Okay, moment of truth: Have you had a difficult time saying no lately?

Saying no is hard, so you always say yes:
Yes, I’d love to do that for you.
Yes, I’ll be there.
Yes, I’ll get it done.
Yes, yes, and one more yes.

And now you’re feeling stretched thin—like you have no control over that three-letter word that keeps slipping out of your mouth! I have been there a billion times over!

In this NEW episode of the podcast, my friend Emily P. Freeman joins me to chat all things decisions and saying yes to the right things. You’ll learn the 3 key questions to ask yourself when faced with any decision, big or small, that will help you say YES to what matters and no to all the rest—with confidence!

LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— I begin by telling you about some of my own “nos,” including to travel when my kids were younger. That one “no” made so many other decisions easy, and led to many great yeses!
— I introduce you to my friend Emily P. Freeman! She’s an author, a podcast host, and a “curious listener.” She helps women discern their next right thing in love, and she was the perfect guest to chat with about saying yes and saying no. 
— I give you three key questions to ask yourself when you’re faced with a decision. One of my favorites: “Are you being pushed by fear or led by love?” (That’s some goodness from Emily’s book!)
— Then, we chat about two very practical things to do that will help you say no, including a fool-proof phrase when you’re put on the spot!
— By the end of the episode, you’ll know how to decide if a yes or a no is the best next step, you’ll feel confident in your answers, and you’ll believe that every no can lead to a better yes!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— You can find Emily on her website, listen to her podcast, or read her new book, The Next Right Thing!
— I share the many ways of saying “no” from my friend Jessica N. Turners’ book, The Fringe Hours.
— Other books I love about soulful decision making: The Best Yes, Essentialism, and What’s Best Next.
— Based around the idea that we can’t do it all and do it all well but we CAN do what matters, my book, Cultivate, will help you sift through the many options in front of you as you hone in on your big picture vision.
— The PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner is designed to help you make your best decisions and then live them out, little by little. PowerSheets are 30% off right now and going fast! Once they’re gone, they’re gone. 2020 PowerSheets release in October!

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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“The mountains are calling and I must go!” – John Muir

They called and we went! I’m starting to write the post to you while we’re still on our trip, sitting here in our cabin after five days of hiking with our kids in North Carolina and Tennessee! My legs are toast. I’m listening to a rushing creek outside the open windows. And I can hear the kids talking to each other about our adventures as they drift to sleep. These five days have felt more like two weeks—packed with adventures, 90,000 steps (literally—my Fitbit got a workout this week!), and memories we’ll cherish forever.

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my years using PowerSheets is to consistently evaluate where you’re headed in life—and be willing to try new things as you get clearer and clearer about what matters to you in the big picture. As we grow and change over time, our goals and passions do, too! Case in point: A year ago, I had never been on a hike! We took our first trip to the mountains last August. We all fell in love with the North Carolina mountains and exploring trails and waterfalls together. And now, less than a year later, hiking feels like home to me. A lot can happen in a year, my friends! The mountain air, the hard work of the ascent, the unmistakable majesty of the Lord in seeing the world He made—something about it stirs my soul.

Roan Mountain Highlands —in the hemlock forest.

I’m no hiking expert, but Ari and I have learned a lot as beginners in the last year—and several dozen hikes under our belts with the kids now. So many of you asked me questions about our trip on Instagram, that I thought a blog post might be helpful! I’m going to share a few quick tips, favorite hikes, and things you need to know before you trot off to the mountains with your toddlers in tow!

Catawba Falls

Is it hard to hike with kids? Yes! Worth it? YES! Hiking with kids is HARD. The hikes themselves are not your biggest challenge, though—it’s having the determination and peace as parents to keep going through the whining and “Mommy, CARRY ME!!!” moments you will inevitably experience. Be prepared to put on your “Coach Mommy” hat allll day long. You can do it! Only 8,893,943 more steps to go! Almost to the waterfall and I HAVE SNACKS! For us, this has been 1000% worth it. Our kids have gained confidence, strength, perseverance, a love of exploring, and they know so much about plants, trees, rocks, mountains, and history from our adventures. Not to mention the magic of God’s creation their little souls have soaked up with every step forward—all worth it! But, I do have to warn you to set your expectations aright. Hiking with kids can be a test of endurance and patience (and physical strength), but it can also be doubly rewarding! In summary, it’s challenging. It’s worth it. Carry them a lot. SING. For real, singing somehow helped all of our kids get through longer hikes with ease! Help them over rocks. Be ready to motivate those kiddos! Best of all, you can eat a donut at the end—you will have burned up all those calories carrying your kids up mountains!

Toms Creek Falls

How old are your kids? Our kiddos are 7.5, 3.5 and 3. Everyone’s kids are different, but for our kids, a little over 3 seems to be a good age for more moderate hikes. They can follow directions more clearly (note I didn’t say easily—they are 3!), and their bodies seem better able to climb and navigate varied terrain. Grace is a champ at 7.5. If they were younger, I’d carry them in hiking packs!

Rhododendrons at Mount Mitchell

How do you get started? I don’t want to downplay the skill needed for more moderate hikes (my brother was a junior national champion rock climber and I grew up bouldering and climbing with him), but kids are naturals! They use similar skills all day long in the wild of suburbia. They are always running, climbing, jumping and have more energy than I do. Hiking is a natural and fun fit for their usual inclinations! There are just more unique things to navigate and explore around: waterfalls, giant rocks, mountain peaks, wildflowers, wildlife, and creeks. So, how do you get started hiking with kids? Pretty simple. Take them to an easy nature trail. Then warm them up to an easy short hike. Most of learning to hike with kids is teaching them safety and how to maneuver on different terrain. It’s not complicated though—just get out there on an easy trail and see how they do! We didn’t do anything fancy to get started. We just got out there with our kids and did it!

Roan Mountain Rhododendron Garden

What do you pack for the kids to eat on hikes? Okay, this is a big one. We have taken a few week-long hiking trips now and here are my best suggestions: bring all the snacks. All of them. Double what you think you’ll need. I’m not kidding! Pack enough snacks for an army—things that are easy to pass around in the car or toss in your backpack. We burn double the normal calories we usually burn on a daily basis and our snack intake proves it! We’ve gone through 6 bunches of bananas in 5 days, 3 dozen apples, 2 giant bags of chips, trail mix, granola bars, nuts, and I don’t know how many Kind bars. We also brought several large jugs of water in the car for refills! Eat a big breakfast (we had big bowls of oatmeal and fruit and tons of water) and keep those snacks comin’ all day! We had a cooler in the back of the car and it was loaded.

Linn Cove Viaduct

What do you do during all the driving? There was a lot of driving from mountain to mountain (BTW, be sure you stretch a bit between hikes before you sit in the car for hours!). We listened to audiobooks! Very important to know in the NC mountains: there is NO CELL SERVICE in the mountains for the most part. So, pre-load your Google maps and audiobooks on your phone before you head out. We loved My Side of the Mountain—perfect for this trip and the ages of our kiddos. We also started a second run through of the Little House books. My kids also need something in their hands to keep them occupied. So, I loaded a bin with books and small car activities and put it between Grace and Josh’s seats so they could serve themselves. Sarah loves baby dolls, so they came to the mountains, too!

Julian Price Memorial Park

What gear do you use? What do you wear? It’s pretty cool here during the day even in June (between 50 to 75), so we stick to long pants and long socks for everyone to avoid poison ivy and raspberry bush scrapes on the trails. I wore leggings, a t-shirt, and a long sleeve shirt over that to have some layers I could take off and throw in my backpack. The kids are all hiking in sturdy tennis shoes most of the time. They would do better in hiking shoes, but I’m not willing to spend money on feet that grow so fast yet! (Also, if you’re wondering why Sarah is wearing rain boots for a lot of the hikes, the answer is she loves them. And Josh ran out of shoes so he wore Grace’s old shoes for several hikes!) They are perfectly happy and slip-free in what they have. As for me, one of the best investments I made was in these Merrell hiking shoes and proper socks—they have made a world of difference for how long I could hike and how my knees felt after. As for my backpack, it’s cheap and great! I bought this one on Amazon for $20 and it folds up into my purse (so cool!). I also can’t recommend this Waterfly pack enough. I keep my phone and car keys handy and I end up wearing it all day. That’s it for gear! Gear tip with kids: have a bin in the back of your car with extra shoes and to throw dirty ones in. We were constantly swapping out muddy or wet shoes. This was a game-changer for us to have a bin we could toss dirty shoes into before getting buckled up into the car!

Crabtree Falls loop trail—they love love love creeks!

How do you not totally freak out hiking with younguns? Who said I didn’t freak out a few times? We were doing a lot of difficult hikes, but I also know my kiddos. I would not have done these hikes with them at 2 years old—they were ready for these hikes and more importantly, we were ready to help them with the terrain of the trails. It was all worth it! Here were our ground rules for safety (so much of hiking is learning safety and problem-solving skills!):

  • Everyone had a buddy—either I would take care of holding Sarah’s hand and Ari would take Josh or vice versa. This system was key!
  • Mommy always goes first on hard things to check it out first.
  • When we say “stop,” fully freeze where you are (this took some practice!). Ari also gave all of us a full education on military standards and how they work as a team, march in step together, and are good listeners. : ) Josh was really into this!
  • My catchphrase was “sure footing, go slow.” Which meant, step on things to test them (rocks) and be sure they are steady before you put your weight on them.
  • We carried them (Grace included) over hard parts or mud and creeks where needed.
  • Slow feet (no running). It’s just not safe in tennis shoes on rocky trails. Josh has a bevy of knee scrapes from this trip to prove it. Fields and meadows, yes—fly like the wind!
  • And last but not least, don’t touch plants unless mommy knows what they are. We were on poison ivy alert with little hands. Long socks and pants were a great solution to this, too!

What else should I know? One of my best tips is to know thy family. Do what works for you when planning a hiking trip! Our family tends to do better at this stage when we’re not making plans on the fly. If we know where we’re going, we can better manage transitions for our younger kiddos—specifically one with sensory processing disorder. Transitions and new places can be especially tricky, so having a plan allows us to make our kids feel more safe and secure knowing where they are going ahead of time. I hope all of my planning research ends up being a blessing to your family, too!

Hickory Nut Falls at Chimney Rock

Your itinerary looked amazing! Tell me all the details. You got it! Using the tips in the How to Plan Your Year podcast episode and with the help of my PowerSheets, I looked ahead at the entire year and planned trips when they made the most sense—and at (hopefully) ideal times for each locale. A little forethought goes a long way when planning with kids. To plan this trip, I looked up the best time to see the rhododendrons in the mountains—which you know as a plant lady, I had to see! I also did a lot of Googling, looking at TripAdvisor, and generally researching reviews of people’s favorite free things to do in the area we planned to go. Most importantly, though: I used AllTrails! You can search for hikes on the map view and read reviews. This is primarily how I planned this trip! See all my hike reviews and what we did last week on my AllTrails profile. (I’ve linked all of our hikes below too—just make an AllTrails account [free and so awesome] to see them!) Now, on to our itinerary!

Rough Ridge with my buddy

Sunday: We drove to the mountains after church. The naptime window is great for long car trips. We stayed at a friend’s cabin in Matney, NC, for the first 3 nights. This was a great location and we saw so many hummingbirds and even a wild turkey on the property!

Roan Mountain in the clouds!

Monday: We are early risers (highly valuable on a hiking trip!). We took a short drive to Roan Mountain in Tennessee to see the rhododendrons around 7 am. It. Was. Awesome. This was one of my favorite experiences of the trip! Roan Mountain is rich with trails, history, and the smell of the hemlocks was new to me—a little taste of heaven! The rhododendron gardens (a paved easy walk) and Cloudlands Trail were spectacular. We even got to hike part of the Appalachian Trail! I can’t wait to return here again one day. We then spent naptime driving down to one of our favorite spots: the Moses Cone Manor. We enjoyed the craft guild displays, watched a woodworker hand-turn a pen (Grace loved it!), and did a short hike around the Julian Price Memorial Park. After a long day of hiking, we finished the day at the Banner Elk Winery. The kids loved the outdoor area at the vineyard—lots to explore!

It was a little windy for Josh on Rough Ridge ; )

Tuesday: We woke up early once again to be the first on Rough Ridge. This was a favorite hike of both Ari and me! It was super hard with kids, but the views were worth it. After a big snack break, we drove a short way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike the Linn Cove Viaduct. After two hefty hikes, we drove home for an hour to relax, and then headed off to Grandfather Vineyard to let the kids play in the creek!

At the base of Linville Falls


Wednesday: Linville Gorge Plunge Basin was on the way to our next destination (Old Fort, NC). This was a HARD hike with kids. Ari loved it. I loved the end. We then visited an orchard and hiked Catawba Falls (be sure to read my reviews on AllTrails of these hikes!). Then, it was time to check in to our next cabin in Old Fort, NC. We stayed at this magical place Ari chose called Kibbin at Mackey Creek. It has an interesting history that was featured in Cabin Life magazine. The kids loved playing in the creek there before dinner!

Pinnacle Peak trail near Mount Mitchell — a favorite!

Thursday: Mount Mitchell was first on our list (the highest point east of the Mississippi!). Well, with high elevation comes low temps and unpredictable weather—it was 45 degrees (what!?) and totally clouded out. So, we left winter for a bit to hike our favorite of the trip: Pinnacle Peak. This was an off-the-beaten-path hike and I don’t know why more people don’t do this one. The photo above is at the top—the view was spectacular! After climbing down from the summit, we headed back to Mount Mitchell in hopes of finding clear skies, which we did! Finally, we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway down towards Asheville to Hickory Nut Gap Farm to play in the creek. Then another big driving loop to Chimney Rock State Park (it was a big day!). Chimney Rock was interesting, but the kind of place you need to spend the whole day to justify the cost (I would skip this in our itinerary next time—it was also really crowded). And, finally, we landed back at the Kibbin and I made a huge dinner or us!

The “Kibbin”

Friday: We did our favorite waterfall hike on Friday: Tom’s Creek Falls, We went around 8 am and we were the only people on the trail! The waterfall was huge (photos don’t do it justice—I could have stayed here all day) and it was just perfect for the kids. Highly recommend this one! Then, we drove back down to Lake Lure to explore the Flowering Bridge and do the Hickory Nut Falls Trail.

Toms Creek Falls


Saturday: We kicked off the last day with one more big hike on the way home: Crabtree Falls. Then, time for some non-hiking fun for the kids! We went to Rockfest and the gem mine in Emerald Village. Grace got fairy hair. Josh had a hot dog. Sarah got a balloon. Everyone was happy after a long week of adventure! A stop at Chic-fil-a on the way home and mom and dad were happy, too!

Crabtree Falls—our final hike of the trip!

Our favorite hikes of the trip: Ari loved the Linville Gorge Plunge Basin (he liked the obstacles), Pinnacle and Toms Creek. I loved Rough Ridge, all of Roan Mountain, Pinnacle and Toms Creek. Going to Mount Mitchell was also a favorite. The kids loved anything that had a waterfall at the end they could play in!

Your turn! Do you hike? I’d love to hear your tips and favorites! Where should we go next? I hope this post encouraged you to get out there and enjoy the majesty of the mountains!

Psalm 121 : )

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Have you ever said yes to something and quickly regretted it? I’m raising my hand, too, and cringing thinking about it!

Get ready to become a master of the gracious “no” over the next two episodes of the podcast!

In today’s episode, my long-time co-worker, Emily Thomas, and I pull back the curtain on some big decisions we made—and some we didn’t make on purpose. Get ready for some never-before-told stories about our partnership with Southern Living, hiring my first employee, and some surprising decisions we made about a TV show!

We had so much fun making this special behind-the-scenes episode for you. LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:

— You meet my friend and coworker of ten years, Emily Thomas! Emily is our Chief of Staff at Cultivate What Matters and served as the Creative Director of Southern Weddings for many years. We begin by chatting about how Emily came to work at SW (it’s a good story involving a certain journal!).
— You’ll learn how we decide which things to make happen – and which things to say a gracious “no” to.
— You’ll hear about the beginnings of Southern Weddings (and how my musical theater degree was actually really helpful!). You’ll be encouraged to ask, “why not?”
— You’ll hear about one of the scariest things I’ve ever done—hiring my first employee. I also share my number one tip for hiring great team members.
— I tell you how I came to write my first book (hint: it had something to do with this blog you’re reading!).
— We tell you about one of the things we did NOT make happen—a TV show!—and why.
— We talk about why we changed the format of our Making Things Happen Conference, and how to know when to adapt to a new season.
— Our WHY and mission also led us to open our shop (first the Southern Weddings Shop, then the Cultivate Shop!). We chat about the profit of people and why that led us to partner with Southern Living Magazine (plus pies!).
— Remember the Lara Casey Shop?? And the first set of PowerSheets? We talk about why we added COLOR to PowerSheets and changed the name of our shop – two of the biggest and scariest changes we’ve ever made! We talk about how we move forward when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing.
— We end by telling you one of our favorite stories of all time, about the day Southern Living came to Lara’s house. Listen until the end—it’s a good one 🙂
— You’ll end the episode fired up and believing that small decisions, made with great intention, can change the world. We believe in you!

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— The Southern Weddings archive is still alive and well!
— My How To Make Things Happen, Volume 1 blog post was the beginning of so many good things!
Sign up to here to hear about our NEW in-person experience and about the next Making Things Happen Conference—I’d love to see you there!
— My first book is Making Things Happen. I’m so grateful for a simple way to give people my story!
— My tips for writing a book!
That handwriting piece is still going strong.
— We tell the full story of the Southern Weddings chapter in Episode 016: How to Let Go of a Dream.
— It wouldn’t be a CYL podcast episode without talking about Traction and the Entrepreneurial Operating System! 🙂 EOS is the business model we use at Cultivate!
— It also wouldn’t be an episode without talking about our PowerSheets! We talk about our WHY and our mission throughout this episode. If you’re not clear on your why, PowerSheets will help get you create a strong vision for your life and/or business and get after it.
— I end by pointing you to Emily’s own blog – one of my favorites to read! Don’t miss her Marvelous Money series.

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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Well—2019 is almost halfway over.

This year has not gone like you thought it would.
Time feels like it’s flying.
You feel like it’s too late to make progress on anything this year.
You started all wrong, you’ve gone from feeling behind to feeling like the year is over.
You feel like you’ve failed.

But, this year isn’t over—not even close! In today’s episode, I’ll walk you through three steps to make the rest of 2019 count, no matter how it started. (Whew!) You’re going to hear from women just like you who are struggling with their goals, and you’ll learn how to break free. We’re going to finish this year strong together—with joy! Let’s talk!

LISTEN NOW!

In this episode:
—I start by giving you an update on my own 2019 goals—which ones I’ve made progress on and which ones I’ve tweaked.
—I tell you my Enneagram Type and how it relates to Mid-Year Goals Prep Week (this week!). I tell you about some of the (many!) important things I have started on days other than January 1st.
—I walk you through three simple steps to finish this year well, having made progress on what matters most to you.
—Then, I put my Goal Coach hat on and troubleshoot the issues YOU’VE told us you’re having with your goals at this point in the year. I give specific solutions to help you move forward!
—I end by giving you four simple goal setting hacks I use to make little-by-little progress. I think one of them will work for you, too!
—You’ll end the episode believing what I know to be true: what matters far more than how you started this year is how you finish it, and you can finish it well.

Interested in some of the things I mentioned throughout this episode? Here you go!

— It’s Mid-Year Goals Prep Week! We love a fresh start around here. Follow along on Cultivate’s Instagram and blog!
— When you write your goals down, you’re statistically more likely to get results! I use my PowerSheets goal planner to set and achieve my goals—the things that really matter to me. Buy yours now at a 30% discount! (They won’t last long at this rate!)
— I taught a live class this week for Mid-Year Goals Prep Week, and you all were on fire in the comments! Watch the replay!
— Here are the four 2019 goals I laid out in January. I’ve made little-by-little progress on all of them!
— I’ve been loving the comment function on YouVersion’s app – makes it fun to read along with friends!
— Doing Write the Word at night has been a game-changer for me, and so was the Fresh Faith Challenge we ran in January. (More WTW journals coming soon—text CULTIVATEFAITH to 55222 for sneak peeks!)
— I use my phone’s Notes app to add scripture that relates to my goals throughout the year.
— Ari and I read God and Money to align on our No Spend Year goal before setting our budget with YNAB.
— I also did Nancy Ray’s Contentment Challenge for the first three months of the year and opened an Acorns account!
— In homeschool, Grace has been loving Math-U-See, and we’ve all been loving the garden, as we chatted about in Episode 017.

LOVE THE PODCAST? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! This episode is really special, so I hope you’ll share it with someone you love! Feel free to grab one of these graphics to post about it, too!

WANT AN EMAIL WHEN A NEW EPISODE GOES LIVE? Enter your email address below, and I’ll send you a note when a new episode is up!

I’D LOVE TO MEET YOU! Come say hi on Instagram! I love sharing my life with you! And if you loved the outro, don’t miss the “Ari Raps” highlight on my Instagram!

SUBSCRIBE NOW to the Cultivate Your Life podcast on iTunes so you won’t miss an episode. If you love the podcast, please leave a quick review on iTunes—it helps other women find this free encouragement! Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. I’ll be featuring some of your reviews in a future episode!

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We’re almost to the half-way point of 2019 and you’re feeling it.

Life keeps happening.
Daily pressures keep pressing.
You want to make progress on the things you’ve always wanted to do. But, you’re starting to think it’s not possible to achieve your goals this year—it feels like it’s too late.

It’s no surprise you feel this way! The world tries to convince you that that, in order to have a meaningful life, you have to do it all and be it all. You have to have made perfect progress on your goals from January 1 to now. You have to have it all together. You have to take big shiny steps forward. You have to do “big things” to have value.

Ugh!

I’ve been there, too. Feeling like I have to do it all and be it all. Escaping to social media, to distractions, to comparison, to whatever we can find to avoid that voice that keeps telling us we’re not good enough.

There’s a better way forward! A simple way. Like my garden, it’s the way of growing slow and well.

My little buddy exploring the community garden down the street from us!

Starting next Monday, I’m going to guide you through 3 steps to finally make progress on your goals—no matter how your year started. Ready for a life reset without the pressure, guilt, or that feeling of never catching up?

Welcome to your LIFE RESET.

Whether you’ve made progress this year, completely forgot about your goals, or never set them in the first place, Mid-Year Goals Prep Week is for you—and it’s going to be FUN!

3 steps to get ready for your Mid-Year RESET:
1. Grab your PowerSheets—no matter where you are in your goals, I’ll help you get refreshed!
2. Follow Cultivate What Matters on Instagram for Mid-Year Goals coaching and fun all week.
3. Sign up for my free live class next Monday at 1 pm ET. Let’s make it a date! I’ll guide you through the 3 steps to make the rest of 2019 count—no matter how it started (and of course I’ll send you the replay if you can’t join live!). Save your spot now.

And now, a quick progress update from my May PowerSheets goals! May was a big month! Grace finished 1st grade, all the kiddos started the transition-to-summer, and Mommy eased lots of big emotions for sweet little hearts who don’t love transition! : ) We had a refreshing trip to the beach, planted the garden, and ate breakfast outside. It was a good month!

May Monthly Goals:
— Love the Word (above all else!) – One of our work benefits is an allowance for books, so I got a new ESV study Bible and have been loving it alongside my Write the Word Prayer journal, which I’m almost done with!
— Make our family summer plans – Done! We’re headed to the mountains in June and August and have simple summer fun plans thanks to many of your suggestions and the Summer Wildcard Page pack.
— Train team members (2 Corinthians 3:2 is my verse for this!) – So much progress here that I am very grateful for! I work with amazing women.
— Make our summer homeschool plan – Done! We ordered all of our 2nd-grade books, too! (By the way, the new version of the Cultivated Homeschool Planner is coming soon! Stay tuned!)
— Plant the garden + Josh’s farm – FINALLY!!! Listen in here for the story of how this almost didn’t happen.

May Weekly Goals:
— Weekly family Sabbath. – Many naps with Josh transpired! And we had an especially sweet Shabbat with some friends at the beach, complete with a seder meal and singing!
— Do something for the joy of it—HIS joy! – Goodness, I loved this goal. It was a reminder to live with joy! From being silly with the kids to telling funny stories to making fun things for breakfast, this was a delight.
— Be in the Word with Ari – This was pretty simple – a reminder to have spiritual conversation with him!

May Daily Goals:
— Old Testament Bible Reading – Yes, and continuing to LOVE this reading time with friends each morning!
— 10k steps every day – Progress not perfection here. I’m so glad I set this goal—it motivated me to move!
— Read aloud to our kids – We already finished some of our second-grade books and made some good library trips. Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea has us rolling in laughter every time!
— Write the Word – Yes, little by little steps forward here, too!
— Exercise it out! – Progress! I’ve been walking and running in our driveway while the kiddos play in the garden.

Here’s a little marriage advice we shared this month that resonated with many of you!

Don’t miss these from May!
One of your favorite podcast episodes launched in May! In How to Let Go of A Dream, I share the story of letting go of Southern Weddings and the surprising thing that happened next.
—Learn how to take back your summer before it starts!
—Feel like it’s too late to start a goal since it’s not January 1? Here are 3 reasons to start your goals today.
See big change in 5 different goal areas. Check out our NEW Downloadable Goal Guides in friendship, finance, relationships, parenting, or wellness!

On to June! It’s a new month and I’m ready for that mid-year reset! I’m excited to dig into these June PowerSheets goals (Goal Setting Sticker Book in hand, of course!)!

New goals for June!

June Monthly Goals:
— Seek His wisdom
— Ask His wisdom
— Pass on His wisdom (There’s clearly a theme in June! ☺️ )
— Enjoy the garden
— Train leaders—pass on wisdom
— Dig into summer homeschool
— Do all of the new goal guides! Ari and I are halfway through the Couples Goal Guide and it has been AMAZING.
— Learn to number my days (life is short—play in the sprinklers!)

June Weekly Goals:
— Sabbath rest
— Spread joy around like manure—encouraging things to grow! Ha!
— Love people well
— Simplify + systemize my work
— Finish reading Letters to the Church, Rocket Fuel, and The Out of Sync Child

June Daily Goals:
Write the Word (P.S. Brand new Write the Word journals are coming in July and they are so good!)
— Bible reading
— Run!!
— Read aloud to the kids

Your turn! Do you have goals for June? Comment below and I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts! Congrats to May’s winner, Tiffany!

P.S.  Let’s have a coffee date on Monday! Join me for the free live class where I’ll guide you through the 3 steps to make the rest of 2019 count––no matter how it started (and of course I’ll send you the replay if you can’t join live)––save your seat now.

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