and I want to do it well, not just turn on the TV because I can’t seem to handle the energy of my children that day. Thank you, Jesus!

    Live With Purpose.
    I did this last year to a certain extent and it was so fulfilling, freeing, and fantastic! I can’t imagine living my life without purpose again. 2016 was the last year without purpose. I want God to drive my life, not me and not aimlessness. I have ROOM for the best things! When my life is planned purposefully, nothing that’s best for me gets passed by, because I can clearly see if it’s right for me and my season or not. I’m not wondering whether I should have said yes. I have confidence in a God who knows my future!

  91. Elizabeth

    1. Cultivate my faith – some of my goals within this are to read through the Bible in a year and to make a prayer journal

    2. Invest in my marriage – date nights, praying for my husband and us, going through John Gottman’s “The Art and Science of Love” series together

    3. Find a budget that works for us and stick to it!

    4. Treat my body with love – in nutrition, motion, and hydration as well as mentally and emotionally

  92. Susanna Zach

    Take care of my body.
    Use my money intentionally.
    Find a job that impacts people and uses my gifts.
    Dwell with God and listen to His voice.
    Love and serve the people God puts in my life.
    Go deep in my friendships.
    Simplify what I have and live with less.

  93. Kim Davis

    WOOHOO!!! Thank you for putting together this Goal Setting Series. I have loved the 5 part series, and working through the answers in each post.

    Here are my 10 Goals for 2018:
    1. Be intentional in growing closer to the Lord.
    2. Be disciplined with daily nutrition.
    3. Be disciplined with fitness.
    4. Be disciplined with healthy habits. (Sleep, vitamins, etc.)
    5. Love my husband well.
    6.Encourage and love family & friends well.
    7. Be disciplined with our finances.
    8. Introduce fun and adventure into my life.
    9. Cultivate hobbies and fun into my life.
    10. Be disciplined in growing in my career, becoming a servant leader.

  94. Elise

    Love this blog and giveaway so much!

  95. Rebecca S

    So far I have come up with a few goals – still working on specifics
    1. Grow my business by taking more skills classes, connecting with at least 2 photographers, being apart of at least 4 weddings, and studying how to be successful on ETSY.
    2. Invest more into my relationship with God. Mornings with Jesus instead of sleeping in, starting a prayer journal, starting a study.
    3. DECLUTTER. Start in my bedroom closet and work my way out!
    4. Serve and love my husband well. Do the dishes more often. Pray together at least 3 times a week.
    5. Travel: Denver and Patagonia

  96. Lauren

    I’ve never done resolutions or make goals like this before. They’ve always been associated with fitness or weight. I’ve never ventured outside that realm into personal, spiritual, etc. I can’t wait to give it a try and quit living my life on auto-pilot.

  97. Chelsea McCown

    Oh my- your goals are fantastic. A lot of mine line up with yours. We are in this season of a drawn out transition (imagine my family of 8- six kids under 7, homeschooling and living in my parents small 3 bed townhouse with them while my husband looks for a job.) All of that to say. I have my goals. But most days I’m barely able to keep from drowning in the basics of life. My starting steps still feel to big to even fathom. So I’m really going to focus on praying over ONE goal for the month of January- and add the rest in back later. My one goal is to make time and space for God and myself. Reading my bible- prayer journaling. Here we go.

  98. Carrie

    I have made 5 goals for 2018 based on my word for the year: GROW!

    1. Grow in faith and obedience to the Lord
    2. Grow in communion with Chandler (my husband)
    3. Grow a stronger and healthier body and mind
    4. Grow my professional experience (a.k.a. find a new job)
    5. encourage Growth in others

    Just finished setting up my January tending list and am so excited to see all the Lord helps me to accomplish through these goals this year.

  99. becca

    Thank you so much for these posts Miss Laura! God definitely directed me here to give me a little perspective on the what happened over the course of 2017, and how to enter 2018 glorifying Him and getting organized!
    Also thanks for the reminder to encourage others–i shot my sister a text to let her know I am praying for her and she is loved. She has been struggling with some life decisions lately…

  100. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    Hi, Lara! 🙂

    Love your goals and am encouraged by you! It’s been really helpful to write out my WHY this year. 🙂

    My goals are still being refined slightly, but they are pretty close to complete.

    Here’s where I’ve ended up…

    I wrote this vision statement for my year to guide my goal-setting:

    In 2018, I will focus on knowing, loving, and serving God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). I will seek to know and trust Him more (completely, entirely, without reservation or exception), and I will be open to His will and His way in all things. I will wait and pray for His plan, in His time, trusting Him with all of my most precious dreams and desires (especially marriage). 2018 will be a year where I prioritize Jesus (Word before World, His way and His Kingdom over mine). I will study and teach His Word, using my creativity and curiosity to build the Kingdom, and I will continue to be brave in sharing my story all for His glory. I will prioritize people and relationships, from family and friends to dating intentionally. I will pray BIG and with expectant faith, and I will never give up hope, knowing that He is a God who can flip the script and change the story at any time.

    And here are the five goals I’ve written:

    1. Know God more and trust Him more.
    2. Practice praise.
    3. Grow stronger (emotionally, spiritually, and physically).
    4. Wait well (purposefully, not passively).
    5. Be humble, willing, and faithful right where I am.

  101. Christen Ware

    I am just beginning to think about my goals for 2018 but here are a few I have for now.
    – Get more involved in our church by joining a small group and volunteer in the nursery or other ways.
    – host new friends from our church at our house so we can grow those friendships
    – Give back to my community in money and time
    – Read more! I haven’t been able to finish one book in 2 years.
    – Reduce TV and social media time (me personally my husband does not have this problem)
    – Start running again
    – cook as a team and eat as a family
    – have monthly family dates as well as 1on 1 time with my husband.

  102. Jennifer Smith

    I’m excited to do my goals today and get into my tending lists for 2018 to tend to my most faith filled year in a long time. I’m excited to map out my bible study time to make sure I stay in the word and my goals for new study for a course I was accepted into. I’m also excited to map out savings so I can have enough to have a healthy savings (following Rachel Cruz) by the end of my studies, but mostly cultivating more faith and peace in the word.

  103. Megan

    My word for 2018 is RENEW!! I feel that in so many areas of my life that I want/ need to renew those foundations that I have already built to be something better. Based on that, here were the goals that I cam up with:

    1. Renew my faith (finding a new church, praying more, bible study, etc.)
    2. Renew our home (PURGING- less is more and some remodeling so that we can continue to grow in our current house)
    3. Renew my marriage (communication, date nights, etc.)
    4.Renew my health (meal planning, exercising)
    5. Renew having FUN (more family nights, activities, playing – less tv!)
    6. Renew what matters to me (taking some self care)

    Excited to see what God has in store for me for this upcoming year. And so thankful that I met a girl in a work program who recommended Lara and Powersheets to me. Feeling so much more focused and driven for 2018. (Just sent her a thank you text and encouraging her to have a great 2018!)

  104. Goals & GRACE – At the Corner of Firsts and Lasts

    […] need to be rooted in what in my life needs “tending.” I seriously encourage you to go here and try these exercises. I went through the process in 2016 to prepare for 2017, and followed along […]

  105. Kristin G

    I love the edits made to the action plan pages in the new edition- I feel like I had a clearer sense of my motivations and my goals feel stronger. My word for 2018 is HARMONY.

    1. Add a routine to my life to better separate school and home, with the hopes that it will lead to a better use of time and a more balanced life.
    2. Create a group of classmates to hold each other accountable in planning ahead for big projects.
    3. Create new traditions with my boyfriend and build upon them throughout the year.
    4. Get moving in 2018, beginning with small steps that can be built upon in order to keep it up.

    • Lara

      YAY! I’m so glad you love those changes as much as I go! Hooray!

  106. shannon

    aah love all the goodies! the perfect setup for a fresh new year 🙂

  107. Rosa

    Well I’m proud that I’m at this point. I have been listening to this for a while. I think that I’m good at getting things in my head but I don’t put it into action. I sat down and just devoted the time for me and my own growth.:

    Goal 1: Spending time with God in the Word
    a)WHY: when I know what He wants from me I will be able to handle the things of the world. I will have a standing ground and will not be moved by the works of the enemy.
    b)+ effect this will have: I will be able to love others like God intends me to
    c) I will feel refreshed, empowered, and a WINNER.
    d)steps: I will download YouVersion and seek a plan that I can follow, I will read the bible each night @8pm, I will journal my gratitude for the day @ least twice a week to track my progress and give thanks
    e) progress: I will know some scriptures by heart, I will post scriptures at work, home, & in my closet
    f) It’s ok to not know but you can’t make excuses anymore. Each day is a new day to start. If I don’t read forgive myself and do it the next day.
    g)I will celebrate with a praise dance for myself. I will gift myself my top 10 scriptures of the year as a gift to myself.

    Goal 2: I will cultivate my home
    a)WHY: It’s important that my family has a home they will come into. It should be filled with love, PEACE, and security for each of us.
    b) + effect will be my husband will feel proud to belong in this house, my children will have a relaxed place to come home to, I will be able to feel good about inviting others to come into our home
    c) I will feel empowered that I was able to cultivate a home that I am proud of.
    d) starting steps will be to keep the common areas free of clutter, complete the 14 weeks declutter challenge with my cousins, make my daughter pick up her toys at the end of the night, work with my mom on a system we will both be able to maintain (don’t get upset with her if she doesn’t know what my expectations are, shop & purchase a comfortable living room set, decorate some more based on my interest.
    e) I will know I’ve made progress because my husband will have less comments about the family living area, I will create weekly check points, we will clean as a family on a bi-weekly basis
    f)encouraging words: it took years for us to create the clutter it will take time to get rid of it. Little progress each day.
    f) I am going to make my home welcoming and loving one day at a time
    g) We might celebrate by having a New Year’s Eve party

    Goal 3: Build my finance:
    a) WHY: I can’t live my best life this way anymore
    b)+ effect I will give my family security
    c) FREEDOM from debt
    d) steps will be creating a budget, be honest with myself, plan weekly pay bills sessions with my husband, cut down on spending, maybe have a $100 grocery budget and still with it, planned meals, use coupons when I have then, if I buy it I will cook it, limit the amount of food we throw away, have one night of leftover dinner, start an emergency saving plan (doesn’t matter the amount just start!!)
    e) I will know we are moving in right direction when my husband and I don’t fight over money, we will stop bill collectors from calling the house or turning things off
    f) My God will supply all my needs if I’m faithful to tithing
    g) We will celebrate by taking a picture of our emergency plan and figure how to grow it in 2019.

    Goal 4: Create a better ME
    a)WHY: I am IMPORTANT and I WILL be the BEST I CAN BE
    b) + effect will be that I will be present with those that are close to me, I will be able to be who God wants me to be and I will be a light onto others
    c) I will feel empowered and joyful at the end of the year
    d)starting steps will be eating better, keeping appointments for my health (including dental), I will incorporate exercise into my life, I will DO things instead of staying home, I will explore myself and ask God to search me and help me to cultivate my life the way He wants me to be, I will journal, read, scrapbook, take pictures, dress myself, and spend time with loved ones without worrying about what they think but instead be present
    e) Progress will be shown by having more pictures, more joy, doing things on my bucket list. I will just know
    f)I MATTER and was wonderfully made by God. Rejoice and know that He loves me
    g) I will celebrate on a monthly basis so at the end of the year I can just recap my growth through the year. Will pray on how I will have a final project and how to share with others.

    Goal 5: Be a better Wife
    a)WHY: When I’m 80 I pray that we will be able to sit on the front porch and be proud of the life we lived together
    b) + effect will be that my husband will see me and know that I’m a gift from God made just for him! We will be a blessing for each other.
    c)At the end of the year I will feel loved by my husband, I won’t worry about the negative self talk because I will have worked with him to address things that happen and how I feel about it.
    d) Steps will be spending time with him on a daily basis, kissing him for real, keep the table clean, make treats for him, learn to make his favorite snack, cook with a joyful heart, keep our room free of clutter, ask him his opinion, be patient with him, make him 1st in my life, pray for him daily and ask if he wants to join me
    e) I will see progress because God will bring him closer to me, will have time together that we both plan
    f) I am loved by my husband and he wants the best for us. Since I have a relationship with God I need to pray without ceasing until he becomes the man of God that he was created to be.
    g) I will celebrate US but not sure how yet

    Goal 6: Be grateful with Motherhood
    a)WHY: I’m teaching my children how to love and be better people. God has given me 3 beautiful gifts and I will need to show them how much I love them.
    b) + effect will be my children will feel loved by me and in turn they will be able to love others.
    c) I will feel blessed at the end of the year for all that I was able to pure into my children.
    d)steps I will take will be able to spend time with each of my 3 children (based on their needs as well), I will play more with my daughter, I will not be on social media, I will be present with them when they have something to say, I will restart the journal for my daughter, I will take more pictures, we will have date nights, dinner time will be a set place to laugh and share with each other, I will cook healthy meals for them, I will pray for them each day, we can explore and create a summer bucket list that we can do together.
    e) I will be creating memories with my children, I will check in with them and see what they are looking to next
    f) Love on my children without limits. They love me and I have done the best I can do for them. Don’t allow the enemy to tell you otherwise
    g) I will share this goal with them and see how they would like to celebrate our growth at the end of 2018.

    Goal 7: Grow at work
    a)WHY: I don’t want negative self talk to take me away from where I know God wants me to be
    b) + effect will be once I start to change my viewpoints and I will be more productive throughout my job.
    c) At the end of the school year I will have helped some students to be their best selves. I will see growth in my work with them.
    d)My steps will be a majority of the time I have a negative self talk I will notice it and remind myself I am a child of God and He has me there , search out a biblical passage that I can recite at work, display my biblical passage, try hard things at work, progressive steps at organizing, keep my desk clear, create office hours for myself, leave work @ 4pm daily, leave work at work.
    e)I will see progress with my students, I will not be called to classrooms as much,
    f) I am only responsible for myself and can’t change anyone else. I can give students tools to be empowered. Children are great at forgiving me but they will remember when I don’t follow through
    g) At the end of the school year I will celebrate with those that are graduating, I will look for joy in their eyes, I will take time to rejoice in all the little steps along the way.

    WOW: I am feeling hopeful to 2018. I welcome what God will put in my life this year. Thanks Lara for being so open and honest with us and giving us the tools to be Empowered women!! I can’t wait to see my progress. I have also found a song for the year: It’s a new season (not sure if that’s the title but it’s from Israel Houghton. I actually listened to it the whole time I did step 5. I really believe God is getting me to a new season and I know he’s doing the same for the rest of the women that have committed to making 2018 great!!!

    • Lara

      I’m so encouraged reading what you wrote!!! Hooray!!! I’m so excited for you!

  108. Julie

    My goals for this year are:
    1. Become more confident speaking Spanish.
    2. Strengthen relationships with new friends at church.
    3. Cultivate long-time relationships with extended family and old friends.
    4. Write daily–anything!
    5. Read a couple of homeschooling books that have been sitting on my shelf for too long. READ THEM. Pray about our homeschooling “life” daily. (We have a child with a serious learning disability, and it’s turning my world upside down!)
    6. Monthly date with my husband!
    7. Be ALL IN at church. (We are part of a hispanic church and I am very shy because Spanish isn’t my first language.) This year, I want to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse” and hold nothing back from God or from our church family.
    8. Work on some personal maintenance goals!!! I’m not getting any younger, and it’s time to establish some good fitness routines and skin and haircare routines.
    9. Make one new recipe per week and make a new craft at least once a month. Got to have some fun!

  109. Reflection 2017 + Treasure 2018 | Blossom Heart Quilts

    […] past two years, I’ve followed along with the Goal Setting blog series by Lara Casey. The way she writes and organises it really resonates with me and how I think, and this year in […]

  110. Miranda Meenen

    I have so many more thoughts. I want to focus on a step by step progression of getting closer to the mom/wife/business owner/person I want to be.

  111. Julia Carrington

    My 2018 Goals!

    1. Transition to a life-giving new career! I LOVE working (crazy, I know), but I want to use the time I spend at work filling my soul. Because so much time is spent at work I think it is important to find something that makes me feel energized and purposeful.

    2. To improve self-care! I find myself giving so much of myself to others that I don’t have much left for me. I need to give myself permission to take care of me and know it doesn’t mean I care less for others.

    3. Loving the hubby more intentionally! Even if we don’t have time for a huge romantic getaway, be intentional with expressing love and appreciation. I want to make our relationship a priority so it continues to grow and thrive!

    Keeping my goal list short. Simplifying for quality!!!

  112. Courtney

    My word for the year is nourish and I feel so happy that each of my goals starts with a synonym of nourish!
    1. Cherish Jesus – Read the Word, pray, meditate on Scripture, worship with my girls, journal prayers..
    2. Foster Fun – More date nights, need to find a hobby, Get a sitter during the day once a week so I can have a couple of hours to myself,
    3. Feed my body- Eat breakfast, workout while listening to great music, drink water, remember vitamins, do what I need to so that my body is nourished!

  113. KathyB

    Go to bed on time
    Get up on time
    Homeschool diligently
    Personal prayer/spiritual reading
    Family prayer
    Exercise
    Follow diet doctor prescribed
    Use internet/social media wisely
    Take supplements
    Follow Rule of Life

  114. April

    Yikes! I’ve shared encouragement with folks but have not always left messages! I’ve encouraged my kids, my husband and several clients I work with who are working hard to get healthier and overcome some obstacles.

  115. Tiffany Messner

    *deep breath*
    These may change over the next few months, but here is what I have at this point!

    GOAL 1.
    Pursue fun fitness

    My why: I want to be a good steward of my time and body

    The positive effect it will have on mtself and others: I want to be capable of participating in youth events and not sitting on the sidelines. I also want to inspire others to take care of the temple that they are given.

    How I will feel December 31, 2018 having made progress: Loved…loves by myself!

    Starting steps:
    •cutting out sugar in coffee
    •looking for a 5k to run in this year
    •download a 5k app

    How will I know I accomplished or made progress by the end of 2018? By participating in a fun sport and by reaching maintaining my goal weight.

    Encouraging words:
    “It’s a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.”

    How will I celebrate by the end of 2018:
    Possibly new workout shoes or hiking boots?

    GOAL 2
    Take regular and intentional sabbaths

    My why: because I can minister better and operate better when I am rested.

    The positive effect:
    I will walk into each new thing feeling more refreshed. It will help me see things with a positive perspective.

    How will I feel December 31, 2018 if I have made progress:
    I will definitely feek more rested and less like I am dragging into the new year. I will be spiritually energetic

    Starting steps: finding restful things to do.  Choosing specific days to rest.

    How will I know I made progress:
    I would imagine I will have more peace. I can mark on my calendar the dats I takr intentional rests and shoot for more than 40 for this year though.

    Encouraging words:
    Sabbath is not about resting perfectly, but resting in the one that is perfect.

    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018?
    Get a pedicure?

    GOAL 3
    Invest in the mess of friends (it is easy to be superficial friends, but I want to be a friend that can be counted on when life is muddy)

    My why: Because it is worth it to love others in our messy lives.

    The positive effect it will have: I have the opportunity to spread joy & grow others and myself.

    How will I feel December 31, 2018 if I make progress:
    More connected to others, more community oriented

    Starting steps:
    •Buying coffee for friends who need uplifted
    • helping friends move
    • praying for hard things

    How will I know I made progress?
    I will feel closer to the friends I have and possibly make new friends!

    Encouraging words:

    How will I celebrate December 31st?
    Coffee date with my newest friend!

    GOAL 4
    Trust & believe in the future of our family/spend intentional time as a couple

    Why: because God has good plans for our family + because our marriage deserves and requires intentionality

    The positive effect this will have:
    Faith will grow. Love will grow.

    How will I feel December 31 having made progress? I think I will feel full of faith + feel closer to Rowan.

    Starting steps:
    • prayers of gratitude
    • exploring foster care
    • sharing our journey with our family

    How will I know I made progress?
    I will not have given up + We will be more in love and have had 50ish dates! Wow!

    Encouraging words:
    “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it”

    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018?
    Make a fun  craft with Rowan to help us remember our year.

    GOAL 5
    Leading in humility and truth at work

    My why: because our customers and my coworkers deserve to know the Truth and leading in humility will help open their hearts to it.

    Thw positive effect this will have on others and myself: truth cultivates trust. We could become a store that spreads light to each other and to our customers.

    How will I feel at the end of the year when I make progress?
    I will definitely feel more at peace in the workplace.

    Starting steps:
    • meeting with my manager

    How will I know I accomplished or made progress on thia goal?
    I will have more trust based/deep friendships.

    Encouraging words:
    You have grown so much in this job. There will be discouraging days this year, but stay focused on what the end goal is!

    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018?
    New Starbucks mug!

    GOAL 6
    Daily prayer/prayer journal

    Why:
    Because I need to connect with my creator to recharge on a daily basis.

    The positive effect:
    I will be closer to the Lord, I will be able to minister better.

    How will I feel having made progress?
    More hopeful of the future, prepared for what comes

    Starting steps:
    •Ask others for prayer requests

    How will I know I accomplished or made progress on this goal:
    I will have records of all that God does in 2018!

    Encouraging words:
    You were literally made for this!

    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018:
    New prayer journal

    GOAL 7
    Acting in faith; believing that God will move mountains in our finances

    Why:
    Because He is the only one that can. He is our source. All we are is His. We must act in faith.

    The positive effect it will have:
    We will feel stable and we will be able to bless others.

    How will you feel at the end of 2018:
    Empowered, safe

    Starting steps
    • make our firstfruits first
    • work hard
    • believe in the impossible

    How I will know we accomplished our goals:
    We will have given a tenth of our incomw back to Gof as tithe.
    We will be mostly out of debt, others will be able to look at us and see what the Lord has done.

    Encouraging words:
    He didn’t bring you this far to leave you

    How will I celebrate at the end of 2018:
    Give a special offering to our church’s end of year giving

  116. Kelly P.

    (Almost embarrassed to add this cuz it’s so long…but once I hit add there’s accountability!! Lol)
    1. Cultivate godliness in personal growth, marriage, my children, my small group, my friends who are believers and non believers, and in my home
    WHY: to prepare me for His kingdom and leave behind a godly legacy with my kids and those who know me or maybe never knew me, because it’s the most important thing we can do here while on Earth, because my personal relationship with Jesus is precious to me and when I am in the word and praying regularly the blessings I receive are totally worth keeping up the work and fighting the good fight, because I am an encourager and He uses me to help others through words (gifts of prophecy and intercession), I need to stay close in my relationship with Him to receive these words and blessings to give to others, because I can show others who He is and what my relationship has done for me (gift of exhortation)

    Positive effect: I will feel blessed and that will be a snowball effect (want to experience further blessings); showing others His great love, hopefully will also feel lighter in general
    How I will feel at 2018 end: blessed and closer to God
    Starting steps: intentional prayer time, covering everything in prayer (and letting my children see this), devotions, staying in the word, bible study, small group, making God/bible talk a comfortable, regular thing in our home, praying with D, and kids, praying always, asking for forgiveness often, showing love and mercy to ALL (no judgements), being obedient to his requests to encourage others, practicing more mercy and patience with my children
    How will I know? I will feel peace in my heart and see good fruit all around- in me and those closest to me
    Encouraging words:
    Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and he will help you.
    – psalm 37:4-5

    2. Cultivate a thriving marriage with more intimacy, more connecting, more dreaming, more respect, more growing in the Lord together

    WHY: because D and I are so burdened with life and our children that it’s so hard to stay connected and intimate and we often don’t make time for each other to do so, because I love him and we are soul mates and it’s important to invest in one another, because I truly deeply madly love him even when it’s hard to because of other circumstances, because everything is better and easier when your partner can bear it with you and you don’t feel alone

    Positive effect- happy wife= happy life, we will just be better people, workers, parents, spouses if we are connected and intimate regularly, our children will see the love their parents have for one another and eventually down the line they will model the same because it’s what they know

    Starting steps: love notes, date nights on calendar, starting our days and ending our nights praying together, taking time to dream together, making an effort for more intimacy, showing respect and honoring him always but especially in front of the children, encouraging his parenting and work efforts, going through the THRIVE curriculum at church, inviting romance back in to our lives
    How I know I have made progress: we will feel closer all the time, even when things are tense, chaotic with the kids, or hard
    Encouraging words: 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7-8

    3. Grow to become a blessing to my kids and fight for their hearts EVERYDAY! Let them know that my job as their mom/derricks wife/housewife is a blessing by how I manage it joyfully and for Him.

    WHY: because I want them to see and hear me and experience God’s Grace, mercies and love through me, because the way we are raising them/I am momming, will influence the people they become and eventually, the way they will parent my grandchildren and I want that to be rich in God’s love and not anything other than that, because yelling at them all the time is not getting us anywhere but in a bad, dark place where the enemy hangs out over my heart, because they are blessings and I need to destroy the enemy’s bad seeds he is planting in my heart that they bring me down, because I love them and I am the most influential person in their lives who can show them this kind of love that only comes from a godly mother, because complaining about not getting help or the things I do all the time will only show my kids that it’s OK to complain and I don’t believe that

    Positive effect: they will be happier and prayerfully, act out less, the calming and loving manner that I will parent will cause a domino effect in the house and everybody will be more calm and loving towards one another, they will get to experience God’s grace and mercy through me

    How I will feel: lighter and more deeply connected with my children

    Starting steps: make intentional time on the calendar for meaningful one on one time with them, fun family nights, pray for them/cover them in prayer DAILY, pray DAILY for God to soften my heart towards my difficult child, pray DAILY to prepare for their rambunctiousness, and attitude and mood swings so that I can be prepared better and not have to yell, treat them the way I would like to be treated, have regular heart checks with each of them, leave them love notes often, discover by really paying attention to moments
    Or rhythms in the day when I can capitalize on quality time with either one, two or all of them and BE PRESENT, check out less often by planning me time so I can look forward to that time instead of checking out when things get tough

    How I know progress was made: we will all be happier

    Encouraging words: Ephesians 4:29, 1 John 3:18, Be the change you wish to see in the (Home), Colossians 3:23

    4. Cultivate a life-giving home where our family (and friends and visitors) can feel, see, experience God and be blessed and inspired and so my family and marriage can have enough rest, peace, energy, inspiration and love to prepare us for our days and what God may require of us each day.

    WHY: first, there are only a few rooms in our home that bring me joy and these areas I don’t spend a lot of time in, therefore I want to feel joy in my home for myself, and so it can bless and inspire my family, friends, and visitors, because I want to be able to invite more non believers over to see how our lives look as Christ-followers, because I want my children to have Christ centered memories and influences all around them and feel that Home is where their hearts are, because I need a place to connect with Derrick after a hard day where we can retreat to relax, pray, and feel peaceful together, because decorating this house just might be a calling for me as it’s been a nudge almost my entire life and how will I know if this is a calling unless I take a leap of faith and go for it, because clutter and dirtiness stresses me out and robs my joy and color and personal touches energize me and make my heart feel peace and joy, because a life giving home will be a place that inspires creativity and I need creativity to thrive

    Positive effect: Derrick and I will enjoy retreating every evening and we will connect more, our family and friends and visitors will be blessed by coming in

    How I will feel: alive, creative, inspired, blessed, at peace and not constantly thinking about it like I do now

    Starting steps: pray about all of this, read, make plans and discuss with Derrick, continue dreaming, build effective rhythms in the morning and evening to keep house clutter free, continue to work on organizing to simplify our lives, practice more discipline with chores and routines that we discover really work for us, implement meal planning tools to make it easier

    How I know progress made: when we invite others over and they enjoy their time in our home, when my family feels more alive in spaces I have created to be more life giving

    Encouraging words: Home is where the heart is and my spiritual gift of *hospitality*

    5. Make ME TIME a regular and prioritized thing to equip me to be a better wife, mom, family member and friend by creative time, reading, journaling, exercising, and quiet time

    WHY: because I have noticed when I don’t have this, I can quickly become stressed out and disengaged which puts strains on my relationship with my husband and children, because being healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually- will make me a better person to all who know me, because I feel like I will go crazy if I don’t do something with my God given talents…I feel like I’ve been waiting all of my life to use my gifts for a purpose and I haven’t had time to explore what or how that might be, because I have many interests that lead to growth and perspective (reading, art, music) and it’s always good to grow and have perspective, because truly coming in to my unique self, the self God created me to be, has been happening lately more than ever and I feel alive and fired up when I can be unique and express my individuality

    Positive effect: I will be a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, family member and I may learn to use my gifts to give or serve others

    Starting steps: schedule intentional, planned out me time regularly, make a list of the projects or ideas I have that could realistically come to fruition, exercise (start small), read at night and get more sleep, prioritize quiet time to pray, read the Bible and be still, sketch out some art ideas

    How I know progress will be made: I will be more engaged with my kids and want to, I will have more joy, energy, and feel refreshed to better face what God has in store for me, I will hopefully hear more of Him

    Encouraging words: 1 peter 4:10

    6. Plan intentional recreation with my family and let it be known what a blessing it is to be refreshed, gain perspective and have open hearts and eyes to see God everywhere and where He may use us even when not in our circles or comfort zones

    WHY: Because I am moved by families whose vacations are servant-based and I have felt a tinge of guilt that vacations seem luxurious and not Christ-centered, because I would love for my family to vacation and see God even while they’re jumping in a pool, or when they meet a new friend on the soccer field, or if we are walking down the Greenway, because staying healthy and moving our bodies is important and we must take care of our temples where Christ dwells in us, because God wants us to have fun and praise His name for the fun we are blessed to have, because in this season of life we need fun things to look forward to

    Positive effect: like hitting a refresh button and gaining new perspective with an opportunity to show God’s love others around us, the effect our family will leave on these others peoples hearts will hopefully be a positive one

    Starting steps: when we plan vacations, seek opportunities to help the kids find God and point things out to them that I see, praise Him in the joyful moments on vacation so we know these are his blessings to us, encourage my children to shine their lights everywhere they go (soccer field…like the girl who prayed for my daughter!) and me too to the parents, plan a family exercise walk somewhere beautiful

    How I know progress made: when my children start doing these things without me encouraging them to

    Encouraging words: James 1:17 (every good and perfect gift is from above)
    Matthew 5:16 (let your light shine before others)
    James 2:14-17 (deeds)
    Hebrews 13:2 (hospitality to strangers)

    7. Be prayerful, open hearted, ready and obedient about how God wants me to minister to, serve, intercede, exhort, teach and or share His word and truths with believer friends, family and strangers and non-believer friends, Family and strangers

    WHY: because God uses me this way and I feel great blessings in my obedience, in pleasing Him, and usually the outside of these whispers when I act obediently, because I know personally that God uses other people to show His mercy, love and grace as I have been the recipient of these blessings and the one He has used and I want to continue to be His vessel in this way and I believe seeking these whispers with the right heart will bring more blessings

    Positive effect: well, if done properly, God’s will be done

    Starting steps: encourage others as often as I can, seek opportunities to encourage others, send that email, write that thank you note, say those nice words…ask Him for these moments, be prayerful about it, continue sharing my story and how God has shown up many times in my life with “God stories” (I believe he has given me these tangible God stories because he knows I will share them and am excited to do so!)

    How I know I will make progress: the Holy Spirit will let me know!

    Encouraging words: love God, love others…’nuf said

  117. Katie Pankiewicz

    As a recovering perfectionist, I am loving this PowerSheet process. I appreciate the step-by-step approach. I appreciate the fact that I really have to think about what is important and how that can translate into goals and then, do those goals actually relate to what I want to accomplish?…. what a super idea this is! Thank you all for sharing this process. And thanks be to God for giving you the ideas and talents and willingness! May He bless your 2018!

  118. Emily M.

    Goal-writing time! This has taken me awhile but I’m so excited to finally set them down on “paper” 🙂 I love that the Cultivate What Matters method walks through the tangible pieces of goal-setting to make sure my goals are practical, relevant and do-able. Thank you for this awesome series, Lara and team!!

    My goals for 2018, the year of Gratitude and Presence!
    1) Cultivate my health by regularly trail running and weight training each week
    2) Cultivate gratitude by meditating/praying for at least 5 min each morning before my daughters wake up
    3) Cultivate presence by limiting my phone use at home to specific times each day
    4) Cultivate my marriage by spending evenings in quality time with my husband, Patrick (“hobby time”)
    5) Cultivate faith by listening to the Bible daily (with Lara!)
    6) Cultivate creativity by investing in my newfound love of calligraphy (practice >10min daily)

  119. Sheila Paliga

    My goals for 2018:

    1. Create goodness habitan in our home
    2. Make great progress getting out of debt.
    3. Start homeschool with my son
    4. Read through the Bible
    5. Focus on the things of God, not of this world
    6. Make my health a priority
    7. Act on dream and plans I have made but Brennan afraid to take the first steps
    8. Cultivate my relationships in my home

    Im so excited for 2018!

  120. Sheila Paliga

    My goals for 2018:

    1. Create good habits in our home
    2. Make great progress getting out of debt.
    3. Start homeschool with my son
    4. Read through the Bible
    5. Focus on the things of God, not of this world
    6. Make my health a priority
    7. Act on dream and plans I have made but Brennan afraid to take the first steps
    8. Cultivate my relationships in my home

    Im so excited for 2018!

  121. Courtney

    I have concrete goals! Goals that are rooted in what matters! and that’s thanks to this goal setting series <3thank you! I feel so optimistic and ready to start the year right, forgive myself when I slip, and keep my priorities straight! So here's the FINAL STEP! 😀

    Goals:

    1) Read the WHOLE bible
    2) Clear the mental and physical clutter
    3) Adopt consistent, productive daily habits
    4) Train for and compete in the 2019 Goofy Challenge

    Every goal has God at the center of my 'why' and every goal will allow me the time and space to focus on my family, to cultivate a joy-filled home, and to SAVOR the beautiful life I have been given.

    I'm excited to actually get my powersheets messy this year and to work hard on these goals!

    Thank you again, all the best in 2018!

    In Christ,

    Courtney

  122. Cati Grape

    In the previous post, I mentioned that most of my goals are rather ambiguous — not as concrete as my perfectionist heart would desire. But I am excited to see how God works in spite of some broad goals.

    1. Faith/Spiritual growth — because only the Lord has the words of life. The positive effect — is there ANY negative effect of following Christ? How I will feel: more grounded, more clear, more filled with TRUTH; how will I know I accomplished this goal? — Making Writing the Word a consistent, daily habit; understanding more about God’s character; understanding church history and the purpose of the local church more fully. How I will celebrate: Create a watercolor painting or book with meaningful scriptures about God’s character.

    2. marriage: because two are better than one. The positive effect — building a legacy of staying for our family; How I will feel: more grounded, more grateful, more confidence; how I will know I accomplished this goal: — consistent, truthful, vulnerable conversations, intimacy, seeking out and seeing my husband’s leadership; fewer expectations, more delight and laughter; How I will celebrate this goal: Go on a celebratory date or getaway for our eighth anniversary in November!

    3. Mothering — because children are the most important work. The postivie effect of this goal is cultivating peace in our home which will create a safe place our kids can trust; how I will feel — more grounded and confident in what matters in mothering; How I will know I accomplished this goal: seeing peace in my Children, a peaceful Mama, reacting out of peace and thriving, rather than frustrating and surviving. How I will celebrate this goal — celebrating my children well on their birthdays this year, ages 5, 3, and 2!

    4. Personal growth and consistency because I cannot pour out what I do not have. The positive effect of this goal is being filled up so I can pour out rather than attempting to pour out of emptiness; how I will feel — grateful for growth; How I will celebrate this goal — a personal day away to celebrate what God has done for me.

    5. Invest in home — because we want to create a safe place for our kids and others; the positive effect is more order, more life, more vision in our home. How I will feel — increasingly grateful for this space. How I will know I accomplished this goal — kitchen renovation done! The bedrooms finished being decorated; closets cleaned out! And a few outdoor renovation projects completed. How I will celebrate: hosting a kitchen reveal party to welcome our friends into our fixer upper since the first time we moved in last June.

    6. Practical stuff — because practical stuff matters. The positive effect — no more diapers (praise!), teaching Hudson responsibility and saving skills; better unity and direction in finances; believing to be in a church. Practical stuff is a lot more tangible in terms of how I will feel and how I will know we made progress, and I might host a dance party when we use the very last diapers! 😉

    7. Homeschooling — because it is an honor to teach our children and lead them to be lead by the Holy Spirit; how I will feel — seeing my children learn and enjoy learning… delighted!! How I will know I accomplished my goals: completing preschool, planning kindergarten, and teaching Hudson to read/ furthering his LOVE for reading and learning.

    8. Work — practical means of providing for my family while staying at home. The positive effect — greater vision moving forward for my company; how I will feel — more grounded in the services I am providing and the direction of my company. How I will celebrate — host some sort of team meetup for our very remote and tiny team!

  123. Kayla

    I sent a snail mail note to a friend to encourage her. 🙂

  124. Glenda

    This series has been amazing to hear, read and reflect about. It has helped me to uncover meaningful goals. Although my goals are still not finished, a have the skeleton and this is it:
    1) Nurture my faith
    2) Nurture my family: marriage and sons relationships, talents, character, gifts, hearts, minds and soul with meaningful conversations, experiences and daily interactions.
    3) Cultivate my professional career
    4) Nurture friendships new & old; close & far away.
    5) Nurture my health & wellness
    6) Nurture our family finances
    7) Simplify, declutter, disconnect/connect, focus on what matters
    I’ll keep polishing them and working on the steps to start and cultivate them.

  125. April Emery

    My goals for the year

    1 – healthy BMI
    2 – develop daily disciplines
    3 – less screen time as a family
    4 – dates with my husband
    5 – cultivate 2-3 meaningful friendships
    6 – have FUN
    7 – pay off debt
    8 – attain a promotion with my work by the end of the year
    9 – complete 2 house projects

  126. Christy Thomas

    My 2018 Goals are:

    1- To end 2018 being the healthiest I can be
    2- To cultivate a happy and love filled marriage
    3- To nurture deep relationships with my children
    4- To pray more and read the whole bible
    5- Set clear boundaries around work time and do work
    6- Cultivate a lifegiving house by owning less and saying yes to community
    7- Tend to my mind by reading and learning and my soul by making things creatively.

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