Last year I set only two goals: pray and read the Bible. I intentionally focused on only essentials, knowing I wouldn’t be able to grow more than I already had on my plate. 2016 was a year of major transition, sleepless nights, and very little margin as we tried to figure out how to be a family of five. If you are in a season of transition or change like I was, know that it’s okay—and very healthy—to focus on essentials only. Our heartbeat around here is to encourage you to cultivate what matters, right where. That’s exactly what I learned to do last year.

Coming out of that season, I am extra grateful (more than I ever was before) to be able to dig into my four goals for 2017. I shared with you how I’m growing my number one goal, and now it’s time for number 2: Run, and finally get back into weight training.

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The backstory: I haven’t had a gym membership since Grace was born, and I haven’t done real weight training in just as long. I am a former personal trainer, and used to love being in the gym, and feeling strong. But, the logistics with kids and the gym just haven’t worked out. This is a goal I have wanted to make progress on for several years, but the Lord finally said, “It’s time.”

Why this goal? So many reasons! I will live longer, healthier, and more at peace. When I am strong, I’m able to be active with my kids. When my body is healthy and strong, my mind feels the same. Also, I am nearing 40 and feeling my body changing. It’s time to steward well what the Lord has given me.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I may have more energy, better focus, and more endurance to love on the people around me well. That’s exciting!

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: SO grateful I leaned into the tension I felt in finally starting this goal, and excited for another year ahead of little-by-little progress. UPDATE: I am already feeling this!

Lara Casey Blog Running Weight training with kids3My little personal trainers like to make obstacle courses for me every day! Case in point above from this morning’s workout: Josh pulled all the books off the shelf. 

Starting steps: Since getting to a gym isn’t in the cards with all these kiddos in the mornings, I’m doing this at home with some free weights (I have 3lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, and 12lb weights that I got on Amazon). My first action step is to ask you for suggestions on other at-home training gear (preferably that doesn’t take up much space!). UPDATE: I realized that these simple weights are all I need right now! My second action step is to open my iCal, and write in a gentle plan to ease into weight training again, focusing on large muscle groups and core strength. DONE! I’m going to write out a new plan each six weeks based on where I am.

HOW I’M MAKING PROGRESS SO FAR: The core of this goal is to get active so I can be my best for my family. So, it’s not just about running and weight training—it’s about living an active lifestyle. Well, I have to tell you that the number one thing that has helped me so far, besides God giving me health to be able to move around in the first place, is that Ari and I made the decision to get Fitbits. Before I tell you about this, you do not need a Fitbit to make progress on a fitness goal. There are free pedometer apps for iPhone and lots of other ways to track activity (or you can WIN A FITBIT here on the blog - giveaway ends soon!). We were hesitant about these purchases. Both Ari and I don’t love buying gadgets. We sat on it for several weeks and asked friends who had them already how they liked them. As Ari turned 39 in December, and I turned 37, that 40 number seemed to call us to get serious about these bodies God has given us to steward well. We both chose the Fitbit Charge 2. Here’s the crazy part. Almost immediately, we became more active as we tried hitting our daily step goals. This is proof that knowledge about where you are can spark big change and motivation. (This is why I’ve alway started with evaluating where you are in Goal Setting.) We have also had a lot of fun competing with each other, which is fun for our marriage! : ) Tracking my activity each day has been eye-opening. It was rather shocking to see how inactive I was in my work day, compared to the step-fiestas I have when I’m with the kids. It caused me to completely changed the way I work! I’m currently typing to you standing in the hallway with my computer on the stairwell ledge, stepping in place. Hi!

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Everyone on our team is encouraged to get up and move around during meetings. And I intentionally get up and walk around now every few minutes while I’m working. This has helped my productivity, energy, and mood – sitting all day leaves you feeling blah.

Okay, on to running and weight training!

IMG_0442Many of you have asked me about the gliding board Grace is riding on – it’s this one and we love it!

Running: It’s too cold to take the kids out in the jogging stroller right now, so I’m staying in till spring. We have an old elliptical we got on Craigslist several years ago that lives in our bedroom, and I actually use it. (I also run the stairs in our house when I want to switch it up—no exercise machine needed if you don’t have one!) After all the kids are up (around 5am), I get them fed, change all the diapers, lots of snuggles, and then it’s VeggieTales time. Josh and Sarah hang in the pac-n-play and they all watch a couple episodes while I work out. Here’s where I’m making the most of my time and making progress on several goals together. Like I shared with you in my last Goal Gardening post, I am listening to the audio version of the Blue Letter Chronological Bible. This is what I do during the first few minutes of my workout. Then, I turn on a gospel music playlist I made, pick of the pace, and mimic a running speed. I don’t have a formula for this — I just go faster when the music makes me feel like going faster! : ) Because if it isn’t fun, it’s not going to last, and so far, I’m having a lot of fun! I do cardio for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the patience level of my three little workout buddies.

Lara Casey Blog Running Weight training with kids1This morning’s heavy lifting. Photo by Grace : )

Weights: Every other day, I do free weights after my cardio time. First, I stretch, then I do a couple circuits (15 reps each) of back rows, shoulder press, abs, body-weight single-leg squats, holding-one-of-the-babies squats, and that’s it! I’m easing into this, and I already feel so much stronger after less than a month.

*For those of you who remember me mentioning my Diastasis Recti last year, I’m very grateful to say that, after a year and a half, it is finally healing. I had a four-finger gap after Josh was born, and for most of last year. This gave me back pain, and I often felt off-balance due to a lack of core stability. Ari kept encouraging me to keep up basic core exercises and see if my body would heal over time. Thankfully, I can now feel the layer of muscle coming together in the space that used to be a gaping hole. I still have an umbilical hernia, but since it’s not harmful at this point, it’s nothing I want to pursue fixing surgically. Just thought I’d give you an update!

Lara Casey Blog Running Weight training with kids2Everyone wants to join in when I do abs!

Diet: Many of you have asked me about diet. This is one of those subjects that I don’t love talking about, because everyone’s body and needs are so different. But, in order to grow muscle strength and endurance, you need proper fueling too! Here are some basics I’m following, most of which I learned as a trainer years ago. 1. I eat often. I always have. Every couple hours I have a mini-meal with a balance of protein and good carbs. 2. I eat veggies 3-4 times a day. I have a couple hearty salads throughout the day (meaning, not just lettuce, but loaded with vegetables, nuts, etc.), and we always have veggies of some sort with dinner. 3. I don’t eat a lot of sugar. It makes me feel sluggish, so I avoid it. 4. I go through a lot of protein – maybe 8 eggs a day, organic chicken, and I love Vega protein powder (I add it to cereal and oatmeal every day) and Health Warrior protein bars. 5. Lastly, I drink a lot of water. These are basic guidelines I follow, and they have helped me have energy for these workouts, and life in general. Again, everyone is different, so do what works for you! Side note: I’m still eating dairy and soy-free for Josh. We’re down to one nursing session a day, and I haven’t missed dairy at all in the last 18 months. I will likely stick with this!

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How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I am breaking this goal down in my monthly PowerSheets pages (an update is above with some progress made!) so that I have measurable milestones to hit, enabling me to track my progress. Overall though, I will know I made progress by my physical strength and endurance growing over time, and the fruit of my hard work coming out in my interactions with my family. UPDATE: Yes! I have had far more energy to run with Grace to see Walter at the mailbox, and chase kiddos : )

Encouraging words: (A pep talk to myself!) With His strength, you can gain strength!

How I will celebrate at the end of 2017: The first thing that comes to mind is going on a celebratory family run with the kids in the jogging stroller, going to the local trampoline park with the family, heading out for a family hike, or setting up a fun Isaacson Olympics obstacle course for the kids. I’ll see what everyone is up for come December!

My best advice after a few weeks of doing this is to be committed to your goal, and flexible about how you make it happen. Easing into this new lifestyle has been so good! If I would have done too much off the bat, I’m sure I would have gotten burned out. Little by little progress adds up, and it is helping me to keep at it. : )

I’d love to hear: Do you have a fitness goal this year of some sort? What is your goal? What is helping you make progress? I can’t wait to hear!

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Feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed in this second week of the year? This post is just for you! I’m finding so much freedom in breaking lots of “rules” this week, growing slow, and taking January to test the waters with my goals. Who made up the rule that we have to make perfect progress on our goals right from January 1st? Who says you can’t try different ways to cultivate your goals—or quit things that aren’t working? Who told us we have to follow a plan that fits in a box? Here’s the truth: there are a million ways to grow a garden, and everyone’s soil is completely unique! In the same way, how you cultivate your goals will be unique too.

make it happen book lara caseyThe last page of Make It Happen

But, if something isn’t working, or you aren’t feeling motivated with your goals, try one of these three things:

1. Push through and give it a fighting chance. I’m gonna pull some North Carolina history out on you: the Wright Brothers. They changed history through their persistence in failure. It takes time to move from what feels like hard work (which most things feel like when you are just starting them), to feeling like you’re in a groove.

2. Consider that your goal might need some changing. Is your goal rooted in what really matters? If not, it might be the reason you aren’t motivated! Don’t know for sure? Use these questions to help you.

3. Redirect! If an action step, routine, system, or something you are doing to cultivate your goals truly isn’t helping you, it might be an indication that you need to redirect! Try something else. It’s okay to jump ship on things that simply aren’t working.

(More in my weekly Facebook live here – mark your planner for next week’s at noon EST!)

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Here are ten more things to motivate you for the week ahead, helping you make little-by-little progress on what matters!

1. Make things happen. I’m putting this as number 1 because it’s big news for us around here! I’ve done the Making Things Happen conference 51 times over the last NINE YEARS (that blows me away). This experience continues to change as I do, and it just keeps getting better! So, here’s the news. We have done it twice-yearly here in Chapel Hill, NC, for the last few years, but 2017 is different. We decided yesterday that, for many reasons (including out 10th anniversary issue coming out that same month, 2018 PowerSheets launching, and me starting to homeschool Grace in the fall) we’re only doing it once in 2017–this March! It’s coming up fast, and I would love to have you there. If you’ve done the PowerSheets, or enjoyed the goal setting series, or my book, you will love “MTH,” as we call it! Spend two days with me and some seriously inspiring ladies, uncovering good goals, and making a solid action plan. This conference is unlike any other, which is probably why it’s been around for so long! It’s truly for anyone—mom, student, business owner, have goals, or have no idea what your goals are—who wants to take life to the next level. Have a leap of faith you’re considering? MTH is for you. The early-bird rate ends in a couple weeks (over $1000 off), and we do have payment plans available if you need one. This is your year!

2. Become a goal digger. This play on words always makes me giggle. When I was little, we often visited Las Vegas, but don’t get any casino pictures in your head—there was none of that. My dad’s parent’s lived there in the desert. We’d go to an old Western town when we visited, and they let you pan for gold. I loved exploring and sifting through the rocks with my little brother! But, I digress… this podcast is not about Western adventures, but about “Goal Setting for People Who Hate Goal Setting.” I hope it encourages you! Listen in.

3. Know that good things come from hard things. I shared some of our adoption story, and more about the hard season of wanting to quit my business, on the God Centered Mom podcast.

4. Kill comparison, and make real progress. So, this is a funny story. A loooong time ago, I bought a stuffed chicken (not the stuffed-with-spinach edible variety) for Grace from Sevenly.org. I was intrigued by the mission of this company, and one of it’s co-founders, Dale Partridge, was only 25 years old when they launched! He went on to great successes, including writing one of our favorite business books, People Over Profit. I was so grateful to chat with Dale last week on the StartupCamp podcast about how to kill comparison and make real progress.

5. Don’t wait. After selling out two weeks ago, and getting a flood of emails and requests, we opened pre-orders on Wednesday for a small batch of six-month undated PowerSheets. But, don’t wait till you get your set to dig into good goals! Start small or start big; just make sure you start somewhere. Good goals aren’t about having the right planner, or pens, or kicking off on January 1st. Good goals are about stewarding what you’ve been given well, and you don’t need any thing (or perfect timing) to do that! Yes, we want you to get your PowerSheets if you choose, but more importantly, we don’t want you to waste away these first six months by waiting! Today, tomorrow, or even February 1st could be your January 1st.

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6. Tend it to grow it. Here are my January goals above. This page was blank until a couple days ago, and for me, it was perfect timing! Like I said earlier, who made the rule that you have to follow a schedule to make what matters happen, or start right on the first day of the month? With all the loose ends that needed tying, and changes around here, I intentionally waited to set my January goals till now. I’m so grateful I did! One of the cornerstones of the PowerSheets is the monthly Tending List that allows you to break down your bigger goals. These are well-thought-out seeds I’m planting, and tending, little-by-little as I start this new year. (Apparently I love our new sticker book a whole lot!) Several people have asked me what “Cultivated Calendar” means. I have a post in the works about setting up an intentional yearly calendar. More to come!

7. Join me live on the 25th. I’ll be joining a great group of ladies for the Creative Hub Conference, and kicking this virtual conference off on January 25th at 5pm EST. (My dear friend Carrie was super kind to allow me to speak at 5 so I could still put the kids to bed!) This live online workshop goes from January 25-27th, with 14 other great speakers. If you want to learn more about goal setting, business strategies, blogging, and so much more than be sure to sign up.

8. Eat healthy in 2017. Here’s some serious advice about eating healthy from my favorite school principal, Gerry Brooks. And if you need some exercise motivation too, I’ve got you covered. You’re welcome. ; )

9. Tell me your story. One of my four goals is to live a year of radical gratitude and praise. The act of expressing gratitude invites contentment to take root. You guys. These stories you shared with me this week about what you are grateful for are so inspiring and motivating! Wow!

10. Take a step in a fresh, new direction. Haven’t started on your goals yet, or feel like you need some major motivation? Right now it the perfect time to start fresh. Here are my top 10 tips for getting started. And I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get extra motivated reading other people’s goals. I love this roundup on the new Cultivate What Matters blog!

Your turn! What motivates you? Do you have a goal you’re stuck on? Did one of these tips give you a boost? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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P.S. Texas friends, this is for you! I’ll be on Beacon Radio tomorrow (Saturday) between noon CST and 1pm! Listen in on KSLR.com (AM630 in South Texas). I loved chatting with host Steve Teel, and I especially love that the reason he reached out to me is that his young daughter uses PowerSheets! (Hi, Samantha!)

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Something unexpected happened. I’ve been sharing with Ari about the flood of emails, heartfelt stories shared, and requests for us to restock, since we sold out of PowerSheets last Tuesday morning. Friends have asked if I have felt regret for not ordering more for this first part of the year, and that’s an easy answer: not once. I’ve felt peace in our decisions to grow slow and well.

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And this little flood of emails has revealed something amazing that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. You are craving–and actively pursuing–intentional, genuine, and content. That encourages me to no end! It’s not about a product. You can live those things without any product or thing! But, these last few days of listening and praying and watching have been a surprising gift of insight.

Good things are growing friends.

What a gift it is to be in the company of women who want to live out what matters, no matter how many times we stumble along the way. (So many of you have encouraged me personally in my own goals these last couple weeks and I’m so thankful.)

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We are grateful and excited to share that we have a small batch of undated #PowerSheets up for pre-order @CultivateWhatMatters now (intentionally ordered for the second half of the year—pre-order here), but I just have to encourage you: start now. Don’t wait. Start small or start big, or somewhere in between, but just get going. Good goals are about stewarding what you’ve been given well, and there’s no magical day or circumstances or things needed for that. Today, tomorrow, or even February 1st could be your January 1st!

Pre-order your 6-month undated PowerSheets here. They will ship in May, just in time for June goal setting, and using these for the full second half of the year!

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We’re about to get some snow here in North Carolina, but my winter garden is ready for it. These pansies and violas are hardier than you think!

img_7960After seeing how hardy pansies and violas are around here (colorful blooms often popping through the snow), I decided to do something fun for the winter—a whole garden of them!

Cold weather means it’s garden dreaming time around here. Time to break out the seed catalogs, and a big piece of paper and crayons with Gracie, and imagine the possibilities. I’m so excited! I’m working on writing a Gardening 101 guide (especially for those who perhaps like me haven’t always had a green thumb!), and will be sharing our garden progress over @graciesgarden. Have you tried gardening? Interested in starting one? I’d love to hear!

img_7959My mom came in November (planting day was unseasonably warm!) to help us plant the winter garden. It was a ton of work, but I haven’t touched them since. Zero maintenance! : ) 

Here’s some Goal Gardening 101 for you. In order to grow something, the first steps are:

1. Pick good seeds. (Uncover your good goals here.)

2. Prepare your soil. (Break through the way you’ve always done things to get started on your goals.)

3. Get your hands dirty! That’s what we’re going to do together today with our goals! Ready?

Goals don’t happen just by thinking about them. You must make some decisions, get uncomfortable, and take action. But, there’s no need for perfect progress. What I’ve learned in the last six years of studying goal setting (and from being a personal trainer years ago) is that good things grow through imperfect progress. If you are reading this and already feel guilty for not having checked everything off your list so far this year, I have some encouragement for you: it’s okay. It’s not too late. You haven’t messed everything up. You are not behind. Little steps forward (with even a few steps backward along the way) add up!

img_6074Garden treasures from October – zinnias and cosmos.

I uncovered four goals for 2017, and I’m going to lay each one out for you along with my starting steps and some extra tips! If you read my Goal Setting Series, you’ll see I updated some of my goals with new steps and ideas. Good things grow over time, and with each step forward you take, the next steps become clearer.

Here is Goal 1 of 4!

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Goal 1: Read the whole Bible again. I did this once before, over the course of a year and a half. I didn’t use a fancy reading plan, I just looked at the number of pages in each book of the Bible, and divided them over the course of a year. I put the names of each book I was supposed to read during each particular week on my iCal calendar, and that’s how I stayed on track. It took me longer than I thought, but it was worth it! Every bit of my reading was worth it.

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Why? I want to grow my faith by going straight to the source—getting to know more about God Himself. I want to know more of the big picture of His story. I want my mind to be filled with light and truth, so I can live it.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: When I am filled with truth, I am also filled with PEACE. I don’t worry as much or feel fear about my circumstances. This helps everyone around me (my family, team, friends) to feel steadfast calm too. I’ll know more of God’s wisdom to be able to walk in the light. As my faith grows, I’ll be able to share the fruit of my faith with my children and others. There are endless positive effects this goal could have!

How I will feel at the end of this year having made progress on this goal: Lord willing, peaceful, more assured, and more mature in my faith.

Starting steps:  1. Open the Bible and look at the lengths of each book again. 2. Open my iCal and plot out what I could realistically read each week. —UPDATE: I got an email from a blog reader, and I took her suggestion—I chose the Blue Letter Bible Chronological reading plan. I signed up for it using the YouVersion Bible App. I’m still adding it to my iCal for more accountability though! I made a whole new iCal calendar for my goals, and this has been so helpful! See below…

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3. Pray about having the diligence to complete my reading each week, not for the sake of completing it, but to grow closer to God. —DONE! 4. Use my monthly Tending List in my PowerSheets to track my progress and keep my goal in view at all times (I keep my Tending List out on my desk.).

How I will know I accomplished or made progress on this goal: I will, Lord willing, see the fruit of this goal in my life, and in turn in the lives of others.

Encouraging words: Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105 ESV

How I will celebrate at the end of 2017: I may not finish this by the end of this calendar year, but I will celebrate my progress by (UPDATED!) painting what I learned on a big canvas, and hanging it in our bedroom. I am excited thinking about painting the bigger picture and things that God taught me as I read! Whether I finish this by December 31st or not, I put this on my calendar to start on December 16th : ). Next step, get the canvas from Michaels with a 50% off coupon (which they almost-always have online!).

HOW I’M MAKING PROGRESS SO FAR: 1. If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you know that I’ve been listening to the audio version of the reading plan using the YouVersion Bible app on my phone. (I love the ESV and NLT translation audio.) This has been a little tricky with three kids to watch in the mornings, but if I don’t finish listening in the mornings, I listen in the car on the way to pick up Grace from preschool, or I listen later at my desk. I’ve also considered using a physical Bible to highlight what I’m learning in a more concrete way, but I’m keeping this simple for now. I can easily access the Bible on my phone. 2. Thanks to another blog reader, I joined this Facebook group that has helpful commentary on the Chronological reading plan. 3. I made a hashtag to share and stay accountable in my journey! #2017TheYearOfLight

I’d love to hear: are you reading through the Bible this year? How are you feeling about it? What plan are you following? Are you using a physical Bible, or digital? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

My second goal for 2017–run, and finally get back into weight training–is up next!

P.S. Want to start fresh with your faith, or grow deeper roots? I wrote this free Cultivating Faith Guide for you!

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Happy 2017, friends! How are you feeling about this new year? Overwhelmed? Unsure? Fired up? Excited? I’d love to hear from you.

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If you are in need of some simple grace-filled coaching on how to get started with your 2017 goals, you are in the right place! Here are my top tips for getting started, and making powerful progress. I have a fun giveaway at the end for you too!

(You guys, this screen shot of me below makes me giggle!)

Tip 1: First, get some GOOD GOALS. You’re going to be tempted to skip this tip and find some “quicker” ones, but this is the best one. Before you get started on making your goals come to life, you’ve got to have some good goals! There is nothing magical about January 1, and you are not one bit “behind,” if you haven’t started (or finished) setting goals yet. Today is the best day to begin. Uncover your good goals for 2017 in my sixth-annual Goal Setting Series. It’s free (yay!), and I am blown away by the over-1000 comments so far—you are all on fire!

2017 Goal Setting, Part 1: Get Started!
2017 Goal Setting, Part 2: Cultivate What Matters
2017 Goal Setting, Part 3: Say Yes, Say No, Choose a Word
2017 Goal Setting, Part 4: Uncover Intentional Goals
2017 Goal Setting Part 5: Make it Happen – How to Set Your Good Goals
*The Ultimate Goal Setting Giveaway in this series ends January 30th, so you still have time to dig in!

Tip 2: Embrace progress, not perfection. Know that good things grow over time, and the little-by-little progress you make matters. It adds up! You don’t have to have the perfect plan right from the start to begin something (we often get hung up there, don’t we!?). In fact, I encourage you to test out different systems and starting steps to see what fits you best as you begin a goal. For me, the month of January is my “testing” month. I’m getting my feet wet with my goals, learning what works and what doesn’t, and genuinely embracing progress, not perfection. It’s okay to grow slow. You do not have to do it all, and accomplish everything on your list immediately. I know you may want to, but we miss so much when we race to the finish line. We miss the magic and ripening that happens in little-by-little imperfect progress.

Tip 3: Get uncomfortable. Our brains seek out routine and what’s easy because “easy” uses less energy. So, when you shake things up and break your normal routines, it’s potentially going to feel uncomfortable. Your brain literally works harder when you cultivate new goals or habits. Embrace the uncomfortable in getting started on your goals, knowing you’re on the right path!

Tip 4: Share your goals! Accountability is powerful, and it sometimes makes me cringe (anyone else feel this way too?) because I know it will call me to action. It just plain works. Tell the people closest to you about your goals, share them on a blog, text them to friends, or tell your small group to pray for you. As I mentioned in the video above, my husband Ari is my best friend, and I was still hesitant to share my goals with him because I knew he would ask me about them later on! Sharing our goals makes us accountable, and I’m so glad I took the leap and shared them. : ) For more accountability, join a Goal Group for free at CultivateWhatMatters.com, or make a date with local friends for goal encouragement (many people do this for PowerSheets). Goals are better grown together!

Tip 5: Make a hashtag. This is a fun tip for those who want to share your goals, and tell your story! Hashtags are a part of a bigger story—they allow us to follow storylines. So, if you want your goals to become a part of your story, consider a hashtag to keep you accountable to telling and living the story of your goal. Mine for my 2017 Goals are #RunLiftPraise, #2017TheYearofLight, and #OurLifeGivingHome.

Tip 6: Set yourself up for success. When you are growing something new, weeds are bound to pop up and try to suck the life out of what you’re growing. So, set yourself up for success and don’t let the weeds grow! I recently installed WasteNoTime for Safari (allows your to block usage of certain websites), Ad Blocker Plus for Safari (removes banner ads), and Newsfeed Eradicator for Chrome (removes your Facebook newsfeed and replaces it with an inspiring quote!). These have been so helpful to keep me focused!

Tip 7: Put your goals front and center. Have your goals out and written everywhere and anywhere! Too often, we simply forget about our goals, and end up going through the motions of life. But, we aren’t going to let that happen in 2017, are we? Keep those goals front and center so you don’t forget where you’re going! (If you are a PowerSheets user, put your monthly Tending List out where you can see it every day—I keep mine open on my desk!)

Tip 8: Harness the power of the calendar. I will blog an entire post about this soon, but I am learning the power of the perpetual calendar (recurring events that happen each year), and the power of filling your calendar with what matters (your goal action steps, rest time, relationships) before it gets filled with all the other things of life. First things first, take a look back at your 2016 calendar and identify times you needed more margin, planned too much, or want to change things for this new year. This is so helpful for us in our business, but also for our family. There were many holidays I didn’t do meaningful things for that I could have done something for (even something super simple) had I been more intentional in preparing. A little forethought goes a long way. It seems so simple, but it’s so rarely done: make what matters to you a priority and put it on your calendar! Many more tips to come, and in my video above. You can get a peek at my calendar here, too.

Tip 9: Think outside the box. Since it’s cold here in Chapel Hill right now, running (one of my 2017 goals) isn’t going to happen outside for a while. Instead, I’m “running” inside on an exercise machine we got on Craig’s List, and I’m listening to the audio Bible using the YouVersion Bible app! Get creative with how you make your goals happen.

Tip 10: Use the Cultivate What Matters Method. Use the Cultivate What Matters Method in this post to write your goals and starting steps out. You’ll be so glad you did. If you are someone who feels overwhelmed because you think you have too many goals for the year, be sure to read my tip above goal 4 in this post. I hope it helps you simplify, like it did for me!

2017goalsetting

Okay, it’s your turn! I’d love to hear your own tips and tricks for getting started on your goals, and staying on track. What helps you? What motivates you? What are you trying this year? One lucky commenter on this post will win a Cultivate What Matters sticker book!

P.S. After everything selling out so quickly, we are pumped to open pre-orders for six-month undated PowerSheets today! Get yours here.

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