Welcome to the final post in the ninth-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.
I’m especially grateful today to be spending my 40th birthday here with you, uncovering what matters together—there’s no better way to spend a birthday than with friends! AND… today is the 1-year birthday of the PODCAST! 🎉 It has been so fun to see which episodes you loved most this year! Listen in to today’s episode for the official countdown by a very special guest.
8 | How to Let Go of a Dream
7 | When Your Plans Don’t Go As Planned
6 | Why I Stopped Straightening My Hair
5 | Is It Okay to Set Goals as a Christian?
4 | How to Plan Your Year
3 | There’s Nothing Magical About January 1
2 | How to Number Your Days
1 | She Believed She Couldn’t
My favorite episode? How to Number Your Days! What’s your favorite? I’d love to hear!
And now for some goal setting goodness! What a joy to do this work alongside you, friends. You are setting yourself up for your best year yet! If you are just joining, it’s not too late—you aren’t “behind” one bit. Now is the best time to get started:
This final post is the most impactful. Ready to dig in? Let’s do some dreaming together!
Imagine the end of 2020. December 2020 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 2020?)
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. 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 2020! Just one tiny step. 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? Make your Best Year Declaration! This is a mad-lib style 2020 manifesto generator—fun, right? Just fill in your words, choose the color you want, and it makes a 2020 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 2020 PowerSheets® and this goal-uncovering process today, I made some decisions on where I’m going and where I’m not going—and it feels so good!
Now, it’s your turn to do the same.
Are you excited? I’m excited for you!
Let’s step forward into 2020 together ON PURPOSE.
Feeling a little fear about that? I feel it, too. What if our plans don’t go as planned? What if we don’t accomplish our goals? What if we fail?
Remember this: when what matters to you is clear, you can’t lose. It’s likely your life will change this year and things won’t always go as planned. But! Here’s what you have now that you may not have had before:
You know that goals won’t change your life.
Knowing what matters in 2020 will.
Goals are just how you get there.
It’s okay for your goals to change throughout the year—they often do!
You won’t make perfect progress—and you don’t need to!
See, I told you we’re doing this differently than the rest of the world.
YOU are on a whole new path, my friend.
Anytime you need a reminder that it’s okay to grow slow and that your small steps will add up this year, I’ll be here for you. I need those reminders, too. ☺️
Imagine the end of 2020 and you’ll know: what matters is always worth it. So, let’s believe 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.
Won’t that feel so good?!
One last reminder: we are always “in progress.” Your goals may be the same! As you go through different seasons, the way you take action on your goals may change. As you learn new lessons and take on new life responsibilities, your capacity to do different things may change, too. 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 we put a Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets for every season.
Don’t you feel so much freedom knowing your goals don’t have to be forever?
Ahhhh!!! I’m so ready!
WRITE YOUR GOALS USING THE CULTIVATE WHAT MATTERS METHOD:
— Goal: Write your goal starting with a verb.
— My why: Write out WHY this goal matters to you in the big picture. Remember, knowing what matters changes everything!
— 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 your goal down into mini-goals: Every big-picture goal is made up of mini-goals along the way. Over the course of the next year, what mini-goals would help you achieve or make progress on your bigger goal?
— What could stand in the way of your progress? What distractions or challenges could you face? Write out how you’ll turn those challenges into opportunities or what you’ll do to get rid of the roadblocks to your goal.
— What does it look like to win? What specifically does it look like to complete this goal or make progress? What would it look like to win this goal at the end of 2020?
— 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 for the days you know you’ll need it! Bonus tip: Consider including a Bible verse to go with each goal, if you like.
Okay, let’s write out some 2020 goals! Are you ready?
Here are my 2020 Goals for this year of DELIGHT (I can’t wait to hear yours, too!).
Goal: Number my days.
Why: I only get this one life, and only the Lord knows how long I will get with our children and Ari.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: I will ruthlessly cut out anything that hinders me from LIVING THIS LIFE! This will have a domino effect in my life, changing everyone around me as I live for Him!
Mini-goals (I’ll be using my PowerSheets to break these down even more!):
—Cultivate our marriage as a reflection of His extravagant love and grace. Really excited about this goal and already started collecting words about marriage for my commonplace book. The second quote here from Lisa is a favorite.
—Pray-pare to cultivate faith in our children, instead of winging it most days. A little intentional forethought will go a long way.
—Run with Him – push my limits to meet with Him in my workouts.
—Be with Him far more than the world—step away for perspective. Have intentional times away in my weeks, months, and in the rhythm of our year to gain Godly perspective.
What could stand in the way of your progress? Not embracing new changes and different ways of doing things. Keeping my habits and patterns and nudges the same.
What does it look like to win? This goal comes down to basic math: spend less time with the world, and more time with Him—and grow a love for Him in Ari and our children in the process. By the end of the year, I want to look back and say, “Wow, I spent so much time with God this year! And I didn’t miss the distractions ONE BIT.”
Starting steps: My starting step for my mini-goal of Running with Him already happened! We have an elliptical we got on Craigslist forever ago and I started taking Peloton running classes for accountability on their app this month. I. Love. It. I have never sweat so much in my life, and the kids can play Legos or read books in the same room!
Encouraging words: Lara, you get this one life! You don’t know how long you will have here on this earth with these children and Ari and the people around you. It’s time to LIVE it! Bible verse: Psalm 90:12 – Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Goal 2: Delight in the Lord
Why: Because that is where real life is.
The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others: Everything in my life and the lives of everyone around me will be changed and affected by this! A domino-effect of faith fertilized.
—Experience solitude with God – interact with my physical Bible and go deeper in prayer. I’ll be reading the New Testament slowly with friends and doing the Fresh Faith Challenge in January to start the year!
—Orient our lives with Sabbath at the center. This podcast episode was really eye-openning for Ari and me on Sabbath at the center.
—Keep a commonplace book (of delight in Him!).
—Wonder in God’s creation and the miracles He places before us – this includes lots of time out in the garden, hiking (so pumped to hike this year), and running with the kiddos!
What could stand in the way of your progress? Similar to my first goal, not doing things differently. This goal takes a lot of intentional change in how I use my time and in breaking habits to make new ones! What stands in my way is embracing the hard period of new change to get to the point where Sabbath as the center of our lives and solitude are part of who we are!
What does it look like to win? At the end of 2020, winning means looking back and seeing that we changed! We learned how to worship the Lord more together as a family instead of rushing to the next thing. We did Sabbath in new ways—which means doing Saturday differently than most of the world. It means having noticed His goodness and slowed down to thank Him in my commonplace book—a book I hope to pass to our children. And it means interacting with my physical Bible, writing in the margins and touching my phone less!
Starting steps: I’m using the chambray Legacy Journal for my commonplace book. My starting step is to decide what categories I’ll keep in the book. Right now, I’m thinking a section for quotes and clippings that help me delight in Him and that help me focus on these goals, and a section for things we’re grateful for that He has done through the year—counting the fruit and naming His faithfulness for the times we’re sure to need a reminder. As we’ve talked about a lot together this year on the podcast, studies show we retain information better when we write something out in handwriting because we are engaging with it actively and using the information in a novel way. (See this article.) That’s what I want to do—meditate on what is good, pure, lovely and true! When I’ll do this: December 30th is my set-up day!
Encouraging words: Be like David, who delighted in the law of the Lord day and night! Bible verse: (Psalm 37:4) Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
There you have it! My 2020 goals! I LOVE them and I can’t wait to hear yours! 🎉
My 2020 vision board is above! I love it so much!
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 2020 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 2020 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.
2020 selves, 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 2019 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. Especially important to note: that middle post where my husband went viral was your favorite!
You’re ready for an intentional 2020, 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 2020! 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 BESTYEAR2020.
3. Get on my email list 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.
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 2020, friends! I am so grateful for you! This may be the end of this series, but it’s just the beginning! 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!
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.