Dec 26, 2016

2017 GOAL SETTING, Part 1: Let’s Get Started!

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Welcome to the Sixth-Annual Make It Happen Goal Setting Series! I’m so grateful for this series, and for all of you who join each year. How has it been six years, friends? I’m so pumped for this year!!!

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


One year ago today, I shared some big news with you. We had just matched for our adoption, and had no idea what the year ahead would look like. I declared 2016 “The Year of Getting Messy”—embracing imperfect grace-filled progress—and that’s exactly what it was. 2016 was the hardest and very best year of our lives. (More on that shortly.)


If you are new to this series, welcome—you’re in for a treat this year! I’m Lara. I’m a mom to three, a business owner, and I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. But, the most important thing you should know about me before we start this series is this: I don’t write about goal setting because I love goal setting. The words “goal setting” have often given me the heebie jeebies. I have a lot of things to take care of in my life (like you), and I don’t have room for a whole lot more (I’m guessing that’s like you too), and I get tense even thinking about the pressure to accomplish something beyond my current capacity (areyouwithme?).

We don’t do traditional pressure-filled, do-it-all goal setting around here. We uncover intentional, less-is-more goals. I call these, “good goals.”

Good goals are about stewarding what you’ve been given well: your relationships, your money, your possessions, your work, your children, your home, your health, and your time. A little intentional forethought goes a long way!


Over the last six years, as my life has dramatically changed, so has this goal uncovering process. I’ve studied what makes people feel unmotivated, and I’ve discovered some pretty amazing not-so-secret secrets to getting unstuck. Uncovering good goals is not about doing it all; it’s about doing what matters. Whether you’re a mom, a student, a business owner, in transition, in the wait—in any place where you are in life, we’re going to let go of guilt-filled resolutions, and embrace a whole new way of doing this goal setting thing. For those of you like me who do not like traditional goal setting, you are in the right place!

From hereon out, when I mention “goals” or “goal setting,” know that I’m talking about good, grace-filled goals.

Here’s what good GOALS are all about:

Grow what matters
One step
At a time
Little by little your
Seeds will grow


The alternative to uncovering good goals is going through the motions, not feeling confidence that you’re on the right path, lacking motivation, and not taking care of what you’ve been given well. (Speaking from experience here.)

Good goals–the kind we are going to uncover together–give you direction, and unending motivation. You can’t simultaneously do it all and do life wellBut you can choose to cultivate what matters, right where you are.


Here’s what you can expect in this five-part series: Each day, I’m going to walk through a mix of goal uncovering steps from my first book, Make it Happen (which you can sample here), the 2017 PowerSheets, and I have some new ones that we’ve never done before!

The PowerSheets* and my book have many more steps, and helpful prompts, than I’ve listed in this series. This is just a tiny sampling. Do you need the PowerSheets and book to have an intentional year? No. You don’t need any thing to live this life well. They are great tools if you choose to use them, but if you only do this blog series, and use scrap paper to write your answers, that’s great too. : ) Use what you have! If you are someone who has been stuck in indecision lately, or feeling fear about diving into new things, practice what I call, “making a mess!” Use whatever you have available to write with, and on! It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just dig in.

*UPDATED: We sold out of all of the 2017 PowerSheets, and are blown away by the response this year! You can read more here. But! We just opened pre-orders for a small batch that will be in stock in the spring for the second half of the year. Order HERE!

As we go through each step together, use the comment area here to leave your answers, or write them in your PowerSheets, a journal, or on scrap paper. Don’t just think your answers. Thinking them doesn’t count. Write them out and, if you want accountability, leave them boldly here in the comments. I want to cheer you on, and this year I’m going to leave some of my answers in the comments too! Friends, help me out here and cheer each other on, too. You never know who how your words might change someone! If you need an extra kick in the pants to make it happen, I have a giveaway at the end that might encourage you : )

Ready to dig in? Step 1, here we go!


STEP ONE: In order to leap into the new, we first must know where we are leaping from. I’m going to ask you the golden question: How are you? Really. How are you? Let’s look at each area of our lives and do a little check-in. Look at the categories below and write out how you are doing in each one. Feel free to write in your own categories, too! Give each area of your life a rating between 1 and 10, along with a few thoughts on why you chose that number. 1 means you are not satisfied in this area, and want to see radical change. 10 means you are happy as a bee on honeysuckle!

– Health
– Friends
– Family (including your significant other, if applicable)
– Finances
– Spiritual
– Work
– Recreation
– Environment

Here’s a free printable 2017 Check-in Worksheet for you—yay!

This is step one for a reason. “How are you?” seems like a simple question, but when answered from our heart of hearts, it can help set you on an entirely new path. It can change everything.

Reply in the comments, or on paper right now. I’ll leave my answers in the comments too! And don’t get stuck in the negative soil. Include thoughts about what is good in each area, too! For instance, as for my feelings about finances: I’ve been challenged by contentment and emotional spending at times, but I have become more skilled at managing money. It took ten years, but I now feel comfortable navigating Quickbooks, doing our business bookkeeping, and analyzing where we are. (Never thought I would type that!) Allow yourself to write the things that may feel undone, imperfect, or hard, and write in some positive thoughts too—even if the positive feels tiny!

Now, a bonus challenge: let the dirt be dirt. Once you’ve written everything out, be still with your feelings for a moment—whatever they may be—without trying to change them or push them away immediately. Let the challenges and places you’d like to grow sink in a little. If you’re like me, I often want to fix my circumstances right away instead of letting myself feel anything at all. My instinct is to reach for a distraction when faced with something that feels hard. But, that never brings me real lasting peace or clarity. So, let’s not do that. Maybe the soil of your life needs some fresh nutrients, or maybe there are some big rocks in the way of you planting new things. The only way you’ll know though, is to see what’s there first.


STEP TWO: Watch this video (or at least the first 30-ish seconds) that some of my closest friends and I made for you…

What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year? Do you feel like you are “chasing perfect” in some ways—attempting to measure up to an impossible standard? Write or type here what you have been chasing, and how that has been making you feel. Maybe you’ve been chasing success, significance, or approval. Maybe you’ve been trying to keep up, survive, or just get through. Whatever you’ve been chasing, name it boldly and know that you are not alone. To name your chase is to destroy it.


STEP THREE: In traditional goal setting, you focus on the future, and on achieving your goals as fast as humanly possible. That is a recipe for b.u.r.n.o.u.t. I’ve done it many times in the past, and it’s no bueno. But! Uncovering really good goals means learning from the past in order to cultivate what’s next. The past has a lot to teach us! Let’s take a look back at the last year.

What good things happened in 2016? What grew well and produced fruit in your life? What are you grateful for from the last twelve months? What good things happened? I know this can be a challenging step for many. We don’t like counting our blessings because it may feel self-indulgent or like it won’t get us anywhere fast, or perhaps you are thinking that there were no good things that happened! It’s easy to look back at an entire year and see only the yucky parts, like when something happens to you at the end of the day and you automatically call it a bad day, regardless of what happened the other twenty-three hours.

Let’s do a little digging! A few tips to unearth the good stuff:

– Talk to your significant other or a close friend about your year and ask him or her to reflect some of the highlights back to you. He or she may remember some that you have forgotten! This is also a wonderful way to celebrate the good things of the past year with others. Make it your dinner conversation tonight.

– Take a look back at your calendar, blog posts, social media updates, or photos. Those might give you a clue into some of the good things you’ve forgotten. I made this 7-minute movie below of our adoption story and favorite memories from this year on my iPhone. It’s not perfect (every time I went to export it, it crashed), so I gave up and just let my phone do whatever it wanted with these photos and videos. Now I love that it isn’t the perfect video I had in my head—it reminds me that this year wasn’t perfect either, and it was still good! By the way, the clip where I say, “I just want to express to you how grateful I am…” was recorded the day of Sarah’s birth. Those were words her birth mom said to me, and I will never forget them.

2016: The Year Our Family and Hearts Grew from Lara Casey

– If you are a PowerSheets user, read through your 2016 PowerSheets! Knowing there would be a lot of major life change in 2016 with our adoption and writing a book, I keep my main goals simple: read the Bible, and pray. That was it! I knew that if I could focus on those two things, everything else would fall into place. And it did.

–  A great tip: review your finances from the year. This is like reading a journal of places you went, and what your priorities were.


My Good Things: My list might look different from others, because for me, all the hard things this year ended up being the good things.

1. As you saw in my video, we adopted a newborn shortly after having a baby (they are six months apart). This was a huge blessing and, for so many reasons, it was also extremely difficult. I haven’t written about our adoption story, except in my upcoming book, because it was such a raw and refining time. Ari and I both experienced anxiety and hard emotions as we walked through this sleepless season. In that season, I felt like a horrible mother, an absent friend, and incapable of leading my team. I wanted to quit my business. I couldn’t rely on my own strength, and it was humbling. (I recently shared some of my story from the last year on the God Centered Mom podcast.) So how in the world did this end up as the number one thing on my good things list? Because this was ALL God’s plan. In what felt messy, He was at work. In the things that felt unexplainable to others, He knew. Good things grew out of what felt hard. Our faith grew. Our bond as a family grew. Our capacity to love each other grew. And so much control that we’d held so tightly to was released. This hard season ushered in massive heart change, and it was good. In coming undone, we came alive!

nancyray-sarahnewborn-1076Photo by Nancy Ray

2. I had a challenging time writing my second book, Cultivate, through that hard season. I was nursing Josh every hour at night, pumping milk for Sarah, trying to keep up with Grace and work, and just couldn’t find the words to inspire others in that season. I had started writing this book two years ago, and it was supposed to be released today actually. Little by little, through so much imperfect progress, I wrote, and rewrote (see here for that story), and just two weeks ago turned it all in! It is not at all the book I set out to write two years ago. I needed to live out this story in order to write the specific words that ended up on the page. I am SO grateful for this imperfect path. The new release date is June 27, 2017!

3. Through all of this big change in 2016, many things started to feel like they didn’t fit anymore. Namely: unknowingly hiding the way I was made and the name of our company. So, those things got re-done, undone, and changed. Like a sweater that fits just right, they feel so good now! Letting my hair down and changing our company name have been incredibly freeing.


There is so much more, like the garden (oh it was good for my soul!), Amber and Jess joining our team, my mom visiting us a lot this year, so many generous friends who prayed us through our hard season, Ari and I actually having time together at night now (partly in thanks to our friend Irene and her gentle sleep coaching tips for Josh!), Josh in general, Grace coming out of this very hard family transition with renewed joy, and little Sarah is one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given. Getting to love her every day is just amazing! I no longer feel like a horrible mom, leader, or friend. And not because I got better at these things, but because hard seasons can make you rely on God’s strength more than your own.

Good things ahead (bonus if you want to include this!)Well, I have some news. I’ve cried a lot of tears writing this little paragraph, and it’s one I never thought I’d write. In all of the change this year, something else became clear that I’m very grateful for. As of today, I’ve passed the torch as Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings. When I started the magazine ten years ago, I never imagined it would grow to what it is today–and it has so much growing left to do! We are a very unique company, running two businesses under one roof, with one small-but-mighty team. Like I’ve learned in my garden, you can only grow so much with the space and time you’ve been given. I can’t lead the vision of two large brands at once and nurture a growing family. Many of you know this shift happened several years ago internally—I’ve been uninvolved in content creation for a while now. This year, however, it became clear that I needed to grow new leadership in our team to help both companies continue to grow well. I’ve been working alongside Kristin Winchester for five years, and her passion for the Southern Weddings mission made her a natural fit. She has already been wearing this hat well: cheering on our team, shepherding the big picture, and encouraging meaningful beginnings to married life. KNW, as we affectionately call her, is a pretty remarkable woman, and we are all SO excited for this new season! My title is now Founder and Grateful Wife, which fits me to a tee. Be sure to check back on Southern Weddings next week for more, and to hear about what’s ahead in 2017!

Other good things ahead: In light of what I’ve just shared, I’m excited to start homeschooling Grace in the fall (homeschooling moms, please share your wisdom with me!), release Cultivate in the summer, watch our kids grow (Josh starts preschool in the fall), continue to do the good work He has given me to do here, and Lord willing, go on more date nights with Ari!


Name three lessons you learned from the good things. For example, in my life there were many times last year that good things happened when I let go of control—whether getting on my knees (literally) in prayer, letting someone else lead, or letting myself make a mess. The lesson for me was a big one: let go. Surrender. Humble yourself. That’s where change begins. I also learned that it’s okay to grow slow, and it’s okay to be average.

Your turn! Write your own list of good things, and lessons you learned. Write your list in your PowerSheets if you have reached that section, or on whatever paper you have. Either way, I encourage you to share some of your 2016 good things and what you learned in the comments to encourage others!

And remember this: There is no room for comparison in cultivating what matters. A page from my 2016 PowerSheets:

lara casey goal setting comparisson

Whether you had one good thing happen or twenty, celebrate the good stuff and let’s help each other do the same. Let’s turn comparison into compassion and cheering on.

lara_casey_isaacson_family_030Photo by Amy Rae. I love these monkeys.

Okay, that’s it for today and that’s plenty to work on. I’ll be back tomorrow with more goal uncovering goodness!

Take your time with this and remember, cultivating what matters is about progress, not perfection. This is not about writing the perfect list of perfect goals with a perfect pen. It’s about digging into the dirt, right where you are, to grow, tend, and harvest what you’ve been given. This process will have a big payoff, but you have to commit to working through it. Let your 2017 goals bake, like a pan of homemade hot cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven. They wouldn’t be flaky and yummy zapped quickly in the microwave, would they? They’d end up as a big pile of mushy dough. I’m not going to hand you your 2017 goals; we’re going to do this right and bake them well together, little-by-little, with some bold leaps of faith along the way. Sound good? Awesome!

2017 goals lara casey Can you smell those good goals starting to bake!? Yum! : ) 

Need an extra kick in the pants? How about this for motivation? Welcome to the Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway. There are lots of prizes and fun ways to enter. Most of all, though, I hope you comment with your answers from each step as we go through this series. 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!

Why am I doing this? I want you—yes YOU—to get renewed, and to uncover a solid direction for the year ahead. Help me spread the word, and let’s get all our friends in on this! Here’s to a meaningful, intentional 2017—I am cheering you on friends. ENTER BELOW, and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


There are 28 total prizes, which means 28 chances to win! Your odds are good : ) 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 2? Here you go!

keep reading


  1. Kellyann Johnson on December 26, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Thank you for this motivating post! I have my 2017 Powersheets in hand, and today I start the prep work- slowly, imperfectly with many stops and starts I’m sure, but that is what it’s all about! The biggest blessing of 2016 was some milestones that my teenage son with autism has made – we never thought he would be independent but he just got his driver’s permit! Only God could have done that!

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      That is amazing-God is so good!

  2. Hanni on December 26, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Thanks so much for sharing so much of your life and heart with us. You are an incredible blessing. I just finished all my power sheet prep but I wanted to respond to your comment about homeschooling. I also have 3 small children (6,4,2) and am homeschooling this year. I highly recommending Carole Joy Seid and her method of homeschooling. Go to her site and buy her seminar on a literature base education. She simplifies things so well and her approach works well for working with multiple ages. She also does homeschool consulting. She loves Jesus and really values kids staying kids and letting them be children. I think you will love her. So often this past year I wish I could have dropped off to say hi and encourage you. My dad passed away right after my 3rd baby was born. I had 3 kids under 4 and was grieving a huge loss. Then God called us to move cross country for a new ministry role. I experienced so much of the things you have shared and in many ways am still recovering and healing from the past few years. But like you I have found God so faithful! I have been praying for you!

  3. Candace on December 26, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Your grace-filled goal setting series is a HUGE blessing to me. I think for so long I avoided setting goals because of my perfectionistic tendencies. No longer! 🙂 So excited about 2017.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      I love that it is all about grace!

  4. Lauren on December 26, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Yay! Love this!

  5. Erika on December 26, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I’ve been doing a little bit each day in my PowerSheets and it brings me such joy and also makes me calmer. Thank you!

  6. Valerie Maldonado on December 26, 2016 at 9:32 am

    What an amazing post! Thank you so much. Wishing you all the best in 2017.

  7. Lauren Goodwin on December 26, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I’m so excited to participate in this! Looking forward to an amazing 2017!

  8. Alexa Johnson on December 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Progress not perfection — the single most important lesson and mindset I will practice from here forward. Thank you, Lara.

  9. hope on December 26, 2016 at 9:55 am

    always love your goal setting series! thank you! best wishes with homeschooling!

  10. Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

    My oldest daughter ordered your book and has been sharing it with me while we are together for Christmas. This is just what I have been looking for. At 59 my life and goals have changed, but I haven’t really made a “plan” for 2017; I just decided “Grace” was my word and I would live by that. Thank you for giving me avenues for finding ways to live my life passionately and full of grace as I seek what God wants for me. I am excited to begin this journey.

  11. Marnely on December 26, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Oh this was marvelous to wake up and read. Now, to my answers:
    1: How am I?
    – Health 9
    – Friends 7
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 7
    – Finances 8
    – Spiritual 6
    – Work 7
    – Recreation 8
    – Environment 7
    2: As a food blogger, I feel like I’m always chasing perfect in the way the I am always running to “catch up” with everyone else, but I am slowly learning I can go at my own pace and be okay. It’s tough since every blogger just puts out the most perfect photos, the perfect viral recipes…sigh. But I am learning I can also be happy and not compare to them.
    3: Good things in 2016? I signed up with a personal trainer to get control over my overeating/food writing job; I saw a therapist that opened my eyes to a lot of things but then realized she might be pushing me towards things I don’t want; we traveled a LOT and experienced new places; we booked our first trip to Europe together; my first niece was born!
    4: Three things I learned this year? That I can stop playing catch up and be me; that I can live a happy life without anyone’s permission; that my work is valuable and people actually like it!

    Thank you Lara – this was so eye opening! XOOX

  12. Nancy on December 26, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I won’t share all my scores but my health is definitely low – a 1 or 2. While I realize that I cannot solve all m issues this year, I can put myself on a healthy path which is what I need. I appreciate your honesty in sharing how you felt overwhelmed but allowed yourself the time to refocus and determine that perhaps the challenges were really the hidden blessings in this year.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      I am right there with you on the health scale. We can and will do this this year.

  13. Dana on December 26, 2016 at 10:24 am

    STEP 1
    – Health 6 I’d like to move more and continue exploring what might help bring my digestion back into balance..
    – Friends 8 I have great friends. I’d like to spend more time with them!
    – Family 9 Things are good. I’d add more date nights to make it better.
    – Finances 5, up from a 2! We’re on track and I’m optimistic that by the end of 2017 things will be drastically different if we persevere.
    – Spiritual 8 Trust is becoming my go to. I need my time with the Lord. My perspective was changed through a trip to Israel this year.
    – Work 6 recovery mode. I burned out in my ministry job this summer. I’ve had five months off and a new role beginning in January in a place where I don’t have to strive to be accepted.
    – Recreation – 3 not much feels restorative… even the rest feels like work. I need to learn to play again.
    – Environment 7 Our home is comfortable and we’ve been using it for hospitality. There are many projects I see that I’d like to complete, so progress in that area would raise this score.

    STEP 2
    Chasing significance. The rest this fall has begun some of the healing and restoration from that, but old habits and thought patterns creep in and need constant tending.

    STEP 3
    My good things:
    God removed a name I used for myself and showed me that He calls me beloved.
    I quit a job that was literally killing me.
    My family had some fun trips together.
    I had a lot of success in ministry.
    We gained control of our finances.
    I took a trip of a lifetime to Greece and Israel with my mom.
    I forgave people I have refused to forgive for years
    I watched my husband blossom with my support this fall.
    I rediscovered joy in cooking for my family.

    • Traci on December 27, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I really want to go to Israel! How exciting!

  14. Bethany Donnell on December 26, 2016 at 10:25 am

    So excited for this! I got my Powersheets late last year and struggled to get them done. I was finishing my last semester of graduate school and student teaching full time. Now that graduate school is done (praise God!) I’m excited to be able to focus on more of what I love– the Lord, my husband, and my sweet kiddos in my classroom.

  15. Dana on December 26, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Three things I learned:
    1 God asked me to rest and I learned the importance of rest and the correlation between rest and trust in doing so.
    2 No one can say or do anything to change my worth-that is determined by the One who made me and saved me.
    3 Forgiveness is a powerful thing

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Great things learned.

  16. Laiken Williams on December 26, 2016 at 10:28 am

    This has come at the perfect time for me. Going through each step is so eye opening. I needed to realize that it’s okay not to be perfect and that I shouldn’t get stuck on that. Just go ugly, early. Thank you for your unending grace! ❤

  17. Tiffany on December 26, 2016 at 10:31 am

    What an inspiring post! I can’t wait to follow along with the new Powersheets I bought…but I’d love to have a whole year and really make 2017 my year!

    1: How am I?
    – Health 9
    – Friends 6
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 5
    – Finances 5
    – Spiritual 5
    – Work 9
    – Recreation 6
    – Environment 8

    2: I’ve been chasing work/home balance, but working part-time has allowed me many opportunities to work more like a full timer (with more money to do things) at the expense of my energy. I am trying to be in the moment and also to reconnect with my husband who is usually upset with my desire to work so much overtime.

    3. Good things in 2016? We went on our first family vacation for Father’s day and were able to move into a house in the fall!

    4. Three things I learned this year? Work isn’t everything (even though I love most of my coworkers) but need a budget if I’m going to truly work ‘part time’. To enjoy time with my little guy, he’s 2.5 and already so big! It goes fast. That I need to invest time with my husband – it’s no fun having arguments year round.

    Very excited to follow along!! I’ve made the blog my home page!

  18. marie on December 26, 2016 at 10:43 am

    My goal that I’ve been putting off is to pass my nursing board exam. Never have I felt so called other than to fullfill my purpose in serving others through nursing… but failed results repeatedly has left my feeling so discouraged over the years. Sometimes I feel like God isn’t hearing my cries. But regardless of how I feel, I know he has wonderful plans for me & I have to tackle my huge fears that have been weighing me down. Praying these powersheets help me become a better steward of God’s love through service as a mother, wife, & to my community.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      God has you in the palm of His hand. Praying for you and we will praise Him together when you pass the Boards.

  19. katyrenee on December 26, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Thank you for this yearly refresh time. I love remembering the past year and how much better it was than I am inclined to remember and focus on how to continue those good things in the next year. I look forward to this so much. Thank you.

  20. Liz Krieg on December 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Hi you! Thanks so much for this post. The phrases “Progress, not perfection” and “it’s okay to be average” really resonate with me. I am always trying so very hard, and it makes my life feel so relentless. I am always striving for perfection and seem not to be able to actually see that my creations are beautiful (I mostly see the imperfections…). I am gobsmacked every time somebody says what I have created is fabulous. I want to be able to observe myself and my work (as if, through their eyes), objectively and stop being so harsh with myself! Looking forward to spending more time with you!

  21. me on December 26, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Step 1:
    Health: 7
    Friends: 5
    Family: 4
    Finances: 8
    Spiritual: 9
    Work: 8
    Recreation: 5
    Environment: 7

    Step 2:
    I am a perfectionist at work and am always taking on more than I am asked. I’m always trying to progress. It’s starting to feel like nothing is enough and I am about to burnout. I need to take a step back and realize what an amazing job I have. I must focus on working smarter, not harder and be content with my current role.

    Step 3:
    I had some pretty major changes in my life, though sad, I learned a lot from them. It was an opportunity for me to grow closer to friends and family. I also started a new job, that I love and is a great opportunity. I have a great boss and coworkers. I traveled solo for the first time and learned a lot about myself.

    Step 4:
    I’ve leaned many lessons this year. I learned to open up and let my guard down with EVERYONE. Doing so results in stronger friendships and a happier life.
    I’ve learned to stop trying to be a perfectionist. It will make me happier with myself and others.
    I’ve learned to be more forgiving. Through releasing perfectionism, I’ve realized I get frustrated with people when they are not perfect. I’ve grown to look past flaws and forgive and accept.

  22. Ashley on December 26, 2016 at 11:03 am


    I love your goal setting series! I think it’s coming at a perfect season in my life as I’m in such a transitional phase in my life! I have wrote out my goals but I’m going redo them with your method! As for who I’m going to encorauge I’m going to encourage my friend who is moving home to write a book ! Progress over perfection !

  23. Bekah on December 26, 2016 at 11:03 am

    These steps fill me with joy and gratefulness in my Savior and all he has done in 2016! I spent some time reading through my journals from this past year and was in awe of how many prayers were answered without me even realizing it, and how much God has changed/changing my heart. Remembering is good for the soul.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Remembering what He has done is a blessing.

  24. Erin on December 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Lara….thank you so much from sharing your heart with us! The 2016 family video made me cry happy tears for you. As fo homeschooling recommendations, I would encourage you to look at My Father’s World and Classical Cinversations…..not to do both together, but as options. We have used both curriculums at different times in our family and have enjoyed and learned from both of them. If you can find a homeschool conference to attend near you, I would highly encourage attending. Finally, Sally Clarkson’s “Educating the WholeHearted Child” and Sarah Mackenzie’s “Teaching from Rest” are excellent resources to get you started on your journey!

  25. Sheila on December 26, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I love how you are taking the time to really help and encourage people as they go into 2017. And it is great that you are doing this giveaway, because it really shows that you are invested in how people grow over the new year as well.

    • Sheila on December 26, 2016 at 11:42 am

      I encourage others to take the benificeal steps to be positive and encouraging to others, to share God’s message of love. Due to encouraging someone, they gifted me your copy of “Make It Happen.” I learned about you that way and how much you encourage others… You are an inspiration to me!

  26. Mackenzie Farmer on December 26, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Thank you for sharing these videos they inspire me and I can imagine many others too! Working on my goal setting power sheets for 2017 today!

  27. Stacy on December 26, 2016 at 11:33 am

    2016 has been devastating. My marriage is over and I still don’t understand the why. Needless to say I need 2017 to be a fresh start. When I ask myself “how am I” everything is below a 5. I have a lot of ground to make ep but I am grateful to have found this group just a few days ago. I know this has all been God’s plan and I am going through a season of pruning. I am okay with that and am looking forward to finding myself again.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Precious Jesus,

      Be with Stacy as she walks through this hard time. Give her peace and the gentle whisper of Your voice as she seeks what You want for her in 2017. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    • Priscilla on December 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Stacy, I want to hug you. A lot of my areas were 5s in 2015/2016 too. Some senseless all confusing and heart breaking… My sheets were always half done because I wanted them to “be like everyone elses!” but I kept coming back…

      Gosh, I am glad you are here, where we all have been pruned back a little extra a few times and can say, “fruit is on its way!”

    • Jeanne on December 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      I am in the same boat as you. Let’s make 2017 amazing and fresh! A new start!

  28. Ashley Gernon on December 26, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Thank you Lara! This post was just what I needed to fill in my 2017 goals!!! Looking forward to the Journey of Joy that will be 2017!!!

  29. Amy on December 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I completely resonate with your comment in step 1 about wanting to fix everything all at once. I found myself doing that severa years ago and took all of 2016 to focus on slowing down and living where I am before rushing into anything new. Some of the lessons I learned were that God’s purpose and timing are better than my plans, it’s so good to let go of old things, and humility is hard but worth it. So excited to make some good goals for 2017!

  30. kayla on December 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    This is such a fantastic resource. I’m working on my powersheets blog now 🙂

  31. Melissa Affleck on December 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    This is my third year using powersheets and little by little I have used them more and more and am seeing real life change. Before I used to make the same goals every year and then beat myself up about not achieving them a the end of the year, I felt like I was just going in circles. When I did the “how are you?” check-in, it was amazing to unearth that I have made real progress in my relationships with my family and friends and that instead there are other areas for me to focus on. Thank you Lara and team for your role in changing lives and for honouring God in everything that you do!

  32. Ana Castanho on December 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing, inspire me and makes me work on my goal setting power sheets for 2017!

  33. Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    As I worked through the 3 steps today it became clear that my lack of a plan/goal caused issues with my health; I lacked discipline in many areas which actually helps me as I look at the big picture for 2017. It was also clear that my baby steps in planning allowed me to surprise my husband with a trip in June and to pay cash for Christmas. I had realized that being present was better than being perfect – Grace. I only wish I had learned that when my children were still at home. The good I could celebrate was the surprise I gave my husband and our choice to create memories instead of adding to our material things.

    I see so many lessons I am grateful for and also ready to tackle the challenging areas in my life. Thanks, Lara.

  34. Sarah on December 26, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Love this! Was waiting for a few uninterrupted days sans-fam to start goal-setting–just the kick in the pants I need!

  35. Dionne Kumpe on December 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I learned that I am capable of creating and forgetting my why in the process. I launched a website this year and blogged briefly before realizing I needed to get closer to Christ to feel him once again leading my creative efforts. I needed to pause my pursuits to regain clarity on His purpose, trusting that He would work out the rest.

  36. Debra on December 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you for running this give away. I am excited to learn more about these products. They seem to be just what I have been looking for!

  37. Emily DeArdo on December 26, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Here I go! 🙂
    **Health: It’s a solid 5. I’m doing really well with my chronic issues but I know I have to up my exercise and food game to really be as health as possible. This goes up and down with my motivation, so this year I’m determined to focus on making tiny progress everyday, even if it’s something as simple as choosing fish when I eat out instead of a Huge Burger.

    **Friends: 9. I’m crazy loyal, I love celebrating birthdays, and snail mail is my favorite thing! I want to work on being more present with my friends–focusing on THEM and what THEY need when we’re together. I do that now, but I want to make it even more evident.

    **Family: 8. I have a good relationship with my parents and siblings, but there’s some room for improvement!

    **Finances: 2. Oh boy. This is my big big area that needs work. I’ve managed to reduce debt over the years but I’ve never been able to stick to a budget. I also tend to buy things in order to heal emotional issues. So these things need to stop! I’m going to start the Contentment Challenge, too, so that should help.

    Spiritual: 7. I want to start going to Daily Mass (I’m Catholic, so I can do this) at least once a week. This needs to be more important in my life.

    Work: 6 My work is my writing. I feel like I’m doing a good job with my blogging, I’m working on an ebook, I have a NaNoWriMo novel to revise, and I’m still sending out book proposals. So now I just want to see some return on my proposals, and to keep writing what matters.

    Recreation: 9 I’m really good at recreation. 🙂 I want to keep learning Italian and improving my knitting.

    Environment: 4 I’ve made some good decluttering progress, but there’s more I need to do–organizing closets, simplifying the house, getting rid of things I don’t need/want any more, and being better at cleaning!

  38. Kate Mariani on December 26, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve loved following along this system and process- thank you for your thoughtful questions and prompts! Below is the abbreviated version (I wrote out so much more in my journal!) of these answers:
    1) How I am: Health (7), Friends (4), Family (8), Finances (7), Spiritual (7), Work (6), Recreation (3), Environment (5) — I wrote out much more specifically, but a couple of note: re: health- I made mostly healthy food choices this year, and after having my first baby and more cognizant of what I say yes/no to what I put into my body. But, tending evenings/mornings, finding new recipes, drinking more water and committing to yoga is what I hope to grow in! Re: spiritual, I think there’s a lot I’ve cultivated this year in terms of rhythms that I’m grateful for, but there are specific things I’d love to learn and develop too!
    2) What have you been chasing? Significance- doing and being enough to be known, spoken of, appreciated. Trying to be a “chameleon”- being what everyone needs or can relate to.
    3) What were good things: Becoming a mama, establishing a morning routine of yoga & prayer, making very sweet new friends, playgroups and friendships, incorporating superfood-packed smoothies into my husband and my daily food, prayerfully considering ways to cultivate liturgical sensibilities!
    Lessons learned: When I try to be everything for everyone, I really end up being nothing: when I try to do everything, I do nothing WELL. Also, I can tend to have a superhero complex: a pride in myself that I’m the need-sensor and need-meeter…..I’ve learned how I tend to do that….and how by saying yes so impulsively, I’m saying no to important core-stuff and core-people.

  39. Debbie eckmier on December 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for doing this goal setting series. Definitely going to take time to work through it!

  40. Cathy Van de Casteele on December 26, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I’m so excited for this series. The second half of this year was rough, but I know there were some good things too. I can’t wait to spend some time this week reflecting on it.

  41. Alex on December 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Step One: How are you? Check-in
    Health – 7 – This year was up and down for heath. On the plus side, I’m lucky to be very healthy overall. However, I started to experience more skin issues, muscle tightness and soreness, and a knee injury in 2016. I have been through periods of great health habits – green smoothies and fitness classes – and those of a less desireable nature – drinking and indulging. I’ve recently added massage and yoga to my regimin. I want to focus on myself and my well being in the New Year.
    Friends – 8 – This year I definitely realized the value of friendships and my personal ability to foster them. I am very grateful to have so many incredible friends. I would like to identify ways to deepen those relationships and really grow in them. I would also like to give myself some grace in tempering/changing my expectations and intentions about spending too much time with friends. I hope to grow new friendships with couples and do double dates more often with new people.
    Family – 6- This year was a busy one for family. We had some transition and changes and many of them were positive. However, I see many areas in need of evaluation/identification. Those areas are: plans to see J, M, AJ, BB; relationship with dad; mom’s future; visit C & G; connect with cousins/aunts/uncles; spend time with Mimi; relationship with Doug, K & J getting a house, Paul & Sue, Mini… my number one focus will be relationship with Doug. I really want to set some goals w/ him and connect more on our values.
    Finances – 5- This is probably going to be my worst category, or the category that I want to spend the most time on. My finances are all over the place and I don’t really know where to start. I know that it is manageable, but I’m afraid of facing my decisions and forcing myself to be disciplined and focused on the future. It will be hard to talk to Doug about this because I think we are both anxious about the future but are too afraid to talk about it. I hope that we can work together and make a plan to successfully start saving for a house.
    Spiritual – 9 – I don’t really think about spirituality at all. Maybe yoga is helping me a little – I’m not really looking for much change in this area.
    Work – 7 – This year was incredible – I am so happy now in my job at USM – but I’m not fully comfortable yet – so I’m still looking to see change. I hope that I can get focused over the next 2 weeks about planning at USM. I want to brainstorm ways to execute this process. Starting Alex Mae Designs took a lot of courage. I sort of feel bittersweet about it. I wish I could take it to the next level, but I feel guilty that I can’t, so I hold back. I would like to see myself make up a business plan (of sorts) for the year and set some attainable goals.
    Recreation – 6- This year included some fun recreation activities, but I think that I would like to be more intentional about recreation plans in the future. I’m already seeing some opportunities to be more thoughtful. I would like to see the trips that I want to have happen. I also want to spend less time/money on bars/restaurants.
    Environment – 7- This year I started to think more about the appearance of the apartment. The idea of having a house to decorate sound awesome but so out of reality for me. I want to spend more time @ home in 2017, so therefore I want to make it a more comfortable place to be in. Some of this also means decreasing clutter and getting back on a cleaning schedule.

    Step 2
    I’ve been chasing… something else. This year I have been motivated by feeling like there’s something better. Having this “grass is always greener” mentality has become a pursuit of perfection over the ability to praise what I do have and build on my current strengths. This makes me feel like I should be trying to improve my situation in ways the are not helpful or practical. My perfectionism is my greatest burden and I cannot let it keep controlling my life.

    Step 3
    Good things that happened (and the lessons behind them):
    Taking unpredictable risks bears significant reward – learned by launching a hand lettering design business and getting connected to other wedding industry professionals through networking opportunities
    Persistence and commitment pays off – learned by landing a full-time job that I’ve been wanting for over a year. This role is helping me feel fulfilled and purposeful.
    There is only so much time – and there needs to be more space for you – learned by taking on too much – hoping to find some glamourous have-it-all reality, but I’ve committed to get back to what matters, and that’s why I’m taking on these #Powersheets!

  42. Teresa on December 26, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    On FB I encouraged Pat Cloud – Happy Anniversary and may the Lord bless you two as you serve Him together for many more years

  43. Jen on December 26, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Goal: Live Intentionally.

  44. pat on December 26, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    STEP 1:
    Friends-9( I made a new friend this year. I’m old enough to be her mother, but she reminds me that I am a friend!
    Finances-10(We still aren’t debt-free, but we are FINALLY on the same page and that is HUGE!)

    STEP 2
    I have been chasing balance, especially as it relates to my adult children and their lifestyle choices.

    STEP 3
    Three good things: I learned and am still learning to continually look to Jesus.

    We paid off one credit card! Baby steps!

    I found a comfortable bra!

  45. Vicky on December 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    I am really looking forward to going through this goal setting process this week. I also purchased the PowerSheets for the first time because I fell like I’ve been stagnant this past year. Life has become same old, same old and I need to refresh. I need to figure out what matters to me so I am living on purpose and not by accident.

  46. Kelsi on December 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Health – 6 Focusing on healing my leaky gut, and making a total switch to paleo
    Friends – 5 When I get busy, I’m so bad at cultivating and growing my friendships. I’m often too introverted and I only cling to those who come to me. 2017 is allll about cultivating those friendships!
    Family-9 -Ultimate focus for me
    Finances -6 Completed Financial Peace University (amazing) and my husband and I are fully prepared to tackle student loans
    Spiritual – 6: This year I focused on quiet time with God daily, but I need to pray more effectively!
    Work -8: Law school is over, the bar exam is over, I’ve left my law firm and taken a job that creates a positive environment. This year was such a whirlwind. I’ve found a passion in running my own small business and just launched a blog!
    Recreation-3: I fell off the gym bandwagon this year. I need to jump back on!
    Environment -7: This year I said goodbye to negativity and focused on only saying hello to positivity!

    Step 2: I haven’t been chasing much except to just tread water and get through 2016. I basically lived for getting married in March. It was the best day of my life. However, after that was over, I had to get through my last semester of law school, then studying and passing the bar, then treading water at a job that I hated (until another came along). My goal is to move forward this next year.

    Step 3: Good things that happened
    1. Being positive
    2. Graduating Law School
    3. Passing the Bar Exam
    4. Cultivating an engaging environment
    5. Knowing it is okay to say goodbye to people who don’t make you better
    6. Buying a House
    7. Giving Gus a forever home!
    8. Quiet Time with God
    9. Having Courage to start a blog
    10. Getting married to Andrew.

    • Traci on December 27, 2016 at 10:36 am

      as a fellow attorney (former I guess since I don’t practice) congrats on all things law related!!!! Its a rough journey ESPECIALLY the bar!

  47. emily on December 26, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    1. How I am: I averaged a 6.5. I printed off the sheet, and added a lot more details. Health is something that disappointed me this year, I did not challenge myself as well as I could have and it is a definate new goal. I excelled at work this year. I challenged myself and it paid off in 2016.

    2. What have you been chasing? I have been chasing being a better friend. I am definable an introvert so keeping in touch with friends is difficult for me. I am setting unrealistic goals for my friends. They will not call me if I do not initiate it as well.

    3. What were good things: This year I read a lot more. Finishing my schooling I am finally reading for fun! I worked hard on my relationship with my so and it showed. I worked hard all year and it shows in my finances.

    4. Lessons learned: I tried to make a lot of time doing things I enjoy and not for others. It worked most of the time but sometimes I needed to step out of my comfort zone and I did not.

  48. CG on December 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Lovely to know that perfection isn’t required (even if it feels like it). Your quote about progress over perfection is on a post-it note above my desk (if it’s not a post-it, I’ll ignore it).

    I can’t write my responses to these steps yet since I am still working through them.

    I appreciate your doing this so that we can think about things that worked, things that didn’t, and things to change.

    Thank you.

  49. Kyla Fetzner on December 26, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    That video is filled with joy, Lara! Rejoicing alongside you at all the beautiful things God has done through this difficult year! 🙂

  50. Nancy Alt on December 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I was just given this “program” as a gift and can’t be more thrilled to embrace it. What a beautiful opportunity from a beautiful friend. Thanks, Tracy.

  51. Diane on December 26, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Thank you Lara Casey for the encouragement and tools to refresh and focus on what matters.

    How am I? Better than I can express!
    Health 7 – it’s been a busy season and I’ve let some things slide – but getting back on the health wagon!
    – Friends 7 – When I work 12-14 hrs days it’s easy to put some friendships on the back burner and not engage as much as I like – I am being more intentional about that in 2017
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 8- God has used loss in our lives to open our eyes, soften our hearts and cherish our relationships more – but there’s room to improve and make this a 10
    – Finances – 8 I’ve been more consistent, more streamlines and planning more – excited to continue on that path
    – Spiritual – 8 2015 was a tough year, I surrended all to God and he brought me to a new place in my walk…then in the latter half of 2016 I admit I haven’t carved out the same amount of quiet and worship time lately and I see how it effects every day – time in his presence is everything
    – Work – 9 so very blessed in this area over the last five months. Through prayer God is helping me release certain areas of business to make space for what he wants in my life. I look forward to seeing what he does!
    – Recreation – 6 more recreation needed 2017
    – Environment -8 my home is more peaceful, and less cluttered, I’ve stepped away from those who bring drama or negativity into my life and home – or I have at least be shown through quiet time how to let God handle it and not carry it with me.

    Step 2 – I stopped chasing perfect long ago, instead I’ve learned that doing our best at that very moment is far better with less regret… and I’ve stopped being the fix it person… now I seek HIM, his will and his word.

    Step 3 Good things – So many blessings and good things that it would be impossible to count – Knowing that God is exceedingly abundantly able to do more than we ever thought possible, to rest in that, believe, hope and trust in his plan for us brings endless comfort and peace. My #1 PS goal from May 15 to May 16 relied on complete faith and focus on God’s word and his promises, I put that first over everything – Morning and evening prayer, reading, studying and at times fasting became the center of my days. I still cleaned, cooked, took care of others, worked etc but that time came first. I have been blessed with relationship reconciliations, deeper family and friend relationships, new friends, new lessons, new opportunities in career,

    Step 4 What I’ve learned
    I learned that time in HIS presence is everything, that when I start out with the question – How will this serve God? I always make better decisions, I’ve learned that zipping my lips is often necessary… and our first purpose should always be about being and extending love to others – no matter how they act or what they say.

    • Joyagg on December 26, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      I love that question – how will this serve God.

  52. Karen G. on December 26, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks for doing this goal-setting series, Lara! I ordered your Power Sheets for the first time this year and am so excited to get started. It seems like this series dovetails so nicely with the Power Sheets!
    My answers:
    Step 1: Health-5
    Step 2: Chasing the need to perform to feel valued
    Step 3: Good things–enjoying the beginning of empty nester season with my husband, taking an online course that gave me a needed boost to start a group for young moms in my church, being able to show hospitality to others, feeling so grateful for God’s blessings in this current season. What I’ve learned/am learning: God is the only one who can change a person’s heart. He wants to use us, but He is the one who brings about real, lasting change. I need to “stay in my lane”–do the good things I can and not try to be someone else. God is trustworthy and good, so I can trust Him with whatever my circumstances are.

  53. Merit on December 26, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    So the thing that struck me most was your quote…”My instinct is to reach for a distraction when faced with something that feels hard.” My instinct is to STAY distracted! Really trying to work on this…but my nature is to run after the next shiny thing!
    My “How Are You” was eye opening… Health, recreation and Environment were middle of the road, but friends and family were pretty high. The bottom end found finances, work and spiritual…at my age of 51 seems those should be on the high end!
    Chasing…it all! Anything shiny and new…anything that keeps me from doing the hard work of discovering me. Maybe it’s time to grow up!
    Things I’ve learned (am still learning)…1) finding my passion doesn’t have to be one thing…I am more like a hummingbird…trying lots of things and cross pollinating in the process. 2) I can still make new (younger) friends who think I am pretty cool! 3) Having teenage daughters is the greatest blessing of all 4) even at 51 my faith can change…
    Thanks for sharing your heart Lara! You are teaching an old gal new tricks!

  54. Angela on December 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Lara, THANK YOU for this series! I get excited about it every year and as an extremely goal-driven person myself, I always love walking through the process – especially yours. I can’t wait to follow along with this series again, and here are my answers for this post:

    Step 1:
    – Health – 8
    – Friends – 7
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 7
    – Finances – 7
    – Spiritual – 8
    – Work – 7
    – Recreation – 8
    – Environment – 9

    Step 2: What I’ve been chasing – now that I think about it, a lot. Success and belonging for sure.

    Step 3: Good things:
    – An awesome new job
    – Co-workers that are now some of my best friends
    – Letting go of old patterns
    – Professional development opportunities
    – Exploring during the summer – hiking, weekend vacations, and far more play than I did the summer before.

    Step 4: What I learned
    – Perspective is everything
    – I have SO much to be grateful for
    – The importance of setting boundaries
    – As a business owner/blogger, putting most important things first and prioritizing; not trying to do everything!

  55. Tessy on December 26, 2016 at 5:53 pm
  56. Maggie on December 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I order the powersheets notebook and am excited about 2017!

  57. Kim on December 26, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    For me perfection has paralyzed me! It stops me in my tracks as a mother, wife, business owner….etc. I will distract myself from completely the task at hand and then wonder why I’m not moving forward. It’s refreshing to hear your words and know that I’m not alone. I just started my Powersheets and for once am looking forward to making intentional changes in the year ahead. Thank you!

  58. Staisha on December 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I love this series every year, can’t wait to get started on an awesome 2017!

  59. Christine on December 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    -Health- 7 I want to focus on eating more nourishing foods in 2017.
    – Friends- 4 – I want to be more intentional about cultivating friendships, this year.
    – Family – 6- I want to be more intentional about not being distracted around my children.
    – Finances-6 I hope to be better about having a monthly budget planning session with my hubby.
    – Spiritual- 7 I want to memorize more Scripture.
    – Work- 8- To thrive as a mother and home educator.
    – Recreation- 8 -To be more intentional about creating margin in my life.

  60. Ellie on December 26, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    So excited to start goal setting for 2017! Thank you for your inspiration!

  61. ShelleyKay on December 26, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    This is just what I need. I scheduled time this week, everyday to work on goals for 2017. This is awful to admit but I am using the 2016 power sheets for the first time. I am giving myself a big dose of Grace and use my word for 2017 and FOCUS on the present and move forward.

  62. Melissa S. on December 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Looking back at the PowerSheets I filled out in August (6 month set), and found that while I have made some progress towards to goals I uncovered, I still have the same goals. I don’t feel as stuck or unmotivated like I was then. I am going to work this week to do some new action steps sheets for my goals, by laying out little habits I want to build to achieve my goals. I can’t wait to see what God cultivates in my life as I sift through the dirt, and till the soil for growth. I trust he will produce a harvest as I trust him and obey.

  63. Sarah on December 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Health – 7
    Friends- 4
    Family- 8
    Finances- 6
    Spiritual- 8
    Work/Homeschool- 3
    Recreation- 10
    Environment- 10

    I have been chasing the perfect balance of the stay-at-home-wife/mom and homeschooling as well as weight loss for vanity reasons and not healthful reasons.

    We simplified our possessions in 2016 to what we can actually fit in our home and our schedule and it took away a lot of frustration we were having with our son. I made some solid improvement in creating spiritual habits for myself thanks to the Sacred Ordinary Days planner. I made solid improvement healthfully, thanks to a program called Tone It Up. My son adjusted and did well at his preschool, we celebrated birthdays, played sports, took trips to see friends and for family fun, and made time for each other to be alone.

    Challenges in 2016 were a scary medical diagnosis, homeschooling, moving 3 months earlier than we had planned, and finances.

  64. LaQuinda on December 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I realized that I am chasing SUCCESS as defined by others. It makes me feel unsatisfied, because I am setting standards that others have set for me. It’s time to live on my own terms…It’s time to be free.

  65. Alaina on December 26, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I just found out about the Lara Casey brand recently thanks to a podcast, and I’m so glad I’m here. As a grad student, I often feel like I’m in the “wrong” season–all my friends are thinking about marriage and children and I’m not even dating right now because school takes up so much time. Today’s goal setting helped me realize just how much I’ve done in the past year, and helped me think less about what I need to be doing to make everyone else happy and more about what I can do to make myself happy. I’ve felt so STRESSED this past year, and lonely and nervous that people would discover I’m not perfect. Thank you for creating the space for me to be able to focus more on finding my purpose rather than chasing perfect and being miserable!

  66. Alaina on December 26, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I also just left a friend who just graduated from college a message wishing her well on this new adventure. I’d been thinking about her and it was nice to actually send the message instead of saying “oh yeah! I should do that!”

  67. Annie on December 26, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I’ve been working on my PS and also watched the webinar but I love how I caught a few more tips from this post. I’m not sharing all of my steps but I wanted to share my good things ahead so that I can stay focused on what matters. Good things ahead for my family are: homeschool, new rhythm and routines, and loving each other well. I’m learning how I react to situations are reflected in my children when they face the same. I want my reactions to be full of grace and compassion. May my words be kind and full of love and all that I say and do glorify the father!

  68. Heather Perrin on December 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Step 1:
    Health -7

    Step 2:
    Chasing enough. Good enough, doing enough, having enough. I am not enough, but Jesus is.

    Step 3:
    1. Our dog!
    2. Celebrated our first anniversary
    3. Found a passion and started dreaming about owning a business
    4. First 3 clients!
    5. Conquered what seemed impossible at work
    6. DEBT FREE
    7. New church family
    8. Leading girls’ small group
    9. New friend
    10. Read 12 books

    Good things coming:
    A business!
    A new chapter

    Lessons learned:
    1. I am selfish (but there is grace. Jesus is working on it)
    2. I want to work for myself
    3. Celebrate victories! Even the small ones

    Thank you, Lara! I’m excited already!

  69. Annie on December 26, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I sent an encouraging message to a girl that I mentor as well. She’s going through a hard time in life and pushing the boundaries as far as she can away from God. Prayers for T!

  70. Maggie on December 26, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Step 1: being super super honest!!
    – Health –
    – Friends – 5
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) – 8
    – Finances – 8
    – Spiritual – 7
    – Work – 7
    – Recreation – 9
    – Environment – 7
    Step 2: Validation, (less so than 2015 but it still lingers) and perfection (to the point that I just don’t do it).
    Step 3:
    1. I learned to love planning and I found dilligence in planning. My now highligher scribbled sticker filled book has aided me and found to be a new BFF.
    2. I fell in love with worship music. I always thought spending time with God had to be this big ordeal but now I see him in the very little things. Specifically every morning I listen to worship music before school in the car and that brings so much peace.
    3. Hard work. It’s my junior year of highschool and I have seemed to get my best grades EVER despite my 2 AP Classes. Although one of my goals for 2017 is to spread that hard work around to other areas of my life (blog, health and SLEEP!!!) I seriously worked so hard and am so proud of 2017.
    4. I learned about intentional friendships. Friends who stick with you in the hard conversations, encourage you in workouts, pray with you before school, have christmas music dance parties in mid-october. Friends based around spreading God’s love like nutella. God took some people out of my life in 2016, and that’s ok, because he refined and made my best friends closer and stronger in Him.
    5. My relationship with my mom is as close as ever. In 2015 we went through a typical mother daughter teenage rough patch but both her/I have gotten closer in 2016.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your encouragement and guidance Laura!!
    – Maggie

  71. Maggie on December 26, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Just texted my sweet friend who encouraged me yesterday! xoxo

  72. Hunter on December 26, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for your sweet encouragement! So excited to start 2017 with meaningful goals in mind.

  73. Lee Ann on December 26, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    My 2017 goals all fit the theme “liberating,” which is my word of the year. I want to be free from clutter weighing me down, from conversations that do not lift up others, and from a thought life that keeps me tethered to old negative thinking patterns.

  74. Ashley on December 26, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Such a timely read for me tonight! Feeling a little like I’m running on empty this year and really needed to wrap my mind around the New Year in a hopeful and healthy way. Thank you for these reminders and challenges, I plan to follow through and make better “good goals” after reading!
    #1 – the think that sticks out to me the most is that my “recreational” category is literally a zero. Others weren’t as high as I would like either, but this one area…completely non existent! Very eye opening for me to realize that the health of other categories would improve significantly if I could just forge a consistent way of letting things go and being me somewhere other than my home or church! Looking forward to watching that number grow this year as I plug in more 🙂
    #2 – Approval. Chasing that one concept makes life a constant burnout. The truth is that I have young kids, so my house is never going to look like a magazine cover! Why keep striving for these non-realistic approvals when they get in the way of a beautifully REAL life. Enough of that!
    #3 – we made some significant remodel progress on our home; our church grew and gained another campus; my hubby was able to FINALLY transition from shift work to a M-F schedule and is with us every night (HUGE win for our family this year!); we gained our first ever furry family member – Bentley the pup; our 3rd grader is excelling in school and just completed a Christmas concert in Spanish, wow; we hired 2 new employees for our personal business.
    Can’t wait to see how 2017 unfolds – strongly relying on God’s timing and provision and always believing the best is yet to come. Cheers, and thank you again!

  75. Erin on December 26, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    These last few months is the first time in nearly 10 years that I have said its time to put myself first. Not in the selfish way but in the if I am not good to myself, I am not good for anyone else. I have sweet kids who depend on me, family who loves me, a career I am trying to build and while I am doing well in some of those areas, I have let myself fall apart. Physically, emotionally, mentally…I somehow thought taking care of myself was not important so I didn’t. So with 2017 I decided to make some concrete goals and using my powersheets, to see them through, not quit 5 weeks in when it gets tough. I am tired of living a life stressed out, unhealthy, exhausted, and on the verge of tears. I am stopping the comparison game which is “look at her she can do it why cant I and feeling like I am not where I should be in life” I know now there is no such thing. I am excited for life and whats to come…..thanks for the continued inspiration!

  76. Erin on December 26, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I encouraged someone by sharing what I wrote above…which is harder to do with people you know than strangers! I hope this helps her become unstuck as well!

  77. Tara on December 26, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    So very excited to work through my Power Sheets this year! Thank you for creating these helpful products. I anticipate my excitement will wane when I encounter difficult decisions and am staring at the hard parts, but I’m certain the Lord will help me persevere and I’m trying to remember your reflections on gardening….little by little…..

    • Tara on December 27, 2016 at 12:12 am

      5/Health- working out, but need more rest
      8/Friends- healthy relationships;desire more prayer for and with
      8/Family- thriving marriage;desire more compassion towards my children
      5/Finance – budget made; need to follow
      5/Spiritual – committed to Bible study and desire to grow and learn; desire deep authentic prayer life
      5/Recreation – more purposeful planning of time with kids – playing, hiking, games
      5/Environment – better cultivate family teamwork;encourage/praise progress
      I have been chasing personal comfort, perfection, immediate results, and significance.
      Good things in 2016 include study on prayer with 2 close friends, Disciple-making church, building relationship with neighbor, regular family devotions, a new sister-in-law, fall beach trip with family and friends, kids loving school and amazing teachers who love and know them!

  78. Rose on December 26, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Lara,

    I must confess, I am still in my PJ’s as I have spent the last few hours reading this post… clicking and reading each link you provided! I love the pics of your family… the unedited video is awesome! 😉 God had a plan!

    (I sincerely thank you Lara) Please thank your husband as well… I enjoyed your interview on Influence Network… I plan on joining!

    #1 How am I?
    I am ready for the New Year! I am “tilling”my soil aka home…throwing away the clutter and “baggage” of yesterday while making rich soil… aka God centered space for this new season…2017!

    5 Health: I am thankful for relatively good health. However, I have not had an appointment with my OB GYN or Primary Care Physician in double digit years… I am ashamed to admit this. However Lara, you reminded me that hiding is Satan’s ground… So I refuse to hide. I want to uncover my weeds and cultivate a garden of godly truth… sprinkled with tender loving care for myself and those I love and hold dear to my heart. You are one of those people. Your words are food for my soul. Praise Him!

    3 Friends: Yes, I know many sisters from bible study and church. I realized tonight that my relationships lack the soul stirring depth God desires for me. I want a Life Giving Home cultivated with love and friendship provided by the King!

    3 Mom and Dad: I am an only child. I love my parents so very much. We live in different states. My dad had a heart attack a few days before Christmas and I realized… I want more rich and precious memories with my parents. I have a heart for creating traditions with my parents as an adult. So this year I will do just that! I also plan on sending letters and cards this year to express how much I love and cherish them.

    My Son: He is adopted and has special needs. This year was so difficult… I admit I yelled one too may times and I found myself putting myself in timeout. ..that is when I knew… I was afraid for him because of his differences… especially after what he had experienced at the hands of another child… I never want my son to be hurt again… Then I realized my words were hurting him far more… I needed to plant words of love and affirmations of God’s love for him… My love for him… and God’s wonderful plan for his life… Jeremiah 29:11

    I pondered why bad things could happen to my son then I was reminded that God uses all things for the good of those that serve Him…Romans 8:28 says it best. ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So I am committed to speak these words to my son… words to heal… words to love…

    2 Finances: I am a single mom… not because of divorce… because God has designed it this way… So finances… I have chosen to live by paying bills as I go… This year 2017… Dave Ramsey… Financial Peace University here I come.! It is time to place God at the center of my finances even in lack. 🙂

    6 Spiritual: I love God with every fiber of my being. However, I am seeking deeper relationship with Him. I yearn and am committed to spending more time in His word. This year I am reading the Bible from beginning to end… I am using Precept Ministries , Precept upon Precept studies to dig deep and plant stronger roots with the Lord…

    0 Work: My contract ended. I work virtually as I have homeschooled my son since kindergarten.There has been a significant change… he is now homeschooled through an online school with an online aid and strong support services throughout his school day. As well as online after school tutoring each day! I am excited as I look for work online. God opened a door to provide me the freedom to work from home while allowing my precious boy such a gift! I have faith in God’s provision.

    2 Recreation: This year my son and I were in the throes of his appointments with doctors and specialists … Saying all that to say… I am intentional that this year we will play more… Even in the rain … my son and I will dance. 🙂

    6 Environment: I must confess Instagram has been my oasis and dream land. Time to wake up to reality! 🙂 I realize that it is my responsibility to cultivate a home that is Life Giving and rich with vibrant colors, warmth and most importantly covered in God’s love…

    8 Parenting I am opening my heart … letting go of fear… fears of a mother with a special needs child…and changing my ways to nourish the soul of my son and in the process I am being pruned into the mother I want to be… by God’s grace…

    3 Self Care: I have never been good at self care. I have always placed my energy in caring for others. I want my son to witness me in my healthiest state… mind, body and soul… So I joined a gym… I am making my doctors and dental appointments…

    #2 What have I been chasing? How has that been making me feel?

    This year I was chasing justice for my son… mixed with anger, shame, guilt and soul stirring devastation…It made me feel unloved and so broken. Yet out of that devastation God showed up and He has reshaped our lives in miraculous ways… I also started out people pleasing… I just wanted to please everyone…

    #3 What good things happened in 2016? What grew
    well and produced fruit in my life? What am I grateful for from these past twelve months?

    2016 was full of blessings in the midst of great strife, sorrow and growing pains… I am terrified of any public speaking… Yet God is so faithful…I started stepping out in faith and I was invited to speak at our church Women’s Retreat. I also shared at a Women’s Event… I have been leading a small group for women. My mother and I have become even closer.

    My relationship with God and my son has grown well out of tragedy…as the Lord allowed me to seek Him and His word… Our heavenly Father then allowed me to advocate for my son.

    My son was able to see God’s love for him. The Lord allowed me to love, advocate and stand beside my child every step of the way… through fear, setbacks, trials and storms… God was right there for us…

    Seeing God’s hand shaping every aspect of our lives has produced the fruit of our strong faith. Out of the struggle, heartache and devastation of this past year. Our Savior used it to cultivate what really matters. We are so blessed and thankful for the Savior’s love. 1corinthians 13:1-13

    Tonight I stopped writing this post and went to pray by my son’s bedside… our new tradition. And he prayed for the young man that hurt him. For that I am grateful this year. I was able to witness the word alive and active in my child tonight! Hebrews 4:12 God is so faithful!

    Three things I learned from the good things…

    #1 I learned that good things can come out of bad… Devastation, brokenness, sorrow, fear, shame… all of these things and more in God’s economy are invaluable for godly transformation.

    #2 I learned that my weaknesses are jewels for God…. He makes me beautiful out of my ugliest, vulnerable and shame filled places… 2Corinthians 12: 9-10

    #3 I learned that all the messy parts of my life are fertile ground for miracles and God sightings!

    Bonus: What are the good things ahead?

    I am realizing with each new day that the good things ahead may not show up the way I desire… The good things ahead in God’s plan are designed to refine and mold me into being more like Him…

    So I humbly share that what is ahead for me is to serve the Lord. Humbly asking Him to keep me steadfast in The Word. That my son and I may be sustained by Him in good and bad times 🙂

  79. Rachel on December 26, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Lara, thanks for this thought-provoking and helpful discussion! Below is the progress I made on setting healthier goals for 2017.

    How are you?
    Health 7 – planning to run my second 5K in April and beat my time!
    Friends and Family 5 – I’ve experienced burn out this year and have felt like a failure in my relationships. This is tied to my spiritual life and not having received enough daily bread with which to encourage others.
    Finances 6 – I made progress this year learning to save efficiently! But improvements include learning to budget better and cut emotional spending.
    Spiritual 4 – in 2016, my theme was knowing the character of God and pursuing intimacy with Him. This led to some precious times of fellowship with Him and fellowship with other saints. But as discouragement and “failure” pop up in other areas of my life, I find that I am easily dismounted. My goal in 2017 is to fight for security and stability in the knowledge that I am known and loved by Him, regardless of my mistakes. This in turn will better equip me to be a servant in my day to day relationships.
    Work 4 – progress was made on several goals I had for my job for 2016, but my goals for 2017 include fighting perfectionism and people-pleasing, which paralyze me. 2017 will see new responsibilities and hopefully, much growth!
    Recreation and Environment both get an 8 as this year was a good one for trying new things and creating a space that I love to be in when I am brainstorming or being quiet. I read challenging books and explored hobbies that help me fight perfectionist tendencies.

    What have you been chasing in 2016?
    I chased the feeling of being enough and I chased survival. 2016 was a difficult year characterized by my trying to keep my head above water, and as I realized I was just getting by in my relationships, in my work projects, and at my church, I would have to fight feelings of worthlessness and overwhelm. My goal is to serve from a place of being accepted and fulfilled instead of working for acceptance and fulfillment.

    What good things happened in 2016?
    –My family moved into the community where most of our lives take place and it has been an immense blessing, one that we prayed for for many years.
    –We started attending a church in that community and I am learning to be part of a body of believers! This is a huge step for me.

    What did you learn?
    –I am learning to cultivate a perspective of pursuing growth over stagnancy instead of measuring my life in terms of success and failure.
    –I realized that I have a tendency to “run” when things get really hard (professional life, friendships, church) because I interpret difficulty to mean I have failed already and am not accepted. I am intentionally “staying,” even when I really want to give up. I am choosing to consider the benefits I have seen from this sometimes daily decision, even though they seem very small now. Never despise meager beginnings. 🙂
    –Though I am tempted to consider 2016 a failure in some aspects, I am choosing to consider the growth the Lord has been faithful to steward in me. Growth is painful. It means the way I am is not the best. But growth is hopeful. It means the best is on its way.

    What is ahead for me in 2017?
    –Overcoming fear of diving headlong into church involvement
    –Learning to encourage a friend as she becomes a full time missionary overseas
    –New responsibilities at work and improved practices to reach better goals
    –Learning to budget effectively!
    –Learning the art of Christ-exalting discipleship to better steward my relationships

  80. Vicky on December 27, 2016 at 12:11 am

    I love this plan. I am going to sit down and really reflect on the last year. Of the top of my head, I am thankful my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage and we were finally able to make it back to Walt Disney World. I was able to see my son experience Walt Disney World after we had postponed the trip numerous years.

  81. Lorie on December 27, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I feel like I talked myself into a career that I like, but it’s not my burning desire. This year, I’m going to shoot for my burning desire. I’ll never know if I don’t try, right? I’m not ready to share everything with the world yet. It’s all stewing around in my soul, my heart, and my head. The thing that makes this year different from all the other yeasts is that this year I am motivated and have permission to make as many mistakes as it takes to get it right. ☺

  82. Lorie on December 27, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Oooh, silly autocorrect! That’ should say years and not yeasts. lol

  83. Lorie on December 27, 2016 at 1:25 am

    Good thing we’re not doing perfection or I would have already failed. LOL

    STEP ONE: I’m giving myself ones on everything. I’m honestly starting over. I have coasted along on autopilot since my husband died. I’ve let things slide. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve given in to the grief and hid from my own life – going to bed for days on end.. It’s time to live again and get control of my life. I’m starting at the bottom.

    STEP TWO: I have been chasing – actually more like running down – professional respect. Grr. I have won awards and gone above and beyond my duties to take on projects. And the higher ups just don’t care. Well, it’s time to stop trying to earn my worth from them. It’s time to find my worth comes from God – and He’s the only one who matters.

    Good things/lessons from 2016.

    My relationship with my parents has greatly improved. I’ve learned that they’re doing the best that they know how to do.

    I have a true best friend. And I learned that I can survive and be ok without him when he moved away and that our friendship won’t die because we’re apart.

    I gave myself a break when life got too complicated. I learned that there are times in life when you need to say that you just can’t handle everything and have to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you’re incompetent or incapable. It just means your human. I found out that I have a lot of people who are happy to be asked to help.

    I was able to tell my Grandma how much I love her and how much I will miss her before she died. I’m so thankful I had that moment alone with her to say what I needed to tell her. And I learned (again) that no matter how much you want to hold onto the people you love, they have to leave you when it’s their time.

  84. Daniela on December 27, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Step 1:
    – Health: 9
    – Friends: 6
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable): 7
    – Finances:8
    – Spiritual:5
    – Work:7
    – Recreation:5
    – Environment:6

    Step 2:
    Chasing everything. I need to prioritize better.

    Step 3:
    Graduated law school, passed the bar, became a godmother, traveled with family, took control of my fitness and health, and was able to spend the holidays with my significant other (something we haven’t been able to do before!).

    Step 4:
    I’ve learned to be more patient with the things in life I want, they will come when they need to not when I want them to. I’ve learned that I need to focus more on what matters to me instead of pleasing others.

    How I’ve encouraged someone today: I spoke to my significant other about pursuing a dream he has had for a long time, and told him he had my complete support and he should go for it. It means some sacrifices and change in plans, but we would figure out whatever we had to in order to make it happen. He is making the leap tomorrow! And I am so proud.

    This is my first year using the powersheets and I’m really looking forward to it! Just thinking about the answers to these steps was so refreshing and eye-opening. Thank you Lara! Happy Driving!

  85. Brigid OHara Koshko on December 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I have a very hard time with not making sure everything is perfect. I know it’s stress I put on myself but I needed someone else to tell me its ok. I am looking forward to an amazing 2017!

  86. Meghan on December 27, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I love this Giveaway!! I love this time of year – looking back on the year (almost) gone by, and looking to what lies ahead! So excited to dig into my powersheets this morning and start the process!!

  87. Brigid OHara Koshko on December 27, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Having to look at how you are truthfully is scary but enlightening. I am very good at smiling and saying “All is good” when that is usually not the truth. I will look back at the good and the bad of 2016 (we had a lot of both!) and will look for my strengths and the weaknesses. I will concentrate on less perfect and relax a little.

  88. Megan on December 27, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Step 1:
    Health: 4
    Friends: 5
    Family: 7
    Finances: 6
    Spiritual: 1
    Work: 1
    Recreation: 3
    Environment: 7

    Step 2:
    This past year I spent chasing a life i feel I “SHOULD” have instead of embracing the one I have. This year, I’m focusing on wellness. Mental, Spiritual, Physical.

    Step 3:
    Some good things that happened in 2016 are I really focused on paying off a lot of debt. My husband and I both paid off our cars, some other credit cards for things we’ve purchased. I also started school to start pursuing my dream career. I made major strides towards my personal goals.

    Step 4:
    A big thing I’ve learned this year…as you’re pursuing your personal goals, be sure to take time to water what’s around you. This year, we lost sight of relationships…I didn’t really have much time or create much time to build and grow my family relationships, my marriage, or my friendships. 2017 i really want to focus on making time for fun and family and friends. <3

  89. Jessica on December 27, 2016 at 9:18 am

    So many good things to feel grateful for this year as I look back – buying a house, celebrating 3 years of marriage, spending time with friends and family. However, through it all it has felt hard, disorganized, and like each area is not getting enough focus. Looking forward to breaking this down and figuring out better management of my time to feel refreshed in all areas.

  90. Victoria on December 27, 2016 at 9:35 am

    This year was actually amazing for me, even though I know a lot of people are giving it a bad connotation. I faced so many fears and unknowns this year.
    1. I started a ladies’ cooking club. While we didn’t meet every month, it was also super nice and relaxing when we did get together. I learned that it is important to schedule time with the girls otherwise it never happens.
    2. I got pregnant through IVF! This was my main goal this year and while it was terrifying and took two attempts, it was worth it. I learned that overcoming fear is always a better idea than hiding because of it.
    3. My relationship with God grew immensely. I heard of and used the “In The Wait” devotional and it rocked my world. I trusted and listened to God when he told me to try IVF again after the first cycle resulted in a miscarriage and now I’m growing my little boy who was kicking me all morning. This was my most important lesson and I hope to keep it up.
    4. I also strengthened my relationship with my husband and mother and sister. I shared about my struggles and together we overcame them. I received outpourings of support that I had never asked for before. I learned to ask for help. This is a lesson I am still learning and want to focus on in the new year when my baby arrives.

    • Marissa on December 27, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Just wanted to tell you that I also used the In the Wait devotional this year… We did multiple IVFs and they all ended in miscarriages, so while I’m not out of the wait, I’m celebrating with you! xoxo

  91. Victoria on December 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

    This year was actually amazing for me, even though I know a lot of people are giving it a bad connotation. I faced so many fears and unknowns this year.
    1. I started a ladies’ cooking club. While we didn’t meet every month, it was also super nice and relaxing when we did get together. I learned that it is important to schedule time with the girls otherwise it never happens.
    2. I got pregnant through IVF! This was my main goal this year and while it was terrifying and took two attempts, it was worth it. I learned that overcoming fear is always a better idea than hiding because of it.
    3. My relationship with God grew immensely. I heard of and used the “In The Wait” devotional and it rocked my world. I trusted and listened to God when he told me to try IVF again after the first cycle resulted in a miscarriage and now I’m growing my little boy who was kicking me all morning. This was my most important lesson and I hope to keep it up.
    4. I also strengthened my relationship with my husband and mother and sister. I shared about my struggles and together we overcame them. I received outpourings of support that I had never asked for before. I learned to ask for help. This is a lesson I am still learning and want to focus on in the new year when my baby arrives.

  92. Meghann Richardson on December 27, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Hi Lara!

    Health and Recreation – I’m probably around an 7 right now. I eat pretty balanced and I like to workout. I am so fired up though for 2017 because I got a treadmill for Christmas. I love to run – being a runner is part of who I am, but in the winter it is basically impossible with mine and my husband’s work schedule, the lack of daylight, etc. This one of things I am looking forward to the most — taking health from a 7 to a 10!

    Friends – 7. I know a lot of people say this, but making friends when you’re an “adult” is hard. I am so thankful for the small handful of women that I do have. They are courageous, Lord-serving, happy, inspiring people who make me a better person and friend.

    Family – 9! I am so proud of myself for working on my relationship with my husband and parents. They are the most important people in the world to me.

    Finances – 8. Pretty good, but can always be better!

    Spiritual – 6. Praying my husband and I find a church to call home in 2017.

    Work – 7. Similar to finances. Good, but can be better.

    As a newlywed, I feel like there is always this pressure to be the perfect homemaker, wife, interior decorator, cook AND to do it all with perfect hair, cute clothes and a hot body. That is SO unrealistic. But for years I’ve been trying to do it all and have it all. And it’s stressful. So I’ve been trying to be more intentional about my home, what I wear and even the food I fix for my family.

    While it seemed like a lot of 2016 was just work, work, work, looking back there was also a lot of fun.

    • I went to my first (and second, third and fourth) MLB game! My husband loves baseball and to be able to share and enjoy his passion with him was exciting. With the baseball games came lots of traveling, exploring and sight-seeing!

    • My husband started a new job! Not only was this a good financial decision, but one that is better for his health and his heart.

    • We got to see our pup grow and explore the world. Since we’re not parents yet, this was the next best thing!

  93. Jenny on December 27, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I am so excited to start my 2017 Power Sheets! This is my second year to do Power Sheets. I have loved getting to look back over 2016 to see all of my blessings and achievements. I am thinking my word for 2017 will be “discipline.”

  94. Traci on December 27, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I am loving going through these comments! Here are my responses . . . .


    Health 6
    Friends 5
    Family 6
    Husband (made a new category) 3-5
    Finances 3-4
    Spiritual 6-7
    Work 6-7
    Recreation – 5
    Environment – ? Wasn’t sure what this was???

    My notes regarding my rankings — I need to chill on deserts and do more yoga! I need deepen the friendships I do have and be a better friend, I need to be more present with my kids, my marriage is lacking in certain areas and I need to do my part to fill those areas on my end, I suck at money period., I need to pray more, try harder at work, and find a hobby!


    I’ve been chasing. . . .

    approval, my husband, acceptance, what seems like the right thing to do to outsiders, peace, stability, confidence


    Lots of good things happened!

    Traveled to Vegas, Grand Canyon, DC, my sister in Charlotte, Chicago, Asheville

    Spent quality time with my BF and visited family members we don’t get to see normally

    Launched my husband’s business

    My sister got married and my son was baptized!

    I have lots more. . . .

    Lessons I’ve learned are make time for others and its about experiences not things. . .

  95. Jill White on December 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Love this. After completing the 2016 Powersheets, I am eager to reflect on this year and think about making things happen in 2017. Especially with work, health, and my spiritual journey. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

  96. ConnieH on December 27, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Just settling in for a few days off work to accomplish some unfinished tasks at home. One of which is setting “goals” for next year. Thanks for your inspiring blog post. It’s arriving in my inbox just in time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart, and encouraging us to take the time to look back and share ours as well. I forgot just what happened over the past year until I sat still long enough to think it through. If was good to focus on the good that happened and not just the things I failed to accomplish. Chasing perfect is a hard way to live life. I would love to live 2017 a little differently.

  97. Cara on December 27, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Health 5
    Friends 5
    Family 8 – need more intentional date time with my husband
    Finances 8 – working on building savings and living off excess and not paycheck to paycheck
    Spiritual 7 – terrible at waking early, to spend uninterrupted quiet time to be still
    Work 8 –
    Recreation 5
    Environment 8

    I have a lot to work on in 2017. I’m not happy at my job, and the fact that I feel like it takes me away from so many other things I desire to do. Praying that the Lord would move in big ways this year in this area of our lives so that we can move toward a more flexible lifestyle, for the health of our family longterm.

    I think I have been chasing control, in a sense, for several years. To name one area….since I had my daughter, I thought only I could meet her needs best, that I needed to be the one to dress her, bathe her, rock her to sleep, etc. Because of that, I have created a total Mama’s girl, that is now proving to be difficult in our day-to-day, and my sanity. My word for 2017 is Freedom, in so many areas of my life.

  98. Lindsey on December 27, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I texted a friend thanking them for being such a great friend and to encourage them telling them how great a mom they are

  99. Danielle on December 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Step 1:
    Health- 2
    Friends- 6
    Family- 9
    Finances- 3
    Spiritual- 8
    Work- uhhh, negative 5
    Recreation- 7
    Environment- 5

    Step 2: I have been chasing
    The easy way out
    Approval and praise

    Step 3: Good things that happened in 2016
    We found a great church
    I connected with an amazing women’s ministry
    Our kids got amazing teachers at school
    I feel like I was released from anxiety and depression
    My relationship with God grew tremendously
    My relationship with my husband was restored

  100. Lindsey on December 27, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Step One:
    Health: 7
    Friends: 7
    Family: 7
    Finances: 9
    Spiritual: 6
    Work: 6
    Recreation: 6
    Environment: 7
    Step Two: I’ve been chasing perfection by comparing myself to others.
    Step Three: I think I’ve learned to look inward and have realized what things have been holding me back and what I need to look to improve the future. Also, being a mommy is wonderful along with expecting a new one in the coming year!

  101. Jen on December 27, 2016 at 11:36 am

    In 2016 I learned that I have unique gifts and talents. For the first time I know that I get to be me and not try to be like everyone else. I am so excited to carry this over and see what jesus does with it in 2017.

  102. Brittany MacLeod on December 27, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I am SO thankful for your existence Lara! Thank you for your bravery, honesty and your drive to help others. I only read your book this summer when I was right in the middle of wedding season (I’m a wedding photographer), actually I listened to the audio book while driving longer distances to and from weddings. There was a lot of sobbing, and also a lot of excitement for my life to slow down so I could re focus. Well here I am, doing just that, and it’s a LOT harder than I had expected. But I am truly grateful for this anchor of hope you’ve created and a movement that I am excited to share with so many of my own people! You’re an inspiration my friend, never stop doing what you’re doing right now!!

  103. Rachel on December 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Step 1:
    Health: 3
    Friends: 5
    Family: 10
    Finances: 3
    Spiritual: 4
    Work: 5
    Recreation: 6
    Environment: 8

    Step 2:
    I’ve been chasing perfect by looking at everyone else’s lives and thinking that if mine looked like their’s, I would be happy.

    Step 3:
    Good things this year included starting to love healthy eating and exercise. Also a surprise pregnancy!

    Step 4:
    Lessons I learned is that time goes by really really fast and to treasure all the time I get to spend with my family.

  104. Marissa on December 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Step 1: It’s hard not to make caveats for all these!

    Health: 0-8; how can health conjure so many emotions? We’re currently infertile– our reproductive systems are not working so well. However, the rest of my body is healthy, eating good food, exercising with joy, and no other chronic issues.
    Friends: 8. I have a couple of bare your soul friends. We started a monthly Sunday Supper this last year to build community.
    Family: 0-8; I want to be a mom so badly and my family feels imcomplete. However, my family that is around me has been a rock for us.
    Finances: 9; so grateful for financial freedom and discipline.
    Spiritual: 4; infertility is really hard and there’s a lot of pain and anger and blame and fear all connected with God. We haven’t been to church in years; it’s surprising how there’s no place for couples in their mid thirities who not young marrieds or young families. And it’s so painful to experience how the church prioritizes marriage and then families; not everyone gets or wants those.
    Work: 6; I have 2 nursing jobs I enjoy and a heart for so much more. I left a job that was killing me earlier this year and am grateful for the lack of stress at work now.
    Recreation: 7; Always room for more play, but am so grateful for quiet, rest-filled days, hikes, good food, and more places to explore.
    Environment: 5; I’m happy with our apartment, but would love to buy a house. Home prices in the SF Bay Area are really tough and without knowing when and how our family will grow, it’s hard to plan for the unknown.

    Step #2: I’ve been chasing growing our family for 4 years. It’ something that is completely out of our control and really hard to comprehend that it hasn’t happened. It makes me feel very helpless and, at times, hopeless. It’s a cyle of hope and grief that has become interminable.

    – We started a monthly Sunday Supper with 10-12 friends. We decided it didn’t matter if we had a house big enough; we set up folding tables. We pulled out the crystal and china; made delicious food, celebrated triumphs, and laughed. A lot.
    – I quit a very stressful nursing job and had some time to recover prior to trying new nursing avenues.
    – We were intentional about travel (Hawaii, San Diego, and Napa); we ate delicious food all over the Bay Area; we celebrated our 5th wedding annivesary!

  105. Stephanie Osborne on December 27, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Health – 3 On the right track with counting Macros and having a gym membership.

    Friends – 8 Really grew in this area of my life last year. Now have a great group of Godly Christian women I call friends.

    Family – 3 I need to do a MUCH better job with my family. Being patient and sheparding my children, respecting my husband…

    Finances – 3 Credit card spending and spending in general was out of control last year.

    Spiritual – 7 Doing well with being in the word, treasuring it in my heart and attending bible studies.

    Work – 6 I do need more processes and simplification however the programs and services we purchased last year have been SUCH a blessing!

    Recreation – 0 Date nights, tv shows, books really anything done for fun. Always self sacrificing…

    Environment – 3 Organization, decluttering, making my house a home and taking care of it well.

    What have I need chasing and how does that make me feel?

    I have been chasing DOING EVERYTHING and expecting myself to be able to do it all perfectly. It makes me feel EXHAUSTED and constantly like I am failing. I make progress in one area then lose ground in another.

    Good Things:

    1. Building a group of friends that are Godly women whom I can learn from.
    2. Getting involved in a great bible study and one on one mentoring to really apply God’s word.
    3. Outsourcing things for our business that don’t NEED to be done by me. Now they are done but done better.
    4. Bridling my tongue. Showing Gods word through behavior vs telling.

    3 Lessons:

    1. I don’t HAVE to do everything. Some things can be cut and many things can be outsourced.
    2. Gods word makes EVERYTHING better. Being in the Word daily and involved in studies has radically changed my daily life.
    3. Having friends who also place a high priority on Gods word really gives everyone a

  106. Megan on December 27, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Super excited to jump in with both feet this year!

  107. Rebecca Dale on December 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Oh Lara I love this series so much! I just started my Power Sheets 2017 prep last night and am so excited to dig into another great year and live intentionally!
    1: How am I?
    – Health 7
    – Friends 8
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 8
    – Finances 5
    – Spiritual 5
    – Work 6
    – Recreation 4
    – Environment 8
    2: I’ve been chasing the ‘next thing’ the last year. It was a huge season of transition for me from getting engaged in April, married in October, a new home, marriage and job move. Everything was looking ahead and I wasn’t always living in the moment. This year I really want to cultivate and grow into those past year decisions (cultivating my marriage and learn about being a wife, learning the rhythm of my job, cultivate our home together).
    3. Good things in 2016? My husband and getting married (!), growth in my family and welcoming my in-laws, focusing on my health and working out more, eating cleaner was huge for my health, a long coming trip to Hawaii.
    4. Three things I learned this year? Progress over perfection (I feel like I learn that more and more each year), enjoying the present and savoring it and accepting me for who I am.
    Bonus: Good things ahead: a dear friend’s wedding, a future home,

  108. Rebecca Dale on December 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I encouraged my friend Olivia through text as we are both going through out power sheets.

  109. Deanna Wheeler on December 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you Lara for great reminders and for not shying away from reminding us all of what is TRUTH. I am very encouraged!

    Step 1:
    – Health 7 – I definitely need to take better care of myself and figure out how to manage my stress, but overall I have made huge strides in this area
    – Friends 6
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 6 – need more intentional time with my husband but also working on reconciliation with my side of the family
    – Finances 10 – I feel like God has pushed my husband and I to give a lot more than we thought we could handle and am very humbled and grateful to know that God always, always provides, especially financially when we give scary amounts of money away.

    – Spiritual 7 – need to work on trusting God and consistency
    – Work 5 – this has been a journey!
    – Recreation 8
    – Environment 10

    2: I have been very anxious with work since I’ve started about a year ago and have felt myself growing insecure/feeling inadequate but also being pushed to my max. I’ve been chasing the longing for significance within my work but yet I don’t know if this is what I should be doing. Or if I can do it much longer. I have also been chasing control, which is an ongoing struggle and will be a struggle but I hope to let go of my reigns on these a little more 🙂

    3: My husband and I got married fairly recently and for almost all of our marriage, we’ve also been legal guardians to a boy for a year and a half. It’s been the biggest daily push to die to myself as we have invited in lots of trauma and stress. However, it’s been an absolute joy as we’ve grown closer and closer and have begun to feel more like a family. I also have just been grateful for how God has miraculously healed my relationship with my parents. Despite work being a big stressor in my life, I am so glad to have grown personally and professionally, knowing that I am weak but need to depend on God for strength, perseverance and to learn how to honor God daily despite my circumstances. I’ve learned a lot of lessons but overall my favorite reminder is that God is on the throne and always keeps His promises.

    4: Things ahead:
    My husband is graduating with his PhD so there are lots of unknowns but some big decisions ahead. Possibly: new city, new house, new jobs, new friends, new community, etc. All of these things freak me out but whatever happens will be GOOD for us 🙂

    Maybe foster care or finding ways to help kids who come from hard places.

  110. KT Merry on December 27, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Happy New Year! What an inspiring and great post Lara!! Love following you and your beautiful family!! xoxo

  111. Amy B on December 27, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you! This is so wonderful to read and go through even with power sheets. I am really focusing on prayer this year BEFORE I start my goals. I get so excited and dive in so quickly that I often forget to ask God first. Looking for the quiet moments to listen and ask Him about His plans first. It is so hard to slow down!

  112. Shannon Winning on December 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    I’m not sure how I landed here, perhaps Jess Connolly? An Instagram rabbit tail? Either way I think it’s God’s hand. I have thought about throwing in the business towel for the kids… Weighing many things as 2016 closes. This series I believe will help me sort my dirt. Thank you.

  113. Amy B on December 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Texted my sister to tell her I’m praying for her and her family!

  114. Mary on December 27, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    i just received my first PowerSheets in the mail today! I can’t wait to begin my journey – so here goes:
    Health – 8 – love my daily green shakes and regular yoga DVD’s.
    Friends – 9 – I have some precious friends that I enjoy regular quality time with.
    Family – 4 – I always feel like a failure in this area. It never feels like I’m enough.
    Finances – 7 – I finally feel like I am contributing to our finances after being a stay-at-home Mom for 10 years.
    Spiritual – 8 – Thankful for my quiet times in the mornings before the kids wake with God.
    Work – 2 – I would love to have fulfilling, meaningful work.
    Recreation – 4 – I LOVE gardening and being outside, but honestly don’t get out enough. When I do make space for it, I feel close to God and it brings my soul peace.
    Environment – 4 – I would love to have more energy to make our home more beautiful. It honestly overwhelms me to know where to begin!
    Step 2 – What have I been chasing? I have been desired purpose. I feel like I have just been surviving and I want to change that and thrive. I have felt on most days defeated at the end of each day because I focus on the 1 thing I did wrong.
    Step 3 – Good things –
    Grateful for the ability to provide financially with our AIRBnB room. Grateful that I can be flexible enough to pick up my kids from school and be home with them. Grateful for the Book Club group that I host weekly at my house each week. Grateful to have been able to Volunteer in my daughter’s class each week. Grateful to have Breakfast dates on Friday mornings with my husband. Grateful for all 4 kids to be at a school that they love and to be loving it.
    Step 4 –
    1) That I need to invest in me if I am to pour out into my kids lives.
    2) That I am super critical of myself as a Mom and that I need to extend myself GRACE.
    3) I have learned that meal planning helps to save time and energy!

  115. Rachel on December 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I encouraged my mom today who was feeling regretful about some things that happened in the past…I’m trying to help her let some things go!

  116. Kipper on December 27, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for this exercise. I sat down to plan and was like a train with no tracks until I saw this…just what I needed.
    Here goes:
    Finances -3
    Spiritual – 6
    Work – 7
    Recreation – 4
    Environment – 6. Took the ‘Decluttered’ course and did it!

    2 Chasing a perfect image in others’ eyes. Walking around holding a question mark asking, “Have I done enough to win your seal of approval?” (Living in another culture, the answer is almost always a negative.)
    3.God did amazing things this year! Amazing travels with hubby and kids, reconnecting with old friends, attempting sports I never tried, Special needs daughter given 2 amazing teachers, kids made great grades in Honors programs.
    4. I learned: When I dread something, there’s usually a reason connected to my personal performance pressure. Faithfulness is an ok motivator for household chores but rarely is it a good one for personal relationships.

  117. Dianne on December 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Health 6 – I need to get healthier both inside and out.
    Friends 9 – I am very happy with my small circle of friends
    Family 9 – My immediate family completes me. We can all work on improving ourselves daily but for the most part, I’m very happy.
    Finances 5 – While we are doing okay and surviving, my personal relationship with money is unhealthy.
    Spiritual 8 – I am always working on getting closer to God.
    Work 7 – I need to get better organized to feel more productive.
    Recreation 9 – I’m so low key that most recreation pleases me.
    Environment 8 – my immediate surroundings is fine but could be better.

  118. Sunee on December 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    My first time using power sheets as a homeschooling mom and military wife!

    Step 1: family – 8. We moved to a location that is conducive to outdoor adventures as a family. My husband just finished his Mdiv, so now we are all free to experience what our new home has to offer! Homeschooling also allows us a lot of time to invest in each other. We’ve chosen to focus on family for this tour and 6 months in, it’s working great!
    Friends – 4. I have many beautiful friends that I think of daily and pray for sometimes, but do not contact enough through letters and calls. I don’t like using social media for contact, and would like to focus more on meaningful contact with my sisters in Christ who live all over the country!
    Health, Finances, Spiritual, Work, and Environment – 6. This means I know what I want these areas to look like and I’m developing a vision for each, but I haven’t implemented systems that work yet. There are definitely some vague and uncomfortable fears behind the lack of systems and implementation. I’m working on using the power sheets to provide not only direction, but insight and accountability to see me through to 10!!!

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing PEACE. I don’t like vague, uncomfortable feelings and will do almost anything to get rid of them, which I think is why I have been moderately successful in my family relationships (it is always stressful and uncomfortable to leave a home and plant a new one. So I focused on the family a lot through the transition.) Peace is a good thing, except when it becomes the thing I will gain at any cost. This is probably partially what is behind my fears of working on health, spiritual, finances, work, and environment. Even as I worked through this blog post, my kids kept coming up to me and asking questions. I was chasing peace so hard (ha!) that I denied my children access to me this morning. I don’t want to sacrifice my family for the sake of pursuing peace in other valuable things. Is it a question of balance? Priorities? Or…??? This is what I need to figure out this year…The question might be, what does peace look like in every area? It doesn’t mean they exclude each other, like I can have peace in environment, ONLY at the expense of peace in family. (Can’t keep my house clean without destroying my kids’ creativity!) What if peace in environment means we have family clean up a few times a day and as long as the floor is clear of legos (or other painful/harmful obstacles!), we’re good to go?
    Another negative aspect of chasing peace is that I will embrace a near-apathy or laziness rather than face hard decisions or tasks. It can feel like peace, but in reality leaves me tired and drained, rather than energized. Need to work through that, too…

    Step 3: good things – successful move, husband finished school. We found a good church the first week we were here, which is a true blessing from the Lord!
    Lessons learned: relationships take time, energy, emotions and are super messy because it involves other human beings. But relationships are what make life meaningful and are worth the efforts and expenditures!
    2. Prayer does change people. Some of my best moments of 2016 were praying one-on-one with my husband, kids, and friends through some big things.
    3. Structure helps grow relationships. The better the systems in the home, the smoother things flow. The smoother things flow, the freer we are to create beautiful moments and enjoy one another.
    Good things ahead? Our time here in our current location to be full of adventures and memories my family and friends can remember and build their lives on.

    Thank you so much for pouring out time, energy and emotion so that we can grow good things this year in our relationships and within our vocations!

  119. Kelsie on December 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    One of my biggest goals for the year is to steward our finances well. We’re newlyweds and haven’t necessarily been unwise with our finances, but there’s lots of room to grow! I’ve already shared this with my husband and we’re actually planning a breakfast date for later this week to start talking about financial things!

  120. Sara Karpinski on December 27, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    A dear friend introduced me to Powersheets, and it is exactly what I needed. I’ve been hemming and hawing around many life decisions and goals, and was stuck in a ‘two steps forward one step back’ self-sabotaging mentality. I had a feeling that 2017 would be awesome, if I could just write down the things that I know I need to do and stick with them. Enter Powersheets, and the beauty, grace, and self-knowledge that have accompanied them. Thank you so much for your honesty and encouragement through your posts and this whole process!

  121. Sara Karpinski on December 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Step One:

    Health – 6
    Friends – 7
    Family – 5
    Finances – 4
    Spiritual – 7
    Work – 3
    Recreation – 6
    Environment – 5

    Step Two:
    I have been chasing the approval of other people, and being way harder on myself than I would ever ever be on another person. I’ve been focusing on the gifts of others instead of being grateful for the gifts and talents that I have been blessed with.

    Step Three:
    I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, and that I am capable of authentically loving other people regardless of the cost to myself.

  122. Sherrylynne Harrington on December 27, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Part 1: How am I doing:
    I’ve done well our homeschool and making a great home but everything else (everything) has gotten lukewarm treatment. Most unsatisfactory is health and church circumstances. I need to invest in me and let go in the other.
    Part 2: What I’ve been chasing:
    I’ve chased being present to parents – 3 sets – all who live 2, 3 & 4 hours away from us and each other. Insane. Its created resentment within me. Plus trying to be found acceptable by parish members has been an exhausting marathon. I need to find myself acceptable in Christ and not mind others’ opinions. I go for God and not for man’s approval. My chase has been fruitless and detrimental to my own peace.
    Part 3: Good things of 2016:
    Our 7 pets – we added chickens and gerbils and I’ve seen beautiful things from caring for and living in harmony with God’s creatures. My sons have been excellent caretakers, devoted and delightful to watch. In the sadness of my father’s recent death, I’ve had the chance to reconnect with long lost people who I love and then re-discover the awesome people already in my life. Getting another vehicle helped me feel not trapped and it is a luxurious reminder that my husband wanted something nice for me. Public speaking op and writing op that bolstered my confidence and helped me to remember and believe in me again.
    Lessons Learned:
    1. Saying the hard things out loud help people, including myself, feel seen and heard and understood.
    So for me – being myself – direct and transparent works.
    2. Don’t run from what looks like tragedy; it may be the only way God can shake me from my current circumstances and get me on a new track.
    3. Be good to me … routine is my friend and gives balance and long life to enjoy all the gifts God provides.
    4. Process (hiking in Aspen up to the Cathedral Summit) is important, even if the weather changes or we got a late start or my energy wanes, to do SOME is better than to have never shown up at all. The progressive elevation improved the view with every step and that alone was its own reward, even if we had to turn around and go down.

  123. Jen on December 27, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Would love this giveaway…I especially love all the great stuff you share with us.

  124. Melissa on December 27, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Doing Step 1 was a great release for me today, I’ve never wrote out how I am before, I think I should do that more often, thank you 🙂

  125. Tavianna on December 27, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Excellent start! I’ve never done PowerSheets but received them for Christmas (per request).
    Step 1: How am I? – stuck. cry it out. build my faith. try again. And then repeat the cycle.
    Step 2: Perfect is unattainable. I don’t really want other people’s perfect. But everyday I do want mine. What to let go of is forever a battle.
    Step 3: I stepped out to start a women’s chapter and found out I can be a fairly decent leader. Not disappointing myself was a huge encouragement to my perception of my own capacity.

  126. Kate on December 27, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve written two pages of notes so I’ll summarize a bit 😉
    Step 1 Check In
    Health (4)-bad food choices, not enough exercise, always has been a struggle for me, but has hit a low this year.
    Friends(7) new friendships in the past year, need to create more opportunities without kids and grow these relationships more
    Family (8) focused more on my little family, but need to strengthen my relationships with my siblings.
    Finances (6) better this year, proud to have tracked spending all year, would like to be more consistent with Quicken and not overspending on unnecessary items, focus on our short term and long term goals.
    Spiritual (5) would like to be more consistent with bible study group and individual prayer time
    Work (4) The direct sales business I am in doesn’t seem like the right fit for me. Find a focus for the current stage I’m in (stay at home Mom)
    Recreation (9) I’ve read a decent amount this year, mostly fiction. Would like to read more non fiction. Also, be more physically active.
    Environment(5) I have a 2.5 year old and 5 year old so my house is constantly being “messed up” I need to continue to declutter so cleaning up is simpler and we can spend more time making memories together.

    Step 2 I feel like I’ve been trying to survive, get through, make it by, fill the loneliness and void in my life. This. makes me feel sad and incomplete, like something is wrong with me.

    Step 3 So many good things in 2016! Celebrated 10 years of marriage with the man I love! I never thought I would love him as much as I do today. I’ve become happier with raising my children as my focus. That sounds silly, but transitioning from a working Mom to a stay at home was a difficult adjustment for me and it really took me a full year to be completely happy with the change. Another good thing this year was developing new friendships. Finally, my babies are one year older (2 and 5)! As much as it makes me sad to see them change from cute, squishy babies, I really love to see them develop, grow and thrive into who God created them to be.

  127. Tara on December 27, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I just ordered the powersheets and I am excited about diving in. I am going to go through your questions and suggestions in the blog series and write down my answers in my notebook, then transfer my responses to the powersheets book when it arrives. Thank you for helping lead us in seeking and achieving intentional, God-honoring goals!

  128. Paige on December 27, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Friends- 6
    Finances – 2
    Spiritual- 7
    Work- 5

    I honestly couldn’t think of something I am chasing right now… I will get back on that one 🙂

    Good things in 2016: spending quality time with old friends, daily devotionals with the kids, starting BSF, consistently feeling healthy, going to camp with my sister

    Things I have learned: it is okay to not do things my way always and to always look for my truth from the Bible.

  129. Brooke Snow on December 27, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I’m so excited for this! Here’s my answers in short form! 😉
    1. I am excited for the new year. 2016 was great and hard. I’ve learned some hard lessons and excited to progress and apply new lessons.
    2. I’ve been chasing perfect in my business. I have tied my worth to my income and my success and exposure. This year was a financial challenge and left me feeling many times like a failure. I’m learning that my worth has nothing to do with money or success. It’s inherent. Finding my worth int he midst of my biggest business failure has been important and the only way that I can move forward without holding on and chasing my worth through external things.
    3. There was a lot of good things that happened this year. I learned the true meaning of identity and worth, I grew closer to God, I learned how to meditate, I made new friends, went to 4 different conferences that were life changing, healed from PTSD and got anxiety under control. Some BIG accomplishments!

  130. Carrie on December 27, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Looking at 2017 for a renewed vision and courage. 2016 was a pretty stretching and hard year…moved from a house, downsized to an apartment, then moved again to save more, had a baby and immediately felt the energy and desire I once had for my business wane. Goodness..what a year! doing your powersheets now and getting excited about a better 2017. Paying off debt now that we have downsized, simplifying my business and what services we offer, focusing on God, stilling my heart to listen. Thank you for your encouraging words!

  131. Jennifer B on December 28, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I’m so excited for this very intentional way of goal-setting and living. So Step 1:
    -Health: 7. I just had a baby 7 months ago, but I want to be more active. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body is just differently shaped now so I want to do those exercises that’ll combat that.
    -Friends: 5. I could use more friends in greater quality, but at the same time, I’m intentional about who I surround myself with. I would like to allow myself to get out there more.
    -Family: 9. One of the core things that bring me the most happiness.
    -Finances: 8. We are pretty close to where we want to be, we don’t have debt. We are just trying to save as much as possible to buy a house in the next 1-2 years. I finally make the salary at my job that I’ve been looking for.
    -Spiritual: 5. This could definitely be better. I used to be better.
    -Work: 6. It’s a new job that takes some getting used to. I miss my coworkers (I just moved to Durham from Tampa, Florida). My office has a completely different vibe than what I’m used to, but every day gets better.
    -Recreation: 7. I’d like to get out more and explore our new city.
    -Environment: 9. Very pleased overall with where I am in most areas of my life. I’m actively working toward improving where I find I’m lacking.

    Step 2: I have definitely been chasing success in my work. I am successful at what I do because I’m experienced, but my title and compensation didn’t reflect that. I vowed to work toward a fairness in my workplace. Finally, I got it. Chasing that ended up being worth it. I don’t chase perfection because there is no such thing.

    Step 3: 2016 was one of my favorite years yet. Not only did I have a baby and so can see our family growing and being happy, but my husband and I really worked toward being in the place we want to be. We finally moved to North Carolina after years of talking about it, we both negotiated our salaries in new positions and came out on top, we are saving for a house and in the meantime, renting a home in NC that’s close to so much we can explore. I feel that 2016 was our year and I have high hopes it’ll only get better.

  132. Linda on December 28, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Powersheets are my favorite gift to myself every year! I’m so grateful for you sharing so honestly, Lara, because in your humble, raw words I find great encouragement. I hope you know how powerfully God is working thru you.

  133. Bethany B. on December 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

    After a difficult year last year, I am thankful for new mercies and fresh starts. Thank you for this series and for helping us be intentional!!!

  134. Sasha Katz on December 28, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Naming my chase so I can destroy it: I’ve been trying to live my ideal life without sacrificing anything or asking for help. I’ve tried to do this quietly so no one would see my struggle or how hard I was pushing. I don’t think I wanted anyone to know so they couldn’t tell me to STOP. God took care of that this November and here I am rebuilding. I love His kindness towards me.

  135. tori on December 28, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Step 1:
    Health – 5
    Friends – 1
    Family – 9
    Finances – 5
    Spiritual – 3
    Work – 5
    Recreation – 7
    Environment – 3

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing my vision of success which includes having a certain job, making a certain amount of money, living in a certain neighborhood, with certain material things and having the perfect family.

    Step 3: The best thing that happened in 2016 was that I got married. That day was everything I wanted it to be. I was happy.

  136. Amanda on December 28, 2016 at 11:18 am

    1. How am I? I’m ok – I decided on average 5. Which I don’t see as bad, but I do really feel like I have a lot of room to grow in my relationships and life.

    2. I feel like I am chasing TIME. I never feel like I have enough time in the day to do all the things I want to, and I get stressed into a knot when I can’t accomplish everything I want. Working on unplugging this year to free up more time.

    3. Good things: A new home! A new marriage! A new puppy! Lots of firsts this year which was an incredible blessing, but each of these things came with challenges. I am learning how to be a wife and a dog-mom, and how to LOVE both of those things even amidst challenges.

    THANK YOU, Lara. I cannot wait for tomorrow morning when I dig into my power sheets. xoxo

  137. Traci on December 28, 2016 at 11:45 am

    In the mail today I received a set of Power Sheets along with the card I wrote myself at this past Making Things Happen Conference. There is no coincidence here and I cannot put into words what this means to me. I am ready to dig deep and start fresh! xoxo

  138. Nicole C. on December 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for this post, and your blog in general. I was so desperate for a program like this with a community and powersheets book and everything! This exercise specifically even helped me unveil some things I needed to learn and understand better. Thank you!

    STEP 1:
    Health – 5, I need to develop better discipline in my eating habits and sugar intake, which will improve my overall health
    Friends – 8, I’ve grown a lot this past year in developing better, deeper relationships & serving others in grace.
    Family – 6, but I’m not including my marriage because they’re at different levels. I need to work on my grace and patience with my parents and grandparents.
    Marriage – 7, another area I’ve grown in. Working on speaking his love language better and being more present though in 2017.
    Finances – 6, God has blessed us greatly, but we still have work to do in 2017 toward our goal of financial freedom.
    Spiritual – 7, I’ve grown in this area specifically toward the end of 2016. I’ve been spending more time in the word & journaling my gratitude. Will be working on making this a daily habit each morning.
    Work/Our business – 6, we have come so far, but there is more work to do to reach our goals. “Don’t grow weary in well-doing, for in due time, you’ll reap a harvest.” is my verse for the year in this area.
    Recreation – 5, I need to get more active.
    Environment – 6, it’s getting there…I’ve gotten better, but there is de-cluttering to be done, and I can take better care of our home for sure. I feel more productive when I clean and de-clutter – it’s freeing.
    Vision – 5, I added this one because it’s a big area my husband and I work on. My belief has been low lately though, so I’ve been lax in speaking our goals & dreaming & my expectation level…this is a focus for 2017 for me.

    STEP TWO: I’ve been chasing…making it through each day, which is probably why it’s been so exhausting and like a chore to be done, instead of joy to be experienced.

    STEP THREE: Good things in 2016…
    Our business grew, I grew personally & even accomplished a big goal in our business a few times over that I had been working on for a couple of years. I formed better & deeper relationships with ladies we work with and new girlfriends. Cultivate is a good word here. I received more mentorship and training that was needed in our business. I’ve grown in my spiritual walk, been in the Word more for sure. We’ve grown our income. & my husband & I have had lots of fun new adventures.
    Good things ahead…
    More growth in our business, ultimately providing personal and financial freedom. Time to start moving into a new phase in life as we think about starting our own family. New adventures; more personal, marital, and spiritual growth. New levels of mentorship and association.
    Lessons Learned:
    1. How to build better relationships with ladies
    2. I bring value to the table in our business
    3. Discipline is necessary to accomplish our goals in 2017.

  139. Tiffany on December 28, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I was determined to do this series with everyone! I’m so far behind; the holidays really took a toil on me and my significant other…but we really want to make it happen!

    Step 1:
    Health: 2. I really want to start walking daily
    Friends: 8. I made an effort to put family and friends ahead of meaningless things, and it was worth it!
    Finances: 2. I need to work harder to not spend so much money on food! I LOVE to eat. ack!
    Spiritual: 5. My boyfriend and I would love to find an interrical church here in Florence, SC. My relationship with God is great, but I want to fellowship with believers.
    Work: 7. I actaully put in my two weeks notice last wednesday!!! I’m so excited and nervous…I’m going to be an artist. We have a shop downtown Florence, and it’s so lovely. We’ve been sick from pulling long hours at the shop and working full time. We have not been taking care of our bodies. So this will be better for us. We will have to budget well. No more eating out!! ack! Food!
    Recreation: 4. We need more time to relax and enjoy our lives!
    Enviroment: 1. I house sit for a very very rich lady who is generious, but somewhat cold. I would love for us to get married and for me to get out of that situation.

    Step 2:
    I’ve been chasing acceptance. I want everyone to like me…it’s not going to happen haha. My boyfriends parents are racist, and they don’t like that their boy is dating a black woman. So i’m invisible to them. Its so hurtful. I want to realize that it’s not me, it’s them.

    Step 3:
    We opened our studio here in 2016 and it’s amazing! So much love comes from it…and so many people have supported us! We are truly blessed. I’m so nervous to have stepped out on faith to start the business, but I felt that God wanted me to. I’m excited for 2017!

  140. Elizabeth Logan on December 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Lara, your “chasing perfection” video really hit home for me. I feel like I’ve come to realize over this past year that I can’t do it all, but in realizing that I maybe have let TOO much go. I really need to make family/friends, health and finances my main goals to focus on for 2017.This will be my first year using PowerSheets and I’m looking forward to the rest of this series and the year ahead. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your story.

    • Elizabeth Logan on January 2, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      It’s still me, lol, I didn’t understand we are to list a response to all steps, so this is an add-on to my comments above. Step 1: I answered above. Step 2: I have been chasing perfection in my career. I am a new RN and have so much to learn, I am very hard on myself and don’t give myself much slack because I feel a lot of pressure from the enormous responsibility of safely caring for my patients. I am very conscientious about not making mistakes because the consequences to the patient can be so serious. I know this will become better with time and more experience but it makes work very stressful at this time in addition to working in a busy, big-city ER.. This leads into Step 3 about what good happened in 2016: with school over we were really able to re-focus on our family time and enjoy the fruits of my better income to take two family vacations this yer, including our first trip to Disney! Great times with my people, and looking forward to more good times in 2017.

  141. Ashlee on December 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Step 1:

    Health – 6
    Friends – 7
    Family – 8
    Finances – 5
    Spiritual – 3
    Work – 9
    Recreation – 7
    Environment – 8

    Step 2:

    I’ve been chasing something to prove that I made the right choice in moving to New York City; I’ve been trying to prove to myself that the people who believed in me and invested in me didn’t make a mistake. And I’ve been so lonely and tired. I want to be about more than hustle. I want to allow the parts of me that have nothing to with work to have the opportunity to grow.

    Step 3

    1. I can walk; as tired of hearing about this as I’m sure my friends and family are, I know God is keeping my broken ankle journey and recovery in my heart and mind every day as a tangible way to keep my hungry and humble.

    2. New York and all the people and love this city have come to hold.

    3. This year started with the beginning of repairing a long-time friendship that had drifted, and it’s been one of the best and most influencing aspects of my year.

  142. Rylee on December 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Oh, I so love this! I have been hemming and hawing about some big leaps in 2017, and I know, in my heart, what I need to do is sit down and really look at my long term goals. Excited to follow along on this!

  143. Kaley on December 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    I really need this as I am lacking motivation for my studying right now! I need to remember why I’m doing it!

  144. Amber on December 28, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Step 1 is AWESOME! My biggest discovery in Step 1 was that I actually feel really great about all of these areas! Yes, there are struggles, but my thankfulness overrides the negatives.

    Step 2 I think I’ve been chasing a new “project” that God isn’t ready to give me yet. Asking for patience to wait for His perfect timing.

    Step 3 so many great things, like my husband and I starting (and enjoying) counseling because it’s giving us tactics for improving how we communicate daily.

  145. Kricia on December 28, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Step One – How Are You

    I’m OK. I’m better than I was! I have struggles, I have broken dreams, but I have PROGRESS. This is my year to simplify, to realize my decisions make a difference, and to prioritize that which is most important to me.

    Health – 6
    Friends – 6
    Family – 4
    Finances – 6
    Spiritual – 5
    Work/School – 8
    Recreation – 3
    Environment – 4

    Step Two – What Am I Chasing?

    My “perfect” has created a façade to the outside world that hides where I’m truly struggling inside. I’m chasing perfection with grades, cleanliness in my house, workout program completion…and in chasing perfection in everything, I’m falling apart instead of celebrating my progress. In 2017, I want to chase celebration, and joy in the ordinary.

    Step Three – What Worked/What I Learned

    1. I allowed myself to face rejection and instead entered a new degree program for a complete career change.
    2. I allowed myself to say NO.
    3. I ran over 350 miles and set two new PRs
    4. I have a fantastic Sunday School class and beautiful friends who encourage me.
    5. My husband. He just works.

    Lessons: I love things to be colorful, There is never “enough” until you decide that there is, I’m OK with NOT being a SAHM, Saying NO is POWERFUL.

  146. Lea on December 28, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    One of the things I learned in 2016 is it is worth it to do hard things. Sometimes the hard things make the most impact.

  147. Lea on December 28, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    I previously commented on Step 3. My comments for Step 1 and 2 are:
    1.) I desperately need to learn how to steward what I’ve been given. I do large things better than small ones sometimes.
    2.) I would like to stop chasing success and be successful by tending what I’ve been given, because those are very significant things.

  148. Tasha Lenart on December 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I’m so so very excited and grateful for this! I have been digging in deep and asking God for direction on every page of these power sheets. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this live blog everyday walking us through these vital steps of learning how to change and change well. Greatly appreciated! Never realized until now just how much I have been chasing perfection! What a help and release. The Lord has surely blessed you with this calling!

    • Tasha Lenart on December 28, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      I forgot to reply with my Call to Actions.
      Step 1:
      Every category is a 1 and sadly really I now can see why and where all my efforts have gone.
      Step 2:
      I give up chasing the perfection and let go to let God!
      Step 3: What worked and what didn’t
      I took on way too much causing a BURNOUT fast.
      I will learn to say no and to live in the moment of each day.
      Letting go of pain and hurt and letting God heal.
      Keep focused on what matters.

  149. Carissa Murray on December 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I have just stumbled across your site in the last 24 hours and ordered the workbook and starting implementing your information into trainings for my team. I love this so much!

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

    Step 1 – Health (5), Friends (6), Family (7), Finances (5), Spiritual (6), Work (6), Recreation (7), Environment (7), Intellectual (5)

    Step 2 – I’ve been chasing “do it all” and can’t keep up. Especially when it comes to chasing the “perfect” IG feed.

    Step 3 – I started my own company and quit my day job (and got an AMAZING mentor)!!! We also transitioned to a new church, my husband got a promotion, and we celebrated 2 years.

    I learned so much this year and I think the biggest thing has been that God’s plan is always bigger and better than I could have imagined and He continually confirms and encourages when I seek Him, even through the hard transitions.

  151. Catherine on December 28, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    It’s taken me a few days to get to this because I really wanted to think/ponder, not just go through the motions. So excited to finally begin moving forward! Thank you, Lara and team, for this incredible resource. Thanks also to all who have shared.their stories!

    Step One: I’m not going to list all of the areas, but overall I am really happy with my relationships with friends and family. I feel loved and blessed. My biggest areas needing improvement are Work (5)-need to find more challenge in my job, or in a new one, Recreation (5)-I want to be more intentional about finding ways to to have fun and refresh, and Environment (4)-the clutter in my home drives me INSANE, yet I haven’t fixed it.

    Step Two: I have been chasing “just getting by”. I’m a single mom and often feel overwhelmed by the basic responsibilities of work and caring for my son. I know intellectually that Jesus came for us to have abundant life, and I want to let go of believing the lie that I can’t THRIVE with a wonderful, fulfilling life.

    Step Three: Good things this year include a trip to Europe with my son,continued healing of the pain from my divorce, financial success at work, improved health due to clean eating and an increased desire to spend time with God. What I’ve learned: (1) Slow and steady works well for me; trying to do too many things at once just discourages me, (2) God continually surprises me with His care and provision-he is faithful to give all I need and then some!, and (3) It’s well worth the effort to invest in relationships and follow through on plans to do fun things. Thanks for “listening!”

  152. Emily on December 28, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    4 Health- taking steps to be healthier but still working on it!
    3 Friends- I was homeschooled! what can I say?
    7 Family- I am so lucky
    5 Finances- adequate but disorganized
    6 Spiritual- awesome year! thank you Jesus for amazing things
    2 Work- SAHM-ness has been a rough adjustment with the two + a baby
    3 Recreational- when is this supposed to happen :/
    7 Environment- getting things put together and decorated makes me feel like I live in my house!

    Step 2
    I have been chasing my own version of perfect which is one more thing than I actually did. Just one more ____ than actually happened. except naps, I never feel bad that I didn’t get one more nap

    Step 3
    2016 good things:
    Obedience to quit my career and stay home
    a new baby
    Some really good healing and forgiveness

  153. Sarah W on December 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I love this series! It was so helpful last year so I told a friend about it for this year. Here are my answers:
    1) Health: 5/6
    – Friends: 8
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable):8
    – Finances:8
    – Spiritual:7
    – Work:7
    – Recreation:7/8
    – Environment:8
    2)I’m chasing the idea of having it all together. Perfection to me looks like being sinless (manifested in various ways). That is not possible so I’m letting go of the shame, fear and guilt that comes when I truly don’t have it all together.
    3)So many good things! I learned I’m an ISFP (felt a lot of freedom in knowing why I work the way I work plus a lot of confidence in my strengths). I learned life is more smooth when we don’t have much scheduled. I learned being outside really blesses my kids (and helps them).

  154. Becky on December 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Step 1
    Health: 7 room for improvement (healthier eating & more exercise)
    Friends: 5 I don’t have a ton of friends
    Family: 6+ we’re getting over a divorce, but my kids & are managing
    Finances: 7 not too bad in this area for now
    Spiritual: 3 rough year (see family)
    Work: 8 hoping for better things soon
    Recreation: 6 I don’t have time for hobbies too much right now — going back to school
    Environment: 8 much better after getting rid of toxicity from our home

    Step 2
    Chasing perfection as a single mom is a losing battle. You can’t do it all & you need to accept help from others when offered. I’ve struggled with wanting to be the mom who does it all, but as the only source of income for us, I can’t be.

    Step 3
    I traveled a lot for work & I actually found I enjoyed it (aside from missing my kids). I did some really fun stuff with the boys, like July 4th with my family (including fireworks!). And I had a good year at work. Oh, and I got into grad school and I’m very excited about it!

  155. April Emery on December 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    Lara, I feel as if you are the best friend I’ve never met. How do you write like you know every single thing I’m thinking/feeling?! God has used some hard circumstances over the past couple of years to make my heart so sensitive to perfectionism. I see how it plays out in my life and I have felt so helpless to stop it. I’m reading Make It Happen right now and can find so many points of connection with your stories. I know blogging and running a business are hard work, and I am super thankful that you write and share what the Lord has been teaching you. The Lord has definitely placed your website/blog in to my life for a reason.

    Part 1- How am I? Really.
    – Health (8)
    – Friends (5)
    – Family (4)
    – Finances (4)
    – Spiritual (5)
    – Work (6)
    – Recreation (3)
    – Environment (8)

    Part 2 – What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year?
    Perfection and control – I want the perfectly staged farmhouse (never mind that I have 3 kids). I’m finding that I’m never satisfied with anything, and it can come across (especially to my husband) as nagging or criticalness. I’ve struggled with how much of is that I am naturally detail and task-oriented and am also highly sensitive in some areas … in some ways I truly need some order and structure and “control” over things in order to not frazzle out in a sensory sense. Sigh …

    Part 3 – What good things happened in 2016?
    – We had a fairly quite year with little (in comparison) financial tragedies.
    – I lost 20 lbs and am not in a normal weight range, and not dealing with as many health issues! Yay!
    – Homeschooling has gone much much easier this year than our previous 5 years have. I’ve found a good planning tool and have worked some kinks out in our curriculum.

  156. April Emery on December 28, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Giveaway Entry – Who/How I Encouraged Today

    I complimented my husband am having the guts to confront a friend on something that needed to be brought out in to the open. I know it was so hard for him (he hates confrontation and doubts his “clout” when it comes to speaking up).

  157. Kitty Hurdle on December 29, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Fourth time using Powersheets and am encouraged each and every time.
    Part 1-

    Part 2-what am I chasing? The approval of myself. In my 20’s I cared what others thought. In my 30’s my ideals have become suffocatingly unreasonable. I’m ready to live LOVED and keep in step with the Spirit.
    Part 3-what good happened this year? For some reason it’s so much harder to focus on the negative and areas I need to improve! Blah! I have such a heart of Striving! This is good for me…we cultivated lots of student leaders in our campus ministry, took 100 on a missions trip to Puerto Rico, spent lots of quality and quantity time with our kids, they finally started sleeping thru the night!! Completed seminary classes, had a fun-filled summer together as a family, hosted tons of people in our home, heard from the Lord on homeschooling my son, got real with our staff team, worked our tails off this fall, saw 100+ at fall retreat and Greek Winter Retreat, helped plan the first ever women’s retreat at my church, declutterrd our house multiple times, hired a cleaning lady, cooked at home a lot more, started morning devotionals with the kids, homeschooled my son, saw my daughter thrive in school, moved to a new place in my marriage, took a great getaway to AL, etc! There! That’s not so hard!!

  158. Emily on December 29, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Step 1: Taking time to evaluate “how I am” in all the different areas enabled me to immediately recognize areas in which I want to grow, and also areas in which to give thanks for good things!

  159. Emily on December 29, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Step 2: I recognize that I have been chasing comfort…ALOT. Perhaps it is why I often feel stressed, stretched thin, or worn out because I have this ideal of what comfort looks like and I can not reach it practically.

  160. Emily on December 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Step 3: After setting goals from last year’s series, going through this step enabled me to clearly see things that were accomplished or areas that I think I grew! My husband got a wonderful new job for which we are so thankful, we had an amazing vacation with family, and I was able to say “no” to more things this year to make way for great things!

  161. Kiersti on December 29, 2016 at 11:17 am

    I am overjoyed to be starting my Powersheets. They are truly a blessing—the best Christmas gift I received this year! It has been healing to walk through the steps alongside my Powersheets, uncovering what the Lord has for me this year.

    1: How am I?
    – Health 3
    – Friends 10
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 9
    – Finances 3
    – Spiritual 8
    – Work 5
    – Recreation 6
    – Environment 8

    2: I’ve been chasing perfect. Big time. As a student, I want to impress my parents, my teachers, and my peers. Growing up surrounded by social media, it has been so easy to give into comparison. But living to a standard of perfection is staying in 2016, not coming with me into 2017!

    3. Good things in 2016: knee surgery recovery, two international trips to practice my Spanish, God’s faithfulness to bring in a steady friend group, family relationships improving greatly, and so much more!

    4. Three things I learned this year: When I draw close to the Father, he draws close to me; My passions, talents, and gifts are no accident; I can trust Jesus with my innermost thoughts and dreams, He wants me to invite Him into that place.

    Thanks so much for doing all of this, Lara. You are growing some planet-shakers! Let’s fill 2017 with SO much of Jesus’ glory.

  162. Liz on December 29, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Thank you for this! As a person who has sought perfection as long as I can remember it really reasonated. I am excited to dig into my power sheets and begin the year of “me”!

  163. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on December 29, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Hi, Lara! I’m so so excited to be jumping into your goal-setting series for 2017. I have loved being a part of this for the last three years!

    It has been quite a year for me in 2016!
    I began the year in a very tender place, really longing to see God work in my life. Honestly, I needed a reminder that His plan is always better and that He was working. I was definitely feeling stuck in many ways. BUT GOD!! (Yes, it was a total BUT GOD year for me…)
    My word of 2016 was open, and I really started surrendering many of my own plans and expectations in favor for His, and the way the year unfolded truly was beyond anything I could have asked or imagined…
    A few highlights:
    *I moved to a new home, and I had such a sweet time of settling in (I painted one of my walls a beautiful blush pink), had a blast exploring my new city, and really just kicking off a sweet and inspiring new season of life.
    *I met and fell in love with an amazing Godly man (this is definitely one of the biggest highlights and praises from my year!!). I am 33, and it’s been a very very long season of waiting and praying and wondering if my desire for a Godly relationship would ever be answered. The man I am currently dating truly exceeds my expectations in every way. He loves Jesus with His whole heart, and I am encouraged and blessed by Him daily. I’m so excited to see where God continues to lead us in our relationship and what is in store for us in 2017.
    *My sister and I have grown so much closer this year. We’ve always been close, but this year we have really been intentional about investing in our relationship as sisters and as friends. We communicate so much better with one another than we ever have before, and we are sharing so much of our faith with one another and encouraging one another in our relationships with Christ. It is truly the sweetest thing. I’ve learned so much this year about the important and meaningful work of slowly and intentionally investing in our relationships. The fruit isn’t usually immediate, but it is so, so good when those investments begin to strengthen and grow our relationships!
    *Another highlight of my year was a little B&B getaway weekend I planned. It was at a B&B about an hour from my home, so it wasn’t a faraway trip, but it was such a wonderful time of refreshment and inspiration for me. It’s something I hope to make happen at least once a year. My mom came along, so we had some special time together, and I also had the chance to have some alone time with God. It was such a special time! 🙂

    My biggest lesson this year has probably been about surrender. His plan truly is always better than mine. His ways are always greater than mine. This year has also grown a desire in my heart to seek Him just to KNOW Him, not just for answered prayers and blessings. I read an incredible book earlier in the year called I Don’t Wait Anymore by Grace Thornton, and it really challenged me in that area.

    Thank you again for this inspiring community you’ve created and these wonderful goal-setting tools, Lara! I’m excited to continue going through the steps with you all! 🙂

  164. Olivia Meade on December 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I have learned so much this year! Most notably – how to be a grateful, grace-giving partner to my husband. We’re learning to complement one another well and to be honest about our failures. For 2017 I want to focus on finances… I’m rating that one a 4. I want to be more grateful and less worrisome of the money God has entrusted me to steward well.

  165. Melissa on December 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    7 – Health
    5 – Friends
    7 – Family
    (including your significant other – He’s a definite 9!)
    7 – Finances
    3 – Spiritual
    7 – Work
    6 – Recreation
    6 – Environment

    Looking at my scorecard, (in the moment) I wonder if I’m the only one that is so hyper-critical of every area of life!

    Just asking myself an honest, “How are you?” stirs up so much emotion and instant tears. It’s been long and difficult on so many levels this past few years with parenting (almost) adult children, seeing the need for change – and feeling overwhelmed at taking those first steps.

    Stepping back, I am learning to embrace imperfection, celebrate the wins, and I love the idea of letting the dirt be dirt.

  166. Melissa on December 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Step 2:
    Chasing Perfection totally nails it for me – which is so silly because perfection is a moving target, not to mention unattainable.
    I’ve had to acknowledge I’ve taken on too much and can’t do it all (shocker, ha!).
    When I step back and evaluate, I think it’s approval (?) I’m chasing – I say yes because I want to, but don’t stop to ask WHY I want to. Often it’s for the sake of not disappointing someone, but ultimately I’m disappointing myself because I can’t give 100% to 100% of things.
    I’ve been running & chasing for so long, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to choose JOY and be content with wherever the Lord has me. I’m tired, weary, and hanging on by a thread most days. I know that thread is the grace of God, thankfully, but it’s time to get focused on His purposes over my “perfection” and I’m actually looking forward to this year!

  167. Melissa on December 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Step 3:
    Oh how I love this! I am so quick to dwell on the negative and the missed opportunities that I forget to give myself grace or celebrate the wins.

    My marriage is a million times better & stronger than it’s been in years (ever?) in spite of challenges with parenting and him not being a Christian. We are on the same page with most things, love one another, and for the first time, I have peace that we won’t end up as an empty-nest statistic – a couple who’s children move out & they find nothing in common and their marriage falls apart. It’s a sad reality I see far too often but until this year, it honestly would not have surprised me if we ended up in that category. God’s grace abounds!!

    I was promoted at one job, giving me the ability to choose leaving my second job. It’s bittersweet as I’ve been there over 10 years, but looking at the big picture and the goals we have, it’s the right decision.

    In spite of some health setbacks & injuries, I’ve put on a lot of muscle this year and am inching my way toward greater goals that excite me!

    Having a plan and being on the road to debt free in a few years!

    Good Things Ahead:
    – Having a 40 hour workweek instead of 70
    – CELEBRATING 23 years with my husband
    – Getting back to blogging/writing
    – Checking off Goals throughout 2017!

    Three Lessons:
    – God’s grace is greater than my abilities (maybe more of a reminder/refocus than an actual leson!)
    – Having a plan ON PAPER leads to goals, otherwise it’s just daydreaming.
    – Every difficult situation has His fingerprints on it – molding & shaping it to refine us for our good and His glory. Perspective is EVERYTHING!

  168. Melissa on December 29, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Encourage Someone:
    Sent a card in the mail to a friend on the other side of the country – handwritten snail mail is the best!

  169. Shannon on December 29, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    This year in 2017, I need to take care of myself. I’ve dealt with a lot of pain and grief this past year and I’ve signed up for yoga, am planning a Whole30, would like to serve and center more often… that I can love others better!

  170. Jaime on December 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    AHhhhh the fresh air of a new year! New dream, new goals, new fantastic things to see and do and be! I am so thankful to be a part of this with so many other amazing people!
    Step1 – I am well…most of the time…
    Health – 7 Friends-7 Family – 8/9 Finances- 7 Spiritual -7 Work – 5 Recreation- 4 Environment-6/7
    Step 2 – Have I been chasing perfect? Haven’t we all? In some sort of way, personally no, in my business yes…but I have been learning to stop and be thankful for where I am with it, to take all the opportunities of not knowing what I’m doing and be still and thankful to have learned something along the way. So yes, in a way I have been chasing perfect, but no longer, I am chasing present and chasing discipline and my best I have to offer in whatever the circumstances are.
    Step 3 – What good happened in 2016? Ahhh we started a new business, to help people in Jesus’ name… and we did! And we will continue to. We made some hard decisions for our family and now have a new church family that we are getting to know and loving. I have figured out how to create websites and am learning how to market products and a business online. Our four children are healthy and doing well in school and their extra activities. We are embracing creating our community to be what we desire here as well as our eternal community- God is good and so is this life! Blessings Lara!

    • Lara on December 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm

      Amen amen! God is so good!

  171. Nicole B on December 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Wow the rating part in Step 1 was eye opening for me – especially when I did it in the couples workbook! The biggest area I want to work on is my marriage. Both my husband & I selected 4. We have the desire to improve it but with two babies we have neglected us and have drifted apart. Excited for how God is going to work in us a renew our marriage!

    • Lara on December 29, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      I’m so excited for you too!

  172. Siena H on December 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    1. How am I?
    Health- 4, I want to continue to improve my excessive and eating habits for the right reasons
    Friends-7, I’m thankful for my friends, they are my family, and I want to grow with them in the Lord and become a more intentional encourager
    Family-1, I want to be a good sister and daughter, I want change but it’s very scary and hard
    Finances-4, I want to start saving!
    Spiritual-5, I love where I’m at but I want to go deeper with God
    Work(School)-8, So thankful to be where I am but I want to cut out the lazy tendencies and work towards diligence and a strong finish to this year and the start of next
    Recreation-4, I need to remember rest
    Environment-5, again, I love where I’m at but want to create a more life and loved filled space, hard and awkward and scary, but worth it
    Step 2: What am I chasing?
    I think over the past few months especially, I’ve been chasing perfect with my body, wanting it to look a certain way. Those kinds of feelings are so hard becouase I cant change it, and being content with something you’re not happy with is hard.
    Step 3: Good things from 2016
    -Forming new and flower friendships
    -Doula classes, learning about something I’m passionate about and not being looked down on becouase of my age
    -Tijuana, a whole new level of passion for mission work, so many new doors opened, there are no words.
    -getting my license and my silly cheep car
    -experiencin true generosity, love and example from another family
    -change in my mom and I’s relationship (a little but a lot)
    -a deeper relationship with Christ
    Lessons I learned from the good things:
    1. Friendships are valuable
    2. I can do awesome things despite my age
    3. Work with what you’ve got
    4. Be generous with what you have, not your excess
    5. God delights in showing mercy
    6. He is so faithful
    Thank you so much, Lara!

  173. Jaclyn on December 29, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Similar to you some of the best things that happened this year were born outo of challenges. I had a baby and struggled with ppd but that has shown me how great God is – how I can’t do life, motherhood, discipleship on my own strength. I need him. And I need others . This is the first time I’ve used powersheets. I’ve been a lurker for a couple years lol. Excited to be joining this community of inspirational women and to cultivate some good things in 2017

  174. Abigeya on December 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    The encouragement I got from reading your blog and then the comments is such a blessing! Thank you Lara…and I assure you that I followed your steps and wrote down the answers in my journal. May God ‘s grace help you and the rest of us to live according to the commitment (goals) we are making before Him.

  175. Laura on December 29, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    This is my first time using Powersheets, I’m excited to start this journey and feel like it has already made a big impact in how I view things.
    Step 1: When reading through the comments, I felt like my numbers were way lower than everyone else and I didn’t want to be honest with what I had actually written down, but hopefully it’ll be and encouragement to others!
    Health: 1- I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last couple of months. Addicted to sugar and caffeine. Tired body that doesn’t get enough physical exercise.
    Friends: 4 – I have been making new friends, but they’re still on the somewhat superficial level. Maybe I’m scared of opening myself up to the vulnerability of deeper friendships? Also feel somewhat disconnected from older friendships. I need to work intentionally on keeping in touch. I don’t have to wait on the other person, I can make the first move to begin communication.
    Family: 7 – I think I have a good relationship with my family as well as my husband and son. But I can definitely be selfish and self-centered with many of my interactions with them.
    Finances: 3 – I have to stop spending money that I don’t have and begin working on reducing my debt.
    Spiritual: 5 – I think I’ve made good steps recently with being part of an accountability group and trying to be consistent with daily quiet time. But there is definite room for improvement.
    Work: 6 – My “work” is being a mom, wife, and homemaker. There is definite room for improvement with my time spent with my son during the day, I need to be more intentional with our one-on-one time.
    Recreation: 7- I have hobbies that I enjoy and that I invest money and time in, but I wish I was able to spend more time on it. Although it’s a “just for me” kind of activity, it’s more productive than spending hours on my phone/internet/whatever.
    Environment: 7 – Our home is neat for the most part and I try to be hospitable. But there is definite room for improvement. I want to open my home more and have it be conducive for play and conversation. A life-giving home.
    Step 2: I think I am chasing expectations: expectations that others have for me (or what I think they have), and expectations that I have for myself; what a good Mom looks like, what a good wife looks like, what a good friend looks like. I chase the good opinion of others.
    Step 3: This step was good for my soul. When looking back through pictures and planners, I was reminded of so many good things that happened this past year.
    -My son reached so many milestones: crawling, sleeping through the night, walking.
    -Volunteering at my local Pregnancy Care Center and helping with their Walk for Life and Fundraising Banquet.
    -Celebrations! My first Mother’s Day and my son’s first birthday.
    -Traveling to visit family and vacation at the beach.
    -Family time at the Science Center, Zoo, and Fair.
    -Mommy/son dates at the park, library, and pumpkin patch.
    -Celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and actually went on a date!
    -Flew to Texas for a friend’s wedding and got to see my best friends who I hadn’t seen in over a year.
    -Joined a Bible accountability group.
    Lessons learned:
    1. Unplug for intentional, quality time.
    2. Meaningful work can be exhausting, but the end result is worth it.
    3. Deep friendships take time for cultivation and vulnerability. True friendships are worth the time. You don’t have to wait on others to take the first step.

  176. Karen on December 29, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you!! Looking forward to growing little by little intentionally living on purpose!

  177. Kira on December 29, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    STEP 1:
    – Health: 6 – I’m generally healthy, but I can see and feel my desk job catching up with me. I need to take care of me and not be a slave to my To Dos.
    – Friends: 4 – Gradually lost touch with friends, and now life is all about responsibilities. I am lucky to have a good friendship with my sister, but I definitely need to invest more time in cultivating friendships.
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable): 6 – Need to spend more time cultivating relationships, and make the space for a significant other in my life.
    – Finances: 7 – I’m comfortable, but need to be more aggressive in building my savings.
    – Spiritual: 6 – I’d rate my spiritual life higher except for the fact that I realized I haven’t done enough in terms of demonstrating spirituality to my daughter. I’m feeling the need to find a spiritual community so she can see what it’s all about.
    – Work: 8 – I love my job, but I’m not a fan of commuting. Telecommuting regularly would be great.
    – Recreation: 6 – I was going to rank this lower until I realized that reading IS a form of recreation. I just need to make a more conscious effort to plan fun things regularly.
    – Environment: 4 – I have a roof over my head and my own room, but roommate living situations can be difficult. I spend entirely too much time in my car because work and family are 30+ minutes away in light traffic.

    STEP 2: I definitely chase perfect. Obsessing over trivial details may result in 100% satisfaction in some areas, but it also slows overall progress in life. Perfectionism is a form of escapism because it means I don’t have time to deal with the things I don’t want to deal with

    STEP 3:
    Good Thing #1: New job and an amazing boss
    Good Thing #2: I rediscovered the joy of reading.
    Good Thing #3: Two wonderful vacations with my daughter.

    Lesson #1: Consistency leads to progress, even when steps seem minimal.
    Lesson #2: Not everything has to be mapped out in advance.
    Lesson #3: Relationships and recreation have to be prioritized. They don’t just happen when responsibilities are the focus.

  178. Misty on December 30, 2016 at 6:40 am

    2014 was the year of endurance. 2015 was upheaval and radical transition. 2016 …well it’s been a holding pattern kind of year.
    I’m a first time Powersheets user and am very thankful for this grace-filled approach to helping me begin to dream again after a few difficult years.
    I’ve realised that I let others expectations and priorities become mine (especially at work) and this ended up consuming me (massive weed to pull out!)

    Ver much looking forward to regaining balance and dreaming again…

  179. Rachel kim on December 30, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I just got my power sheets – first time user. I am so excited to make what matters happen this year because I get so distracted and make things so complicated. Can’t wait for simple and focused!

  180. Caryn on December 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Love your perspectives on life!

  181. Jana on December 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

    My Powersheets are on the way! One of the last to order and I’m so glad I did. I’ve missed out the last 2 years and I’m excited to do this! I feel like all parts of my life are pretty low but the one good thing this year is getting into the Word more than ever. God has shown me grace,. I know He has big plans for 2017 and I believe organizing my goals and living purposefully will help me change the things I need to change, grow the things I need to grow and reach out to those that I can help or who can help me. Thank you for sharing so much!

  182. Karen D. on December 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I answered Step 1 in a prior comment but my scores ranged from 1 to 6 with health being my lowest, and all areas needing quite a bit of work. So happy for this process.

    Step 2 I have been chasing approval or validation of my progress in order to feel encouraged to continue. This does not come so I end up not applying myself. I do not need the validation of others to make progress and have happiness. This will be a different year.

    Step 3: Good things: Was surprised by a turn around at work when a new manager was put in place, and a more harmonious amongst coworkers.

    Had an amazing experience and period of growth on a retreat in St. Lucia for relationship development.

    My daughter stayed out of hospital this year for first time since she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2014.

    What I learned: I can influence my destiny and outcome. I can change. Changing how I do something can change the experience of others. Sometimes all that is needed is a change in perspective.

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

    STEP 1 – How are you?

    Health – 5; I’ve been sick a lot this year and didn’t ever get into a good workout groove, plus bad eating habits. Could use lots of improvement!
    Friends – 5; lost touch with many people, rarely see friends. More intentionality here
    Family – 8; I see them often and am in good spirits with them all. Significant other is the best and we are on a good path <3
    Finances – 4; need some major revamping with my spending habits, budgeting, savings etc. Also kind of need new + extra source of income
    Spiritual – 4; sort of fell off the map with this one. Need to find new church + pray for a renewed heart from "the church breakup of 2016"
    Work – 2; don't like current work, need help, need new job/projects, new sources of income ++ need to finish degree (will finish this year!)
    Recreation – 5; still finding time for myself, could be more intentional with time. Instead of laying in bed watching Netflix, I should go for walks, paint, read, write, cook/bake, etc.
    Environment – 6; I like my apartment okay, it's kind of lonely. I like Boulder, it is vibrant. I should get out into the community more. Find workout groups, a book club, Bible study, etc.

    STEP 2 – chasing

    -I feel like I'm definitely chasing perfection in the wrong ways. I'm chasing things like as much money as possible, instead of just enough to get by. I'm chasing the perfect body, instead of health and strength. I'm chasing a totally impossible standard of zero conflict in my relationships, instead of tools and skills for getting through conflict in a healthy way. I'm chasing the coolest job instead of what I'm capable of right now.

    STEP 3 – good things

    -Frank and I dated this entire year and had a blast. We've gotten through hard and stressful times for both of us, and had great adventures and fun times. I'm so excited for what's ahead for us. I feel steady and secure in our relationship. It's a wonderful feeling.
    -I got some great opportunities and experiences on big stages, singing in front of lots of people.
    -I got through a few semesters of college; even though I didn't get perfect grades, I still learned a lot about the content and myself. Only one more to go!
    -I got a really cool job in customer service with a winter apparel company. Even though the job is taxing on me, it was great to have been given this experience.
    -The only debt I have is a bit on my Amazon store card 🙂 no student loans to pay off when I finish college, woohoo!

    Lessons I learned – there is good in the midst of the stress and hardship. Little victories are just as important as giant ones. I need to give myself grace during hard times. Sometimes I only allow myself like a day for grieving when it is such a process that I shouldn't ignore.

  184. Jessie Jones on December 30, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    In 2016, I traveled with family, got a great new boss, and got settled in our new home. Good things ahead are shepherding a new nonprofit’s communications, more travel to new places, and working on my own health. I’ve learned that it’s okay to focus on me! I’m so excited to get ready for 2017.

    • Lara on December 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Yes I’ll keep you posted!

  185. Heather on December 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    – Health 5 Overall, I’m fairly healthy and eat pretty well but I’ve tanked a bit over the holidays and need to make some good changes.
    – Friends 7 I could cultivate this area a little more
    – Family 5 I’m in the season of littles and parenting felt like one of my biggest challenges last year and I’m looking forward to making some changes and enjoying my kids more without distractions!
    – Finances 5 Our income is spotty right now and I;m terrible at keeping track
    – Spiritual 6 I need to prioritize spending quiet time with Him where I can find it!
    – Work 5 We are just starting some new ventures so this could use some attention
    – Recreation 7 Figuring out what actually brings rest would be good
    – Environment 8 Right now I’m feeling pretty good about this one

    Step 2: Yes to chasing perfect

    Step 3:
    Good Things #1- Getting to know our new daughter and watching our son grow and learn
    #2- Seeing God’s faithfulness in big transitions
    #3- Starting new businesses

    Lessons Learned #1- If I don’t have quiet time first thing in the morning with the Lord, the rest of my day suffers. It is one of the biggest things I can do to impact my day.

    #2- Social Media and screen time also have a direct negative impact on my day with my kids unless I block it into a time when they are asleep or away.

    #3- Let go of expectations

  186. marie on December 30, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Wow!! This is amazing – thank you for leading us through this process. I’m excited!! I tend to let circumstances & events drag me through by the seat of my pants… I really want to be intentional about my time & emotional & spiritual & intellectual & physical resources.

  187. Sarah on December 30, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Oh, Lara. Thank you for sharing your heart. This is such good stuff as we go into the new year – putting it on paper and just letting the dirt be dirt is so, so powerful.

    Step 1. I’m overwhelmed and ready for a fresh start!
    I’ve done the check-in on my own and the thing I want to focus on most is cultivating relationships with family & friends (currently a 5).

    Step 2. I’ve been chasing success, affirmation, and perfection. However, it’s lead to frustration, procrastination, and exhaustion this past year.

    Step 3. Good things – being able to spend more time with family, starting to simplify, discovering the LC team, and a retreat with some friends.

    Lessons learned:
    Relationships have to be cultivated. They don’t grow on their own.

    Being content is a conscious choice to change my perspective and choose to thank God instead of complaining.

  188. Kate on December 30, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    How am I?

    Health 7
    Friends 7
    Family 8
    Financial 7
    Spiritual 8
    Work 6
    Recreation 5
    Environment 8

    STEP 2
    I have been chasing approval from others. I feel imprisoned by what others think. This leaves me feeling inadequate and dissatisfied.

    STEP 3
    This year I sang at Carnegie Hall-something I only dreamed of. I finished my first year of teaching. I grew deeper in my walk with God and got involved in ministry at my new church. I said yes to new things and I learned to say no to others. I had the opportunity to travel to Spain and Italy.

    Lessons Learned:
    If I try to make everyone happy, I will be the one who is not happy.
    You can’t outgive God.
    Don’t fight the lessons God wants you to learn.

  189. Caryn on December 30, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I just discovered you today, Lara – and love, love, love this!

    #1 – Health 7, Friends, 4, Family 8, Finances 5, Spiritual 8, Work 7, Recreation 2, Environment 4

    #2 Chasing financial stability; trying to cover all the bases as a single mom

    #3 – growing sense of God’s presence and who I am in Him; good movement at work; beginning to get things more in order; homeschooling and absolutely loving it; exquisite enjoyment of nature – flowers, trees, birds, ect.

    #4 – God is here, and therefore all is well. When He opens doors, no man can shut them. Get up, dress up and show up. Stressing out is temporary atheism.

  190. Harley on December 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    I write a ton, but I needed to get this out there and to share it, even. Maybe so that someone else knew they weren’t alone in this journey.

    – Health
    1. I eat horribly – if I even eat at all. I exercise – never. I’m out of breath by the most basic tasks, I’ve gained a ton of weight in the past year, I rarely feel ”up to” doing anything active with my daughter and tend to beg her to do something that requires me to be as lazy as possible while still spending time with her – because I’m exhausted. My sleep schedule is the worst, it’s either insomnia/tossing & turning or way too much sleep. I’ve had migraines for weeks and they last most of the day, if not multiple days.

    – Friends
    5. I don’t have many friends and I don’t talk to them often. At this point in my life, I’m okay with that. I’m “busy” but the other things are more important than my social life at this point. I do look forward to the end of the year and the future when I’m able to put more time/effort into friends.

    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable)
    5. I have a lot of struggles and accomplishments in this. I’m a single mom and can’t afford childcare so I depend on my mom a lot to help out while I take night classes. While my mom and I are almost like oil & water, she’s all I have to help me and (unfortunately) the only person I feel I can talk to about anything… even though I hate it. I really hate talking to my mom about everything and wish I had friends to confide in. I do my best to spend quality time with my daughter but have been stressed and have little energy these days. I don’t see her much during the semester since I am taking 3 night classes (and she’s in school all day) – so I struggle with getting her one night a week and then 2 weekends out of 5. (long crappy story there) I miss her tremendously but I know that at the end of this, it’ll be worth it.

    – Finances
    3. I’m barely hanging on. I work part time & seasonal so I’ve been without a job since Nov 1 and won’t start again until middle of January. I’ll work until the end of April and then be out again until November. I’ll work only 24 hours a week unless approved for more time. I’ll be in grad school at the same time until the summer when I will be taking my 4 CPA exams to pass them before starting work full time in Nov. 2017. It’s a struggle. I ended up manifesting some money last month and this month but it isn’t enough. I want to focus more on my blog but my head is swamped with everything or completely blank. I am truly worried that I won’t be able to pay for my bills next summer and I’m not entirely sure what to do. The CPA exams should take me 120+hrs each to study for and I’m cramming that into 2 weeks per exam. Getting a summer job defeats the purpose of me taking the time to take the CPA exams – I could have started my job earlier but pushed it off to do this.

    – Spiritual
    7. I’m not religious and I’m not sure I believe in anything. I’m comfortable with where I’m at. I’m not perfect here and I hope to explore this a bit more when other responsibilities are off my plate.

    – Work
    Varies from a 2 to an 8. When I’m not working, it’s close to a 2. I feel useless without my job, not being able to provide for my family is really hard. Trying to support my daughter, myself, our home, our dog, and everything else on savings is a struggle. But, when I am working, I love my job. I love doing taxes and feeling important, knowing that I am helping people who would be lost without me. I look forward to working full time and having mentors, growing, learning, and moving up that corporate ladder.

    – Recreation
    0 but also 9. I laughed when I read this. It is hard to say, at this point in my life, recreation is a fantasy. I have to get through the next 9 months of hell to get through grad school and pass my CPA exams. They are hurdles that I need to jump over and they require so much focus and energy that I don’t have much time for recreation. I do try to read every night and I’ve enjoyed my winter break from school/work with TV shows and board/card games with my daughter. I even have a massage lined up for next Friday (thanks to an awesome holiday gift!) I know recreation is important but I’m okay with where I’m at right now, as long as TV doesn’t interfere with my studies/exams.

    – Environment
    7. My home isn’t perfect, but it is filled with those I love. It is a bit messy sometimes and I struggle keeping it together. I did (finally) put my office back together after having everything stacked in a corner of my living room for 4 months. I look forward to having my living room and office back for the next year. I know that I’ll work on this more but I’m content now.

    I mention my exams & grad school being an obstacle or hurdle right now and that when it’s over things will be better. I know that my struggles or challenges will not disappear when I make it over those hurdles. I do know they will be different too. However, those two things are weighing down on my so much – they are so important for my future and my life/career/family. It makes those things take up a ton of my energy and to get through those, it’ll be a blessing and I can’t wait for that future.

    Step 2
    I’ve been trying to survive. I’ve been trying to fix everything that’s wrong with me. My health, my sleep, my priorities, my “slacking” TV watching, everything. It’s hard and I’ve fallen into a deep sadness. I don’t measure up to what I think I should be, what I know I can be, and my daughter is suffering, I’m suffering. Yet, I can’t fix myself, I give up or give in and I feel so stuck.

    Step 3.
    Yay for 2016:
    1. I started my internship in Jan. with a public accounting firm. I found the job that I love – that I was made for. I excelled and was the only intern to ever receive approval from every senior manager and higher to receive an offer. The partner of the tax division convinced HR/corporate to allow me to come back as a part time & seasonal worker so they didn’t lose me. I’ve never felt so good in my life. I am truly proud of that.
    2. I got into grad school, even completely half of my classes. Plus, maintained a 3.9 GPA (they have A- which is 3.75 and is stupid. I’m a bit salty over it! Lol.) while working a few months during one semester.
    3. Became more open and real with my daughter. I told her about some of the ugly things in the world and had deep conversations with her about them. I shared some of my mistakes with her and how I’ve learned/grown from them. I became closer with her this year.
    4. I spent more time … more quality time with her when I had her. The time we spent together was limited but I did my best to make sure it was as high quality as I could accomplish.
    5. Reconnected with a few friends that I hadn’t talked to in a while. Even went and hung out with people quite a few times. Not bad for a socially awkward introvert! I even did the crazy thing of inviting people to hang out with me. *GASP*

    Things I’ve learned:
    That I’m capable, I’m strong, and I will conquer.

  191. Jessi on December 30, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Feeling some clarity already. I learned that family and friends mean more to me than my job, a clean home, a polished, perfect appearing life. I love being a mom more than my job (which I never thought would be true which has caused heart ache and tension. Grateful for a concerted focus on cultivating relationships and my relationship with the lord but feeling unbalanced after letting go of things that help me stay sane ( running/exercise and quiet time by myself). This taught me that the expectations I put on myself are unrealistic and based on others expectations of me.

  192. Nichole Fischl on December 30, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    1. How are you?
    Health – 2
    Friends – 7
    Family – 9
    Finances – 6
    Spiritual – 9
    Work – 4
    Recreation – 8
    Environment – 8
    Seminary – 8

    2. What have you been chasing?
    being beautiful/thin enough
    “getting through”

    3. Good Things in 2016: My husband and I both began seminary, we bought our first house, we started a Life Group and cultivated deep relationships there, we found ways to go on cheap but fun adventures, we began to establish traditions and routines, we learned to problem solve together through various challenges, went down to being a 1 car household, and hosted many guests in our new home.

    4. Lessons Learned:
    How to problem solve as husband and wife
    How to let go of control and depend on the Lord
    Margin is needed and slowness is good
    God gives grace for each day

    This process is so helpful already! Thank you!

  193. Janice on December 31, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Step 1: Overall I am pretty content with my life – lots of 8-10! My lowest score was a 3 in Spiritual.
    Step 2: I have been chasing: order/routine which has made me feel tired and at times unavailable, but also accomplished (a double edged sword for me!), expectations which have made me feel like a failure, fake, and lonely, and time which has made me feel overwhelmed.
    Step 3: Lots of ‘good things’ for me revolved around people and relationships and reflecting on how those have grown over the year. From that I have learned that investing in the right kinds of relationships is joy-giving. Another big area of blessing for me revolved more around work, and my lesson learned there is that when I am a humble steward of the talent God has given me, He gives me opportunities. Lastly, I saw ‘good things’ happen in the area of my health this year which has taught me to be diligent, disciplined, and patient!

  194. Grace on December 31, 2016 at 1:58 am

    I got to lose 10kg,i grew in my relationship with God, I got clarity over my gifts and my purpose, I built a website on WordPress with no prior knowledge of coding. I built two friendships intentionally.

    I chased perfection. I kept stalling because I didn’t think I was ready or good enough or qualified enough and I tried chasing after these things to accomplish them but didn’t.

    What I learned is that God has my back. He absolutely cares about me and everything that concerns me. He wants me to prosper and would show me how to prosper. To hand over the reins and just follow Him. Life is a journey, we should look at making progress and not being perfect. Now I know that I am good enough, I am perfect, what I know now is enough to help someone else. My identity is in God and not in anyone or anything.

  195. Jen on December 31, 2016 at 3:34 am

    I have never formally thought or wrote out goals for the year ahead but want to live purposefully. I’m excited to go through this process and be able to look back at it next year!

    #1 Health 7, Friends 9, Family 7, Finances 5, Spiritual 6, Work 6, Recreation 7, Environment 7

    #2 This year has been hard and I gave up chasing perfect a long time ago!

    #3 Moving to Thailand for missions! Being shown Gods provision financially for our ministry as well as in friends who offer prayer and encouragement. Our baby learned to sleep this year!

    #4 God is good, even when things around me are crumbling. Learning to give up my idea that I am in complete control of all that happens, Gods plan prevails!

    • Lara on December 31, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Yay, welcome, Jen!

  196. Jane on December 31, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Thank you Lara for doing your Goal Setting Series – it is so helpful as I work through my PowerSheets!

    • Lara on December 31, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Thank YOU my friend for your encouragement this year. It has meant a great deal to me!

  197. Rachel on December 31, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Step 1:

    The biggest areas of growth for me would be health and work. I have taken a lot of chances in work and still do not feel happy or satisfied. But with a new marriage I feel like that is always something that will take work. Same with Spirituality, I am pretty satisfied, but there is always room for growth.

    Step 2:

    I do feel like I am chasing perfect. As a new wife, I see the successful marriages and broken marriages around me and want to strive to make my own successful.

    I also have this idea that work should be something I enjoy, which as never happened for me. I definitely need to steward that better.

    Step 3:

    This one is easier, 2016 was filled with joy. I journaled about it last night.

    2016-my engagement, wedding, honeymoon. Those were all big events, but my favorite so far has just been getting to know my husband more.

    Step 4:

    I have been learning to rest in Christ and that there is joy in the ordinary.

  198. Amy O on December 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Been working through all these along with my powersheets. Here we go:

    1: How am I?
    – Health 3
    – Friends 8
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 5
    – Finances 6
    – Spiritual 4
    – Work 8
    – Recreation 4
    – Environment 6
    – Wriring 6

    2: As I reflected back on the year it became painfully obvious to me that I’ve been chasing praise wholeheartedly. Definately in my new(ish) job but also in smaller ways in my writing and friendships. Chasing praise at times motivated me to do better, be better, but when I didn’t achieve it, it felt like total failure. I want to be the best in all the different things I do/roles I have – I want to be looked up to, admired, seen as someone of value/worth. These things motivate me to do a good job but can also be crippling when they make me focus on results and not characteristics and are damaging when I measure my success by the way it is celebrated and perceived by others.

    3: Good things in 2016? My husband and I both have new jobs where we are much happier! We got to go on a big vacation to Europe. I attended an amazing writing retreat where I made some incredible life giving friendships and lots of small get togethers with friends and date nights with my husband.
    Good things ahead: continuing to learn and excel at my current job, an upcoming all inclusive vacation with our friends, and more writing retreats and workshops!
    Lessons I learned: God works everything out in His own timing, community when pursuing your dreams is just as important as the actual work, and people/experiences with them is lasting!

  199. juzanne on December 31, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Still working on my goal setting but I bless God for finding your website to give me inspiration especially from a Christ-centered perspective. Thanks for sharing your journey from 2016 and your preparation for 2017. God bless your beautiful godly marriage and family!!!

    • Lara on December 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Yay, Juzanne! I’m so grateful you’re here! : )

  200. Erin C. on December 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm


    Health: 5. I’ve thought for a while about which rating to give this area – my whole heart wishes it were higher. I have always placed value in this area of my life. I find joy in choosing an active lifestyle – exercise, enjoying nature, eating healthy and whole. My regular activity was interrupted this fall as I spent more time than I’d hoped in doctors offices and in my own mind trying to sort through what my body was trying to tell me. I’m working through multiple diagnoses – none life threatening (praise the Lord!), but all pointing to a need for de-stress, rest, and balance. While my active lifestyle does not have to be reduced accordingly, a mental battle has ensued – I’ve felt discouraged, anxious, and unsure. My prayer with the start of this new year is that my focus would be to pursue a healthy mind and heart before a healthy body.

    Friends: 8. I’ve learned the value of “heart” friends, as my mom likes to call them, especially this year. I have prayed for and sought out raw, vulnerable, joy-filled friendships with like-minded women. The Lord has provided abundantly! A lot of my friends have moved away, so it is a challenge to deeply connect often, so I am still trusting that He will continue to place new hearts in my path and teach me how to foster old friendships well.

    Family: 8. My family is a significant part of my life. I have been married for 1.5 years to my favorite man on earth and have learned more than I ever had in my entire life. More about my brokenness and sin and how the Lord brings beauty from the cracked places. Although it’s been hard, I’m counting it as joy for the magnitude of lessons I’ve learned as grace I’ve been given! As the oldest of six children, I have been blessed as a sister and have tried to slow down time as I watch my younger siblings grow at a seemingly rapid pace. My parents are phenomenal, and our relationship is continually being molded. We have learned a lot together as we have navigated our relationship while I’ve been married. If I’m being honest, my people-pleasing tendencies play a role in my relationships with my family and my friends – an area I want to transform into God-pleasing tendencies. My innate defensiveness also plays a role in communication with those I love – one I want to surrender into humility.

    Finances: 6. This has been a fairly new arena I’ve stepped into with marriage. I’m learning to follow my husband’s lead, which is tricky at times, especially with finances. We have an established budget, but inconsistently follow it. I am thankful for our commitment to give to the best of our abilities. I hope to better steward what we’re given by having a better handle on our budget and our communication with each other.

    Spiritual: 6. My saddest realization is that I tend to over-pile my life with “important” tasks, to-dos, assignments, etc. My role as a full-time graduate student, part-time worker, recent business owner (and the list goes on!) too often overshadows my deep-down desire to seek the Lord first. I am graced to have a loving community and an indescribable Father that draw me close when I feel unable to push in on my own. This year was an unusually busy one, which unfortunately equated to a lack of intentional time with the Lord and prayer. I know that without this as my utmost priority and purpose in life, I will run myself thin. I pray my purpose is not in my doings but in the ultimate purpose of my everlasting Father.

    Work: 7. Work for me is divided into three areas: graduate studies in speech-language pathology, a graduate assistantship requiring 20 hours of work per week, and consulting for an incredible company. I’ve always been driven in this area and love diving into what I’m passionate about. I have learned a lot through each of these avenues, mostly about time-management and the importance of balance. I experienced over-commitment and striving based on perfectionism this year.

    Recreation: 6. I’d love to cultivate this area of life more. I have toyed with calligraphy and guitar, among other things. I’d love to pursue these hobbies more. I love traveling and have had to understand the financial obligations that are attached to this. I have lots of dreams to do lots of things I love, but find myself in the dreamer stage most frequently!

    Environment: 8. We’ve filled our home with people we love and a new (very energetic and rambunctious) dog. I’ve learned that the people in it fulfill my environment much more than the stuff inside. I want to stop spending my time unintentionally (social media, etc.) and seek to surround myself with life-giving activities, prayers, and people.


    I chase perfection. I chase approval. I chase success. I chase feelings.
    My chasing is life-sucking and tiring and frustrating. It lacks purpose, assurance, and hope. It results in self-pity and sadness. I pray to lean into the life-giving Father and stop the chasing I subconsciously find myself doing daily.


    My good things:
    – Our dog. In all reality, this new part of our lives has mainly resulted in tears and frustration on my part. We brought a German Shepherd into our family in April – a lively, energetic, attention-seeking, loud, fun, hilarious dog. One that has taught me about responsibility and expectation and love for my husband. Blessing in disguise.
    – Affirmation for my career. Grad school has been trying in more ways than one. The Lord continually reminded me that this path is best suit for me through amazing clients. I am blessed to pursue what I love through what I do.
    – Deeper love for my husband. It’s been a challenging year in the best way. We’re learning to do “together.” We’ve learned most about communication, frustration, expectation, and pride. I’m just super grateful for him.
    – A new opportunity through an amazing company. I joined a safe skincare/beauty company called Beautycounter as a consultant this fall, a few days before I embarked on my medical journey. Although it came at a time I didn’t think I could handle one more thing, I’ve learned the incredible importance of self-care and have loved connecting with others through this outlet.

    Good things ahead:
    – Graduation! In May, I’ll have a Masters degree. Praise the Lord!
    – A new job! I’ll begin a new job after graduation.
    – Deeper trust in the Lord.

  201. Kat H on January 1, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Good thing ahead: my kiddo’s first birthday…I’ve been waiting to celebrate my own child for YEARS!!

  202. Becky S. on January 1, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Hi Lara! I learned about you from your having Sally Clarkson on your podcast. I know it was a God thing, a divine appointment:) I needed this. I was ready to get back on top of things this year. I wouldn’t have been last year. His timing is always perfect. You are such a blessing.
    Finally had some time alone this weekend to work on this. So excited! My 6 month powersheets should be in Wed, but in the meantime I’m working in a notebook.
    Sharing a few answers from each step. I’m grateful for “having to” get still and focused on these questions bc honestly 2015 & 16 are years I’d just like to forget happened at all. Or at least I thought so, but there were a few wonderful things I wouldn’t have missed for the world:)
    Step One: Just sharing a few for the sake of space and time. Friends – 4 – not enough face to face connecting going on, need to initiate more. Recreation – 3 – what’s that? haha! Need I say more? Family – 7 – Very blessed. Need to tweak priorities, need more time with hubby, we need more family fun time. Spiritual – 7 – lots of growth and good stuff going on, but praying with hubby needs to be more consistent. Also miss having a prayer partner and I need to be more consistent in Bible reading/studying.
    Step Two: What am I chasing? (Such a great video btw.) I’m chasing a different outcome to a family heartache; an escape; perfection and I are old friends (enemies), too; significance, purpose, maybe significance in my purpose?
    Step Three: Good things – I was a little stronger in 2016 than I was in ’15 from the terrible family circumstances that nearly took me down. My wonderful husband is still my wonderful husband after 31 years. None of that has changed. So thankful for him. Our adult children are married, doing well, and have both given us a total of 8 grandchildren (I’m 50) in the last 7 years! Yes, 8 (ages 7 and under) with two new granddaughters in 2016! Our kids still at home are doing well in spite of some learning disabilities and hardships due to their birth mother’s poor choices. And my sweet, beautiful grandmother turned 90 on Jan. 1, 2016 and is celebrating 91 later today! Husband and boys are still going to men’s Bible Study Fellowship. I’m so grateful for all those things and taking the time to focus on those bc I could fill a book with all the hard, “bad” things that satan has tried to use to destroy my family these last two years.
    Lessons learned or reinforced: God is faithful all the time. He is good no matter what. The hard times are where faith and trust come in to play. His grace is sufficient even when you don’t think it’s going to be – just hold on a little longer. His mercies are new every day. He will carry me when I can’t go one step further for as long as He knows I need it. He is always working, even when I can’t see it. He loves me. Just the way I am.
    Whew! This Baptist girl is fixinta (that’s a highly technical southern term) go all charismatic!
    Good things ahead: More healing. Loving my hubby and babies and g-babies:) Husband teaching a men’s class at church on being God’s men, husbands, fathers. I’m beginning a MOM HEART group in my home and already have about 10 committed to coming.
    So excited to see the Lord bringing me out of a very dark place. Little by little. Encouraged about 2017.
    Thank you for doing this, Lara!

  203. Veronica on January 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I heard about Power Sheets a year ago this time. I’m excited to dive into this series, even without the power sheets. I just wrote everything from this post into a little journal that I’ll keep church and message notes in as well so I’ll be sure to turn back to these pages often! I wont share it all because it was PAGES but I loved reflecting on the last year and noticing how, even though I feel I have been less in touch with the Lord that He has been ever so present in the last year and has really taught me a lot!

    Thank you for this! I’m excited and boy would it be cool to win part of the giveaway too!

  204. Bobbi on January 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I’m a little late to the game but starting this series right now! Happy New Year!

  205. Natalie on January 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Part One


    – Health: 4. I have been eating better but I have neglected to exercise and as a result or letting myself get overworked and over-tired I’ve had strep twice this month and a constant anxious feeling
    – Friends: 4. I have neglected my friendships because I’m too tired and stressed.
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable): 5. I’m getting burnt out on living in a long distance relationship, I am letting my exhaustion creep into my relationship and affect it.
    – Finances: 8. I am the most financially stable I have ever been, although I still need work in making a budget and sticking to it.
    – Spiritual: 6. I have made great strides this year to making my spiritual growth a priority, but I have taken a few steps back in the last 2 months.
    – Work: 1. My job has become the cause of so much stress and it is affecting every area of my life.
    – Recreation: 4. I always feel too tired or too busy to make time for fun in my life, I need to amke fun a priority.
    – Environment: 1. When was the last time I did anything for the environment?!


    I have been chasing success. While finishing up my masters all that I could think about was how much can I make and will this impress everyone? I didn’t listen to myself and do what I wanted to do, I did what I thought everyone else wanted me to do. I started an amazing career that offers a lot of money, benefits and room for growth… but I gave up my friends, my sanity and I lost sight of what my passions were.


    My Good Things:
    1. I graduated from Texas Tech with my Masters in Hospitality and Retail Management, and I had a great job lined up for me right out of school!
    2. I was fortunate enough to be making enough to afford to purchase my very own car!! I had a 2006 Jetta before that was barely hanging on that my parents had given me for my 16th birthday, but now I have a 2016 RAV4 and I couldn’t be more excited!
    3. I go to travel back to Edinburgh, Scotland as well as traveling to Manchester, California and the Grand Canyon for the first time!

  206. April Emery on January 1, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I encouraged my son today in how great of a helper he has been with putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher. (We are trying to teach/encourage helpfulness in this season of parenting)

  207. Kara-Anne on January 1, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    I’ve been doing this for SO many years now! Here I go for 2017.

    – Health: 7
    – Friends: 5
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable): 7
    – Finances: 5
    – Spiritual: 6
    – Work: 3
    – Recreation: 8
    – Environment: 8

    What have you been chasing lately, or last year?

    I’ve been chasing perfect — trying to style the perfect home, trying to keep up with chores every week just because of how I want to be portrayed, trying to do the perfect things to make it seem like my business was like the “big guys.”

    It’s exhausting and at the end of the year, I have nothing to show for it. I don’t have a better business that I love and gives me a happy heart, I wore out my husband, and the year just wasn’t great.

    What good things happened in 2016?

    – Sunshine’s surgery was a success and she is recovering well.
    – The home is almost complete and is lovely.
    – We spent money on vacations than things.
    – Deciding to foster Forrest.
    – Knowing that I need to slow down and reevaluate life and business.
    – One round approval clients who placed complete trust in my work.

    Good things ahead:

    – A renewed business that’s more streamlined, simple and impactful, to the point.
    – Renewed honesty in the marriage with more sharing of feelings.
    – More intentional growth of my community and my friendships / relationships.
    – Doing more creative things that make my heart happy (*my heart does happy sighs).
    – Digging more into the Bible with my scripture guide, Bethel and TIN community.

    Three lessons you learned from the good things:

    – Your way is okay: It doesn’t matter what others are doing right now, or how far behind you might be. Your way is okay. Take all the time you need to get clarity and peace, and then surge forward with what God calls you to do in your heart.
    – There is no right or perfect answer to life: Someone else’s answer might sound better, might seem better, and might make a lot of sense. But it’s not your answer. Your answer can sound imperfect, badly phrased and simplistic. But it is your answer to life and no one else’s.
    – Make God the center: Surrender control and direction to God — we have no real control. Trying to take back the wheel by force will just cause the car to spin on black ice. Step back and let God unveil the way and the truth.

  208. Lydia on January 2, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Encouraged a friend with young children and spent a little time with them today.

  209. Lydia on January 2, 2017 at 12:32 am

    These have to be my favorite posts of the year! I especially love spending time looking back on all the good things that happened this past year including a new website, ministry to Arabic refugees, sweet new friends, travel, and so much more!

  210. April on January 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

    These are my notes, which probably make no sense, but I’m SO THANKFUL for your stewardship of this wisdom!

    Step 1
    2 – Health – I have no handle on my health, I’m putting myself last and it starting to show inside and out
    6 – Friends – so thankful for new friends, need to sow into the community we’re building
    9 – Family – after a really tough year, I am so thankful to have grown into one another
    3 – Finances – how to steward NO MATTER how much we have
    8 – Spiritual – God is SO NEAR, I need a proactive plan to build in time while being a parent
    7 – Work (Mothering / House Running) – Less electronics, more outside!
    2 – Recreation – NEED SOME
    5 – Environment – Simplify. Love with less.
    5 – Contentment – I CAN and would like to live with less, but NEED priorities for spending and what does my heart good.

    Step 2
    My chasing perfect places are :
    – Health – the more I chase, the worse shape I’m in. What does GODS plan for my health look like?
    – Should – so many shoulds. “I should be doing”, “I should be spending” I SHOULD I SHOULD I SHOULD. What would GOD have me doing? What CAN I? What AM I?

    Step 3
    – GOD STEPPED IN. When you ask God to take over, HE WILL. No matter what it looks like – generally not what I anticipate at all – HE IS IN IT.
    – I drew closer to God.
    – I drew closer to my husband.
    – I drew closer to my family.
    – I did the Whole30 TWICE.
    – I received a new view on how God can use even the parts of me what I don’t like and hide away.
    – My best friend ACCEPTED CHRIST when visiting!
    – God provided. In ways I cant even count and im sure some that I don’t even know. Time and time again. He stretched the dry season longer than we thought possible and through all provided for our needs. He even let US provide – through his provision – a place for those who needed one.
    – God used the dry season to show me what Paul really meant by being GLAD through and in the STRUGGLES.
    – My baby is exceeding all milestones. She is a JOY and pushes me to be a better EVERYTHING.
    – Refinement through motherhood – I never asked for my greatest blessing.

    Step 4
    1. God REALLY IS WORTH IT. All of it. The Hard. The Hurtful. His good trumps it all.
    2. Its never about me. Ever. Even the things I think are about me – like paying my mortgage so that I can have a home – are still about other people when I provide a place for those who need one. So thankful that even the blessings God gives to me are still meant for others!
    3. My people are important. Who I surround myself with is IMPORTANT. It breathes life into situations or takes the light out. It allows God into the places that I won’t allow Him myself or it completely removes Him from the situation. Its my choice to surround myself with people who allow and welcome God.

  211. Emma on January 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Ahh yes!! Working through this stuff (through your post AND with my Powersheets) has really helped me see the ways insecurities are holding me back from taking risks! I’m so excited to see how this shapes 2017!!

  212. Jessica Fall on January 2, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Such a fantastic & transparent way to minister to others as they find God’s best for their lives. Thank you, Lara, for your ministry. I am excited to dive into the power sheets process!!

  213. vb on January 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you for this series. I enjoy the process of setting goals, I’m just not very good at being intentional. I hope this will help me!

  214. Kirsten C on January 2, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Can’t wait to see what biG things this year has in store!

  215. Toria on January 3, 2017 at 7:14 am

    – Health, 8. Although I feel healthy and try to take really good care of my body, I know my immune system needs lots of support and work this year
    – Friends, 8. So grateful for the friends the Lord has put in my life, although there are some relationships that make me feel strained and tense. I need to cut the ones that are pulling me into negativity and not allow them to direct my life!
    – Family, 9. There is always room for improvement, but I am so grateful for how much time I’ve been able to spend with family this past year!
    – Finances, 6. Need to make a better budget this year.
    – Spiritual, 8. Once you taste His glory, you never get enough! Want to keep pressing deeper into the heart of God this year!
    – Work, 6. Not my favorite job, but this is where God has me now. I need to bloom where I’m planted.
    – Recreation, 7. I want to develop purposeful recreation, not mindless recreation.
    – Environment, 7. Working on purging and organizing this year, turning my spaces in to places I LOVE and that work for me!

    I’ve been chasing approval for far too long- time to break out and celebrate who God has created ME to be, dancing for His audience alone!

    Good things in 2016- honestly, it was a HARD YEAR. My good things were the lessons I learned! Savoring the season I’m in. Spending time with family means the most. Just because God asks you to stay back from the dreams in you heart, it doesn’t mean you’re forgotten or overlooked!

  216. Toria on January 3, 2017 at 7:15 am

    (so I just posted my answers and now they’re not showing up in the comments?? I hope they went through!!)

  217. Toria on January 3, 2017 at 7:22 am

    (aah! don’t think my answers went through the first time, so writing them out again!)

    Health, 8. Although I take care of my body and feel healthy, I know there is a lot internally (like my immune system) that I need to work on this year.
    Friends, 8. So grateful for the friends God has given me, but there are some relationships that make me feel tense and stressed. I need to cut the relationships that drag me into negativity and not allow them to direct my life!
    Family, 9. Always room for improvement, but so glad for all the time I spent with my family last year!
    Financial, 6. I need to create a budget that works for me!
    Spiritual, 8. Once you’ve tasted God’s glory, you never have enough! I want to taste more and more of His goodness this year!
    Work, 6. It’s not my favorite job, but I need to bloom where I’m planted regardless.
    Recreation, 7. I want purposeful recreation, not mindless recreation.
    Environment, 8. Keep purging and organizing this year, creating a space I LOVE and that works for me!

    STEP 2
    I have been chasing approval from others. Time to break free and celebrate who God has created me to be, dancing for His approval alone!

    STEP 3
    This year was HARD. The good things were really the lessons I learned through it all!

    Lessons Learned:
    I am enough in Christ, and I am fully equipped for all He has in store for me!
    Spending time with family means the most!
    Savor the season I’m in. When God holds you back from the dreams on your heart, it doesn’t mean you’re forgotten or overlooked. You just have to be grateful for the moment, even if it’s not what you thought it would be.

  218. Toria on January 3, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I want to encourage YOU, Lara, and your entire team! You all are making such a huge difference in the lives of SO MANY people, and we are all so so grateful! Thank you so much for all the time, energy, and resources you pour into making PowerSheets happen! Be encouraged and strengthened by the Holy Spirit- keep on marching forward and pursuing the things God is placing on your hearts!

    • Lara on January 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      You are so kind, Toria! Thank you for this gift of encouragement!!

  219. Anna on January 3, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    1. Health: 6, Friends: 8, Family: 8, Finances: 3, Reflection: 4, Career: 6, Recreation: 5.

    2. I have been chasing success–and realizing that I need to redefine how I think of success since success I am chasing does not match with where I hope to be when I’m 80!

    3. Good things in 2016: Seeing my children grow as siblings, being present, setting smaller goals, reading, baking, accepting the seasons of life for what they are.
    Good ahead: Family vacations, new job, lunches with girl friends, self care, teaching my daughter to read and ride a bike
    Lessons Learned: Slow is ok. I need to focus more on gratitude. I need to let go of mom guilt.

  220. Lauren D. on January 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    So excited for this series! I’ve done your goal setting since 2012 and just love it! I bought powersheets for the first time this year and am loving them. I worked through the prep slowly and feel really good about what I’m focusing on for 2017.

    1. Health: 7, Friends: 7, Family: 7, Finances: 7, Spiritual: 5, Work: 8, Recreation: 6, Environment: 6

    2. I’ve been chasing everything. I work full-time outside our home and had 2 babies in the last 18 months. I’m trying to hold on to my career but keep everything organized and perfect at home. Multi-tasking is not working for me and I haven’t allowed any time for myself. Since I’m away from home most hours of the day during the week, I feel like I should be with my babies all other times when they’re awake.

    3. So many good things! There were 20 babies born in 2016 in our circle. My first born turned 1 this year and I gave birth to another boy. My first nephew was born. We celebrated 3 years of marriage. We’re getting on track with our finances – adding to our savings and were able to fairly seamlessly transition new renters into our income property – something I worried about so much!

    Lessons learned – Planning and prioritizing is key for me. Taking even just 30 mins for myself, to read, exercise, whatever… makes me happier and more relaxed which makes me a better mama and wife.

  221. Lauren D. on January 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Encouragement – I texted a friend encouraging words who is worried that her baby isn’t gaining enough weight.

    Since becoming a new mama, I’ve realized the best thing you can say to a new mama is “You’re doing a great job”.

  222. Kristen on January 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I am just now sitting down to begin writing my goals for 2017 and I am SO GLAD I read this post before putting pen to paper. I just finished the first days worth of questions and look forward to completing the other steps.

    1: How am I?
    – Health 8
    – Friends 7
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) 6
    – Finances 5
    – Spiritual 5
    – Work 4
    – Recreation 6
    – Environment 5

    2: I have been chasing perfection, success, and worth. If something that I am working on isn’t perfect I have a hard time moving forward. Most days I don’t realize that’s what I am doing but after giving it some thought and reading this post I realize that I need to make some changes.

    3. Good things in 2016? There were so many good things! And like you mentioned, most the tough things ended up being the best things. Moved from CA to TX, build a house, taught my first lettering workshops, became pregnant (after 2 years of waiting and doctors), my husband and I moved into our first home, our good friends ended up moving right down the road… seriously so much to be thankful for!

    4. Three things I learned this year? Stepping out in faith is tough but worth it. Just keep going. Slowing down sounds counter productive but sometimes it’s the most productive thing we can do.

    Loving this process of goal setting so far! Excited to keep going.

  223. leah on January 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    3 things I learned this year. Pride is a bigger problem in my life than I realized. Prayer is the most important thing I can do. And God is the only One who can transform hearts. Looking forward to the things He will teach me in 2017.

  224. Katelyn Smith on January 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Step 1:

    Recreation score was a solid 6. Read more books. Act with more service. Cultivate hobbies and creativity. Scroll Less!

  225. Bre on January 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    1. Health: 5, Friends: 6, Family: 7, Finances: 4, Spiritual: 6, Work: 7, Recreation: 5, Environment: 3

    2. I am chasing being SUPER at everything. I would like to set realistic expectations for myself and be able to let go when my ideal= my reality.

    3. Good things in 2016: Marriage, adjusting through the hard times, gaining some financial security, seeing my children thrive in a wonderful preschool
    Lessons Learned: Good things can grow, even in harsh environments. Leaning on God to help be fruitful. Let go of mom guilt esp. when I know its in the best interest for our family. Accepting Plan B does not mean giving up, but means moving forward.

  226. Missy on January 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks so much for your time and the encouragement to sit with the hard stuff and celebrate how it has stretched and grown you. I am still working through the steps and it has been good. Knowing your themes I thought you would like this reflection on teaching – especially as you prepare to homeschool. We have done it ( often in coops) for 9 years now and it is a hard but good road. This article is about teaching being soil cultivation not seed planting – it is a helpful perspective for me and reminds me to get myself in order first and allow my kids to bloom the way God made them.

  227. Sarah on January 4, 2017 at 10:31 am

    My husband and I went through this together last night and I’m looking forward to doing part 2 with him today!! Thank you for being such a blessing!!!

    The biggest change I want to see happen in 2017 would be in the areas of health and my spiritual life. So many good things happened in my 2016 — college graduation, getting married the next day, landing my first teaching job, then transitioning into vocational ministry 2 months after that…what a whirlwind! Looking forward to planting some roots and growing deep in 2017 after such a crazy year of change after change after change. <3

  228. Hope on January 4, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I love these posts and am now listening to them over and over as I work on setting and achieving my goals! You are such a motivating resource and I can’t wait to share the goals I have created because of these guides.

  229. Naomi on January 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Amazing that Powersheets are sold out. I have several online biz friends that absolutely LOVE your work!

  230. Cindi on January 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    What a blessing to find your blog today. Exactly what I need for this year!
    1. I’m beginning 2017 by weaning off meds for fibromyalgia because I feel they are doing more harm than good. I want to find natural ways to deal with my symptoms rather than poisons that mask. I find myself separated from family and friends since we moved in 2014 from Florida to Wisconsin by way of the Michigan UP, but some of that was deliberate on my part to cut toxic negativity out of my life. I’ve been out of work for a year now, my husband was for most of 2016, so we have faced challenges that God provided for at every turn. Winters here are harsh, and we rent a basement apartment on the far edge of town, so I’ve become isolated and maybe a little agoraphobic after new acquaintances proved to be not who I thought they were.
    2. I spent my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s chasing perfect only to lose it all in my 50’s and realize that sometimes perfect is less than what you thought it would be.
    3. While we faced many challenges in 2016, it made our faith and marriage stronger, and revealed God’s miracles and answered prayers in unexpected ways.

  231. Sherry on January 4, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you! These first steps are just what I really needed. This Christmas I was dancing on the edge of depression and NOT looking forward to the year ahead. I felt no purpose and no love or a desire for anything. Doing this combined with the simplified organization module 1 has really lifted my spirits! In Mystie’s module one she asks you to find three mottos… well…. One of mine is for sure “Flowers grow through the dirt.” They sure do! Here are some of my “good things” Disney last January, buying property so we can play in the woods, finding my homeschool kindred spirits, healed relationships with my teens. Good things ahead: Building a home! Not my dream home buy my home nonetheless. Thank you for making me be honest with myself and looking at how I am really doing so I can move past the doubts and hurts and fear and take the next steps this year!

  232. Meghan Poort on January 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    3 lessons.
    We definitely did not need such a big house. Smaller is so much better.
    I cannot do all things and do them all well. It’s time to sit back from the work arena for a little while and work on my family.
    The internet is amazing, but also a huge time sucker. I will be more mindful of my scrolling in 2017!!!!

  233. Rebecca on January 4, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    All I can really say is how grateful I am to have found this! Tonight I am finally diving into my prep-work pages and I am really looking forward it!! Thanks so much putting so much amazing work into all of this!! <3

  234. Sarah Oneal on January 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    2016 Good things and lessons learned…

    Life is crazy lately. The last few years have tried my family like crazy. Whew..

    This year I’ve learned that I like to work on something apart from my family. A business or something creative. I’m praying and learning more WHAT that is still, but it’s starting to bloom. 🙂

    I’ve learned that one can be healthy, but still need the help of a doctor. Basically not to go into too much detail, God is in control. I can’t think I’m in control in anything. I can think I have SO much control over my health and that of my family, when reality is,God is in control. Being healthy is great, yes, but I should never think I have that much control. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but it’s something I’m learning to relax in.

    I’ve been learning still that God knows what is best. Trusting Him may feel scary, but it’s the best option. It’s the more restful option. Letting go of the control of my finances and letting God do His thing. Still hard for me, but I’m progressing. 🙂

    Those are just a few things I’ve learned and are still in progress… 🙂

  235. Annie on January 5, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    I am SO thankful that I found your website, Lara! I have been look for a way to reflect on 2016 and God knew exactly what He was doing when He led me to your website!

    Fruits from 2016!
    1. Getting a job as an EMT in an emergency department! (I have never loved a job as much as I do now!)
    2. Discovering that I value relationships that are deep; relationships that have meaningful conversation, the friendships that challenge you and friendships where there is reciprocation (relationships are a two way street!)
    3. The realization that God loves me so much more than I ever EVER could imagine.
    4. Cutting more than 12 inches of my hair and donating it to Locks of Love
    (These are just a few of them! I came up with a list of 20 things…it’s crazy how much God blessed me this year!)

    Three lessons that I learned!
    1. I feel the best when I am surrounded by those who challenge me, who have meaningful conversations, and those who appreciate me for who I am.
    2. God’s love for me is more than I ever could fathom.
    3. To continue to trust my instincts, even when it seems like they are deterring me from my path (for example, taking General Chemistry I for a second time….And boy it sure paid off!!)

  236. Annie on January 5, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    I added the last two steps, but I didn’t add the first two steps, so I’d also like to share those too!

    What I’ve been chasing the past year:
    1. Success – I’ve been chasing success in school, specifically to the point where I’ve expected myself to get all A’s (in science classes that are hard!). This expectation that I’ve put on myself has caused me to put SO much pressure on myself. It has also made me feel as if any grade (even an A) isn’t good enough.
    2. A relationship – As a 20-something, I see what feels like everyone around me is getting engaged or married or is in a relationship. So this past year, I chased dating, I chased my want of having a boyfriend. I chased to the point where I was in a relationship that broke my heart shortly after. Chasing this made me exhausted both physically and emotionally. Chasing this guy made me feel drained, hurt and used. My feelings were never reciprocated (something that I realized is so important to me).

    2016 Inventory
    Health – 2 (Reason: lack of sleep and not caring as much about my Celiac Disease…which significantly impacts my health).
    Friends – 7 (Reason: Finding some of my most dear friends, and the realization that I need to set boundaries with those whom I am not as close to).
    Family – 7 (Reason: I am beginning the process of setting better boundaries with my parents).
    Finances – 3 (Reason: I drained my savings account this year and I spent a little too much…it’s a work in progress!)
    Spiritual – 6 (Reason: I want to develop a better relationship with God and develop my prayer life).
    Work – 10 (Reason: I love my job and I’ve never been happier!)
    Recreation – 6 (Reason: I want to get back into doing yoga at least once a week.)
    Environment – 8 (Reason: I am SO close to finish organizing and tidying up my entire room! Courtesy of the amazing book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up!)
    Categories I added:
    School – 10 (Reason: I retook Chemistry I and knocked it out of the park! And I am one step closer to applying to Physician Assistant School!)
    P.A. School – 6 (Reason: School is going well and I am continuing to build up my resume by working in an emergency department. This year, I plan on taking the GRE and finalizing my list of schools to apply to.)
    Thought Process (What I tell myself and the thoughts I believe) – 7 (Reason: I am not as degrading and negative towards myself as I have been in the past, and my goal for this year is to turn to God’s word as the REAL truth!)

  237. Elizabeth on January 6, 2017 at 5:51 am

    I’ve loved following along with this goal setting series with the PowerSheets this year! I just now finished up my prep work and set my goals, because life with a toddler.

    Some of the good things for me this year were:
    -surviving the first year of motherhood!
    -spending time with my son (born Nov. last year) and watching him grow
    -traveling and exploring lots of new places with my family
    -having friends and family visit us in Germany
    -a great visit home to celebrate Miles’s first birthday and Thanksgiving with our families

    My lessons were:
    1. Memories made are worth the extra effort of traveling with a baby, even though it seems daunting at the time!
    2. I need to care for myself first in order to best care for those around me.
    3. Every phase is temporary! Breathe, pray, and let go of control.

  238. Jen Myers on January 7, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I am so excited to be part of this. I just got my Powersheets today and am reading through this series as I help myself get acquainted with it. Here are my answers for Part 1 of the goal setting series.

    STEP 1
    – Health: 5 – I am so fortunate to be blessed with no health issues. But I am about 70 pounds overweight so it’s a ticking clock to when things will start to be a problem for me. I have work to do so I can maintain my health!
    – Friends: 7 – I have the best friends a girl could ask for but I gravitate toward laziness and often want to be home with a book or my TV. I need to make more time for my friends to continue to cultivate what I have.
    – Family: 10 – I am a single mom and my daughter and I rock a very lucky life. We moved out on our own in the last year and have been building a nice home together.
    – Finances: 7 – I received two promotions in the last year and have been blessed with a pay rate that makes me feel 100% confident in my ability to provide and save. However, I like to spend and can see that I made some poor choices in 2016 that I have to dig out of. This is one of my biggest priorities this year.
    – Work: 4 – I do my job and I do it well and get rewarded well but it brings me very little satisfaction. I am on the hunt for something more meaningful.
    – Recreation: 5 – I mentioned earlier that I default to laziness and it tends to rob me from the ability to get out and DO more. I have fun when I let myself and we travel but I want to do more than just experience most of my life through a keyboard and television.
    – Environment: 8 – I have worked very hard to create a home that is welcoming but not cluttered. I grew up in a hoarding house and my own peace is driven by tidiness. There’s a few projects left to do to get me all the way there but we’re close.

    STEP 2:
    I have been chasing perfect, for sure. I look around at work and see other people in jobs that seem so fulfilling to them and then I feel like my job is somehow less than, that I’ve done something wrong. I look at my body, which is carrying entirely too much extra weight and my teeth which are crooked, and then I feel like that must be why I am not finding love or happiness. I’m chasing who and what I think I should be instead of being who I am.

    STEP 3:
    My good things from 2016 weren’t immediately obvious to me because I let myself fall into the trap many did – that 2016 was just an awful year. But then I looked back. In 2016 I was able to provide my daughter with our very own home, without roommates, without financial assistance from elsewhere. In 2016, my boss recognized excellence in my work and I got not one, but two pay raises. I took a Girls-Only trip with some of my best friends and saw Las Vegas for the first time ever. I got to travel to Texas and spend the time just before Christmas with my best friend, his wife, and his niece. It was a year of loving the people closest to me and of loving myself enough to finally allow myself the confidence to DO WELL.

    Three lessons I learned:
    – I am capable of providing a life for myself and my daughter and that I can give her a good life even if it’s not flashy and full of everything she wants. She has everything she needs.
    – The best things happen when I stop worrying about them. I am learning to let go when I have no ability to influence a situation.
    – I am enough. I truly am just right exactly as I am, as long as I have hope and drive to continue improving as I move forward.

  239. Becky. Phillips on January 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Step 1: health 3 friends 9 family 5 Finances 6 spiritual 5 work 2 recreation 7 environment 3 Homeschool 6

  240. Becky. Phillips on January 7, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Step 2: Success and “More”
    Step 3: good things of 2016 were hard to find : a few business. Success goals (leadership in 2 companies), read and played more with my kids, I tutored my Homeschool classes well.

  241. Sara on January 9, 2017 at 9:04 am

    What a gift you are, Lara! Thank you for sharing God’s heart for us in the way of goal setting. Such a beautiful invitation…
    1. How am I?
    Health – 7
    Friends – 5
    Family – 8
    Finances -5
    Spiritual – 8
    Work – 7
    Recreation – 4
    Environment – 6

    Step 2 What have I been chasing?
    Our family went through crisis in 2016.. I have been chasing Jesus like my life depended on it (shocker: It always has depended on Him). The clarity that came in desperation caused me to freshly see that chasing after anything else truly was chasing after the wind.

    Step 3 What good things happened in 2016?

    Clear vision of reality. Giving Jesus full access and control of my life is the only path to freedom and fulness of joy.

    Understanding that I am in control of my own emotions and behavior and no one else’s. I love others well by maintaining boundaries based on that truth. Trying to control my family/kids/environment in pursuit of peace was an unachievable pursuit. Life changing revelation for me!

    Experienced the redemptive truth that God really is making all things new. Nothing and no one is out of reach of His plan of redemption.

    Incredible 10yr anniversary trip to Kauai with my husband.

  242. Amanda Rahn on January 9, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I have never been so excited or intentional about setting goals. I’m so thankful I found you and your resources. Sad I found out about it after powersheets were sold out!

    1. How am I?
    Health- 7 : I think overall my health is ok. I have been suffering from headaches, but I know it’s from not drinking enough water. I need to be more regular with my workouts and healthy eating too, so.. I’m on my way! Progress, right? 😉

    Friends- 4. After moving my life to India to serve in missions, I have had the hardest time making new friends, and have lost touch with my old friends. It’s so hard to balance.

    Family- 6
    I talk to my mom every day, my sister every few days.. but I need to be better at at least emailing my family once a month!

    Finance- 8
    I pretty good at saving and not overspending. I do think I can work on spending money on eating out! It’s so hard in India tho!

    Spiritual – 7
    I need to make my quiet time my first priority every morning, before looking at my phone or anything else!

    I have spurts of good times and growth, and then I hit so many walls here. I get overwhelmed at the lack of help, resources, language barriers, etc. But I know that I am going in the right direction. God opened doors to go into schools and we are teaching over 4,000 kids a week with the GOSPEL. I’m amazed. I just need to get my own mind up to speed.

    Recreation- 3
    I don’t go out or do much for fun. I think out of the remorse of feeling like I’m not doing enough in my work- I stay at home so I don’t feeel guilty. This needs to change. I have an amazing city to explore!

    I live in a really bad building. Haha. Like, my ceiling is falling through.. I am desperate for a more quiet place to live this year.. with space to breathe and create!

    2. What have I been chasing?
    It’s hard for me to admit, but I have definitely been chasing perfection when I don’t even have enough resources to be halfway to perfect. I also chase the approval of my leadership- because it means so much to me, but in turn it leaves me feeling worried and anxious!

    3. Good things in 2016
    *visited my family twice after 2 years of not visiting america.
    * planned and executed a successful fundraising banquet for my work in India.
    *got into 10 schools with our programs
    *adopted a sweet cocker spaniel in India.
    *increased the attendance of our kids programs from 1,000 to over 4,000 children per week.
    *lost 15 lbs
    *learned to drive my scooter all by myself
    *learned what it means to really love my enemies

    4. Good things ahead
    *expand into more schools. 20 is my goal!
    *going to america in February
    *my best friend is getting married in Canada and I’m in her wedding
    *moving to a new house
    *growing my relationship with God and being intentional in every day!

    5. Things I learned in 2016
    *i learned that no matter how much I feel in control or out of control, that God is actually the one in control. He will make things happen in HIS time- so not to worry when it doesn’t happen right away or when I think it should!

    *i learned that loving my enemies isn’t for their sake, because often they will still hate. It’s for my sake- to develop my character and to show me where I am still weak or where I am getting stronger.

    Thank you so much for this. It feels great to share and write out! Even if I don’t win powersheets- I will continue to follow along and keep my goals! Lots of love!

  243. Tamara Owens on January 9, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Step 1: Health – 7, Friends – 5, Family – 8, Finances – 6, Spiritual – 7, Work – 7, Recreation – 4, Environment – 6

    Step 2: I have been chasing perfect, order. But God has me on a journey toward savoring, slowing down and passively waiting on Him.

    Step 3: 2016 – Year of healing: Long journey toward better physical and mental/emotional health. God brought me through a wonderful year! Slowing down and letting Him lead my home school and parenting. Parenting classes. Spiritual growth. Furnishing my new home and making it cozy.

    Step 4: Ahead – The year of Family – focusing more on the home and family, marriage and quality time. Saying “no” to some things that pull me away. Finding Joy in everyday things and savoring more.

    Step 5: Things I learned in 2016 – God wants me to passively wait on His leading right now. I tend to jump in and just do things but He is working on me in that area. Quality over quantity. I learned a lot about my health and what my body needs and how to better nurture myself. God will provide all of our needs if we do it His way.

    Praying for Power Sheets to come available, but I know that God will continue to lead and grow me in 2017! Thank you so much for all you do!!

  244. Trisha Goddard on January 11, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Step 1: HOW ARE YOU?

    – Health – 5, because I do eat, sleep, and exercise, yet there is always room for growth in all three areas!
    – Friends – 7, due to being at home almost all day, my best of friends are my hubby and kids. Most of my friends are online, yet I do have opportunities to build face-to-face relationships too. I need to find ways to reach out more to strength friendships.
    – Family (including your significant other, if applicable) – 10
    – Finances – 10, out of debt and saving!
    – Spiritual – 9, daily personal devos and family devos. Always more to learn, and therefore, I am learning what it truly means to “THRIVE”. Great resource that has helped me is Mark Hall’s book, Thrive: Digging Deeper, Reaching Out
    – Work – 10, homeschool mom, homemaker, and serve 3 non-profit organizations in finances, writing, marketing, and promotion
    – Recreation – 10, read lots of books and lots of fun travels with family!
    – Environment – 10, taking care of God’s beautiful creation.

    *Step 2: What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year? Do you feel like you are “chasing perfect” in some ways—attempting to measure up to an impossible standard? Write or type here what you have been chasing, and how that has been making you feel. Maybe you’ve been chasing success, significance, or approval. Maybe you’ve been trying to keep up, survive, or just get through.

    In 2016, I began chasing after “MORE” – accomplishing more and writing more. Yet, in doing so, I found that I did less. Therefore, instead of chasing “More”, I realized that I just need to stop and EMBRACE what God has for me each day. And…therefore, my word for 2017 became EMBRACE. Read more:

    *Step 3: What good things happened in 2016?

    Good things:

    1.) Fun-filled, ministry travels with my family from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, all over USA, another trip to Brazil for a tribal conference, and various trips to different areas of Paraguay.

    2.) Learning opportunities. I was excited to let go of an area of ministry, and yet due to unforeseen circumstances, God brought it back for me to oversee. Learning to depend on God as I dug deeper into His Word and learned more about prayer in the midst of having to change to our third mission organization and experiencing burnout at the end of the year. God remained faithful, and I am thankful for what I learned by completely stretched and dependent on God.

    3.) Founding of a new USA non-profit – Partners for Paraguay!

    4.) Paying off our truck, making us debt free!

    5.) Leading the Raising Generations Today writing team and the 24 ladies that I am blessed to serve alongside.

    6.) All downstairs of our house freshly painted!

    Good things ahead:

    1.) Unknowns! We have the desire as a couple to move from capital city out to the country, yet every time we move that direction, something else comes up that says, “Wait”. We look forward to the unknown and being flexible during this time. God will allow it to happen in his timing.

    2.) Three-week trip to the USA in October – to see extended family, enjoy a family getaway, and for me to fly to NY to attend Raising Generations Today conference “THRIVE”

    3.) Family-wise: Our daughter becomes a teen. Our oldest son, Lord-willing, will be getting his learner’s permit. Youngest son is learning a ton of new things and beginning to work more on his own. We start our 10th homeschool year end of July, but first time with HomeLife Academy!

    Name three lessons you learned from the good things.

    1.) THRIVE as I walk with God, I can thrive because He is in me. I cannot do it on my own.

    2.) EMBRACE whatever God brings me each day.

    3.) HOPE is God. I cannot place my hope in people, organizations, or things – these will all fail me.

  245. Kathy on January 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    How are you?
    8 – Health-Ate healthy for about 10 out of 12 months. Back on track now!
    4 – Friends- Was unable to spend much time with friends this year.
    7– Family (including your significant other, if applicable)
    5– Finances- Way too much wasteful spending this year.
    8 – Spiritual
    8 – Work
    5 – Recreation
    9 – Environment
    What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year?
    Perfection- trying to be the perfect person to everyone. Even now I am trying to make this perfect! It’s exhausting!
    What good things happened in 2016?
    Finished a Half Marathon!
    Great Family trip to Kiawah in the Spring!
    We had 5 healthy Boykin Spaniel puppies born in May!
    Jacob graduated High School!
    Amanda came to live with us for 6 months!
    Moved into our new Office Space!
    Took a nice trip to Charleston, SC!
    Good times this summer at Lake Greenwood!
    My daughter Started Pre-Pharmacy School!
    Yearly Apple Picking Trip!
    End of Year/New Year’s Trip to Kiawah!

  246. Megan on January 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Getting started on these for the first time, and I am so excited! Good goals gives me the excitement to actually get this put down on paper 🙂

  247. Susana on January 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Lara & Team! Thanks for being such a great inspiration. I accidentally stumbled upon your website and now I can’t stop reading your posts. So, here are my answers:
    STEP 1:
    – Health: 8, i need to check my thyroids and cholesterol levels this year
    – Friends: 7, need to dedicate more time to old friends
    – Family: 10, this is my main focus
    – Finances: 7, I want to learn how to better manage my finances at work and home
    – Spiritual: 9, there’s always room for improvement
    – Work: 8, there is so much more i want to achieve in this area, but i love where i am now
    – Recreation: 10, i just came from vacations maybe thats why I’m giving it a 10. But I have many traveling plans for the future 🙂
    – Environment: need to get this house organized and tidy up

    STEP 2: For the past years i have been chasing success and perfection at work.. Which has led me to think that I am not enough, because I always want to give more to my work but I feel pulled back by mom duties. Now I want to establish precise goals so that i can cross off things in my list and finally feel i accomplished something..

    STEP 3: So many blessings this year:
    – I gave birth to my third child
    – I was able to sustain my business by my own work
    – I partially redecorated my girls room
    – My 2 yrs old started school and we are so grateful for his teachers
    – My 5 yrs old is almost graduating preschool and she is doing so well

    STEP 4:
    1- Save for tomorrow
    2- Organization is key when you have 3 kids
    3- Be thankful and use what God has given us

  248. Mikaela on January 14, 2017 at 12:40 am

    A bit late to the party!! Had started working on this about a week ago but am just getting back to it now. These exercises have been so helpful and eye-opening so… thank you!

    My answers to part 1:

    STEP 1:
    Health: 9 – I am healthy but I have a bad habit of going to bed late and losing sleep and have not been exercising as much recently as I should.
    Friends: 8 – I have a great relationship with all my friends, we are just all busy so do not see each other as much as I would like to.
    Family: 8 – Good relationship with parents and sister. Need to make more effort to stay in consistent contact with my overseas grandparents.
    Finances: 3 – In between jobs and still have some savings but this is definitely a source of stress for me right now.
    Spiritual: 6 – Feeling hopeful, but wish I would take time to meditate everyday and my mantras every night.
    Work: 4 – In the middle of a career transition but have narrowed down my focus on the kinds of full-time positions I want. I have two part-time jobs that I enjoy.
    Recreation: 5 – have not been going out and trying new things/seeing shows/going to dance classes as much as I would like as I am trying to be smart with my money until my next job.
    Environment : 8, I love living in NYC but do want to make some minor changes to the furniture in my apartment.

    STEP 2: I have been chasing an image of popularity and prestige, such as comparing myself to others who I assume are more established, smarter, more qualified than me, more attractive. I have been chasing validation from others.

    STEP 4: Lots of great things happened!
    – Completed my MA degree
    – Traveled to many new countries
    – Reunited with my love after having to be apart for 10 months
    – Moved to NYC with him and found a cute (and affordable) apartment
    – Grew closer with my sister
    – Got the courage to cut my hair into a bob!
    – Left a job that wasn’t serving me anymore but stayed on wonderful terms with my bosses.

    STEP 4: Lessons
    1) Time goes by fast so don’t procrastinate! It only causes stress. Done is better than perfect.
    2) Getting up early is only possible with a good nighttime routine, and going to bed early. GO TO BED! You will thank yourself in the AM.
    3) Don’t take anything for granted. You have had a wonderful, privileged life and you should be grateful for every moment.

  249. Kelsey Drozd on January 14, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I am OBSESSED with the powersheets! Wow am I glad I found your site 🙂 Just the first few days of reading your powerful book & working through the powersheets have revealed so much for me! I literally want to shout from the rooftops that every woman I know needs these!

    • Lara on January 17, 2017 at 9:42 am

      I’m so grateful to hear this, Kelsey!

  250. Christina on January 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Actually writing things out after a difficult and painful year feels like such a overwhelming task. But I think it may also be cathartic in some ways and bring some perspective and hope to the new year. So here it goes!
    Step 1:
    Health – 9 Thank God!
    Friends – 6
    Family – 10!!
    Financial – 4, and a major focus for 2017
    Spiritual – 2, so hard to think (and write) about
    Work – 8
    Recreation – 7
    Environment – 6, and climbing!

    Step 2:
    I’ve been chasing my marriage. Or maybe what I think/feel like my marriage “should be”? Chasing love and kindness in our marriage and home. Chasing hopes and dreams for what our marriage can be.

    Step 3:
    Despite the pain of this year, we were showered with blessings beyond measure!
    -my husband and I both found our dream jobs
    – we started the adoption process for our precious boy
    – we bought our new home
    – we are healthy and safe, and we live in a wonderful community

    I hope that the more I write these down, the easier it will get to be grateful for the AMAZINGness of my life than to focus on the pain. Here’s hoping !!

  251. amanda on January 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for these posts.

  252. Marcella Conkling on January 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

    This is my first year using Powersheets and I’m still working through the first section of the book. This has already been rewarding. Very grateful!

    • Lara on January 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I’m so grateful to hear this, Marcella! : )

  253. Emily Freed on January 20, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Thank you so much Lara for all of your encouragement to reach my goals! Love your posts!

  254. Ashley P on January 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Step 1:
    Health – 6
    Friends – 3
    Family – 8
    Finances – 7
    Spiritual – 5
    Work – 7
    Recreation – 4
    Environment – 6

    Step 2: This year I feel like I’ve been chasing perfection. Whether that was pushing myself too hard or putting too much pressure on myself for things to appear a certain way, it did not go well. It left me overwhelmed, stressed, and feeling empty. I’m letting that go and moving forward in 2017.

    Step 3: Even though it was a somewhat hard year, there were good things in it, too.

    – a new work opportunity and a chance to grow
    – quality time with my family
    – quiet, productive Sundays
    – slowing down
    – laughter and smiles
    – building relationships at work
    – hope + optimism
    – prayer + faith
    – inspiration + letting myself dream

    Good things ahead:
    – continued growth in my new role and taking on new responsibilities
    – taking time to enjoy the little things
    – incorporating more of what fires me up into my daily life
    – actively taking time to love myself well
    – building community

    Three lessons from this year:

    1)Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains
    2)Community is necessary
    3)Chasing perfection doesn’t work but grace does

  255. Rachel on January 22, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Step 1: I’m going to rate each of these categories a 1. 2016 was extremely difficult, and hopefully, there is only room for improvement in 2017.

    Step 2: I’ve been chasing nothing because I’m too tired and sure of failure. I need to reset life in general and start trying again.

    Step 3: Good things that happened in 2016…well, we made it through the year somehow. We made some new holiday traditions and managed to keep old beloved ones. My children grew and flourished. Lessons learned: to rely on God alone, to really learn that He is the only sure thing in our lives, and to trust in His provision even when things seem very bleak.

  256. Jenna Gilbreath on January 22, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Even though I’ve been going through the PowerSheets, doing these steps helps me solidify the truths of what last year was and what I hope 2017 will be!

    Step 1:
    – Health – 8 – Last year my husband and I made a huge transformation on our day-to-day diet. This year, I’d love to continue in this but add on fitness!
    – Friends – 7 – It is one of our 2017 goals to host a one-on-one dinner with a couple once a month in order to foster relationships
    – Family – 7 – Always could spend more time with loved ones 🙂
    – Finances – 6 – We are fine financially, but my heart wrestles with needing security outside of God’s provision.
    – Spiritual – 6 – I need the Lord and His Word to be my Daily Bread and not just my buffet when times are tough.
    – Work – 6 – I want to make my work my worship
    – Recreation – 8 – I struggle with making this time intentional and planned ahead, and thus enjoyed to the fullest.
    – Environment – 7 – Our house has rooms still gutted in renovation status. So, 2017 is the year to complete projects!

    Step 2: Chasing the false god of “Yes” in a constant people-pleasing mode. I say yes to far too much which crowds out the joy of saying yes to what I truly crave.

    Step 3:
    GOOD THINGS IN 2016:
    -God turning in a trip to the ER into a healthier, happier diet that gives my husband and I so much energy and much less anxiety (for me)
    -The Lord delivering me from a suffocating job and into a place to trust Him for more.
    -Being a home where we have an extra bedroom for friends who are going through a transition season to live. 2016 started with one couple moving out after 7 months into their new home and 2016 ended with a new couple moving in.
    -Starting my own small business with my dear friend!

    -Developing a morning routine
    -Renovating our bathroom that’s been gutted for 2 years!
    -A one-on-one dinner with another couple each month to promote more intentional time.
    -Visiting Presidential libraries 🙂

    -Planning is rewarding, but it is even more so when I allow room for God to “interrupt” with His plans for me.
    -I get more joy out of all events when intentionally plan for them.
    -Cultivating things that are lasting are far more meaningful than chasing the present.

  257. Amelia on January 23, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Working through the 2016 powersheets significantly impacted my year – for good! It was so beneficial to write out my challenges, goals, dreams, and thoughts. I’m looking forward to another year with clearer purpose and direction! Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing your skills 🙂

  258. April Emery on January 23, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I encouraged my daughter today

  259. Mandi Lagergren on January 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Comparison has always been my little devil. It is such a hard habit to break. I am really hoping that following my purpose will make it easier to break the habit.

  260. Laura on January 24, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I love this and the whole goal setting series. So helpful and encouraging!

  261. April Emery on January 25, 2017 at 12:16 am

    i encouraged my husband on a job well done sending out a great ministry newsletter to our financial supporters

  262. Vannessa on January 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    can’t wait to to get started!

  263. Jill on January 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Step 1: How am I?
    Health: 8 (Relatively healthy, eating right and desiring to exercise more.)
    Friends: 8 (I have a nice group of friends who greatly encourage me.)
    Family: 9 (I have a wonderful, loving family, and I strive to be loving back to them.)
    Finances: 8 (Room for improvement, but on a good track financially. Very little debt; working on a new budget.)
    Spiritual: 6 (2016 was a tough year. Could not understand God’s ways in our life.)
    Work: 6 (Would love to see some changes here, not sure yet what God has ahead for me. May look for new work, but want to be sure of God’s leading first.)
    Recreation: 8 (We love recreation! Look forward to many enjoyable activities this year.)
    Environment: ? Not sure what is meant by this category. 🙂 If you are referring to the surroundings in which I live, then a 9.
    Step 2: What have I been chasing? I’ve not been chasing, I’ve simply been surviving. 2016 was a year of losing loved ones. My father passed away in June; my mother-in-law passed away in July. We were out of town for most of the summer handling funeral arrangements. For both of us, it was our last parent to pass. We are younger, so all of our friends have their parents to love and spend time with. We of course don’t know the “why” of God’s allowing this in our lives. When both husband and wife lose a loved one, both hurt deeply and find it hard to help the other, who is also hurting.
    Step 3: What good happened in 2016?
    Much love shown to us in the loss of loved ones. Meals provided, gifts given, cards received, texts, phone messages, prayers on our behalf. All of these things showed God’s graciousness and kindness during that time.
    Lessons learned: 1. It’s okay to grieve and take your time. Be sensitive to others grieving, and let them take their time. Everyone’s personality is different, and so grief affects everyone differently. 2. I also learned to not be too sensitive. Many people really desire to “say the right thing” to a grieving person. Sometimes they don’t know what to say, so be gracious no matter what is said. People are fumbling for the “right” thing to say, and they are trying to show their love, so accept it as that. 3. Understanding grief now the way I do, I have much more care for others grieving. I know what it’s like to feel numb, to go about my daily activities on “auto pilot” because I just can’t think too much. 4. I saw God greatly provide for our needs during this season. I also learned some very practical ways to show care for others, because I was shown much love and care from others.
    Thank you.

  264. Julie B on January 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    STEP 1:
    Work- N/A Homemaker

    STEP 2
    I have not keeping my priorities straight. If I draw closer to Christ, then my life will run smoother. Bible Study,Pray, Exercise and Family

    STEP 3
    Three good things: Put God First, Family second and housework third

  265. Nicole Budd on January 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    This was so perfectly timed for me. I’m late posting this, but I started in December and this was just the guidance I needed to WRITE my VISION/GOALS for 2017.
    Step 1:
    How am I?
    Health 7-8 (could always work out more)
    Friends 5 – It’s lonely moving to a new state and having a husband in residency
    Family – 7 – I live away from family so I don’t see them as much as I want to
    Finance 8/9 – despite being in residency we are sticking to our budget and having a little fun too!
    Spiritual 5/6 – this has been a tough few years with a lot of loss of family and friends.
    Work 1/2 – I’m a SAHM looking for find some type of “work” that is using my gifts and talents
    Recreation 4 – we get outside but I would like to do more adventures with our kids/family
    Environment 5 – I desire to create a more vibrant environment in my home.

    Step 2
    What have I been chasing?
    I haven’t! I’ve let the fear of not being successful or doing my “purpose” keep me from moving in any direction. In some ways I’m in the same spot I was 3, 4, even 5 years ago and I want to change that. I’ve been chasing greatness, not even knowing what I’m great at.

    Step 3:
    The GOOD of 2016
    My husband and I are closer now then ever before – I feel like I got my best friend back
    We bought our first home
    I am in a Bible study with amazing women
    My kids love each other and it shows in how they act with each other

    The Lessons Learned:
    God’s timing is ALWAYS PERFECT
    Speak up in Love – if you’re hurting it’s ok to say something, but do it in love not anger or frustration
    Listen to those you love – take time to really LISTEN to what they are saying even if it stings a little.

  266. April Emery on January 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I encouraged my husband today in going out of his comfort zone w work

  267. Chenell on January 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Step 1. Health 4, Finances 7, Friends 3, Family 3, Work 5, Environment 7, Spiritual 6, Recreation 3. There’s lots of work to do, but I’m hopeful and ready to get to work! 🙂
    Step 2. I’ve been chasing significance and approval. I feel like I’ve spent the entire year chasing men’s applause instead of God’s.
    Step 3. *We went through Financial Peace University, and all the info, which we’ve heard tons of times, finally clicked. Baby Step 1 is done, and we’re making major headway on Baby Step 2. *I told my husband one of my dreams, and he was immediately onboard. * Our oldest child had far fewer seizures in 2016. *We figured out my health issues, and I started taking the right medications and supplements. * I’ve learned to stop comparing myself. Each of us lives this one glorious life with our own unique set of gifts, experiences, circumstances, and relationships. Life is too short to waste time comparing ourselves to others.

  268. April Emery on January 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I encouraged my daughter today as she was learning how to crochet … she was getting flustered but I reminded her that I knew she was capable of learning this new skill … and she finished a project!!

  269. Robyn Schlichter on January 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Step 1:
    Spiritual- 6
    Recreation – 7
    Health – 5
    Friends – 6
    Family – 8
    Finances – 3
    Work – 7
    Environment – 6

    Step 2: I am chasing the perfect mom that juggles it all at the same time. From working to the perfect clean house to having the perfect child and marriage, and then she also is able to exercise and eat healthy.

    Step 3: My good things for 2016:
    – being at eye-level with my daughter
    – being broken to the point I had to say/know/live “I can’t do it ALL”
    – going to the snow as a family
    – making progress on our foster license
    – Celebrating 10 years married!
    – Going to Ireland with another couple (and no kids)
    my sister came to visit for a week
    taking my daughter camping for the first time
    – catching up on scrapbooking (basically finished 2 years!)
    – did some major decluttering of physical stuff

  270. Emillie Smith on January 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Step 1:
    Health: 8
    Friends: 3
    Family: 7
    Finances: 5
    Work: 6
    Recreation: 5
    Environment: 9

    Step 2:
    I’ve simply been chasing monetary gain in my business instead of truly wanting to help others. That has changed in the past month, and will continue to grow over the course of the year.

    Step 3:
    I quit my day job in 2016 to pursue my passion full time! My best-fiend and boyfriend has found a path and has set some goals.

    Good Things from 2016:
    Learning to slow down and to give grace to myself.
    Learning how to run a business and how to self-manage my own time.
    Not to be a slave to perfectionism.

    Lessons Learned:
    Everything happens for a reason.
    Life shouldn’t be easy. But it’s worth every struggle.
    Keeping relationships takes time and effort.

    Cheers to 2017 xx

  271. katyrenee on January 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Step 1: 3/4 Health, 1 Friends (we just moved!)
    6 Family, 6 Finances, 7 Spiritual, 1 Work (just moved),
    4 Recreation, 4 Environment
    Step 2: I’ve noticed I veer really off course if things are wonky and things very often get wonky. I’m chasing peace and I live in a chaotic world. I want to embrace the mess and live instead of avoid the potential worst case scenarios and die.
    Step 3: Teaching becoming adjunct faculty (then we moved!), Reading books to relax, Lifting regularly (but have been sidelined for 6+ months with injuries), Macros for 6 months, Cutting out booze, Read through Bible another year!

  272. April Emery on January 30, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I encouraged my husband today – he’s been super helpful during a hard week.

  273. Hannah Hay on January 30, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for sharing this!!! Such encouragement!! All your things are super pretty, but also super helpful and just make me want to try harder for everything!! Love it!!

  274. Robyn Schlichter on January 30, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Step 1:
    – Health – 5
    – Friends – 6
    – Family -8
    – Finances -3
    – Spiritual – 6
    – Work -7
    – Recreation -7
    – Environment – 6

    Step 2:
    What have you been chasing recently, or in the last year?
    I have been chasing perfect by trying to get more organized, better planned, and just simplify. But it doesn’t work. I can’t do it all, I can’t have every minute planned (for a variety of reasons) and I feel like I am constantly failing.

    Step 3:
    What good things happened in 2016?
    Family trip to the snow
    – Our trip to Ireland with another couple (no kids)
    – Making progress on foster license
    – Making regular time for and catching up on scrapbooking
    – Celebrating 10 years married!
    – Having my sister come to visit for a week
    – Taking our daughter camping for the first time
    – Focus on being at eye-level with my daughter
    – Being broken to realize I cannot do it ALL
    – Did some major decluttering of our stuff

  275. jen on January 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Step 1:
    family-7, relationship-3
    bonus–Rocks are projects, extra pounds & relationship decision. Nutrients needed are time alone, dog walks & art making.

    Step 2:
    My priorities are: God, family relationships, friends, dogs & art. I need to stop chasing perfect with food & weight, projects & conversations and never feeling like I’m enough…like I can’t do anything right.

    Step 3:
    Good in 2016: art, books read, visits with family, rode a camel in Egypt…
    Good things ahead: Ethiopia with a friend, childhood friend is now a neighbor, dogs are in good health.
    3 lessons–I need time alone, I need to enjoy those around me, I can loose weight I just need to stick with it.

    Step 4:
    Dreams are road trips with dogs, getting fit, working from home…a home on a lake.

    Step 5:
    Challenges of 2016–feeling alone, not getting decisions or conversations with boyfriend, regaining weight.
    Lessons learned are I need to take time to process, make art and get outside with dogs.

    Step 6:
    Thank those who’ve contributed to cultivating things that matter in my life…I texted and invited for coffee and a walk, and send some mail 🙂
    Began a Pinterest board–Make it happen in 2017!

    Step 7:
    Themes–decision time, road trip, alone time, think about what matters not food.

    Step 8:
    I need to say YES to alone time reading and journaling, walks with neighbor, enjoying my dogs.
    I need to say no to turning to food for comfort and always going to other people’s homes to work on their projects.
    Before I answer I need to pray and ask if it’s drawing us closer to God.

    Step 9:
    work for the year–FINISH

    Step 10:
    Review and simplify…why do I want it as a goal, does it help me steward talents and resources wisely.

    Step 11:
    set goals, name whys, identify steps & celebrations
    *decide about relationship, move forward, make photo album
    *finish house, complete projects, be able to have people over then list for sale & find a place on a lake
    *get fit, stop hating self, let God fill me up & comfort me, focus on enjoying life, get new clothes
    *grow spiritually…this one is multifaceted because it’s so central…read Bible in a year, daily prayer, investing in relationship, making art, travel…

    Thank you for this! I’ll post a pic of my journal on your facebook page or website.

  276. Meg Montgomery on January 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Step 1:

    -Health -5- I haven’t been treating my body very well since I had L, but I am healthy as in I’m not sick all the time.
    -Friends -8- 2016 was a great year for me in reconnecting with old friends and having fun with my friends!
    -Family (including your significant other) -8- I have the most amazing family. We love and support each other. I want to spend more time building up my family members this year.
    -Finances -6- I worry about this a lot. I’ve definitely got some limiting beliefs I’d like to breakthrough this year.
    -Spiritual -8- Immersing myself in the Word of God this last year has been an awe inspiring experience this last year. I also worked on making my prayers more meaningful. It has totally been an amazing experience. This year I want to work on better serving others and being an example of the believers.
    -Work -6- My job as a mom is going pretty well. L is learning and growing. I want to start working on putting down my phone and turning off the television so I can spend quality time with her.
    -Recreation -8- This has also been fun the last year. We’ve been able to do so many things that we love to do this year. I’m determined to still do things even though we’ve got a child now.
    -Environment -7- I started at the end of the year with a goal of getting some cleaning routines going in our house. It went well until I got busy during the holidays and then I got out of the habits I had sort of created. This is one of the things I’m planning on getting back to as a clean home helps us all be happier and welcomes the Spirit into our home.

    Step 2:

    I definitely struggle with chasing perfect. I want my day to perfectly follow my plan and I get everything done that I “should” do. Enter my toddler and most days I don’t get much done…I want to have things be just perfectly like I want them. I want to have complete control so things go perfectly. But it’s just like the ladies in the video say, it’s exhausting. You never feel like enough. I struggle with this almost daily, but I am lucky to have the knowledge of a Redeemer. I know that when I’m not perfect and I make mistakes, I can repent. I like to remind myself that I am always in my perfect growth process and that usually means my life is messy and imperfect, but it is helping me to learn and grow and become what I was created to be!

    Step 3:

    Good things in 2016:

    -Starting my new blog Uncovering Strength and being vulnerable in sharing my story.
    -Cultivating relationships with family and friends.
    -Growing my faith through immersing myself in the Word of God and working on becoming a Prayer Warrior.
    -Taking a two week long vacation, driving from Utah to Michigan and back with a 14 mo.
    -and so much more!

    Lessons learned:
    The number one thing that I learned/remembered again this last year is that Christ is the only way to find the strength I need. I can try all I want to do it myself (and I have), but in the end even my very best isn’t enough. I learned to trust in the Lord and rely on His goodness, His grace, His mercy. I learned that I am needed. I have a message that He needs me to share. The Word of God is so important to study every day. It gave me strength. It gave me peace. It gave me answers. I get to trust myself to find the answers that I need. It was a year full of learning and remember to whom I should turn not just in my darkest hours, but always. He is the only way I found the strength to do all I did.

  277. Rajee Pandi on January 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Health, Spiritual, Family, Friends

  278. Tami Rhymes on January 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    his was very revealing about busy I’ve been, yet not really present. Also, thank you for defining what a good goal is. Your definition is so freeing.

    • Lara on February 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      I’m so grateful this was helpful for you, Tami!!

  279. Danielle Hoke on January 30, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I love the prompt to remember what worked well in the past year- it’s so easy to focus on what went wrong. The biggest good thing for us was adding to our family when our baby boy was born in March. It’s been amazing watching our daughter become an amazing big sister as well. Consistency at the gym also worked and having accountability partners was key for that! I’ve definitely learned that I need someone to help keep me accountable. I’ve also learned that as much as I consider myself an introvert, I actually thrive being surrounded by friends and family. It’s refreshing for me to spend time with friends rather than cooped up with the kids at home.

  280. clickbank on December 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm

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