Dec 31, 2018

2019 GOAL SETTING, Part 5: How to Make it Happen

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Hi, friend! I’m so glad you’ve landed here at the 8th annual Intentional Goal Setting Series! Here’s Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 to get you started.

Note: We are so grateful that ALL of our 2019 One-year PowerSheets are SOLD OUT. But, good news! You can get started at any time with Six-Month Undated PowerSheets (available NOW), which include the same Prep Work as the One-Year Goal Planners! New to the party? Head to the Cultivate Shop or say hello – we’re so glad you’re here!

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

Welcome to the final post in the eighth-annual Intentional Goal Setting Series! Each year, I am left in awe of the leaps of faith you take as we go through this goal uncovering process together, and this year tops them all.

You are doing the hard work, making a mess, and setting yourself up for your best year yet! What a joy to do this work alongside you, friends. If you are just joining, it’s not too late—you aren’t “behind” one bit. Now is the best time to get started!

Part 1: How to Get Started on Your BEST 2018 Goals
Part 2: The 1 Question You Need to Ask Yourself
Part 3: How to Choose a Word of the Year
Part 4: The Intentional Goal Setting Checklist

This final post is the most impactful. Ready to dig in?

Let’s do some dreaming together! 

Imagine the end of 2019. December 2019 rolls around, and you start reflecting on the year you just lived. What would it take for you to look back and know you cultivated what mattered? What will you wish you had started today

(Sometimes it helps to think about the opposite too—where do you NOT want to be at the end of 2019?)

Have some ideas? 

Knowing where you want to be or how you want to feel, do something about it today. Yes, today.

This is a success tip that might change everything for you as it has for me: when you have an idea of where you want to go, don’t waste time—take that first small step ASAP. No need to write it down or have a perfect plan, just get to it! (Really—get up from reading this right now and take whatever the next best step is to get you to where you want to be at the end of 2019! Just one tiny step. I’ll wait. I’ll still be here when you get back. :))

Get the momentum going while it’s fresh on your mind and you’ll be more likely to take the next step, then the next, and the next… and before you know it, you’re there!

Every decision we make has an arrow attached to it, pointing us in one direction or another. However many hours or minutes are left in the day as you read this (even if you are reading this in bed), how can you shoot one of your decision arrows in the right direction?

I want my decision arrows aimed right at the target. That’s what being intentional is all about.

Need an idea for a starting step? I have a fun surprise for you! We’ve been developing this for a few weeks now, and it’s ready JUST in time for you! The Best Year Declaration is here! This is a mad-lib style 2019 manifesto generator—fun, right? Just fill in your words, choose the color you want, and it makes a 2019 declaration for you to print or share! Mine is below, and you can make yours right here for free (share this with friends, too!). I can’t wait to see yours!

As I finished my 2019 PowerSheets® and this goal-uncovering process today, I made some decisions on where I’m going and where I’m not going.

Now, it’s your turn to do the same!

Feeling some fear about starting the new year? Let’s step forward together, believing in what we can’t yet see. Let’s take some steps forward and, little by little, the fear part will dry up. We’re not going to fertilize the fear this year, friends! Are you with me?

Let’s decide to take action on goals that cut through all the things to get to the things that matter.

We are always “in progress.” Your goals may be the same! As you go through different seasons, your priorities may change. As you learn new lessons and take on new life responsibilities, your capacity to do different things may change. So, as you write out your goals, remember that you don’t have to set them for the calendar year. Set them for just this season ahead, and refresh your goals every few months. This is why I put a Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets for every season. I find so much freedom in knowing that my goals don’t have to be forever!

Ahhhh!!! I’m so ready!

Write out your goals using these helpful prompts. I call this the Cultivate What Matters Method:

Goal: Write the goal in whatever words you have—it doesn’t have to be perfect! Be brave and get the words out!
My why: Write out WHY this goal matters to you in the big picture.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Think of the biggest possibilities here—the positive impact this goal could have. Even if your goal feels “small,” write out the big possibilities!
Break it down into mini goals: Every big-picture goal is made up of a bunch of mini goals. Over the course of the next year, what mini goals could you work on that will help you achieve or make progress on your big goal?
– Starting steps + when you’ll do them: Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, right? Write out a few very small starting steps, steps that are so small you can’t help but do them. Also, add a date to each to keep you accountable. You’ll see my examples below!
– Encouraging words: Give yourself a strong pep talk, encouraging words, or a Bible verse to go with each goal.
– How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Give yourself something to look forward to! And if you’re stumped, our new Celebrations Binder may help you! Also, check out the PowerSheets Facebook group—you all have the best ideas.

Okay, let’s write out some 2019 goals! Are you ready?

Here are my 2019 Goals for this year of HEART (I can’t wait to hear yours, too!). 

Goal 1: The Year of Heart: Grow a heart connection with the Lord—letting Him cultivate my heart. 

Why? Everything flows from my heart and I want to be connected to the Lord—to know His heart so I can know His ways and paths—so I can show our children His heart, too.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This changes everything. I would be more light-filled, clear, calm, energized, and ready to share His Word and live it out with Ari and our kids.

Mini goals:

  • Read the Old Testament in 2019 (and the New Testament in 2020!). I’ve read through the whole Bible twice over the last two years and I’m feeling His leading to slow down and let it soak in more. Want to do this with me? I’ll be starting this plan on January 1.
  • Take care of my physical heart—focusing this year on what I call Workout + Worship. When I take care of my temple of the Holy Spirit from the right heart (honoring Him), I feel alive and ready to do whatever the Lord needs. I workout at home in the mornings with the kiddos (we take walks in the morning in warmer seasons and I either run the stairs in our house or chase them around in colder seasons!). I’m adding more weights to the mix this year and hoping to do some hiking in the mountains with the family. This is greatly motivated by my neck injury—I want to have a body that can run around with my kiddos as long as the Lord lets me!
  • Kick off the year with something really simple and impactful: 31 days of writing the Word. Join me for the Fresh Faith Challenge!
  • Study what the Word says about the Lord’s heart and about mine.
  • Use my voice to grow closer to His heart—I’m calling this The Year of Singing! I’m praying about joining the church choir maybe later this year. For now, singing in the kitchen, in the shower, wherever I can, to Him!

3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Sign up for the OT reading plan (1/1/19), put Write the Word Prayer by my bed (done!), hang a small bulletin board by my bed for scriptures—the first thing I’ll see in the morning (1/2/19). 

Encouraging words: Psalm 119:10, Deut 30:14, Proverbs 4:23

How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Take a run and praise Him for a year of connecting with His heart!


Goal 2: No Spend Year: Grow a faithful life over a comfortable life.

Why? I don’t want the things of this world to distract me from the Lord and His purpose for me and my family + our hearts.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This could completely change our direction—our legacy. This will, Lord willing, help us know and live for Him more.

Mini goals:

  • Read God + Money with Ari
  • Research zero-based budgeting as it relates to what we spend our time on—everything has to prove its value before we decide to spend the currency of our time on it
  • Decide what “no spend” looks like for us, starting with my dear friend Nancy’s Contentment Challenge for three months.
  • Create a financial plan for 2019. A clear picture of what our goals are for saving and giving will help us work towards them.

3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Start reading God + Money with Ari (12/31/18), 2. Google zero-based budgeting for a basic overview (12/30/18), 3. Text Nancy to tell her I’m joining her for the Contentment Challenge! (12/31/18 – today is her birthday by the way! :))

Encouraging words: Luke 12:34 – ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Praise the Lord. It’s as simple as that. I will praise Him for a total heart change. I know He can do it and I’m ready to let Him work on us!


Goal 3: The Year of Slow: Cultivate the hearts of our children.

Why? Because they have souls. Their souls have been entrusted to us to train up in righteousness, showing them His majesty and wonder and the way they should go. 

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: They would know more of His heart and how to, as my friend Lysa says, live loved.

Mini goals:

  • This was a big realization for me (practicing what I preach—listen to episode 002 of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast!): First, I need to make room. This is why I’m calling 2019 The Year of Slow. We are planning to streamline our work in 2019 after several years of crazy fast growth. It’s time to intentionally put the brakes on and rest a little. So, my first step to cultivating the hearts of our children more is having my brain and heart on work less. 
  • Have a prepared, planned, and delightful homeschool (I’m calling it heartschool this year—going ALL OUT with my word of the year!).
  • Cultivate my calendar with the Celebrations Binder so we have meaningful experiences, family trips, and time to be together planned far in advance.
  • Nurture our kids’ friendships.
  • Grow a low-maintenance garden this year that gives the kids lots of room to make a mess and experience His wonder.
  • Free our lives from diapers! 🙂 Get the two little ones potty trained—I know they will feel so good doing this, too!
  • Prepare more Sunday night family meals to foster conversation around the table.

3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Set a time block to map out what paring back my workload will be (1/5/19). 2. Set a 2019 homeschool planning day on the calendar (1/1/19). 3. Talk through the Celebrations Binder with Ari on our road trip to plan our year (12/30/18).

Encouraging words: ‘I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow’ (1 Corinthians 3:6).

How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: I’ll make a wonderful family meal with the kids (we’re working on cooking skills this year!) at the end of 2019 to celebrate His faithfulness. 


Goal 4: The Year of Sabbath. This is something I want to do for the rest of my life, not just this year. 2019 is our year to make this part of who we are—letting a new rhythm take root.

Why? The Lord needs me to take a real Sabbath day so I can be fueled and refreshed to do His good work. I don’t do regular work on weekends, but this is more about my heart. I try to cram in projects and cleaning and try to get too much done. I want to honor the Lord and surrender, planning my week around Saturday Shabbat with Ari.

The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Peace. Joy. Time outside with the kids. I will, Lord willing, enter into a deeper rest than any vacation or experience could provide. I would feel clear and ready for the week and months ahead. I would learn more about His heart for rest and work and be able to share that with our children.

Mini goals:

  • Take each Saturday as a day that’s set aside to rest in the Lord as a family. 
  • Study what the Word says about Sabbath rest.

3 starting steps + when I’ll do them: 1. Mark Sabbath days on the calendar (done!). 2. Talk to Ari about this and get his thoughts about what he desires for us (done – he is so excited about this!). 3. Choose one resource or plan for studying what the Lord desires for Sabbath rest (1/5/19).

Encouraging words: All of Hebrews 4

How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: We’ll pray out loud with the kids and thank God for this Year of Sabbath!

There you have it! 2019 is my Year of Slow, Sabbath, Singing, and No Spend—all aimed at His Heart! I can’t wait to break these 4 goals down in my PowerSheets over the next year and watch them come to life!

Whether you came up with two goals or twenty, answering these simple prompts will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. 

Tell me: what are your 2019 goals? I can’t wait to hear! (And remember, there’s no rush, and there’s nothing magical about January 1! Take your time doing each step in this series. Your goals will come as you keep digging in.)

Dear All of Our 2019 Selves,

We’re comin’ for you!
We’re making intentional decisions for you now to set you up for success—success that lasts longer than you.
We’re thinking big picture to uncover some really good goals. Goals that make our hearts sing. Goals that are about growing what matters. They might be challenging and hard work at times, but they will be WORTH IT!
Little by little, we’re taking steps forward for you.

2019 selves, you are gonna be great!

The year ahead may not be perfect, but it sure will be meaningful.

We’ve got you.
We love you.
We’re on it!


Our December 2018 Selves 😘

My Top 9 from Instagram this year. Every one of these posts was written as a reminder of His faithfulness in hard things. Apparently, these resonated with you, too.

You’re ready for an intentional 2019, my friend! Focus on progress—little by little progress—not perfection. Your small steps forward today will add up, and a year from now, you will be so grateful you started today! (If you need help along the way, just ask!)

⭐️ Want more? Team Cultivate and I will be here cheering you on with tips and encouragement, Lord willing, every day, week, and month of 2019! A few favorite resources to get you started on the right foot:

1. Read my books—both were written for this season of setting goals and starting fresh! My first book, Make it Happen, and my new book, Cultivate: A Grace-filled Guide to Growing and Intentional Life, are available wherever books are sold. I was so grateful to record the audiobooks for you, too!

2. Order your PowerSheets to follow-through on your goals year-round. The way you’ll achieve the goals you’ve set is by tending them little by little—and that’s exactly what PowerSheets help you do. Get 15% off with the code BESTYEAR2019.

3. Get on my email list below for weekly inspiration and encouragement— and to be the first to know when our new products release.

4. Join me in person for the Making Things Happen Conference in March. We’ll spend two days together, uncovering what matters to you and making an action plan you can’t wait to get started on! I can’t wait to see you there! The early-bird rate ends January 31st, and there are only a few seats left.

5. Listen to the NEW Cultivate Your Life Podcast. You might love the episode on How to Follow Through on Your Goals!

6. Know that you are loved and seen by a very real God who wants to guide you every step of the way this year!

Happy 2019, friends! Let’s do this!

Need some extra motivation? The Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway is on! I hope this gives you a little extra encouragement to share your answers as we go through this series. There are 35 prizes, so that means 35 of you are going to win one of these prizes—it could be YOU. (Including international friends!)

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 within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected!

— 10 sets of 2019 PowerSheets to help 10 of you cultivate your BEST year yet! —Mary Conti, Emily Yost, Amy Wing, Jen Martinez, Brittany Garrett, Chelsea Pirtle, Mariah Meade, Kimberly Boyd, Tonya Kappes, Amber Corey
— A Goal Guide Bundle to help you dig deeper on your specific goals. — Jaimie Tollers
— Five signed copies of Cultivate. —Lisa McMahon, Patrice Pierce Thornton, Steph Conklin, Bonnie Johnson, Kristin Vlasak,
— Five signed copies of Make It Happen. —Michele Lanning, Mariela Capellan, Amy Bain, Stephanie Canete, Amanda Applegate
— One Write the Word All Seasons Collection to help you cultivate fresh faith all year long. —Becki Sue
— A gift card (YES!) for a massage to kick off your year refreshed! —Ashley Bossong
— A Balanced Life membership – get moving and motivated with a year of at-home pilates! —Heather Renee
— A Floret Flowers puzzle (it’s double-sided and so much fun!) —Leah Meadows
—A Revelation Wellness membership with a ‘Wellness Kickoff Package” to cultivate your health in the New Year. —Elizabeth Hiney
— One Artifact Uprising album to document the people and experiences that matters most to you. —Natalie Gessell
— An Emily Ley Simplified Planner to keep your schedule organized in the new year. —Amanda Burley
— Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course—a life-changing experience to help you pursue financial freedom. —Cindy Booth Carlson
— One Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal. I’ll be using one this year, too! —Michelle McQueen
— A Hello Fresh boxto keep you fueled with good food. —Kate Mariani
— One Art Bar canvas (up to $150 value) to brighten your walls. —Gina Abatiello
— A Fitbit to help you celebrate your literal steps forward. —Evangelina Cantu
— An Amazon Alexa to keep you dancing. —Rachel Whorley

And the bonus prize for one of you who comments on all 5 posts in this series: a ONE OF EVERYTHING Bundle from the Cultivate Shop! —Katie Ledvina

SHARE THIS SERIES. Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself—spread the word about this free series. Email this post to your friends, tweet it, ‘gram it (here are lots of sharable graphics for you to make it easy!), text it—sing it to the rooftops! Let’s get all our friends in on this so they can feel as refreshed and clear about 2019 as we will. Here’s to our best year yet togetherstarting now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 30th. Winners will be announced on February 1st 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! 🙂 This post contains affiliate links.

P.S. You are wonderful. I am so grateful for you. It’s going to be a great year together! I love you from my head tomatoes! 🙂 

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  1. Susan Guckes on December 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Is the video suppose to be longer than 4mins?

  2. Sarah Gusky Kemer on December 31, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Lara, I love your goals! And as always I love your phrasing. How we word things matters!!!

    Here are my goals (all start with Feed because my word of the year is SUSTENANCE):

    – Feed My Marriage. We’re celebrating ten years and while nothing is wrong I want us to be strong and have a great foundation for any changes that come our way. Plus in the end, we’ve only got twelve ish years left with kids in the house. We’re focusing on us as a couple this year!

    – Feed My Faith. I have been complacent as I’m in a good place with God. But if I want a lived-in faith I have to keep working at and deepening it.

    – Feed My Kids. They’ve gone through tremendous growth this past year. It’s astounding. And now they need different parenting and guidance. I’m going to work at being more intentional about this.

    – Feed My Brain & Heart. I need some more learning and to use my creativity. Since I’m not sure what this is going to look like month to month (what’s available etc) I’m keeping the larger goal big enough to encompass anything that could come up!

    – Feed My Family. I’ve said this so many times but we’re at the brink of a big transition for our family. I’m going to try to keep the focus on us with these decisions – what would be sustaining for us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    Those are my goals!!

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Sarah, I love your Word of the Y ear and that you started each goal with “feed”!

  3. nora on December 31, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you so much, Lara, for this years‘ series. You’ve helped me immensely. It‘s 8.30 pm on New Year’s Eve here in Germany, I’m inpatient again, I miss DH, and I’m behind on PowerSheets Prep. And guess who isn’t stressed for once? Done is better than perfect, growing slow is the best way to grow, so I’ll do what I can tonight, and finish up before I go home around January 10.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you and lots of love from München,

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Nora, you’ve got it! Done is always better than perfect and it’s okay to grow slow! Sending hugs and encouragement!

  4. nora on December 31, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Oh yes, my umbrella goals.

    Love my Body well
    Love my Self well
    Love my DH well
    Love my Family well
    Love my Friends well
    Love my God well

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Nora, I can’t wait to cheer you on in these goals for 2019!

  5. Amy W on December 31, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    My word for the year is stewardship. To look at stewardship as worship. Stewarding my time/talents/finances/opportunities/giftings/etc. for His glory not mine.

    My goals are:
    1. Nurture my faith and grow in godliness.
    2. Steward our finances well.
    3. Cultivate a life-giving home.
    4. Nurture our cultivated homeschool.
    5. Commit to faithfully serve our church and engage in relationships (we just moved cross-country this year so this is exciting to me).
    6. Foster recreation as a family.
    7. Record our family legacy (This is things like: shutterfly books, family year videos, etc)
    8. Good for my soul self-care

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:43 pm

      Amy, wow! This is exciting! What a way to start 2019—having just moved cross-country! Cheering you on, friend!

  6. Laura A on December 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    My goals are to cultivate my health (eat better, move more), our finances (make a budget, track spending and have weekly budget meetings), and cultivate relationships with my husband and kids.

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      Laura, these sound great! I can’t wait to cheer you on this year!

  7. Emily Wood on December 31, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    GOAL 1: PRAYpare: Pray like it depends on God (Mark Batterson)
    WHY? “If I am going to experience a miracle “one day”, I need to pray EVERY day. (Mark Batterson); Prayer changes everything!; I want the Lord to hear about my husband and my boys everyday!
    MINI GOALS: keep a prayer journal; pray/read through the Bible; circle specific requests and ideas in prayer

    GOAL 2: Cherish my family! Be present and intentional.
    WHY? My life is too beautiful to miss!! Life is short – before I know it, the boys will be grown and out of the house. I waited a LONG time for my boys…I need to enjoy my time with them!
    MINI GOALS: 2019 bucket list; date nights; family yearbook; create memories; tech boundaries

    GOAL 3: Plan to celebrate others well!!
    WHY? It shows people how grateful I am for them. It is FUN and it makes others feel special. It will alleviate the stress of throwing something together last minute! (The Celebrations Binder is coming in super handy for this goal!)
    MINI GOALS: plan husband’s 40th birthday; send thank you notes and birthday cards; be READY for birthdays and holidays; keep a 2019 blessings jar

    GOAL 4: Steward what we’ve been given well.
    WHY? Everything we have has been given to us from the Lord, and we need to use it wisely. By knowing where our money is going and spending wisely; we can save more and GIVE more!!
    MINI GOALS: Declutter Challenge with Emily Ley; Contentment Challenge with Nancy Ray; keep a budget on Mint; look ahead and save

    GOAL 5: Prepare a Life Giving Home
    WHY? If I can look ahead and create routines for meal planning; cleaning; decluttering; activities; and other household things….I would be less stressed; it would create space for family time; and I would feel more comfortable to invite people over.
    MINI GOALS: meal plan; create a recipe binder; use my Simplified Planner; create a cleaning routine using FLYlady and Motivated Mom; complete some house TO DOs; make a Home Base Binder; have people over

    GOAL 5: Take steps of faith toward the dreams the Lord has put in my heart! (Blog, Instagram, and future nonprofit)
    WHY? It is an act of obedience. If God is putting these dreams and ideas in my heart and mind….then I need to act on it. 2 Cor. 10:5 – I need to take captive the creative ideas that the Lord gives me.
    MINI GOALS: organize Orphan Sunday for my church; grow my blog and IG account so I can become an affiliate; create a mission/vision statement; go to TBRI training; organize 3 foster care events this year

    GOAL 6: Take care of myself!
    WHY? If I am not taking care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else! 🙂 I serve others from an overflow.
    MINI GOALS: stop biting my nails; establish a better bedtime routine; consistently do some type of exercise; make dermatologist and eye doctor appointments

    PS – Lara, if you see this… may have already read these two books, but I think you would LOVE them. Circle Maker and Draw the Circle 40 Day Prayer Challenge (both by Mark Batterson), go perfectly with the message of Cultivate What Matters!! It impacted my Powersheets prep work in such an amazing way!

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      Emily, way to break it down! I love these! And thank you for the book recommendations. 🙂

  8. Meredith Johnston on December 31, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    My word for the year is BRAVE!

    My goals so far are:
    1) Be brave with our spending/pay off debt
    2) Be brave with my body and commit to working out
    3) Be brave with my marriage and do the hard work of counseling and make time for each other.

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Meredith, I love your word of the year and that each goal starts with it! This is your year!

  9. Emily McHenry on December 31, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Ooo, I love the letter to our 2019 selves!! Thank you so much for such an inspiring and motivating series! It’s truly been one of the most helpful tool I’ve ever used and I can’t wait to see how much good growth comes from it.

    My 2019 Goals:
    1. Cultivate my faith intentionally – my spiritual health matters, and has a direct impact on my family! A few mini goals would be a) create a “Place and a Plan” (aka quiet time) – place a basket of reading/writing materials next to my favorite couch and lamp – done! b) trial run a daily practice of prayer/reading/writing in the morning before our girls wake up – start Jan 1st, and c) read through the Celebration of Discipline and use it to add to my spiritual “tool box” – during the month of January.

    2. Embrace good rhythms in our homeschool life – we are blessed to have an abundance of freedom in our schedule but I feel out of balance and am craving structure. Mini goals include to a) get organized with homeschooling! Write down a daily plan and put it in a public place – 1st week of Jan, b) brainstorm and implement an accountability system for consistency – start the 2nd week of January, and c) make a list of good read-aloud books for our daughter’s age groups – the month of Jan

    3. Choose health for myself and my family – these are the only bodies we get and I want our family to have a healthy relationship with food! Mini goals are a) clean out the pantry and fridge of our top “offenders” – 1st week of Jan, b) set a date to create a monthly meal plan with friends – Wed, Jan 10th!, and c) make a list of healthy snacks for our daughters and I and tape them to the fridge – done!

    4. Invest in the hearts of the people I love – at the end of the day, relationships matter most. I want my husband and our girls to know they are well loved, always. A few mini goals include a) ask Patrick to do a relationship well-check with me and see how we both think we’re doing – done! 🙂 b) Put.Down.The.Phone! Practice being present and docking my phone, then designate “business moments” to check it throughout the day – start Jan 1st! c) choose to make my default answer YES when my girls ask to play, snuggle, read, etc. – start now!

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Emily, I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for you! My favorite is #4 c—”choose to make my default answer YES when my girls ask to play, snuggle, read ect!” 💛

  10. Macey on January 1, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Ah! So excited to join this amazing community this year! It’s going to be a big one! Goal 1. Treat my body and my mind with respect so I can flourish 2. Discover a hobby I am passionate about 3. Cultivate my faith 4. Nourish my fiance and my relationship 5. Prioritize family and friend relationships 6. Balance financial security and life experiences.

  11. Sarah on January 1, 2019 at 10:37 am

    My goals for the year including growing my faith and spending time “digging my well”, using my time well,and learning how to live and enjoy life while in the “wait”.

    • Lara on January 1, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Sarah, this is so good!

  12. Tracy Connaghan on January 1, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    My goals for 2019 include loving my family well, cultivating my mental health, working on a healthier/active me, cultivating financial freedom and strengthening my Faith. This is an exciting start to a New Year. Just having personal goals and feeling like I can accomplish them is empowering.
    Thank you Lara

  13. Dory on January 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Your posts for this series are very encouraging! I haven’t thought of putting dates to the starting steps yet, but I’ll do that now as well. Committing to a date is a lot more motivating than vague concepts.
    My goals this year will be all about focus – with soon two babies under two I lose track of what’s important so quickly, trying to keep up with the little ones.
    An intentional morning ritual with quiet time is my top priority and I hope that my other goals, which are about relationship building and using the gifts God has given me, will fall into place with a more focused outlook on life as well.

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      Mornings can be so life-giving. Excited for you to discover what works best for you in each season, Dory!

  14. Gayle Vehar on January 1, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    A few of my goals for 2019:

    Create financial self-reliance—review the financial spending plan, plan spending intentionally, review spending weekly, remove temptations to spend, and have a no-spend month (so curious how this will go!)

    Build strong family relationships—weekly date with my husband, set up a monthly date with one of the kids, family time on Sunday and Monday, include my college-age girls in family time as much as possible.

    Grow my relationship with my Savior—daily scripture and personal study, daily prayers, daily family study, and obedience to commandments in the scriptures.

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      Such fruitful, life-giving goals! Yes!

  15. marti on January 2, 2019 at 12:38 am

    Okay, I’m very late to the party! Just ordered my Powersheets. But no condemnation from me to me. Any day is a good day to start. I NEED others to encourage me and hold me accountable. I’ve lurked on these pages for days (and checked out other planners/goal setting systems) and decided to jump in. ALL IN! So much that I know the Lord wants to do in my life both this year and years to come. I’ve read every comment for the 5-part goal setting and relate to what so many of you have said. I look forward to ‘iron sharpening iron.’ Ohhh… and I think I may have an idea of what my word will be. I will work through the process that y’all have already walked through (yes, I’m from the south!) to see if it rings true when I reach part 4. Excited to be here!

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      Marti! Welcome, friend! I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m excited for you to dig in this year!

  16. Valentina on January 2, 2019 at 3:23 am

    Dear 2019 Self: You did well–
    Thank you, Lara, for everything…
    Most of all- today- and believing in my tomorrow
    I was so touched by the little decision arrow aimed right now at the outcome… It hit the target for me today!
    My Goals for 2019 and beyond-
    to Love the Lord with all my Heart and Trust Him implicitly,
    To Love my Family well
    To give thanks for our home by caring for it, so it will be a life-giving place where we get to rest, love and grow as a family
    And to give thanks and glory to the Lord by taking care of my Body, my heart and my soul. I want to continue losing weight, and healing and I want to tend my inner garden. I have been enjoying your podcast ( and shared it from the rooftops!) while hand-quilting my legacy quilts and I have opened my days by writing the Word- hard to stop at one verse or one chapter! LOL
    sending my love, my thanks and my best wishes to you and your precious family xox from Cyprus

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      Valentina— you are so kind, friend. This truth (and challenge) of loving and stewarding things well is so close to my heart as well. From North Carolina to wherever you are in Cyprus, I’m cheering you on!

  17. Courtney Roberts on January 2, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Such good information! This is my second year with Power Sheets and ti was so powerful to reflect on my prep work from last year compared to this year. Thank you!

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 6:01 pm

      I feel the same- that time of reflection is so good for our hearts and minds!

  18. Emily DeArdo on January 2, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I am SO READY for 2019! My powersheets are ready, my tending list is set, and I feel like I’m killing it already. 🙂 One of my favorite ways to start the New Year is to watch Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts video series. It’s so empowering and gives me such hope going into the new year! God SEES ME and He is always good and I am always loved!

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Yes, cheering you on as you walk in truth and courage in 2019!

  19. Anna on January 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    This series has been so wonderful and encouraging! I’m having a “goal-setting party” with three of my girlfriends, and I’m going to tell them all about you and the process you’ve created here! We’ll be using the printables, as well 😍 looking forward to going after these goals!
    would highly recommend “Sabbath” by Dan Allender. I’ve read a few.things about Sabbath (as I’ve been . making it a regular part of my life) and his book is still my favorite!

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      You are so kind— I’m so grateful you’re here! I’m so excited for you and all that you’ll uncover together!

  20. Missie on January 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Goal 1: Be transformed by the daily renewing of my mind.

    Why? I want more of Him. When I fix my eyes on Christ and acknowledge that He is infinitely able, everything else is transformed.

    The positive effect of taking action: This will change EVERYTHING! Focusing on God’s abundance instead of my inadequacy makes anything possible.

    Mini goals:
    1. Read through the Bible
    2. Take part in the Fresh Faith Challenge
    3. Start a “Joshua Basket” to record God’s faithfulness in answering prayer
    4. Add to my gratitude journal DAILY
    5. Record God’s abundance.

    Three starting steps:
    1. Sign up for the reading plan (done)
    2. Send out an email invitation to all of my family and friends about the Fresh Faith Challenge. (done)
    3. Put my Write the Word journal and a pen that works next to my Bible. (done)

    Encouraging words: Romans 12:2, 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    How I will celebrate: Spend an hour on the swing watching the trees and praise Him.

    Goal 2: Celebrate MORE & build traditions.

    Why? I want to mark the events of this life and give my family pegs to hang their memories on. I want to make the ordinary extraordinary.

    The positive effect of taking action: The people in my life will feel loved and special and that is important to me.

    Mini goals:
    1. Read Celebrations of Faith again.
    2. Read Everyday Confetti.
    3. Set up Celebrations binder.
    4. Add birthdays, anniversaries, and special events to calendar.
    5. Put scrapbooks together of our special events.

    Three starting steps:
    1. Put books on “To be Read” shelf. (1-2-19)
    2. Read through Celebrations binder (done) and complete through Feb. (1-6-19)
    3. Add all birthdays and anniversaries to calendar. (done)

    Encouraging words: Celebrating someone is showing gratitude for their presence in your life.

    How I will celebrate progress at the end of the year:
    I will have a family day to have lunch and discuss our favorite celebrations of 2019 and what we want for 2020.

    Goal 3: Cultivate beauty individually and as a family.

    Why? I want to have and pass on an attitude of “what a beautiful thought of God” and recreate it as an expression of praise and gratitude.
    Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: Beauty- joy, gladness, order, prosperity, peace, and holiness

    The positive effect of taking action:
    We will be surrounded by beauty!

    Mini goals:
    1. Encourage MORE through written expression and well-placed surprises.
    2. Teach my children the beauty of order.
    3. Teach my children the joy of serving others with gladness.
    4. Participate in Light ’em up throughout the whole year.
    5. Scatter kindness.
    6. Teach my children the joy of hospitality.
    7. Have regular scavenger hunts for God’s beautiful touches.

    Three starting steps:
    1. Read 1 chapter of In This House We Will Giggle. (1-5-19)
    2. Order The Life Giving Table. (done)
    3. Put stamps, cards, and stickers in a basket for quick notes of encouragement. (done)

    Encouraging words: 1 Thess. 5:11, Galations 5:22, Neh. 8:10, Ps. 21:6, Ps. 32:11, Ps. 40:16

    How will I celebrate progress:
    The kids and I will have fun dessert meetings to plan our next mission.

    I have a few more but this is all for now.

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      These threads of faith and loving your family well are so beautiful. That is the BEST celebration plan!

  21. ASHLEY E on January 2, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    My overall goal categories are:
    1. Year of Love – learn and dig deep into God’s love so I can receive it better, and give it better.
    2. Grow where I’m planted as an academic – because I can be the flower that I am in the garden of academia, and learning how to fertilize and water the ground I’m standing on will help me be more successful and less stressed!
    3. Work the minimum – because there are a lot of important things in life beyond work and I don’t want to use up all my energy in just one place.
    4. Zebra strong – being hypermobile is hard – but I don’t want to feel defined by my disease, I want to be strong and motivated and able to work a full time job and live a full time life.
    5. Go out and Make Disciples – focus on discipleship WITHIN my church because I’ve been called there for a reason.
    6. Faith based home base – building my spiritual relationship with my husband so that when we are called to more responsibility in our church we’re ready and have habits that will carry us through!

    My word is consistency, so my goal is to keep up working toward these goals, consistently! Little by little is better than binge and bust. =)

    • Lara on January 2, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Yes! Being present and rooted in Him— I love this!

  22. Shianne Mattox on January 2, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your own goals and process! I’m hopeful as I start this year, ready to give ongoing attention to the areas and people that matter most to me, instead of clutching a list of tasks and running myself into the ground over things that won’t matter in the end. As a family, we’ve worked through what matters to us and set family rhythms, traditions and values over the past few years and have benefited so much from that. Going forward, I honestly am not adding a lot, but revisiting WHY I do these things and the heart behind it all, simplifying and coming back to what we already love doing together.
    My goals are written out, including my whys and mini goals and starting steps and inserted at the front of my planner. I’ll be coming back to them all year and looking for that little by little imperfect progress!
    A few mini goals I’m excited about:
    -keeping a written prayer journal and writing about a half chapter of scripture each day slowly, digging in and savoring it
    -Use a simple meal plan that repeats most meals each month rather than constantly recreating the wheel, but also has room for seasonal favorites
    -updating mint budget 3x each month and chatting with my husband. Also having a written balance of our restaurant and misc. spending since they are most often problem areas
    -add cut flowers from seed to our garden (cosmos and zinnias – thanks for the inspiration, Lara!) and veggie varieties more suited to our challenging area (CA coast, lots of fog!)
    -Go through bake through the Bible with my 3 year old , baking and scripture!
    -Regularly attend library and other community events
    -Ask my husband how I can pray for him each month

    Here’s to the start of 2019, the year of savoring and the year of grace (I haven’t picked between these two words…)

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      I’m excited to hear how your zinnias grow!:) Cheering you on in all of this, friend!

  23. Amanda on January 2, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    My word of the year is bold. I chose this because the dictionary definition used three words I need: courageous, fearless, and brave!

    My 2019 goals are:
    -Take care of my health (Starting steps: Get bloodwork, eat better, commit to an exercise routine, drink more water)
    -Tend my marriage (Starting steps: Give compliments, do date nights, express appreciation)
    -Adopt (Starting steps: research adoption possibilities, make a decision, pray!)
    -Tend to my friends (Starting steps: Send encouragement once a week, make friend dates once a month, offer my help to my Mom and brother)
    -Grow in my relationship with God (Starting steps: Read a spiritual book, complete daily retreat for Jan, memorize Scripture once a month)
    -Love my children well (Starting steps: Increase my floor play time, sing more, read Love and Logic book)

    I am so excited to start working on these goals little by little. Some of these goals by themselves make me feel overwhelmed but bit by bit, I will get there! We all will make progress with God’s grace and help.

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      SO excited for you (and your journey to adoption!!)! Praying for you right now- for fruit, courage, and peace as you pursue these things in 2019.

  24. Kori on January 2, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    I have loved this five part goal setting series! It has fired me up about 2019. I’ve taken this year slow and just picked out and finalized my major goals after much prayer that they worked with my word of the year revival. I’m excited tomorrow to finish up the mini steps and color code. Hoping by Sunday to have my January tending list up and ready to go. I didn’t make it by January one but I am making little by little progress daily! Love this series and thank you for being so open and honest! Love from VA

    • Lara on January 4, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      This is such an encouragement, Kori! I’m excited for you and what all of these prayers and steps of faith will grow into.

  25. Heidi DK on January 2, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Goal: Cultivate my faith Why: know that I am found in Christ, find true joy, be able to pour out on others Mini goals: Write the Word Challenge, morning demos, study prayer

    Goal: Cultivate my marriage Why: A strong marriage is what I want and want my children to see growing up. Mini goals: weekly date night, 2 dates out a month, read Fierce marriage

    Goal: Cultivate my children’s relationship with each other and us Why: I desire my children to feel connected and loved Minis goals: birthday day each month for staying up late and getting time with parents, cooking together, vacations,

  26. Heidi DK on January 2, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Encouraged my brother as he was sworn in as a lawyer today!

  27. Heidi DK on January 3, 2019 at 11:32 am

    I encouraged a friend as we are getting back into the swing of routine as school starts up again.

    • Lara on January 4, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      I love that, Heidi!

  28. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on January 3, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Each year, before putting my goals on paper, I create a vision statement. Here is the vision statement I’ve written for 2019:

    In 2019, I will expand my faith, trust, and reliance on God. I will seek to live with a faith that believes He is able to carry out His purpose and do super abundantly MORE than all I could ask or think [infinitely beyond my greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20) I will let go of any discouragements and distractions that cause me to limit and doubt His goodness and work in my life. I will create new rhythms and routines that help me focus on what matters most. I will walk forward in faith, doing the next right thing, while trusting Him with the outcome. 2019 will be a year of stretching my faith, of deeper trust, and a year of knowing and believing Him MORE than I ever have before.

    Also, for the first time, I’ve decided to set seasonal goals, rather than yearly goals. With the season of loss my family and I are currently facing, I knew I would need to really focus on just the basics for the first few months of the year. I have other goal ideas for later in the year, but for now, I’m just starting with these:

    1. Do the next right thing. (At work, at home, for my health/self-care)
    2. Simplify and create rhythms and routines that minimize stress and help me focus on what matters most.

    • Lara on January 4, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      Yes, He does just that- “abundantly more” than we can imagine!

    • Katie @ A Place to Dwell on January 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      Adding a follow-up comment, because I was able to finish fleshing out the rest of my goals. 🙂 I will likely tackle these seasonally (and may add or subtract as the year goes on), but this is where I’ve ended up:

      1. Do the next right thing (at home, at work, personally).
      2. Make space in my life and heart to hear God and respond.
      3. Pursue wellness, wholeness, renewal, and strength through Christ.
      4. Build and strengthen relationships.
      5. Establish new rhythms and routines that minimize stress and help me focus on what matters most.
      6. Grow my confidence, trust, and reliance on God. Cultivate a faith that doesn’t limit Him.

      • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 9:59 pm

        I love this! Confidence, trust, and reliance on God- yes!

  29. Lindsay on January 3, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Still working on my goals. But I have completed my prep work and feel so much more prepared to work on my goals. I have several themes that came out of it and excited to put some thought and words into fleshing them out. While my goal isn’t perfection – I tend to do too much. So, I’m trying to focus on what really matters and cut out the rest.

    • Lara on January 4, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      That process of changing your pace is so hard and so good. Keep going, friend.

  30. Allison on January 4, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Just sent a text to thank a friend for encouraging me last night to encourage her that she is a wonderful friend.

  31. Allison on January 4, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    This is the most important aspect about my life and I have not treated it as such for far too long. The worship of God and His will for my life should be at the forefront of my thoughts. It should be the most important thing, and it currently is not.

    Not only would my life be affected, but hopefully would the lives of everyone I know. I want to treat everyone like Jesus would treat them.

    Mini goals:
    Complete the 100 Days to Brave study and complete consistent quite times.
    Cultivate a constant and consistent posture of prayer.
    Start more conversations about Jesus and be more vulnerable.
    Consistently attend church.
    Consistently serve at church.
    Increase our tithing.

    Starting steps and dates:
    Start the 100 Days to Brave study on January 1.
    Schedule our tithing increase to begin in January on January 1.

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Deuteronomy 31:8

    Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine. – Isaiah 43: 1

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8: 28

    I think that my friends and I should go out to dinner or something once we finish the 100 Days to Brave study.

    I need to make my health more of a priority. Not only do I want to be in great shape to make birth “easier,” but I want to be healthy and be able to take care of the people in my life and love them well. I need energy so I can live on purpose.

    Hopefully, taking care of my body would give me more energy. Part of my laziness stems from fear of failure, but part of my laziness also stems from the fact that I’m just so tired all the time.

    Mini goals:
    Work out consistently in the morning.
    Continue eating a pescatarian/mostly vegetarian diet.
    Drink 75 oz of water a day.
    Start taking prenatal and other vitamins.
    Pray and breathe when I become anxious.
    Walk on my stepper consistently through the week.

    Starting steps and dates:
    Start the barre3 January Challenge on January 7.
    Start meditating with headspace with the barre3 January Challenge on January 7.
    Keep track of my water intake starting on January 7.
    Walk on my stepper for five minutes every hour during the work week starting on January 7.

    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

    So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
    – 1 Corinthians 10: 31

    Once I complete the barre3 challenge, maybe Cameron and I could go to Condor or something and get a hot chocolate or some other sort of treat.

    God has given me good gifts, and I should be a good steward with those gifts. My husband, family, friends, neighbors, home, and planet have all been given to me to bring me joy, but also for me to care for.

    Living with intention will allow me see God’s greater purpose. I am insignificant in regards to the universe, but God has a plan for me. He has a plan for the people I interact with, the people I share my home with, and the people I share this planet with.

    Mini goals:
    Deepen my relationship with Cameron.
    Deepen my relationship with women in Athens.
    Make my house a home.
    Continue to strive towards zero waste.
    Only purchase items when absolutely necessary and make sure they’re sustainable.

    Starting steps and dates:
    Pack away Christmas decorations on January 5.
    Start Apartment Therapy’s January Cure on January 5.

    By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3: 16 – 18

    Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. – Ephesians 6: 13-15

    Once Cameron and I complete the January Challenge, we should have friends over for dinner.

    I’m afraid to start things because I don’t want to fail them. How can I ever do big things if I can’t start small things? Hobbies are (should be) a fun, risk-free way to try something new.

    Learning how to do something for fun, and not being worried about the outcome or “failing,” will help me in all aspects of my life. I need to learn to be brave and bold and take risks.

    Mini goals:
    Start to paint.
    Start to sew.
    Learn French.

    Starting steps and dates:
    Complete three Duolingo lessons every day starting January 4.
    Sit down to paint at least once a week starting January 5. Nothing needs to be completed or fancy. I just need to start the practice.
    Pick out a sewing project and fabric by January 31.

    Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41: 10

    What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? – Romans 8: 31-39

    If/when I complete a painting I’m proud of, I should frame it and hang it on the wall.

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:06 pm

      Yes and amen, friend! So encouraged by the scripture you’re adding. Practicing a hobby for fun also sounds like the best idea!

  32. JanDe on January 4, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve loved this blog post series 🙂 Thank you so much for writing it, as it has already helped me with my “goal-writing block”! Lol Now to go write out those goals!

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      This means SO much, JanDe. Grateful you’re here!

  33. Amber on January 4, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    – Goal 1: Improve the quality of my work by creating deep work cycles.
    – My why: Creating these cycles will improve the quality of my work at school (for my students), on my side hustle (for my family) and will improve the quality of my rest (for everyone).
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This will allow me to provide more meaningful education for my students, create more quality products for our side hustle, create more time for my marriage and more quality rest which will affect everyone around me.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Read summary of the book Deep Work
    • Finish audio version of the book Deep Work
    • Create a Deep Work schedule for school
    • Create technology boundaries at school
    • Decide on a Deep Work focus for school
    • Find rejuvenating rest
    • Complete the above steps for side hustle and for rest.
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Read the summary of Deep Work within the week. 2. Finish the Deep Work audiobook within the week. 3. Create a Deep Work schedule and project focus for school before the second semester starts.
    – Encouraging words: Cultivate what matters, Proverbs 22:6
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Have a celebration with my students to focus on simply being present with them and having fun!

    – Goal 2: Be rooted in God so I can love others well!
    – My why: I have been trying to do far too much in my own power, which also increases self-focus. I’m excited to foster more dependence on God!
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This will decrease my anxiety as I learn to give up control. It will also decrease the pressure I put on others to come through for me. It will help me practice truly thinking of and checking in with others.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Create a prayer notebook for each major circle of people in my life (family, friends, students, work, etc.)
    • Set up a schedule for daily use
    • Commit to a weekly exploration on how to develop more security in walk with God
    • Create time to meditate on Scripture and be still before the Lord daily.
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Write down 3 verses or names or prayer requests to build up the prayer notebook every day. 2. Schedule weekly exploration for security during devotions once a week. 3. Meditate for 5 minutes daily in devotions.
    – Encouraging words: Psalm 46:5
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Have a special time of devotions at the end of the year dedicated to praising God and reflecting on/giving thanks for the growth in this area.

    Goal 3: Strength mental health.
    – My why: I have a lot of difficult situations coming at me this year, and if I don’t take time to intentionally cultivate health in this area, it greatly affects my husband, family, and students. – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This will help reduce anxiety which will help in my personal life and marriage. It will help reduce stress and overload which will trickle out in a calm presence and calm classroom.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Create time for mindfulness daily.
    • Create time in the classroom to be still and mindful with students.
    • Spend time outside multiple times a week.
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Listen to the Daily Calm on the Calm app daily. 2. Spend time outside 5 days a week. 3. Make the mindfulness in the classroom one of my Deep Work projects to figure out how to apply it well for the specific age I teach.
    – Encouraging words: Psalm 46:10; Psalm 62:1-2
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Take a special walk of reflection on my favorite hiking trail, thanking God for his help in this area.

    Goal 4: Increase creation and consumption of healthy food for myself and my husband.
    – My why: This will help us break bad habits and create long-term results for health! This will also help mood, sleep, energy, discipline, etc..
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: This will help me have more positive energy for life and others. This will create long-term health and stamina.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Learn to cook well by doing the following:
    • Researching deeply and widely how to cook specific foods
    • Researching spice combinations
    • Researching helpful kitchen tools
    • Simplifying the kitchen and throwing out tools I don’t use
    • Picking one food to begin with and practicing!
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Research ways to cook chicken well at least once a week. 2. Practice cooking chicken in the month of January.
    – Encouraging words: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Buy a subscription to Butcher Box (or something similar) to make access to healthy meat easier!

    Goal 5: Increase physical health and endurance.
    – My why: This will help with energy and injury prevention as well as longevity.
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will be more energetic for my husband, family and students. My mental clarity will be improved. I will most likely be around longer for my family.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Exercise 3 times a week
    • Stretch daily
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Use my day planner to specifically plan out on Sunday where and when I will exercise each week. 2. Stretch each night before bed while listening to the Daily Calm.
    – Encouraging words: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Buy ourselves a piece of indoor gym equipment!

    Goal 6: Increase financial margin through our side hustle.
    – My why: This will allow my husband and I to have flexibility with our jobs in order to start a family soon.
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: My husband and I have the chance to work together on this, which has been so fun! We are using our creativity and working side by side to achieve a dream. If it continues to grow, it will help us meet a number of goals we have for our future family.
    – Break it down into mini goals:
    • Complete 100 products by the end of the year for our store
    • Start our website/blog
    • Start marketing online
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: 1. Schedule at least 1 hour of deep work per week in this area. 2. Go through marketing course we purchased thoroughly in month of January and apply what I can.
    – Encouraging words: Little by little, progress not perfection, growth,
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Have a celebration with my husband: dinner out and game night!

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Amber! You’re mini goals are awesome. Yes, progress and starting steps! All you need right now is to take your first step!

  34. Kendra Dahl on January 6, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    My goals feel big and broad but I’ve broken them down into lots of tiny steps and I’m hoping to allow myself to just celebrate progress this year, even if it isn’t achievement.

    1. Get as physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy as I can through establishing new, healthy habits that are reasonable and sustainable in this season.

    2. Live within a budget while planning for both the immediate and long-term future.

    3. Grow towards intentional, grace-teaching, joy-filled parenting.

    Thanks for guiding my through this process again this year!

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm

      Love the threads you’re building on here, Kendra! Keep going, step by step.

  35. Cathy Misere on January 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    My 2019 Goals are:

    1- Nurture my Relationship with God
    2- Cultivate wellness
    3-Put a personal Financial system in place
    4-Invest in myself

    • Lara on January 7, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      So good, Cathy. Excited for you!

  36. Emily Johnston on January 8, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Typically when I fill out my PowerSheets, in early December, I have all this vision and know where I am headed in my goals for the following year. This year was completely opposite! It was a bit discouraging to be at January 7 not solidifying a lot of goals/ vision for 2019. But I was talking to a friend yesterday, who also uses PowerSheets, and hearing how she doesn’t lock herself into getting it all figured out right away was so encouraging. I know there is nothing magical about January 1, but now I can truly say it is true because I have had the chance to see it happen! It was actually more freeing to not have it all figured out initially because it allowed me to hear from God rather than create a list of things to make sure I do this next year!

    Anyway! Here are a few of my goals for 2019!
    1. To serve my husband well – specifically in small ways that I now realize make a TON of difference! And find new ways to do this throughout the year!
    2. Develop and cultivate healthy & life-giving routines – we have 4 boys under the age of 5, so simplifying and getting in a good routine is really helpful! I am focusing this year on making these AM & PM routines, easy and full of Jesus!
    3. Cultivate a healthy relationship with food and exercise – this one is ongoing for me. I am looking to meal plan & prep in a simple way, continually move my thoughts to nourishing my body rather than medicating it with food and exercise not to offset poor eating but to strengthen & move my body.
    4. Strengthen my reading habits – this year I really want to mix up what I read- financial books, biographies, health related books, parenting and spiritual development.

    There are a few more that I am still trying to wrap my head around and see how God wants me to cultivate them this year! Thank you for your encouraging words and for creating this product that has changed so much of my life and ultimately the lives of those around me. I am so grateful!

    • Lara on January 9, 2019 at 3:06 pm

      Emily, you’re mini goals are awesome. Yes, progress and starting steps! I’m so grateful you’ve been encouraged!

  37. Brittany on January 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Goal 1:
    Love God Well

    Why – to know Him more, worship Him better, and have more joy in my life. To become more of who I was created to be.

    Positive Effect – I will be more at peace, stronger, joyful, and content.

    Mini Goals – read the Bible regularly, memorize scripture, and add family traditions.

    Starting Steps – start a bible reading plan today, place scriptures up to memorize on 1/20 when I get home, start researching traditions on 1/9.

    Encouraging Words – 2 Peter 3:18 and Colossians 2:6-7

    How I’ll Celebrate – I’ll praise God because He got me there, brought me closer to Him, and lives me!

    Goal 2:
    Cultivate our Marriage & Home

    Why – because it will be good for us. It will bring us closer together and closer to God.

    Positive Effects – Our time together will be intentional, we will live our life intentional, and our marriage will be more joyful.

    Mini Goals – Make family time, make devotion time together, and make intentional time together.

    Starting Steps – schedule family time starting in February, decide when we can do devotion time throughout each week, decide a day to get important things done once a week.

    Encouraging Words – Proverbs 12:4 , Proverbs 18:22 and Colossians 3:18-19.

    How I’ll Celebrate – we will go out for a date night to specifically celebrate how we’ve improved and what we’ve accomplished.

    Goal 3:
    Cultivate our Finances

    Why – so we can live financially free, lower stress, and to be able to build wealth.

    Positive Effects – we can get and stay out of debt, be able to plan more for the future, and provide more for our children.

    Mini Goals – get rid of debt, give more, and start saving.

    Starting Steps – pay towards debt weekly, begin to give above tithes starting February, and begin to save once debt it paid off.

    Encouraging Words – Matthew 6:21 , Malachi 3:10 and Romans 13:8

    How I’ll Celebrate – we will buy something for ourselves or go on a trip with money we’ve saved for our celebration.

    • Lara on January 9, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Brittany, your starting steps and your WHY are encouraging and I am excited for you (especially to hear how you will be celebrating!)!

  38. Brittany Garrett on January 9, 2019 at 4:23 am

    My word is “remember” so I’m putting truths around my house to help me remember THE Truth throughout the year. I’ve set goals to memorize Scripture and to teach it to my children. I have a book stack to get through this year to help with keep my focus where I want it this year. I also have goals for incorporating liturgies into our day and integrate the church calendar into our year with the intention of remembering.

    • Lara on January 15, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Brittany! Yes, so excited for how fruitful this will be in the bigger picture for your family.

  39. Ezinne on January 11, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Yas!!! I’m glad I finally did this.
    I finished this 2 days but full disclosure, when I saw that we needed to break down our goals – I was a bit scared, like “oh oh, so this means I gotta do the work, mean what I say and do what I say” so I kinda ran, lol. It was a lot of soul searching and digging deep but totally worth it. Thanks again Lara. Cheers to doing less and living audaciously.
    I am committing to not just doing the goal setting but keeping to the plan and trusting God to work in me and through me.

    Goal 1
    To use my voice vulnerably and powerfully who love God and see their bodies as vessels that God has given them a responsibility for so we care for our bodies from a place of purpose.

    My Why
    I know that I have a calling to empower women and it truly gives me joy to see them gain knowledge and clarity, knowing that in Christ I am enough and I don’t need fixing. I don’t want to look back at 2019 and realise that yet again – I buried my talent.

    Positive Effect.
    Fulfillment, joy and peace knowing that God is being glorified and I have played my part here on earth doing what He sent me to do. To hear that still small voice say ‘Well Done for being faithful in little’. I know there are women who need me to live audaciously through faith and God has called me to be a model for them.

    Mini Goals
    My main focus this year is simple – ‘get the message to the people’. Every other thing will unfold as we go on. Choosing people over profits.
    My gifts are teaching, writing and speaking.
    My platforms are – podcast/blog/guest blogging and Instagram
    Align my gifts with my platform by
    Going live on IG once a month (I enjoy this and come alive doing it but I have forced myself to only do it once a month, other inspirations can be shared via IG story).
    Start blogging and guest blogging again – I feel like you need to do more but I’d keep it at a minimum of twice a month
    Plan the podcast timeline and any event (online summit/conversations) coming up this year by Jan 31st.
    Start reaching out to potential guests and securing dates.
    Always record podcast intro and outro no later than 48 hours after the podcast recording with guest.
    Execute only 1 major project per quarter
    Take time to flesh out the pillars of Beyond A Dress Size and the other components of the website.

    Starting steps
    Plan my weekly routine. What do I expect of myself each day as a well done servant? A well done servant is consistent.
    Plan the podcast.
    Put these major activities (live broadcast and blogging) in your calendar) – DONE

    Encouraging words/prompts
    Eph 2:10 – God has assigned me to do good work and I had better be doing it and stop overthinking things
    Col 3:22-25 – I will not do the minimum or present shoddy work. I will rather do the minimum and do it excellently well as a well done servant. When in doubt, ask God for grace and the spirit of excellence.
    Matt 5:16 – I will not hide my light.
    Remind yourself daily that you don’t know it all, you continue to learn as you teach.
    As you are intentional about practicing what you teach, do not be afraid of sharing you shortcomings too

    How will I celebrate
    Review monthly, celebrate the small wins and every effort made. Gratitude always.
    Take lessons learnt and think about how to do it better.
    Celebrate God’s goodness for the breakthroughs that happened but you were not even thinking of them.

    Goal 2
    Take time to decorate the new house

    My Why
    This goal isn’t just about ornaments, it is about a safe space for all of us where we can thrive – where we feel at home, where we always want to come back to. A place that really sets the tone for our family values, culture and growth.

    Positive Effect.
    It really helps me to be more productive as a wife and mum when a space is serene and warm. I think more clearly and less stressed. It also gives my family that sense of a safe space and teaches them the value in creating and maintaining such space.

    Mini Goals
    Think about each room, what do they represent, what experience do you want to create.
    Pray for & in each room so that God’s presence brings all these to life.
    Rooms will be decorated in order of priority
    Check out thrift stores and marketplace groups regularly for things you may need.

    Starting steps (all done)
    Make a list of each room and create the look and feel.
    Watch and read about home organization and design to gain knowledge
    Check out pinterest for more fun ideas and print them.
    Make a list of all the things you would need to create the look and feel.

    Encouraging words/prompts
    Good things take time, its okay if this takes up to 6 months to accomplish. Don’t be in a hurry to buy anything.
    Ecc 9:7 – God takes pleasure in my pleasure.
    Gen 1 – God is a creator of beauty and wonder. Look at the earth we dwell in
    Ps 111:3 – Everything He does is full of splendor and beauty.
    He is a good good Father and I trust His infinite supply.

    How will I celebrate
    A candle light dinner to thank God for how far we have come holding hands round the table.

    Goal 3
    Spend time with God daily and intentionally

    My Why
    That daily as I live I will be in His center to work with Him as a partner here on earth. All I am and all I can do or be is dependent on the strength I receive in His presence and if my goal this year is to live through audacious faith, spending time with Him is paramount.

    Positive Effect.
    I am a better human, mom and wife. My family and people around me will be blessed through the building of my faith and the wisdom that comes with it.

    Mini Goals
    Continue to pour into the Bible Study group I created, it has really helped me grow. (PS: I remind myself daily that even if this group fizzles out tomorrow, my studying is not dependent on this group).
    Plan each quarter around what God is leading you to learn more of.
    Read more books on faith and prayer – books that increase my knowledge of and ignite my passion for the Father’s heart (I read 42 books last year, it was towards the end of the year I realised that over 80% of them had nothing to do with my knowledge of God, if I want to grow in faith, I should invest in that area too).
    Have scheduled prayer days on my calendar (Fridays are prayer days)
    Keep to my prayer time reminders on my calendar.
    Make time for your own Bible Study at least once a month.

    Starting steps (all done)
    Schedule dates for Bible Study and Prayer.
    Plan each quarter around what God is leading you to learn more of (Q1)

    Encouraging words/prompts
    Ps 37:4-5
    Is 40:28-31

    How will I celebrate
    Give thanks and maybe share my growth story to encourage others

    Goal 4
    Be an example of a woman who is accountable for her time, health and talent

    My Why
    I can’t teach my children what I don’t practice. My goal is not to have it all together or be perfect but to live as one who knows that these were given to me by God and I have a responsibility towards them.

    Positive Effect.
    I am a better teacher of what it means to be responsible for your vessel because I am an example.
    My health and time are used wisely because I am staying accountable.

    Mini Goals
    Review my goals monthly to ensure that I am in alignment.
    Have a functional routine for each day.
    Create a system for each area of my life and family – business, grocery, cooking, meal times, screen time, reading time, homework – etc
    Go walking with the kids twice a week in the evenings
    Spend 15 minutes of my day on body weight exercises while listening to a book or sermon
    ?? Join the community gym
    Learn how to swim
    Try a dance class to see if you want to join
    Review our meal options for the week every Saturday so that we don’t have a frazzled week and an even more frazzled Mummy
    Go off social media completely on weekends. Read a book or go for a walk.
    Create time for journaling (major struggle)
    Stick with my sleep and wake routines on my phone, its the fulcrum that holds everything together

    Starting steps (all done)
    Set a reminder to go off social media using screen time for weekends
    Set a date for monthly review on my calendar

    Encouraging words/prompts
    Matt 25:14-30
    Col 3:22-25 (MSG)
    2nd Corinth 9:25-27

    How will I celebrate
    Buy myself 3 good books I have had my eyes on (not buying any more books this year till I finish the 30+ I have bought that I have not read).

    Goal 5 (merged goal 5 & 6)
    Intentionally build my children to love God, have their own opinions and strengths while building a family structure that puts God first and is filled with His presence.

    My Why
    My family is my first ministry and assignment here on earth. I will cultivate these hearts as I cultivate hearts outside.

    Positive Effect.
    My children will have a more fulfilled life through their knowledge of Christ and of course there is a depth of satisfaction and a blessing that comes to parents who raise their children in the way of the Lord

    Mini Goals
    Set up family worship time that is realistic, short & sweet.
    Have mini dates with each child – also encourage dates with Daddy or sibling dates.
    Have scheduled family meetings and also encourage the kids to suggest venue or activity e.g dinner/picnic/a walk
    Set aside a day in the month to pray for family
    Have a plan for family playtimes – just play. It does not have to cost money
    Have a family duty rooster where everyone has a duty at home, we are all partners who work towards a common goal.
    Plan nightly dates with the boo – indoors or outdoors.

    Starting steps
    Schedule family prayer date on your calendar – done
    Plan a date with hubby to talk about where we are headed as a family.

    Encouraging words/prompts
    Prov 22:6
    Luke 6:48-49
    Prov 3:5-6
    Pray daily for grace to be an example and to practice what I teach
    Pray for grace to identify each child’s strength
    Pay attention to each child especially what they may not be saying
    Give everyone the opportunity to express themselves
    God is not to be force fed to anyone.
    Make prayer time a time of sincere communication not theatrics.
    Give at least 10 minutes before family worship time to know how each person’s day went.

    How will I celebrate
    A special family dinner, potluck style

    • Lara on January 15, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      “Consistently not perfectly.” This is such a good reminder, my friend!

  40. Kat on January 14, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Whooooo!! I’m still using my undated powersheets from last year, since I bought them and never started using them. Better late than never, right? I’m excited to get started.

    • Lara on January 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Yes! Dig in right where you are with what you have!

  41. Alesha on January 19, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Wow, what an incredible gift this process has been! I’ve never entered a year, so energized, so focused, and so expectant of what God will do! It’s so helpful to think of achieving my goals in simple steps – one foot in front of the other. Previously, I put too much weight on figuring out the perfect plan – and creating steps that were far too unattainable to begin with. I’m convinced this will be my best year yet!

    • Lara on January 21, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      Go Alesha! I’m excited for you and you’re right- take it little by little, friend.

  42. Sarah on January 21, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Celebrate Good Times…Come On! I want to take the time to love people well and make memories. Celebrating, big things and small things, brings joy to our lives! I hope this year that I learn that celebrating doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive.

    My starting steps for January are to go through the year and make notes of what celebrations we want to make a priority, buy some cards to have on hand to send, and add celebrations to the calendar.

    Finish Financial Planning Process & Buy A House! We want to be good stewards and plan what we can with a big dose of trusting the Lord. Owning a home will help us feel settled and rooted. We want a yard to play in, a garden to cultivate, a space to host and open up to friends and family, foster kids, and a place to send down roots. I want to practice hospitality.

    My starting steps for January for the financial planning process are to send an address to our doctor for insurance underwriting and to finalize our wills. The starting steps for buying a home are to make a priority list and get pre-qualified for a home loan.

    Be a healthier version of myself! If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t cultivate what matters (Acts 20:24). I want to feel confident, not because I look a certain way, but because I take care of myself. The numbers I want to concentrate on are my lab work and body composition measurements. This is a goal I have every year, and I never seem to make actual progress on it.

    My starting steps for January are to take pictures and measurements and to print them and put them in my journal.

    Cultivate Faith and to seek first His kingdom. This is the most important goal and also one that I won’t necessarily “check off” because it’s a lifelong goal. To have this goal helps put all of the other goals in their place. I want to be disciplined and rooted.

    My starting steps for January are to do my monthly prep-work in my prayer journal and pray 10 minutes a day as well as use my Give Me Jesus journal.

    Make Time For Hobbies because these are the things that make me feel like “me” and give me something to do outside of normal everyday responsibilities. These are light and fun things to do to have and share. Some of my hobbies I want to take action on are learning to use my DSLR, finishing Project Life projects, and reading.

    My starting steps for January are to read 4 books, enter the Cultivate What Matters giveaway and order a project life book.

    Homeschool well because God has called me to do this. Knowing that I’m in charge of my son’s education is awesome and overwhelming. I hope he develops a love of learning and that we make academic progress.

    My starting steps for January are to jump back into our routine, sign up for music class, and update our yearly timeline.

    Be in community. Loving others well, being involved in a community is something that is big important for our family, especially since we move so much. It’s easy to feel isolated and alone and we weren’t meant to live like that.

    My starting steps for January are to find a church in our city to join and to get involved.

    • Lara on January 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      All of these are SO good Sarah! On days where you’re weary, remember that you don’t have to do it all overnight. I’m excited for you:)

  43. Pam on January 22, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    My word is Move. My goals in general are 1.investung in our marriage 2 encouraging and discipling our kids 3 mentor three women 4 prayer 5 steps in a new ministry 6 preparing for a possible move

    • Lara on January 24, 2019 at 7:51 am

      I’m excited for you, Pam!

  44. Linda Chen on January 23, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    (1) – Goal: Read devos daily
    – My why: rekindle with God
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Joyful in the Lord brings joy to other areas of my life including people around me
    – Break it down into mini goals: Find plans on bible app, write the word/journal, collect bible verses that I like.
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: enroll in plans, make a new journal
    – Encouraging words: col 2:6-8
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: praising God

    (2) – Goal: Self care through healthy choices and exercise.
    – My why: God gave me this body, I should care for it.
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: allows me to travel without being tired, endure long work hours, look and feel my best
    – Break it down into mini goals: drink more water, only buy healthy snacks, please 1 meal a day with shake, gym or walk 30 min a day, skincare regimen
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: prepare lemons for work, look up recipes for shakes and chia seed pudding
    – Encouraging words: .Isa 38:16, Ecc 5:19
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: Trip with excursions to celebrate the progress i made

    (3)– Goal: read more
    – My why: to be a witness to others in my career
    – The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: respect from others, care for people better, confidence
    – Break it down into mini goals: Read an article a day or do practice questions, teach more, ask questions
    – Starting steps + when you’ll do them: make a list of topics to read about
    – Encouraging words: Gal 6:4, eph 6:7, Col 3:23 .
    – How I will celebrate at the end of 2019: document full of goodies

    • Lara on January 24, 2019 at 7:52 am

      Yes to all of the mini goals to come. You can do this, and I’m cheering you on, friend.

  45. Jessica Gardner on January 1, 2020 at 1:52 am

    I love doing this every year! This time I did one personally and for my business. Personally I am going to be working on my health (after baby 2 last year and another surgery shortly after my bounce back has not happened, so starting out by a January Whole30 and hoping to break some food habits)
    2. Spend more time daily in the word and begin teaching it to my children
    3. Pick up on my language learning ( we live overseas and I need to do a better job of learning the other main language here)
    4. Read more. Hoping to get a few books in this year and less Netflix.

    I have more detailed goals and steps but it’s all hand-written in my journal, looking forward to 2020!

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