You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn
Wow! Does that hit you like it does me? Every time we talk about this concept at the Making Things Happen Conference, it changes us.
Those five people could be family members, friends, or even people on social media you’ve never met. The people and things we allow into our lives the most have a profound effect on our thoughts—and our future outcomes. This is one of the many reasons I’m grateful to have you, the Cultivate What Matters family, as a collective one of my “five!”
I am passionate about encouraging you, but you encourage me to live out what matters a hundredfold. (Your support last week was a gift!)
You fight alongside me each day to pay attention to what matters—what lasts. You are living this out! I read every comment and message, and I love following your journeys. You inspire me to say no to distractions and keep my eyes focused on truth.
Get to know each of us—and what we do—here.
You are strong and capable and ready for the second half of the year, even when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing.
And you don’t mess around when it comes to taking action on goals that matter to you!
This month, you have taken first steps on mid-year goals and WOW! What a month this has been! I have loved doing live goal coaching with you, seeing so many lightbulbs go off as you continue to take those first steps.
Our Goal-Getters board and walls (!) are filled with YOUR names. And we’re still going—take a step forward on a goal that matters to you and we will put your name on the board! We want to cheer you on because little-by-little progress is worth celebrating. When one woman steps forward on something that matters to her, do you know what happens? It creates a ripple effect. You are world changers, friends!
I took my own steps forward this month too—specifically on two of my yearly goals that are related:
- Love the things above, not the things of the world: cultivating contentment in our children, clearing out the stuff and information overload, and generous and wise stewardship of what we’ve been entrusted with.
- Cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in motherhood: growing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control in their hearts by our family seeking after God Himself above everything else.
To move forward on these goals, I wanted to start “morning time” in our family: gathering the kids together at the table each morning to grow our faith and family bond.
I’ve been wanting to do this all year, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. There were a few logistical roadblocks. First, we didn’t have a table where everyone could sit together, spread out, and make a mess. We had the dining room table, but the chairs were not exactly kid-and-craft-friendly (ha!). When Ari and I moved into our house seven years ago, before we had kids, we bought white upholstered dining chairs. Not ideal for kiddos! We also didn’t have a time that seemed to work. And how could I keep all three kids’ attention for more than a few seconds together?
For months, I did nothing. I thought about it, but I couldn’t figure out how to move forward and make it work long-term. I wanted to make morning time a regular rhythm in our house, but these small logistical things seemed to stand in my way (which feels silly now looking back!). I did nothing—until I saw all of YOU making leaps forward on your goals this month, breaking through obstacles big and small.
You lit a fire under me!
I decided that, since we used our dining room table maybe once a month at most, this would be the place. Kids crafts and books would make a welcome centerpiece! : )
My first action step: I went to find a few boxes that I could use to fill with morning time supplies. I made a box for each kiddo and filled each with Write the Word for Kids journals, craft supplies, and a few books.
I made myself a box, too. Inside: my Write the Word journal, Bible, pens, and some homeschool books.
And… I bought these wipable indestructible chairs to replace the not-so-kid-friendly upholstered ones from IKEA that were falling apart anyway. Bonus: they came fully assembled.
Up next: It was time to give this morning time thing a try for the first time.
Starting new things for the first time can be tricky, right? Whether it’s starting a new routine in your family or starting a magazine, fear can try to stop us at the starting line.
What if it doesn’t work?
What if this fails?
How do you move forward on goals that matter to you when you feel fear?
First things first (and this is the key that most people miss!): break your goal down into itsy-bitsy tiny steps—the smaller, the more likely you are to DO them. Once you break your goal down, you may find that you can’t help but take action—fear has less of a hold on you because smaller steps aren’t as daunting. (For more on breaking goals down into mini goals, read here.)
In the big and small things, you get to choose: fear or faith.
Breaking it down helps you move from fear to I’m doing this!
I gathered all the kiddos at the table with some snacks (a tip I learned from my friend, Sally Clarkson—snacks make new things more appealing!), I prayed for us, and I read them a book while they colored.
That was it.
It lasted for 15 minutes and it. was. awesome.
This may seem so simple, but that’s exactly the point. Our first morning time at the table together, with the sun peeking in, was simple and beautiful and life-giving for all of us. One day led to two, two led to a week, and now we’re three weeks in. This daily rhythm has changed our family!
You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do?
Big or small, you should go DO them.
Starting morning time was important to me because I see how it will have a ripple effect in our family—and hopefully their own families—for years to come. Learning has happened at the table. Conversation has happened here. Togetherness has happened here. And it didn’t take any grand planning. Just a few intentional steps forward.
Cultivating what matters means doing small things that add up to the big things.
Thinking big picture, and taking small intentional steps forward.
I don’t have an agenda each time I sit down with them; I do what is best for that day and each of thier nurturing needs at that moment. Some mornings we read, some mornings we paint, some mornings we color, and on homeschool days, the other kiddos do whatever they like at the table while Grace and I work through reading, handwriting, and other activities. Sometimes the younger two end up playing legos on the floor, and sometimes we have music. We just go with it!
There are often interruptions and tantrums and challenges, too, but the “imperfections” are part of the blessing of this time. Part of the learning is working through big emotions and “I wanted the yellow crayon!” moments together. : )
This time (usually from 7:30-8-ish before I start work) lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. How long we do it doesn’t matter as much as doing it with the right heart: to seek Him and delight in the creative gifts God has given each of us.
And it all began with one small step forward: I went to find boxes.
Sometimes, the hardest part of starting something is proverbially “putting on your shoes,” right? Once you take the first step, the momentum grows.
Our first day above—I was still waiting on the chairs to arrive, but we dove in anyway!
Your turn! What one step forward have you taken—or plan to take—on a goal that matters to you? Leave a comment here with your one step and I’ll add your name to our office Goal Getters Board!
I hope my story encourages you to dig in and take the first step. You never know how that one step forward might change everything!
Up next, I’ll be sharing more practical ways I’ve taken action on these goals: 8 Ways to Infuse Scripture into Your Home. Look for that next week!