Author: Lara

Is it okay to set goals as a Christian? What does the Bible say about goals? How do you know if a goal is from God or from yourself?

Whew! How’s a girl supposed to figure these things out? We’ve got you! I sat down with my friends Jess Connolly and Chrystal Evans Hurst—and an open Bible—to get answers for you. (And they might surprise you!). Ready to hear some truth? LISTEN NOW.

In this episode:

— You’ll meet my friend Jess Connolly (who most recently launched Go and Tell Gals!). We talk about how God wants to give us insight into “where to go” in our lives—and about worshipping on the way.
— Jess shares why she loves the first 20 pages of PowerSheets, and three check points to know if you’re choosing the “right” goals (truth: quit believing that the aim of your life is to be right!).
— We talk about the importance of walking with God through our goals instead of making a “set it and forget it” list — that the “how” can shift as long as the “why” is strong.
— We talk about two keys to knowing if something is a God-led goal (spoiler alert: it doesn’t always have to include a mission trip).
— Jess tells us about a time she failed on a goal, and about four things she does in the aftermath of “failing” to learn from the experience and move forward. You will love this part!
— Then, you’ll meet my friend Chrystal, a speaker, writer, and fellow homeschool mama! She starts by connecting goal setting to our royal lineage and reminds us to keep God in goal setting by “keeping the main thing the main thing” but also listening to the desires of our heart.
— Chrystal reminds us God gets joy out of seeing us exercise our creativity and dominion, and that the Holy Spirit is waiting to help us discern the goals God has for us (ask: where is their unrest and unease in my life?).
— We talk about creating moments we love in the lives we’re living, moments that remind us of the people we were made to be – one of my favorite parts of the interview!
— We get a powerful reminder to live as if there’s hope (because we know there is!): “where you are right now is not where you will be forever.”
— Finally, we talk about what to do when you “lose your song.”

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— You can connect with Jess Connolly on her website as well as on Instagram, and with Chrystal at and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I love following both of these ladies!
— Looking for more on how to set goals as a Christian? Download our YouVersion reading plan, God + Goals. This 5-day reading plan is the perfect next step after listening to this episode.
— Love what you heard here? Ready for a “life reset button”? Join Chrystal and me at the 56th Making Things Happen Conference in Chapel Hill, NC this March!
— Jess was so kind to talk about how she uses her PowerSheets. We’re sold out of 2019 One-Year planners but have six-month sets in stock now!
— Chrystal emphasized breaking your goals down into bite-size pieces, exactly what we talked about in Break It Down Week. Start with this post on the Cultivate blog for more!
— Looking to plant the seeds of faith in the hearts of your little ones? Write the Word for Kids is the perfect activity for them to enjoy alongside you in your own study and quiet time!
— We mention a few pieces of scripture throughout the episode: Jeremiah 29:11, Genesis 1, Ephesians 2:10, and Matthew 7.
— Chrystal talked about how writing notes to people fires her up – if that’s you, you’ll love our Joyful Greeting Card set!

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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
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!

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Ever get the feeling life is passing you by?

You think, Where has the time gone? And the next thought that comes to your mind: Am I using this gift of a life well?

How we spend our time is how we spend our lives.

We all want our lives to add up to something.

But, it’s easy to get stuck, isn’t it? Stuck in the mundane daily routine of sameness or busy—and you just don’t know how to break the cycle. 

I reached that point in 2009. I felt like I wasn’t living my purpose, and I was frustrated. I didn’t think it was possible for anything to change, though I wanted my life to change and I wanted to make things happen.

I just didn’t know how to do it.

In the midst of feeling stuck—and learning from that season how to break free—I posted a blog entry answering a question I’d recently been emailed: “How do you make things happen?”

That blog post (“How to Make Things Happen“) started making waves. Those waves grew quickly into a movement of women just like you. Women who wanted to finally do the things they’d always wanted to do.

A friend suggested I take the ideas I had shared in that post on the road and teach them. Before I knew it, Emily LeyGina Zeidler and I were traveling all across the country doing the Making Things Happen Workshop!

MTH Spring 2017! Photo by Amy Nicole.

But, here’s where the story takes a turn.

I did all the things I wanted to do, too. I had a growing business. I was traveling and speaking and doing creative work. But, it came at a cost. I didn’t know how to balance it all and learned firsthand that doing too much of (even) a good thing is too much. My marriage was falling apart. I was working 24/7 at the expense of everything else. My work became my worth. You can read the whole story in my book Make It Happen.

I couldn’t succeed on mere passion and gusto. Sound familiar? Do you feel like you’re running on empty? I had to learn to make the right things happen. I began learning these truths:

Making things happen means knowing that you don’t have to do it all, be it all, or have it all.

Making things happen is about focusing on what MATTERS–on growing what lasts longer than you.


Making things happen means learning to say NO to what is holding you back, and YES to your unique purpose.

Making things happen means making decisions that will get you to where you want to be when you’re 80, 90, or 100 years old, TODAY.

Making things happen means taking risks, taking action, and embracing good change.

Making things happen—the right things—changes everything.

As I began learning these truths and living them, the Making Things Happen movement did a 180-degree turn, too. We got off the road and turned the intensive into a two-day conference here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. But, the biggest change of all was teaching attendees that last truth above–how to make the right things happen.

While everyone else keeps saying what they’ve always said—“Do more! Be more!”—here we are, nine years later (9 years!), teaching something entirely different: do less. Do what matters.

Need some of that in your life?

You CAN take action on those truths, too, starting from right where you are.

It’s time to invest in yourself and join me in March! This will be our only conference of 2019, and we’re excited to make it our best yet!

Meet the Spring 2019 Encouragement Crew! 

Who is MTH for? It’s for YOU! You won’t just be listening to a panel of speakers tell you how to do things; we do the work together! You’ll be led through a powerful process where YOU uncover good goals and make an action plan that fits your specific life and dreams. MTH is for everyone: love-at-home moms, corporate CEOs, students, retirees, creatives, non-creatives, and everyone in between. Whether you know what you want to make happen and need an action plan, or you need help uncovering good goals, MTH is for you. And all ages join us, from college freshmen to women in their 60’s who are ready for a new chapter in life!

If you want to live intentionally and make the most of your time and talents, MTH is for you.

MTH is unlike any other conference. It’s like doing PowerSheets in person and meeting a group of women who think like you and will cheer you on in every step forward. Together, we uncover what matters to you and do something about it. Every time I lead this conference, I do the work right along with the attendees. And every time I’m changed. There’s no magic to it, but we have learned a lot over these nine years to help us all simplify and take action.

You might be a mother or wife who is struggling to balance family responsibilities. You might be a working professional trying to run with a big idea. Or you might be a small business owner burning the candle at both ends. (Or all of the above!) It’s time to give yourself the best gift you can in 2019—the gift of uninterrupted time. Time to dream and make a plan you can’t wait to get started on. If you’re ready to use your potential on purpose, MTH is for you.

I love getting to know you at MTH! Photo by Carrie Joy Osborne

I want you to join me in Chapel Hill on March 25th and 26th for our 55th experience! Many of you have told me you’d love to come. Take the leap. I’ve been doing this conference for nine years, and I believe in the work we are doing. Your gifts have a purpose and they were meant to be used!

You can continue on doing the same things you’ve always done and getting the same results you’ve always gotten, OR, you can do things differently. You can get unstuck and live on purpose.

BUT YOU’LL NEED TO HURRY! The early-bird rate ($1000 off) ends January 31! Want to take a peek inside the conference? Take a look here. I can’t wait to see you there!

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? Now is your time to do the right things. We can’t wait for you to dig in!

Don’t miss this: GET YOUR SEAT NOW!

How it feels when you finish day 2 of MTH (Meeta came all the way from India!)…

Photos by Rachel Coffey 

See you there!

P.S. We’re giving away one scholarship seat in memory of my long-time friend, Yvette Price, who embodied all that we teach at MTH. She was courageous in her battle with cancer and made what matters happen despite great challenges. In her honor, we’re grateful to give away one seat to either an alum or new attendee. This scholarship is for the full ticket price not including travel or accommodations. Enter below to win the Yvette Price Scholarship! Note: If you are our lucky winner and have already purchased your ticket, we will issue you a full refund. Don’t miss your chance to purchase a ticket before we sell out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’d love to hear from you: what do you want to make happen?

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Feeling overwhelmed already on this 15th day of the year? Which one of the following best describes you:

— I want to do it all right now. I’m anxious for life to change and I want to make all my goals happen ASAP.
— I don’t know how to accomplish my goals.
— I have so many goals I want to complete this year—I’m overwhelmed!
— I don’t even know where to start. I haven’t set goals and I’m afraid I’m behind!
— My goals feel the same as last year, am I doing something wrong?
— I haven’t made perfect progress—I already feel like a failure.
— Doing new things feels hard. Is it supposed to be hard?
— I’m afraid to commit to goals! What if they’re the wrong ones or what if I don’t do them?
— Feeling great! Feeling clear. Ready. Let’s do this.

My Word of the Year (heart) will, Lord willing, come to life through small decisions made over the course of the year—not all at once.

I’ll be guiding you to break through ALL of these to help you move forward on the things that matter—without burning out before February—starting with Break it Down Week next week! You’ll break through the barriers you’re feeling, and learn how to break down your goals into do-able action steps you can’t wait to get started on. You’ll feel equipped and ready to get started on what matters, and to live a year of follow-through! Sign up for the live webinar here and get texts from me throughout the week with encouragement and tips by texting CULTIVATE to 55222 (fun, right!?).

How do you get started?

Small steps.

How do you make a goal happen?

Small steps taken over time.

How do you avoid overwhelm?

You guessed it. Break your goals down into small steps! 🙂

A peek at my Yearly Overview in my PowerSheets – a great tool to break down your goals over the course of the year so you don’t burn out!

I make these small steps happen using my PowerSheets® each month. If you’ve just started a new set of PowerSheets, welcome to my first monthly update for 2019! Each month, I’ll give you an update on my progress from the previous month – what went well and what I learned from – and I’ll share my goals for the month ahead. I love writing these posts for accountability, but mostly, I love hearing your goals! New this year: I’ll be making you a short video with my progress each month rather that writing it all out. This way I get to show you how I’m doing some things and make it more fun in the process—like having virtual coffee together!

I have four goals for 2019 that are each focused on growing something that matters to me in the big picture. Each month, we’ll break our yearly goals down into “mini goals” that help us achieve them little by little. The Tending List in the PowerSheets makes this easy to take action: it’s a list of monthly, weekly and daily action items. This helps me know what to focus on and where to spend my time well, no perfection required!

And it’s called a Tending List for a reason. I never end a month with everything perfectly marked off, and guess what? I don’t need to! All progress is imperfect progress and perfection isn’t the goal. Goals come to life when you focus on progress not perfection.

Have you ever jumped ship on a goal the moment you didn’t make perfect progress? The way we do goals helps you not do that. Let’s dig in!

I filled out my January Tending list this past weekend, and it was right on time! There’s no rule that says you have to start exactly on the 1st of each month. You aren’t one bit behind if you have yet to make your January Tending List!

January Monthly Goals:

— Begin the Contentment Challenge
— Begin HeartSchool (homeschool with heart!)
— Do the Fresh Faith Challenge
— Cultivate our 2019 calendar (learn how here)
— Prayerfully record the Cultivate Your Life podcast
— Prayerfully set new company pace + goals

January Weekly Goals:

— Study Psalm 90:12 – ‘Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’
— Weekly family Sabbath

January Daily Goals:

— Old Testament Bible Reading – I’m doing this with a small group of friends this year and loving it!
Write the Word
— Sing
— Strength – I’m lifting free weights (or free-running kids!) at home two days a week with the kiddos!

Your turn! What are your goals for January? For 2019 as a whole? I love hearing what you’re cultivating! I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies from the Cultivate What Matters Shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!

P.S. Don’t have 2019 goals yet? Now is the time to order your PowerSheets! The Multi cover is sold out and Teal will be the next to go. Use code BREAKITDOWN for 25% off your one-year goal planner and set yourself up for a year spent on the right things!

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Hi, friend! I’m so glad you’ve landed here at the 8th annual Intentional Goal Setting Series! Here’s Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 to get you started.

Note: We are so grateful that ALL of our 2019 One-year PowerSheets are SOLD OUT. But, good news! You can get started at any time with Six-Month Undated PowerSheets (available NOW), which include the same Prep Work as the One-Year Goal Planners! New to the party? Head to the Cultivate Shop or say hello – we’re so glad you’re here!

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!

Part 1: How to Get Started on Your BEST 2018 Goals
Part 2: The 1 Question You Need to Ask Yourself
Part 3: How to Choose a Word of the Year
Part 4: The Intentional Goal Setting Checklist

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.

Mini goals:

  • 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.

Mini goals:

  • 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.

Mini goals:

  • 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.

Mini goals:

  • 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.

5. Listen to the NEW Cultivate Your Life Podcast. You might love the episode on How to Follow Through on Your Goals!

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!)

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 within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected!

— 10 sets of 2019 PowerSheets to help 10 of you cultivate your BEST year yet! —Mary Conti, Emily Yost, Amy Wing, Jen Martinez, Brittany Garrett, Chelsea Pirtle, Mariah Meade, Kimberly Boyd, Tonya Kappes, Amber Corey
— A Goal Guide Bundle to help you dig deeper on your specific goals. — Jaimie Tollers
— Five signed copies of Cultivate. —Lisa McMahon, Patrice Pierce Thornton, Steph Conklin, Bonnie Johnson, Kristin Vlasak,
— Five signed copies of Make It Happen. —Michele Lanning, Mariela Capellan, Amy Bain, Stephanie Canete, Amanda Applegate
— One Write the Word All Seasons Collection to help you cultivate fresh faith all year long. —Becki Sue
— A gift card (YES!) for a massage to kick off your year refreshed! —Ashley Bossong
— A Balanced Life membership – get moving and motivated with a year of at-home pilates! —Heather Renee
— A Floret Flowers puzzle (it’s double-sided and so much fun!) —Leah Meadows
—A Revelation Wellness membership with a ‘Wellness Kickoff Package” to cultivate your health in the New Year. —Elizabeth Hiney
— One Artifact Uprising album to document the people and experiences that matters most to you. —Natalie Gessell
— An Emily Ley Simplified Planner to keep your schedule organized in the new year. —Amanda Burley
— Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course—a life-changing experience to help you pursue financial freedom. —Cindy Booth Carlson
— One Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal. I’ll be using one this year, too! —Michelle McQueen
— A Hello Fresh boxto keep you fueled with good food. —Kate Mariani
— One Art Bar canvas (up to $150 value) to brighten your walls. —Gina Abatiello
— A Fitbit to help you celebrate your literal steps forward. —Evangelina Cantu
— An Amazon Alexa to keep you dancing. —Rachel Whorley

And the bonus prize for one of you who comments on all 5 posts in this series: a ONE OF EVERYTHING Bundle from the Cultivate Shop! —Katie Ledvina

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 togetherstarting now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on February 1st 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! 🙂 

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