Jan 2, 2013


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Hello, 2013! Or, as we say in our neck of the woods, howdy! Well, my 2013 didn’t start exactly like I thought it would. Grace decided to party like it was 1999 and make some molars after midnight on New Year’s Eve, so we got a blissful four hours of sleep. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty angry around 4am. I just got done with the flu and then it’s molar makin’ time. Ugh.
But, friends, something wonderful happened…

I remembered all the things that worked in 2012 and all the things that didn’t and it gave me great hope and an unexpected burst of energy. From past experience, I knew there was great possibility ahead and that difficult things in 2012 changed me for the better. So, I decided to take action and spent the entire day yesterday gutting the house for 2013. I’m glad y’all weren’t here with me because I probably would have Windexed you. I woke up really really tired of all the stuff in our lives and all the clutter that was holding me back. I played this song (my song right now!) really loud and literally gave away half of the clothes in my closet and simplified so much of our lives here in one day. Less stuff = less to clean up every day. Less stuff = more to fully appreciate. Less clutter = a simplified life. I conquered our bedroom, closets, bathroom and the kitchen so far. The attic and my office are next. My vision for my life became very clear after doing steps 1-3 and it’s really hard NOT to act on things when you find clarity.

Another amazing copper print above from Amber Moon.

While I sorted about 20 drawers full of loose pennies and paperclips, I thought long and hard about Steps 4-6:

STEP 4: What are the three biggest things you learned from what DID work?

I particularly loved Emily Thomas’ answers to this in the comments (second comment). I share those same sentiments for both lists. To add to that, here is what I learned from what did work (and I wrote these as notes to self):

1. “Bad” things will happen in life and God is right there in those challenging times, refining your heart and make you more like Him. That is a very good thing. You will be able to experience deeper joy because of the challenging things that crack your heart wide open. Welcome the challenges prayerfully and with trust. God is good. All the time.

2. God will never ever ever lead you astray. Time with Him is always life-changing and good for you and everyone in your life. Time with God is never unproductive. What is unproductive is when you try to do everything on your own. That leads you in circles.

3. You are on the right path.

STEP 5: What are the three biggest things you learned from what DIDN’T work?

1. Worry and stress got you nowhere and just wasted a whole lot of time.

2. Busy is the opposite of happy. Too many projects spreads you thin. Slow down. Don’t plan so much this year. Do less and do it very well, with great passion.

3. My favorite Bible verse: He who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. – James 4:17 Work hard at doing good always. Humble yourself. Give your authentic heart to the people right in front of you.

STEP 6: DO more of what fires you up and then write out your 2013 Vision.

I closed my computer after writing the last post and was so fired up! I did what I said I would do and physically did some of the things that fire me up… laughing with Grace, loving on Ari, singing and dancing in the kitchen, praying, reading the Bible, encouraging my mom, etc. I found myself enjoying laughter more and savoring moments in a new deeper way. I also read my lists to Ari to encourage him. He was amazed at how much has changed. Little light bulbs started to go off. I started to see my 2013 Vision slowly unfold.

Another word of caution about this process – it’s a process. This isn’t about having the perfect answer right away and it’s OK to change your mind about something! So, my 2013 Vision is a work in progress. The goal is for your LIFE Vision to become clearer with every day you are on this earth. Refine it. Act on it. Try new things. Get rid of old things. I encourage you to revisit your 2013 Vision often and refine it.

Click the image above to download a free printable for your 2013 Vision! I’m printing mine for my desk so I have it in front of me always.

I asked myself all of these questions first:

– Where do you want to be when you are 80? Alive, healthy, a faithful active servant of God, knowledgable about the Bible so I can share it with others, having given everything away for others, someone who teaches people about God through my actions.

– Why do you do what you do? Because, through my life experience, I have come to believe that you do not have to sacrifice what matters to make big things happen. You have to get your heart in the right place and make what matters happen. That is why I do consulting and branding. I want people to have businesses that serve their lives, not the other way around. That is why I love what we do with Southern Weddings. Because I want couples to have marriages that thrive on the good stuff – joy and giving and family… and biscuits : ).

– What kind of life do you want to live this year? One that serves and gives and that has a Heaven-bound perspective. A life where I am physically and spiritually strong (same thing in my mind) in order to serve others faithfully and create lots of positive good in the world.

MY VISION FOR 2013: Humble, strong, quick to listen and slow to speak, colorful, purposeful, clear. I will work hard with my hands for God’s purpose. I see a life with more solitude and joy, new friendships and deeper relationships with those I love. My vision for 2013 is to serve others in as many ways as possible. My 2013 vision is to be a light.

Ready for the next steps? I am!

STEP 7: Here’s where things get fun. You now know what did work in 2012, what didn’t work and what fires you up. You learned some very valuable lessons in all of this. You are starting to see the bigger picture and have a VISION for your year ahead. So, what is NOT in that vision?

Make a list of all of the things that are holding you back (or could potentially hold you back) from making this vision coming to life this year. Make your list of 20 things you are saying NO to in 2013. I encourage you to share them here.

STEP 8: With everything you have written down thus far in mind (I suggest reading over all of your progress again), what are you going to need to say YES to more often in order to make your vision come to life?

Dream big here and write down the things you are afraid to dive into too. There is great potential hiding in your fear. I encourage you to list your 20 things you are saying YES to here in the comments to help inspire others and to keep yourself accountable. I think you will all likely NOT be writing Facebook or more social media on this list. Just a guess.

A bonus step before we move on to the final steps tomorrow… pick a word for 2013. Do this after you finish steps 1-8. What one word really resonates with you for the coming year? I’ll share my word and my progress on Step 7 and 8 tomorrow. Also, in case you are wondering, the MAKING THINGS HAPPEN part of this series will come after we’re done with all 10 Goal Setting Steps. You better believe we’re going to put some of this in action together! THAT I am very excited about. Let’s do this!


  1. Rhiannon on January 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Yes yes yes!!!

  2. Rhiannon on January 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Things I am Saying YES To!

    1. More alone time with my husband
    2. More weddings that make me happy
    3. Being proud of my floralizing skills!
    4. Logging off of facebook at 5:00 pm
    5. A healthier more active lifestyle
    6. A savings account I am proud of
    7. More visits home to see my family
    8. More nightly entries in my journal
    9. More visits to the bookstore to read
    10. More letters, cards and notes via mail
    11. Meal planning and eating balanced meals
    12. I’d like to say yes to more dancing out.
    13. I’d also like to say yes to making out more.
    14. Yes, yes, yes to focusing on what MATTERS.
    15. Yes to making my bed every morning
    16. Yes to being proud to wear my bikini
    17. Yes to having the best yard/garden on the block!
    18. Yes to finding my faith and my husband’s too
    19. A big yes to embracing my talents and gifts
    20. And a big final yes to letting go of negativity.

    My word? Purposeful.

  3. @weddingrep on January 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    GOAL SETTING + MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013, PART 3: Hello, 2013! Or, as we say in our neck of the woods, howdy!… https://t.co/HH70gMPz

  4. Jessica on January 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This is great! In random order, I’m saying yes to:
    1. Music in my office
    2. Being intentional with my work each day-not just sitting down with no sense of where to start.
    3. Downloading at night
    4. Date night-scheduled, babysitters booked, no more excuses
    5. Approach everything (even the tough situations) with compassion
    6. Working with others
    7. Meeting others when I’m scared they won’t take me seriously
    8. Closing Facebook at 7 p.m.
    9. Taking time to plan my blog schedule
    10. The gym
    11. 5-minute clean-up every single night
    12. Declutter-get rid of things we just don’t need or use
    13. Inviting friends over to our messy house casually-for dinner, for coffee, for anything-no effort, just friendship (I need to let go of my perfectionist ways when it comes to hosting)
    14. Admitting to myself and others than I am a photographer and a writer and a blogger and an event planner and it works for me.
    15. Encouraging others
    16. Thanking those who have helped me
    17. Honest humble blog posts including one about the baby blues that I have been thinking about for nearly two years
    18. Hugging and kissing my husband every single time he walks in the door. It’s too easy to just go about our business when we have an active toddler.
    19. Treating myself with compassion-don’t be harder on myself than I would with others.
    20. Forgiving and apologizing

  5. Monica T Smith on January 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    What I am saying yes to:
    1. exercise – dancing and walking
    2. weight loss
    3. healthy delicious food choices
    4. financial freedom – no more debt!
    5. time freedom and flexibility
    6. healthy, supportive relationships
    7. joy
    8. Jesus!
    9. beauty – being surrounded by it
    10. beauty – creating it through events, books and devotionals that honor women
    11. travel
    12. speaking,teaching, coaching that transforms
    13. writing words that transform
    14. new wardrobe and style
    15. to reading my amazon.com wishlist
    16. more giving of money and time
    17. going back to school and earn my MDIV
    18. being broken/wrecked by God
    19. being available for Him to use
    20. FINALLY living, doing, and being my mission statement (for life and business) to educate, edify, encourage and empower women of all ages as they discover, embrace and celebrate who they are and are becoming in Christ.

    My word for 2013 is “new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

    What I am saying no to: fat, unbelief, despair, debt and 0 financial margin, comparison and living vicariously through others, giving up my plans to take care of someone else’s responsibilities so they can pursue their dreams, fear and paralysis from it, worrying about disappointing or meeting someone else’s expectations. It’s time for a new life in Christ!

  6. Erika Delgado on January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I was so looking forward to this! Yipee!!! Thank you Lara 🙂

    1. fear
    2. selfishness
    3. biting my nails
    4. worrying
    5. unproductive moments
    6. working in my home office past 6pm
    7. phone calls and text messages from clients past 6pm
    8. sweet treats late at night
    9. shopping for clothes or things I don’t need
    10. frustration
    11. impatience
    12. fast food
    13. E-mails on Mondays
    14. Laundry while I am on my work hours at home.
    15. My phone and internet while I edit photos and blog
    16. to speaking or reacting without thinking
    17. being bossy
    18. clutter or holding on to things that I don’t need
    19. sleeping in past 8am
    20. temptation or anything that Jesus wouldn’t do…

    1. trusting God
    2. loving Flynn
    3. attending church
    4. loving my family, calling them and spending time with them
    5. taking chances
    6. reading the word and books that I want to read before I go to sleep and in the morning
    7. Journaling in the mornings
    8. plant seeds, talk to others about God’s love and His perfect promises.
    9. prayer / meditation
    10. yoga / exercise
    11. to time with myself, time in solitude
    12. blogging / writing / expression
    13. doing more crafting and creating
    14. spending time with nature, going on walks outside
    15. singing more
    16. volunteering for my church, to help others. But to physically go and help someone… be there, use my hands, listen, care.
    17. cooking healthy meals at home – consisting of lots of veggies. YES to jucing as well.
    18. driving my mom to her treatments and to lunch before.
    19. calling my mother –in-law to be more often. calling my grandma more often
    20. Saving money!

    MY word for 2013: GROWTH

  7. Mollie on January 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I’m loving this so much!

    My No/Yes list:
    1. No to turning inward too much (I am an introvert), yes to putting myself out there (personally and professionally)
    2. No to being anti-social, yes to social invitations
    3. No to eating crap, yes to buying groceries and actually using them
    4. No to overspending on unnecessary items, yes to conscious spending
    5. No to being consumed with worry, yes to knowing my life is in God’s hands
    6. No to laziness, yes to REAL rest
    7. No to a poor work/life balance, yes to leaving work at work
    8. No to TV being the highlight of my week, yes to reading more
    9. No to the overuse and abuse of social media, yes to social media breaks
    10. No to dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, yes to being present.
    11. No to excuses for not working out, yes to exercising regularly
    12. No to letting my emotions get the best of me, yes to acknowledging emotions and dealing with them appropriately
    13. No to feeling lonely, yes to knowing I am significant
    14. No to a poor sleep schedule, yes to waking up and embracing the new day
    15. No to my nerves, yes to courage
    16. No to procrastination, yes to GETTING IT DONE
    17. No to so much Diet Coke, yes to more water
    18. No to perfection, yes to grace (Thanks, Emily Ley!)
    19. No to a messy house/desk/life, yes to uncluttering and simplifying
    20. No to negativity, yes to positivity

    My word for 2013: BRAVE.

    • Emma on January 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Mollie, Are you reading my MIND?? 🙂 I seriously feel like you just wrote my list for me. I think we are the same person 😉

  8. Jennifer on January 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Always a work in progress. I feel like I’ll end up with way more than 20 on each list…but here are a few from each side (yes and no) that jump off the page:
    NO! {debt, neglecting my health for work, meat :), working around the clock, wasting time online, phone after 6:00pm for work, frivolous spending, using my inbox as my to do list…tidy up!, Pinterest in bed…read!}
    YES!! {laughing daily, snuggling with Aslan and Jeremy, bubble baths to relax, donating regularly, yoga, DIY projects (like painting furniture), church on Sundays, date nights, giving thanks all day…not just in my nightly prayers, photo shoots, more publishing opportunities, networking events, more handwritten thank you notes, redecorating our studio, reading 6 books, sticking to and always evolving my 2013 Vision Board!}

    I’m going to have to let my brain marinate on my word for 2013. See y’all back here tomorrow! Good luck everyone. 🙂

  9. Ziza on January 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    A YES for:

    1. Believing His promises are for me.
    2. Positivity – what goes in & what comes out of my heart.
    3. 3 minutes (at least) of intentional prayer a day.
    4. Limiting social media.
    5. Giving my husband massages (instead of always asking him for them)
    6. Camping! Loving creation.
    7. Drinking more water.
    8. Seriously gutting my closet.
    9. Keeping my car & trunk clean.
    10. Getting those pretty cookbooks messy from use.
    11. Patience – with business, husband, self.
    12. Reading before bed vs TV before bed.
    13. Really listening.
    14. Zeroing off the credit card.
    15. Rejoicing – small & big.
    16. Writing stories.
    17. Active rest.
    18. Letting my husband decide.
    19. Encouraging the gifts in others.
    20. Savoring silence.

    Word of the year: Authenticity.

  10. Tiffany on January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    In 2013 I am saying NO to feeling unfulfilled, sleepless nights, financial anxiety, selfish mindsets, and putting anything before God. In 2013 I am saying YES to spending time with God everyday before anything else is on my plate, eating and poking healthy recipes, making the gym and my new love for spinning class a priority in my busy schedule because I love how I feel after, decluttering my workspace, home space, and everything in between! Turning social media notifications off of my phone so I can focus, be present, and be productive. Writing letters to my friends and family more. Signing up for a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class to learn how to get debt free! Journal more! Read more! Live more!

  11. jaqueline faria on January 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    The whole time I was writing my list I kept thing about something I’ve read over and over on your blogs, “saying no to one thing means saying yes to another.” ( I hope I got that right) I kept thinking about what it would mean to say no to the distractions in my life (facebook, twitter and tv) or saying no to worry and fear and how all these no’s would shape the rest of my life the yeses in my life. Would refine my focus in life.In 2013 I’m saying no to
    4.distractions (tv, facebook, twitter, instagram etc)
    5.eating out
    6.excuses, excuses, excuses
    7.self loathing and self doubting
    8.friviouls spending
    9. selfishness
    10. sugar (sweets and cakes)
    11. procastination
    12. being undecisive
    13. living in what if’s and could have’s
    14. being over controling
    15. overplanning, without action
    16. comparing
    17. need for approval and assurance from others
    18. becoming overwhelemd by what doesn’t matter.
    I’m saying yes
    1. god (trusting him) (spending alone time with him and his word)
    2. family time
    3. doing the things that fire me up
    4. being Independant and dependant on myself.
    5. traveling
    6. facing fears, and taking risks
    7. living outside my comfort zone.
    8. reading more
    9. deciding and committing
    10. being more active… more running, more yoga more gym (they help me feel good about myself and not dwell in negativity)
    11. home cooked dinners
    12. gratitude
    13. writing & blogging
    14. accepting change
    15. budgeting
    16. acting (on my fears, my decisions, my desires. on the things I want to do with my life)
    17. downloading and decluttering and simplifying the way I live.
    18. making friends
    19. documenting more of my life, with photos and words.
    20. making photography happen this year.
    My word for the year is ACT!

  12. Brandie on January 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    In 2013 I’m saying no to worry, fear, depression, standing still and a whole lot more. I’m saying yes to confidence, hard work, vision, love, friendship, family and making it happen. my word for the year is Soar♥ I am launching a new blog and I think I may share all of this there too if you don’t mind Lara:)

  13. Lauren on January 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Been looking forward to this post all day! I showed this post to my guy last night and it sparked such a good conversation. He’s doing it now too. Thank you! Sharing a few of my lessons below. Thank you for helping me start the year off right!

    Step four: What are the three biggest lessons you learned from what DID work
    1 – why would He trust you with more when you’ve not content with what He’s already given you have – being grateful, everyday, for everything, brings me peace and contentment
    2 – taking care of myself (eating well, being active, getting enough sleep, taking time to relax) positively affects every area of my life
    3 – staying connected with friends and family fulfills me

    Step five: What are the three biggest things you learned from what DIDN’T work
    1 – my mood should not dictate my manners
    2 – taking a bit of extra time to stay organized and get focused saves me loads more time in the future
    3 – I can’t let my fears and worries hold me back

  14. Kailey-Michelle on January 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Prepping myself to start Acting on some hard decisions | saying no to something’s means saying yes to the things that really matter! This year, I will say YES to …
    1. Walking in Love 
    2. Actively seeking opportunities to give back and perform random acts of kindness 
    3. Becoming a mature Christian, who offers themselves to God as a servant, rather than focusing in what God can do for me
    4. Seeking personal humility 
    5. Trusting God with every decision and seeking his guidance with every decision 
    6. Finding the balance between ambition and contentment 
    7. Celebrating how far I’ve come, rather than focusing on how far I need to go 
    8. Living real life in the moment Without thinking about all I need to do later 
    9. walking away when I hit a wall 
    10. Setting proper work hours and boundaries with my clients 
    11. More me/friends/family time 
    12. Managing a work and family budget 
    13. More mini-vacations and a few extended ones, unplugged to regroup and refocus 
    14. Entertaining in my home
    15. Daily quiet time with God 
    16. Date nights and cooking with my hubby 
    17. Saying yes to only what matters 
    18. Listening more than talking 
    19. Weekends with no plans / taking the days as they come 
    20. New friendships and new experiences 

  15. Mary on January 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    What am I going to say NO to in 2013?

    Saying no to things I CAN have but don’t WANT
    Putting too much on my plate at the same time

    What am I going to say YES to in 2013?

    Focusing on my own talents and learning, not anyone else’s
    Physical health… I’m thinking more Pilates and juicing!
    Caring for myself long term
    Home-cooked meals for myself and for Mike!
    Adventures with Mike
    Hikes with my dog Bear
    Giving back — More time with the BARK pups
    Being crafty
    More salads.. let’s just say more living food in general!

    What’s my one word for 2013? Simplify!
    So excited to be sharing all this at https://www.marymaier.com/blog/ready-to-jump-into-2013-part-2/ !

  16. Wendi Solari on January 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I haven’t been able to pick my word for 2013 yet. I need to pray on that one some more. Here’s what I have for Step 7 and 8:

    IN 2013 I AM SAYING NO TO…
    1. Event photography
    2. 365 photography projects
    3. Too little sleep
    4. Being stressed and irritable due to my own actions
    5. Quick temper
    6. Feeling guilty for my blessings or financial gains
    7. Clients that don’t want what I have to offer
    8. Copying other people’s work at a client’s request
    9. Low self-confidence
    10. Comparing myself to others – I am my own gage
    11. Being distracted my meaningless things like FB and negativity
    12. Being sucked into other’s misery – I can be compassionate without taking on their problems
    13. Drama
    14. Unnecessary stress caused by others
    15. Being a bystander in my own life
    16. Being stagnant in my creativity
    17. Living according to other’s expectations
    18. Living with other’s definition of perfection
    19. Eating off schedule {and blood-sugar crashing}
    20. Overcommitting my time
    21. Giving photo sessions away for raffles, prizes, + auctions
    22. Emotional energy suckers {people, situations, stresses}

    1. Creating at least every other day
    2. Keep a clean + organized house + office | creating a cleaning calendar
    3. Photographing more many newborns
    4. Doing documentary birth photography
    5. Illustrating + hand-lettering
    6. Creating letterpress prints
    7. Painting | working on technique
    8. Shooting for fun | personal projects
    9. Blogging on a schedule
    10. Getting PLENTY of sleep every night
    11. Collaborating + writing with Joe
    12. Finishing some stories
    13. Doing things that will get me lean {run, hike, hills, weights, circuits, adding beans…keep it fun}
    14. Breaking my addiction to sugar
    15. Earn money to put towards branding/revamping
    16. Finish degree: English + Design {figure out funding}
    17. Being charitable
    18. Donating platelets at City of Hope at least once a month
    19. Volunteering at Habitat For Humanity or the like
    20. Volunteering in Finley’s classroom when she starts Kindergarten
    21. Continue volunteering in Piper’s classroom
    22. Staying off social media during weekends
    23. Only checking email for work-related content once in the morning + once at night on weekends
    24. Waking to a soothing alarm clock and not my phone
    25. Charging my phone in the kitchen at night {not by my bed}
    26. Playing more guitar + piano
    28. Doing another half marathon
    29. Finding a way to tap into my big dreams + getting them on paper
    30. Travel photography
    31. Feeling the fear and doing [it] anyway | figuring [it] out
    32. Eliminating my own excuses
    33. Get to know Joe again + better

  17. Hannah Elizabeth on January 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I just caught up and finished step 7 and 8 (and I am no longer being a lurker!). I am saying yes to:
    • condensing amount spent on internet/social media
    • time with jesus every morning
    • opening windows/fresh air
    • waking up and bed time discipline
    • staying on school work timely (in college)
    • preparing for my weeks on Sunday (clean laundry, groceries, school work, etc)
    • quality time with friends
    • laughter
    • taking more personal photos
    • encouraging others around me
    • lighting candles
    • laying out clothes before bed
    • serving at church using photography
    • speaking life over all situations rather than negativity
    My word for the year is AWAKEN! Arising from “sleeping” my life away. Allowing myself to go through the motions without gaining any control over my life. Time to wake up and produce fruit and growth in my life and be the woman God has designed me to be!

    Thank you for posting this challenge. It is changing lives all over the world!

  18. Jessica Chavez on January 3, 2013 at 1:07 am

    STEP 7
    I’m saying NO to…
    1. Being on social media on weekends
    2. Negative thoughts of failure
    3. Being afraid to try
    4. Worrying
    5. Working late at nights
    6. Indiscipline
    7. Sleeping in past 8 am!
    8. Staying awake late at night doing nothing
    9. Procrastination
    10. Perfection
    11. Anxiety over being single (this is a tough one to admit)
    12. Excuses
    13. Wishing ‘what if’
    14. Comparing myself to others
    15. Feeling defeated
    16. Trying to control the incontrollable
    17. Wishing my life was different
    18. Staying in so much
    19. Messy spaces
    20. Putting anything before God.

    STEP 8
    I am saying YES to…
    1. Being present when I’m around people
    2. God’s truth and promises
    3. Courage and trying new things even if I fail
    4. Trusting God on ANYTHING
    5. Having a schedule and keeping it
    6. Early mornings
    7. Working out / Exercising
    8. Being proactive
    9. Organized spaces
    10. GRACE!
    11. Reading
    12. Journaling and studying the Bible
    13. Dance parties
    14. Writing / blogging
    15. Baking
    16. Saving to pay debts
    17. Embracing the girl God has created me to be
    18. Limiting social media
    19. Spending time with my friends
    20. Having dates with my mom

    WORD for 2013 THRIVE!!

  19. ChristinH on January 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Thank you so much, Lara! This was such an exciting list to create. It really fired me up! I can’t wait to see how God works in everyone’s lives this year. Great things are to come!

    I’m SAYING NO to:
    1. Facebook
    2. Comparing myself to others
    3. Worry! no, no, no!
    4. Fast food
    5. Sodas
    6. Delaying uncomfortable interactions
    7. Gossip
    8. Holding grudges
    9. Control, micro managing
    10. Curse words
    11. Wearing t-shirts all the time
    12. Projects that are not important/don’t matter
    13. Perceived judgment by others (it’s really self-judgment)
    14. Self-doubt
    15. Cell phones on date night
    16. Bad-a-tude
    17. Guilt
    18. Watching too much TV
    19. Discontent with the current moment
    20. Selfishness

    I’m SAYING YES to:
    1. Quality one-on-one time with my husband
    2. Half-marathon training
    3. Eating healthy
    4. Drinking lots of water
    5. Being in God’s Word every single day
    6. Church attendance/community group
    7. Doing NEW things
    8. Connecting with old friends
    9. Making new Christian friends
    10. Spending more time with the in-laws
    11. Saving money
    12. Tithe-ing regularly
    13. Putting others first
    14. Reading books for fun
    15. Music! Singing in the car, in the kitchen, everywhere
    16. New, fun Date Nights with my hubby
    17. Scheduling specific time to focus just on work.
    18. Praying for my husband
    19. Memorizing scripture
    20. Laughter!

  20. ChristinH on January 3, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Thank you so much, Lara! I’m was so excited to make these lists. It truly fired me up about my vision for 2013! I can’t wait to see how God will work in everyone’s lives this year. Great things are coming!

    I’m SAYING NO to:
    1. Facebook
    2. Comparing myself to others
    3. Worry! no, no, no!
    4. Fast food
    5. Sodas
    6. Delaying unwanted/tough interactions
    7. Gossip
    8. Holding grudges
    9. Control, micro managing
    10. Curse words
    11. Wearing t-shirts too often
    12. Projects that are not important to me and take away from what matters
    13. Perceived judgment by others (really self-judgment)
    14. Self-doubt
    15. Cell phones on date night
    16. Bad-a-tude
    17. Guilt
    18. TV time
    19. Discontent in the current moment
    20. Selfishness

    I’m SAYING YES to:
    1. Quality one-on-one time with my husband
    2. Being in God’s Word daily
    3. Half-marathon training
    4. Eating healthy
    5. Drinking lots of water
    6. Church attendance/joining a community group
    7. Doing NEW things
    8. Connecting with old friends
    9. Making new Christian friends
    10. Spending more time with my in-laws
    11. Saving for the future
    12. tithe-ing
    13. Putting others first
    14. Reading books for fun
    15. Music! Listening, singing, anywhere and everywhere!
    16. Fun, new date night outings with my hubby
    17. Scheduling work time to maintain work/life balance
    18. Praying for my husband and our family
    19. Memorizing scripture
    20. Laughter!

    Thinking of a word for my vision for 2013 was difficult because I was torn between two but I’m going with: BOLD!

  21. Kelly on January 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I am saying YES to…

    one in, one out
    cleaning up after myself
    going on walks
    saving money to go on a vacation
    a live tree in our house
    doing all things through God
    honest business
    taking risks
    being dependable!
    more prayer for others
    reading scripture
    using my time purposefully

    Working on my word with my husband this weekend!!!! 🙂

  22. Rachel Moger on January 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Saying YES!

    1.Praying without ceasing.
    2.Keeping a clean, organized and simple home.
    3.Spending time with people who build me up.
    4.Telling the people I love THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU more often.
    5.Spending more time with my grandparents.
    6.Eating cleaner, more vegatables.
    7.Drinking more water.
    8.Monthly budget meetings.
    9.Date nights with my husband.
    10.More sleep.
    11.More yoga.
    12.More vaccuuming!!!
    13.Reading books.
    14.Enjoying pregnancy.
    15.Welcoming a little boy into the world!
    16.Healthy mama, healthy baby
    17.Calling my mom more.
    18.Serving clients graciously.
    19.Designing from my heart and CORE.
    20.Focusing on my intention DAILY and giving myself more grace.

    Word of the year is lightness. Let my heart, my home, my mind be light. Releasing what’s heavy and burdening and accepting grace.

    Thanks, Lara. AMEN!

  23. Kristine Neeley on January 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    No to:

    spending all day on my phone
    spending all day on my computer
    huge piles of work (home/photography)
    cluttered spaces
    more stuff I don’t need

    yes to:
    laughing more
    smiling more
    logging off and shutting down
    true solitude
    following through
    thinking of others
    cleaning up as I go
    less screen time
    time outside
    pushing myself at Crossfit
    peace peace PEACE

    My word: focus.

  24. Ashley on January 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    This year, I’m saying YES to:
    1. More impromptu date nights with my husband
    2. More prayer
    3. An established exercise routine
    4. Giving time in service to others
    5. Being grateful and counting our blessings
    6. Simplifying our life
    7. Giving away things we don’t use or need
    8. Building relationships
    9. Going to bed on time
    10. Making healthy food choices
    11. More focused, productive working hours
    12. Fewer distractions when I’m home with my husband
    13. Becoming a better musician
    14. Taking time to rest and be inspired during the week
    15. More study of the Word
    16. Being honest and authentic in what I do
    17. Inspiring influences
    18. Reading for pleasure
    19. Encouraging others
    20. Resting in the security of GRACE (my word for 2013)

  25. Amy on January 3, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Saying NO to:
    1. Watching too much tv
    2. Spending money on things I don’t need
    3. Discounting my work and worth
    4. Spending most of my time on my business and not with family
    5. Unhealthy eating
    6. Skipping a time to be active over inactive
    7. Stubbornness
    8. Wasted time on the internet
    9. Distractions
    10. Sleeping in
    11. Being too busy
    12. Not getting dressed all day
    13. Skipping lunch
    14. Working 12 hour shifts
    15. More than 4 weddings a month
    16. Working outside my set limits
    17. Work immediatly after that baby is born
    18. Arguing
    19. Laziness
    20. Being late to church
    Saying YES to:
    1. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep (if possible)
    2. Stocking my pantry and fridge with healthy choices
    3. Pre make meals for easy cooking and quick choices
    4. Be active for at least 20 minutes each day
    5. Set out clothes the night before
    6. Remove distracting apps from the front of my phone
    7. Pray and read God’s word at breakfast
    8. Saying I Love You more
    9. Spending evenings with my husband
    10. Lighting candles
    11. Spending at least 2 hours a week in my craft room
    12. Always having a craft project going
    13. New adventures with my family
    14. Read a book
    15. Finances updated monthly
    16. Planting a garden
    17. Shooting more film
    18. Believing in myself
    19. Trusting God
    20. Making babies!!

    My word is ‘change’! Because a lot of that has to and will happen this year!

  26. Haley Smith on January 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I’ll stop lurking now…

    20 things i am saying YES to:
    healthy choices
    opening up
    early morning workouts
    trusting in God and his timing
    reading the Bible
    finding a church home
    accepting help
    positive self talk
    healthy relationships
    deepening friendships
    putting myself first
    being myself
    Progress over perfection
    pushing through instead of quitting
    believing in myself

  27. Megan Floyd on January 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    [Every time I’ve tried to comment on a blog post, it says I’m replying to a random other comment – this time it’s the most recent one, but it’s not always. It does that whether I click “Add Comment” or just head to the bottom to add a comment…]
    Lara! Your vision for 2013 brings to mind Psalm 90:17… I don’t remember which translation says it this way, but I love it: “Let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the works of our hands for us; yes, establish the works of our hands.” I love Psalm 90:12-17, and it fits with what you’re saying. Awesome. xoxo

    • Megan Floyd on January 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      PS – I still haven’t completely fleshed out my answers for all of the steps so far, but I know my word for 2013 is SANCTUARY. After the Watercolor weekend in 2010, knowing my one-word answers helped keep me focused for 2011 and 2012 – apparently God had already prepared my heart for some off-balance craziness, because my word for 2012 still fit in December, just in a different way than I had thought earlier, ha. Anyway, I had already been struggling with digging up root issues and one night a month or two ago, “sanctuary” popped into my head as what’s missing from how I feel about home and life. It’s been neat to reflect on that and see how it fits with bigger life goals that I already had. I’m excited to see how much progress we (Jonathan and I, with the kids
      ) make now that we have a goal we agree on. 🙂

  28. Alyse French on January 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Step Seven:

    Working after 5PM
    Speaking before thinking
    Unnecessary clutter
    Sleeping in past 8AM
    Neglecting my health
    The need for validation from others
    Unnecessary stress
    Thoughtless food choices
    Too much time in front of the computer
    The need to stay caught up on social media at all times
    Believing the enemy’s lies about who I am and who God is
    Sitting ALL the time
    Wearing yoga pants and t-shirts every. single. day.
    Taking on clients who aren’t a good fit
    Traveling long distances for weddings

    Step Eight:

    9AM-5PM office hours
    Social media breaks
    Making easy choices for my health (water, vitamins, etc.)
    Paying off our last debt (apart from our mortgage)
    Variety (in work environment, etc.)
    Music in the office
    Blogging my heart
    Finding a Bible study system that works
    Meal planning
    Making out more (via Rhi, haha!! XO!!)
    Maintaining a tidy home
    Accepting my body
    Regular random acts of kindness
    Singing more
    Encouraging others
    Submitting to my husband
    Being available for God to use

    My word for 2013: Purpose

  29. Genevieve on January 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    1)Daily Plan
    2)Setting a Budget
    3)Exercise buddy
    4)Live Food
    5)Attacking Piles in my home
    6)Clearing the clutter
    8)Putting my phone away when im on a project
    9)once a wk nature outing with daughter
    10)Once a moth join of local photo club
    11)Downloading High res Images for less Disc production
    12)Water with Lemon
    13)Alarm, to be more accountable for time
    14)Ending Multitasking
    15)Live food ie salads and sprouts & Locally grown
    16)Me time… Oils, meditation, journal
    17)Less lurking on FB, business social media and then shutting the app down.
    18)More DIY Pinterest projects
    19)Upgrading Camera Equipment by at least one new item in 2013
    20)finding a good tax person
    **Bonus Step**
    Awakening 🙂

  30. Danya on January 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    I’m saying NO to :
    Too much social media
    Negative thoughts/feelings
    Processed Foods
    The temptation to stay up late when I know I need rest

    & Saying YES to:
    More time with Jesus {reading the Bible cover to cover}
    More prayer & less talk about whatever it is that needs prayer
    More prayer over my dreams
    More prayer over my husband
    A good attitude and a happy/light heart
    More joy
    More grace
    More laughter
    More self exploration – trying new things
    More focus
    More confidence
    More worship
    Clean eating
    Good Sleep
    More yoga
    More “me” time
    More tea with girlfriends
    More date nights and love notes
    More cards to my sister
    More sunshine – less sitting indoors

  31. Alicia Swedenborg on January 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    love this! so going to buy a pretty pink glittery paper tomorrow and write all these down and hang it up on my wall!

    not in my vision:
    -being broke
    -stop trying new things
    -being afraid
    -everybody’s opinion except mine

    saying no to:
    -pleasing everybody
    -not being true to me because “that’s not what adults do” – spontaneous dancing and pink glitter have never ever killed anyone
    -not enjoying the moment
    -not daring
    -buying things i don’t really need
    -thinking to much
    -everyone else’s pace
    -reading number of calories on food items
    -people who drain my energy
    -clients who drain my energy
    -letting one bad thing ruin an entire day
    -always wanting more. and more. and more.
    -not being the only one who changes the toilette paper

    say yes to:
    -weird food i’ve never seen before
    -opportunity to visit places i’ve never heard about
    -eat food i never knew excited
    -giving something i don’t use anymore to someone else who will
    -personal work
    -more effective professional work
    -pink accessories
    -daring to say my opinon
    -being ok with not being loved by everyone
    -spending time with friends
    -eating what my body feels like
    -pleasing myself
    -having a granola bar in my purse so i always can be spontaneous
    -focus on the good things
    -being happy for the small achievements
    -using “my pleasure” often (because that mean someone thanked me for something nice i did for them)
    -fun, loving people who inspire my
    -hugs again (can’t get to many hugs)
    -visits to the gym


  32. Elizabeth Glessner on January 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Just now getting around to these steps, and I know I have SO much more to add to these lists this evening, but here’s what I’m saying NO to immediately!
    A big NO to:
    Being bound by money/debt
    Being in control
    Judging others – I don’t know their stories
    Time away from my husband that’s not benefitting either of us
    Not answering the phone for a friend
    Procrastination – it only leads to stress
    Trying to be someone else
    Trying to be everyone’s photography – I’m not
    Undervaluing myself and my work
    Anything that takes time away from my time with God
    Laziness – being lazy and relaxing/peace/calm are not the same
    Feelings of uncertainty about the future
    A “typical” marriage – I want an extraordinary one
    Feeling anything but love for those that matter most to me
    Busy work
    Social media on evenings/weekends
    Clutter – physical or mental

    I’m saying YES to:
    Letting God lead my life and relinquishing my need to control
    Morning quiet time (somebody PLEASE hold me accountable… I’ve really slacked on this)
    Really forgiving
    Being a light and a joy to others
    Helping people pursue their passions
    Gaining clients that turn into great friendships
    Encouraging clients in their marriages and setting an example for them
    Teaching others what I do know
    Developing a workshop for creative entrepreneurs (GULP! this has been on my heart for a LONG time and this is the first time I’ve put it in writing!)
    Praying more about having a baby and worrying less about what I think is the right timing
    Writing more (in my journal, on my blog, anywhere)
    Doing more for others
    Living within my means and giving the rest away
    Being open to the ideas that God has put in my heart and mind (Note to self: They aren’t too big to make them happen!)
    Being confident in my ability to book the right brides
    Being confident that God always provides (Note to self: why would you EVER question that He will? God has ALWAYS provided for me)
    Nourishing my friendships
    Being a more encouraging, loving wife
    Reading more
    Weekly date nights!
    Being silly more often – don’t take yourself so seriously
    Taking advantage of new opportunities – FACE THE FEAR
    Learning more (about photography, about business, about faith, about random things like sewing)
    Being adventurous in cooking
    Traveling more (you only live once!)

    My word for 2013 is JOY. Everything that I want for 2013 revolves around what bring me and everyone around me joy. The things that haven’t worked in the past are things that took away my joy.

  33. Karen Stott on January 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I’m saying NO to..
    dwelling on my mistakes
    Being busy for busy sake
    being on FB instead of God’s word
    industry pressure to be or do something that isn’t me
    quota… booking because I’m expected to
    fast food~ I want to cook more for my family
    40 hr work week ~ I want to work 15
    impulse buying ~ needless spending
    sugary treats
    getting online in the evening
    social media on the weekends
    being on my phone to much
    settling for less than God’s best

    I am saying YES to…
    reading the Bible every day
    praising God every day
    being thankful
    tea parties
    planning family adventures
    walking on the beach
    front porch talks
    more heart to hearts
    getting to bed earlier
    date nights with hubby
    dates with kiddos
    bike rides
    social media free weekends
    letting my husband lead
    trusting God
    dance parties
    finding a church
    encouraging others
    photographing for passion not profit
    kissing longer
    focusing on what matters
    spending time with my extended family

    My word for 2013 is FREE…

  34. Sara on January 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    What I am saying NO to in 2013

    1. Self doubt
    2. Bad self talk
    3. Letting other people define my day, week, month and self worth
    4. Social media at night, during work, and on weekends… so basically anytime ☺
    5. Clutter
    6. Wanting stuff instead of being content
    7. Sugar and Ben and Jerry’s… sorry boys you are so sweet but SOOO bad!
    8. Not taking time for myself
    9. Not asking for help
    10. Guilt, giving it and getting it
    11. Comparing myself to others
    12. Not taking action on my big dreams
    13. Thinking I am not worthy of good things
    14. Laziness
    15. Loosing my patients
    16. Stopping at the slightest sign of a roadblock
    17. Leaving the clothes in the laundry basket even after they are clean
    18. Clutter and dirt in my car
    19. Not having time with friends
    20. Not ridding horses

    Step 8
    What I am saying yes to in 2013

    1. Yes to God
    2. Yes to Aisle candy
    3. Yes to Bespkoed
    4. Yes to my Jar idea
    5. Yes to my Super 8
    6. Yes to a profit
    7. Yes to more time with my hubby talking… meaningful talk not a list of to do’s
    8. Yes to laughing
    9. Yes to working out
    10. Yes to eating raw and right
    11. Yes to a year of saving money
    12. Yes to relationships that lift me up
    13. Yes to failing, it means I tried!
    14. More dancing with the girls
    15. More traveling
    16. Close meaningful friendships
    17. Camping with the family
    18. Downloading every night before bed
    19. Laying out the next days clothes/meals/bags to make leaving smother
    20. Yes to embracing my creative side
    21. Trusting Gods gifts He gave me
    22. Yes to Patients and Understanding
    23. Yes to Loving life …. Grateful!!

    My word for 2013

  35. Kristy DeGraaf on January 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    20 things I will say NO to in 2013:

    1. Using the daycare as an excuse
    2. Mindless distractions (including facebook and phone games)
    3. Buying cheap toys, clothes just because they are on sale or something on a whim
    4. Clients that aren’t a good fit
    – Maybe part time clients?
    5. Phone in the car
    6. Worrying about what people think of me
    7. Being busy without purpose
    8. Procrastination
    9. New debt
    10. Clutter
    11. Piling papers
    12. “Window shopping” as a distraction
    13. Getting walked all over
    14. Dwelling on mistakes

    Things I will say YES to more often this year:

    1. Story time and snuggling at night with my kids
    2. Family Time
    3. Sincere Prayer
    4. Seeking answers in the scriptures
    5. Exercise
    6. Play time – on the floor, running around, outside, inside
    7. Joey
    8. New ideas
    9. Service
    10. Saying no when needed
    11. Playing the piano
    12. Music.
    13. Let’s do this! Even if it’s not perfect!
    14. Yoga

    In a word: Intention

  36. Shay Cochrane on January 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Still working though all of these steps slowly but surely! Also taking a break from Instagram this month = so helpful! You can see the full blog post on these steps here: https://shaycochranephotography.com/blog/2013/01/12/2013-intentional-living-part-3/

    But wanted to share it here as well:

    Step 4: What are the three biggest lessons that you learned from what did work?

    1. When I take the time and make the effort to be in the word, be in prayer and to be quieting myself to listen to what God is telling me I have more biblical (and helpful) wisdom and perspective about my life, my circumstances and about others.

    2. My relationships (Graham, Chloe and Vera, friends, extended family, church) are one of the most important things to me and I have made great strides and been very blessed to be cultivating meaningful and impacting relationships in these areas. This is what life is all about. This is what God has put me here to do – to connect meaningfully in these relationships and to work to bring some kind of helpful transformation in their lives (namely showing Christ).

    3. The more intentional I am in any area of my life, the better it is. Specifically, intentional time with Graham, intentional time working, intentional time with the girls, intentional time in the word…all of these lead to some of the more joyful, meaningful and productive times from 2012.

    Step 5: What are the three biggest things you learned from what didn’t work?

    1. My own bad attitude is one of the biggest detriments to my joy, growth and relationships. I need to be fervently asking God to change my heart while spending more time in the word, studying, meditating and memorizing for perspective change and for focus on what matters in this life.

    2. When I don’t have a plan I generally get way off course. I need to have a plan.

    3. I need to slow down. Do less of the unimportant things that keep me “busy”. Seek more intentional time of solitude and stillness before God in prayer. Learn to be still before God. Do the things that HE leads me to do and do them well because I am not spreading myself so thin this year. Focus on what matters. Say no to the things that God has not given me the grace to do right now. Be still. listen. learn.

    Step 6: What is my 2013 vision?

    Where do I want to be when I am 80?
    Healthy, joyful, full of wisdom and laughter and contentment and perspective. A source of wisdom. A blessing to my family. To have great meaningful relationships with all of my family and friends. To be a genuine blessing in their lives.

    Why do I do what I do?
    Because I firmly believe that God has made each of us with unique spiritual gifts, talents and very specific and individual “good works” that he has prepared in advance for us to do. If we have a good, creative, loving, all powerful God then that frees us to follow those passions/talents and gifts and that in doing so he will get the most glory and we will be the most satisfied in Him. We are called to love and interact deeply and intentionally with the people that God has brought across our path. My work as a photographer and teacher allows me to encourage, bring joy, connect and get to know, and then give and bless and transform someone’s life for the better. My work is about relationships, joy, encouragement, transparency, what’s real, and transforming/blessing/giving.

    What kind of life do I want to live this year?
    A life that is intentional, joyful, poured out – but not haphazardly – poured out into specific callings that God has put on my life. A life that is grounded in biblical wisdom and discretion. A life lead by decisions made more through seeking biblical wisdom and prayer and listening to God. A life that is crazy joyful and grateful and positive and uplifting, with NO COMPLAINING but intentionally choosing to be grateful and content. A life that is a blessing to others – to my family, my friends, my church, my clients. A life that has time for the things that matter and cuts the rest. A life that is more inspired, by scripture, by beauty, by the people around me that God has given me to learn from, by my clients and my work, by God’s creation and by doing what fires me up. Much more of God, much less of me. Filled up in Him, grounded, and then poured out with great joy.

    My vision for 2013:

    Deeply rooted in Christ through his Word. An enormous year of spiritual growth, biblical perspective, wisdom and focus. Filled with intentionality in every area of my life (physical, mental, spiritual, relational). Humble. Learning more than I am teaching. Practicing stillness and solitude mentally, spiritually and physically. Focusing more on what really matters and less being “busy” for the sake of meaningless “productivity”. A year of choosing joy and contentment. Being an intentional blessing to others – connecting and transforming lives as God gives me opportunity. Intentionally seeking out the very specific mission of our family. Seeking and finding clarity about how God wants to use the Cochrane’s with their specific resources, circumstances, flexibility, skills, talents and then moving toward doing that.

  37. Laura on January 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Saying NO to:
    fear, choosing to be alone, self obsessing, time wasters: social media, blogs, endless hours on computer, buying less, less, less, clutter,

    saying YES to:
    working out, being productive, sketching, painting, making jewelry, branding myself, reading the bible, growing with my husband, moving to Raleigh, leaving my job of 10 years, and career of 14 years to follow my heart and my passion, heart smiles, just lots of heart smiles, spending more time with friends, laughter, loving my aging parents, listening to stories, making adventures, making memories and my own stories, travel, breathing just deep breathing, peace, inner peace, quiet mind, Trust, Faith, Love, passions, goals met feeling new, embracing new, change, having less, quality over quantity, praying, gratitude, letting go and letting God and my word for 2013

  38. Natalie on January 26, 2013 at 9:16 am

    This is perfect timing for me that I’m arriving at this post a bit late this month. I need this this morning. Thank you Lara.

    What I’m saying NO to, that will not be a part of my 2013 vision:
    1. Comparison – in any way shape or form. Inspiration from others/by others and comparing their lives/haves/jobs/bodies/habits to mine are very different things.
    2. Listening to, reading, watching anything that triggers negative body image thoughts or reinforces worldly standards of female body image. I’m done – I won’t have that in my life where I don’t have to.
    3. Quick judgement of others’ hearts
    4. Being a snappy person in the morning or when I’m anxious
    5. Being a stubborn, know it all in so many areas of my life!
    6. The computer/iphone/TV (bright screens) before bed – totally affecting my sleep
    7. Impulsive eating…well, impulsive anything
    8. Taking frustrations with myself out on other people in my attitude/actions
    9. iphone/social media distractions at work
    10. Passing by family members at the end of the day without asking how they are because I’m “too tired”
    11. Skipping church
    12. Impulsive spending
    13. Not being truly engaged in conversations with others (thoughts elsewhere…worry…the day….whatever)
    14. Skipping my small group for other tasks
    15. The word “can’t”

    Things I’m saying YES to that will help my 2013 vision:
    1. Working HARD in all areas of my life -being honest with myself about my work ethic at my job, the gym, etc.
    2. Healthy, clean, whole eating – less artificial sweeteners, no fast food. More vegetables and lean meats and healthy fats
    3. More good, long sleep
    4. Less journaling in my “Quiet Time” – more BIBLE. I was so convicted of this. I spend more time journaling than I do in prayer and in the Word. Has to change this year
    5. Dreaming…and not being discouraged when others I’m close to don’t necessarily “endorse” my dream. Dream anyways, and don’t hold that against them. Inspire them.
    6. More books….less social media/computer
    7. More learning about the science of my body (of food, of sleep, of hormones, of exercise, of macronutrients) – this has changed my life in the last month
    8. More solitude. More quiet. Less music. More candles.
    9. More honesty. More thoughtfulness in what I Share with others. More listening to the Lord about sharing my testimony and DOING it when I’m called
    10. Yes to yoga 🙂
    11. Yes to reflecting on the good things about me, yes to looking in the mirror – straight into my own eyes – and thinking and seeing what God sees
    12. Yes to reflecting on my successes/the blessings/good things about the day before letting my mind race to tomorrow at the end of the day. Somehow the best time of day for me to do this is in the shower…just slow down, rest, reflect and be thankful.
    13. Yes to the Tone It Up and Fitness Community I’ve found
    14. YES to NOT BEING PERFECT. This is freedom.
    15 Yes to saying “I love you,” “I’m Sorry” and “Thank You” – yes to more REAL conversations with people I take for granted. Seek to know them, their lives, intentionally…just because I’m close with them in DNA doesn’t mean I truly know their hearts
    16. Yes to thinking long term. Yes to habits and choices that are sustainable for the rest of my life. Yes to thinking of my future husband and baby girl(s) and baby boy(s) when I make choices today. Honor them
    17. Yes to praying and GOING for it. If I never try, I’ll never know.
    18. yes to being okay with not wanting a corporate job and asking the Lord for my heart – for my heart’s dream job…for my heart’s dream location…for a life that will allow me to serve Him with my talents in JOY.
    19. Yes to the occasional grieving that comes with healing. Progress is not all bright. Healing brokenness is a process.

    That’s my word…PROGRESS. 2012, especially December and especially this month have been all about progress. I want more of that in 2013…my heart craves it.

  39. Terrilynn on February 11, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Wow! Where do I start with this one.

    Saying NO to: (Top 3)
    1. Fear
    2. Worry
    3. Self Doubt

    Saying YES to: (Top 3)
    1. God’s Will
    2. Loving me
    3. Bold Faith

    I listed the top 3 of each as I have a long list for both. I’ve been on track since January 1st and I will not stop. Daily reminding myself of these lists.

  40. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on March 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Wow, I am so inspired by everyone’s posts! I haven’t made it through reading them all, but I’m so excited to have discovered this inspired, lovely community!

    Here’s what I’m saying YES to in 2013:

    1. Being intentional (intentionally investing in others and building relationships, intentionally pursuing my writing and art making dreams, intentionally praying and seeking Him…)
    2. Creating more balance in my life
    3. Positive heart and positive thinking (“from out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”)
    4. Deeper trust in God
    5. Embracing my current season and living fearlessly, fully, and creatively
    6. Limiting computer time and making sure I’m spending time writing and dreaming in my actual journal, playing with paint and papers to create collages, and doing art journaling
    7. Setting aside *focused* time for writing (without allowing myself to be distracted by Pinterest or social media)
    8. Meditating on His truth daily
    9. An open, thankful heart
    10. Living an inspired life
    11. Encouraging others to use their gifts and live inspired, creative lives
    12. Eating healthy, fresh foods (and fewer processed foods)
    13. Believing His promises
    14. Abiding in Him
    15. Using social media to build community and encourage and spur others on (and not as a time-waster or a way to compare myself with others)
    16. Believing that He has given me influence and that my gifts and my story matter
    17. Running and yoga
    18. Regular sabbaths and fasting
    19. Bold prayers
    20. Being confident in being the woman He created me to be
    21. Taking risks
    22. Leaps of faith

  41. Kathryn Duckett on July 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Lara, these posts and te process are so encouraging! Wow, I have never done anything like this. What a gift this is.

    20 things saying NO to in 2013:

    1. No to distractions (no to staying home to work)
    2. No to verbal processing anxiety, to venting
    3. No to bristling at my husband’s help, counsel, and correction (I need it! I need him!)
    4. No to living to-do-list to to-do-list, no to loosing sight of big picture, what matters, the why
    5. No to complaining
    6. No to missing out on beauty around me because I’m too stressed or worried to notice. (Need that inspiration and don’t want to miss those opportunities to worship and say thank you God!)
    7. No to guilt (yes to repentance and meditating on what is true!! I am free of the guilt that enslaves).
    8. No to comparing my work, myself to others (thank God for my gifts instead, which are ENOUGH for me to multiply and bring Him the glory I am created to! That’s all that matters, not if person x is better than I am at thing y!)
    9. No to eating junk all week & being tired
    10. No to not making time to work out, no to not making working out enjoyable (run at beach)
    11. No to excess in my aesthetic, purchases, and dreams. (Not that its always wrong, but because that’s not what I am personally designed for. Yes to the biggest dream of lasting significance in Christ and developing the unique voice as an artist He gave me)
    12. No to not having a relationship with clients. No to missing opportunities to encourage. No to not calling, not videoing
    13. No to holding myself to a standard that has nothing to do with what God, my husband, or I even value! (E.g. Adopting someone else’s standard)
    14. No to finding my value in how “perfect” my home is (yes to finding value in how perfect God sees me through Christ’s blood)
    15. No to finding identity in having the newest clothes, makeup, or hair (yes to simple beauty)
    16. No to finding value in other people’s approvals (being true to my unique vision will likely be a very lonely place for a time)
    17. No to being lazy to care for my husband, home, self, and others
    18. No to being lazy in my work, to throwing up my hands just because I “don’t feel it” (yes to working hard despite how it feels or whether I feel inspired or would rather be doing something else)
    19. No to tardiness (yes to respecting other people’s time just as I would want them to mine)
    20. No to not having measurables. (If I can’t track it, how will I see progress?)

  42. Ashley La Rue on August 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Sharing my list! SAYING YES TO!

    1. Spending more quality time with my husband and my children.
    2. Phone off in the evenings
    3. office hours
    4. structured days
    5. eating healthy
    6. exercising
    7.reading more
    8. yoga
    9.taking big risks
    10. creative sessions
    11. my big dreams
    12. letting go of fear
    13. sending more snail mail
    14. being content with what I have
    15. visiting the orphanage in Dakar
    15. simplicity
    16. praying
    17. Fixing what doesn’t work in my business
    18. adventures
    19. more date nights
    20. cuddling more

    • Lara on August 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Awesome!! SO proud of you for starting!

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