Want to listen to this post instead of reading it? Here you go!
Welcome to the final post in the eighth-annual Intentional Goal Setting Series! Each year, I am left in awe of the leaps of faith you take as we go through this goal uncovering process together, and this year tops them all.
You are doing the hard work, making a mess, and setting yourself up for your best year yet! What a joy to do this work alongside you, friends. If you are just joining, it’s not too late—you aren’t “behind” one bit. Now is the best time to get started!
This final post is the most impactful. Ready to dig in?
Let’s do some dreaming together!
Imagine the end of 2019. December 2019 rolls around, and you start reflecting on the year you just lived. What would it take for you to look back and know you cultivated what mattered? What will you wish you had started today?
(Sometimes it helps to think about the opposite too—where do you NOT want to be at the end of 2019?)
Have some ideas?
Knowing where you want to be or how you want to feel, do something about it today. Yes, today.
This is a success tip that might change everything for you as it has for me: when you have an idea of where you want to go, don’t waste time—take that first small step ASAP. No need to write it down or have a perfect plan, just get to it! (Really—get up from reading this right now and take whatever the next best step is to get you to where you want to be at the end of 2019! Just one tiny step. I’ll wait. I’ll still be here when you get back. :))
Get the momentum going while it’s fresh on your mind and you’ll be more likely to take the next step, then the next, and the next… and before you know it, you’re there!
Every decision we make has an arrow attached to it, pointing us in one direction or another. However many hours or minutes are left in the day 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.
Need an idea for a starting step? I have a fun surprise for you! We’ve been developing this for a few weeks now, and it’s ready JUST in time for you! The Best Year Declaration is here! This is a mad-lib style 2019 manifesto generator—fun, right? Just fill in your words, choose the color you want, and it makes a 2019 declaration for you to print or share! Mine is below, and you can make yours right here for free (share this with friends, too!). I can’t wait to see yours!
As I finished my 2019 PowerSheets® and this goal-uncovering process today, I made some decisions on where I’m going and where I’m not going.
Now, it’s your turn to do the same!
Feeling some fear about starting the new year? Let’s step forward together, believing in what we can’t yet see. 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, friends! 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.
We are always “in progress.” Your goals may be the same! 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. I find so much freedom in knowing that my goals don’t have to be forever!
Ahhhh!!! I’m so ready!
Write out your goals using these helpful prompts. I call this the Cultivate What Matters Method:
– Goal: Write the goal in whatever words you have—it doesn’t have to be perfect! Be brave and get the words out!
– My why: Write out WHY this goal matters to you in the big picture.
– The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Think of the biggest possibilities here—the positive impact this goal could have. Even if your goal feels “small,” write out the big possibilities!
– Break it down into mini goals: Every big-picture goal is made up of a bunch of mini goals. Over the course of the next year, what mini goals could you work on that will help you achieve or make progress on your big goal?
– Starting steps + when you’ll do them: Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, right? Write out a few very small starting steps, steps that are so small you can’t help but do them. Also, add a date to each to keep you accountable. You’ll see my examples below!
– 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 2019: Give yourself something to look forward to! And if you’re stumped, our new Celebrations Binder may help you! Also, check out the PowerSheets Facebook group—you all have the best ideas.
Okay, let’s write out some 2019 goals! Are you ready?
Here are my 2019 Goals for this year of HEART (I can’t wait to hear yours, too!).
Goal 1: The Year of Heart: Grow a heart connection with the Lord—letting Him cultivate my heart.
Why? Everything flows from my heart and I want to be connected to the Lord—to know His heart so I can know His ways and paths—so I can show our children His heart, too.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This changes everything. I would be more light-filled, clear, calm, energized, and ready to share His Word and live it out with Ari and our kids.
- Read the Old Testament in 2019 (and the New Testament in 2020!). I’ve read through the whole Bible twice over the last two years and I’m feeling His leading to slow down and let it soak in more. Want to do this with me? I’ll be starting this plan on January 1.
- Take care of my physical heart—focusing this year on what I call Workout + Worship. When I take care of my temple of the Holy Spirit from the right heart (honoring Him), I feel alive and ready to do whatever the Lord needs. I workout at home in the mornings with the kiddos (we take walks in the morning in warmer seasons and I either run the stairs in our house or chase them around in colder seasons!). I’m adding more weights to the mix this year and hoping to do some hiking in the mountains with the family. This is greatly motivated by my neck injury—I want to have a body that can run around with my kiddos as long as the Lord lets me!
- Kick off the year with something really simple and impactful: 31 days of writing the Word. Join me for the Fresh Faith Challenge!
- Study what the Word says about the Lord’s heart and about mine.
- Use my voice to grow closer to His heart—I’m calling this The Year of Singing! I’m praying about joining the church choir maybe later this year. For now, singing in the kitchen, in the shower, wherever I can, to Him!
3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Sign up for the OT reading plan (1/1/19), put Write the Word Prayer by my bed (done!), hang a small bulletin board by my bed for scriptures—the first thing I’ll see in the morning (1/2/19).
Encouraging words: Psalm 119:10, Deut 30:14, Proverbs 4:23
How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Take a run and praise Him for a year of connecting with His heart!
Goal 2: No Spend Year: Grow a faithful life over a comfortable life.
Why? I don’t want the things of this world to distract me from the Lord and His purpose for me and my family + our hearts.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This could completely change our direction—our legacy. This will, Lord willing, help us know and live for Him more.
- Read God + Money with Ari
- Research zero-based budgeting as it relates to what we spend our time on—everything has to prove its value before we decide to spend the currency of our time on it
- Decide what “no spend” looks like for us, starting with my dear friend Nancy’s Contentment Challenge for three months.
- Create a financial plan for 2019. A clear picture of what our goals are for saving and giving will help us work towards them.
3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Start reading God + Money with Ari (12/31/18), 2. Google zero-based budgeting for a basic overview (12/30/18), 3. Text Nancy to tell her I’m joining her for the Contentment Challenge! (12/31/18 – today is her birthday by the way! :))
Encouraging words: Luke 12:34 – ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’
How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Praise the Lord. It’s as simple as that. I will praise Him for a total heart change. I know He can do it and I’m ready to let Him work on us!
Goal 3: The Year of Slow: Cultivate the hearts of our children.
Why? Because they have souls. Their souls have been entrusted to us to train up in righteousness, showing them His majesty and wonder and the way they should go.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: They would know more of His heart and how to, as my friend Lysa says, live loved.
- This was a big realization for me (practicing what I preach—listen to episode 002 of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast!): First, I need to make room. This is why I’m calling 2019 The Year of Slow. We are planning to streamline our work in 2019 after several years of crazy fast growth. It’s time to intentionally put the brakes on and rest a little. So, my first step to cultivating the hearts of our children more is having my brain and heart on work less.
- Have a prepared, planned, and delightful homeschool (I’m calling it heartschool this year—going ALL OUT with my word of the year!).
- Cultivate my calendar with the Celebrations Binder so we have meaningful experiences, family trips, and time to be together planned far in advance.
- Nurture our kids’ friendships.
- Grow a low-maintenance garden this year that gives the kids lots of room to make a mess and experience His wonder.
- Free our lives from diapers! 🙂 Get the two little ones potty trained—I know they will feel so good doing this, too!
- Prepare more Sunday night family meals to foster conversation around the table.
3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Set a time block to map out what paring back my workload will be (1/5/19). 2. Set a 2019 homeschool planning day on the calendar (1/1/19). 3. Talk through the Celebrations Binder with Ari on our road trip to plan our year (12/30/18).
Encouraging words: ‘I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow’ (1 Corinthians 3:6).
How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: I’ll make a wonderful family meal with the kids (we’re working on cooking skills this year!) at the end of 2019 to celebrate His faithfulness.
Goal 4: The Year of Sabbath. This is something I want to do for the rest of my life, not just this year. 2019 is our year to make this part of who we are—letting a new rhythm take root.
Why? The Lord needs me to take a real Sabbath day so I can be fueled and refreshed to do His good work. I don’t do regular work on weekends, but this is more about my heart. I try to cram in projects and cleaning and try to get too much done. I want to honor the Lord and surrender, planning my week around Saturday Shabbat with Ari.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Peace. Joy. Time outside with the kids. I will, Lord willing, enter into a deeper rest than any vacation or experience could provide. I would feel clear and ready for the week and months ahead. I would learn more about His heart for rest and work and be able to share that with our children.
- Take each Saturday as a day that’s set aside to rest in the Lord as a family.
- Study what the Word says about Sabbath rest.
3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Mark Sabbath days on the calendar (done!). 2. Talk to Ari about this and get his thoughts about what he desires for us (done – he is so excited about this!). 3. Choose one resource or plan for studying what the Lord desires for Sabbath rest (1/5/19).
Encouraging words: All of Hebrews 4
How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: We’ll pray out loud with the kids and thank God for this Year of Sabbath!
There you have it! 2019 is my Year of Slow, Sabbath, Singing, and No Spend—all aimed at His Heart! I can’t wait to break these 4 goals down in my PowerSheets over the next year and watch them come to life!
Whether you came up with two goals or twenty, answering these simple prompts will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
Tell me: what are your 2019 goals? I can’t wait to hear! (And remember, there’s no rush, and there’s nothing magical about January 1! Take your time doing each step in this series. Your goals will come as you keep digging in.)
Dear All of Our 2019 Selves,
We’re comin’ for you!
We’re making intentional decisions for you now to set you up for success—success that lasts longer than you.
We’re thinking big picture to uncover some really good goals. Goals that make our hearts sing. Goals that are about growing what matters. They might be challenging and hard work at times, but they will be WORTH IT!
Little by little, we’re taking steps forward for you.
2019 selves, you are gonna be great!
The year ahead may not be perfect, but it sure will be meaningful.
We’ve got you.
We love you.
We’re on it!
Our December 2018 Selves 😘
My Top 9 from Instagram this year. Every one of these posts was written as a reminder of His faithfulness in hard things. Apparently, these resonated with you, too.
You’re ready for an intentional 2019, my friend! Focus on progress—little by little progress—not perfection. Your small steps forward today will add up, and a year from now, you will be so grateful you started today! (If you need help along the way, just ask!)
⭐️ Want more? Team Cultivate and I will be here cheering you on with tips and encouragement, Lord willing, every day, week, and month of 2019! A few favorite resources to get you started on the right foot:
1. Read my books—both were written for this season of setting goals and starting fresh! My first book, Make it Happen, and my new book, Cultivate: A Grace-filled Guide to Growing and Intentional Life, are available wherever books are sold. I was so grateful to record the audiobooks for you, too!
2. Order your PowerSheets to follow-through on your goals year-round. The way you’ll achieve the goals you’ve set is by tending them little by little—and that’s exactly what PowerSheets help you do. Get 15% off with the code BESTYEAR2019.
3. Get on my email list below for weekly inspiration and encouragement— and to be the first to know when our new products release.
4. Join me in person for the Making Things Happen Conference in March. We’ll spend two days together, uncovering what matters to you and making an action plan you can’t wait to get started on! I can’t wait to see you there! The early-bird rate ends January 31st, and there are only a few seats left.
6. Know that you are loved and seen by a very real God who wants to guide you every step of the way this year!
Happy 2019, friends! Let’s do this!
Need some extra motivation? The Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway is on! I hope this gives you a little extra encouragement to share your answers as we go through this series. There are 35 prizes, so that means 35 of you are going to win one of these prizes—it could be YOU. (Including international friends!)
— 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 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. Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself—spread the word about this free series. Email this 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 are wonderful. I am so grateful for you. It’s going to be a great year together! I love you from my head tomatoes! 🙂