Category: Goal Setting

We get one shot at this life. We can waste it on things that are fleeting or we can GRAB THIS LIFE BY THE HORNS. This is not motivation. This is truth. If you’re reading this, you have breath. You have decisions in front of you. You can take huge leaps of faith to love, to give, and to spend yourself well or…. you fill in the blank.

You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.

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What is that thing for you (and what has been holding you back from doing it)?

Need to get motivated, refresh your goals, or a get kick start? Catch the free replay of my one-hour Summer Goals webinar that will inspire and equip you. You’ll learn the top 10 keys to making good goals happen, practical tips, and ways to get–and stay—motivated. Best of all, this is grace-filled goal setting. No perfection, striving, or perfect track-record required. This powerful hour will help you focus on progress, not perfection.

And to encourage you in your summer goals and in making fruitful friendships, I have an amazing giveaway for you today. Are you ready for this?

Welcome to the Ultimate Fruitful Summer Giveaway! We brainstormed all the things we would want to have an intentional and joy-filled summer, and we’re giving all of these things away to one lucky winner. This summer prize bundle includes everything you see here including our NEW Fruitful Friendships Workbook, a fresh set of PowerSheets, our new Fruitful Summer encouragement postcards, and even a copy of my upcoming book!

Enter below…

fruitful summer giveaway

The lucky winner will be selected at random. U.S. entrants only as shipping costs are prohibitive on some of these things. (Thank you to all my international friends for understanding! I wish I had a plane to come deliver these items to you myself!). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Summer is full of possibilities: activities, adventures, outings, people to spend time with and places to go. We want our summers to be fun and meaningful, but where do we invest the little time and resources we have before we blink and school has started again?

You can plan your summer, or it can plan you.

But, here’s the thing: my favorite summer memories were simple: spending all day outside, playing in the sprinklers with my brother, telling stories on the porch, eating peaches and spotting fireflies as the sun went down. Think back to your childhood: what summer memories stand out to you? And more importantly–what did those experiences grow in you?

We sometimes think of summer as a time to let go and check out, but what if this is your season to check in and dig into what is most important to you?

If you’re ready to dig in, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at our new Summer Goals Collection. We’ve been working on these new tools and resources for a year and we’re so happy to finally get these tools in hands across the world today!

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But, first, you should know this: you don’t need to buy any of these things to have an intentional summer–or an intentional life. They will help you do those things, but this post isn’t about selling you products. I hope, regardless of what tools you use or have, this post inspires you to get out there and do something about what matters to you–with what you have!

Okay, let’s dig in…

There’s nothing magical about January 1st. Why not start fresh with your goals today? Really. I’m actually asking you and I want to know your answer: why not today? What has been holding you back? (Let me know in the comments and I would love to personally encourage you right where you are.) Some truth: good goals are about cultivating what you’ve been given well–your time, resources, and relationships. Good goals are not about striving and doing something just because “everyone else” is doing it, or because you feel like you should. Let’s throw out the “should’s” for a minute and think about your unique assignment here on this earth. Have no idea what that is? Does it feel far away? I hear you. It’s really hard to hear the truth in all the noise and distractions. This is why I created these goal uncovering workbooks because I got tired of wasting my time lost in the noise. I wanted to direct my energy where it mattered.

Teal-Summer-PowerSheets

This first one isn’t new to our shop, but it might be new to you. PowerSheets help you uncover good goals and do something about them. We’re nearing the half-way point of the year, so it’s a perfect time to start a new set of undated six-month PowerSheets.

The Six-Month PowerSheets Workbooks are undated which means you can start as soon as you get them. Choose from Pink, White, or Teal, and we have gold foil Monthly Tab Stickers if you want to customize your tabs instead of writing the months in yourself. Join us in finishing the year strong with goals that are rooted in what’s important to you.

Fruitful-Friendship-Workbook

Over the past three years, I have loved walking through Fruitful Summer with you, encouraging you to cultivate meaningful friendships. Last year I shared that we were creating a Fruitful Summer magazine, and after dreaming and sketching, we decided to make a hybrid magazine + workbook. The NEW Fruitful Friendship Workbook is part inspiring (to help you think in a new way) and practical (to help you put it into practice). It will equip and encourage you to dig into community right where you are–no perfection or perfect track-record required.

The Fruitful Friendship Workbook is larger in size than our other goal guides (it’s the same height and width of the PowerSheets so you have lots of room to write!) and is thicker than our Couple’s and Parent’s Goal Guides too. This is going to be tucked in my bag all summer for reading and working through each page and prompt. Side note: this is a GREAT workbook to use in a small group or group of friends to do alongside each other. If any local folks want to join me and do this workbook together, let me know! Gather your friends, put a post up to invite new friends in your area–get out there and let’s come together to make meaningful friendships happen. Don’t wait for the invitation, though, friends–be the invitation. I’m excited!

Parents-Companion-Guide

The PowerSheets Goal Guide for Parents will also be tucked in my bag all summer. After receiving numerous requests about how to set good, grace-filled goals as a family–and wanting a guide like this for my own family–we made it! This guide is will help you uncover your goals and what matters to your family. What do you think of Grace’s drawing of each of our family members? Sarah apparently has purple hair. ; )

Couples-Companion-Guide

I don’t know about your gent, but Ari isn’t as into goal setting as I am. That’s code for: he’d rather do the dishes. But! He loved doing the PowerSheets Goal Guide for Couples with me–so much so that he has asked for several copies to give to work colleagues. We made it fun, easy (you could fill this out together in one sitting!), and impactful. This mini guide will help you uncover your shared goals and what matters to both of you. It’s great for married, dating, or engaged couples. Fill this little book out on a summer date night, on the porch one evening, all at once, or little by little.

Cultivate-Tank-Top

If last year’s Fruitful Summer product launch was any indicator, the new Cultivate What Matters Tanks will be a favorite! Our sizes are limited, so if you want to snag one, I recommend adding it to your cart quickly. This is the perfect tank for heading out on my morning walk with the kids or spending the afternoon in my garden.

Fruitful-Summer-Encouragement-Postcards

Craving connection this summer? I am. And I have a whole post coming next week about how to cultivate meaningful friendships. One easy way you can stay connected is through real mail. The Fruitful Summer Encouragement Postcard Set contain an assortment of 20 cards featuring fun summer sayings, fruity puns, and friendly messages. My personal favorite? You are the pineapple of my eye. And a tip: Pre-stamp these postcards when you get them (order stamps here) and you’ll be ready to pop them in the mail easily and quickly!

Take-The-Leap-Mini-Print

We brainstormed a long list of phrases for our newest Mini Print collection, and it was tough to narrow it down to just three! Our three newest mini prints look great tacked onto a bulletin board for extra encouragement or slipped into a card as a small gift for a friend. In addition to the Take the Leap Gold Foil Mini Print pictured above, we have the What If Today Gold Foil Mini Print (mine and Nicole’s favorite) and the Little by Little Gold Foil Mini Print.

Fruitful Summer Bundle

Okay, want one of everything? Me too! Our Fruitful Summer Bundle has everything you need to cultivate what matters this summer! Set meaningful summer goals and grow meaningful friendships this season with our Six-Month Undated PowerSheets Workbook in White, Fruitful Friendship Workbook, Fruitful Summer Postcard Set, and Take the Leap Mini Print. If you already have a set of PowerSheets, this is a great opportunity to get a discounted set in this bundle to give to a friend! Summer goal setting is better with a buddy. There are only 200 of these bundles available today, so get yours while they last.

Also, Write the Word is back in stock (!!!), but we think we will sell out again by the end of the day. Since we opened pre-orders, most of our stock has been reserved. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Get your Write the Word collection and summer goals goodies today.

write the word all seasons collection 2017

I’m excited to do summer with you, friends! Remember, this isn’t about products, it’s about purpose. None of these great tools matter unless you DO something with them. Don’t wait to get started planning an intentional second half of the year. Start today. Start now. An easy place to begin? Tell me in the comments what you most want to cultivate this summer and I’ll share my thoughts too. Words have power, friends. Taking a leap of faith to share our dreams and hopes gives us the courage to take the first step. I can’t wait to cheer you on!

P.S. Join me next week for a free live Summer Goals class where I’ll give you my best tips for an intentional summer. I can’t wait to see you there!

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It’s my favorite time of year, friends: garden planting time! I’ve had so much fun digging in this year–perhaps more than ever. Every year I make my garden plans to be sure I have room for everything I want to grow. But, then I let go and have fun! On-the-spot creativity and pairing what I think will look best and grow well together brings the garden to life.

Plans are important.
Forethought is vital.
But at some point you have to move from planning to planting.

Laying an intentional foundation can give way to freedom and creativity, and a different kind of joy if you are willing to let go. Letting go is hard, but that’s where the good stuff grows: in surrender. In believing in what you can’t yet see.

Forethought can give you a foundation on which to have the freedom to flourish. (That was a lot of “f”‘s, but I like it!)

Lara Casey May Goals4

We went to the Carrboro Farmer’s Market’s annual seedling giveaway on Saturday. Local farmers donate seedlings for kids to take home and the kids write a thank you note to the farmer who grew their seedling–isn’t that fun!? Grace picked out a pair of white sunflowers and a Sungold tomato.

Lara Casey May Goals7At our local Southern States buying Gracie’s favorite marigolds and we bought lots of dirt for a special secret project we’re working on with Gardeners.com! Stay tuned. : ) 

April was full of hard work and planning, and May is already shaping up to be a month of planting–taking action, digging in, taking risks, and cultivating what matters. Here’s a recap of April and my PowerSheets goals for May are below too.

My April PowerSheets progress:

– Celebrate Southern Weddings’ birthday. This was a sweet celebration week, but perhaps the very best celebration was when Lisa came to the office a couple weeks ago. We sat around the table together and shared memories and gratitude and lots and lots of tears as we prepared to say “farewell” to her after four amazing years. Thankfully she still lives right down the road though and her impact on our lives has deep roots that are here to stay. We love you so much, Lisa! Read more about Lisa’s farewell here.
– Lay a firm foundation for the budget. We made progress! Ari and I started setting up our EveryDollar budget over the weekend.
– Celebrate Passover (my favorite holiday!). Yes, this was wonderful. Ari led a great seder for about 40 people at church and my faith was built!
– Create a new frequent date night schedule. Thanks to my amazing friend Joslyn, we had a great date night last month. We hope to increase the frequency to once every two weeks.
– Prayerfully hire our new team members. This is still in progress, but great progress had been made.
– Plant our garden! Yes! You may have seen on Instagram stories last week that I have a “secret garden” project in the works. I’ll keep you posted here and here on the blog.
– Record the audiobook for Cultivate and prepare well for the launch ahead. This was so good, praise Him! What a wonderful experience. I’m so grateful!
– Prayerful spring product launch – Yes! Write the Word sold out much faster than we expected. A new shipment will be here in a few days, but I highly recommend reserving your copy here.
Team Summit prep: Yes! This has been the center of my focus the last couple weeks. I’d read books, written several presentations, and prayed so much over this week. Our team summit starts tomorrow and I am so excited to learn and grow alongside my team. Follow along on my IG stories this week.
– Host a meaningful Cultivating Faith webinar next week with Shanna Noel – Yes! Catch the replay here.
- Take my workouts to the next level. Yes – we finally got bikes, and I joined Ari for a class at his gym last week too.
- Lord willing, start leading our family group again. We are not leading a family group now–instead, another couple is taking the lead. I’m excited about this and grateful. With all the kids, it was a bit overambitious to think about leading anything new in this season.
- Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities. This happened a little, and this is one of my biggest priorities for May.

Lara Casey May Goals1Those snapdragons totally surprised me. I planted them from seed (get them here) last summer and had no idea they would winter over and look so good now. What a treat!

My monthly PowerSheets goals for May:

Lara Casey May Goals3To help me wrap my brain around all the writing I have ahead this month, I wrote it all out on PostIt’s and added them to my PowerSheets.

– Plant the garden. We’re close to done here. I’m waiting to see how the pansies hold up in the heat over the next couple weeks. Once they start to fade, they’ll get replaced with lots of zinnias!
– Cultivate book launch prep. The book launches next month! (And typing that just gave me all the butterflies.) I’m nervous to release this book because I’m sharing parts of our story I’ve never shared before and I pray these pages help many people to cultivate what matters with Him. Pre-order Cultivate here. (Pre-ordering is so helpful to ensure retailers have enough books in stock on launch day. I am so grateful for the many friends who have already reserved their copies.)
– Create the budget with Ari. The next step is committing to our budget numbers and goals. We plan to make more progress this coming weekend while the babies nap.
– Lead a refreshing team summit. Hooray for the Team Summit starting tomorrow!
– Prayerfully launch summer products. I can’t wait to share them next week! The Summer Collection launches at 10 am EST on May 9th!
– Implement new team meeting structure. More on this to come after our Team Summit.
– Create a new date night plan.
(Goal I can’t share just yet, but I will in two weeks.)
- Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities. This is one of my biggest priorities for May.

Lara Casey May Goals5Peonies and PJ’s in the community garden this morning.

May weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends.
– Meaningful God connection with Ari. I’ve had this on my tending list all year, but I added “God” to this and it has already helped us so much. It’s not just about connecting; it’s about connecting in the Spirit. We had some great conversations this weekend about what God is growing in us.
Write the Word : ) This, my friends, is my solution to the afternoon Word refresh I’ve been craving! Yahoo!

May daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan
– #RunLiftPraise
– Eat more raw foods.
– Be active in my work day. Nicole and I are giving a presentation on workplace fitness this week!
– Pray through my prayer journal.

Lara Casey May Goals2Grace and I have gotten on a Garden Answer video kick, and made a new fairy garden this weekend! I love it–and her. : )  

Your turn! I’d love to hear: Do you have goals for May? 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 April’s winner, Alexandra Keen. Alexandra and I go to church together, so I’ll bring your goodies to you this weekend, friend! : ) 

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Hello, friends! Wow, what a month! March was packed and refreshing at the same time. A conference, a big trip, a book completed, and there are peach buds on my tree, y’all. It survived the snow! I am so grateful for all that happened in March. Here’s a recap and my PowerSheets goals for April.

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20171 I love when Gina comes to photograph us. She gets Grace to laugh every time!

My monthly PowerSheets goals for March:

– Finish my final book edits. YES!!! I sent in my book endorsements and two final edits yesterday. It goes to print tomorrow! I am crying typing this. My word for April is “Hallelujah” because I am so grateful for this and much more. Today we shared all the details about how you can join the book launch team here.
– Prepare prayerfully for MTH and our family vacation at the end of the month. MTH was the best yet and our vacation was also refreshing. Read more about our trip here and here for thoughts on how we changed what “vacation” means to us.

unspecifiedI look like such a weirdo here, but all this joy is REAL. This was my 51st time leading the MTH Conference and it couldn’t have been better. I love you, friends! Photo by Amy Nicole.

– Celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary well. The traditional gift is steel (these materials always make me giggle!), so I’m considering either these collar stays stamped with Ari’s favorite Bible verses or getting us family bikes. Well, we did celebrate, but I did not get Ari a gift yet. We wanted to see what it was like to rent bikes on our vacation and test out a bike trailer for the kids. It was great! I’m in research mode now to find the best prices and options to somehow get three kiddos to ride along with me.

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20177We loved our time in Watercolor last week. I even met a PowerSheets user on the plane which was so fun!

– Finish 2016 taxes. Yes. We had a funny thing happen while we were working on them. We’ve used TurboTax for the last ten years for our personal taxes. Ari got to the final screen and the refund amount said $6,394,128.00! We laughed and Ari fixed the error, but it was a good and needed laugh in the middle of what can sometimes be a stressful experience.
– Hire our new team member/s! This is in progress and we expect to hire two new team members this month. Please pray alongside me that we make wise and thorough decisions. We’ve had so many wonderful applicants.
– Blog posts:
1. Release my book cover and film. YES! Hooray! Read all about it here.
2. Build and blog my “Cultivated Calendar.” This one is getting moved to April! But, I did share my curly hair story here.
3. Parts two and three of my Gardening 101 series. YES! Double hooray! There are over 700 comments on the series – WOW. Here’s the final Gardening 101 post. The giveaway winner is Sandra. Congrats, Sandra! 
– Celebrate Sarah’s birthday. She turned one on February 26th, but with the sickness in our house, we moved the celebration to this coming weekend. Yes! Here’s the recap of her celebration
– Celebrate Purim. Yes. Hamentaschen and the book of Esther were enjoyed by all!

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20179I love this of Josh and me that Gina took! My little buddy.

– Begin afternoon Word refresh times: Amen Paper Company Lent study + memorize good words for goal number 3 by putting the verses on index cards this month. I hope to do this for a few minutes each afternoon to close my work day. This did not happen, once again. I did make progress on the scripture memorization thanks to a blog reader who suggested I add verses to my to-do app on my phone. But, the additional Bible studies and devotionals had to get nixed. I commited to too much. I already have my morning Bible reading time (which is going well) but I would be grateful for another time before I take over watching the kiddos at night and Ari comes home. Working on this.

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20176

– Take the next steps in garden planning, and decide on garden structures (we need a bench) and a final garden plan. I’m in a bit of a happy bind here — my winter garden still looks great! So, I have no motivation to remove anything right now to plant new things. These pansies and violas won’t last in the strong heat of summer, but they are so happy right now. I may have to move some of them to make room for my seedlings and then direct sow the rest come early summer. I haven’t decided yet. The other option is to make a whole new garden in the back of our house. This may happen!

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 201714

– Make changes now to switch to my homeschool work schedule starting in the early summer. I haven’t started on this, but I have come to realize it’s just not the right time yet. 
- Spring cleaning! YES! I cleared things out, including the ladies’ office. I shared a before shot in Instagram a couple weeks ago. After photo coming soon. And huge thanks to our amazing caregiver and friend Sarah for helping out in the office and for doing all sorts of things to bless all of us while I was away last week!

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20172 I love this girl.

March weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends. Yes. 
– Meaningful connection with Ari. Yes. Our two date nights on vacation were deeply refreshing.
– Pray through my prayer journal. I left it at home during our vacation, and I missed it. I’m excited to fill it out for April tonight.

March daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan. Yes! I’m almost to day 100. The first part of Judges was not my favorite and I had a hard time paying attention, but I prayed for God to give me focus and He has. I’m in the middle of Samson’s story right now, which is hard not to pay attention to!
– #RunLiftPraise Yes. At-home workouts continue and the weather is alllllmost at the point where I can get out in the mornings to walk (or bike soon!) with the kids. 
– Eat more raw foods. Yes.
– Be active in my work day. Yes, and it’s a collective goal in our office to be more active this month, especially with so much computer work to do.

Now, on to April!

FullSizeRenderOut in the garden today.

My monthly PowerSheets goals for April:

– Celebrate Southern Weddings’ birthday. I launched the first issue of Southern Weddings on April 1st nine years ago! As part of my yearly goal to live a year of radical gratitude and praise, I’m celebrating His faithfulness this week in all that has happened in those nine years. Celebrate along with us here.
– Lay a firm foundation for the budget. Lots to say here, but I have 10 minutes to finish this post before I have two babies in my arms for the afternoon. In sum, I’m working on creating a new family budget using EveryDollar. I feel resolved here and excited.
– Celebrate Passover (my favorite holiday!). We are hosting our annual (except last year because we had a newborn) Passover dinner at church next week. Ari does such a great job leading this from a messianic Jewish perspective. It always builds my faith.
– Create a new frequent date night schedule. We realized on our trip that we need to prioritize this in our budget and our schedules. As a benefit of working on the Southern Weddings/Cultivate team, we pay for monthly date nights for each team member. In the seasons that Ari and I have been in with kiddos, we haven’t been able to do them ourselves on a regular basis. But, I finally finished nursing last month (hooray!) so we can more easily make this happen now. My first step is finding and interviewing trusted babysitters. I’ve already started this process.
– Prayerfully hire our new team members.
– Plant our garden! As mentioned above, I’m not exactly sure how to do this yet, but I’ll keep you posted here.
– Record the audiobook for Cultivate and prepare well for the launch ahead.
– Prayerful spring product launch (the new Write the Word collection is SO BEAUTIFUL! I can’t wait to show you next week!) and team retreat prep.
– Blog posts: Cultivated Calendar, Spring product release, Cultivating Faith, and many more.
– Host a meaningful Cultivating Faith webinar next week with Shanna Noel (register here!)
- Take my workouts to the next level. We got so much exercise on our trip last week from biking everywhere, and I really benefitted from it. Time to up my workouts this month in intensity!
- Lord willing, start leading our family group again. Our family group is splitting into three to have more intimate groups, and we’re going to be leading a group on Saturday mornings so we can both be there. For the last few months, I’ve had to stay home with sleeping kiddos while Ari goes by himself. Not ideal, but we knew this would just be for a season. I used those nights to write in my prayer journal, but I have been craving fellowship!
- Pray impossible prayers and be open to new possibilities. This kept coming to me over and over on our vacation. Being away from our normal environment was so good to reset my brain and help me think outside of our normal routines and rhythms. I felt the Lord telling me to pray more boldly and so I have started that. One of those prayers was answered on Monday night and it was a BIG one! The story is miraculous and I can’t share all the details, but I’ll tell you that we are now in contact with our birthmom.

And all the tears came like a flood again as I typed that.

God is good. He is real. He is mighty. And He is listening to those prayers you think go unheard–the prayers you’ve prayed for what feels like forever. He is listening!

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20175My guys. Doesn’t Josh look like a little Ari with red hair? : ) 

April weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends.
– Meaningful connection with Ari.
– Pray through my prayer journal.

April daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan
– #RunLiftPraise
– Eat more raw foods.
– Be active in my work day.
– (A new one this month!) Practice my four essentials that I uncovered during the Making Things Happen Conference: humility, integrity, physical exercise — running with the Lord, and living in awe of His essential grace.

Your turn! I’d love to hear: Do you have goals for April? 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 March’s winner, Leslie MP. Leslie, send me your info here and I’ll get your goodies to you!

Lara Casey PowerSheets Goals March 20178Oh, Gina, I love these photographs so much!

P.S. What do you want to see more of here on the blog? Take our quick survey and be entered to win a shopping spree from the Cultivate Shop. Everyone who takes the survey will get a discount code to the shop, too! : )

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Friends! Hi!!! It’s been a crazy few days here in the Isaacson house. Norovirus hit us hard, but thankfully we’re on the mend now. Nothing like a bout of sickness to make you grateful for the gift of being able to simply be on your feet. I’m also feeling grateful for this particular day – February 28th. Today I’m praising Him for the lives of two special friends who share a birthday and a first name: Emily Thomas (turns 30 today) and Emily Ley. I’ve had the joy of working alongside Em Thomas for 8 years (!) and I’ve been friends with Em Ley for just as long. I’m so grateful they were both born. Today is also the day that, six years ago, we found out some happy news.  It’s a good day!

It has been a month of little-by-little progress on my goals, but some areas need some changing. Here is the progress I made on my February Goals and my new March goals below.

IMG_9441Gracie doing “Celebration” with the flowers Ari gave me for Valentine’s Day!

My monthly PowerSheets goals for February:
– Settle into a new Cultivate What Matters work rhythm. YES! I spent an entire day plotting out content for newsletters, blog posts, and product releases in our Asana system, and it feels so good to have a realistic plan for the whole year.
– Finish my final book edits. In progress today–my final edits are due on Monday, so I’m taking a bit of a social media hiatus till they are done.
– Build what I’m calling a “Cultivated Calendar” + blog it. I made progress here and have written about 2/3 of this post. Moving this to March to complete.
– Write my Gardening 101 Guide. Yes! Instead of writing a PDF guide, I decided to turn this into a blog series first. Here’s part 1. This way, we can chat along the way and you can ask questions as we go!
– Memorize good words for goal number 3. I have not made good progress here, so it’s time to redirect. I’m adding this to March and trying a new strategy to get this going.
– Take the next steps in garden planning and start some seeds indoors! Yes! We are starting seeds today when Grace gets home from preschool, and I have a post in the works about how you can do it too.
– Continue to gather good homeschool info. Yes, I’ve been collecting some nature journaling resources and we applied to a local homeschool co-op program.
– Start my “little by little” painting, a painting I decided to create in celebration of what I’m learning in my Bible reading goal. I’ve gotten all the materials, so next, I’m adding “paint” to my April goals–lots happening in March already.
– Finalize 2018 PowerSheets. Yes! Draft one is done and I’m pumped about the changes coming.
– Prayerfully prepare for and experience the Faith Retreat, a biannual retreat my friend Nancy and I are doing with a few friends to spiritually recharge. Yes! This was a deeply refreshing time. Read more about it on Nancy’s blog here.

IMG_9406

February weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends. Yes! I have been studying what sabbath means for Jews and what it means for gentiles like moi. Since I’m married to a Jew, this has me extra intrigued. I particularly enjoyed parts of this article and this one. I had what felt like my first real sabbath day a couple weekends ago and it was so sweet. I felt God telling me to cease from “producing.” I spent the day with the kids (Ari was working) outside, not doing errands or trying to finish projects. It wasn’t easy at times. I wanted to get a few things done, but I kept remembering to pause and trust. It was fruitful. The day made me realize how addicted to productivity I can be, instead of just resting with Him and being with Him. It was a fast from busy, and very eye-opening. 
– Meaningful connection with Ari. Yes! We had a date night in February and great conversations in between.
– Learn and cultivate new sleep habits. Yes! We switched out the light bulbs in our bedroom lamps with these amber lights, and I got Ari this reading light. We also started using lavender essential oils in a small diffuser at night.
– Pray through my prayer journal. Yes, and I continue to love this thing. I spend the first week or two of the month filling it out as prayers come to me.

February daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan (I have been loving this!) – Yes! I only missed a couple Sunday mornings when I was with the family, but caught up the next day.
– #RunLiftPraise – Yes, despite five days of norovirus and not getting out of bed for two of those days, I’ve continued to make progress and I feel great.
– Eat more raw foods. Yes! I’ve been eating raw peppers, spinach, and kale.
– 40 days of prayer with Ari. I didn’t finish strong on this one, but even doing this for the first couple weeks was a huge blessing. 
– Be active in my work day. Yes! Senorita FitBit keeps me moving.

Now, on to March!

FullSizeRender-4 3I got a little messy with my PowerSheets this month : ) 

My monthly PowerSheets goals for March:

I had a lot of goals for March, and after praying on them, I combined a few that worked well together. For instance, my afternoon Word refresh times. Instead of trying to do both the Lent study and memorizing scripture, I’m giving myself a choice each afternoon.

– Finish my final book edits.
– Prepare prayerfully for MTH and our family vacation at the end of the month.
– Celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary well. The traditional gift is steel (these materials always make me giggle!), so I’m considering either these collar stays stamped with Ari’s favorite Bible verses or getting us family bikes. These are far too pricey for us, but look how fun these are.
– Finish 2016 taxes.
– Hire our new team member/s!
– Blog posts: 1. Release my book cover (next week!!). 2. Build and blog my “Cultivated Calendar.” 3. Parts two and three of my Gardening 101 series.
– Celebrate Sarah’s birthday. She turned one on February 26th, but with the sickness in our house, we moved the celebration to this coming weekend.
– Celebrate Purim.
– Begin afternoon Word refresh times: Amen Paper Company Lent study + memorize good words for goal number 3 by putting the verses on index cards this month. I hope to do this for a few minutes each afternoon to close my work day.
– Take the next steps in garden planning, and decide on garden structures (we need a bench) and a final garden plan.
– Make changes now to switch to my homeschool work schedule starting in the early summer.
– Spring cleaning!

FullSizeRender-3Where I’m sitting right now as I finish this post and book edits this week! That lemon is almost ready to pick. : ) 

March weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends.
– Meaningful connection with Ari.
– Pray through my prayer journal.

March daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan
– #RunLiftPraise
– Eat more raw foods.
– Be active in my work day.

sarah-and-joshMy little monkeys today : ) 

Your turn! I’d love to hear: how are you feeling about February? Do you have goals for March? 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!

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