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Friends! First, thank you for all the excitement and love for the Cultivate Your Life Podcast. I am so grateful, and I hope it encourages many of you!
Okay, let’s dig in! Remember how you felt when you started this series just a few posts ago? You felt nervous, unsure, or even a little scared.
But, now look where you are!
You’ve blown me away in this series so far and you’re getting ready to choose your best goals for 2019—goals you can’t wait to get started on. I’m so excited for you!
Think about this: like planting flower seeds in a garden, making our goals come to life requires physical action. I have to first get my hands dirty, plant seeds in faith—believing in what I can’t yet see—and tend to them little by little over time. It takes action. And another action. And another. Over time, goals that were once words you wrote on a blog post here will come to life!
But, do you know what’s more exciting to me than the blooms at the end?
The happy dancing we do when the seeds first sprout.
Watching tiny green leaves unfurl.
The kids squealing with delight when the first flower begins to open.
Hearing the low hum of the bees blanketing new blooms.
The process of cultivating—breaking the soil, planting, tending, and waiting for the harvest—is where life happens. It’s where change and growth happen. The journey to making it happen is where the good stuff lives.
You may think you want growth to happen overnight (I feel that, too, sometimes!), but I have also been reading every single comment on this series. Taking this step-by-step is helping you make remarkable discoveries.
You are starting to see clearly, and it’s happening little by little.
Your little by little progress is adding up.
You’re cultivating what matters, friends.
And you know the truth now, the secret to following through on goals that last: it’s okay to grow slow. In fact, it’s really good to grow slow.
Little by little these zinnias in my garden grew this year from the tiniest seeds. Little by little babies grow. Can you imagine if you got pregnant and then the next day gave birth?? Oh my stars! You wouldn’t have time to prepare. No time to buy diapers, think over a name, assemble the crib, or celebrate. You would have missed the time of preparation and growth that happens over nine-ish months.
It’s the same with our goals. Friend, trust that your goals matter enough to make them happen well. They matter enough to take little steps forward every single day, and some big leaps along the way, too. Your goals matter enough to tend to them like a garden.
There have been a few watermelons and tomatoes in my garden that seemed to appear overnight. (And the mint! SO MUCH MINT.) Your goals will happen faster than you think if you take it day by day by day instead of jumping ship when you mess up.
Just because you make a mess doesn’t mean you become one.
Let’s pick out some good seeds to plant this year! Are you ready for this? It might feel scary the moment before you pick them, but it will feel SO GOOD when you take that leap of faith and finally do the things you’ve always wanted to do!
First, review everything again! Do not skip this step. Remember, this is goal uncovering. Uncover one more layer and get to the good stuff! Read through everything you’ve written again in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Read every word. Rewrite or add to things once more if you need to. Cross stuff out, revise things, add to your lists of what did and didn’t work (I added a ton to mine!). Add more to your YES and NO lists. Refine your 2019 Pinterest board and remove pins that don’t fit anymore. Uncovering good goals is like a treasure hunt—get messy and dig a little deeper.
I did, and I can’t believe what I almost missed had I not done this step! I went back through my 2019 PowerSheets and WOW! Here’s what I found…
— The biggest thing that kept popping up—my clearest thread—was growing a faithful life over a comfortable life.
— I circled and highlighted many things that have to do with doing less and making it mean more—slowing down, growing the hearts of our children, and growing close to God’s heart. (See my word of the year popping up??)
Now, write out some goal ideas. Make a list of the first “goal ideas” that come to mind for this year based on everything you’ve just reviewed. Now would be a good time to take a big deep breath 🙂 I’m also going to stop and pray before I write mine, and ask Ari to pray for me, too. Your goal ideas don’t have to be perfectly written—just write what comes to mind first when you think about the big picture. Feel free to share some of your goal ideas in the comments, too!
Check your goal ideas to make sure they’re worth spending your time on! Now, let’s sort through the goal ideas and see if we can find any weeds. It’s easy to make goals that sound good or goals that look like other people’s. Let’s not do that 🙂
The idea here is to do your life well, not to give yourself a new to-do list of random things that sound good or things we think we “should” have on our lists because everyone else does. Maybe those things aren’t right for you in this season—or ever. Be intentional about how you decide to spend your time, with your own unique gifts and talents and resources. How you spend your time is how you spend your life. Check each of your goal ideas to see if they are leading you in the right direction.
Do a GOAL CHECK and ask these essential questions:
— Will this goal help me to cultivate what matters?
— Will this goal help me get to where I want to be when I’m eighty years old?
— Does this goal help other people?
— WHY do I want to make this goal happen? Am I desiring this goal for the right reasons, or am I striving for “perfect”—or whatever I’ve been chasing?
Download a free printable checklist (direct download) below!
If the answer is NO to any of these questions, then it’s possible it’s not the best use of your precious time. Don’t run in circles with goals that don’t directly connect to what matters most in the big picture. Cross goals out that don’t 100% fit. Be bold and take leaps of faith as you write!
If you are a believer like me, here are some additional questions I’m asking myself (there’s so much more for you in my God + Goals 5-day reading plan on the YouVersion Bible app!) :
— Does this goal help draw me and others closer to God?
— Is this goal rooted in God’s truth? (Find scriptures to support it!)
— Does this goal rely on my strength or God’s?
— Does this goal help me steward what I’ve been given well?
Yep! I have a printable for these questions if you want them, too! Download it below (direct download)…
Write down WHY you want to accomplish each goal idea. When I was a personal trainer in New York for many years, clients often would come to me with a number and say, “I want to lose 20 pounds.” I would ask them, “Why 20 pounds?” Usually, when we got down to it, it was just an arbitrary number or a weight they were in college—there was no real heart connection to the goal of losing 20 pounds.
But, when we dug deeper into why they became out of shape in the first place and what they wanted most in life, a picture of true fitness started to emerge. Instead of, “I want to lose 20 pounds because that’s what I weighed in college” (not very motivating and more self-defeating), we worked on goals like, “I want to be healthy and strong so that I can walk my daughter down the aisle. I want to live a long, happy life so I can be a better husband and show my kids how to be joyful and healthy, too.”
That goal worked.
That was motivating.
Get real with why you want these things to happen and connect them to something that really matters to you. This is the key to achieving your goals instead of tossing them aside.
There is so much goodness to come when we actually write out our 2019 goals on Monday (using a special method I’ll tell you about then!). For now, keep making a mess and digging into that rich growing ground of yours!
Your turn! Today’s Goal Uncovering Steps:
11. Review everything you’ve written again and mark, circle, highlight, or sticker the threads (or themes) you’re seeing.
12. Write your goal ideas.
13. Check your goals with The Intentional Goal Setting Checklist.
14. Write down your WHY with every goal idea.
Need some extra motivation? The Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway is on!
Enter to win:
— 10 sets of 2019 PowerSheets to help 10 of you cultivate your BEST year yet!
— A Goal Guide Bundle to help you dig deeper on your specific goals.
— Five signed copies of Cultivate.
— Five signed copies of Make It Happen.
— One Write the Word All Seasons Collection to help you cultivate fresh faith all year long.
— A gift card (YES!) for a massage to kick off your year refreshed!
— A Balanced Life membership – get moving and motivated with a year of at-home pilates!
— A Floret Flowers puzzle (it’s double-sided and so much fun!)
—A Revelation Wellness membership with a ‘Wellness Kickoff Package” to cultivate your health in the New Year.
— One Artifact Uprising album to document the people and experiences that matter most to you.
— An Emily Ley Simplified Planner to keep your schedule organized in the new year.
— Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course—a life-changing experience to help you pursue financial freedom.
— One Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal. I’ll be using one this year, too!
— A Hello Fresh box to keep you fueled with good food.
— One Art Bar canvas (up to $150 value) to brighten your walls.
— A Fitbit to help you celebrate your literal steps forward.
— An Amazon Alexa to keep you dancing.
SHARE THIS SERIES WITH YOUR PEOPLE. Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself! I’d be so grateful if you spread the word about this free series. Email this kick-off post to your friends, tweet it, ‘gram it (here are lots of sharable graphics for you to make it easy!), text it—sing it to the rooftops! Let’s get all our friends in on this so they can feel as refreshed and clear about 2019 as we will. Here’s to our best year yet together—starting now!
Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on January 31st here on the blog. Hard goods are for US entrants only. If you don’t claim your prize within 48 hours, another winner will be selected, so mark your planners and stay posted! 🙂 This post contains affiliate links.
P.S. You want to live your best life in 2019. The PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner makes it possible! Get 15% off with the code BESTYEAR2019.