Want to listen to this post? You’ll love today’s new episode of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast—with bonus content!
Oooooh, this is getting good! As we talked about in Part 1, we’re doing this goal-setting thing differently.
You’re not choosing goals out of thin air, or because of comparison.
You’re not doing fleeting resolutions or quick fixes that don’t fix anything at all.
You are uncovering what matters—and I am so excited for you today!
This 4-part series is a taste of the PowerSheets® Prep Work. Your PowerSheets® have many more goal-uncovering insights and guided worksheets than I’ll include here. Your PowerSheets will guide you to take the goals you uncover and live them out in 2020—month by month and little by little. Setting great goals is one thing; living them out is another thing entirely. This series is a starting point to help you think differently. If you are ready to quit traditional goal setting, you are going to LOVE the PowerSheets. (15% off just for you today with code BESTYEAR2020!)
Let’s knock some barriers down today, shall we?
You know the feeling you get when your to-do list is overflowing?
You have so much to get done and there’s not enough time for the rest of life—the joy-filled living part. You can’t slow down, though, or let go of anything. Something might fall through the cracks if you do. You keep going, trying your best to get one more thing done and feeling like the only thing that’s done is you.
Have you felt that before?
I have, too!
Maybe you’re here searching for something that will make life easier because you feel like you’re MISSING YOUR LIFE. You think, “When will I start really living?”
Let me go ahead and share that conquering your to-do list once and for all won’t solve things.
So, what does solve this battle of Woman vs. To-Do List? It starts with what goes on that list in the first place. Maybe, just maybe, you could start doing less and making it mean more. It all starts with answering the one question that can change your life forever.
Before we get to that golden question, let me help you with something you may be feeling right now. Have you caught yourself feeling like your answers to Part 1 weren’t “enough?” Maybe you’re wondering if you did it “right?” Yes, my friend, you aren’t just doing this “right”—you’re rocking it! You are here for a reason and your answers to Part 1 were exactly what they were supposed to be. You are on your way to your best year!
Get your 2020 PowerSheets before we sell out for the year! Just for you: use code BESTYEAR2020 for 15% off your purchase.
I wrote the handwriting piece above (which has since been shared online 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 it late one night in my kitchen, after putting baby Grace to sleep, 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 in the big picture!
When something 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. (Listen to the whole story of these words here!)
Maybe you want to cultivate stronger friendships, grow a lasting legacy with your work, or make meaningful memories with your family. Maybe you want to pay down debt, be able to run outside with your grandkids when you’re 80, 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!
ASK YOURSELF THE GOLDEN QUESTION
Ready for the one question you need to ask yourself to uncover your best goals? Here it is.
Where you want to be when you’re 80—or 90 or 100? What will be important to you then, and what won’t? The answer to this question is the secret to setting goals that matter—goals you can’t wait to get started on. This is the question at the heart of the PowerSheets Prep Work, and in your PowerSheets, you’ll get even more clear on your life vision through a series of additional exercises and questions!
Let’s see how this first question changes things, though. Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? S.M.A.R.T. is the “gold standard” in goal setting, and it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
But, time and time again, despite their reputation of being foolproof, SMART goals fail. SMART goals are missing one key component (the secret sauce of our community’s success!): purpose.
When the goal you want to achieve matters to you in the big picture, you will follow through. No matter how many times you mess up along the way, you’ll get back up—because you care! How perfectly you get there doesn’t matter as much as why. And the why behind your goals is what keeps you from jumping ship at the first sign of imperfection.
If you don’t first uncover what matters, even your goals achieved will lack meaning. Doesn’t that make you stop and think for a minute? We get this one life and only the Lord knows how long or short it will be. I don’t know about you, but that gets me all sorts of motivated to use it well. I quite literally don’t have time to waste, because I don’t know how much of it there will be!
Are you feeling this, too? This urgency to double-down on what’s important in life? (I know how you feel and I am so excited for you! I wish we were in the same room right now! Imagine me giving you a huge high five—plus high fives from all the ladies I’m so grateful to work alongside each day. We’re with you each step of the way and we are praying for you throughout this series!
You are in the process of uncovering purpose-filled goals and it starts with the big picture—the vital step most people miss!
What will matter to you in the big picture and what won’t? I’ve asked this question of thousands of women and the answers tend to be centered on relationships and growing what lasts longer than us. What won’t matter to you? How many likes you had on an Instagram post, how much other people approved of you, or having a perfectly clean house or organized pantry, perhaps?
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, by the way—if having an organized pantry helps you love your people in the big picture, organize your heart out! And social media can be a wonderful tool to help others when used well. It tends to be more of a distraction many times, though, right?
Your answers here matter. The good you do today has the potential to change generations—that’s why uncovering good goals and having a clear focus is so important.
The alternative to focusing on what matters in the big picture? Spending your time lost in distractions. Lost in Instagram. Lost in the chase for perfection, or significance, or approval, or whatever it is that has been holding you back from really living. You’ll find yourself restless, knowing that there’s more to this life. If that’s you right now, you are in the right place! I know that feeling well, and this is your chance to choose change as you answer this question:
To get uncomfortable.
To think bigger than you and beyond your current circumstances.
To press into fear and give it the boot!
Write out your thoughts about where you want to be (or don’t want to be) when you’re 80—and remember, make a mess. No perfect answers or handwriting needed. Write what’s true for you.
Psst—about that to-do list: knowing where you want to be in the big picture helps you simplify your life—and your list—TODAY. If there are things on your list that aren’t pointing to what matters in the big picture, it’s possible they don’t need to be there! (Take that, to-do list!)
MAKE YOUR YES AND NO LIST
Now that you can see the big picture a little more clearly, what are you going to need to say YES to in order to live it out—and what are you saying NO to? Saying no to one thing means you have the opportunity (space, time, patience, focus, resources) to say yes to something better. You’ll answer this question every month of 2020 in your PowerSheets, because it’s a powerful way to refocus on what matters throughout the year, not just at the beginning.
Write your list of what you are saying YES to in 2020 and what you’re saying NO to. Look back through everything you’ve written in your PowerSheets so far, and making your lists will be simple!
Here’s a peek at what I’m saying yes and no to from my PowerSheets:
Download my free Intentional Year List printable below (instant download) to keep your list in clear view all year long. This is a great printable to put on your fridge, on your bulletin board, or wherever you’ll see it most!
You may find some of your 2020 goals coming to the surface in these lists, because they are a powerful summary of where you’re going and where you DON’T want to go in the year ahead.
Doesn’t that feel so good to write those things out?
Clarity on what matters—and what doesn’t—is energizing! I’m excited for you!
MARK WHAT’S IMPORTANT
In our PowerSheets and in this series, we’ve uncovered a lot together so far! Now, read over all you’ve written so far and circle, mark, or sticker things that stand out to you. Look for common threads or themes in what you’ve written. Add or cross out as needed. Add to your lists of what did and didn’t work (I added a ton to mine!). Add more to your YES and NO lists. Use those stickers to mark what matters. Uncovering good goals is like a treasure hunt—get messy and dig a little deeper. Get out a highlighter or a big bold pen and get messy here!
Listen in to the podcast for more on uncovering threads!
This step took me about 20 minutes: I went back and read every word I wrote in my PowerSheets prep and highlighted, circled, and stickered things that stood out—things that really mattered to me and things that kept coming up.
The threads point to places that are craving cultivation—forgotten patches of your life that are waiting to be transformed.
The threads are little golden strings that tie your goals together.
The threads are your goals in the making.
Let’s do some treasure hunting and find them!
Now is the time to get your 2020 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner! You’ll get 15% off with the code BESTYEAR2020!
Those themes that keep popping up? The things on your yes/no list that you can’t get out of your mind?
These little threads are illuminating your path forward. Notice them. Mark them. And take a shovel and dig into them.
This is cultivating.
Tilling your growing ground, digging in deep, and preparing for new growth.
CHOOSE A 2020 WORD OF THE YEAR
When you look at all you’ve written so far, what word keeps popping up in your mind? What one word most resonates with you for the year ahead, summarizing what you want to focus on?
Here are some tips I use that may help you uncover your word:
First, I like to make a list of a few possible words that resonate with me, even if I think they aren’t exactly right.
My list for 2020 included:
- Recreation (or Re-creation)
- Forty (😉)
- and Delight
Second, I got out the dictionary! Make your list of possibilities and then look at the definition of each word, its origin, and any synonyms and antonyms. I love using BlueLetterBible.org to look up the Greek, Hebrew, and related verses, too. You may be amazed at what you discover!
My 2020 Word of the Year?
I didn’t think I would choose this as my Word of the Year, but that’s the beauty of this process! Taking time to go through the PowerSheets process and write to you here, search scripture (I love this verse, this one, and this one, too!), and pray about where the Lord wants me to go in 2020, helped me see it clearly. You’re about to experience the same!
Listen to much more about my Word of the Year in today’s podcast episode!
Have some ideas about your word, but worried you’ll choose the wrong one? Take the pressure off! It’s just a word to help you remember where to focus. Think about this as a word for the season ahead, not for all of time. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you have permission to change your mind later on! (In the PowerSheets, you’ll do a goal refresh every three months because, as we grow and change, our goals do, too—no pressure needed!)
Repeat after me: it doesn’t have to be perfect. DONE is better than perfect!
Once you have your word, I’d love to hear your word in the comments. Give a virtual high five to those who might have the same word as you—we are bound to have some shared words!
Now, do something with your word.
Write your 2020 word in prominent places in your life. On days you feel overwhelmed or need some direction, your word will help remind you of where you are going. This will help keep you from getting distracted and off track. Put your word on a sticky note in your car. Put it on the card that comes with your PowerSheets. Make it your computer desktop or phone lock screen. Write it anywhere and everywhere to remind yourself of where you are going!
You can even download one of our hand-lettered iPhone wallpapers! Our bank includes more than 100 words, plus the option to design your own!
How fun, right?! (Share this with your friends so they can be reminded of their words, too!)
I’m excited to kick off the year delighting in the Word with the Fresh Faith Challenge. Join me!
Your turn! This week’s goal-uncovering steps:
First, buy your PowerSheets if you haven’t already! 15% off with code BESTYEAR2020 just for you.
—Answer the golden question: what will matter to you in the big picture and what won’t?
—Make your yes and no list.
—Mark what’s important. Go back and mark things that stand out to you in what you’ve written so far. Find the themes.
—Choose a 2020 Word of the Year as a way to remember what matters in the big picture.
You are doing it! Step by step, your focus for 2020 is becoming clearer. I love doing this work with you, and I’ll be back next Wednesday, December 18, for Part 3.
Need some extra motivation? The Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway is ON! How great are these amazing prizes this year!? If you needed a little extra encouragement to share your answers as we go through this series, this is it! I can’t wait to read your thoughts and hear your aha! moments. One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: one of everything from the Cultivate What Matters Shop! Yes!!! – Gloriana Hopkins
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!
Here’s what you could win…
— 10 sets of 2020 PowerSheets to help 10 of you cultivate your BEST year yet! –– Jennifer Abe, Diana Riddle, Gina Fornito, Sarah Gusky Kemer, Noelle Carroll, Misty Krasawski, Mikel Rogers, Susan Smith, Tracey Mai-Lauffer, and Ashley Woleben
— A Goal Guide Bundle to help you dig deeper on your specific goals. –– Lindsey Sivils
— Five signed copies of Cultivate. –– Shelby Koerner, Sara D Whittle, Sarah Snyder, Gail Boos, Rebecca Burton
— Five signed copies of Make It Happen. –– Ashly Hilst, Jessica Evans, Andraea LaVant, Rebecca Olsen, and Cheryl Tynes
— One Write the Word All Seasons Collection to help you cultivate fresh faith all year long. –– Tanya Chmunevich
— A gift card (YES!) for a massage to kick off your year refreshed! –– Ruth Gyllenhammer
— A pair of Apple Airpods to listen to your favorite podcasts, music, or audiobooks. –– Cee Jay
— A Swoozie’s gift card for all of your gifting needs! –– Luna Stanley
—A Revelation Wellness membership with a ‘Wellness Kickoff Package” to cultivate your health in the New Year. –– Megan Kurtz
— Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course—a life-changing experience to help you pursue financial freedom. –– Callie Carter
— One Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal. I’ll be using one this year, too! –– Marcia Howell
— An Audible subscription to check all those books off your reading
list! ––Patti Kowaleski-Hall
— One Art Bar canvas (up to $150 value) to brighten up your walls. ––Jamie Goodall
— A Fitbit to help you celebrate your literal steps forward. –– Christine Langford-Dixon
— An Echo Dot to keep you dancing. –– Rachel Nordgren
— Two Italian Gift Frames from Framebridge to frame the memories that matter most! –– Hosanna Stump and Julie David Roberts
Why am I doing this? I want you—yes, YOU—to know what I know now on the other side of burned out and overwhelmed: there’s a different way to do this—a way that works. Step by step, you are going to feel ready, renewed, and clear about your year ahead. I’m so excited for you!
Finally, a request: share this series with your people! Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself! I’d be so grateful if you 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 2020 as we will. Here’s to our best year yet together—starting now!
Giveaway ends January 10th. Winners will be announced on January 13th 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. Need a last-minute gift? Buy her a gift card for PowerSheets! It comes with a printable card and the cutest downloadable gift wrap, too. Best gift ever!