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!!!
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!
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.
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!
Photo 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: 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: 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: 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: 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!
A big thank you to everyone who entered! What a joy it was to hear your responses and get to chat with you in the comments! Congratulations to our winners below! If you’re a winner, fill out this form to collect your prize!
1. 10 sets of 2018 PowerSheets! — Gail boos, Sara Baker, Carrie Condra, Beth Kuligowski, Melissa Kelly, Cierra LaShay, Kara Wallitsch Tydlacka, Charis K, Staci Good Bedenbaugh, and Cara Gordon
2. A Fitbit Flex — Lexie Hart
3. A gift card for a massage — Chris Koiro
4. The 2018 Floret wall calendar — Jen Harris
5. A 2018 Yearly prayer journal from Val Marie Paper — Heather Chollar
6. Keepsake Kitchen Diary from Lily and Val — Zulema Uscanga
7. Farmgirl Flowers bouquet — Bianca Norman
8. Our popular PowerSheets Companion Bundle — Jennifer Harper
9. 1-year membership to Thrive Market — Vanessa Wright
10. 2018 Simplified Planner — Sarah Gonzales
11. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! A free house cleaning! — Kara Earhart
12. 5 signed copies of Cultivate — Madelyn Smith, Emily Soroka, Julie Davis, Cortney P, and Shannon Hunsley
13. A seat at Financial Peace University — Kady Curtis
14. 5 signed copies Make It Happen — Keatyn Bergsten, Emily Montgomery, Jenna King, Ann Kuhns, and Kaitlyn Payne
15. Write the Word All Seasons Collection — Hannah Tate
16. A Meyer lemon tree – a family favorite around here! — Lindsey Abrego
17. A 6-month membership to Skillshare — Jessica Gilson
18. A LegacyBox! (Amazing!) — Kerry Batty
19. One of everything from the Cultivate Shop! — Sarah Kemer
P.S. After starting this series, need more direction? 4 great places to start:
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!