Dec 28, 2016

2017 GOAL SETTING, Part 3: Choose a Word


Want to listen to this post instead of read? Here you go!

Welcome back for 2017 Goal Setting! Anyone else get the heebee-jeebees hearing the words “goal setting?” Then, you are in the right place, my friend. As we talked about in Part 1, we’re doing this differently. We’re sifting through all the noise and distractions, and we’re doing goal uncovering. We’re taking our time. We’re taking big leaps. We’re making what matters happen, little by little. If you are just joining us, you aren’t late to the party — there is nothing magical about January 1! Here are Part 1 and Part 2, for your reading pleasure. Enjoy and have fun working through each step!


Welcome to part 3. We have lots of fun things to do today!


STEP 7: This step is so important! Here’s where the magic starts to happen. Read over all you’ve written so far. Circle, mark, or sticker things that stand out to you. Look for common threads, or themes. Add to what you’ve written, if needed. Refine and get messy here! Dig through what you’ve written so far, and see if you can find any themes. I’d love to hear one of the things that stands out to you in what you’ve written so far. Let me know in the comments. There are no wrong answers here!

2017 goal setting circle

An interesting thread I found as I sifted back through what I wrote: running. I do not run. I mean, I run after kids. But, I don’t run for exercise. Walking is more my speed. But, the times I race Grace down the driveway, or leap over a crack in the sidewalk with her on the way somewhere, or swoop the babies up in both arms and run to see our cow-farmer mailman, Walter, at the mailbox, something lights up in me. I don’t know what that’s about exactly yet, but it kept coming to mind.


STEP 8: With everything you have written down thus far in mind, what are you going to need to say YES to more often in order to cultivate what matters in 2017, and what are you saying NO to? Saying no to one thing means you are saying yes to something better! Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2017 and what you are saying NO to. There are no wrong answers here, friends. My answers are pictured below, and my lists are a huge mix of big-picture things (saying no to “non-essentials”) and specific everyday things (saying yes to “loving on each of our children in the individual ways they feel most loved”). Post yours here in the comments to inspire others, and keep yourself accountable!

2017 goal setting yes no list powersheets

This was a very helpful step for me. You can see on my “no” list above that I came up with a little check-in to help me evaluate whether or not purchases, projects, or potential commitments on my calendar are worth saying yes to:

1. Have I prayed about it?
2. Does it honor or help other people draw closer to God?
3. Is it life-giving?

I’ve already used this check-in several times since writing this list, and it has been so helpful!! Feel free to snag this idea and make your own check-in too!


STEP 9: Pick a word for 2017. When you look at all you’ve written so far, what word keeps popping up in your mind? What one word most resonates with you for the year ahead, pulling together all that you want to make happen? If you don’t know, here are a some tips to help you uncover your word. First, I like to make a list of a few possible words that resonate with me, even if I think they aren’t exactly right. Then, I get old school and get out the dictionary (well, Look at the definition of each word, it’s origin, and also look at synonyms and antonyms. You may be amazed at what you discover! And a note of freedom here: think about this as a word for the season ahead, not for all of time. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you have permission to change your mind later on! Rather than thinking of the whole year, I find so much freedom thinking of just the season ahead.

Once you have your word, write it here in the comments. (Give a virtual high five to those who might have the same word as you — we are bound to have some shared words!) Write that word in prominent places in your life, too. This will help you simplify your direction and focus. Put your word on a Post-It in your car. Put it on a note literally inside of your fridge (I have a Post-It in my fridge!). Make it your computer desktop. Write it anywhere and everywhere to remind yourself of where you are going!

2017-wordFeel free to use this graphic above to share your word—you never know how you might inspire others!

My word for 2017 is LIGHT. I didn’t expect this to be my word when I started my PowerSheets, but that’s the beauty of the process. As I uncovered more and more of what mattered (and what didn’t) with every page, the word light kept popping up. Light is what makes things grow well, illuminates the darkness, and leads us on the pathway home. I love this word, and there are so many beautiful scriptures about God’s light.


Whew, this was fun! I love doing this work with you, and I’ll be back tomorrow for Part 4!

Comment with your answers from each step as we go through this series to enter to win one of the amazing prizes below. I can’t wait to read your answers, and share mine with you too! One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: one of everything from the Cultivate Shop! Yes!!! This includes 2017 PowerSheets, the Cultivate What Matters sticker book, the Cultivate What Matters flair pens, books, journals, art prints and so much more!


1. 10 sets of 2017 PowerSheets!
2. A Fitbit Flex
3. A gift card for a massage
4. The 2017 Floret wall calendar
5. A Fresh Start prayer journal from Val Marie Paper
6. Farmgirl Flowers bouquet
7. A (monogrammed!) Cultivate clipboard
8. Watercolor set from Artist’s Loft
9. 2017 Simplified Planner
10. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! Mrs. Meyers cleaning products + a free house cleaning!
11. Sweeter than Honey coloring book from Lindsay Letters
12. My favorite Jonathan Adler Grapefruit Candle
13. Five copies of the Make It Happen book
14. A Write the Word journal (we’re sold out of all of them except peach!)
15. A Meyer lemon tree – a family favorite around here!

Enter below and be sure to leave your answers to each step as you go through the series with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pssst! Head to this post to find out if you’re a lucky winner!

Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on January 31st here on the blog. Shipping some of these items can get costly, so hard goods are for US entrants only. We can convert some of these to digital prizes for my international friends, though (gift cards instead of shipping the item). If you don’t claim your prize within 48 hours, another winner will be selected, so mark your planners and stay posted! : ) Also, this post contains some Amazon affiliates links. No extra cost to you, but it helps us raise funds for Love One Another Project!

Ready for 2017 Goal Setting, Part 4? Here you go!

keep reading


  1. Jennifer B on December 28, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Step 7: I wrote a lot about family, finances, and my career.

    Step 8: I’m saying NO to frivolous spending. I’ve used the excuse that I just moved to some place colder and need a new wardrobe for a little longer than it has actually been true. I’m also saying NO to binge watching TV shows. I’ll allow myself an hour and then I need to be active doing something else, from taking a walk to reading a book to organizing my home. I’m saying YES to forming new friendship, particularly with the girls at my new job. I’m saying YES to exploring our new city with my husband and son (and my mom who moved with us!)

    Step 9: INTENT. I want to live with intention which is why your Powersheets and message resonates with me. I want to have true purpose behind nearly every decision I make and thing I do. I want to use the tools and resources I have at my disposal to their full potential.

  2. Victoria on December 28, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Something that kept coming up again and again in my writing was patience and change and flexibility. The big thing I am saying NO to is worry! The big thing I am saying YES to is prayer! I definitely can be very rigid in my life, so my word of the year is flexibility. Because of all the changes 2017 is going to bring I know that I must get out of my box and stretch myself.

  3. Lesley on December 28, 2016 at 10:26 am

    My word for the season is TRUST! Trusting in God’s timing, plan, and path for me.

  4. tori on December 28, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Step 7:
    Common theme was faith

    Step 8:
    Say no to things that cause me stress and don’t make me happy. Saying no to frivolous things that don’t serve a purpose.
    Saying yes to things that bring me joy and will encourage my health/wellness. Say yes to spending my money wisely on things I really want.

    Step 9:

    My word is purpose.

  5. Danielle on December 28, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Step 7: I am writing a lot about being content, joyful, healthy and intentional

    Step 8: I am saying no to comparison and shame and my photography business because I have decided to shut it down completely.
    And Yes to more prayer, exercise, minimalism and organization.

    Step 9: My word for 2017 is Intentional. Intentional with my relationships with God, my family and my friends. Intentional with my health, gratitude, time, homemaking and in my rest.

  6. Tanisha on December 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Saying no to non essentials and no to the pressures of the world, especially the comparison I can feel on Instagram are on my list of no’s this year. I want to say yes to more time with my family, especially little dates with my daughters and having more one on one time with them and my husband. I’m not sure what my word is yet, but I’m thinking present. I want to be more present in all that I do, specifically my relationships with family, friends, and God.

  7. Madelyn on December 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Step 9: My word of 2017 is GROW!

    • Jennifer on January 2, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      I’m choosing grow too.

  8. Alaina on December 28, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Step 7: Most common things I wrote about were music, growing things (plants, family, community, knowledge), movement (dance and travel), quiet, contemplation, and discipline.

    Step 8: I’m saying no to fear without reason, trying to prove I’m “an adult” by doing everything alone, bad self-talk, hiding as a coping mechanism, living above my means, being an Aaron Burr, and self-censoring. I’m saying YES to less screen time, more prayer and meditation, more singing and dance parties, healthier habits as an act of self care, intentional happiness and gratefulness, and growing in community and in Christ.

    Step 9: My word for the year is prosper. It encompasses finances, health, happiness, and even signifies growth and blooming.

  9. Chalyse on December 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    My word is PURPOSE!

  10. Jennifer Beamer on December 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    My word for this year is Simplify!!!

  11. Amanda S. on December 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    My word is also light! U had almost decided to skip that step because so many different ones seemed so important, but this morning I realized I kept coming back to it. Light illuminates the dark places, brings the hidden out into the open, and is how we feel when freed from the burdens Christ had taken. It so sums up my intentions and goals for this year!

  12. Deanna on December 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Step 7: Joy, faith, peace and being engaged
    Step 8: I am saying no to comparison, control, insecurity, and complaining. I am saying yes to a deepened relationship with God, rest, being engaged with my family and son and PRAYER.
    Step 9: Contentment is my word for 2017. And Joy. I couldn’t decide, haha! I think both will happen as a result of a new perspective on a renewed life and faith.

    • Deanna on December 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Oh no, I didn’t mean to put my work signature in there..oops! If you could delete that that would be great 🙂

      • Lara on December 28, 2016 at 2:54 pm

        Done! : )

  13. Kate Mariani on December 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    So encouraging to read others’ comments! Step 7: What stands out most is the theme of being image-centered: creating a certain image, projecting a certain image about myself, doing things to add to that image. A lot of the “extras” that I took on this year were closely related to that ugly side that is image-seeking. That being said:
    Step 8: More yes to: slowness, prayerful living and learning, prioritizing my faith, my CORE: the people inside the 4 walls of my home- loving my husband and baby well, cultivating healthy rhythms, finding grace as true significance.
    More NO to- physical and mental clutter, creating an image based on approval-seeking, prioritizing other peoples’ goals before mine, taking on commitments without prayer and thoughtfulness, people who aren’t lifegiving, hero-complex.
    Step 9: my word is either root or foundation. Instead of seeing things as adding to or taking away from my image, think of things as adding to/detracting from where I’m rooted/what I’m rooted in/my core.

  14. Nicole C. on December 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    STEP SEVEN: Common threads, themes, etc…
    Discipline, relationships, words, gratitude.

    STEP EIGHT: Yes to building relationships, building others up, speaking positive life-giving words of affirmation, grace…NO to mindless activities (social media, games), relationships that are negative, negative words & thoughts, fear, doubt, No to anything that doesn’t get me closer to my goals in 2017.

    STEP NINE: DISCIPLINE…everything else I want to cultivate flows from this word. It’s the root of it all for me.
    Can’t wait for the next blog post!!

    • Merit on December 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      I first thought the word Discipline was my word – I resonate so much with much of what you wrote. But I didn’t like that word – I am leaning towards devoted now…but reading your post makes me wonder if I need to just embrace discipline and not try to fluff it up and make it pretty! Just be real!
      Thanks for sharing!

  15. Tessy on December 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    No: fear, busy & the hustle, self pity, worldly standards, discontentment, depression, apathy, ungratefulness, stereotypes, walls, fakeness, negativity, people pleasing, extracurricular activities and agendas not God-given, excuses

    Yes: love, relationships, grace, prayer, coffee, conversation, family, snuggles, quiet, contentment, service, risks, being ok with me, creative space, dinner at the table, laughter and new adventures.

    My word is: Contentment

  16. Tiffany on December 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Step 7:
    What stands out to me the most through this process is me working on my fears…I want to not be so fearful of being successful. I want to try without being terrified. I’m tried of second guessing every thought I have when it comes to believing in my dreams. That and not spending money on food and frivolous spending on randomness.

    Step 8:
    I’m saying YES to: LOVE, Family, Spending more time with God, COURAGE, CONQUERING fear, being kind but firm, and not being a doormat.

    I’m saying NO to: Insincere people, Bad environment, Hesitation in believing in myself.

    My word this year is CONQUER! 🙂

    • Becky on December 30, 2016 at 12:45 am

      Oooooh, that’s a power word right there!

  17. Liz Krieg on December 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    MINDFULNESS is the word I will put forth for 2017. Stop putting out fires. Focus on the tasks at hand and do them well. Speak Truth, Think Truth.

  18. Sunee on December 28, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Step 7: what sticks out to me as I flip through my power sheets is this idea of vibrant life, home for the sake of others.

    A few days before Christmas, my girls had a little sleepover and they were all decorating cookies on my dining room table. At first, I was tempted to be frustrated with the cleanup that was my lot for the evening, but I paused to feel the moment instead. My girls were happily chatting with their friends, the rest of my family was also downstairs, peacefully doing their own thing, and I had time to clean the kitchen (to prep for the rest of the clean! What’s up with needing to clean before we can clean?) All the lights were on in our home, we had Christmas music playing. It was vibrant chaos and we were all happy. Why stress about that? Our home is made for living out love, creating relationships out of beautiful experiences. Even cookie making is beautiful when done in faith. If I had had my way, the girls would’ve been in front of the TV, passively and unmemorably watching a Christmas movie instead of cookie making and I would be frantically cleaning up the house for the evening. And they would’ve missed the chance to build their friendship (their friends were in town for a week; they are friends from our last location).

    Step 8: saying Yes to a vibrant home and No to passive living. Saying Yes to participating in the moment and No to mindless surviving.

    Step 9: my word for the year is unusual, but it’s WORK. It’s the idea of redefining, redeeming WORK from what it’s become (a chore, a burden, a negative idea) to what it was meant to be before the Fall (our purpose, our way of creating good in the world, a beautiful idea). As a stay at home mom, I really can get sucked into the idea that dishes are a necessary evil and simply a stepping stone to “doing what matters”. When really, doing dishes is a part of a sacred rhythm that creates space for life and growth in the home. It’s part of the whole beautiful gardening metaphor: regular little tasks of tending contribute to beautiful results. My daily work is my life purpose and how I contribute good to my family’s world. I want to grow into this purpose, WORK for the good of others.

    • Ashley on December 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      HI Sunee! I love how you said “Our home is made for living out love, creating relationships out of beautiful experiences”… such a beautiful conclusion!! I’m writing that one down!

  19. Karen G. on December 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Step 7: grateful, celebrate, enjoy
    Step 8: saying no to feeling sorry for myself and worrying over things I can’t control, saying yes to gratitude and enjoyment of my life, and time with people
    Step 9: I am having trouble deciding on a word, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to GRATITUDE or OVERFLOW.

  20. Laura on December 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I love this!! What a great giveaway!! Hope to win!

  21. Amber on December 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Step 7 What stands out to me is trying to tie my earthly activities to things that provide an eternal impact. I no longer want to waste time on things that are not impacting the Kingdom directly or indirectly. I’m looking at you, association boards and Disney Emoji Blitz games!

    Step 8 My big NO is talking too much and praying weak/unfocused prayers. My big YES is listening more intently to God and for what people may need from me.

    Step 9 I CAN’T PICK ONE WORD FOR THE WHOLE YEAR!!! So, I’m not limiting myself. For now, my word will be “encourage.” And when God tells me differently, I’ll make a big old messy X over that word and move on to whatever He has next.

  22. Heather marie on December 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    My word for 2017 is……..”STAY”

  23. Sharhonda on December 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm


  24. Nancy on December 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    My view so far is that I put myself last. Not to say that I need to be first, but I need to stop being last. Which leads to my no – saying yes to everything is going to change to no when needed. I don’t always have to say yes. My yes will be putting myself first when I can, that it is ok to focus on me, too. And my word is commitment. Whether it’s to a project, to my health, to my family/friends, if I say no more, I have time to commit to what I say yes to, so the projects, activities, etc., are more enjoyable and less stressful.

  25. Bethany B. on December 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    My word is Joy-FULL!

  26. Allison on December 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    My word for the year is Habits! I want to cultivate good, God-glorifying habits that will last a lifetime.

  27. Gracie on December 28, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I just found you today after seeing your power sheets all over social media today!! I have been eating up your blog posts and I’m excited to implement the things you talk about! Thanks for the encouragement!

  28. Patricia on December 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    My word is grateful. I am so blessed in my life and with those around me that the only thing I can do is thank God for everything he gives me .

  29. Gracie on December 28, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I texted a friend at the end of her pregnancy, and took up a challenge made by a young man fighting a brain tumor.

  30. Angela on December 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm


  31. Jaime on December 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for today!

    Step 7 – Some of the themes I keep seeing are that God provides, His plans are always bigger and better, I want to live healthily, and be a steward of myself, my marriage, and my faith.

    Step 8 – This year I say yes to trusting Him! Also to exploring, getting out of my comfort zone, taking care of myself and what I’ve been given, stepping out and taking leaps.

    I say no to playing it safe, trying to make things happen on my own, and letting fear take control.

    Step 9 – My word for this season is ADVENTURE!!! In so many areas! I want to go on adventures, but I also want to be adventurous in my faith, my marriage, and my business!

  32. Alison on December 28, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    What fires me up?
    Going on evening walks as a family
    Laughing with Mike
    Going on a date with Mike
    Having candles lit around the house
    Worship music
    Quiet time with coffee in the morning
    Dancing with Em

    Saying Yes to:
    More dance parties
    More date nights
    Waking up before the kids for quiet time
    Loving Em and Ethan the way they feel most loved
    Praying with Mike for the kids

    Saying No to:
    Impulsive shopping
    Going to bed so late
    Mindlessly scrolling through social media
    Worry and not trusting God
    Being on my phone while I’m playing with the kids (unless of course it’s providing the music for a dance party)

  33. Alison on December 28, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Oh, and my word is intentional!!

  34. Becky on December 28, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Step 7
    Focus keeps popping up. I have a lot to get done at work & at home. It’s easy to waste time. So I need to stay focused on what matters to me so I won’t fritter away time w/my boys or time I should be using for homework.

    Step 8
    -time w/my boys
    -projects that support my goals
    -reading more books
    -exercise (elliptical!)
    -finish the book!

    -social media (esp FB)
    -projects I despise or don’t bring me joy
    -marking time (wasting it)
    -sitting around
    -anything that doesn’t help my goals!

    Step 9
    For now, it’s focus. I need to remind myself to keep focused on my goals, on my work, and not let other things distract me.

  35. Melissa Affleck on December 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    My word for this year is “Love.” To focus on loving God, loving others, loving myself and accepting love from others.

  36. Rachel on December 28, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Step 7 : Themes

    –fighting lies and wrong thinking
    –choosing confidence
    –thinking in terms of growth instead of failure
    –intentional gratefulness

    Step 8 :

    Saying YES to:
    –choosing to do hard things even thought they make me anxious
    –staying in community
    –believing truth
    –growth over stagnancy
    –humbly accepting criticism
    –reading more
    –making messes in pursuit of excellence NOT perfection

    Saying NO to
    –lies and wrong thinking
    –running and hiding
    –preserving my reputation
    –emotional spending
    –screen time

    Step 9 :

    My word for the next season: confidence

    Confidence means seeking education instead of fearing that I’m not smart enough, being brave in the face of anxiety, working from a place of acceptance instead of working for acceptance, believing that God has equipped me for such a time as this.

  37. Dana on December 29, 2016 at 12:09 am

    The things that stand out are rhythms (especially of rest) and influence (particularly discipleship and mentoring-incarnate ministry)

    Saying no to:
    Too much social media
    Money wasters – keep eating at home, buy better not more, etc
    Extra events-good is the enemy of great
    Staying up too late
    Unforgiving attitudes

    Say yes to:
    Laughter, playfulness,
    Using my voice
    Time with family
    Time with girl friends/small group

    My word is rhythms. After spending time in Israel and seeing how God set up patterns for them to observe so they’d remember Him, I see an even greater value in building rhythms into my life.

  38. Lindsay Baker on December 29, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Step 7: A common theme for me is “Rich” and “Blessings”. I desire financial freedom so I can be a blessing to others.

    Step 8: Yeses and Nos:
    Im saying YES to budgeting, working out 3x per week, self care, devotional time, positive thoughts and words, home, and playing.

    I’m saying NO to: overspending, overscrolling, yelling, swearing, negative thoughts and words.

    Step 9: My word for the year is “Hungry”. I’m hungry for more, hungry for change. Hungry to do and be better.

  39. Michelle on December 29, 2016 at 8:50 am

    My word is FREE. Free from all the crazy unrealistic expectations I’ve placed on myself. That’s not the life God wants for me. And I love how it works with other goals, too. More free time, becoming debt free…looking forward to 2017!!!

  40. Kricia on December 29, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Step 7 – My common theme in my writing has been to change and grow…appropriate!

    Step 8
    No’s – Selfishness, complaining, yelling, wanting more, focusing on weakness, restlessness, excuses.

    Yes’s – breathing, reading the Bible, praying, traveling, pruning old relationships, giving more, being unplugged.

    Step Nine – My word is IMPACT!

  41. Candace on December 29, 2016 at 9:53 am

    BEHOLD. In 2017 I want to BEHOLD my God more than my circumstances or what is happening around me.

  42. Mary on December 29, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Step 7 – taking risks, trying new experiences, being challenged, purpose, de-clutter/beautify, quiet/still, legacy, encouraging words, celebrate well
    Step 8 – No’s – no more saying yes to everything on offer, critisism, excuses
    Yes’s – trying new experiences, being challenged,being ok with failing, seeking God rather than relying on my own strength
    Step9 – My word for the Year – Reinvigorate – (because it is an action word)

  43. Kristin on December 29, 2016 at 11:30 am

    My 2017 word is PRESENT. I went back and forth between this word and either immersed or engaged. I want to give myself permission to be fully attentive and engaged in whatever requires my attention at the present moment this year and not feel any guilt or anxiety over the other things I’m not doing in that moment.

  44. Kristin on December 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Yes –
    Jesus. Prayer. Dependence on HIM.
    Me. My mental, emotional and physical health.
    Quiet. Solitude.
    My husband.
    Focused, uninterrupted time.
    Freedom to play and be with my son without worry or guilt about other things on my to do list.
    Grace – for myself and others.
    Contentment and self-assurance.
    Going to Mass.
    Being still.
    Experiences! Things that create memories.

    No –
    Believing that I have to be in control and constantly moving, planning and working in order for our lives to continue functioning.
    Unreasonable standards and expectations
    Things that steal my time and energy away from my family
    Social media and my phone
    Clutter. Meaningless purchases.

  45. Kiersti on December 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Step 7: I wrote a lot about missions, adventure, and taking action.

    Step 8: I’m saying NO to comparison and pride. I’m saying YES to gratitude, speaking life, and direction.

    Step 9: VISION. Be thou my vision. Start acting in my calling and go towards growing God’s Kingdom.

  46. Katie on December 29, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I chose FOCUS for 2017 thinking it would take the verb meaning and help me focus on what matters. But then I looked up the meaning and found so many applicable definitions for the nouns. Wow! This is definitely my word for the year!

    • Becky on December 30, 2016 at 12:43 am

      Mine, too! It can apply in so many ways and if I want to accomplish everything, I need to FOCUS.

  47. Lindy on December 29, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Yes to mindfully engaging, family, slowing down. No to comparison, chasing the wrong things, perpetual busy-ness. CONTENT!

  48. Amy on December 29, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    My word for 2017 is BOLD because I intend to make bold, confident choices rather than getting stuck in indecisive overthinking and uncertainty.

  49. Jess on December 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    My word for 2017 is JOY. I want to have a lot of laughter, to smile more with my boys, to have fun with my husband, and to find joy in who I am in the LORD. To know that I bring a smile to God’s face and I’m worth it.

    I said NO to keeping quiet, not having a voice, and to caring so much about what people think. I said YES to more trips, to giving back to my friends, to serving people more and for finding my purpose.

  50. Rose on December 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Good afternoon Lara, Team Cultivate and my fellow gardeners…

    I hope “fellow gardeners” is ok as a nickname …I really feel like we are preparing, sowing cultivating and prayerfully reaping a beautiful harvest !

    Lara you encouraged us on Day 2 to write the people who have helped us Cultivate What Matters… I immediately thought of you then I said… Lara does not need my words… then you wrote…”You may think they don’t need encouragement, or it won’t matter, but words have power. Gift your people with those words! You never know what good it might spark.”

    So here I am thanking you and team cultivate

    As a “gardener” under the prayer filled TLC 🙂 of you as our lead TLC horticulturalists

    I decided to explore the definition of a horticulturalist just to see if my heart was truly in the right place… and indeed…

    a horticulturalist learns the science or art of cultivating a beautiful garden… That is so you and Team Cultivate!:) Praise Him!

    Lara you seek the Word and God’s guidance to order and direct your path. You have blessed me with a clear picture of walking out my faith… I have listened as you made clear what it means in Proverbs 3:6 “Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. So may times as you shared your life’s unexpected sorrows, setbacks and challenges… you remained steadfast striving to do His will… Thank you for that!

    I also learned that cultivating is the lengthiest part of the agricultural process since it involves irrigation, fertilization, and weed control! 🙂

    That so fits you and team cultivate… as you come beside us in various ways through social media each day…to encourage, nurture and assist us on this cultivate what matters in our lives ultimately changing the world we live in… small step … to Victory!

    You even gently prepared us…during the PowerSheets Prep Party that as we work on our PowerSheets our goals may take a direction we least expect. 🙂 Proverbs says it so much better than me…”We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 )That has happened to me… I am amazed… Thank you!

    A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss says what is heartfelt for me.. Lara…

    “You choose to cultivate your heart as a garden of the Lord, you will be blessed and others will be blessed. And it is all, all, all for the Beloved.” (From the book A Place of Quite Rest)

    Thank you so very much…

    With heartfelt gratitude from me to you.

  51. Heather Perrin on December 29, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Step 7:
    Faith, grace, NEEDING Jesus. People, relationships, generosity.

    Step 8:

    loving my husband well
    Coffee with friends
    Walks with my dog
    Working hard
    Peace – releasing my grip
    Serving my church
    Time with my Father. Rest.

    Undervaluing myself and what I can do
    Second guessing myself and others
    Worrying about what people think of me
    Bitterness, resentment

    Step 9:
    Pray ❤

  52. Jaime on December 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    LOVE this process So much!
    Step7- Common thread is community & serving for me – serving well, and for me that means not just out in the community, it means community starts at home, with my husband and children – how am I serving them determines how I can serve others…I need to serve them well with a glad and joyful heart…not always easy when it’s picking socks up off the floor 😉
    Step 8 – I am continuing to say yes to being intentional (always a process right?) in family time, work, faith – the time I put in. I am saying yes, to continuing to build our community for our family (those we hold closest). I am saying yes to total health, all the steps it takes to get there – mental, spiritual, physical (started last year, 9 months ago and am continuing this journey). I am saying yes to continuing to learn this new on-line business/blogging career and all the ‘not my gift’ stuff that needs to be done anyway! I am saying no to guilt! When I make a decision I am going forward and not looking back, I will take every step possible to not let others make me feel guilty of choices I have made with good intentions to grow the things I am saying yes to.
    Step 9 – AAaahhh my WORD is ‘grace’ it’s something I struggle with offering sometimes and want to get better at doing more quickly. God so freely gives it to me, that I want to freely give it as well to others without any strings attached. While looking up the definition there are so many synonyms and verbs that go with it that seem so fitting… embellish, beautify, honor, glorify, elevate, kindness, love, forgiveness, charity….all things I strive for, but want to be SOOOOO intentional about this year!

  53. Sara on December 29, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    My word is GO. go out of my comfort zone. Go work hard. Go try new things. Go discover. Go learn. Go love. Go live. Go with an open mind. Go continue what I started. GO!

  54. Mal on December 29, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks! Look forward to working on my 2017 goals!

  55. Angela on December 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    #7: A common theme for me is connection and love. In the past I’ve said I want them to be priorities, but haven’t fully walked the talk.
    #8: Yes to friends, dates, self-care, meditation, gratitude, stretching, exploring, adventures, hiking, beach weekends, staycations, trust, patience, experiences (rather than things), rest, connection, intuition and intention, living in possibility, FUN!
    No to rigidity, people pleasing, guilt, undervaluing myself, “I can’t”, over-commitment.
    #9. My word is FOCUS. Focusing on the important things like fostering love and connection, not the distractions that have been keeping me from being at my best this year.

  56. Sasha on December 29, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    My word for 2017 is Wholeness. It began with Isaiah 9 — There is no limit to the wholeness He brings. God is taking my fears and distress and writing a story of healing and change through Wholeness.

  57. April Emery on December 29, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Step 7 – one of the things that stands out to you in what you’ve written so far: inviting myself to be more gracious toward myself this year but also challenging myself to follow through with the things I say I am going to do.

    Step 8 – saying YES to: presence, follow through, grace, steps of faith. saying NO to: people-pleasing, fear, perfectionism

    Step 9 – word for 2017: GRACE

  58. Nicole B on December 29, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I’m saying Yes to stillness, being present, making eye contact, forgiveness, serving my family in my home with a happy servant heart.

    I’m saying no to unnecessary scrolling on social media, looooong unattainable to do list, laundry (just kidding!! Haha)

    My word for the year is TRANSFORM.
    I felt God “screaming” this word at me when I wrote a prayer down from my First 5 App one day on their study in Luke right now. Also I’m memorizing Romans 12:2 with it. I’m excited for Gods transformation of me this year!

  59. Sarah W on December 29, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Step 7: Connection with people, warm/cozy, quiet, being outside.
    Step 8: yes to: Being warm/cozy/inviting, connection, my family just as they are, living little by little, being slow, remember Who and Whose I am. No to: rushed, frazzled, overwhelmed, disengagement, self-focused, prideful.
    Step 9: word for 2017: SMALL. Be small but fully engaged where God has me. Be small but big in my relationships and with myself.

  60. Rachel kim on December 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I am saying no to ridiculous and unrealistic expectations of myself – which inevitably get projected onto my kids. And my word for this year is JOY!!! Makes me happy just to type it!

  61. Tiffany on December 30, 2016 at 11:45 am

    My 2017 word is Steward…I feel like I’ve taken a lot of things and gifts from God for granted, and I think 2017 is my year to focus on honoring God by stewarding well.

  62. Chanada on December 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Haven’t narrowed it down but still praying on focus or grace.

  63. Claire Wood on December 30, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    STEP 7 – reread
    –common threads–community, building up relationships, finding passions.

    STEP 8 – lists of yes and no

    –YES – hanging out with people; getting work done on time; talking through conflict; exercise; homemade meals; putting God first; making time to read, write, paint, etc.; new projects/learning new things; promptly replying to people

    –NO – moping at home alone; eating out more than 2xs a week; mindless shopping; criticizing myself and others; taking on too much

    STEP 9 – the word

    Oh boy. This is the big step.
    My word for 2017 is….SERVE.
    When I start to make a habit of being a blessing to others, my anxiety, fear, loneliness, etc. clears away. If I focus my energy and attention on serving other people, I don’t feel selfish or lazy, I find purpose, and I’m bringing glory to God. I want to focus this year on serving others instead of walking around, aimlessly wondering what I’m supposed to be doing.

  64. Merit on December 30, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    #7 Community, inspire, laugh, encourage

  65. Merit on December 30, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Oops! Hate when that happens!
    #8 Yes -cultivating friendships, renewing my faith, moving my body, trying something new (belly dancing), letting the gray grow in!
    no – procrastinating, mindless social media trolling, clutter, frivolous spending
    #9 WOTY – Right now it is looking like Devoted…but will know for sure after working through a worksheet I use with my friend Jan31

  66. Heather on December 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    #7- A common theme was Resting in His Strength and relationships

    #8- Yes to spontaneous fun, playing, quiet, loving on my kids, silence, time away, being outside, planting, relationships, submitting to His will, coming back to His truth…. No to extra cleaning and housework, time intensive food, TV, social media scrolling, having the computer alway by me, sugar, turning to other things for comfort, victim mentality, approval seeking, perfection, extra social things unless they are life-giving

  67. Heather on December 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    #9- My word if FOCUS. Focus on where I’m at and what I’m doing. Focus on relationships with my kids and husband, and God. Block out my time and distractions so I can focus on work, or kids, or whatever it is at that moment.

  68. Siena H on December 30, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Step 7: Themes in my writing
    Some things that have stuck out to me in what I’ve written so far are: friendships, relationships, and God’s character.
    Step 8: Yes and no’s
    This next year I’m saying yes to…
    -generosity with what I have, not my excess
    -God’s plan and his leading
    -being out of my comfort zone
    -hard work
    -love and trust
    -reading the bible
    -worship and prayer
    -family (even when it’s awkward and hard)
    -encouraging and leading
    Im saying no to…
    -fighting and yelling
    -procrastination and laziness
    -fluff, the stuff that isn’t necessary
    Step 9: Word of the year
    This year I will trust God more than ever, I will surrender to his plan, his timing, his provision. Becouase he is good, his timing is perfect, and he will give me just what I need and I need to rember that and Him in everything. This year I will devote myself to him wholeheartedly in worship, prayer and meeting, becouase he is worth it, he is everything. I will trust him and reside in him in the challenge and in the abouncance. God is faithful and I will trust him with everything,Lord help me!!

  69. Kate on December 30, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    STEP 7

    STEP 8

    Yes to:
    Loving people
    Daily Prayer
    Letting go
    Deep breaths
    Making music again

    No to:
    Being a people-pleaser
    Reacting quickly when things happen

    STEP 9

  70. Vicky on December 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    My word for 2017 is HEALTH. Encompassing my spiritual, mental and physical health. They all need a tune up.

  71. Caryn on December 30, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    #7 – so much growth, and a deep weariness
    #8 – Yes to laughter, play, movement, intentional choices, action, rest, abundance, beauty. No to stress, worry, unnecessary late nights, shopping; comparison, guilt, perfectionism, procrastination, an endless to-do list.
    #9 – I haven’t decided – Healthy?

  72. April Emery on December 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I encouraged my daughter today after she had to be really brave when everything in her wanted to run and hide.

  73. Tara on December 31, 2016 at 12:04 am

    7. Mostly less of/more of statements….Less computer; More reading. More encouraging words; Less critical words. Less frustration; More compassion. More getting up early; Less staying up late, etc….
    8. I’m saying Yes to a soft answer and No to yelling; Yes to contentment and No to comparisons; Yes to instructing and No to nagging; Yes to rejoicing in my season and No to irritation with the daily grind.
    9. Balance – Was definitely not the word I anticipated but with so many less/more statements it was a fit! In my imperfectness, I know I won’t likely eliminate things completely on either side of the scale, but a fulfilling 2017 would reveal progress in these areas with God’s help!

  74. Myranda on December 31, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Love all of this! Thank you for being so inspiring!

  75. Brooke Snow on December 31, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    #7 The most common theme I see is finding connection.
    #8 I am saying no to doing things alone and separating myself through pride and comparison, separating myself through fierce independence and proving. Saying yes to asking for help, receiving grace, working together with my husband, with God, with others.
    #9 my word for 2017 is ONE. I’m seeking oneness. For my entire life I’ve been very independent, always seeking to do things myself. I’ve accomplished a whole lot, and have seen a lot of success, until the past 2 years when things began to crumble and I have finally discovered that I am not as strong as I thought I was when I’m trying to do it all alone. It’s the most fascinating dichotomy to me–to realize that our identity is actually stronger in unity! Even Jesus, whenever he spoke of his identity always did so in context of unity, saying he was the Son of God, and that he was one with God. This is amazing to me. The ego tells me I am only unique and individual if I’m separated from others. Yet, I’m learning that our true divine selves, shine and realize their fullest potential when unified with the divine source. It’s as if we we are a 1000 watt lightbulb… we’re created to shine so bright! But we never realize that full potential unless we plug in to a power source that is powerful enough to generate that much light. We don’t shine all by ourself. Light comes only in oneness–when we connect with the true light source. I’m so excited to learn about this word and to experience being one in many different areas of my life. This is a major major shift for me and I am ready!

  76. Harley on December 31, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Step 7:
    I mention my focus a lot in my prep work. How I need to keep my focus as well as make sure I’m focusing on the right things.

    Step 8:
    Yes: independence, self love/care, properly allocated resources, my daughter, celebrating wins, appropriate breaks – without guilt or procrastination, hope, encouragement, respect, my values, focusing on the right things
    No: distractions, wasted time, comparison, pride, overwhelm, stress, lack of motivation & focus, fear, doubt, guilt, following what others do, not staying true to myself, stretching too thing.

    Step 9:
    My word is focus. I want to focus on what’s important during the specific time I am in (not get distracted by other things). I want to maintain focus during the first 9 months of the year which will be extremely rough. Focus on what I need to do now and not what needs to be done for the big picture. Focus on knowing the struggle will bring a better situation for myself and my family.

  77. Elizabeth on December 31, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    my word for 2017 is “Strong”

  78. Janice on January 1, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Step 7: Some themes I found in my goal setting were: relationships, integrity, time.
    Step 8: Yes: resting in God, honesty, praying daily, Write the Word journal, exuding joy. No: spending time unintentionally, seeking my own control, putting unnecessary pressure on myself, workplace gossip.
    Step 9: My 2017 word is: TRUTH. For me this has many facets, including being honest with others about where I’m truly at, valuing when others are open with me, and seeking out Biblical truth as part of my spiritual disciplines.

  79. Janice on January 1, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Today I sent a group text to a group of ladies I’ve had the pleasure of serving alongside this year. As I spent time reflecting over the past couple days, they came to mind as people who have helped spur me on this year so I texted them to let them know 🙂

  80. Kat H on January 1, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Thinking my word will be “content”….gonna try it out for a few days before I commit ☺️

  81. Hannah on January 1, 2017 at 3:36 am

    My word for 2017 is GROW! I’ll turn 40 this year, and am looking forward to a year of grace-filled progress toward goals I have let sit unfulfilled for too long. I so appreciate this series – thank you!

  82. Misty on January 1, 2017 at 5:08 am

    “No” to walls. “Yes” to boundaries.
    No – false responsibility and fixing others mistakes. Yes – enabling others to grow in responsibility and work through the outcomes of their decisions.

    No – putting social engagements on hold for work pressures (see above). Yes – cultivating relationships

    No – thoughts of rejection and inadequacy. Yes – my created, redeemed identity.

  83. Rose on January 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Hello Lara, Team Cultivate and my fellow Gardeners,

    #7 Boy have I spent time in my garden this week…
    Praying fervently… Studying God’s word… Listening to your audio book. I thank God for every word. Writing in your thoughtful PowerSheets…(thank you so very much) coupled with filling the pages with intention and purpose… God is so good!

    Before I did the PowerSheets I was enrolling in legal classes… after embarking on this awakening PowerSheets process … and looking for my common theme my true purpose was illuminated!

    My common theme is the Lord, Women’s Ministry, His unfailing love, His life giving Word and ultimately living out His purpose and plan for my life.

    I had a plan to “right” the wrongs and vindicate my sons wounds…so the law was my focus…The problem was… I never did what you shared in your Powersheets…Pray!

    Did I pray about it? No, I was operating out of raw emotions and vindication as a mama…

    These past few days it has become clearer to me… as I unpack with my PowerSheets… My plan did not include God’s purpose for my life…

    Thanks to your suggestion as I was praying and seeking God for my word… I used the open app you recommend to illuminate my word for the year.

    Proverbs 19:21 ESV leapt off the screen…validating my new found path:

    “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” I had a plan in my mind but God holds my purpose…His purpose for my life is liberating and freeing! ”
    Proverbs 19:21 ESV

    #8 I am saying Yes to…
    Praying by my sons bedside each night
    Hugs and kisses for my son first thing in the morning
    Yearly Exam with Physician, Dental appointments
    Reading the Chronological Bible from beginning to end!
    Determination fueled by God’s purpose and plan
    Laughing and smiling more
    Picnics in the living room with my son
    Living each day with rejoicing and gladness
    Loving Extravagantly

    I am saying No to…
    The shame of my past
    Pleasing others at the expense of my truth
    Time wasters… social media watching
    Pretending to be who I want to be
    Yelling and anger

    #9 Tonight I attended watch night service… It is our tradition. My home church does not have a watch night… that goes until after midnight… So I attend an old school church each year with my son… and I reminisce with him about my grandmother whom I loved with every fiber of my being… She has passed away… He was never able to meet her… But every year on this night… This old school church gives us a taste of my granny and my childhood…

    The pastor said the church adopted a wordier 2017 and the word is determination… My heart leapt with joy… Could this be my word? Really Lord! I was elated!

    Pastor showed a short motivational video clip and spoke on what “Determination” means to us as believers… What a moment for me!

    🙂 The Pastor had shirts made for those of us so inclined to take on the challenge… to be “Determined” for the Lord.

    When I arrived home … I prayed and placed the word “Determined” into the openbible topical page…I was in awe of God’s grace towards me… 2 Peter 3:9 The Message (MSG) confirmed what the PowerSheets had illuminated for me…

    ” Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”
    2 Peter 3:9The Message (MSG)

    This verse touches my heart… All these years of shame, guilt and self doubt and condemnation… I must let these self defeating words go…

    This day is perfectly timed by God. God loves me so much that He has been patient lovingly teaching me during my many missteps… refining me, shaping and molding me… He never left me… He loved me enough to love me through it all..He never wanted me lost…

    His promises to me are not late..They are right on schedule. He is giving me the space and time I need to live on purpose for Him!

    I am “Determined” to live out His purpose and plan for my life! Thank you Abba!I love Him so!

    My word is” Determined” ~Praise Him!

  84. Alex on January 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Step 7:
    What fires me up
    Adventure with Doug
    Making things
    Cuddling with Mini
    Quality time with friends
    Having a tidy & clean apartment
    Being connected to family
    Helping others

    Step 8:
    What I’m saying NO to:
    Comparing myself to everyone else
    Extra Spending
    Social events that are not part of my goals
    Excessive play ($, drinking)
    Extra responsibilities
    Wasted time online
    Feeling guilty
    Unrealistic expectations
    Stressing about things that I cannot control

    What I’m saying YES to:
    Time for me
    Doing yoga
    Going to bed early
    Dinners at home
    Having occasional gatherings with friends
    Staying in and relaxing
    Creative time for AMD
    Recreation with family
    Adventures and travel
    Date night with Doug
    Simplify and organize the apartment (not in an obsessive/perfect way)
    Learning new things
    Realistic expectations

    Step 9:
    My word of the year: Focus

  85. Veronica on January 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    My word for this year is from a hymn that keeps coming back to me. I want to crave God more this year and have my heart first turn to Him and I think that this sums that up pretty well: BIND MY WANDERING HEART TO THEE

  86. Becky S. on January 1, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Step 7: That was enlightening:) Recurring themes I found were joy. hope, and renewal.
    Step 8: No to self-condemnation, false guilt, distractions, draining activities and people, excuses. Yes to surrender, letting go, laughter, deeper relationships, more quiet, my calling, and changing what I can.
    Step 9: My word is BREATHE.

  87. Natalie on January 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Part Three


    Anxiety. Anxiety and stress are all over my Power Sheets. I am TIRED of letting anxiety and stress control my life. I want a simpler, more intentional life. I think overall my theme has become simple. Less stuff, less anxiety, more exercise, more good foods and more time for family and friends.


    Saying NO to:
    – Non-essentials
    – Foods that don’t nourish my body (most of the time)
    – Making myself too busy
    – Anything that causes anxiety to control me
    – Being lazy
    – DEBT
    – Letting others opinions rule my decisions

    Saying YES to:
    – Consistent Bible studies
    – New opportunities
    – Exercise and good foods
    – Being more outgoing
    – Believing in myself
    – Spiritual growth
    – Loving Kirby better
    – Reconnecting with old friends
    – Making new friends


    Word of the Year:
    S I M P L E

  88. Jennifer on January 1, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    1. 2016 was really hard. So many medical visits for me, my kids, or my extended family and some were very serious reasons too. I didn’t get to almost any of my goals and I am a huge goal setter.
    2. While I haven’t been chasing perfect, I have been chasing too much. I started volunteering for a lot of things to get some kid free breaks at a time my kids and family ended up needing me more than expected.
    3. My grandma and dad did not die. I know that sounds like a low bar since they didn’t die any other year either but that really was our highlight. That is how hard 2016 was for us.

  89. Rachel on January 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

    7. Words/ideas that kept showing up: joy, contentment, satisfaction, motivation

    8. I have been trying to do better about asking whether or not it glorifies God and letting that be my decision maker on whether I say yes or no.

    Sometimes there are many good things so I need to get better about coming to God in prayer.

    9. Joy or contentment or even trust in God

  90. April on January 2, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Step 7
    Push, pushing, push through
    Allowing, allow

    Step 8
    Yes :
    Time out of the house
    Do what God says
    HONORING those around me with my time and attention

    Saying no so I wont inconvenience
    Guilt over what I SHOULD
    Beating myself up over small things
    Taking offense when none was meant

    Step 9
    (I know its a phrase, but God doesn’t work in boxes? haha)

  91. Kelli on January 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Step 7…The theme that keeps sticking out me is to have fun, enjoy, create.

  92. Kelli on January 2, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Step 8…What I am saying No to:
    Not trusting God’s Plan
    my old ways
    Holding back

    What I am saying yes to:
    More Jesus!!
    Deeper Marriage
    Love my children just as they are
    The Father’s truth and His Spirit
    New Ways
    Reading the Whole Bible this year!

    Step 9:…My Word for the Year is ENJOY!!

  93. Emily on January 2, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Step 7: comfort, community, being healthy and whole

  94. Emily on January 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Step 8: Yes to reading my Bible daily and the whole thing by the end of the year! Yes to my health – mental, spiritual, and physical.
    No to unsubstantial spiritual nutrition and stretching myself too thin. No to no margin during the week; no to “not enough.”

  95. Emily on January 2, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Step 9: My word for 2017 is WHOLE. This makes me reflect on how it is ok to be broken, but I can still be whole. I am looking forward to wholeness in all the areas of my life.

  96. Jennifer on January 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    7. Mom-the word mom comes up a lot and I think about how much I need God to mother me as I mother my own children or am a mom friend to others.
    8. Yes to even more margin than last year. Yes to joy. Yes to hard work.
    No to being busy. No to gossip. No to negativity that begets negativity and not change.
    9. Find

  97. Rose on January 2, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Hello Lara, Team Cultivate and my beautiful gardeners,

    Your book really hit home the importance of prayer… even simple prayers throughout my day… when I need direction or clarity… simple prayers …So I am praying… today I prayed for direction as I tend to my garden…life…goals…

    I just listened to your Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher! I even sent it to my mom along with the goal guide! She loved it! What a blessing. Thank you!

    Today the light came on 🙂 I finally really understand what you mean regarding digging deeper…to uncover our goals… To find my WHY!

    Prayerfully, so many women will listen and be blessed by your conversation… It was such a fruitful conversation…

    I was able to glean my WHY…

    I want to be my most fit to be able to play with my son!
    We both love rock climbing, biking, hiking and being outdoors. I want to be able to enjoy these fun activities in my healthiest body… that includes eating healthy foods to fuel and nourish myself!

    My WHY is to play and make wonderful memories with my son…and when I am 80… to be able to play with my grandchildren!

    Your podcast and subsequently my realizations changed everything. Now going to cycling class withy son early in the am will be so much more meaningful! We can even play at the cycle class together! Small steps. 🙂 Wow!

    Thank you cannot convey my heartfelt gratitude for you and Team Cultivate! I am so grateful to God for your ministry! Sending you sincere appreciation my dear sister in Christ!

  98. Joyagg on January 2, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I realized I have begun saying “no” to some things to devote more time/heart to the “yes” things that matter.

  99. Jessi on January 2, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Freedom is my word. Freedom from MY story; it is HIS! Freedom from comparison, judgement, and selfishness,. Freedom to be me, as God has made me. Freedom to care for myself. Freedom to run from unhealthy coping mechanisms and it Gods arms.

    • Hannah on January 4, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Freedom is my word to – still working out the details though!

  100. Kara-Anne on January 3, 2017 at 1:29 am

    What are you saying NO to in 2016?

    – Feeling inadequate and awkward.
    – Complaining about things instead of actively finding solutions.
    – Buying unnecessary stuff.
    – Anxiety and depression.
    – Using painful words or being sarcastic/difficult to people when I get hurt.
    – Being selfish with my time, possessions, money or talents.
    – Thinking only a HUGE following would mean that I have impact.
    – Trying to get it all done and be seen as superwoman / perfect.
    – Stressing over the cleanliness of my home.

    What are you saying YES to in 2016?

    – Seeking wisdom from the Bible, all the time.
    – Prayers for the people I love, especially my husband.
    – Giving away and serving with what I know and have.
    – Spending more time with my family and bunnies.
    – Leaning into the mess and the dirt.
    – Forgiving myself for all the little and big things.
    – Bible study — lots of it.
    – Listening to God instead of trying to “succeed” on my own.

    WORD FOR 2017


  101. vb on January 3, 2017 at 8:35 am


  102. Anna on January 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    7. What stands out? A desire to find career and home balance. That I can actually see progress on creating this balance and wanting to cultivate it more!

    8. Yes to reading, yoga, cooking, walks outside, being more present, trusting myself, taking career risks
    No to what ifs, laziness, comparrison, feeling hurried, fear of beingonly ” average”

    9. My word for 2017 is PROGRESS. Not trying to do it all or achieve all my goals, but rather focusing on the road to those goals and celebrating the progress I make.

  103. Lauren D. on January 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Step 7. I did this in my powersheets and it was so helpful! Things that stood out: De-cluttering our home and my mind; Intentional family time – creating a family table for meals, getting out of the house with the boys; Taking time for myself – reading, pilates, walks…

    Step 8. YES – getting outside, a family table, fewer better things, meal planning, letting myself read even if dishes are in the sink

    – gossiping under the guise of concern. This one hurts my heart so much and I always feel so guilty even if I’m not the one to start the conversation. I need to learn how to shut this down.

    – mindless scrolling – I didn’t think social media was an issue for me. I get so much inspiration from IG and I don’t let myself compare to all the gorgeous posts – I know there’s a junk pile just outside the frame and I use those filters too to cover the wrinkles! But when trying to get back to reading (something I love and haven’t done much of since having 2 babes), I realized that instead of scrolling through IG for 30mins before I fall asleep, I could take that time to read my book I’ve been trying to finish.

    Step 9. It was tough to decide on a word: Balance, Light, Simplify all came to mind. But FOCUS feels right. In our current culture where everything is instant – 2-day shipping, googling whatever you want to know – I’ve found that my mind is overwhelmed by information. Multitasking is not working for me anymore, I jump from one thing to the next, at work, at home, and I’m not getting anything done, yet still exhausting myself. Even in writing comments here, I usually would’ve have been clicking all over the place, trying to pay a bill, buy a baby gift. Instead, this year, I’m going to try to focus on what I’m doing . I’d like to spend more time preparing so that I can prioritize and plan what needs to get done. This applies to both work and my home.

  104. Tiffany on January 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    My word is JOY!#!!

  105. Missy on January 3, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    My word is shed. Yes, like a dog. Get rid of all the old stuff that is weighing me down – expectation, possessions, etc. and let the new stuff grow in. That is NOT what I was expecting but I am excited about what will happen. I guess the more acceptable word would be prune – but I think shed is what I was given. My 4 yo is obsessed with dogs so that might be part of it.

  106. Bre on January 4, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Step 7: Common themes: Working on healthy relationships with God, my family, and myself.

    Step 8: Yes- More Prayer and memorizing scripture, serving others, self- care, working out daily, nourishing food, spending intentional quality time with family and friends, being grateful, art, helping my kids grow their faith by praying with them daily
    No- Worry/fear, junk food, money wasters, over-scrolling, yelling, negativity, EXCUSES, clutter

    Step 9: LOVE: I am going to love more and be a light to others. I am going to focus on what brings love and joy for GOD, myself, family, and friends.

  107. Kristen on January 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Step 8 | What I am saying No to:
    Distractions (ie too much social media)
    Negative Self Talk

    What I am saying yes to:
    Deeper Relationship with Jesus
    More Bible Reading
    More Praying
    More Bible Lettering
    Investing in and loving on my husband
    Investing and loving on my son (due in May)
    Encouraging others
    Speaking Life
    Choosing Joy
    Being Okay with Messy
    Investing in Others
    Making my House a Home
    Surrounding Myself with Beauty

    Step 9 | My Word for the Year is GROW

  108. Meghan Poort on January 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    It may sound like being a copycat… but my word is CULTIVATE. This year I will cultivate the love my family has. I will cultivate a home built on joy. I will cultivate more TIME to enjoy each moment. I will cultivate financial security for our future. I will cultivate my creativity and begin to drive that passion again.

  109. Rebecca Dale on January 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

    7. I notice I am using the word ‘well’ a lot in my power sheets and I am trying to simplify things in my life (getting ready, less stuff to sort through,etc).

    8. What I am saying no to: clutter & stuff, mindless distractions, stress, not asking for help
    Saying yes: using my time better, donating & giving things away, gratitude, cultivating my marriage.

    9. Still looking for this but debating between ‘tend to’/foster or ‘well’. I am going to look at to help me look at it!
    Ps. I love the idea that this word can change for the different seasons that maybe in my year.

  110. Grace on January 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Still deciding between freedom or purpose for my word of the year. Love this series, Lara. Look forward to it every year! Thanks for all you do.

  111. Traci on January 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I’m saying No to: too much TV/Media, junk food, over-committing and not fully committing if I have committed to something, clutter, buying so many clothes, fear, procrastinating, regrets/non-starts

    I’m saying Yes to: quiet time with God, living int he moment yet thinking of how my actions influence me years from now (not just today), being healthy, being more organized as it relates to the kids, reading the Bible & praying regularly, taking risk, focusing, being present, serving better, living BIG

    My word for the year – which was actually the first phrase/word I brainstormed: Deeper (go deeper). . . .I’m good at starting but not good at following through. . .so i want to go deeper in everything I commit myself to!

  112. Sarah Oneal on January 5, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    I’m still in the process of figuring out my word for the year. I’ve heard of doing this many times, and been interested. This will be the first year I actually take part in it. 🙂

    What I’m saying no to:
    Clutter (I’ve been saying no for a while, but it’s a slow process to keep saying it and I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel in the clutter mess! yay!)
    To not praying and being more in-tune with the Lord. I read my Bible, but I’ve forgot to really pray before reading to really soak it all in. This is sad. It’s time to say no to stopping such an important piece to living life to the fullest.

    I’m saying yes to intentional living. To joy, to more time with the Lord, to praying with my kids. 🙂

  113. Elizabeth on January 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I am saying NO to phones and computers and way too much time online, allowing myself to come last, wishing time away and living aimlessly, parenting by the “rules”, and impatience in parenting.

    I am saying YES to living intentionally, being present with my family, self-care, grace-filled mothering, getting to know my son, prayer and gratitude, loving my husband well, Internet free weekend, JOY!, adventures and travel, and loving friends well.

    My word for the year is NURTURE – to care for and encourage the growth or development of. I want to nurture my spirit, mind and body, my marriage and family, and my relationships.

  114. Elizabeth on January 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I am saying NO to phones and computers and way too much time online, allowing myself to come last, wishing time away and living aimlessly, parenting by the “rules”, and impatience in parenting.

    I am saying YES to living intentionally, being present with my family, self-care, grace-filled mothering, getting to know my son, prayer and gratitude, loving my husband well, Internet free weekend, JOY!, adventures and travel, and loving friends well.

    My word for the year is NURTURE – to care for and encourage the growth or development of. I want to nurture my spirit, mind and body, my marriage and family, and my relationships.

  115. Elizabeth on January 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I am saying NO to phones and computers and way too much time online, allowing myself to come last, wishing time away and living aimlessly, parenting by the “rules”, and impatience in parenting.

    I am saying YES to living intentionally, being present with my family, self-care, grace-filled mothering, getting to know my son, prayer and gratitude, loving my husband well, Internet free weekend, JOY!, adventures and travel, and loving friends well.

    My word for the year is NURTURE – to care for and encourage the growth or development of. I want to nurture my spirit, mind and body, my marriage and family, and my relationships.

  116. KP on January 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    2 words this year!

    Wait: stay where one is until a particular time or until something happens.
    Syn: pause, break, lull, respite

    *This is not ME! I rush in, take control, & MAKE it happen my way… not really relying or waiting on God & often trampling on people ‘ r-ships in pursuit of “the thing”.

    Courage: The ability to do something that frightens one.
    Strength in the face of pain & grief.
    From Latin word “cor “: ❤️ Heart
    Love this! Do it afraid!!

  117. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on January 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm


    Reading good books
    Encouraging and inspiring others
    Laughing with friends and family
    Bright, happy colors
    Living with lots of artwork
    Coffee and creativity
    Discovering beautiful art/inspiration and sharing those discoveries with others
    Living & telling inspired stories
    Exploring my city and supporting local shops/artists
    Journals and journaling
    Community and collaboration
    Inspiring music and worship
    Sharing good food and conversation
    Encouraging single women to wait on God purposefully, rather than passively
    Remembering that God’s plan is always better than ours and that He can do
    immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine


    Feeling rushed and frazzled
    Meaningless distractions
    Trying to control the story God is writing in my life
    Clutter (mental and physical)
    Choosing anything over God
    Having all the answers


    Being a light
    Using my margin to the fullest for God
    Living each day FULLY
    Trust/surrender/being open to God's plan for me
    Building strong/meaningful relationships
    New traditions
    Focusing on health/wellness | whole/healthy foods
    Reading good books that inspire and challenge me
    Praising God’s goodness
    Creativity and creative writing
    Sharing my story for God’s glory
    Starting and ending my day with God
    Reading/studying God’s Word
    Choosing God above all other things
    Prioritizing prayer

    MY WORD OF 2017: FULLY 🙂

  118. Lauren on January 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Common phrases or words that stood out: faith, contentment, gratitude, relationships, and growth.

    I am going to say yes to loving my fiance wholeheartedly as we step toward marriage this year. I am also going to say yes to gratitude, growth, imperfection, learning, God’s will, prayer, health, making memories, having fun, and family +friends.

    I am going to say no (try to say no) to comparing myself to others, being perfect, jealousy, and anything that will hold me back from achieving my goals.

  119. Lauren on January 7, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I realize I clicked “add” too soon! I am between the words “gratitude” and “growth” for 2017. I am hoping to narrow it down to one of these but I may lean toward growth as there are so many ways I want to grow this year – whether it is closer to my fiance, my friends, God’s word, grow in my new job, financially, etc.

  120. Laura Jasmine on January 8, 2017 at 11:19 am

    My word for 2017 is pretty unique: harness! It’s definitely not your typical inspirational word, but I think it perfectly captures what I want to do this year. I want to harness as much goodness, love, and positivity as possible, store/steward it well (read: take care of myself so that it doesn’t evaporate!), and then pour it out onto others. All of my goals for this year are lining up so well with this word! I’m excited 🙂

  121. Sara on January 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Step 7
    Stand out words/themes: sitting, little by little, consistent, encouraging, checking in, walk, prayer, speaking life, support. Ultimately, I see an invitation to follow Jesus’ example to do life intentionally with others. No grand plan, just an intentional being.

    Saying “No” to…
    distraction (mindless time on social media/screens)
    inappropriately others focused (co-dependent tendency)

    Saying “Yes” to…
    truth telling
    trying in joy

    Step 9 My word for 2017…

    I didn’t like this word. It’s not inspirational. Seemingly passive. The longer I settled in with it and prayed over it, the more is resonates with what I want to cultivate. Looking up the definition further affirmed it was the right word for me.

  122. Amy O on January 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I encouraged someone by checking in via text with a friend whose husband recently had a ski accident

  123. Annie on January 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I loved going through and highlighting what stuck out to me as I’ve been going through this reflection! Some phrases or words that stuck out to me include: “you are not alone”, “having a job I love”, “discovering myself”, “deep and meaningful”, “God’s love”. “reciprocate”, “appreciate”, “boundaries”, “His timing” , “emotions”, “care”, and “trust the Lord.”

    What I am saying “Yes” to…
    God’s plan
    His timing
    deep, meaningful relationships
    my boundaries
    my health
    grace over perfection (I LOVE Emily Ley’s book)
    deeper prayer
    following His word
    ONE step at a time
    Self respect

    What I am saying “no” to this year…
    “my plan”
    my timing
    superficial relationships
    ignoring my boundaries
    what others expect or want from me
    non-essentials (thank you Lara!!)
    self sabotage
    negative self talk
    the belief that I cannot accomplish my goals

    My word for 2017 is…..PROGRESS!

  124. Cindy on January 11, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I sent a note to my niece encouraging her . 🙂

  125. Mikaela on January 14, 2017 at 1:05 am

    PART 3 🙂

    STEP 7:
    Themes include intention (not just going through the motions but having a purpose behind every action), gratitude (cultivate everyday!), sleep (need more of), long-term (do something today that your future self will thank you for ).

    STEP 8:
    Saying YES! to:
    – Optimism
    – Staying in the present moment
    – Meeting new and interesting people
    – sleeping early
    – Enjoying the sunrise/daylight
    – dance and yoga!
    – Books
    – Live music, ballets, art exhibits
    – Snuggling

    Saying NO! to:
    – Useless websites/articles/internet distractions
    – People interrupting me or talking over me
    – Insecure voices in my head
    – Bad food
    – Self-pity

    STEP 9:
    My word for 2017 is REALIZE.

    A lot of what I have written about is intention. However, sometimes I can have an intention but it might not mean much if I don’t have *action* to follow through.

    So my word is realize: “to cause something desired to happen.”

  126. Jen Myers on January 15, 2017 at 2:53 am

    STEP 7:
    One of my biggest themes is about having less distraction. This feeds into so many areas. Less aimless distraction with youtube, social media, Facebook, etc. would feed into more time to be creative, which is one of my goals for this year. Less of those aimless distractions would feed into my ability to cultivate better friendships outside of FB/text messages. It would lend to my reading more, saying “yes” to going out more, and to making more time for my health. It’s amazing how one thing can feed into so many focus areas that I have. This was an eye opener that I wasn’t expecting when I first set out with these pages.

    STEP 8:
    Saying “yes” to:
    – creating more memories by going out and DOing more
    – improving my health so I have more time to say “yes”
    – being an encourager and a lifter of other people
    – more personal connections free of technology
    – giving myself room to make mistakes and be imperfect
    – less worry

    Saying “no” to:
    – wasted time on social media
    – becoming consumed by other’s challenges
    – laziness robbing me of experience
    – complacency
    – always needing a show to binge watch
    – spending for the sake of adding rather than enriching
    – comparing myself to others
    – feeling like it all has to be figured out today

    STEP 9:
    My word of the year: COMMITTED

  127. Christina on January 15, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Step 7:
    Some VERY clear themes have jumped out at me:
    – love
    – time (how to spend it, and how NOT to spend it)
    – connections

    Step 8:
    – time with my family
    – loving my precious husband
    – being the best mom I can possibly be
    – intentionally and purposefully pursuing my relationship with God
    – involvement in my church and community
    – my career

    – the silent treatment
    – Facebook
    – my phone before 8am and after 7 pm
    – pointless and unnecessary shopping/spending
    – mindless internet scrolling
    – bad food/body/health choices
    – laziness

    Step 9:
    My word for 2017 is DEVOTION

  128. Amy O on January 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Step 7: I wrote a lot about growth, wellness, contributing meaningfully to other people, and not having a plan hurting me

    Step 8: I’m saying NO to laziness – doing things only when I feel like doing them, doing what’s easy instead of what’s best, jealousy, pretending, and complaining. And deciding things in the moment. I am saying YES to creating and committing to a plan, celebrating and cheering on my people, pursuing holistic wellness, and doing the work.

    Step 9: BETTERMENT. This is not at all the word I thought I would end up with but after some dictionary digging, I really started to dig it. Excellence, to make better, to improve and advance.

  129. Kathy on January 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

    One of the things that stands out to you in what you’ve written so far.
    Many of things I have written down deal with my self-worth and the comparisons I make daily.

    Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2017 and what you are saying NO to.
    Accepting God’s Love
    Loving Myself
    Time Management
    Loving Others
    Helping Others

    Negative Talk
    Trying to Controlling Others

    Pick a word for 2017.
    Confident -a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

  130. S. Davis on January 18, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    My word for 2017 is JOY! It wasn’t my choice, but the word God chose for me. I am still trying to understand why He wanted this to be my word, when I had a totally different word in mind, and He even made sure I didn’t remember the word. I have forgotten the word I wanted. He is a Good Good Father! So far I am remembering the joy in situations that are tough, and reminding people around me to Count it all joy when they come with trials.

  131. Tina on January 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Step 7
    Some themes that are speaking to me is REST and FOCUS. I need to make sure I am focused on whatever task is in front of me and when I’m productive, I get a LOT done and well! But I need to make sure I give myself the time to REST and unwind.

    – new adventures
    – stepping out of my comfort zone
    – showing my husband MORE affection
    – enjoying being outside with my dogs in the morning
    – showing my family how much they mean to me

    – too much technology
    – negative people and news stories. It affects me too deeply and I can’t let it anymore
    – bad food choices
    – being LAZY!

    My word of the year is SAVOR! I am making sure that this year I step back and appreciate every single day and moment and person in my life. Don’t take any of it for granted. Don’t take the fact that I get to work from home for granted or have three beautiful animals in my life that warm my heart. Tell my husband I love him MORE than once a day and SAVOR our time together, just the two of us for now 🙂 Savor it all

  132. Susana Kury on January 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    STEP 7:
    – FAMILY, every thing I want to do is for them
    – Organization, decluttering

    STEP 8:

    – being present
    – prayer
    – thankfulness
    – traveling and new adventures
    – enjoying my family
    – Organization
    – Home cooked meals
    – Exercising
    – Staying on budget
    – Taking care of my self

    – Working on weekends
    – Too much technology
    – Complaining
    – Comparison
    – Procrastinating
    – Not being there
    – Forgetting events

    Step 9:
    – Organized

    Thank you Lara and team for these series!!!! So much fun to do all the soul searching!!!! 🙂 Feels like I’m finally getting things done!!

  133. Ashley P on January 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Step 7: I wrote a lot about letting go of fear and worry so I can more readily enjoy life – incorporating fun and embracing the joy in the little things.

    Step 8:
    I’m saying YES to:
    – self care
    – community
    – letting go of guilt
    – grace
    – enjoying life
    – dreaming new dreams
    -reading for fun
    – brightening other’s days
    – cheering others on
    – joy + laughter

    I’m saying NO to:
    – stress + anxiety
    – fear + worry
    – poor lifestyle habits (diet and exercise)
    – negativity
    – mindless scrolling
    – chasing perfection
    – second guessing myself
    – bottling up my feelings
    – operating out of obligation
    – putting myself last

    Step 9: My word for 2017 is ENJOY

  134. Rachel on January 24, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Step 7: The common themes in what I’ve written so far are the difficulty, dryness, and “nothingness” of 2016 as well as reliance on Christ alone.

    Step 8: I’m saying YES to my faith, my family, and myself. I’m saying NO to the negative voices in my head telling me I can only fail, the inclination to give up, fear, and worry.

    Step 9: My word for 2017 is TRY. It’s been too long since I really tried and made an effort at life. That’s changing this year.

  135. Jenna Gilbreath on January 24, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Step 7:
    From writing and processing through 2016, I’m seeing a lot of repeating themes of starting really good projects, but not carrying them out. I’m filled with energy to create ideas and live life with with vigor! However, I tend to not get much further beyond the starting line before I find a new project. This behavior is on all areas of my life. So pulling up this behavioral “weed” would be great in many ways!

    Step 8:
    Nope to…
    -Scrolling on my phone for …forever
    -Not communing with God daily
    -Putting things off for “tomorrow”
    -Letting myself work late in the office and missing out on what is truly important
    -Saying “I’m too busy” instead of fixing my priorities
    -Not creating the content that I’m passionate about putting on paper
    -Snooze button
    -Holding onto junk just because it might be useful “someday”

    YES YES to:
    -Developing a faithful relationship with the Lord
    -Putting pen to paper when I have an idea
    -Being open to the Lord’s plans that differ from my own
    -Finishing projects I started
    -Cultivating habits and hobbies that would be good for me
    -Nightly reading

    Step 9:
    Develop! 2017 is my year to take me from the starting line (where I love to stay and keep thinking of new ideas to start) to running down the track and developing….my relationship with the Lord, a lasting marriage, a fruitful small business, my skill at interior design, time management and so much more! This year isn’t about setting unrealistic goals to finish everything, but to focus on the process of developing! Slow and steady!

  136. Jill on January 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Step 7: What stands out to me? I am in the phase of recovering from loss. There is no set time table for this, and that’s okay. It takes time to process what has been taken away and how it now affects my life and my husband’s life.
    Step 8: Saying yes to: a slower more thoughtful life, saying yes to simple planning (not extremely detailed, but simple goals), saying yes to looking for ways my life can count more in the life to come (in the areas of sharing my faith and giving to help others). Saying no to: a specific time table for grieving (giving me permission to take it slow); saying no to things that can be time wasters (social media, tv,) – these things are okay in moderation, but I don’t want my life to revolve around them; saying no to a life that is too busy (giving careful thought before adding on new responsibilities).
    Step 9: Pick a Word for 2017: My two words are: “God first.” (a reminder to me to consider God first in every decision and in every area of my life, also a reminder to go to Him first in times of trouble). My verse is Matthew 6:33.

  137. Nicole Budd on January 26, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    This has been such an eye opening journey. I look forward to doing this for many more years to come.

    Step 7:
    What stands out to me?
    my family, learning to trust. Learn to listen, pray before acting.

    Step 8
    Saying yes to
    time alone, time with my husband, to writing, to working out, to eating healthy, to taking care of me, and most importantly to GOD and HIS WILL,

    Saying no to:
    to feeling guilty for doing something for me, to social media (reading fb) to things that suck time away from my life, to standing still, to focusing only on me and my family.

    Step 9;
    Pick a word for 2017
    I want to grow in my relationship with God and with others, to grow as a person both personally and professionally. to grow stronger physically and mentally.

  138. Sarah on January 27, 2017 at 12:10 am

    STEP 7. Focus really stands out to me! Focusing on faith, relationships, rest, and passions is huge, as well as simplifying.

    STEP 8. Saying yes to meaningful relationships, the second question, taking care of myself, being intentional, and being joyful!

    Saying no to procrastination, comparison, and overworking myself!

    STEP 9. My word of the year: focus. Focus means being intentional and saying yes to what matters!

  139. Robyn Schlichter on January 27, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Step 7:
    What stands out to me – the words joy, rest, relationships, discipline continually come up throughout several of my pages

    Step 8:
    I am saying YES to:
    -soaking in God’s word
    -building relationships
    – quality time with my husband
    – encouraging others
    -quality time with my daughter
    – scrapbooking
    – reading for fun
    – daily/weekly rest
    -allowing others to help
    – making sure their is margin in life
    -opening up our home and life
    – little by little progress

    I am saying NO to:
    – comparing my life with others
    -putting things off for another day
    -excess stuff, excess activities
    trying to do things myself
    -over complicating life with the unnecessary

    Step 9: My Word for 2017
    I had a hard time choosing a word for this year. Last’s year word was really obvious and very helpful. So, I decided to go with the word DISCIPLINE. In this next season (or year), I want to work on these disciplines that will help me become more of who God wants me to be …

  140. katyrenee on January 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Step 7: create!!, plan and prepare (meals/workouts/anything really), engage in things (don’t tune out! Bible, with people), love self, take time to heal and rest, track progress!! journal/write!!
    Step 8: Yes-reading, writing, creating (play not only “recipes” or “patterns”), adventures
    No-social media suck/numbing, hustle
    Step 9: Avec Chantilly–When I was in Paris many lifetimes ago, I ordered a coffee drink and the waiter confirmed, “avec chantilly.” I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant at the time. It means with the most lovely whipped cream on top. I want to live life focusing on the lovelies, the little extras, the daily joys God has for us if only we open our hearts and eyes.

  141. Chenell on January 29, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    7. Adventure – It’s time to put myself out there, believe in myself and the worth of my dreams.
    8. Yes – Invest time in relationships (God, husband, kids, extended family, friends), take care of myself, pursue hobbies, cultivate peace at home, creating (blog, crafts), making prayer a first response. No – stress, perfection, blaming myself for everything that goes wrong, my comfort zone, overspending, over analyzing, over-committing.
    9. My word(s) for 2017: Come Alive

  142. Robyn Schlichter on January 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Step 8 With everything you have written down thus far in mind, what are you going to need to say YES to more often in order to cultivate what matters in 2017, and what are you saying NO to?
    My YES List: soaking in God’s Word, building relationships, quality time with my husband, encouraging others, quality time with my daughter, scrapbooking, reading, daily rest, allowing others to help, open up our home and family, and making little by little progress.

    My NO list: comparison, putting things off for another day, excess stuff (physical and schedule), trying to do it all myself, over complicating life with the unnecessary.

    Step 9: Pick a word for 2017.
    My Word for 2017 is DISCIPLINE. For this season, I want to focus on being discipline in the habits that will help me cultivate the life God has for me.

  143. Elizabeth Logan on January 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Step 7: the things I ‘ve written down that stand out most to me are that I need to be making better/healthier choices for myself and our family.
    Step 8: I will be saying yes to eating more whole foods, moving more , spending more quality time with my spouse and kids and getting more sleep. I will be saying no to eating sugar loaded carbs, staying up too late on work nights, spending too much time falling down internet rabbit holes and general inactivity.
    Step 9: my words for this year are “healthy” and “simplify”

  144. Catherine on January 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Step 7: Themes that stand out – hunger to spend time with Jesus and grow closer to Him, need to establish systems to reduce chaos in my life
    Step 8: Saying NO to-hitting the snooze button, comparison, gossip, procrastination, clutter, fear of the future. Saying YES to-singing, joy, spending time with family and friends, a well-ordered home, and TRUSTING in GOD.
    Step 9: My word is THRIVE!

  145. Tami Rhymes on January 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I don’t have a word yet, but I know it’s because I was thinking it had to be a word for the year. Thank you for saying it can be for a season. I may even pick a word for each month, who knows? (I really like words) But I love that there is freedom to grow in and out of words, just as we grow in and out of seasons.

  146. Christine on January 31, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Step 7: Encouraging others makes me come alive! Living as a victor, not a victim; using my writing gift to share something REAL with others; creating beauty around me; sleeping well and enjoying the very early mornings!
    Step 8: NO to fear, despair, self-critical voice, paralysis, clutter, isolation, ingratitude, and comparison. YES to God’s love, His call to intimacy; relationships; the outdoors; praising out loud; both joy and sorrow, receiving them when they come; church membership; kindness to myself.
    Step 9: My word is BEAUTY. I see a consistent theme of my desire to create beauty, my adoration of the God who IS Beauty, and our need for beauty in a world groaning with pain.

  147. Jessica on December 27, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I’m SO excited to apply these steps to my daily life for 2018 and living a more intentional LIFE! Thank you for all you do!

  148. Jess on September 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

    That’s really inspiring

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