Feb 28, 2017

February PowerSheets Progress + March Goals

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Friends! Hi!!! It’s been a crazy few days here in the Isaacson house. Norovirus hit us hard, but thankfully we’re on the mend now. Nothing like a bout of sickness to make you grateful for the gift of being able to simply be on your feet. I’m also feeling grateful for this particular day – February 28th. Today I’m praising Him for the lives of two special friends who share a birthday and a first name: Emily Thomas (turns 30 today) and Emily Ley. I’ve had the joy of working alongside Em Thomas for 8 years (!) and I’ve been friends with Em Ley for just as long. I’m so grateful they were both born. Today is also the day that, six years ago, we found out some happy news.  It’s a good day!

It has been a month of little-by-little progress on my goals, but some areas need some changing. Here is the progress I made on my February Goals and my new March goals below.

IMG_9441Gracie doing “Celebration” with the flowers Ari gave me for Valentine’s Day!

My monthly PowerSheets goals for February:
– Settle into a new Cultivate What Matters work rhythm. YES! I spent an entire day plotting out content for newsletters, blog posts, and product releases in our Asana system, and it feels so good to have a realistic plan for the whole year.
– Finish my final book edits. In progress today–my final edits are due on Monday, so I’m taking a bit of a social media hiatus till they are done.
– Build what I’m calling a “Cultivated Calendar” + blog it. I made progress here and have written about 2/3 of this post. Moving this to March to complete.
– Write my Gardening 101 Guide. Yes! Instead of writing a PDF guide, I decided to turn this into a blog series first. Here’s part 1. This way, we can chat along the way and you can ask questions as we go!
– Memorize good words for goal number 3. I have not made good progress here, so it’s time to redirect. I’m adding this to March and trying a new strategy to get this going.
– Take the next steps in garden planning and start some seeds indoors! Yes! We are starting seeds today when Grace gets home from preschool, and I have a post in the works about how you can do it too.
– Continue to gather good homeschool info. Yes, I’ve been collecting some nature journaling resources and we applied to a local homeschool co-op program.
– Start my “little by little” painting, a painting I decided to create in celebration of what I’m learning in my Bible reading goal. I’ve gotten all the materials, so next, I’m adding “paint” to my April goals–lots happening in March already.
– Finalize 2018 PowerSheets. Yes! Draft one is done and I’m pumped about the changes coming.
– Prayerfully prepare for and experience the Faith Retreat, a biannual retreat my friend Nancy and I are doing with a few friends to spiritually recharge. Yes! This was a deeply refreshing time. Read more about it on Nancy’s blog here.


February weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends. Yes! I have been studying what sabbath means for Jews and what it means for gentiles like moi. Since I’m married to a Jew, this has me extra intrigued. I particularly enjoyed parts of this article and this one. I had what felt like my first real sabbath day a couple weekends ago and it was so sweet. I felt God telling me to cease from “producing.” I spent the day with the kids (Ari was working) outside, not doing errands or trying to finish projects. It wasn’t easy at times. I wanted to get a few things done, but I kept remembering to pause and trust. It was fruitful. The day made me realize how addicted to productivity I can be, instead of just resting with Him and being with Him. It was a fast from busy, and very eye-opening. 
– Meaningful connection with Ari. Yes! We had a date night in February and great conversations in between.
– Learn and cultivate new sleep habits. Yes! We switched out the light bulbs in our bedroom lamps with these amber lights, and I got Ari this reading light. We also started using lavender essential oils in a small diffuser at night.
– Pray through my prayer journal. Yes, and I continue to love this thing. I spend the first week or two of the month filling it out as prayers come to me.

February daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan (I have been loving this!) – Yes! I only missed a couple Sunday mornings when I was with the family, but caught up the next day.
– #RunLiftPraise – Yes, despite five days of norovirus and not getting out of bed for two of those days, I’ve continued to make progress and I feel great.
– Eat more raw foods. Yes! I’ve been eating raw peppers, spinach, and kale.
– 40 days of prayer with Ari. I didn’t finish strong on this one, but even doing this for the first couple weeks was a huge blessing. 
– Be active in my work day. Yes! Senorita FitBit keeps me moving.

Now, on to March!

FullSizeRender-4 3I got a little messy with my PowerSheets this month : ) 

My monthly PowerSheets goals for March:

I had a lot of goals for March, and after praying on them, I combined a few that worked well together. For instance, my afternoon Word refresh times. Instead of trying to do both the Lent study and memorizing scripture, I’m giving myself a choice each afternoon.

– Finish my final book edits.
– Prepare prayerfully for MTH and our family vacation at the end of the month.
– Celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary well. The traditional gift is steel (these materials always make me giggle!), so I’m considering either these collar stays stamped with Ari’s favorite Bible verses or getting us family bikes. These are far too pricey for us, but look how fun these are.
– Finish 2016 taxes.
– Hire our new team member/s!
– Blog posts: 1. Release my book cover (next week!!). 2. Build and blog my “Cultivated Calendar.” 3. Parts two and three of my Gardening 101 series.
– Celebrate Sarah’s birthday. She turned one on February 26th, but with the sickness in our house, we moved the celebration to this coming weekend.
– Celebrate Purim.
– Begin afternoon Word refresh times: Amen Paper Company Lent study + memorize good words for goal number 3 by putting the verses on index cards this month. I hope to do this for a few minutes each afternoon to close my work day.
– Take the next steps in garden planning, and decide on garden structures (we need a bench) and a final garden plan.
– Make changes now to switch to my homeschool work schedule starting in the early summer.
– Spring cleaning!

FullSizeRender-3Where I’m sitting right now as I finish this post and book edits this week! That lemon is almost ready to pick. : ) 

March weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends.
– Meaningful connection with Ari.
– Pray through my prayer journal.

March daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan
– #RunLiftPraise
– Eat more raw foods.
– Be active in my work day.

sarah-and-joshMy little monkeys today : ) 

Your turn! I’d love to hear: how are you feeling about February? Do you have goals for March? 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!

keep reading


  1. Alli on February 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I pushed my prep to this Friday, so I haven’t laid out my goals yet. Though I know they’ll include preparing for the spring consignment sale and something about prayer. I have a question about yours though, why did you put the afternoon Word refresh on the monthly instead of daily goals?

  2. Ronja on February 28, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Lara, I just loved ready through your goals. Thank you so much for sharing everything so openly. I’ve been “off” the whole goal setting and riding through yours gave me new ideas to work everything out in a better way, a more meaningful way. Leaning into this fresh energy. Thank you!
    xx Ronja

  3. Brianna on February 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I am so excited to keep up with your Gardening 101 series! I loved the first post, and it has inspired me to plant my own little container garden. 🙂

    A few of my goals:
    Monthly: finish my half-marathon training strong and injury-free and run my first race!!!
    Weekly: Intentional time with my husband
    Daily: keep up with my gratitude journal, social-media and Netflix-free evenings

    Praying for you as finish Cultivate – I cannot wait to read it! 🙂

  4. Kirsten Barber on February 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, so much goodness (minus the virus) to share. I love it! So excited for the Gardening 101 series. My apartment put in a community garden last year, so that was my first experience gardening. It was challenging for me, but so rewarding. Congratulations on your progress in February, especially with fitness. Your drive has helped me push myself forward in training for a 5K this year. And Happy birthday to little Sarah and both Emily T. and Emily L..!

    February was a whirlwind with my family, but with some support I was able to stay focused and still spent meaningful time with my husband, family and friends. We did our first Escape Room, which was extremely challenging, but fun. I definitely recommend it.

    In March I want to challenge myself to be more spontaneous and experience new things, whether it’s trying new food, going on hiking/beach day trips or hanging out with a friend last minute. As a planner, this may be slightly difficult, but it will help me move forward towards my goal of experiencing more with the people I love. I also want to reconnect with old friends to see how they are so I can encourage them throughout the year.

    Excited to see your March progress.

  5. India Hill on February 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I plan to work on my Powersheets today! One of my goals is to write every single day for March. Giving myself Grace with this, but it’s something I want to do along with fasting social media for certain hours for the day, so hopefully with that conviction and purpose it can work!

  6. Alaina on February 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    February felt rough! I started a new mood medication and the first few weeks were rough while it got in my system. I felt super unproductive, but going through my February tending list and reviewing my yearly goals I realized just how much progress I’ve made since the beginning of the year! Next month I’m going to try and work smarter, not harder. I’ve been pushing myself so hard, I want to work on having more grace. I’m changing a few little things, like having a weekly page count for reading and writing for school instead of a daily time constraint. I’m also trying to give myself permission to enjoy this beautiful earth God’s given us and to go outside more. At a doctor’s appointment this month, I found out I have a severe vitamin D deficiency and I feel like this was God giving me permission to take more walks and picnics! It’s not selfish to enjoy this beautiful beautiful planet we’ve got and put my work down for a bit, and next month I really want to live that truth.

  7. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on February 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Hi, Lara!
    So glad you are all feeling better! I always love reading your goal updates. 🙂 So excited to see that book cover of yours, too!

    March will be my first month of using the tending list in 2017. It took me a bit longer than usual to get all my goals crafted, but I am feeling so good about the slower little by little pace.

    Here are the goals I set for March:


    Finish New Testament Reading plan: Revelation
    Choose a one-year Bible reading plan
    Begin More Jesus Amen Paper Company Lent study
    Do my taxes
    Organize the desk in my office; start taking little by little steps to create an inspiring, creative, and organized work space
    Post at least one blog (and brainstorm a list of blog topics and ideas I’d like to explore in the coming months)
    Finish reading Awe (I’ve been terrible about finishing books lately. I start a bunch, only to put them down and never finish reading them…)
    Learn more about inductive Bible study (utilize resources from Kay Arthur and Soul Scripts) and create a color code that works well for my personal study in the Word
    Participate in The Balanced Life’s 21-Day Pilates Challenge to begin cultivating a fitness routine that works for me


    Prioritize meaningful and quality time with my boyfriend (weekly date nights, daily prayer, studying scripture together)
    Lift weights 2x a week
    One day of more in-depth and creative Bible study/journaling/color-coding/highlighting
    Groceries and healthy meal prep (hoping to get one to two meals prepped on Sundays, as well as healthy snacks and lunches ready to go for the week ahead)


    Choose Jesus time over Netflix time (giving up Netflix/Hulu on weeknights during Lent, with the exception of social gatherings)
    Prayer (utilize my Val Marie Paper prayer journals and the Prayers for the City guide my church is doing this Lenten season)
    Read the Word
    Drink more water
    Take a walk – intentionally step away from my desk to move and stretch
    Prep for the next day (lunch, snacks, work outfit ready to go)
    15 minutes of de-cluttering and cleaning at the end of each day

    • Marissa Dodgen on February 28, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Inductive studies have been so incredibly helpful. They absolutely helped me learn to study in a new way. So much so, I am even working on what I’m calling the little sister to precept style studies, lol.

  8. Emily on February 28, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I dropped the ball on my PowerSheets and missed January AND February prep/tending! OOPS!! But I’m starting fresh and treating March as my Jan. 1st 🙂 I’m using inspiration from my sorority’s creed for my goals, one of the lines from it is “To find dominant beauty in art, literature, nature and friendships.” More reading books, less screentime (unless I’m Facetiming out-of-state friends!!), more exploring nature or museums, less getting sucked into Facebook. Here’s hoping I can do it!!

    • Candace on March 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      I did the same thing too! Way to jump back on the wagon though, Emily – that’s an inspiration to me!

  9. Leslie MP on February 28, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Love seeing your goals. Motivates me to get mine done. Thank you so much for sharing! February has been more like spring than winter here, and so I’m feeling motivated to get things done. Love your gardening series; ready to get mine going. Thank you for all the inspiration (and the chance at the surprise package!).

  10. Elizabeth on February 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Love these goals! February was pretty great, but the short month always sneaks up on me–checked off some big ones for home maintenance and childcare organization. Looking so forward to March with practicing Lenten goals and also planning daughter’s first birthday celebrations!

  11. Sarah T on February 28, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I always love reading your posts and am glad you all are on the mend!!

    February was a month of good things and celebrations, but also a time to continue working through my grandmas passing in the end of January. Progress was made on goals though, and I’m looking forward to March!

    Some of my monthly March goals are to update the kids baby books, date with my hubby (first one since before our 4 month old was born!), sketch out garden plans, spring cleaning, read women of the word, finish CE credits.

    A few weekly is intentional time with each of the kids, limited screen time, family game night, sabbath.

    And a few daily – pray, workout and refresh.

    Here’s to sunshine and a new season!!

  12. Danielle Hoke on February 28, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I love reading your words, Lara, and feeling encouraged and motivated through them.
    February was a really weird month for us. An event through us for a loop the very first week and from there some things were just off. The majority of my goals did not get accomplished, but most of my daily goals were completed so that’s a plus! I was able to wake up before the kids to get some time for myself, drink at least 32oz of a water a day, read my youversion bible plan every day (the most consistent I’ve ever been with bible reading!) and read every day. I’m giving myself quite a bit of grace for the unaccomplished weekly/monthly goals though and taking the next month to reevaluate them. So far in March my goals include: Planning our anniversary date! Start preparing an area for a garden behind the house, reading another book, finding time weekly to refresh and take care of myself, try something new every week, pray with my kids every week, and then carry over my daily goals from last month as well as stick to a healthy eating plan and work out every day. I’m feeling ready to tackle this next month!!

  13. hope on February 28, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    In February I have actually met goals spiritually & physically! The Lord has really shown me that He can turn discipline into desire & duty into delight! (wording from Kelly Minter’s study of 2 Corinthians). I’m so grateful & look forward to continuing the momentum into March. I’m looking for a 40 reading plan of the Gospels to read during Lent & doing a decluttering challenge of donating 40 bags in 40 days!

  14. elisabeth on March 1, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Hi Lara,

    This is my first year using PowerSheets and I love them! I haven’t been doing too well on my monthly goals and only okay on my weekly goals but definitely seeing some good progress on my daily goals.
    Just finished the refresh today and now am re-energized, re-committed and looking forward to outlining my March goals tomorrow.
    Love the progress bar and all the encouragement from you and your team that little by little progress adds up!

    Thanks for all you do!

  15. Courtney on March 1, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Hi Lara!! I am so in love with your Gardening 101 series. I am a green thumb wannabe. We live on a cattle farm and every year we plant a HUGE garden. It always turns out ok, but I don’t love the process and I want to love the process.

    Some goals for March:
    1. Get everything prepped and ready to move in to our NEW HOME!!
    2. Start seeds indoors for above-mentioned garden.
    3. Continue daily Bible study with the Lent She Reads Truth plan.

    Let’s do this 🙂

  16. Candace on March 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Some of my goals for March are to buy a desk so that I can sit and have my own space for thinking and writing and creating (your post on writing was such an inspiration to me!). I’m also going to finalize some redecorating of my house, I’ve struggled a lot with discontent in the place Lord has me right now but it’s a wonder what a little love and intention does for my walls and for my perspective! I’m also doing a lot of digging deep with goalsetting with my husband, something the two of us haven’t worked on together in this intensive of a way before. It’s time-consuming to have all those conversations but we are finding out who we are in the Lord and what he wants for us, and we can’t get past how important that is and how much we need it right now! Lastly I was also inspired by your gardening post and as soon as I started talking through it with my husband we were out in the yard together planning a big raised bed. I’ve never been much of a Gardner before but I think I’m going to do this!

  17. Nicole C. on March 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Lara! This powersheets process has been life changing and business changing for my husband and I and our goals. I am beyond grateful it almost makes me tear up just thinking about it!!

    February went well, not perfect, but really great for a lot of reasons. Lost 5lbs, finished refinishing my desk/ofice space, hit a HUGE goal in our business as of last night, got taxes done, developed some much better personal daily habits, and all of it helped me have some focus and clarity for the things that really matter in march. I’m over the moon and am not stopping yet!

    I have more on March than last month, but it’s more focused to one overall goal, so that feels right.

    I’m so excited, already starting to make some progress. Again thank you so much for what you do!!!

  18. Lisa Stapert on March 2, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I don’t know if it will help you but it helped me- I use Todoist to help me with scripture memorization. It uses the Charlotte (can’t remember her last name) method but modified so it’s on my phone wherever I go instead of index cards. Instead of a task, put the whole scripture (so “John c3v16: For God so loved the world…”) and type “every day”. It will remind you daily of it. Once you memorize it, delete all but maybe the first word or two (so “John c3v16 For God”) and change the tag to “every other day”. (Add another scripture for daily.) Once you have two memorized, you’ll have two on “every other day” (one odd days one even days) and a new daily. Then add another. Change the oldest to “every Monday”. When you have all 7 days of the week change the oldest to “every 1st”. Then the next oldest would change to “every 2nd”.

    • Lara on March 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      This is such a great tip!! I’m going to give this a try and add them to my to-do app as recurring items. Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. Michelle on March 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Lara! Thanks so much for sharing where you are. I particularly enjoyed the two articles you shared on Sabbath! I’ve been curious for a while about what Jesus meant when he said he didn’t abolish the law but came to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17-18). I’m excited to dig into Sabbath!

    I definitely need a fresh start this month, and the only goal I have is to love God fully and grow closer to him. I tend to get so into a self-centered schedule that I miss the loving part and pretend to cover it up with knowing about him. For me this looks like setting aside the human assumptions I make about God every day, and to keep building discipline across my habits (prayer, in my thoughts, exercise, doing my dishes, you name it!)

    Happy March!

  20. Kay on March 3, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    OK_ How happy am I that 2018 PowerSheets are in the works! And thank you for the chronological Bible study! Will definitely look into that.

    Now for my monthly goals:
    I am preparing for my son’s wedding. The wedding itself is a destination wedding, so I’m not doing anything for that. (Mother-of-groom- Yes, I feel left out!) HOWEVER- I am having a reception here for those friends and family who are not going to wedding (only 30 people invited to actual wedding) My monthly goals address the reception:
    Order/Address invitations
    Get addresses from Linds
    Get stamps
    Mail invitations
    Then other monthly goals are:
    Write/Call Eric and Cathy
    Write/Call Anne-Claire
    Finish end-of-hall closet
    Bake pan closet

    Weekly goals are as follows:
    Write/call (different folks each week)


    I am back on Whole30- LOVE this eating plan. I CANNOT believe how GOOD I feel when I stay on this. My question is why in the world would I ever get off this plan??? Answer- cuz I like pizza, that’s why!!! But I need to lose 25# before 13 May.
    The key to this plan is the planning- I do my menu prep and food prep each week. Next week breakfast is pretty boring- Scrambled eggs, compliant bacon, and fruit
    Lunch is a bit more exciting: Spaghetti made with spaghetti squash and fruit. My dinners each night are varied: boiled shrimp a couple of nights, steak, salad a couple of nights, baked chicken with broccoli/cauliflower a couple of nights. Dessert is fruit!!! Planning and portion control- here I come!

    I go to the gym daily but find that after weight training, I was too tired to do cardio (so I told myself.) Now I KNOW I have to do cardio daily!!!

    Daily quiet time with GOD is a must and I too am doing the Amen Paper Company’s Lent devotional.

    I guess that’s all for me today. Keep it up, my girls!!! Love hearing from y’all…

  21. Sondra on March 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Showing gratitude and appreciation each day! I feel like I have a more cheerful and loving outlook on life when I acknowledge and show gratitude. I want to look people (especially) strangers in the eye and tell them thanks and howich I appreciate their small gestures. I bought a set of thank you cards and want to send two each week in the mail (also bought stamps) to people that have touched my life in the past. I want to tell my children and husband each day how thankful I am. Also, I am paying it forward with random acts of kindness each day: from a compliment to someone in my yoga class that I have never before spoke to, or to donuts for my husband. I wrote out a list of ideas. This goal will help not only me feel good but others around me.

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