*We are so grateful that ALL of our 2018 PowerSheets are headed to happy homes! Sign up to know when we restock our Six-Month Undated PowerSheets later this Spring!

If you are just joining us for this series, welcome! Here’s Part 1!

Want to listen to this post? I’ll happily read it to you!

She thought that being popular would bring contentment. She never felt like she was enough. She believed the success equation was: work 24/7 + more work. She chased bigger and faster and more more more. Her marriage began to crumble. Yet, she believed she couldn’t slow down. If she missed a minute on social media, she might miss something. She didn’t think she was doing anything wrong, just what she had to do to keep up. She chased an elusive standard of perfection and she MISSED HER LIFE.

She was me several years ago. I chased my tail until it all began to crash and burn.

I wrote my story in just a few words in my 2018 PowerSheets, right there in the middle…

If you have been feeling restless lately, wanting things to change, but believing that change is impossible, I know this for sure: change is possible. There is a way to move forward. Going from constantly chasing something I would never catch to living in grace didn’t happen overnight for me, but it did happen.

It happened little by little, step by intentional step. 

And the little-by-little and big leaps of faith along the way were worth it!


Hi, friends! Welcome back to Part 2 of 2018 Goal Setting. If you are new, I’m so glad you landed here. Hop on over to read Part 1 here to get started.

Let’s dig in!

I wrote the handwriting piece above (which has since been shared on the interwebs tens of millions of times—so crazy) not about skydiving, traveling to a foreign country, or anything you might typically see on a bucket list. I wrote this late one night in my kitchen, just after putting Grace to sleep when she was a baby, about wanting to finally read the Bible from start to finish. It felt like a daunting task, but I wanted to grow my faith. I was determined. This really mattered to me.

And when something really matters to you in the big picture, how you do it doesn’t matter as much as why you do it. 

My why drove me forward, especially during the many times I fell behind or wanted to jump ship (have you ever felt that way?). Little by little, over the course of a year and a half, I did end up reading the Bible—and it changed everything. The little-by-little added up!

This is how we celebrate little-by-little progress in our garden. When we see a new seed sprouting or for any occasion whatsoever, we throw petals in the air and say, “Celebration!!!”

Maybe you want to cultivate a stronger marriage, find confidence in your career path, or grow in community with others. Maybe you want to learn to use your finances well, live with less, or finally do that thing that’s been on your list forever. Whatever it is, let’s talk about it!

Let’s plant the first seed right here together!


STEP FOUR: As we start this journey together, what’s one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead? No perfect or polished answers needed here! This is just to get you thinking as we start uncovering the good stuff. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Write it down, and I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments for accountability and to encourage others too. I’m going to leave my answer in the comments alongside you!

What I want to cultivate came to light when I did this page above in my PowerSheets: I want to cultivate space for new things to grow. More in the comments! 🙂


STEP FIVE: We talked about the good things from the year in Part 1. Now, let’s look at the hard things. What were the challenges you experienced in 2017? What areas of your life need to be tended, watered, or soaked in sunshine? Don’t just write or say, “Everything.” Get specific and list your greatest challenges—the places that feel overgrown with impossible weeds right now.

A few of my 2017 challenges:

And, yes, I grew too much in the garden this year! I thought I’d have time for it all, but the summer ended up being a busy one with releasing a book. Thankfully, gardens are forgiving and it was still magical despite a few overgrown things.

As you think back to the challenges of this year, love your future self well! Don’t let negative thoughts or memories hold you back from breaking through and making your challenges list.

If you are a believer like me, ask God to help you surrender the hard things, learn from them, and move forward in His timing. ‘I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus’ Philippians 313-14.

Write the facts and know that each thing you write down is an area of your life that could be made completely new.

Once you have your list of the challenges from 2017, name some of the lessons you learned from those challenges. Here are some my lessons from 2017 (Forgive my chicken scratch—I wrote this for myself, not thinking about sharing it and these are my honest messy thoughts!):

A note of encouragement: Perhaps you are still in the thick of a challenge right now and have no idea yet what it’s supposed to teach you. That’s okay! Wherever you are, let’s share the challenges and encourage each other.


STEP SIX: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? Looking back at your list of good things from Part 1, and all that you’ve written so far in this series, who helped you to live on purpose this year? Who encouraged you or helped you grow? Download a free printable worksheet here and write the names of those you are grateful for and why. And then… do something about it! Thank them for the specific things they helped you with or inspired in you.

You may think they don’t need encouragement, or it won’t matter, but words have power.

Gift your people with those words!

You never know what good it might spark.

You can keep this simple and still make a huge impact: a text or an email can go a long way to change someone’s day—and change their life. I spent the morning sending emails to friends and colleagues who have meant a lot to me this year. Fly little emails, fly!

My dear friends and sisters from church, on the day that Cultivate launched, who have been huge blessings to me this year! I love you, Kristy and Ruth!

I am grateful to many. A few highlights from my PowerSheets:

There are so many more! Our church family, Walter our sweet cow-farmer mail carrier, my editor at Thomas Nelson who prayed me through finishing Cultivate, our neighbors, Heidi and Kayla at the Carolina Inn, my Faith Retreat sisters, our fellow carpool mamas, Lara from Everyday Graces and my friend Sunee for generously preparing me for the adventure of homeschool (I love you both so much!), all of the people I listed here, and if you’ve sent me an encouraging email this year, prayed, chatted with me here on the blog, or given me a hug—thank you. Your encouragement has genuinely made a difference!

Who are you grateful for this year?

Leave your answers in the comments, but most of all, send some love to the people on your list!

I am especially grateful for this guy! His prayerful support and love have grown my faith this year.

OPTIONAL* BONUS STEP: Get visual! Make a Pinterest board of images that will inspire a purposeful year. What do you want to grow? Leave a link to your board in the comments so we can follow each other’s boards.

Now, one word of caution. I rarely use Pinterest (like twice a year) because it can be the black hole of distraction and discontent. The goal isn’t to have a Pinterest-worthy year or life, so pick images that point you to what matters. To help you do this, we’re having a Pinterest Contest with an amazing prize: a seat to the Making Things Happen Conference! Get started here.

Here’s my board from last 2013 and from 2014, 2015, and 2016, 2017, and here’s where I’m pinning for 2018*If Pinterest distracts you, skip this step! Do whatever will keep you focused on your best year yet.

Your turn! Today’s Goal Uncovering Steps:

1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

Okay, I’ll be back on Monday for Part 3! Monday’s post includes a powerful step that will help you simplify your year ahead, and I can’t wait.

Till then, Merry Christmas, my friends! My parents are coming tonight and I’m excited for some family time and having my mama in our kitchen.

Read some of my mom’s food columns here. 🙂

Need some extra motivation to dig in? Comment with your answers from each step as we go through this series to be entered to win the prizes below. I can’t wait to read your answers, and share mine with you too!

One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: one of everything from the Cultivate Shop! Yes!!! This includes 2018 PowerSheets, the Cultivate What Matters sticker book, books, journals, art prints and so much more!

A big thank you to everyone who entered! What a joy it was to hear your responses and get to chat with you in the comments! Congratulations to our winners below! If you’re a winner, fill out this form to collect your prize!

1. 10 sets of 2018 PowerSheets! — Gail boos, Sara Baker, Carrie Condra, Cydney Levin, Melissa Kelly, Cierra LaShay, Kara Wallitsch Tydlacka, Charis K, Staci Good Bedenbaugh, and Cara Gordon
2. A Fitbit Flex Amber Cavasoz
3. A gift card for a massage — Chris Koiro
4. The 2018 Floret wall calendar — Jen Harris
5. A 2018 Yearly prayer journal from Val Marie PaperHeather Chollar
6. Keepsake Kitchen Diary from Lily and Val — Zulema Uscanga
7. Farmgirl Flowers bouquet — Bianca Norman
8. Our popular PowerSheets Companion Bundle — Christy S
9. 1-year membership to Thrive MarketVanessa Wright
10. 2018 Simplified Planner — Sarah Gonzales
11. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?! A free house cleaning! — Kara Earhart
12. 5 signed copies of Cultivate — Madelyn Smith, Emily Soroka, Julie Davis, Cortney P, and Shannon Hunsley
13. A seat at Financial Peace UniversityKady Curtis
14. 5 signed copies Make It Happen — Keatyn Bergsten, Emily Montgomery, Jenna King,  Samantha Hawthrone, and Kaitlyn Payne
15. Write the Word All Seasons Collection — Lacey Cabalas
16. A Meyer lemon tree – a family favorite around here! — Lindsey Abrego
17. A 6-month membership to Skillshare — Veronica Ilioi
18. A LegacyBox! (Amazing!) — Kerry Batty
19. One of everything from the Cultivate Shop! — Sarah Kemer

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on January 31st here on the blog. Hard goods are for US entrants only. 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 and all proceeds are donated!

Read Part Three of my 2018 Goal-Setting Series!

277WordPress Comments , Facebook Comments ()
  1. Melissa S.

    The things I want to grow and cultivate this coming year are also the areas that challenge me most: my marriage (renewing intimacy, consistent date nights, and just appreciating and serving my husband with unselfish love and respect), enjoying my two teenage sons for the few years we have left with them at home and encouraging them with my presence. It is so hard to be a homeschool mom to them at this age because I want to be more their mom who is their biggest cheerleader and have them share their hopes and fears for their future. I feel like I am always talking to them as their teacher and not as much as their mom. So hard to compartmentalize those roles. Continue to nurture my body through exercise and eating better. Nurture my friendships. Pray for others. Study God’s word and let God be sovereign and not try to control outcomes or people in my life.

  2. Tamara

    Lara! I am so grateful for YOU and your amazing team. I was searching for a clear path and have found that through you. Thank you so much for encouraging us, for not quitting your business, for helping us to focus on what matters!
    To me, that is blessing my friends and family, growing my relationship with Him, and finding strength and lightness in my faith… not in how I perform at work or if my colleagues like me or how many friends I have. I sometimes have been preoccupied with “getting people to like me” this year and that was often frustrating. I want to focus on being a blessing, even if all the love doesn’t come back in the same way.

  3. Amy W

    I want to cultivate an eternal perspective in my life. To realize that we are made for an eternity and to see life through this lense. To be a sojourner knowing that I’m here on mission to live and reflect His love – to those around me and to my littles that I homeschool and care for at home.

    I love this part that you wrote: He makes all things new. Cultivate space for new things to grow.

    I am especially grateful for my husband, my mother-in-law, and a best friend that now loves afar. My husband challenges me to live life for the Lord, to grow in prayer and intimacy, and to live like John the Baptist who said He must increase and we must decrease. My mother-in-law is loving, giving, gracious, kind, and so much more. She serves the Lord, our family, and many. I love my weekly coffee stops at her house before she watches two of our littles so I can homeschool our other two that day without distractions. And my friend from afar who has loved us well through many seasons and even though they moved last year is continually engaged in life together just in a new way.

    The summary of what I learned and want to lean into is: 1) Abide in God’s presence. 2) Don’t just read His word but dwell in it. And 3) Trust Him in prayer (like the men that lowered the man to Jesus through the roof and how they took this step of faith trusting in Jesus and that He is able).

    I’m still trying to figure out my word for the year. I keep thinking about illuminated or embrace, but we shall see. I’ve got a mini-Powersheets prep time this afternoon kid-free and another bigger chick next week kid-free thanks to my hubby. I’m excited to wrap up the prep work and move onto the goals.

    Thank you for doing this series and for sharing your life with us. I’m grateful and encouraged. Blessings to you in the Lord. And Merry Christmas.

    • Amy

      This verse comes to mind as I think of how you share your journey with us:
      1 Thessalonians 2:8

      So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

    • Lara

      Thank you for YOUR encouragement, Amy! I am grateful for you!

  4. Carrie

    One thing you want to cultivate: Experiencing more joy in the every day. Creating a home where we can experience joy and be a place of joy and comfort for others. Finding joy in the mundane everyday things—cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. I think one think holding me back from doing the big things I have always wanted to do is that they are hard and I allow for the challenges that may come to outweigh the joy they may bring in the long run. Praying this season that the Lord will help me see His hand in the mundane things and find joy in all of it.

    Challenges in 2017: New marriage. New home. New family (in-laws). New routines and rhythms. Adjusting to all of these new things has been the biggest challenges. Challenging my patience with my husband and friends and family.

    Lessons: the Lord is right there with us in the hard stuff, leading us through the growth and change. Communicating with those around me is the most important thing to help me cope (esp. my dear husband). If no one knows I am struggling, no one can help and pray. Another big lesson I have learned is that my whole day goes better if I get out of bed when I am supposed to.

    Who helped you cultivate in 2017? My husband for being so steady and gentle and gracious. My parents and in-laws have been so supportive all year of all the things and we would definitely not be where we are right now without all of their support. And many specific friends who have been right with me all the way that I will be texting a quick thank you to today. So thankful to the Lord for the gift of community.

  5. Baylie

    Step 4: I want to cultivate rhythms in my home and heart that pave the way for my ability to say yes to some amazing opportunities that have yet to present themselves. If I am keeping up easily on my home, I can have people over at any time. I can be ready to say “we have a space for you” if someone has a need. If I am praying and in the word daily, I can give wisdom from the Lord to others because I’m content in the Lord and have created in myself the time and space to listen to others and care for their needs.

    Step 5: Challenges from 2017 and things that need tended to include: finances. Going from month to month without vision on paper for our finances with a lack of a budget does NOT work.

    Step Six: Allie Cassaza for her blog about minimalism saving her motherhood. It has transformed mine! Kelsey VanKirk for simplifying tips and helping me see that things can be good and full in life and still be quite simple. Lara Casey for listening to the Holy Spirit and creating the Powersheets for others and always pointing to the Love of Jesus!,
    Katie Overbeek for helping and encouraging me in my abilities as a songwriter and helping me see the possibilities that led to a songwriting group where I can encourage others in their abilities! AND many others. My list is in my PowerSheets! 🙂

    • Lara

      I love all of this so much, Baylie! Thank you for your generous encouragement!

  6. Nicole C

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to cultivate rest. Not rest like take more naps, have more time for myself, but rest as is…resting in God’s plan. Trusting him. Letting go. Surrendering…Rest!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Our business did not grow the way I would have liked, but it caused me to grow me more and learn about cultivating better relationships and develop a stronger focus.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband. Also my mentors, Jacky and Jennette. And my dear friend Mrudul. They all kept me accountable and focused on the things that truly matter.

    4. I made a board for the contest! and it was super helpful! Here is the link… https://www.pinterest.com/galatiansfiveth/cultivate-my-best-year/

    Thank you lara!!

  7. Ann E.

    Step 4: I want to cultivate presence and purpose. I have struggled the past few years with just getting by and I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to cultivate trust in God that I can do with the next right thing – that has always been so hard for me.

    What Baylie said struck a chord in me. I want to get my home to the place where I am always ready to have guests – whether they be my daughters’ friends or relatives. I like the word rhythms instead of routine!

    Step 5: Tending to my finances once and for all. Getting on top of them and not being so passive or reactionary about them.

    Step 6: My mother (whether I want to admit it or not) – she is forcing me to practice patience and grace. My girls, Amelia and Audra, for give me a chance to be a part of their future. Lara Casey – I am also grateful for you! You showed up in my life at exactly the right time; these Power Sheets are exactly what I need for this season of my life.

    • Lara

      Ann, thank you for that encouragement! It means so much! We are cheering you on!

  8. Rosie

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    Most? Probably myself. So that I can be the best wife/mom/friend/sister/daughter that I can. They deserve my best!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    Not enough date nights! Also, processing emotions. It’s been a rough latter part of the year for me. Boundaries are also an issue.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband, first and foremost. My eldest son, Luke also inspired me to focus on what mattered.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

    I did! https://www.pinterest.com/writingsofrosie/cultivate-my-best-year-2018/

  9. Natalie

    Step 4: Building my endurance to walk/run 50 miles in 24 hours. I will prepare with walking and workout plans, encouraging words, and faith. I will need to mentally prepare to not complain, and not let it bother me when others complain. I signed up for this, and I will take responsibility and push myself to do better than my best.

    Step five: Among many, one of my daily challenges is hitting the snooze button. I’ve learned that setting an alarm is a promise (to myself and my employer) to be punctual, and I’ve broken that promise too many times to count. I need to practice more accountability for this and other areas in 2018.
    I also have been stressed about work. I’ve gotten bored, and I haven’t done enough to find new projects & work with purpose. I’ve leaned that I can stay busy and focused when I’m working on something I’m passionate about and when I’m collaborating with others who are depending on my part. I’ve also leaned that sometimes ideas and proposals get rejected, but if I keep trying instead of feeling defeated, it pays off.

    Step six: Various family and friends have helped me cultivate what matters in 2017.

    Also, in all seriousness, Lara Casey and the Cultivate team and Emily Ley have helped me tremendously. They produce products that work although a little pricey, but the free content (blogs, videos, Instagram stories, and Facebook lives) and their always encouraging words more than make up for the price.

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Natalie! It makes a difference! : )

  10. Amanda

    1. Hope and gratefulness.

    2. Our new (in utero) baby isn’t healthy, so we’ve been thrown for a loop. We know now it’s out of our hands, and we must put our full faith in God. He knows what is best for her.

    3. The Lord.

  11. Lyndsey

    I want to cultivate generosity!! In our finances, in ministry, and as a writer and businessperson. It’s so easy to grasp on to what we have but I am beyond ready to let go and see what God does with it!

  12. Tatiana

    This year I want to cultivate being a more fearless and outgoing woman in my life. I want to continue growing in my faith and leaning on God in times of uncertainty. I want to cultivate continuing to be a great wife and hopfully starting a family! In 2017 I faced many some huge challenges, I lost my job, injured my finger pretty badly and grew depressed. Who knew that losing my job, a job that I was miserable working at, was the best thint to happen to me this year. I turned that experience around and from not working I had time to cultivate my business and grow ideas I would have never thought of. I got to meet inspring women and most importantly I grew to love myself and be proud of where I am in my life. What helped me do this was knowing that God had a greater plan for me. Me and my husband ended up moving to NM and I landed a dream job here. It’s funny how life works sometimes. What a crazy year!

    • Lara

      Wow, it does sound like you have had quite the year! So glad you have been able to lean on Him!

  13. Victoria

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? It’s hard for me to narrow one thing down, but if I had to choose one thing, it’d be my relationship with God. I want to find my self worth in Him, not in the opinions of others, which is a major challenge from 2017.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    – I’ve learned I have a really bad controlling side. To the point where I try to control other people’s lives. Almost all of the challenges I’ve face this past year stem from that. It’s a really hard lesson and it was a total punch to the gut when I realized it. In particular, a friend of mine who has been one of my closest companions for ten years and I had a major fight over her choice of fiance. It shouldn’t matter. I should have been happy for her! And I’m asking forgiveness for that. I feel as if my self worth is tied to the influence I have over others. It’s been a really hard lesson to learn.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    – I have a short list of people unfortunately. My husband has been my biggest supporter this year. I joined a running group at the beginning of the year, and the ladies from it (and our trainer) have helped me over some major hurdles! And then a couple of ladies from church. In the realm of people who have no idea who I am, you and Lysa Terkeurst and Ann Voskamp.

    • Lara

      Victoria, I know there will be so much good to come from these painful-in-the-moment realizations. Thank you for sharing so generously!

  14. Staci B

    4. One thing I want to cultivate this year is my true identity in Christ. Finding freedom in being who He says I am rather than letting my doing define me.

    5. Challenges and what I learned: Pregnancy and exhaustion were big challenges this year. Through that I learned how necessary rest is and saying No to more things than normal to protect that rest. I also learned I have to be more intentional in pursuit of my marriage in those more difficult seasons- we made it through but I’m really excited to change that story in 2018. I was also very challenged by an intense course on Freedom in Christ- emotionally and spiritually- but I learned that freedom IS possible and I learned how to better process past hurts and pains to grow in that freedom.

    6. Some people who were a great encouragement to me this year were my husband, best friend Rachel, and my manager at work! So thankful for them and the way they’ve lifted me this year!

  15. Carley

    I finally got my powersheets in hand last night! I am so excited for this journey. The main thing I want to cultivate this year is my identity in Christ, with two or three other important things flowing from that, including my finances and writing!

    I faced a few challenges this year. My health was a struggle this year, especially earlier this year. I also struggled with getting a handle on my money. Faith and depression were hard this year too, but the last few months have been much better.

    Several friends, my pastor and his wife, my boyfriend, a wonderful therapist, several books, and a new doctor helped me begin to cultivate what matters in my life this year!

    I had so much fun creating that pinterest board!

    • Lara

      So happy you have your PowerSheets, Carley, and that you liked making the Pinterest board!

  16. Sara Baker

    Step 4: What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? — I want to cultivate me…well, being the best me I can be for my family and for myself.

    Step 5: In 2017, my challenges included giving in the selfish desires, dwelling on the bad and letting unmet expectations get me down and because of that, not seeing things through to the end and letting defeat win. I also took a step back in my faith and that was not good. I learned from those things that I need to put God first, always. I always learned that failure can be an option and I need to push myself to fail well. I learned that it’s necessary to cultivate all relationships. I also learned that my husband and I must communicate and respect each other as individuals while being united.

    Step 6: My mother and my husband helped me in 2017. We were all a little scatterbrained and things were a complete mess most of the time, but they were both there for me. My son also helped me to really cultivate my life like never before.

    Bonus! Here’s the link to my 2018 Best Year Yet Pinterest board! https://www.pinterest.com/sarakolby/cultivate-your-best-year/ It’s still a work in progress!

    I just want to say thank you, Lara and the rest of the ladies, for being such great sources of encouragement and light to this community. We couldn’t do it without you!

  17. Amy

    Ok, I will *try* to be more concise this time. There are just SO many things floating around my head. Here goes.

    Step 4: I want to cultivate routine and consistency in 2018. My purpose is being for my family in the here and now. and I’ve been getting so caught up with my dreams for the future that I feel like life is passing me by and I am missing out. I want to focus on contentment, consistency in all areas. I am great about focusing on one thing and ignoring the rest, but then the rest suffers. So I want to make small changes over a long period of time. Little by little change is the name of the game, yes?

    Step 5: We took some financial hits in 2017, of our own doing. We decided to sell our house and move on to a better quality of life, but it came with the trade-off of losing money, and along with that, some motivation and contentment. I’ve learned that I need external motivation and that I’m not great with follow through unless someone else is expecting something of me. I can’t keep my house clean now, but when we were getting it ready and showing it frequently, it was SO put together and I felt so much peace. I CAN do it, I just need to find what will motivate me right now.

    Step 6: Who helped me cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband, he has been a rock, and he is always steady, always constant.
    My mom, always willing to listen no matter how whiny I am.
    My brother, always on my side.
    My MIL, she just loves so unconditionally.
    Some dear, dear faith-filled and amazing women, they help me to choose to be better every day. I am so blessed to be able to call them friends.
    And SO many more!

    I am SO looking forward to 2018. Thank you Lara and team, for your hard work. And for everyone commenting, all this discussion and all your ideas are so energizing!

    • Lara

      It sounds like you are in such a good place to grow from, Amy! I am excited for you!

  18. Sarah Gusky Kemer

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    – I want to cultivate joy!! I want to find joy in my work, my school, my friends, my faith. I wrote last time about joy instead of ease (idleness) and in the couple of days it’s already made a difference!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    – The biggest challenge was continuous financial hurdles. Nothing huge and nothing decimated us — but it put our savings back a bit. We’re going to work on that and are on our way already. Part of this is focusing more on the why and not the end goal. We want a house but exploring why can help us be joyful in our small apartment!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    – My husband definitely. Many friends. My family. And my kids!! They’re full of joy haha no matter where we are. Most of all though is God. He’s helped us live HIS life, a God-led life, and as we continue on that path we find more and more meaning.

  19. Taylor

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to cultivate simplicity and living with intention. I’ve been so frazzled by life for the past couple of years, I really want to slow down and give my life meaning. I want to strengthen my relationship with my husband and create a home filled with peace and joy. I also want to cultivate my relationship with God and strengthen my faith.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I spent a lot of 2017 away from God, and I learned that I need Him in my life. I also found myself getting too tired (and grumpy) and learned that I need sleep, and going to bed early is a good thing! We also had some financial challenges this year and are continuing to learn how to save, budget and spend wisely.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband, our new baby (well, she’s not here quite yet, but already she motivates me to change some things), Gretchen Rubin and most recently you! I also had a lot of help from my therapist, and well, my dog was a huge help this year.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

    • Lara

      I love all of this, Taylor! Thank you so much for sharing and being here!

  20. Laura

    1) I want to cultivate healing; body, mind, and soul. I have to eat better and exercise if I want to feel better physically, and be able to keep up with active, growing children. I have to seek out counseling (for the first time in my life – a big and scary step!) to finally find a way through my anxiety. I have to read the Bible more if I want to dwell on God’s promises and strengthen my faith. I’m hopeful and excited about all three aspects of self care for 2018!
    2) Although buying our new home this year was a blessing, moving is a challenge for anyone! I learned that we couldn’t do everything ourselves and laid down pride to ask for help. More challenging was finding a new rhythm in our new space, while my husband had to work out of town for four months. That strained our marriage and maxed out my capacity to “do it all”. I learned to love my husband deeper and appreciate him more. Most challenging was deciding to put our children in public school. Our first year with both of them gone five full days a week. I struggled a lot at the beginning of the school year. I learned that they are in God’s hands, under His protection, and out of my control. But they are happily learning and flourishing in their environment.
    3) My husband’s support has gotten me this far and has given me confidence to finally seek the help I need for myself. My best friend and sister in law Amy continually encourages me and points me to Christ. My sister Sarah was there for me every time I called. I can’t live without these people!

  21. Mackenzie

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Discipline and rest. The word seems almost negative, but it’s what I crave most right now. I want to cultivate life-giving routines, and stick to the small goals that lead to contentment. I am a chronic give-upper. I want to be determined enough to be better!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    So many challenges. It was a tough year. We learned that friends DO get you through that tough stuff. You can’t do things on your own. Family is important and fills you up, just as it can drain you. Nothing worth it is easy. Progress over perfection.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    A few dear friends, my dad and siblings. God.

  22. Amanda

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? PEACE

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Relationship with my daughter. It’s more me than her.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? Hubby, friends

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! Done!

  23. K.

    I’m really stuck on the ONE thing I really want to cultivate. I so want to grow in many areas and I’m having a hard time focusing in to pick one thing (or even a handful) to tend to this year. Still working…

    • Lara

      Just pick one! It might not be perfect, but it will get you on the way! : )

  24. Erin W

    I just encouraged one of my best friends just by sending her a text to let her know I was thinking of her. She lives in a new town where she doesn’t know many people and sometimes gets a little bummed about that.

  25. Georgia

    You are truly an inspiration. You have helped save my marriage and grow my faith in our savior Jesus Christ. I can”t ever thank you enough. I look forward to buying more seasons of write the word.

    • Lara

      Wow, Georgia. I am praising Him right now! Thank you so much for that encouragement – it means so much!

  26. Chris

    My greatest encourager in 2017 has been my husband. So grateful for him!

  27. Regina

    I want to cultivate living simply/minimalism, development in my soul, the be intimately connected to the Holy Spirit and to live and be in godly peace.

    This seems to be an important step in preparing for the “next season”…I’m believing God is going to wow me with His plans.

  28. Janet Kirk

    People who helped me the most to Cultivate What Matters in 2017 were my husband Gene, and Coach Deb at South Daytona Curves. Thank you!

  29. Julie

    Step One: I want to cultivate confidence this year! Trusting that all that God has given me–my family, my church, my responsibilities outside the home–He will give me what I need to do those things well. Got to cultivate that faith!

    Step Two: My 3 biggest challenges this year were saying YES when my heart was screaming NO, overcrowding our daily schedule, and unwillingness to meet people where they are in life.

    Step Three: Thankful, as always, for my husband! He is always willing to listen and help me with anything and everything. He is 100% a team player.

    Step Four: I did make a Pinterest board–fun! https://www.pinterest.com/aplaceforitall/cultivate-my-best-year/

  30. Julie

    Encouraging my friend who will be moving shortly after the holidays. 🙂

  31. Emily

    This has very heavy content.

    1. I want to cultivate deeper trust in God in 2018., due to the challenge below.

    2. The biggest challenge of 2017 is hard to share, but a longtime friend and stepmom to our neice and nephew died traumatically. She was murdered. This was and is still so shocking and forever changed things for my husband, me, and his family. God used friends,church, counseling, Christian books, and my commitment to goals through PowetSheets and my Daytimer to keep me going.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My husband, my counselor, and a pastor.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

    I did this!

    Finally, I just want to thank you all for being a source of God’s light and hope in a difficult second half of my year. The Write the Word journal and PowerSheets were absolutely part of the ways God anchored me this year.

    • Lara

      Emily, my heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for being so encouraging even in the midst of such challenges! I am so glad you are here!

  32. Gretchen

    Lara, it is so encouraging to see your actual process of setting good goals that last and make a difference! Your example has helped me each year in knowing what kind of goals to set and how to consistently move forward in making them happen. So grateful for you and the Powersheets! – Gretchen

  33. Hanni

    God has made it so clear that the number one thing I need to cultivate this year is to ruthlessly rid my life of hurry. More importantly to rid my soul of hurry. He has made it clear it is the root problem to so many things i’m trying to grow in (hearing his voice, deep connections with my husband and kids, not turning to food for comfort). If I can learn to slow my mind, body, and soul down and stop trying to accomplish and achieve I believe there are so many amazing blessings just waiting for me. Being present and not being rushed is hard for me but by his grace this is the year he will teach me and grow me in this area.

  34. Bailey Jean

    1. The one thing I want to cultivate in 2018 is financial freedom/responsibility. In my overall vision for 2018 (strength, dignity, laughter), this is the one that needs the most attention and that will reap one of the greatest benefits. I want to get out of debt, build helpful habits, and give consistently in tithing and to friends moving overseas. I want to eliminate the stress this brings with every paycheck and the strain with personal debts to family. Making progress here will do SO MUCH GOOD!

    2. 2017 was certainly challenging, but it also held a lot of good. I finished my first year of teaching in May at a school that is struggling for a number of reasons, but there were victories won in relationships with my students, meaningful theatre made, and roots being planted in a new city. I overcommitted myself more than once, but I found lots of grace and conviction in order to move forward.

    Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned include:
    + Self care is SO important!
    + Being able to name how I feel and what I need is a game changer.
    + I never regret making physical health a priority, but I always regret it when I don’t.
    + Perfectionism and procrastination are not my friends.
    + I’d rather be single and content than striving in something that isn’t God’s best for me.
    + Social media can be a fun tool and creative outlet, but it is not to be all encompassing.

    3. The list of who helped me cultivate what matters is beautifully long! The biggest gifts were:
    + Dana, Rachel, and Annie: The dream team of blogging besties.
    + Jenna, Katie H., and Mack: More blogging beauties who regularly encouraged and challenged me.
    + Addison, Madison, Jessica M.: My roommate and a set of roommates who made this year so fun.
    +Jess T., Matt, Alex G., Justin, and Khira: My co-leaders for life group; what life-giving people!
    + Alex D., Corey Q., Kelsey W.: Mentors and friends who walked me through this crazy transition.
    + Shanna and the Illustrated Faith team: what warrior women and beautiful creative souls!!

    4. My Making 2018 Happen/Cultivate My Best Year Pinterest board is here: https://www.pinterest.com/lovebaileyjean/cultivate-my-best-year/

    • Lara

      So thankful for your focus on what matters most, friend! So glad you are here!

  35. Lisa Yvonne

    4. BEFORE I had found your site and Power Sheets and your book, I had prayed for a word for 2018 and God gave me CULTIVATE. This is SUCH a God-thing for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on my Power Sheets and help with what He’s put on my heart. My goal for CULTIVATE: Cultivating a TRUE heart for what matters most. I want my actions to reflect what I say matters most.

    5. Challenges & Lessons
    >Challenge: pre-eclampsia and birth with 7 other children
    Lesson: Trust God. Adjust life. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect to be beautiful. God can move and do beautiful things in my perceived mess. (reminder: sometimes the garden needs manure to produce a bountiful harvest)
    Challenge: person frustration with some private situations I won’t share here
    Lesson: trusting God with beauty of ashes has made me a more joyful person. My joy has NOTHING to do with what is going on outside of me.

    6. Who helped? My mentor, my husband, my best friend…and JESUS!

    • Lara

      So glad you are here, Lisa! You are in the right place to cultivate! : )

  36. Angel

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    my health – I need a routine for exercising!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Challenges: spending too much on groceries, on social media too much, biting my nails, not hanging out with friends or reading as much as I wanted to and health challenges with my hubs.
    Lessons: my home doesn’t have to be perfectly clean, do stuff you enjoy even if it costs a little money, ask for help!, social media steals my joy, and rest a lot!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    Blaine, Caroline, Kristy, Meagan, Cody, and Morgan

  37. Rebecca S

    1. I want to cultivate my prayer life, my marriage, and my ability to be present.
    I am in a dry season of prayer right now (which makes being a Children’s Minister pretty difficult :/ ) I am wrapping up my first year of marriage and I definitely see my selfishness and flaws. I want to be a better support and helper to my husband. Also I know I am totally addicted to my phone.
    2.In 2017 I left my dream job, moved to a big city, moved away from all my family and friends and entered into marriage. Marriage IS exciting. . .but it is also VERY challenging, especially along with your life flipping upside down. I entered a job at a place where I don’t feel at ease, and even after 10 months I still feel out of place and confused as to what God is or isn’t calling me to do.
    But I have learned that life is all about change whether it be little or big, but Go never changes. He is constant and faithful and He loves me.
    3. My previous boss, who is more like a brother. He helped cultivate me and my ministry! My husband. He pushes me to make my dreams a reality. My friend Alex. She has been through the hardest year of her life but she continues to push and encourage me, she is the one who pushed me to get started in all of this Cultivate What Matters and Goal Planning!!
    4. I printed out the pictures from my Pinterest board and used them as a collage on my Big Picture page in my planner! @rebeccajoyshugart -instagram https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccajoy11/powersheets/

  38. Kellie Fite Turner

    I’m so excited to get started on an awesome 2018!

  39. Kellie Fite Turner

    I sent a message to a friend of mine who designs scrapbook supplies and whose products have made scrapping my memories more fun & more pretty!

  40. Gina

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to live for God!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    *Not drinking enough water
    *Not moving my body
    *Taking on too much
    *Not focusing on self care enough
    *Not enough time with God
    *Not praying enough
    *Eating out too much
    *Spending when/where I shouldn’t
    *Needing to be in control
    *Too much screen time
    *Getting lost in loneliness
    *Fear of change/the unknown
    *Not enough time with Nanny or Uncle Marc

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    Mom – always wanting the best for me
    Dad – loving me well, helping when I need it
    Nanny – helping my finish school
    M – being there always
    P – teaching me fun, listening, growing
    D – making me laugh, listening
    Lisa – reassuring me when I need it
    J – hugs and comfort
    A – checking in, inviting me into her home
    Jamie – my sounding board
    GOD – making all of the above possible!!!

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

  41. Cara Gordon

    Sharing all about Cultivate What Matters has been such a joy for me. Thank you for all you do Lara Casey and your team. I appreciate you all!

  42. nadeen

    What an amazing prize!

  43. Mhay

    1. In 2018 I want to cultivate most is my relationship with God by reading his word daily and grow qualities that make me useful in his service.
    2. The biggest challenge I faced was learning to wait and be patient. God has his own perfect timing and remembering that whatever God has in store for me will always be better than what I could’ve done had I not waited.
    3. My wonderful God-fearing friends and of course the cultivate team! Since I’ve been following your posts and social media accounts and applying the encouragement, I have seen improvement in many areas of my life and I can’t say thank you enough.
    4. https://www.pinterest.com/pastelplan/cultivate-my-best-year/

    • Lara

      “Grow qualities that make me useful in his service” <-- beautiful, Mhay!

  44. Julie

    My encouragement for the day: I love reading everyone’s comments and am encouraged by this group of people, so many of whom are seeking after God and His kingdom. Praying everyone is looking forward to 2018 with excitement, not fear!

  45. Carrie

    Thank you Lara for being so transparent and sharing your PowerSheets pages! This is so helpful!

  46. Jennifer Brumit

    I am most thankful for my husband who loves & supports me through absolutely everything. He teaches me more about grace than any person I know. He is a constant reminder of God’s grace in my life.

  47. Katie @ A Place to Dwell

    Hi, Lara! I’ve got my coffee, my powersheets, and I’m watching the snow fall outside. Perfect morning before Christmas Eve to slow down and be present! 🙂

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? The thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is an expectant faith. I want to trust God with my most precious desires (like marriage and family and writing devotionals for Him). And I want to live with the kind of hope in Him that NEVER gives up, the kind of hope that knows He’s a God who can flip the script at any time.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? The main lessons I learned through the ups and downs of this year are…
    I want to practice praise more often (thanks for that phrase, Lara!). Doubt, discouragement, and comparison stole my focus and my joy much too often. I want to live so fully surrendered to Him that I trust and praise Him even when the story looks like it has gone terribly wrong. And I want the story that gives Him the most glory — even if it looks different than what I (or culture) expects.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My friends and family were an amazing support system in a very hard year. So many online friends lifted me up, as well… I’m going to send some texts this morning to thank people and let them know what a special blessing they were for me. 🙂

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

  48. Emily

    1. I want to cultivate contentment. I want to be content in the position that God has called me to in this time in which he has called me to it. I want to be content in where I am in my job, my relationships, my appearance.

    2. In 2017 I learned that my identity cannot be in my job (or anything except Christ). I learned that things are beyond my control and that I will be much happier if I just accept that and lean in to the circumstances that I am in.

    3. So many dear friends helped me to cultivate what matters in 2017. Sweet teacher friends who speak truth, small group friends who hold me accountable, roommates who provide a safe space to laugh, cry, and do life.

  49. Shelby

    What’s one thing I want to cultivate in the year ahead? I want a successful and happy life- this has a lot of facets but to par it down to one thing to cultivate it’s this.
    What were the challenges I experienced in 2017? Hoping in the future, challenge of moving cross country, a lack of feeling and purpose. (Lessons learned: res t in His hope, step by step progress, lean into my passion)
    Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? Stacie- encouraged me to try new things and prayed for me when I had no hope in myself or my future. Erin- took a chance on me, now I have a new friend & co-worker. My husband- applied for the job & bravely said yes! Kendra- continues to always be there (via text) when I need some to talk to. Haley- reminds me I can do anything I put my mind to & trust in God for.

  50. Angela

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Simplicity! A life free of clutter so that there’s more space for new opportunities, people, love and fun to flow in.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Not feeling that I’m growing (at times) professionally, social comparison, physical exhaustion (at times – not all the time, but definitely went there!)

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? So many of my amazing female entrepreneur friends! They are unbelievable, inspiring, loving and ladies I love spending time with.

    4. Vision board – currently making an old-school one with photos and quites!

    • Lara

      I love your “one thing” Angela – so many good things can flow from it!

  51. Emily DeArdo

    For me, it’s financial peace. I REALLY need to work on this. It’s a constant challenge in my life!

  52. kr

    1. 2018 i will cultivate continued health: spiritual, mental, physical and emotional
    2. change and life are unpredictable, keep trying and persevere
    3. my texting friends

  53. Heather

    The one thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is health- physically, mentally, in my relationships with family and friends and in my overall attitude . I spent 2017, clearing out the physical and mental clutter and now have room to begin focusing on making healthy choices and routines stick!

  54. Jeanette

    Thanks for this series. As i work through and look over my Power Sheets prep work I will be focusing on my husband, my personal spiritual growth, and our home.

  55. Toby

    These Blog Posts are amazing because they truly force me to write down the answers and think about what I’m writing!

    1. The thing I want to cultivate the most in 2018 is my marriage. I want to cultivate a loving, meaningful, happy, joyful home to be a place of growth and respite for my husband, future children, and I.

    2. Some of the challenges I encountered in 2017 include
    *Being present physically and mentally with my husband
    *Drinking enough water
    *Fearing change (even good change)
    *Making dinner
    *Eating breakfast and lunch
    *Waking up on time
    *Using phone/TV to “numb-out”

    3. There are so many people I’m grateful for that helped me cultivate what mattered in 2017. Just a short list of the ones that came to mind are my close friends, my parents, my husband, my sister, my therapist, and my mother-in-law.

    Right now, sending letters to each of them seem like a daunting task but I’m going to make a big effort to send some snail mail or emails to them.

    4. I’ve creating many Pinterest boards with inspiration quotes, but more than just have them on Pinterest, I hope to print them on Snapfish and hang them on my wall at home.

    Can’t wait for Part 3!!

  56. Layale Matta

    This year I want to allow myself get lost leaving my comfort zone and my fears.
    This past year I got distracted and wasted time worrying and doubting my knowledge. Mostly I forgot to pray and ask God for help… My coworker helped me embrace smiling while feeling stressed at work. I am grateful for knowing him and for the skills and lessons we learn together every day. I am also grateful for my parents who are always there to support me. And my friend Tom that I finally met in person this year. I am grateful for the situations that lead us to meet and help refugees together. And guess what! I am grateful for Instagram that showed me your Powersheets ad out of its recommendations system. Grateful for the best use of technology!

  57. Layale Matta

    1. This year I want to allow myself to get lost leaving my comfort zone and my fears.

    2. This past year I got distracted and wasted time worrying and doubting my knowledge. Mostly I forgot to pray and ask God for help…

    3. My coworker helped me embrace smiling while feeling stressed at work. I am grateful for knowing him and for the skills and lessons we learn together every day. I am also grateful for my parents who are always there to support me. And my friend Tom that I finally met in person this year. I am grateful for the situations that lead us to meet and help refugees together.

    And guess what! I am grateful for Instagram that showed me your Powersheets ad out of its recommendations system. Grateful for the best use of technology!

  58. Kristen Percival

    Boy I can relate to your story in the beginning of this post. My family just moved to California from 8 years of living in Europe. I had a growing list of some things I wanted to do when I moved back, one being write a book. Well, when we finally found a house, unpacked thousands of boxes of our house hold items, got the kids plugged into a school, dug into a new church, AWANA and Women’s Bible study I felt too overwhelmed to begin a book. Actually, I felt guilty, I should’ve been farther along in writing ( after all I had already been in California for months)! I became so busy in transition I let go of the things that matter most to me, healthy meals, excluding sugar, constantly reading the Word, consistently working out and prayer journaling daily. Instead I allowed social media and hand lettering to fill my time. Next year I want to Be Still and get back to doing the best things in life, prayer, the Word, healthy meals and hiit workouts.
    Thank you for helping me organize my Be Still moments. I plan to pray, then hit my powersheets in 2018 when the kids go back to school. ❤️

  59. Liv Lemon

    The funny thing about Step Five was that all of the challenges came out when I was trying to think of the good things from 2017. And then the inverse – the good things – came out when I was thinking of the challenges. Why is that?

    I started with Step six because it was time to get out Christmas cards! Thinking of friends old and new who have helped me throughout the year was a great way to grow my mailing list and send them a bit of cheer in the mail in gratitude just for their presence in my life. Not just friends, but people I’ve worked with and others who have just been great inspirational figures to me. So thank you to the whole Cultivate team for your beautiful attention to detail and for sharing this work during a challenging holiday season!

    Why has this holiday season been challenging? I moved to a new city for my husband’s job over a year ago today and still feel uprooted. I spent much of last year trying to keep old projects alive that don’t make sense in this new city. And much of my work is not valued or doesn’t have a place in this new city. The solution was an exhausting, non-stop schedule to try and find my fit as soon as possible. A major surgery further hindered my search and now, 15 months later, I feel just as lost as when I began.

    But I learned a lot of lessons! Including my top priority for cultivating in 2018: Creating in Jesus’s image. Time and time again brief moments with him bolstered my courage, and I would plunge back into “doing mode” instead of making more time for listening. I took so many risks in “doing” that I lost a sense of direction or purpose.” also learned that making art doesn’t work if my heart isn’t in it, so I cannot rely on my art as my primary source of income in this city that does not value my art as much as I had anticipated. I am also tired of working in student mode, and am ready to take the next step to more execution than studying in my professional time. My job search has come-up empty for months on end – the “testing the waters” approach in this new city is not working. I need to invest more time in higher-quality applications and networking, making real connections first before applying for jobs.



    1. Contentment

    2. 2017 Challenges: unexpected stalling in my business and watching someone else rise above … bitterness and anger took hold of me. 2017 Lessons: I am not in control of things as much as I think I am. God does not waste our pain.

    3. Alece, Laura, Shelly helped me focus on what matters.

    4. My vision board is in the works. I am collecting words/images from magazines to make a collage for my office space.

  61. Jenny

    Hi Kathy and Jenny again. We are a team of Chinese CWM freshmen who would 1. Log our 2018 goal setting process, and 2. Provide Lara and her team some raw and firsthand inputs on how Chinese would take on CMW methods and PowerSheets. Please read our comment to first post of this series for more details about our background and how we got where we are.

    2018 goal setting, part 2 –

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    [Kathy] 2018年我愿在我的生命中和我的家庭中发掘更多的领域,神的恩典可以在其中自由流通。
    [translation] In year 2018, I would discover more areas in my life and my family where God’s grace may flow freely.

    Jenny – Kathy’s response here (grace) is a sharp contrast to what most Chinese would focus on (rules). We are prone to fear worst possible consequences of not doing well enough. I feel what needs most in China is to know and experience grace at daily basis, even among Christians.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?


    1) When I am present, my husband had a hard time dealing with uneasy kids.
    2) my husband was indecisive on family activities (e.g. weekend plan, eating out).
    3) my two kids had “fighting games” now and then.
    4) I sometimes urges/requests/yells at kids.
    5) we often just talked about house improvement plans (maybe we can make it visual, e.g. plan in writing, draw pictures)
    6) early to bed and early to rise
    7) more time with HIM! (i.e. God)

    Lessons Kathy learned from the good things (preceded by a question mark):
    1) never make decisions when I am in anger or in a hurry.
    2) what works for me may be unsuited to others.

    Kathy – This step made me start facing problems of my life and their root causes. Though they just surfaced a little bit, I felt just grateful that I stepped into this process. There is a Chinese saying – failure is the mother of success. Finally I can stop getting around, and made a start, a tiny change, but after all, making progress is more important, isn’t it? I had some action ideas and plans, a progress that deserves celebration!

    Jenny – We Chinese feel easier at finding what did not work. What seems impossible here is allow our feelings to sink in, and let dirt be dirt without trying to fix it yet. I don’t feel surprised to see quite some of us jump forwards to setting 2018 goals and their action plans.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    [Kathy] 最想感恩的是神,然后是把“cultivate what matters”介绍给我的伙伴,我深信神爱我且祂正很切实地带领我经过生命的“沼泽地”。
    [translation] I feel most grateful to God, then Jenny, who introduced me to “cultivate what matters”. I am deeply convinced that God loves me and He is leading me to pass by swamps of my life.

    Jenny – This is “people I’m grateful for” in the PowerSheets. I believe this page may help revolutionize families and relations in China. We seldom make being grateful something that needs cultivate, let alone “thank them for the specific things they helped you with or inspired in you”. I felt very thankful and encouraged that Kathy delivered an explicit and personal thank you message to me when we came to this part.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!
    [Kathy] 这一块不太明白要怎么回应,是指那个“big picture”?

    I am not sure how to respond here. Does it mean the big picture on page 29 of PowerSheets?

    Jenny – visual expression as a means of communication is very rare in China, even among visual people such as artists. We prefer talks, then writing. Besides, most visual based social media tools are neither unfamiliar nor inaccessible in China. I think drawing is currently the most practical means. And well designed quality stickers can be a huge help. Kathy is good at writing, but she made great effort drawing her 2018 big picture. I am so impressed and very proud of her!

    • Lara

      Thank you so much for sharing, ladies! I’m excited to learn from you!

    • Jenny

      Found a way to bypass a bug in this commenting system. So here are the adapted links to Kathy’s original answers to some steps in part 2:

      2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?


      4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

      And there was a typo in the comment above: lessons learned in part 2 are from challenges, not from the good things.

  62. Karla

    Step 4: The one thing I want to cultivate this year is relationships – with my spouse and children especially.

    Step 5: my health and the ups and downs with that, I learned that I need to embrace the season God has me in. Still working on what that looks like.

    Step 6: my husband and children helped and encouraged me this year – they showed me grace, joy, forgiveness among many other things

  63. Elizabeth

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? A simpler approach to life. More rest, more life, less clutter, less social media, less waste, more love, more carefree days. I’ve been working my way towards a minimalist life for the past 18 months. I just feel the tug to keep going and chase the slow pace and avoid the rat race.

    2. What challenge did you experience in 2017? Our miscarriage in January showed us joy in grief and made us appreciate our two little girls even more. Getting pregnant again, but with a high risk baby. It taught us that life is unexpected, but there is joy and comfort even amidst so many unknowns. My photography business grew exponentially and I wasn’t quite prepared for it. Even with systems in place, if you haven’t set clear and proper boundaries for yourself in business you will quickly feel like you’re drowning. The burnout was real, especially coupled with a high risk pregnancy and staying home with my other two girls.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters? My dear friend, Monica, is the first person that comes to mind. She didn’t shy away from the pain and anger I was having in our miscarriage. After going through it herself, she understood what it felt like. We both were pregnant this year and sharing that together was beautiful. My husband helped me cultivate and see my potential, but also how I needed to protect that with all of my being for my own sake and our family’s.

    • Lara

      Wow, Elizabeth! Thank you so much for sharing! It sounds like you are doing hard, good work and that there is much good ahead!

  64. Katie

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Simply stated– More INTENTIONALITY, which is the reason I purchased powersheets!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? The biggest challenge of 2017 is realizing that I need to devote more time into my marriage. I feel like God is teaching me that this is most important thing right now– that really, from this relationship, all other things come in relation to my family. If my marriage is not strong, this trickles down into many other areas of my life.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? Several friends and my husband, along with my local church. Planning to send letters to each one!

    I also sent a quick message to a friend this evening, thanking her for her friendship and wishing her a very merry christmas.

  65. Dawn Simpson

    Between you, Lara, and Pam Barnhill’s Plan Your Year for homeschooling, I am realizing what I thought was my own path/goals for homeschooling are still being heavily influenced by others and what they think is best…not necessarily what is truly best for my children. I have “outside-of-the-box” children who need extra time to mature, who love to dig deep and ponder things, whose joy is squelched by the hurry and bustle of the modern lifestyle I didn’t realize I was people-pleasing because I am so good at it; it is so ingrained in my heart and mind. Breaking out of this box without swinging to the other extreme is soooo hard! 🙃

  66. Heather

    I have so many that I’m thankful for this year and per your recommendation I sat down today and wrote cards for those I could and an email to another looking forward to giving them that encouragement. Thanks for the push to put pen to paper and thnank them well!

  67. Kathy

    My word for 2018 is brave. My divorce is getting finalized, need to find a new place to live, create and navigate this whole post-divorce life I’m setting up for myself and I know I will need bravery every step of the way.

  68. Sarabeth

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? This is hard – I have many things to cultivate next year. There’s a beautiful balance between growing an intimate, strong team within my business and from that growth being able to nurture my family as a priority in my life (which hasn’t been my focus lately).

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    – Lost interest in last year’s planner (not CWM planner) because I was all over the map and did not focus on the true reason for all of these goals.
    – I did not achieve financial goals or the knowledge I am currently searching for.
    – I did not complete a certification I have been working on. The lesson learned here: set a test date. Seeing an ending to some goals is important so that we feel complete. I’m a girl that loves a deadline.
    – Did not make new girlfriends this year. Lesson learned: I was searching for friends that were not faith-filled because I did not accept God’s grace in my life. Lesson learned: God was patiently waiting for me and He has already led me to some amazing women of faith.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    2018 will be the first year I’m on the CWM bandwagon – but last year I am so thankful for my significant other who’s patient love showed me God’s patient love. My business mentor who is holding me accountable to my 2018 end date. My spiritual mentor. My family for supporting me. My work team for their patience during my life’s bumps and bruises. True friends that always pick up the phone or call for some heart to heart.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!


    my instagram handle was autocorrected before I could fix it – prilemery is supposed to be aprilemery.

  70. Donna Martin

    I am saying no to fear and social media overload. I am saying no to disorganization, and from my time being stolen from me. I am saying yes to Joy, purposeful days and nights, and daily time with God.
    My word for this year is: SPEAK Isaiah 50:4

  71. Brittany H.

    Back again! I had to listen to Part 2 twice – this post had a lot of the harder stuff in it.

    The most important thing I want/need to cultivate this year is my marriage. We have a difficult 2017 and I am looking forward to making this a priority as we move into the new year.
    Challenges (the highlights) 1. Trying to fix it all by controlling any and all situations. 2. Arguing with my husband. 3. Finances 4. Harboring resentment 5. Not praying first and not trusting God with His plan and timing instead of my own. 6. Probably the biggest challenge -being afraid of my life/living in fear of what is ahead.
    I love step six. The first name that came to mind was my friend Renee. We have worked together for 3 years now, but never been friends until this year. And our growing friendship has changed my lfie. Her Godliness, wisdom, listening ears, and peace at life have changed me – for the better. And I am ever so greatful! Sending her some snailmail this week!!
    Going to skip the pinterest challenge so I am not sucked into the black hole of the internet. Looking forward to Part 3!

  72. Mary Troyer

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    1.My voice!! To sing, to be bold to read to not be out of breath when I’m speaking, speaking confidence.
    2. Hospitality to serve others, to open my home

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Not seeking God first!!!
    Using my voice!!
    Fear of others!
    Reading my Bible daily!!!!
     I would say forgiveness for others and for myself overcoming the regret of finalizing of having no more babies naturally.
    Letting go of anger.
    Taking care of my home.
    Being transparent around others. Knowing who I am or I want.
    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    That God is the most important one to matter!!
    Actaully reading my Bible daily helps me know God’s truth more intimately for myself. Learning what it means to forgive others and how freeing it is to forgive others and truly forgive them and sometimes there’s the different aspects of that situation that you have to forgive and letting go,  give that to God. Taking care of my home requires diligence , doing things I don’t want to do all the time instead of sleeping. sleeping might just be overrated.
    Learning that it’s okay to be transparent and real with others that it’s good yes it is vulnerable

  73. Ashley

    1. I want to cultivate a deep contentment that can only come from closeness to God (not found in food, shopping, social media, well behaving kids…)
    2. We had baby #3 this summer, and while a defiant challenge, it’s really made me step back and examine what’s really important? Turns out, a moped floor isn’t one of them…haha
    3. My husband helped me to see what was important and what wasn’t. And stepped in in soo many ways to help me put our family first (by cleaning and folding and putting away while I chose to love on our babies)
    4. I was not going to do a pinterest board, but i think i will now 🙂 https://www.pinterest.com/southerngal/cultivate-what-matters-2018/

  74. Jennifer

    1. I want to cultivate AWE in 2018 (my word of the year!). Awe encompasses noticing what’s around me, cultivating space for things to happen, savoring moments. First, daily ways I can look to be in awe of God–in nature, by reading the Bible, in prayer. I also want to spend time being in awe of the gift s my husband and children and friends are for me.
    2. 2017 was one-thing after another. I learned so much about goal-setting and being intentional, but it was so hard to find the space and time to put things into practice. I know life is things happening and there’s never a perfect time, but there does need to be space for not having fires to put out all the time (and a full night’s sleep consistently helps too!)
    3. 2017 wouldn’t have been what it was without my husband’s support. Also, my friends Lisa and Gillian were amazing.

  75. Desemba

    I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. I took the time to be unplugged and enjoy my family as well as taking the time to really dive into day 2.

    STEP 1: The thing I would most like to CULTIVATE in 2018 is my art and to have it grow into a sustainable biz that fulfills my creative and financial needs.

    STEP 2: A – My greatest CHALLENGES of 2017
    – chasing too many ideas and starting too many projects, many were started but very few were accomplished
    – chasing the perfect moment to start or release a project. it was really an excuse to procrastinate out of fear of both failure and success.
    – lastly the pitfalls of financial insecurity
    B- My greatest LESSONS from those challenges
    – prayer should always be part of my day
    – my time is precious and my creativity is best served by working on 1 project at a time to give it my full attention.
    – finished is better than perfect to get started and get it done. quit waiting for Monday because it may not come.
    – stop procrastinating out of fear because it slows the journey to your purpose. Use your gifts and cultivate them proudly.
    – keep communication open when dealing with financial issues and dont be afraid to ask for help

    STEP 3: Those who HELPED ME cultivate what matters are my husband and children, my sister Kendall, my grandparents, my friend Kim and you Lara. I plan to write letters to each explaing why this week.

    STEP 4: 2018 Goal Planning Pinterest Board https://www.pinterest.com/itssketchy/2018-goal-setting/

  76. Brandy

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? I want to learn how to manage personal & business finances.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? I’m trying to balance all areas of my life everyday without a mistake. I learned that it’s ok to make mistakes. At least I’m trying.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My mother is a major supporter and I would have gone crazy without her. My husband & kids were also major supporters even though they were also stressors, lol.

    4. Pinterest Board started-https://pin.it/6e5mrcnywse62r

  77. Nita K.

    I most want to have a home that I take pride in and am willing to let others in. I would live to buy a new home that better fits our family, but until that happens, I really want to make this home all that I want it to be. The same can be said for my health. I want to feel good so that I am open to doing the things I want to do and letting people in so that I am not isolated.

    My challenges are not being intentional with my time and prioritizing, spending too much money on things that didn’t really matter, and saying no to things out of fear. The people who helped me the most are my sister, some of my church family, and my husband.

  78. Caley

    I am ABSOLUTELY loving this series – and prepping myself and my Powersheets for 2018!

    I had so much fun with my Powersheets Pinterest board for 2018 x


  79. Bobbie Jo Shockley

    I have loved listing the people who I’m grateful for. This list ended up with people I didn’t know would be on it. 🙂

  80. Julia Noel

    4) The one thing I want to cultivate most in 2018 is a beautifully imperfect, thriving, life-giving, overflowing, grace-filled, fulfilling, “too-good-not-to-share” love and passion for Jesus Christ. I know that seeking Him first is key, and all other things are just His added bonuses of love and grace!

  81. Julia Noel

    5) My biggest challenges this year were disobedience to God and lack of prayer (which only created more problems in my life), laziness in school and work (procrastination, lack of motivation, avoiding hard work), and focusing too much on what others think and not nearly enough on what God thinks.

    However, these challenges have taught me so much about God, about myself and about life. My past mistakes do NOT have to determine my future and God’s everlasting love and grace are stronger than any of my past, present or future faults or failures. I need to learn to focus more on the most important things in life and less on the immediate circumstances. I can’t expect my life and struggles to change overnight. My heart and mind have to be transformed before I can truly experience lasting change. Walking away from prayer and God’s Word is asking for failure in life. Lastly, I am 26 years old and I still have so much to learn. I must surrender to God’s will and be entirely dependent upon God’s grace if I’m going to attempt to accomplish anything worth doing in this life

  82. Julia Noel

    6) This year, I am grateful for:
    My church family at Crossroads Baptist Church
    Rob and Vicki (church leaders)
    My C&C bible study leaders and friends
    The bible study friends who help my family through a challenging move to our new home
    The UofM Clinical Nutrition program faculty and staff
    My parents and my sister for their support and love
    Lara Casey and her wonderful team!
    My friend Bethany and her family
    My uncle Todd
    My wonderful grandparents
    My BB friends for their support, letters of recommendation and mentorship
    My counselor Shakira (she was a Christian and it helped make a big difference in my counseling experience!)
    My friend and life coach Amy
    My fellow classmates and friends from my grad program (Kanwal, Vidisha, Mimi, Rasha, Katie, Kristen, Lindsey, Laura, Nadine)
    All my DI program preceptors (already wrote them TY notes!)

  83. Julia Noel

    While I do not plan to make a new Pinterest board dedicated to just 2018, I will share my board that I post to regularly called “Living life day by day.” I use this board to post daily inspiration, scriptures, quotes and aspirations for my everyday life. I hope it inspires someone here as well! https://www.pinterest.com/jynoel13/living-life-day-by-day/

  84. Sherry Weeks

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Family time

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Challenges were relationship with in laws, dreams crushed, having to work to keep kids in school. Lessons learned are that i have amazing friends and God wants good for me and my family.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My friends Lesley and Erin!

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!, love vision boards gonna have to find a spot for it!

  85. Jill Sandridge

    Cannot wait to dig in to my PowerSheets! This giveaway has some awesome treats!

  86. Faythe Eloise

    1. I want to cultivate simplicity in 2017, to prune things in my life, to get rid of the excess and focus moments. It takes a lot of work to keep a lot of things and our family focus was to only keep what is needed, what is used, and what brings us joy.

    2. In 2017 I learned that God is a God of order and without order, there is no peace. The balance between my business and my family needed a change. One side was always suffering and I was not walking in peace but in fear and tiredness.

    3. I am a loner by nature an with moving to a city and state where I know no one, it’s been very hard to cultivate friendships. I have to say those who helped me along the way in 2017 were the women that I am blessed to work with and my husband. He really stepped up as leader of our home spiritually and physically, encouraging me everyday, telling me no when I needed to hear it, telling me when to slow down, and encouraging me to focus more on myself in order to be able to give more life into my family and my business

  87. Emily M Wood

    1. This year I want to cultivate FOCUS!

    2. Losing my mother in law really put life into perspective. Losing her so early….just really hit home that we never know what tomorrow holds. | Starting my blog was a highlight….but it has also been a challenge. There is a HUGE learning curve for me. I am basically learning as I go which is hard for me. I am a perfectionist at heart and it has been a completely humbling experience doing something so out of my comfort zone. I have had to accept imperfection in a way that I never have before. |There have also been a number of challenges with raising my oldest son that we adopted through foster care. I love him with all of my heart, but there are challenges that we face that leave me completely baffled. Once again….it is teaching me that I have to rely on Christ DAILY as I parent this amazing little boy God put in our lives.

    3. My husband – supportive, loving, my teammate and my best friend; my 3 boys – the 3 miracles in my life that made me MOM; my parents – their love and prayer; the foundation in Christ they helped me to build; our church family – WOW! I cannot even begin to name people for fear of leaving someone out; so many people at our church who have been generous with their time – babysitting free of charge; coming over in a moment’s notice; bringing over food; the list could go on and on….

    4. https://www.pinterest.com/splashes_of_joy/cultivate-my-best-year/?eq=cultivate&etslf=NaN

  88. Shauna

    2017 overall I lacked control. I look back and feel like I didn’t have control of my career, life, weight, and attitude. I let others control those aspects and I felt like a passenger which then made me exhausted and unfulfilled.

  89. Laura Schillaci

    Step 5
    What were the challenges you experienced in 2017?

    Greatest challenges
    -Getting healthy because of health issues
    -Work less…too many need help with child care that wont break the bank and who they trust…too many littles and only one of me to help.
    -getting back to school…main struggle was not knowing what I want to do…another was my husband went back to school to get his certification to move up in his job…and as always money

    Step 6
    Who helped you to live on purpose this year?
    Our Pastor
    Family in small but significant ways

    Most grateful for my husband….we can do anything as a team. He has been such an amazing support system and a rock when it came to infertility issues. He’s also looking into how his work might off some help for schooling and even looks with me to find the best planner to make sue I accomplish my goals for next year. He’s been growing as mush as I am and continue to grow better as singles and then to help and support and grow as a marriage and couple.

  90. Kim Davis

    1. I want to cultivate discipline in several areas of my life. Discipline in healthy living, discipline in spending the first few moments of the day with the Lord, discipline in intentional loving those I am closest too, est.
    2. In 2017, my biggest challenge I faced is that I lost focused and did practice discipline in several key areas of my life. Hence the goals for 2018.
    3. My husband, mom, and best friend really helped me cultivate what really matters in life.
    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! – Still working on this: https://www.pinterest.com/daviskimberly/2018-vision-board/

  91. Rosemary Berry

    Step 1: My One Thing: Write and Publish!!!
    Step 2: Challenges from 2017: Being passed over for two jobs that I thought I was set for – I learned humility and that God has something better in mind for me! Another challenge has been the changing hormones that I’m experiencing, as well as my daughters. I hope to learn patience and gentleness from this! 🙂
    Step 3: My spiritual director, my friend Mary, and my Dad when he said to me: “You write well and you love God. And it shows!”
    4. I did the optional bonus step! https://www.pinterest.com/IrishMomWriter/cultivate-my-best-year/

  92. Lara

    I am so grateful for you! Your joy is contagious. I’m eternally grateful for my husband and best friend and how he encourages me. And my friend Tara from church who is my prayer buddy. 2017 had some difficult challenges and big scary ideas, and some things didn’t happen but the ones that did were amazing. I’m saying no to doubt and fear of the big YES-es this year. Which means I’m going to be saying no a lot, too, in order to keep time and space for tending to the things that matter most. There is so much grace and hope in seeing space in the margins for the year, and even in knowing some of that space will be dealing with hard things. Looking back through this year allowed me to see that there was a lot more growth than I realized and most of it happened “in the dirt”. I’m thankful and excited about my (not on Pinterest) vision board and the goals I have now for 2018.

  93. Emily Steinkamp

    I am grateful for family. I have traveled a good bit this year for my job and with an infant and 2.5 year old who is autistic it was comforting to know I had support for my husband while I was away.

  94. Kassi Wilkey

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    My health. I want to finally lose the weight I’ve been trying to for years now.
    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    The biggest challenge I experienced was my tendency of laziness. I would make good goals and plans, but never take action on them. I learned that a plan without action is simply a dream.
    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My sweet husband, my best friends Lacie, Taylor, and Maddy, and my mail man lol!
    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!
    My vision board: https://www.pinterest.com/kassiwilkey/powersheets-2018-vision-board/

  95. Alison Mish

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Expecting too much from my kids or husband
    Doing too much at once
    Not having consistent childcare to get work done then multitasking
    Lack of patience with the kids
    When my pride got the best of me
    Not putting others first

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    Kelly – encouraged me to get in the word
    Jen Wilkin – really empowered me and got me excited to read and understand the bible in a new way!

  96. Charlene

    The one person I’m most grateful for is my running coach. She not only got me across the finish line for my 1st marathon injury free she helped me see myself in a way I’d never imagined. She held up a mirror and helped me see how determined I truly am. She actually laid the ground work for my 2018 word, STEADFAST.

  97. Chelsea

    1. Cultivate: My health & spiritual/personal growth. Love myself & grow deeper with God.

    2. Challenges: Thinking prayer could be made up later, trying to be in control, fearful of giving everything to God, not building routine(s), too much emotional spending. Lessons: Routine makes me sane, God and setting time aside with Him is essential (don’t be scared of it!), in order to love others best, I need to love myself.

    3. Dustin helped me the most. Always encouraging me, willing to talk about the hard stuff, helping me through things, and always making me laugh.

    4. https://pin.it/qmswjg6dguyueq

  98. Rachel

    Thank you Lara for this awesome post! So motivating!

    1. I want to cultivate an appetite for the thing of God in my girls through wise exposure and excitement for His ways.

    2. I struggled with the balance of being a hands on encouraging Momma but then saving energy to be an encouraging, loving wife too. I need better balance and confidence to say no to outside commitments so my people inside my home get the best me.

    3. My sweet friend Kristina encouraged me in my faith tremendously and Lari for always speaking God’s truth to me.

    4. I skipping this step because I try to avoid Pinterest – a comparison trap for me.

  99. Jordan

    Love these blog posts! Love how they work along with my prep work.

    1. What’s the one thing I most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Joy – having peace with where I am and resting knowing God is in control.

    2. What challenges did I experience in 2017? What lessons did I learn?
    Held onto anxiety and worry – learned I need more prayer in my life.
    Pent up anger – I need to talk with the person and not grow silent
    Fear of future – I didn’t have any plans or goals to go by.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My roommates – they encouraged, challenged, inspired, and motivated me.

  100. Kinsey

    Step 4: One thing I want to cultivate this year is intentionality.

    Step 5: Some challenges in 2017 were keeping up a routine, staying on top of chores around the house, workouts, etc. Also, PRAYING before acting/making decisions.

    Step 6: The people that most help me cultivate life are my co-workers (I work for a church, so that’s a big bonus), Home Group, husband and close friends.

  101. Stacey

    I want to cultivate a deeper meaning of peace. I want to be comfortable and thrive in less is more and give more.

    I struggle every day with the idea that I am not “enough.” I am in the happiest state of mind and yet more days than I’d like to admit I feel trapped in the idea of being alone and not living up to expectations.

    My sweet friends that I made at [email protected] have encouraged me to keep pursuing my side business and I couldn’t be happier with how much growth I’ve achieved.

    Pinterest: https://pin.it/ooaobgjko2ujim

  102. Kim

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Contentment. I want to be thankful for what is and deeply pour into this life I’ve been planted.
    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I’ve been challenged by a foot surgery, remodeling issues, chronic pain, parenting struggles, negativity in thoughts about myself and others, getting lost in distraction and numbing activities. I learned that I keep chasing my tail and get nowhere. I learned that when I stop striving and live in the present with my family and in our sweet home I’m refreshed and given life. I learned that I get easily distracted and I have good intentions but need accountability for follow through.
    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My parents, my husband, my BFF, my children, Sue Elvis who blogs about unschooling, Julie Bogart who blogs about writing, Brennan Manning, and The Holy Spirit.

  103. Jia Ni

    1. Growth, especially in career and our finances!

    2. Challenges in 2017: Discontentment in the wait, falling into the instant gratification trap, distractions, hanging onto the past, not letting go of my control (and letting God).

    3. Our friends, my love, my sister, and family!

  104. Samantha

    I have been so inspired by reading all of these comments. I want to cultivate self care this year, but not the standard version of this ( bubble baths or doctor check ups, perhaps) . This self-care needs to come from the same kind of dedication I put into caring for my children. After man years of adding children to our family through birth and adoption, I am declaring myself my “ new baby” . I say this partly tongue-in-cheek, but partly seriously because I have neglected my health and my spiritual and creative needs for so long, I am relying heavily on our Heavenly Father to show me how to do this while raising a large family and not always having the time or energy to take care of myself.

  105. Bri Crumbley

    4: I want to cultivate true and honest community and connection by loving myself and those around me.

    5. My challenges mostly centered around moments where I felt that I was being placed next to or compared to others, especially those that I love. Like most people, I don’t do well with comparison, but what I super don’t do well with is feeling like I’m in competition with people who are supposed to be on my team, but I’m realizing that a lot of that is in my head.

    6. I’m going to list two for the sake of space and time 🙂 My dear friend, who has been a lovely thought partner and sounding board this year. My roommate, who through a lot of my challenges has been there to remind me that many times these situations feel larger than they are, and that I should trust myself and those who care about me.

    7. https://www.pinterest.com/brisparkles/cultivate-my-best-year/

  106. Kate

    I don’t think my comment went through the first time so I’m trying again!

    I want to cultivate a life of joy in this season of loneliness and waiting. I have been numb and frustrated this past year and haven’t trusted God in the season He has me in. I choose to be joyful and find the little things to be grateful for.

    Things that didn’t work:
    -Saying yes to everything in order to please others. It left me tired and burnt out.
    -“Obligation” mindset in ministry instead of “servant” mindset. I want to do things for the Lord because I love Him. Not out of obligation.
    -Starting grad school this year was not the best idea I’ve had.

    My mom is my go to. She always helps me remember what is important. There are so many friends I can think of this year that I am so grateful for!

  107. April

    4. One thing to cultivate:

    I need to cultivate focus– to give my undivided attention in small and big things. I need to start, follow through and finish the things I really want to do, rather than just what I feel externally compelled to do, or what I am just in the habit of doing. Lara, when you talked about getting lost on instagram, I completely related to that.

    5. Challenges in 2017:

    The words that came to mind about challenges are “time boundaries” and “communication.”

    I have learned that I like who I am as a mom much better when I stop trying to control every little thing and I prioritize quality time with my daughter instead of being consumed with keeping the house or schedule “perfect” all day.

    I have been so good at having conversations with my husband in my head and not giving him a chance to speak to certain things, out of my own insecurity. This year I really started to feel the cost of that habit and started making choices to break that pattern. It has been so good and healing.

    6. My People!
    I am thankful for my husband, who is honest and encouraging, and tells me hard things for my good. My daughter, who is persistent and strong-willed and pulls me back to the present when I am lost in my perfection chase.
    My mom, who reminds me of who I want to be and the legacy I want to create.
    My dear friends, several of whom have been very encouraging and inspiring to me with their transparency and grace and truthful words.

    And here is my Pinterest vision board for 2018!


    I wanted a fun name for it. I called it the Yellow Brick Road because when Dorothy got to the end of that road she realized she already had everything she needed 🙂

    (That’s probably cheesy but I like it for now).

  108. Hilary

    Step 4: what do I want to cultivate in the year 2018?
    I want to learn how to be grounded I want to get over this depression and find an answer to this anxiety. I want to grow deep and wide in my relationship with the lord and be very consistent with my time with him. I want a clear sign and direction from him before I dive back into blogging and writing a course. This year I need to focus on myself and my family before I focus on others.

    Step 5: What challenges did you face in 2017?
    I had to quit Lularoe
    Consistency with blogging
    Learning to manage paeton and he tantrums
    Having a good marriage – going on dates, actually talking to one another

    Step 6: Who helped you?
    Husband, dani, Kerri, Kelly, Lauren

  109. Grace Hahn

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? – Letting go of control in 2018. The idea that I am in someway shaping anything around me. I can do my best to contribute to the world but I don’t control it.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? – Emotional eating, drinking, and talking. I didn’t take control of my decisions and how they would impact my life. I overcommitted to too many things, would procrastinate on doing them and then have a pity party for myself when I was burned out. I didn’t take my mental and physical health seriously. I didn’t prioritize my life and was a victim to comparison over compassion. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. That asking for help is a blessing and you should always do it because you will find someone on the other end (no judgement). I should trust my gut at work and that go d is present when you need him, not always when you WANT him. Lots more but those are the start!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? – My husband, colleague/good friend Courtney (she rocks), parents, in-laws, colleagues and friends at work, my boss, my staff, and the awesome new small group at church that we have been part of in the fall.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! – https://www.pinterest.com/graceh2/cultivate-my-best-year/ – Still working on it but here is what I have so far!

  110. Laura

    Looking forward to cultivating contentment this year. With my house, marriage, and my health.

  111. Sarah G. Mudd

    I love the idea of using a pinterest board for inspiration and reminders! Mine is found here: https://www.pinterest.com/smuddles/2018-growth-board/

  112. Shirley E Hayer

    What a great series you’re sharing here!
    In 2018, I want to cultivate “Creativity” and “Connection”.
    I learned that people are the most important thing to me, not money or stuff. (although I like those things, too!)
    Loving these exercises to reflect and set new positive goals for 2018!!

  113. Katherine

    4. I want to cultivate LISTENING- whether that’s to my husband, or just listening for God’s still small voice. I feel like I’ve been ignoring those things, and I am so humbled by this realization.. if I’m running in the wrong direction, it’s probably because I can’t listen.

    5. I spend to much, I want to have ALL of the control, and I was not a very nice wife this year. I don’t want to lose that. I’m still learning from these challenges…

    6. My momma and mom-in-law, my husband with his never-ending patience…

  114. Corie Cameron

    4. I would like to cultivate a better balance between work and family. Maybe have defined family hours and work hours and not intermix the two.
    5. Challenges for 2017 were being able to block out distractions while focusing on my priorities, not getting enough exercise, probably consuming too many wine calories, not making enough one-on-one time with the kids, not reading enough, yelling too much, and not drinking enough water.
    Lessons from this include scheduling time more accurately, setting goals to focus on family time rather than just having it to unscheduled time, and saying no to extra activities that take me away from what really matters.
    6. Who helped me? First and foremost my husband who quit his job to help me grow my business and make decisions in how to build a business. My friends for helping bounce ideas off of them and helping with with the kids. My parents for being supportive and helpful with kids, my KIDS for always loving, supporting me, and being so happy.

  115. Bethany Douglas

    One thing I want to cultivate this year is wellness. One of my challenges has been anxiety that was diagnosed this spring but colored my entire year. With God, my husband, and the support of my people I’m determined to slow down this year and get a hold on it. The lesson I have been taught ALL year from various sources is that I can’t do it all. I can only do a few things with excellence. So I plan to cultivate just a few simple goals instead of going crazy in a million areas!

  116. Alaina Monts

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? A life that feels simple, content, earthly (involved with all of the creations here on earth) and spiritual.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Writing a thesis is challenging! It taught me that “little by little” is scary for me because sometimes I feel like if I miss something, there’s no point anymore. But I also learned that when I do work towards goals little by little, I feel so much more pleased with how they turn out.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My advisors at school, my PhD cohort, my mom.

  117. Becky

    4. I want to cultivate JOY in 2018 – I want to feel lighter, free, happiness, and energy and also project that so others can feel that way, too. I want to stop making things so hard and embrace the journey instead of just focusing on a destination.

    5. Challenges I experienced included not achieving certain goals and holding onto bitterness and shame. Excited for a clean slate and opportunity to “let go” and see what doors God will open (and maybe close) in 2018.

    6. My husband, mom, and friends are always in my corner!

    *BONUS* Loved this exercise! https://www.pinterest.com/beckytpowell/2018-cultivate-what-matters-vision-board/

  118. Jaclyn K Elwell

    4. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? HEALTH! I want to feel good in my body, I want to move more and fuel my body well so that I can love others well and have enough energy to do what matters to me.

    5.. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? I am a new mom, so learning that I can’t do it all! but that’s okay. Learning to have grace with myself. To slow down and treasure these moments and not hurry them on. Also worked through depression and anxiety and am so proud of how much I’ve grown through that difficult time. It has prepared me to move forward with gratitude, gentleness for myself and others and to be honest!

    6. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? You, Lara, and all the ladies at CWM. My friend Laura – a mom of older children who is loving me and sharing so much grace and wisdom in this time. My husband, jon, helping take the load of some things so I can cultivate other things, also supporting me in this journey of cultivating what matters and growing good goals.

  119. Beth

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? My faith.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Worry about family members taught me to trust in God’s plan. Disorganization taught me to value order.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My pastor, husband, Lara & the cultivate team.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! Done.

  120. Eli

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Mine and Husband’s faith

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Too many suicide attempts of women around us. Show horse to water but you cant make them drink. Comparison of my self to ‘wedding industry standard bride’. I found joy in my heart for our day instead of starving my body.
    Let go of dying friendships/family relationships. Feed yourself with giving people just as you give.
    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My immediate family, Kristie and my Husband.
    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!
    – I made one on my cork board next to my desk.

  121. Mari Sifo

    1. I want to cultivate my health in 2018. That includes self care, weight loss and all those other little things that tend to fall by the side.
    2. 2017 was a good year. My challenge is summarized in finishing strong. That’s why I’m excited about this journey. I start , may finish but not strong. Challenged in my marriage, in budgeting.
    3. My father by far. It’s always there when I need him. To help with the kids, when I had surgery.

  122. Rachael

    1. I most want to cultivate my marriage. We are fine, but I know personally I get so wrapped up in the kids that I don’t put much time and effort into planning things with my husband. I can’t remember the last time he and I, just us, did something together like a movie or dinner. It makes me sad when I think about it, so that needs to change.

    2. My challenges have been how to best deal with my very strong willed 3 year old, spending what little down time I have meaningfully instead of wastefully (like on social media), and spending on things that weren’t really needs. I’ve learned I feel so much more fulfilled if I spend time in God’s Word rather than browsing instagram. I’m still learning how to be the best mom to each of my kids that I can be, and it seems it’s ever-changing.

    3. My husband helps me so much. I plan things and he makes them happen, whether it’s big family vacations or just a trip to Target. He does the bulk of the lifting and loading whether it’s kids or luggage or shopping bags. He drives us to church every Sunday morning and night. I couldn’t do the things I do without him.

  123. Becky

    One of the things that helped me the most in achieving goals, after finding out my goals, was leaving my PowerSheets open on my desk. It was easy to go by and check on progress daily. A big plus!

  124. Katrina

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to cultivate doing things “well”–loving my husband well, serving God well, mothering well, etc.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Not being open to change, being too rigid in my family life, letting my relationship with God be on the back burner (if on at all), general procrastination, trying to control things that I simply can’t, pretending to care about things I don’t, not having a central focus and taking on too much

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband helped me most, he is my refuge as he shows me grace, encouragement, wisdom, and patience. My two good friends Tiffani and Amy, my kids (Talmage and Eliza), and my parents also helped!

    4. Is this an honor system thing? I’m working on mine!

  125. Carol

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want to cultivate the ability to trust in God and start where I am, instead of trying to line up perfection before I begin. I need to let it be in His control; not mine!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    My job is ending without another one lined up. I have learned that I need to surrender control and put myself out there more by taking imperfect baby steps.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My husband, my amazing friends, my family, and my dog. I am lucky to have an awesome support network! And dogs are truly the most selfless beings on earth – he loves me unconditionally and reminds me that kind words and quality time are more important than anything material.

  126. Jaime

    I want to create space to have family time, space to relax in reading, space to design, space to paint, space to ride my horse, space to suceed. I’m grateful for my miracle baby, my husband for encouraging me, my in laws and family to help with my daughters care, my job to provide for our family,… plus so much more.

  127. Jenna

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want to grow – grow in my new field (web design), grow at home, grow with my family, grow financially, grow from this experience we’re going through right now.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    I learned that savings are so important, jobs aren’t secure, that I hold back too much and have too high of expectations. That it’s good to take risks, and that I can focus and succeed . in new areas.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    Definitely my husband, my children, and my family and friends. I don’t always recognize them, but they’ve all pushed and carried me in different ways through the seasons of time.

  128. Katie

    4. I want to cultivate a life I am proud of. A life that I don’t hide in fear of comparison.
    5. I really struggled with no sticking to my tending list and letting my emotions control my life.
    6. This year some unexpected people helped me to CWM. Obviously my parents and best friend, as well as my baby sister. But also my former boss for introducing me to this brand and for showing me the possibility of designing my own life. (Thanks Ari Kilday!) Also my exes. They each taught me something different about why it’s so important to not lose sight of what matters. But most importantly, I’m grateful for my co-workers. They’ve taught me so much about being a young professional and even more about remaining true to yourself and your goals.

  129. Betsy Hockaday

    This step for me will be crucial because the challenges I had all stemmed around fears and mindset issues and my word for the year will truly be the game changer!

  130. Justine Hwang

    I want to cultivate more rootedness in Jesus and responsiveness to the Spirit and less drivenness and reactively being distracted with everyone else’s priorities or my temptations for the shiny things.

    Struggled to take care of my body after a loss and sickness it suffered, and struggled with rhythms of life. I learned i need accountability and community to help me with these things.

    Community has been critical in my growth and positive overcoming of struggles: creative entrepreneur circles, my amazing team at work, and close friends who got me through the hopeless impossible crises i experienced.

  131. DebbyM

    I just found your website and I’m thrilled. I am just starting the challenge and I am so looking forward to making 2018 a year of growth.

  132. Mindy H

    I am super excited! I am taking all of this in before I begin my powersheets!

  133. Kelsey Badia

    Step Four: I most want to cultivate ROOTS. My husband and I moved across the country and then had our first child. I want to feel rooted where I am while I work to create a life-giving home and a new business as a wellness coach.

    Step Five: I struggled in 2017 with to-do-list living. I always wanted to check everything off my list and wound up exhausted and discouraged, especially when facing the challenges of pregnancy. I derived way too much self-worth from my productivity.
    Step Six: My hubby helped me most to cultivate what matters. His complete belief in my business, my skills and ability to bless others with my wellness coaching keeps me going!

  134. Lucinda Perry

    This year I want to cultivate moments that are worth the memories I will have when its all over
    Some of the challenges I have faced in 2017 have been:
    balance with my work and my family, patience in the waiting – waiting for SO many things, extending grace and forgiveness to those who need it most, wasting time and wasting money – due to poor planning.
    I have learned a lot through the hard – If I make God my #1 priority, He helps align the rest, there is purpose in the waiting – God is preparing me and whatever is necessary, I have learned so much about the grace and forgiveness of my Savior directed toward ME, and I have learned that time and finances are something that need intentional focus from both my husband and me. We need to work together to get these cleaned up.
    I am so grateful for who God has brought into my life. My friend Britt, my husband, my kids, my parents and in laws, my connect group gals – all of these people have blessed me – as well as so many others!

  135. Allie

    Step 4: This year, I want to cultivate my relationship with the Lord. I need to learn to rely on Him and not myself.

    Step 5: The challenges I faced in 2017 include an illness and the lack of motivation to get things done.

    Step 6: The people that have helped me in 2017 are my mom, my roommate, my friends, Emily Ley, and you, Lara!

  136. Melissa Yang

    1. I want to cultivate my relationship with the Lord the most & begin leaning on Him more. I know that by doing this, everything else in my life will fall into place.

    2. I dealt with the challenge of deciding to take a year off from teaching. I lost my dad suddenly in 2015 during my first year of teaching & this year has allowed me to open my eyes to the things I was neglecting. Deciding to leave my job to take a year or SELAH was difficult, but God has begun to reveal so many beautiful things about myself, my family & the passions he has put on my heart & the seeds the my dad AND Heavenly Father have planted– they are slowly beginning to FLOURISH in this season.

    3. My boyfriend, Jordan, has helped me cultivate what matters. He’s helped me see what really matters & has encouraged me to not sweat the small things. He’s also helped me grow in my faith.

    4. I have a vision wall and painted a canvas of my word of the year 🙂

    Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/melissajyang/big-picture-powersheets/

  137. Ronda Carter

    Love the bright colors and inspiration that I get from your blog!

  138. Lauren Thrasher

    4. Whats one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead? I want to SAVOR it. I think this will be my word for 2018. I have a 2.5 year old and an 8 month old. The years are flying by. I want to savor each moment before they are gone. I don’t want to just look forward to the next step, or until I have “mastered” things. I want to thrive right here in the mundane of the day to day with my people. I want to grow in the hard.

    5. What were the challenged you experienced in 2017. This has been a year of change and answered prayers. We added our second child to our family and after 1.5 years of praying to be able to stay at home with my girls, my husband was offered a promotion where I could quit my job. I quit and then he lost his promotion. This brought up a lot of financial strain, questioning if we heard God correctly. But it also was so so so sweet. Jesus is reminding us that He is all that we need. That true value is not in things and that we are doing the most important things now! I am learning contentment.

    6. My husband. He is constantly telling me that value in what I am doing. He encourages me and helps me to see the value in things that I miss! My Church community and old friends. I am contacting these people today telling them thank you and how much they have impacted and encouraged me.

  139. Rebecca G

    Step 4) After working on my powersheets for 2018, I’ve decided my number one goal is to cultivate CONFIDENCE.

    Step 5) One of my greatest challenges in 2017 was allowing myself to be drained by not taking care of myself. I have a draining job, but it pays the bills, so I needed to find another outlet to help counteract it. I did not do this for most of the year, and I could feel myself getting depressed because of it.

    Step 6) Honestly, YOU and your lovely team of ladies have helped me cultivate so much. I read your book Make it Happen, and it really made me start thinking about what my life would look like if I started focusing on only things that mattered. It has really changed my life.

  140. Kirstin

    This will sound crazy, but in walking through these steps I’ve realized that I need to cultivate hearing God’s head in my mind and not the voice of “they” (if that makes any sense). Replacing his loving and all knowing voice with the ones that I allow to say “that’s not good enough.” Or “why did you do that?!”

    My biggest challenges for 2017 were trying to find space in our overly full lives and resisting the invitation to be bitter and angry.

    People that have helped me – my fabulous mentor, my mom watching the kids on a weekly basis to give me some down time, BSF, and authors like you who push me forward and inspire me to not lose hope!

  141. Kelly P.

    There are several things I hope to cultivate in 2018 but among them all seems to be a resounding *JOY*!! Joy in the ordinary, joy in my marriage, joy in the trials, joy in creating for His glory, joy in the blessings I have and not focusing on what I don’t have, joy in contentment, joy in God being my portion!
    What I learned- I believe a central theme that seemed to be at the root of many of my challenges was to be better prepared…to time block for things that are important to me/that I need to thrive, to feel more at ease and not stressed (things I can do the night before so the morning is smoother), prepared to dole out disciplines and consequences when the kids need them so it’s not a huge source of stress, probably more than anything, preparing my heart for those inevitable rocky, stressful times so I won’t react without grace. Also, I need to learn to trust Him with my kids and how hard it feels right now- put the work in because it’s worth it. Trust Him!
    People who have helped me are the Christian counselor we sought for help parenting our kids, my husband for his steadfast, selfless love and encouragement, our small group for their immediate open hearts, the sweet group of ladies in my bible study for their help in my growth in the word, Kristin for her lectures that speak to my soul, Paula for helping keep our house cleaned and not judging me for how bad it gets, Faith and Melissa, our babysitters, who allow us to grow in community and Gods word and allow my hubby and I to have regular date nights, my sweet little different groups of friends that I get to spend time with regularly for one reason or another.
    I did not do step #4 because of exactly what your ‘word of caution’ was…I quit all social media many years ago and have never ever regretted that amazing decision!

  142. Samantha

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    Relationships! With my husband, with and between my kids, with friends, and with God.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    Early pregnancy EXHAUSTION and sickness. I was just checked out for months until that passed. That was so hard on our whole family! Learned that even in those times when things are HARD, there are things we need to make time for – specifically my relationship/connecting with my husband. That was a hard season for us.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My husband, who even though I was so sick and a terrible wife and mom, stuck right by my side with a positive attitude and an understanding that everything is just a season. His peace and calm and steadiness grounds me.

    A friend who I have known for a decade now through many seasons of life. We live 500 miles apart now and have for 6 years. Our relationship hasn’t been close due to the distance and us having almost 7 kids between us in those years! But we were able to get together this summer and REALLY connected and our relationship has filled my heart so much. She was willing to be vulnerable and we learned that we are so much on the same page in so many things. She’s made me feel so much less alone on this journey of motherhood/life!

  143. Rebecca

    i had work, financial and relationship challenges this year but now I’m looking forward to seeing what progress can be made with the powersheets to help me 🙂 im slowly learning that i dont need to control everything for things to get done

  144. Holly

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Heart change. I want deep lasting heart change that spreads into all areas of my life. The only way I can do this is through the power of Jesus Christ and in relationship with Him.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Most of the challenges faced in 2017 stemmed back to one of these four things: not knowing myself, not facing my thoughts or nudges from the Holy Spirit, not knowing the Word, and anytime I put myself first and others second. These challenges taught me the areas I need to focus on and work on. To not shy away from the hard work of digging in when it gets uncomfortable.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My awesome husband who encourages and supports me in my wildest dreams. My daughter – goodness she is so FUN! I love her and being around her. Cultivating her heart matters.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!
    Ek! I’m going to give this a try!! 🙂

  145. Pauline Ramos

    The one thing I want to cultivate in 2018 is to be still, enjoy the quiet so that I can make room for the voice of God.
    My challenges in 2017 include health setbacks and work (being stripped of title/status, network, purpose). But I learned that my identity is in Christ alone, and he has already given me all that I need to be on mission for Him.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

  146. Pauline Ramos

    Opps…forgot to mention who helped me cultivate what matters – that was my husband! My number one encourager and the one who can also hold up the mirror to me when I need to see where growth needs to happen.
    Here is my link to my vision board – https://www.pinterest.com/paulineramos/cultivate-my-best-year/

  147. Angela

    The first thing that came to mind was FAMILY. We really want to have a baby this year 🙂

    My challenges for 2017 were:
    Figuring out when it was or wasn’t appropriate to stick up for myself
    Challenges with tight budgets
    Keeping romance alive in my marriage
    Figuring out where I fit in the flower farming and floral design community
    Finding my creative floral design voice
    Not visiting friends or being able to have people over

    Lessons I learned:
    Make hard decisions that feel right and be confident in them
    Reflect, journal – this reveals my true desires so I can go after them
    Practice compassion and empathy
    Talk less. Listen more.
    Be humble.
    Have faith in the universe to take care and lend a helping hand…you are not alone.

    The people that helped me tremendously:
    My mom
    My dad
    My husband Tony
    My best friend Jennie
    My boss and flower farmer extraordinaire Haley
    Floral designer Jakki

    I will definitely be sending these amazing people thank you cards.

    Pinterst Board! https://www.facebook.com/thewallflowergirl1/

    Thank you for all of this 🙂

  148. Jessica Graham

    Step 4: My biggest area this year is my marriage, followed by health and work. Step 5: I’m letting go of expectations and working toward thriving. Other people’s opinions about what my life should look like do not determine my value. I learned that I like incentives. That I need to work my plan and not just make lists. Step 6: those who have encouraged me this year include my husband, and my mom. I’m grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with them this year and the time they’ve given to me to work toward goals. I’ve also made a few good friends in my creative circle. I’m excited to grow my relationships.

  149. Lisa A Johns

    Hi Lara and friends!

    I MOST want to cultivate my new marriage (beginning March 10th) because it’s easier and just better to start with as many good habits as we can rather than try to change them later, ya know??

    I was challenged by seeing my own sin. My critical spirit. But I learned that God loves me more than that.

    Jenny, my fabulous Spirit-filled counselor and my fiance helped me realize that. My bff and fiance helped keep me smiling through it all.

  150. Brittany W

    Today’s post was GOOD. Whew!

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    -An Intentional life pull of JOY and FAITH. These past few years have been very challenging. I’m so ready for a fresh start.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    -Overloading my schedule 🙁
    -spending TOO MUCH TIME on social media.
    -comparing my journey to others.
    -not watering my own grass/celebrating the GOOD in my own life.
    -allowing myself to feel inadequate
    -lack of commitment to my health journey.
    -being too concerned about other people’s opinions of me… this is a struggle.
    -wasteful spending
    -expecting perfection from myself and others
    -pursuing too many projects in this season.
    -wasting a lot of time
    -letting fear hold me back

    Lessons Learned:
    -I must let go of control
    -Self-care my be a priority
    -Stress cannot have power over me
    -God is FOR me and NOT against me.
    -My health matters
    -I must seek God FIRST!!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    -my amazing husband
    -my best friend Sabine
    -my dear friend Loren
    -a few co-workers
    -my therapist

  151. Jenna

    Yay!! SO excited about this journey!

  152. Deb

    I most want to cultivate FRUITFULNESS in the areas you gave us in Part 1 (Health, Family, Friends, etc.). I just read Henri Nouwen’s writing about the difference between Productivity and Fruitfulness. “Productivity suggests a machine grinding out a commercial product. By contrast, fruitfulness gives us the organic image of a tree, rooted in rich soil, tempered by weather and seasons, by cold and wind and sun, able to give shade, to bud and flower, and to bear fruit.” I LOVE that word picture!

  153. Tanya

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    A peaceful home which revolves around God’s word and truth.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    I finished grad school, had a baby, we built a home and moved 3 times. It was a hard year. I learned that prayer and family are the cornerstone to a Christian home.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My spouse! We talked about our family goals and wrote them down. We kept each other accountable which was amazing. We grew closer as a couple.

  154. Arica

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? This year I want to be more intentional about growing my faith, I want to grow in community with others, and I want to spend less time on social media and more time with things that matter!

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? In 2017 I spent way too much money, way too much time on social media/wasting time and tried to control everything. I didn’t give my trust to God. I compared myself to other women on instagram wanting to be exactly like them, and pursuing the impossible.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband Jason, friends Travis and Esther! As well as my parents.

  155. Stacey Meredith

    Step 4:
    what’s one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead?
    I have more than 1! I want to love my family well. Cultivate a culture of feeding my soul, taking care of my family, schooling my daughter with intention and joy, show my husband how much I love/admire/appreciate/value him, take time for myself, a life-giving home, a habit of living the fruits of the Spirit daily.

    Step 5: What were the challenges you experienced in 2017?
    2017 was my unhealthiest year in a long time. Medical issues, weight gain, chronic pain, kidney stones. Enduring a less than ideal school situation for 5 months. Meal planning. Regular exercise. Meal planning. Budgeting.

    Step 6: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? 
    My husband, my children, homeschool mama friends, Eleanor, Cathy, Karen, Girls’ group, my parents, reach group, family.

  156. Christe McKenzie

    1. What I want to cultivate this year…. a continued growing relationship with Christ.
    2. Greatest challenges: loss of my grandmother, father, and adjusting to a grown child. Becoming wise counsel instead of the governing parent. Being in control. Being all things to all people.
    3. People who have helped me: my husband, mom, my kiddos, my sister, and a few trusted friends.

  157. kristen

    my Pinterest goal posts:

  158. Jessica Gourley

    I most want to cultivate my purpose and I want that to be rooted in Christ even though I’ve been playing that role for so long I’m not sure what it looks like, authentically and deeply.
    2017 was crazy and good and scary and unexpected. We went through a huge job change and move, we had twin toddlers and a surprise baby- the best surprise. We left the only place we had known as a married couple which continues to be emotional as we miss those people and places so deeply.
    My sweet, sweet husband helped me cultivate goals, but more importantly built me up and reassured me I wasn’t failing when I was hard on myself.
    Trying to finish my prep work before I make a vision board for 2018 or…I will get lost in the time suck of Pinterest, haha. 🙂

  159. Sarah Dispenza

    Here we go!
    1. I want to cultivate my time with God this year. Being faithful to Him above everything else
    2. My mornings were challenging this year. I have been trying to establish a routine for mornings for years and still haven’t been able to get it. I’m not sure of the lesson in this yet. But I’m seeking God’s wisdom and trying some new things to have purposeful mornings that aren’t rushed
    3. My husband was definitely my biggest help this past year! He sometimes knows me better than I know myself and it’s beautiful.
    4. I don’t want to get distracted by Pinterest..

  160. Mary B

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Myself

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? I forgot to nurture myself.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? This is my first year. I have another have a friend doing this with me and we will be supporting/cheering each other on.

  161. emi

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Better steward of my time.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? My husband’s knee surgery and recovery. Some havoc around our homeplace due to weather…(not compared to those in Texas and Florida). Being able to communicate in a foreign language.
    Trust God with His timing for prayers to be answered. Also trust God with His hand on other’s that I love going through health or job crisis. It’s ok to make mistakes when learning something new.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My husband -his wisdom, his commitment, his hardwork, and his leadership. My son-his encouragement and presence in my life. My family-their time and generosity. Church family-friendships and encouragement.

  162. Mandy L

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? I think contentment. I often feel dissatisfied and restless. I don’t know if that’s just a longing for Heaven or if I just have a heart issue. Perhaps a bit of both. But I struggle to feel content where I am, with what I have, with what I do, and feel a lack of purpose. I want to feel secure in where God has placed me.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? 2017 is difficult for me to recall completely, but there have been all sorts of challenges. I’ve had health challenges, family challenges, and loads of personal challenges. I’ve learned (re-learned? for like the millionth time?) that I can always trust God to take care of me and provide for me. I stress over things so much, and so easily, and all the while, God is working in the background making everything turn out okay. Even when things progress to the extreme, He is always there and on the verge of blessing His children. I’ve learned that sometimes we need extreme things to happen so that we appreciate what we have, who we have, and how good we have it. I’ve learned that I am more materialistic than I realized, and it’s time to simplify and let some thins go.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My husband, Joey, whether directly or indirectly. His parents and their enormous faith. Kristen Welch, although we’ve never met. The children and young adults that I’ve been sponsoring. They’ve all given me some much needed perspective.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board! https://www.pinterest.com/mebble/cultivate-my-best-year-2018/

  163. Lisa Manning

    The one thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is Joy! Joy in MY heart, joy within our family, joy in our home.

    The biggest challenges I experienced in 2017 was learning to keep my family steady and unified in the midst of family crisis. We had many challenges from April to August. I had to continually renew my faith in God each day to stay strong throughout that time. He HAD to be my rock in the circumstances to make it through.

    During that time, I learned that sometimes the things that are the most painful are the things God uses as the conduit for the changes we have been asking Him for.

    We had a great support network during the difficult times. Our church was probably the place we landed most. However, God was really calling me to depend on Him. Moving away from the church & friends we had was incredibly difficult and they weren’t as easy to reach out to in the hard times. We were called to build a stronger family unit and I think that is what God wanted all along.

  164. Scottie Rawlings

    These steps are soooo helpful & terrific insight. Have been working all afternoon . Thank you Lara for your quidance. Happy new year!!

  165. sandy k

    thank you so much for this opportunity! I emailed these tips to my bff so we can brainstorm and hold each other accountable

  166. sandy k

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to slow down and love more.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I did a horrible job of taking care of myself. I poured all my energy into an unrewarding job that left me feeling empty. I gave what was leftover to my family and did not think about my needs.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? I feel like this year I did not cultivate anything 🙁 I lived each day doing what I felt I had to and did not take the time to think or feel anything.

  167. Mac

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want to cultivate vulnerability the most this year! I’m realizing I have trouble opening up to my friends and spouse more often than not. I have trouble sharing my unique life and perspective for fear of disappointing someone else or being judged by them. I am excited and nervous to see how God helps me grow this year.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    I tried to force a business that just didn’t work. I learned that my happiness doesn’t depend on some sort of professional success. I also had some health setbacks, and I learned that when I neglect physical activity and time outdoors, it has the biggest impact on my emotional health. I also learned not to fight my own body, but to listen to it!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My friends Julia and Melissa were HUGE in helping me through 2017. As was my husband, my parents, and the professionals that work with my kids! So grateful!

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!


  168. Courtney

    The one thing I want to cultivate most is peace and contentment where I am everyday
    Childs speech and behavior, husband travel schedule,move to plant a church, My health and exhaustion, Friendships lost, Burnout in this season of life, Spending too much money, Constantly needing to be on the go not peaceful and content where I was both mentally and physically
    Lessons learned: I’m not and never will be in control God is in control when I try to be I constantly fail. lAm I willing to live like Christ if it hurts? I have not learned to be restful and peaceful where I am and that causes me to feel I need to do more or spend more

  169. Amanda

    In 2018 I want to cultivate an amazing environment in my new home. Peace at Home. 2017 was a challenge with moving…we move a lot, but this one was the hardest move I think I’ve ever had. Facing a new location that I would not have picked for myself or my family. Facing midlife and not liking what I see…I’m not sure there was much cultivation in 2017. It was more about reacting.

  170. Kristyn

    One lesson I learned this year…You do your part, and He’ll do his. I can’t control everything! I most want to Cultivate Contentment and Gratefulness.

  171. Tiffany Messner

    The word that stood out to me was peace. In every area of my life I want to cultivate peace this year.

    This past year I really discovered that anxiety had taken hold of my heart. Instead of casting my cares I was gripped with fear! I learned that if I mapped out my fears and what caused them it made them less daunting. I also learned that when I plan ahead for things like fitness I am so much more likely to follow through and stay consistent.

    I went through my phone contaces and made a huge list of the people that helped cultivate my 2017 and I have started working my way through thanking each person. Again, being mindful of all of this made me so thankful for the life that I lived this past year.

    I am loving these intentional steps!
    Thank you cultivate team!

  172. Megan Van sipe

    I want to cultivate trust this year. Trust in myself, in God, in others best intentions, in life’s unfolding as it should, in my husband’s decisions.

    This year, finding authentic relationships was a challenge. Feeling a sense of belonging. I searched with an open heart and feel I came up empty handed. I also took stock of current friendships and re-evaluated them. That was hard. I listened to anxiety too much and made decisions out of fear, not love.

    I’m looking forward to reaching out to the people that deserve words of love from me.

  173. Megan Van sipe

    I want to cultivate trust this year. Trust in myself, in God, in others best intentions, in life’s unfolding as it should, in my husband’s decisions.

    This year, finding authentic relationships was a challenge. Feeling a sense of belonging. I searched with an open heart and feel I came up empty handed. I also took stock of current friendships and re-evaluated them. That was hard. I listened to anxiety too much and made decisions out of fear, not love.

    I’m looking forward to reaching out to the people that deserve words of love from me.

  174. Abby

    I am so thankful for my husband who encourages me even when I fail to love him well! He is a constant support and I am so, so blessed that God brought us together. I am also so thankful for my family and the sisters I have! It’s crazy how easy it is to forget how many people are behind you and encourage you daily and I am thankful that this step helped me remember that! I surely couldn’t do this life alone.

  175. Linda B

    2017 was the hardest year of my life so far. But it also brought so many blessings. I’m most thankful for the renewed connection with my parents, siblings, and my children. We gave each other unconditional love, spoke honestly from the heart, created safe space for our feelings. Biggest blessing!

  176. Susanna Zach

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want to cultivate my health in 2018. I neglected it during 2017. I want to feel strong and healthy and energetic. I want to be able to run and play with my nieces and nephews. I want to have healthy habits that give me energy to serve the Lord wherever He leads me.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    This list is so long. So many people have encouraged and challenged me in 2017. In my Powersheets I made a list and sent out 20 thank you cards! It was so life-giving and sweet to send out my gratitude. A few of those friends are Brenna, Damaris, Kassy, Addison, Jessica, and Laura.

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

    I made a virtual and paper vision board. It was so much fun!

    • Susanna Zach

      Oops, I forgot to answer #2! In 2017 I felt like a failure as a student teacher. God showed me that my identity is found in Him and not in what I do or how good I am. I had to lean on Him continuously throughout the whole process. Also, I got stuck in comparison and envy. This was caused by spending too much time on my phone. So much time is wasted when I scroll. I want to live my days with purpose.

  177. Joelle

    Step 4: What is one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead?
    I want to cultivate our home life. I feel like everything at home is out of control. I know we are in time of HUGE transition, but I feel as though I’m failing as a wife and a mother when our home life is chaotic. I want our home to be a place of peace, rest, and joy. It’s hard for me to feel those things now in our home. I want to find a way to manage the cleaning and cooking with out feeling overwhelmed and cranky. I don’t want to complain about it or constantly worry about it anymore. I will get to a place where we are all comfortable and happy in our home.

    Step 5: What were the challenges you faced in 2017?
    •The biggest challenge was adjusting to life with 3 kids. I still struggle with handling all of it, trying to find a routine that keeps everyone happy, including myself.
    •Another challenge was being happy with myself. After having 3 kids I feel very insecure about how I look, and it has a huge effect on how I feel about myself in general. I was not kind to myself, I was insecure in my relationship and that led to a whole new set of struggles.
    •A final struggle is getting to a good place with finances. I spend more money than I’m comfortable with and need to stop spending emotionally.

    Step 6: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband, most definitely. He is ALWAYS there and supportive of me. He helps me not take everything so seriously.
    My sister in law. She is always there when I need her, she is encouraging, helpful, and fun.
    My mom, she is my rock. She will always be there for me and knows me better than I know myself.

  178. Kricia Marie Morris

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    It sounds so silly, and so simple…but I want to learn how to pray and let go…and trust.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    My biggest challenges came from trying to do too much for too many people, and attempting to maintain ultimate control over everything without allowing myself to ask for help. My biggest lesson has been that it’s OK to not be perfect, that it’s OK to let go of LOTS of things that aren’t right anymore, and sometimes it’s OK to focus on one thing at a time with no guilt.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My greatest gratitude goes to Matt (my hubs) for stepping in and supporting me through my crazy school schedule, and for Katie, Becky and Rachel for pushing me and loving me, and Kaela, for consistently making me realize the only person who can control my reactions is ME!

    4. And our optional bonus step: get visual and make your 2018 vision board!

    I’m working on this, excited to see where it leads me!

  179. Chelsea McCown

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? My Faith. I need to focus on Him.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? 2017 was so hard. Moves, new baby #6 (and a delivery in which I nearly died). I learned when I let my time with Christ slip, I flounder.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? Brandy. So much. My husband.

  180. KathyB

    The one thing I most want to cultivate in 2018 is my health. I have several major health issues and I need to address them with a healthier diet, more sleep, consistent exercise, and appropriate self care.

    In 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I learned quickly what was most important to me. So many things I’d been spinning my wheels on, striving to achieve are now meaningless to me.

    My faith, husband, children, and friends helped me cultivate what matters in 2017. They are my anchor, joy, light, and purpose.

  181. Jenna Cook

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    A living on purpose attitude. As I am doing the prep work, I realize that much of what I am dissatisfied with in my life is a result of just living and hoping that things will go the right way. Instead, I want my life to be purposeful, lived with intention, not just accidentally making things happen.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I felt a lot of rejection in 2017. I learned though, that seeking significance from other people will always make me feel empty. I learned that serving others, with the real intention of serving myself, doesn’t actually serve anyone – Jesus, cultivate selflessness in me!

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband Matt, my forever friends Sarah and Tab, my friend Ruth Ann – whose life is an encouragement to me and many others (and she introduced me to PowerSheets!), the people I work with who aren’t afraid of doing HARD WORK for the right purpose, and my newly found small group!

  182. Yana

    This year I want to concentrate of my children, work and friendships as main areas and of course have good routines to maintain and grow other areas of my life. (Your ‘friendships’ story is so encouraging Lara!!!! I feel so lonely for so long already and I am so excited to pray about it and work on it!)

  183. Barbara

    4. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    Better understanding and relationship with Christ through reading the scriptures and prayer.

    5. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Having a second baby really spiced things up! Trying to do everything really got in the way of embracing and enjoying quality time with my girls. I learned that I need to simplify and focus (thus why I decided to invest in Powersheets!) I also found myself being super negative and I didn’t like myself when I was, so I learned that I need to actively work to be positive.

    6. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?
    My husband, mom-friends that I connect with through the Marco Polo app, the in-laws we’ve lived with for three years, and my girls!

  184. Jolene

    Step #4: One thing to cultivate in the year ahead? Simplifying. It’s not my word for the year, that’s adventure. But in the adventure, I need to think less and work in a simpler way. I tend to have many things going at once and bit by bit, I’m choosing areas where I can keep life simpler so I can do the things I feel called to do.

    Step 5: Challenges in 2017 included learning to accept what is and letting go of what isn’t. Sometimes what isn’t is something that may not be, ever. Sometimes, it’s something that may take a lot longer than I wish. Accepting the reality of what is and letting go of what I expect it to be – right now. This helps me live in the moment and trust God more for the future.

    Step 6: I have some pretty incredible friends. One in particular really helped me with perspective when I needed it.

  185. Kristin G

    I craved harmony last year and felt frustrated when I did not achieve it. This year I am aiming for smaller goals that will point me in the right direction and leave me feeling successful rather than discouraged. I want to cultivate harmony between time spent on school work, with my s.o., and to fill my tank. I also want to REDUCE GUILT, especially the one that comes from working from home. There is always more to be done (workaholic over here) and I want to block of my days so I can enjoy my evenings guilt-free watching TV or doing whatever will make me feel rested for the next day.

  186. Melanie

    This year I want to cultivate intentionality (if that’s a word!). Rather than being pulled this way and that by circumstances and events, I want to have a clear plan of overall direction for my life , family, homeschool, and health. Led by the Spirit instead of by outside compulsions. Living a life of freedom!

  187. Deena Royalty

    I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know my powersheets as I go along, but also enjoy your insights and transparency too!

  188. Natalie

    As we start this journey together, what’s one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead?

    A meaningful life. A purposeful life. The life I want to live. Contentment.

    What were the challenges you experienced in 2017?

    • No patience and as a result not being able to bite my tongue when I need to.
    • The power of seeking approval has taken over. In my personal life as well as my work life.
    • My brother. He is a great challenge to myself and to our family. His car got repossessed, he’s so far behind on his child support payments, he lost his job and didn’t tell anyone, he only sees his son about once a month, he drinks all day, I’m fearful that he’s doing drugs again, he doesn’t hangout with or talk to the family hardly at all… he’s depressed.
    • Spending too much money
    • Not staying connected to God

    Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    • Kirby –
    Once again Kirby has meant so much to me throughout this past year. This time last year we were making some HUGE life decisions and they were not easy. We had to decide if our relationship was going to flourish by one of us moving, or if it would die and we’d be living our different lives. Kirby was so willing to move to Dallas for me, even though he did not want to live in Dallas. Kirby was then in talks of getting a big promotion at work, so he had to do the most courageous thing and ask me if I would be willing to move to Phoenix… I cried a lot when he asked. He was asking me to move away from all of my family and friends on a gamble that he would be getting a big promotion… and you know what happened, I moved and he got the promotion and we have never been happier!
    Now, a year later, we are getting ready to move in together! This year has been the best year yet for us. Our relationship has grown so much as we’ve gotten to experience the joy of living in the same state/city again. We have fought less and loved more. We celebrated three years together and regularly (mainly because of me) talk about getting engaged – hopefully within the next few months!
    Kirby has been the biggest blessing and my biggest success from 2017. He is so much of my happiness and without him I definitely would not be living in Phoenix, AZ loving life!
    • My Mom & My Dad –
    Both of my parents have always been my best friends. We did have a rough patch around this time last year when I told them that I was moving to Phoenix. My dad especially was not having it. When I first told him he didn’t even speak to me for a few days.
    Now that I’ve moved I think that all of our relationships are so much better. My parent’s relationship strengthened when I left the house, I know it was very straining on my dad specifically when I lived there. I still talk to them every day and I love it! Now they are so happy for me with my decision to move here and they both agree it was the right choice for me. Without my parents I would be nowhere. I wouldn’t even be close to the same person that I am today.
    • Brie & Tyler –
    Brie and Tyler have been some of the greatest friends. They are kind and encouraging and every bit my family out here in AZ. They have repeatedly included Kirby and myself in their family events, weekend trips and their everyday life. They are the type of generous and fun people that I aspire to be every day. Tyler even gifted Kirby and I a class package for Financial Peace University so that we can become financially stable together. They are encouraging and humble and some of the best friends that anyone could ask for.

  189. rosa

    I want to cultivate ME. I matter and I haven’t always put myself in the right position to be taken care of. If I love me then I show others how to love & treat me, I can get better with my finance if I believe I’m worthy enough of the things that matter and can plan for it, if I’m present in my marriage then I will be able to ask for the things that matter with us and set up date nights.
    2. Challenges have been not taking time for myself, always running late, living paycheck to paycheck, not being present, hurtful words to others and myself as a result of not taking time for myself or what I need.
    3. What I learned: If I like what I’m wearing then don’t worry about what others think/say, the Whole 30 taught me how to pick healthy food and when to say no to other foods, the summer time brings me much joy and I should plan on doing more outside-money would be nice but there is so much to do without money.
    4. A few friends have been helpful to me, a few family members and to my surprise a great deal of people at work showed up in a big way for me that I didn’t take full advantage of.
    5. Pinterest would be nice but right now it would be a distraction for me. I’m currently doing a fast for religious reasons and I added no instragram (which I spend too much time on) and instead going to spend that time in prayer. Maybe the board after I get right with my intentions around it.

  190. Lauren Bugbee

    Step 4. This year I want to cultivate a deep relationship with Jesus, part of the stress of last year was trying to do life on my own strength and I cannot live like that anymore. Honestly my heart is weary.
    Step 5. Taking on my own expectations of how life should be instead of asking Jesus what he wants my life to be.
    Step 6. My husband Tim, has prayed over me, wiped so many tears from my face and always met me with patient love. He is truly my greatest blessing.

  191. Emily McHenry

    1. What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018? Oh, so many things! But if it were down to one? Gratitude. I want to cultivated gratitude this year. Mostly because it literally affects all the other things – my days staying at home with my daughters are 1000x better when I remember how grateful I am for them. Moving my body and making healthy choices is so much easier when I remember how blessed I am to have a body that CAN move. Leaning into my faith is so much more compelling when I remember that I serve a God who leaned toward me first. So much to be grateful for, and it changes everything.

    2. What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn? Last year, I experienced relational upheaval with my parents, a strong battle with faith-doubt, and nearly suffocated our home with my anger/need for control. I’ve learned that my parents are human beings, in need of grace just as much as I am. I’ve learned that God is not threatened by my doubts. And I’ve learned that my family/husband/daughters are so much more important than whether our home appears neat and tidy.

    3. Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017? My husband, by encouraging and allowing me space to pursue wholehearted relationship with myself, God and then my parents. My amazing smallgroup of women, who have heard all the good AND hard things, and prayed for me with such steadfastness. And my daughters, who continue to pour unconditional love on their flawed mama.

  192. Tonya Booth

    Love Love Love working on a vision board, actually I have a scetch book I use…since 2007…Pinterest is fun but there is something about cutting, pasting and visualizing tangible paper. Just lik your powersheet workook. Finding the best of both worlds…technology & material paper goods.

  193. Tonya Booth

    Love the Yes and No section…we all must be intentional.

  194. Amy Rupe

    I haven’t yet discovered the ways to make the dream God has give me be fulfilled. I’m still waiting for the right timing.

  195. Carlin

    SO excited to walk through this series!

  196. Julia Carrington

    Love all of this so much! A big AMEN to trying to do too much.

    1. My big goal for 2018 is to cultivate a life-giving career! Nervous excited about this as I feel like I am leaping into the unknown, but I have to believe it is possible.

    2. 2017 was tough at times because I’ve felt stuck in a season of waiting. It has been a good test of faith of my ability to trust and find the good even when life isn’t perfect.

    3. From this season of waiting I’ve realized how lucky I am for those that love and support me: the hubby, friends and family.

    4. I LOVE my vision board that I’ve had going for a couple of years. Such a beautiful reminder of what is important in life.

    Thanks for inspiring goodness and growth!!

  197. Araceli

    Step 7: I’m saying YES to: Healthy eating, more sleep, laughter, A life giving home, hospitality, sharing life, New (to me) herbs in the garden, drinking more water, smiling to my kids, hugs, loud music, dancing parties, singing,
    I’m saying NO to: Fake friendships, wasting money,wasting good food, fast food, negative self talk, selfishness, idleness, idolatry, comparison, envy, tons of coffee, convenient food, social media.
    Step 8: I realize that our year has been full of mourning (which is fine) but it is time to LIVE again. Our period of indulging in easy-comfort food and habits has taken a toll and added many pounds to our physical bodies.
    Step 9: HEALTH is my word for 2018.

  198. Courtney

    Step Four: What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want a HOME for my family full of love and celebration, joy, health, traditions, and priorities that matter. I want to pray faithfully trusting that God will answer. I want God at the center of it ALL.

    Step Five: What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?

    Keeping patience with a growing toddler / being lazy in terms of planning activities to nurture and help him grow and learn / eating out too often / not keeping track of finances / not praying enough / focusing on the negative instead of rejoicing in all the positive / too much time on my phone!

    Lessons: praying and being thankful help me stay in the best frame of mind / making B and baby a priority makes me happiest even if its hard / giving more of myself actually fills me up

    Step Six: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    Sarah and Emma <3 Christine / Mom and Dad (generosity and support) / Stephen / Tara / Kristen / Mr. T

  199. Margaret

    I think the people I’m grateful for part of the PowerSheets was my absolute fav. It really helped me realize that while the past year may not have been my best, I still had so many people with me and cheering for me the whole time. I can’t wait to find the best way to thank them.

  200. Cati Grape

    4. What’s One Thing I Want to Cultivate in 2018? — embracing the mess of life, faith, marriage, motherhood, my heart, and a home renovation — and STAY in the mess to see beauty, rather than trying to fix it all up on my own and clear out all the dirt.

    5. What Were The Challenges of 2017?
    mindless scrolling — feeling a dependency on social media for ideas, vision, inspiration, direction, etc.
    yelling and explosive anger, stemming from fears in my marriage and faith
    trying to fill up all my time
    trying to do more/be more
    trying to fix everything
    trying to be a perfect Christian, a perfect wife, a perfect church member, a perfect friend, etc.
    looking for easy fixes
    expectations for myself and others
    burying me, believing I am not okay or enough
    trying to change me
    believing in an angry God
    letting the noise fill everything

    6. Who Helped me Cultivate What Matters in 2017/Who I am grateful for!

    Sara Groves
    Alisa Turner
    Lara Casey and TEAM 🙂
    My friend Jess and her husband
    My best friend Chelsea
    Other friends: Becky, Jenny
    My husband
    My aunt and cousin babysitting my kids when I need a break!
    My sister in law!
    The library crew loving and blessing my kids so well every week!
    My parents

  201. Becky S.

    Step 4: Want to cultivate healing, belief in Truth, joy!
    Step 5: Challenges involved health issues, negative self-talk, and believing lies
    Lessons I learned: It’s time to stop avoiding, “stuffing,” staying busy with distractions.Time to face some things.
    Step 6: People I’m grateful for are Brian, Mistie, & Jenny, Lara C, & Sally C.

  202. Glenda

    Step Four: What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want a home full of love, harmony, respect, and growth. I want to nurture my family’s connection and create meaningful memories.
    Step Five: What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I learned that little by little you can make BIG changes. I also learned that you need patience and prayer to work on goals that involve others. Lastly, I learned to keep doing the next right thing, show up and try…
    Step Five: What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    God’s grace, Family & Friends

  203. Carrissa Bradford

    step 4: I want to cultivate a prepared and simple schedule v.s a cramped & out of control (type of control)

    Step 5: A few challenges in 2017 were Control, yelling, dehydration, lack of self care, and lack of margins.

    Step 6: I am thankful for
    Teresa- for her wisdom and leadership
    Ashley- Her support with Adamo
    Katrina- Her support with Adamo
    Chance- his yes to lead our house in the word and with a disciplined walk with the Lord
    Stephanie- her prayers and hard work on designing the lab for our classroom.
    Cyndie- always believing there was more in me than I (at times) believed.

  204. Christy Thomas

    Step Four: What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?

    I want to trust God, to know that my mustard seed is enough.

    Step Five: What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    Numbing out on my phone, not having confidence in my calling, being inpatient, overspending on food, complaining in unhelpful ways, buying things to fill a void. I learned that I lean too much on myself. I forget to ask for help. I am a consistent runner, I can set goals and finish them well. I really like and love my husband. I can host events well. I like teaching groups of kids and leading conversations with adults. I learned from others that my ideas are unique and special and that I should keep moving forward. I learned I love half marathons.

    Lessons: praying and being thankful help me stay in the best frame of mind / making B and baby a priority makes me happiest even if its hard / giving more of myself actually fills me up

    Step Six: Who helped you cultivate what matters in 2017?

    My husband, my children, Naida, Sara, Beth, Vanessa, countless podcasters, my extended family, and many many others. I ran out of room on this page.

  205. Katherine Ausmus

    You are such an encourager, Lara!

    1. One thing I want to cultivate this year is good rhythms.
    2. Challenges from 2017:

    • Katherine Ausmus

      Not enough restful sleep.
      So much change!
      leaving and cleaving
      Losing my rhythm with the Lord

      The lessons I learned: God is always present and still working, even if I don’t feel it or see it. I have been gifted with a wonderful husband who encourages me and pushes me to the Lord. I need more grace than I realize. I have power over what attitude I choose to have.

      3. The people I am so thankful for last year: my husband, sister, parents, dear friends Amy, Katherine, Catherine, my mentors Susan and Libby and so many others.

  206. Ingle

    Step 1 – I want to cultivate relationships in 2018 – with God, my husband, and my daughter
    Step 2 – My challenges from 2017 were fear of change, comparison, procrastination, insomnia, discord in my relationships and floating through life.
    Step 3 – The people I am thankful for are my husband, my mom, my great girlfriends, and my daughter.
    Step 4 – My Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com/tinknc71/cultivate-my-best-year-powersheets/

  207. Cheryl Caska

    Day 2
    Step 4-What’s one thing you want to cultivate in the year ahead? I want God to strengthen (my Word of the Year) the weak areas of my life: finances, health/activity, marriage, faith, organizational skills.

    Steps 5-What were the challenges you experienced in 2017?
    -Lack of pattern-between Chris’ work and mine, hard to find routine for healthy eating and exercise.
    -Finances-Didn’t get any bills paid off with the house build this year.
    -Cleaning-I don’t have a consistent pattern and the last thing I want to do after my demanding job is clean!

    Lessons I learned-That we need some sort of order and routine. That we can survive anything. That building a house is more stressful that you could imagine. That it is ok for me to take time for self-care!

    Step 6-Who helped me to cultivate what matters this year?
    Annik-being with her refreshes me
    Esther-best sister ever-my go to for everything
    Kevin-wisdom, advice, best kids ever
    My parents-sounding board, wisdom
    Kelly-encouragement, wisdom

  208. Heather Laaman

    Step 4: The one thing: I felt a little guilty about this for a while, but my one thing is my health. I moved across the country after I married my husband and I think the change of life and being away from my family was a little depressing and I gained a lot of weight. I feel like my one goal should be a better relationship with God because what Christian doesn’t need that? But I have learned that my health has a direct effect on my joy and my weight gain is affecting many of my relationships and making me push others away. So, I think that really needs to be put in order. For the record, I also am working on my relationship with the Lord this year too. 🙂
    Step 5: Oh boy could I list the challenges! But I’m just going to list three big ones that really brought me down because I’m supposed to let dirt be dirt. 1. We were just barely scraping by financially which left me stressed and on edge 2. I wasn’t able to lose any weight though that was 2017’s resolution 3. Our apartment was never clean, just never at all because we were both working so hard.
    Step 6: I didn’t do Powersheets last year, but as far as regular cultivation of what matters, probably my husband, my mom, and my former pastor’s wife were the most encouraging to me last year.
    Step 7: Pinterest: I am one of those people who get on Pinterest and suddenly three hours have gone by and it’s dinner time and nothing is ready so I did make one https://www.pinterest.com/berlinerinpoet/powersheets-vision-board/ but I don’t know how often I’ll get on this year.

  209. Laura

    Step 4: I most want to cultivate my relationship with God in 2018 because I am trusting that from that I will bear much fruit.
    Step 5: The challenges I faced were largely from focusing inward on myself and my selfish desires. I did a lot of panicking. I ignored my marriage. I obsessed over things I really had no control over. I learned that I need to take my eyes off myself and keep them on God.
    Stop 6: My mom loved me and encouraged me through a tough season of employment, into staying home, in loving God, and in my marriage. My husband loved me through everything–every stage and thing I’ve gone through in our entire marriage.

  210. Trudy McCleskey

    Step 4: I really want to cultivate family memories and traditons now that my older kids are out on their own. I have 7 children, 4 are still living at home. These would include: monthy family dinners, girls weekend, guys weekend, & a family vacation.
    Step 5: Challenges from 2017: 1 – serving my mom who has advanced Alzheimer’s; 2 – connecting regularly with friends; 3 – low motivation, drive, & energy; 4 – intentionally investing in each of my 7 children. What did I learn from these challenges? I need to plan out my day and week even though that doens’t come easily or naturally for me, so that I can be intentional vs floating in a sea of survival and purposelessness. Step 6: First 5 Bible Study app has given me purpose and consistency in bible study; VMP prayer journal – the format has helped me pray for people that typically fell through the cracks; one of my best friends, Angie, who has intentionally maintained our friendship long distance for the last 13 years. Step 7 – I don’t have pinterest.

  211. Amanda Noel T.

    1. I most want to cultivate a peaceful home. I know anxiety and distraction are huge stumbling blocks to ALL THE OTHER GOALS I want to go after so that seems like a root goal.

    2. I faced crippling medical debt and the necessity of saying NO to so many things due to lack of funds or transportation. I faced the struggles of adjusting to life with another kiddo. I faced anxiety and frustration and discouragement.

    3. My friends and family- especially my kiddos and my husband but 5 or 6 very close friends helped to an extent I can’t even adequately express.

  212. Lauren

    Loving these audio blog posts! It makes my hour+ commute go by so much faster.

  213. Cara

    I went to check out my pinterest board 2018 Your Best Year Yet and it was gone??? So I re-created it (and yes, this fits in with some recreation time for me- BONUS) and here is the attachment to view it for the entry to win all those amazing prizes! I appreciate that extra bit of motivation to GET ‘R DONE!! https://www.pinterest.com/godscara/cultivate-your-best-year-yet/

  214. Cara Gordon

    So I made a mistake and posted it just under my name Cara and not the full Cara Gordon which is linked to my facebook account. So here is the link in the correct place. This has been so much fun! https://www.pinterest.com/godscara/cultivate-your-best-year-yet/

  215. Samantha L

    Step Four: What’s the one thing you most want to cultivate in 2018?
    I want to cultivate a spirit of intentionality and trusting the Lord in where He leads. I want to be willing to be used even if it doesn’t go with my plan or the way that I think things SHOULD be.
    Step Five: What challenges did you experience in 2017? What lessons did you learn?
    I was challenged by sticking to a routine even when life got crazy, and challenged by being pulled in a lot of directions for my job while trying to maintain healthy boundaries. I learned that I HAVE to give myself space. I’m an introvert and need to make more time for myself. That’s a big hope for 2018!
    Step 6: My mom and my sister and my best friend Hannah helped me so much this year. They pushed me towards the Lord and reminded me of who I was in the midst of the chaos of the year. They kept me grounded!

  216. Brooke

    If you were wondering whether the New Year’s Giveaway keeps people accountable, I am here to tell you that it does. Thank you. : )

    1. A fresh, simplified rhythm and routine.

    2. My scheduling of tending list items (or lack thereof) leaves a lot to be desired – I need a system! (I bought Things off of a grant at the end of the year and am loving it.)

    3. My friends Klara, Mike, and Rob for their honesty and openness and for challenging me. My cousins Morgan and Paige for their Powersheets enthusiasm and accountability. Matt for calling me out when I’m not the being the best that I can be.