You often feel unprepared. You throw meals and birthdays and most of life together, forgetting important milestones till the 11th hour (sometimes literally at 11pm). You know you’re not using each day to the fullest, and it makes you sad. You want change. And together, we’re about to find it.

In episode 008, we talked about numbering our days and striking while the iron was hot – about seizing the pivot points that are given to us instead of ignoring the facts, keeping our heads down, and grinding on. In this episode, I’m going to help you do just that. You’re hungry to use your numbered days well, and we’re going to take that fire in your belly and put it to good use! LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:
— I tell you about a season in my life when I had little margin. I’m guessing you’ve been there, too!
— I tell you about my turning point, and the solution I found to the challenge of feeling chronically unprepared, my life feeling one-note, and my plate always feeling full.
— I share three impactful steps you can take TODAY to cultivate your calendar for the year ahead.
— Finally, I let you in on three tools I use to follow through with ease (one involves frozen cookie dough!).
— I remind you that a little forethought goes a long way toward sowing seeds of love and closeness – toward building your legacy!

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

— You can connect with Sally Clarkson on her website and read her new book, Girls’ Club.
— The book I’ve been reading: Essentialism by Greg McKeown.
— I wrote more about that season-of-little-margin here.
— A flourishing life is possible – no perfection required! My book Cultivate was written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide.
— I uncover my priorities and follow through simply with my PowerSheets. This is the number one thing I do to simplify my time and, instead of doing it all, spend my time on the right things.
— I mentioned the Celebrations Binder, a simple, intentional planning system for all your celebrations. No more feeling unprepared to celebrated well!
— Psst – if you love to celebrate others, you will LOVE our greeting card set! The most beautiful cards, perfect for all your special days!
— The Cultivate sticker book will help you remember to take action.

LOVE IT? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! Feel free to snag one of these graphics to share.

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode goes live!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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There’s a lot that tries to get your attention in life.

Your to-do list.
The people surrounding you.
The online world.
Advertisements that beg you to look here, buy this!

So many things promising to solve a problem for you—or wanting you to solve a problem for them.

But, what’s essential, and what’s a distraction?

In this new month, let’s name those things that have been holding us back from growing what matters and clear out our growing ground for what lasts. March is the month to make room and say COMPLETELY YES to what’s essential (more about that in my video below)—and no to all the rest!

Clear the life clutter with these top posts and resources:

And now… a recap of my progress on my February PowerSheets® goals and what I learned!

That was 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 has been a game-changer for me! Links I mentioned in the video:

Goal Setting Sticker book with our color coding system
How to Number Your Days PODCAST episode
Write the Word
— My workout playlist
— I forgot to mention this in the video, but one thing we did in February was open an Acorns account, which I love! Get $5 to invest when you use my link here.

On to March!
March Monthly Goals:
— Train leaders + pass on leadership. This post from my friend Jennie struck a chord – or rather, a whole symphony – in me!
— Celebrate our anniversary at the Carolina Inn.
— Listen to the Lord. We’ve been studying what it means to be “entrusted” this year—entrusted with faith, with the relationships we’ve been given, etc. I want to listen to Him more above everything else so I can steward well what I’ve been entrusted with.
— Plan a low-maintenance garden.  My neck injury is necessitating this, but I think it will be great all around—for the kiddos, too. This month I’m working slowly on a plan that won’t have me literally bending over backward all summer maintaining the garden.
— Bring Making Things Happen to life! I’m excited to experience this 56th conference alongside my team and the women who are joining us!
— Live numbered days (Psalm 90:12). Listen to the special episode of the podcast all about this here.
— Continue the Contentment Challenge.

March Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath
— Sabbath study—studying what the Word says about Sabbath and starting this book.
— Read Letters to the Church with Ari
— Make margin happen
— Train for the Tar Heel 10K with Ari

March Daily Goals:
— Eat more raw vegetables
— 10K steps daily
— Old Testament Bible Reading (Need a great 5-day Bible reading plan? :))
Write the Word at night before bed
— Scripture over Scroll. As I learn about the Lord’s heart, this is where I want mine—focused on Him over the world. Soaking Him in instead of catching up with other people’s lives—even friends!

Your turn! Do you have goals for March? 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! Congrats to February’s winner, Carleen Roberts!

P.S. Just getting started on your PowerSheets® and want me to coach you through how to get started? You got it! WATCH HERE.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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Do you ever feel like life is passing you by?

You blink and another year, day, hour has passed—where is time going?! Two little words keep slipping out of your mouth: time flies!

In this SPECIAL EPISODE of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast, you’ll learn the 6 secrets of slowing down time and spending it like this is the only life you’ve got.

Get ready to laugh, cry (get your tissues ready—you have been warned!), and our whole family might have a surprise for you at the end. Today, we’re going to have a conversation that will change your life! You’ll be so glad you listened.

LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— You’ll hear about a few “tipping points” in my life, experiences that made me confront a freeing truth: life is finite AND life is a gift.
— We’ll talk about what it means to number our days (hint: that phrase isn’t something I made up—it comes straight from the book of Psalms!), and how that changes the way we live out each one.
— You’ll meet one of my “number your days” role models : )
— This is all sounding big and a bit scary, doesn’t it? Stick with me! I’ll share 6 practical tips for gaining this new perspective and applying it to your life.
— I’ll guide you through a life audit—a simple tool to assess how you’re currently using your resources.
— I’ll encourage you to embrace the freshness of this perspective and to “strike while the iron is hot!” You’ll also pick up a practical tip for keeping this perspective day after day.
— I’ll wrap things up with 3 ways to keep yourself accountable to this new way of living. They’re simple, and they’re good. I’ll also leave you with one simple action step so you can get started today.

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

— Take these two free life expectancy tests from the Social Security Administration and LivingTo100.com. Tell me in the comments what your life expectancy is!
—Enjoy our family’s favorite (and not-so-fancy!) Simple Mills Spice Cake mix.
—Reread this life-changing chapter of the Bible: Psalm 90 (pay specific attention to verse 12)!
—Subscribe to my 5-day YouVersion Bible reading plan GOD + GOALS: How To Set Goals As A Christian.
—Grab your Write the Word Journal (I’m currently using Cultivate Prayer!) to grow your faith in 2019. I’m loving the fruit that comes from writing the Word every evening. Bonus for my mama friends: there’s a Write the Word journal for kids, too!
—Get your 2019 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner!
—Tune into previous Cultivate Your Life Podcast episodes: 1, 3, 4, and 6!

I’m celebrating YOU with a fun giveaway over on Instagram.

READY FOR A GIVEAWAY? I can’t forget this! To celebrate YOU cultivating your lives and downloading the podcast over 100K times, I’m giving away: Apple AirPods, signed copies of my books Make It Happen and Cultivate, and a $50 Cultivate What Matters gift card. Read this post on Instagram for details on how to enter (it’s really easy)!

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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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 ChrystlHurst.com 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!

LOVE IT? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! Feel free to snag one of these graphics to share.

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode goes live!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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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
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!

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