We don’t like imperfect starts, do we?
We want perfect right out of the gate.
But all plants grow through the dirt, and so do we.
Making a mess doesn’t mean you become one. – Cultivate

Feeling guilty about not making progress on your goals or not starting them at all?

February 1 can be your January 1! (And if so, you’ll love this podcast episode!)

80% of people give up on their goals by mid-February. Are you feeling that creep up? Learn how to break your goals down and choose the right goals for your season in these top posts from January:

How to Make Your Goals Happen
How to Choose the Right Goals for 2019
The Key to Progress: Mini Goals
How to Fail on Your Goals
How to Take the First Step on Your Goals

To help us all buck that giving-up-by-mid-February statistic, get ready for the 3rd-Annual Cultivate What Matters Day (Feb 13th)! Download a reminder for your calendar —> Cultivate_What_Matters_Day. Mark your planners for a day of taking ONE next best step on your goals—maybe the one you’ve been afraid to take. We’re going to take that one step together—no perfection required!

You can make imperfect progress on a goal and still achieve your goal.

You can have weeds and still grow flowers in your garden.

You can do less and make it mean more.

January was a month of digging into those truths and taking first steps into new habits to kick off the year. And it was a month of intentionally starting SLOWLY so I don’t burn myself out. More in the podcast episode “There’s Nothing Magical About January 1st.

Here’s a recap of my January goals and what I learned:

That was so fun! In the video I share how I made progress on my goals and lots of practical tips, including how to color-code your goals to help you follow-through. This is a game-changer for me! Links I mention in the video:

Goal Setting Sticker book with color coding system
Math-U-See
Free Prints
— Write the Word
How to Plan Your Year
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

On to February!

February Monthly Goals:
— Continue the Contentment Challenge
— Train leaders – help grow our leadership team at work
— Do a seed exchange!!! Eeee!!! More to come on this. Given my No Spend Year goal, I’m particularly excited about this!
— On that note, start some of our seeds indoors (the kids love this!)
— Work with Ari on what we’re calling our “Finish Line Plan” (not a retirement finish line, but, the impact we make with how we use the resources God has entrusted to us that lasts far beyond us). We’ll be digging through the first steps in February from God + Money about giving and the big picture.
— Send the 2020 PowerSheets to print
— Prayerfully record the podcast

February Weekly goals:
— Study what the Word says about God’s heart (and mine!)
— Continue reading God + Money with Ari
— Disciple and be discipled
— Weekly family Sabbath

February Daily Goals:
— Old Testament Bible Reading. (P.S. Need a great 5-day Bible reading plan?)
— Through the Fresh Faith Challenge, I discovered a new habit of writing the Word at night before bed (instead of looking at my phone) and it has been so fruitful! I’m keeping it going in February.
— Sing
— Work. It. Out. I am seeing how much pushing myself to work out harder helps my stress levels each day. This is so tricky in the winter to get this done with all three kids with me (normally we go outside to walk together), but I’m determined! Listen to my new workout playlist here.
— Neck exercises – my neck injury has progressively gotten worse, so I’m focusing more on my at-home physical therapy exercises. I have an alarm set to do them 6 – 8 times a day. I’m doubling this as prayer time, too!

Your turn! Do you have goals for February? What are you cultivating in this new month? I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!

P.S. Just getting started on your PowerSheets and want me to coach you through how to fill in your Tending List? You got it!

33WordPress Comments , Facebook Comments ()
  1. catherine

    This month, I’m cultivating rest + healing. This has been the most difficult season of our lives so I want to listen to my body: when it’s tired, sleep; hungry, eat; thirsty, drink but also to my soul. I want to cut back if not off completely from social media that tends to drain instead of water me. I want to focus wholeheartedly on what matters most and forget the unimportant. This means focus on time in God’s word and loving my people.

    • Lara

      Catherine, I’m praying that this month can be refreshing for you and your family.

  2. Rachel

    My February tending list is a little longer this month and it was intimidating at first, but I realized that I also carried goals over that were growing so well! It wasn’t so much adding a ton of new things or starting over, but now that seeds have started to sprout and grow are already on my mind automatically and I can tend to them while I begin to cultivate some new seeds and goals as well! Overall I’m glad I started small in January with most of my focus on faith goals, and can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to grow my heart when I spend time deeply in the Word!

    • Lara

      Rachel, I love this! Cheering you on as you cultivate some new things this month!

  3. Emily

    Monthly Goals:
    Contentment Challenge Month 2!
    Record a talk I’ve been asked to give for a conference for parents of disabled children
    Money to the emergency fund
    Finish Kon Mari-ing my house for move prep!

    Weekly:
    Contentment Challenge devotion–read
    Meal plan
    Blog!
    Artist Date
    Holy Hour

    Daily:
    Exercise!
    Track money using Every Dollar App–reconcile spending with budget
    Track food in my food journal

  4. Holly E Simpson

    Here is my February tending list!

    Monthly:
    *Continue with Contentment challenge (month 2)
    *Finish planning for Disney trip at the end of the month!!
    *Finish reading “Spirit Walk” by Steve Smith

    Weekly: (most of mine are focused on setting household habits)
    *Monday buy groceries
    *Tuesday house clean-up
    *Thursday wash all the clothes
    *Friday meal plan
    *Friday go through mail drawer every 2 weeks

    Daily:
    *morning devo with kids
    *Time with God
    *Exercise
    *meal prep before 3pm (so I can spend time with my kids)
    *clean kitchen every night

    • Lara

      Holly, I like how you’ve given each day of the week a specific task! That’s great! For your exercise goal, I’d challenge you to be specific! What exercise (or exercises) will you do?

  5. Carleen Roberts

    Lara, I love The Bible Project’s Read Scripture plans too!

  6. Leah Hathcote

    Great post & the video was helpful! This month I’m focusing on cultivating simplicity and creativity. I’m also not putting too much on my plate because my husband and I need to focus on making a big decision this month. I’m focusing on simplicity by decluttering, continuing the Contentment Challenge, downloading phone photos, and setting screen limits for myself. I’m cultivating creativity by painting in my watercolor notebook each week. And I know all of these things will help put my mind at rest and help my husband and I make that big decision. 🙂

  7. Hailey

    My goals for February will include celebrating a family birthday well (not necessarily spending a whole lot, but making it meaningful for him), resting (early to bed once or twice a week), and doing a small bit of exercise each day. Right now, I keep my tending list short and simple, which I really need to stay focused!

    Rather than slowing down after the holidays, life has continued its busy pace. I want to intentionally invest my time and energy in resting and caring for myself so I can be more present with my family . SLEEP! 🙂

  8. Kori

    Just a few :

    Few monthly goals:
    – pay off coaching session early for new business mentorship ( which leads to weekly goal of staying on budget)
    -feel healthier ( which leads to daily goal of drinkiing 64 oz or more of water. Weekly to walk ten thousands steps in a day three times a week.
    – finalize carpool and rooming situation for creative at heart round 9.

    Weekly goal:
    – church each Sunday – been out of routine since sicknesses
    – do write the word journal 3 times week

    Daily:
    – devotional through youverison
    – 64+ oz water
    – pray with and over daughter before bed
    – encourage someone

    • Lara

      Kori, I love how you have indicated how the monthly goals lead to the even more mini weekly and daily goals!

  9. Courtney

    God and Money is SUCH a good book! My husband and I read it last year and it was such a game changer! In February, I want to love on my family a little extra. Last year, I wrote something I love about each child and my husband on a paper heart and taped it to their door. It was a huge hit! I’m excited to do that again this year.

  10. Kinsey

    I feel GOOD about January and excited for February.

    These are my monthly action items:
    -take (+ print!) lots of pictures
    -get more organized at work
    -book club!
    -build relationships
    -prepare for change at work

    My weekly action items:
    -write (+ send!) at least one note of encouragment
    -read at least one book
    -Bible class homework
    -Home Group participation

    And my dailies:
    -pray for my husband
    -Write the Word journal
    -water first and last thing
    -10,000 steps
    -list journal

  11. Kim

    Focused on improved budgeting through use of YNAB. Learning curve but seeing progress! Carving out time to connect with and love my husband well; we’re in a new season of empty nesting and it’s harder than I anticipated. Growing my faith; will always be something I’m focused on; Finishing a couple of knitting projects…knitting is one way I relax and unwind and reflect.

  12. Christine

    My February monthly goals:
    *Renew my license.
    *Get teeth cleaned.
    *Do budget.
    *Put $ in savings.

    Weekly Goals:
    * Date night.
    *Declutter (two days a week)
    * Follow Evening Routine.

    Daily Goals:
    *Read Romans 8 or I John 1.
    * Instagram and email only between 12 pm- 2 pm.
    *20 minutes unplugged with the kids.
    * Take supplements.
    *Bible memory time with my 6 year old and 3 year old.

    • Lara

      Christine, I like that you’ve given yourself a time cap on Instagram and email!

  13. Ashley Marie Evans

    I love the new video updates! My two biggest goals this year are to care well for my body and to cultivate a balanced financial lifestyle. February should be a really interesting month for me. I did really well in January and it really fired me up to set harder (or what I feel to be harder) action items/habits.

    Big this month are:
    M – Submit Wellness Program forms (My workplace gives personalized fitness prescriptions and 3 hours a week of paid time to meet wellness/fitness goals. I just have to collect everything I need to get started.)
    M – Finish my 2018 taxes (Done as of this morning!)
    D – Eat Well (January revealed some bad eating habits)
    D – 10.000 steps (Something else I realized I struggle with in January)
    D – Maintain Budget/Contentment Challenge (I’m taking a hit to my income in Feb/Mar/Apr and I have to be super careful to stick to my budget to stay on track to pay down my student loans this year)

  14. Brianna

    It’s only February, but I have realized I need to shift some of my goals. I keep telling myself, “It’s okay to change your mind!” That being said, I will be praying about what God wants me to do rather than what I want to accomplish. So far, I know I want to be focusing most on my relationship with the Lord, my budget, and prayerfully considering how I can better contribute to my family’s finances. I know God will give me clarity in all these areas!

    • Lara

      Brianna, learning to shift some of your goals is great! May you get clarity this month, friend!

  15. Tracy C

    I was super excited to get to my February goals. This is my first time doing this and I was excited everyday to keep track of my tending list.

    My top priority is My Health (mental and physical)
    I plan on reading at least one book this month.
    Drinking less coffee and substituting Green Tea.
    Have more family date nights.

    I want to meal prep and track all my food and water consumption weekly.
    I plan on taking at least one relaxing hot bath per week with some Epsom salts.

    My daily habits include waking up early to read and exercise. Going to bed early. Hug someone and say I love you.

    • Lara

      Tracy, I’m excited for you! I love that instead of just listing “drinking less coffee” you’ve given yourself what you will do instead (Green Tea)—it’s a great way to stay motivated and stick to your plan!

  16. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    One of my main February goals is to love my family and friends well. I also want to date with a bold and hopeful heart. This has been an area full of heartbreak and discouragement for me these last few years, and even very recently, but I want to continue to persevere. And if I had to pick a word or phrase for my February it would be to “persevere with hope.” To keep digging deep in the Word, taking leaps of faith, praying big prayers, and moving forward little by little.

  17. Emily Wood

    Monthly Goals
    -Do something special for Brandon (my husband):
    -Family Yearbook
    -Complete March – May in my Celebrations Binder
    -Prepare Budget
    -Open bank accounts for the boys (Since I didn’t do it in January! LOL)
    -Compile 30 recipes
    -Work on updating and organizing the DSS (Department of Social Services) playroom
    -Write a piece to submit to (In)Courage
    -Finalize the date for Orphan Sunday
    -Make a dermatologist appointment
    -Celebrate February well!!!

    Weekly Goals
    -Have a Look Ahead Day (This REALLY helped me!! It will be a Weekly Goal from here on out!)
    -Work through FlyLady
    -Work out at least 3 times

    Daily Goals
    -Read through the Chronological Bible
    -Pray
    -Don’t bite my nails
    -Keep going on the Contentment Challenge
    -Write!!!

    PS – I’ve decided to blog about my PowerSheets progress to keep me accountable!
    https://www.emilymwood.com/2019/02/05/january-progress-february-powersheets-goals/

  18. Marie-Claude Choiniere

    Here are a few of my goals for February:

    Monthly:
    – plan my social media & newsletter for my business
    – declutter & clean up my office (I can’t work when it’s not tidy!)
    – send messages to my friends to see what’s up with them
    – get a massage and physiotherapy for my back
    – revise our budget
    – set my agenda for the month (so I control it!)
    – shoot videos for my business to showcase products, recipes, etc

    Weekly:
    – call customers to follow up
    – meal plan & prep (set example for my clientele)
    – read bedtime stories to my oldest kids 2-3 times/week to spend time with them since we have a newborn baby
    – fill my Direct Sales System Planner
    – read a book

    Daily:
    – drink at least 2L of water
    – watch training videos
    – eat 5-10 fruits & vegetables
    – do my skincare routine morning & night

    • Lara

      These are so good, Marie-Claude! Love the self care things you’re doing this month!