Jan 7, 2013


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The following sentence is something I never thought I’d type. I spent a good deal of time this weekend reading most of Exodus. I started reading it and was so captivated, I couldn’t stop. Those of you who know me well know I am admittedly not a big reader. I only read the Bible (because if I’m going to spend time reading anything, I want it to be the best thing I can read) and usually in small portions or Ari reads it out loud for both of us. My attention span is that of a gnat. But, I really identified with Moses. God had great things He wanted Moses to do. Moses told God he didn’t think he was good enough. He wasn’t well-spoken or as strong or fit for the job as lots of other folks. Lots of people got mad at Moses and doubted him, despite the things God had done through him. Moses didn’t feel worthy or prepared. But, one thing Moses did have was that he trusted God. He complained sometimes and failed a lot, but he did what God said to do. I identify with that. The feeling unworthy part. So many times I think, God WHY ME? Why is this my calling? I am not good enough. I am so flawed. I am not strong enough. I can’t do this on my own! Well…. I learned through Moses that God will give us the words to speak. We just have to be STILL and listen. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Emily wrote me this note right before I went up to speak at engage!12. It helped me relax and just speak my heart. If Moses’ BFF had passed him a note right before he parted the Red Sea, it probably would have looked like this. OK, maybe without the XOXO’s though.

Tomorrow is [supposedly] the day they decide on Ari’s job at UNC and, in all honesty, I have a lot riding on this decision. Staying here in Chapel Hill is really important to our family and my business. But, I think one reason God gave me the desire to read Exodus this weekend is partly because He wants me to TRUST. Aaaaaand just as I was in the middle of typing this, my friend Jan called to ask if I’d speak on Goal Setting at our church tomorrow night. Bam. Thanks for the attitude change, God. I’m so grateful for that affirmation right now. God’s timing is perfect. And in that phone call, I realized what I haven’t wanted to admit to myself – that God is trying to get me to make goals that have NOTHING to do with my circumstances. In thinking about our lives and my goals lately, I have been acting like Grace when she doens’t want to take a nap – like a baby. So, as my friend Gina says, it’s time to put on my awesome pants, step into my fear and just do it. Here goes! Based on my 2013 Vision (to be a light to others and to live a life that is centered on God and serving and to have all of my efforts and pursuits focused on that goal) and the 9 Goal Setting steps before this that gave me clarity, these are my goals.

Goal 1: To know God more by learning about Him in the Bible and through prayer because knowing God means I will know what is right and good and He will direct my path. Everything good comes from that. God is my compass. I want to know everything I can possibly know about God so I can align my life with His will. I want to know God so I can change for the better for everyone in my life. I want to study the Bible and pray without ceasing. That means a lot of things, namely less time in my phone and on email and on extraneous projects and more focused time without distractions, reading. My goal in short: read and pray daily. Repeat.

Goal 2: I want Ari and I to have a more thriving joyful marriage because that will help us be our best for each other and Grace and everyone in our lives. Because we are stronger as individuals when we are stronger as a couple. Last year was truly a year of transition and miracles and this year, I want to celebrate life more together. My goal is to plan something epic for our seven year anniversary on March 18th. I also want to plan something really special for Valentine’s Day. I want to plan adventures every week, even if they are really tiny. I want to make Ari feel special and help him be his best. I want to open my heart and let him in more. I know I have a self-protecting wall up most of the time. I want to learn more about what God wants for our marriage and I want to DO those things. I want to help other couples do those things, too. I would love to write a devotional with Ari for couples or start a video blog series together. I also want to write often about marriage in the South on Southern Weddings. I want to lead by example, in our failures and triumphs.

Goal 3: I want to become more physically strong so I can be full of energy to do God’s work every day and give to others. I stopped weight training last year and that is the longest time I’ve been out of the gym. I want to be physically strong so I can live a long healthy active life and be able to teach Grace about God and how to live a good life through my actions. I want to fuel my body to do good things. I want to recognize when I am tempted to use food to control my emotions and choose God instead through prayer, reading, stepping outside to take a deep breath or just by being still and having a good cry if I need to.

Goal 4: I want to stop breastfeeding, Lord willing, by Valentines day (I started weaning last week) and stay emotionally fit, despite the hormonal changes. I want to keep my energy up and give thanks, despite my current feelings (imagine if you didn’t have a period for two years and your hormones decided to start creating one… that’s where I am). I want to do whatever I can naturally to regulate my hormones so that I can be my best for my family, my staff and my friends. I also really want those 3+ hours a day back to do more for God every day. And, at the same time, I don’t want to lose the beautiful thing I have learned in all of this – that taking time to be still during the day is a very good thing.

Goal 5: I want to be humble and learn a lot this year about a lot of things so I can do what I do well. I want to learn skills that will help me be a light for other’s to know God. I want to be a better more skilled designer so I can spend less time creating graphics and so I can create inspiring products that help people focus on what is good in life. I want to learn to be a better leader so I can build my team up and equip them to do the same for others. I want to learn how to cook special dishes that make my family feel special. I want to learn how to keep plants alive more than a few weeks. I want to continue my calligraphy training so that I can write beautiful letters to special friends. I want to learn how to be a better writer so I can communicate my thoughts in a more compelling authentic way. I want to learn how to do my job in a more direct, powerful, efficient way so I can make more of an impact on everyone I meet. I want to learn more about investing and finances so I can be a better steward of our money. I want to learn so I can give more.

Goal 6: I want to learn how to be more efficient and reach more people with less time away from my family. I want to spend less time on the phone with clients and far less timing emailing. My goal is to find revenue streams this year that are more automated, yet help people in a profound personal way.

Goal 7: I want to learn how to be a better mom. I currently don’t read anything on parenting. I fly by the seat of my pants. I want to learn from others who do it well and become a mother full of wisdom so that Grace can be her best under our care. I want to raise her to be giving and pure and to have a heart of grateful JOY. I want to help Grace have more play friends and be a living example of the Bible for her in our actions. I want to be much more patient and less controlling and let go of my life so I can live in hers.

Goal 8: I want to continue to build a remarkable business that is a catalyst for real LOVE. I want my clients to have better LIVES and I want our brides to have strong MARRIAGES. I want to be a centered sounding board and prayerfully guide my clients this year to their fullest potential. My goal is to always come back to our CORE and to keep refining it.

Goal 9: To learn how to take better photographs for myself so that I can remember Grace as she is in these sweet moments. I am not really sure why for this goal. It feels like a very God-cenetered goal, but it’s something I can’t explain. I have this connection to great photographs… they somehow speak to my soul. They change me. I think a gift God gave me was to be able to see the vision of a photograph to create. I can see moments and the big picture and a vision. I don’t have the technical skills to match that to capture the moments I see, if that makes sense. I even bought a great camera last year. It hasn’t been used yet because I get really frustrated with technology and numbers and learning new skills that I have to read a manual for. I want to learn the technical skills of how to take the photographs that I see in my heart.

Goal 10: I want to live with less, keep a new budget based on the historical data we have from 2012, and be more frugal this year because my money is not mine. It’s God’s and I want to do more with our money for Him. I want to not only give away things I don’t need, but give away things I love. Ari is really good at this. His favorite sweater was in our charity pile this weekend and, when I asked him about it, he said he said that it wasn’t really giving unless you were giving something you didn’t want to give away for the sake of someone else. I love that. I want to be more sacrificial in my giving.

Goal 11: I want to build other’s up in faith and give lots of tools this year for people to make that happen. I want to study the Bible with others in my home and online. Going back to goal 1, I want to know the Bible so I can share it with others. Showing people the new life that I have been given and the indescribable JOY and freedom and love and genuine purpose I have found in this new life… well, that is something I want to share. Big time. If you were to find the most beautiful island in the world, you would want to invite all your friends. That’s how I feel about being in a relationship with God. I want everyone to be able to feel this goodness. I want to equip people with basic tools to know God more.

Goal 12: I want to finally WRITE MY BOOK. I already have most of the content written and just need to put it together. Nicole and I started talking about the printing and technical aspects of this before the end of the year, so it’s in the works. My goal is to release it before the end of 2013, if not sooner. I want it to be timeless and done well so it will help creatives make things happen year after year. I want it to be a legacy for Grace to learn from as well.

Goal 13: I want to continue to paint and create products for small creative spaces that inspire people to live better lives. God is the ultimate creator and I believe He gave all of us creative talents that are meant to be USED. I want to use my creative gifts much more this year: design, painting and singing.

Goal 14: An immediate goal I have is to finish my website. It’s been over a year in the making and it’s a monster. The coding is almost done, my shop is populated and I just have a lot of site content to populate now. I’m hoping we can launch it late this month!

Goal 15: I want to foster my friendships is a purposeful, focused way because then I will build a stronger bond with my friends and we can do more good things for others together. I want to be more prayerful for my friends, even when they don’t know it. I want to do surprise things for them to make them feel special and build their faith and capacity to love.

Goals 16: I want to support new moms more. I had a really hard time after Grace was born and several friends sent me care packages that really made a difference. I started a new moms group and my goal is to have several care packages and cards ready to go for new mamas and expecting mama friends that I can send out right away. I want to support new moms locally, too.

Goal 17: I want to send more real mail to build stronger connections with others, because hopefully it will help people feel God’s love.

Goal 18: I want to do more RAOK’s. As often as possible because these things can help people feel hope and know that God is good. A little kindness can change someone’s life for the better.

Goal 19: I want to show my family God’s love through my actions so that they will know Him more and trust in Him. My family is going through a lot right now. They need a lot of love. My goal is to be sacrificial with my time and resources so I can support them and take care of them in their distress.

Goal 20: I want to be like Moses this year in the way he trusted and just DID what God said to do. He let God use him. I want to be open to change and trust that God always has the perfect plan. No matter what.

More specifics to come once we find out, one way or the other, where we will be living next year. Remember that this is a process and you should be changing and updating your goals along the way. Just to keep you (and me!) accountable, do this.. put these dates as reminders on your calendars as check-in points: April 10, July 10, and October 10. I’m putting them on my calendar too and I will check back in here to let you know how my goals are progressing and I will want to hear about yours. All of your comments in this series have been so inspiring! There is SO much greatness waiting for you in this new year! Be sure to comment here with your 2013 Goals, too! Share them and you will be more accountable and likely inspire someone else. Don’t be a lurker anymore, friends. Jump in : )

A review of our 2013 Goal Setting:

Part 1: Evaluate what did and didn’t work + make your Pinterest board
Part 2: Evaluate the lessons you learned from all of this
Part 3: Decide what you are saying YES to and NO to in 2013
Part 4: Review your whole process and write specific goals!

Next up, we are going to get started on making these goals HAPPEN. Starting with… clearing the clutter! Your first clearing the clutter step is small (but effective), since I’m writing this late in the day. Prepare for tomorrow and start clearing the junk!

…are you ready for this?

Get a trash bag. Just one.
Open it.
Walk around your house or head out to your car.
I promise you will find something to put in it.

(Then sort your bag into recycle, give away and trash)

Done and done. The next part of this series will be a whole lot less about planning and more about DOING. Go and DO something to clear the clutter right this second. Prepare your desk for tomorrow. Take out the trash. Clean off your computer desktop. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow so you don’t spend 20 minutes staring at your closet. Prepare for greatness!

Much more tomorrow! I have to go write what I’m going to share tomorrow night at church… (If any local friends want to come, let me know!)

P.S. WIN! To further encourage you to get things rolling for the new year, I’m giving away a seat to our Powerful Branding Webinar Series that starts on January 16th (next week!) AND one of these gold foil Make It Happen letterpress desk prints above that will be available in my new shop coming soon. I will pick a random winner next Monday to give everyone time to work through these steps, so make it happen and spread the word!


  1. Jaqueline Faria on January 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Lara, I was reading your Goals and number 11 really stuck with me. You probably know this… but you already “build others up in faith” This may sound a little stange, and I’m probably being way to open in sharing this as comment, but… I’ve been reading your blog’s and following you on online for over a year now and it’s reading about your relationship with God, your faith in God, and the joy love and purpose God has given you, that has made me want to seek and re-ignite my relationship with God again. I’ve been afraid, so very afraid of trusting him,and I’ve been keeping him at arms lenght for years because I’m afraid of the changes he might make in my life. Changes I know will be hard for me. But when you share about God, you make me want to have that relationship… so just thought you should know that you do build people up in faith at least you do for me.

    • Lara on January 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      I am so grateful for you. Your words here make my heart so grateful. I wish I could hug you for real! Thank you for the encouragement but more so praise God for your faith!

  2. Kristin on January 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Love reading your goals and seeing your heart for the Lord, your family, and others. Saying a prayer for you for speaking in your church tomorrow. What a blessing to be able to impact the lives of other believers.

  3. @weddingrep on January 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    GOAL SETTING + MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013, Part 5: The following sentence is something I never thought I’d typ… https://t.co/c8Q86KTU

  4. @Rae_Culver on January 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    RT @laracasey: YAY! My 2013 Goals + making them HAPPEN https://t.co/gL5yE4uB

  5. Annie on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Goodness, I have been writing goals like this in my heart for well over a week now. It’s so good to see someone else with so many similar desires, passions, goals, hopes and dreams! I’m so looking forward to walking through the steps you’ve suggested and actually putting a pen to the thoughts that have been whirling in my head! Looking forward to what God is going to do in my life and yours this year! Thanks for your transparency and for having such a sweet heart that seeks after Him!

  6. Lisa Green on January 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Lara re: Goal 9, I know you said you aren’t a big reader and don’t want to read your camera’s manual but check out “Your Baby in Pictures” by Me Ra Koh. Its wonderfully dumbed down and simplifies how to take amazing candid images of your children. I’d happily send you a copy but I don’t have your address! Wishing you all the very best for 2013!

  7. Tabitha on January 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Lara, it’s so amazing how similar our goals are…the themes are very much the same!! I was giggling at one point because I literally wrote the same things. What a wonderful heart for God you have. It’s so great to see what happens when you open yourself up to all that He has for you. I am praying for His will to be done in your news tomorrow. I hope it will be an opportunity for growth. Your beautiful blog is so inspiring to me and I can’t wait for your shop to open!!! Very quickly, my goals:
    1. Get closer to God. I want to memorize scripture, learn more about His word by reading the bible daily and spending more time in prayer with my husband. I also want to set the example for my girls about daily seeking Him and how important that is.
    2.Make my blog better so I can share my creative pursuits and create a sustainable income so I can quit my day job and take on my dream job.
    3.Get serious about saving and budgeting. It’s Dave Ramsey time folks! I want my two daughters to grow up learning about working hard and saving money. A luxury I did not have growing up.
    4.Run a marathon. I want to prove to myself that I can do a n y t h I n g I set my mind too.
    5.Eat healthier. I want to live a long healthy life so I can be around for my girls and teach them healthy living habits as well.
    6. Wipe out my anger. It’s a stronghold I will not allow to be passes onto my girls. I want to live in peace and be a happy person everyday. Not bottling up anger and frustration or harbor bitterness or impatience. I will be much happier and so will my family!
    7. Call family more. I know a lot of people are trying to stop using their phones but I am the type of person who dislikes talking on the phone. But sometimes my relationships suffer for lack of nurturing. I want to talk to my mom and dad on the phone at least every other day, and talk to my brother and sister every week. I live in another state so I don’t see them much. Nothing is more important than family and at the end of the day, they are there for you. I need to invest in those relationships more.
    Thanks Lara!!!

  8. Alana on January 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Oh my goodness Lara! I just read your last few blog posts! And I admit, I’ve been a lurker! But I really am going to try and be committed and work through the steps…I know if will take some courage and strength and resilience, but you have shown that is is possible! You truly are beyond inspirational…your words, your passion, your faith, and courage, it is truly amazing! Your words and actions not only motivate, nourish the mind and soul, but make me really look at my life, remind me of how fragile it can be, make me think about what really matters in life, make me want to do better, to be better, to be a better person. You truly are a gift from God. I can only imagine how many other people are reading this and it is changing their lives. Being a mom to a 1yr old little girl, trying to navigate having a business, (small but good!), having a family, being married, dealing with all the curve balls life throws…there are so many challenges and struggles it is so easy to lose focus of what matter and what is meant to be. Thank you so much for this!!! And if you ever happen to come to Raleigh we should definitely get together for a play date….I am definitely bad at scheduling and keeping up with those!! I hope this year is a wonderful and fulfilling year, full of blessings!!

  9. Melissa Borden on January 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have been reading your blogs for a little while and feel so inspired! I still need to do the steps and I hope I will have time after the first week of the new semester finishes. Your words about trusting God were at the perfect time for me. Even though I feel like I am not strong enough or prepared enough to do everything before me, I know God will equip me and puts those things in front of me for a reason. Thank you for reminding me to carry trust and a positive attitude going into my next semester of college!

  10. Jessica on January 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    For the past few days I have been a total lurker!! But I did go through all the steps and found my way to some amazing goals, some of which I did not even know I was aspiring toward! I really felt like I needed to post about one of my goals specifically just because of the nature of it.
    Goal 6: Start Writing. Why? This one is scary for me and my hands are shaking even as I write it (type it, now). I have so much ambition and interest when it comes to 20-something women. I feel like so many of us feel like we can only be one or two of the following: God-seeking, glamorous, intelligent, successful, physically fit, socially active, budget maker/follower, etc. I want to share how, as women, we really can have all of those things, or a version of it at least. It may not be the picture-perfect movie-propaganda life, but it is our life to live. God made us each uniquely, and no one woman can do another woman’s job. We all have to be ourselves in order to properly serve the way God calls us to! I really want to write about all these things. I don’t know how to start writing, I just know I want to, whether it is on a blog, any other website, for a magazine, or even just writing letters to women, I would love it!! I want to be brave and stop just writing for myself in my journals and such. I need to stop being afraid. No, fear is okay…but I need to act in spite of my fear. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to put my heart on paper. I am just praying that He will give me the strength and wisdom to be able to share those things on my heart with others and discover a way to do that as well.
    My words for 2013 are: Courage in Authenticity.
    Being brave enough to be my authentic self. The powerful and unique woman that the creator of the Universe made me.

  11. Karen and Patrick on January 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Best thoughts from us for tomorrow!

  12. Meredith on January 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Lara, God has given you an incredible gift with words and with your tremendous influence on so many people. What a blessing that you are using these things to help so many of us be who God wants us to be… clearing the clutter, focusing on making what matters happen, and trusting Him daily! THANK YOU!

  13. Tiffany Farley on January 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

    AHH this was SUCH an amazing post to start my morning in the office with. First things first- cleaning my workspace! Yesterday I actually went to work in a coffee shop to avoid the clutter on my desk! Not today! I will also be making time to really brainstorm my 2013 goals in detail- but will definitely include “digging my wells” as a woman of God and taking advantage of this pre-marriage/family season to really dig deep and grow in my relationship with God- a well that I will be able to draw from when life changes, it will include photographing for myself more, refining MY CORE & MY WHY as a filter for everything I pursue this year, be published in a magazine- not just my art, but my voice, be financially smarter and learn through Dave Ramsey teachings, to be PRESENT, and to read more!

  14. @mrfoodtastic on January 8, 2013 at 8:21 am

    RT @laracasey: 10 Powerful Steps for 2013 Goal Setting. There is nothing magical about January 1st! Start these now: https://t.co/xmFNolLR

  15. Emily on January 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Love these goals, and how, even though they are quite lengthy, they have a tight focus. Though I didn’t write out a “why” for each of my goals, there definitely is one — I think that’s so important! Here they are: https://www.emformarvelous.com/daily-goals-2013/

  16. Jasmine on January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Lara, I posted all of this in the previous blog post but for some reason it posted all scrambled! Hopefully this time its easier to read. Thank you so much for making me do this, I WILL hug you one day 🙂

    Step 1 – What worked for me in 2012?
    Designed and launched my website with ZERO website design experience (so proud!)
    Launched my Etsy shop and am loving it!
    Celebrated with over a dozen clients successfully in my first year as an event planner, most of them have become good friends too (very important to me!)
    My work got featured online on Pizzazzerie and several other websites
    My daughter’s birthday party was published in print in Occasions magazine. A very proud moment for me!
    Accomplished a lot of successful organization to make my business work from home, and learned that it will always be an ongoing process
    Have given a lot of thought and action to branding my business and am quite happy with the results so far
    I am very proud that I have managed to launch and run a business successfully, with 2 kids under 6! AND in additional to being able to do what I love, I closed my first year with a profit too 🙂
    Exclusively BF’d my baby girl for 14 months before finally weaning her in April 2012
    Planned some well-spaced vacations which were much needed for our family
    Extremely grateful that I have the opportunity to pursue my dream while staying at home with my family
    My husband quit his job to make things happen too. We now support each other in the process, whether its financial planning or quick lunch dates to keep sane 🙂

    Step 2 – What didn’t work for me in 2012?
    Being naive and trusting other vendors in the industry to be as detail-oriented as I like to be. I now research better!
    Trying to get more FB/Twitter followers. I now understand it’s not the quantity, but the quality
    Focusing on my competitors’ successes and failures. This is always a bad idea and I will not let it affect me in 2013
    Advertising with a certain website did nothing for my business. You get what you pay for!
    Sometimes spent too much time on certain details of my events and not enough on others. Learning to prioritize and set time limits for ‘design day-dreaming’ because its possible to do it 24/7 when you love what you do with a passion
    Being around negative and jealous people really gets me down

    Step 3 – What fires me up?
    Making IDEA! successful
    Meeting with my clients and presenting them with ideas and seeing the whole design process unfold
    Planning and executing events of course
    Keeping my website functional, updated and inspirational
    Graphics, logos, watermarks, beautiful paper, gold foil, fonts, letterpress
    Successful collaborations with other business owners
    Pretty surroundings, especially my work space
    Good times with my friends
    Lunch dates with hubby
    A good, balanced day of playing with my kids, cooking and eating with my family, and working on IDEA! of course!
    In addition to everything else above, THIS exercise fires me up so much!! I love lists of all kinds and I’m loving seeing all my constructive thoughts in one place. I believe this is not only helping me now but training me for life

    Step 4 – 3 biggest lessons I have learned from what DID work
    Staying organized physically and mentally is KEY for me!
    Learned what works and what doesn’t on Etsy and I have a pretty clear vision for 2013
    Strong branding works wonders and I will continue to work on it

    Step 5 – 3 biggest lessons I have learned from what DIDN’T work
    Time spent on social media MUST be accounted for and controlled
    Plan out my timeline and budget equally for events so I’m being fair to myself and my family
    Focus only on my own successes and failures, NOT anyone else’s

    Step 6 – My vision for 2013
    Find true balance between my family, myself, and my work
    Simplify my life
    Do only what is important and what makes sense
    Strengthen my dearest relationships and friendships

    Step 7 – In 2013, I am saying NO to…
    Too much time in front of the computer
    Single minded focus! While it’s a good thing, I want to do more than just IDEA!, I want to learn more and feel more
    Missing out on little fun things with the kids, the very things that make those precious memories

    Step 8 – In 2013, I am saying YES to…
    Always being grateful and thankful for my very blessed life
    Pursuing my love of photography
    Being more active outdoors
    Getting rid of useless things and making better use of what we do have
    Buying less
    Learning how to bake

    My word for 2013: BALANCE

    My goals for 2013:
    Find true balance between my passion, my family and everyday jobs around the house. This entails less time on social media and the phone, more face time with my kids. It also entails using my time wisely so I’m not scrambling.
    Set aside time to learn photography
    Finally learn how to bake with my 6 year old son, to also make it an activity that he and I can share together… what could be sweeter, quite literally? 🙂
    Get out more, even if just for a walk or a tumble in the park. Yes, I WILL make it happen!

  17. Mandy V on January 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I love your goals, especially Goal #2! SW has been such an inspiration to me both as I planned my wedding and as I continue on this marriage journey (1.5 years in). Truth be told, one principle that y’all wrote about was the State of the union address. We started doing this last year and just completed our second year of family goal planning: https://mandyandconner.com/2013/01/08/state-of-our-union-2013-goals/

    Thanks for being an inspiration on so many levels to make what matters happen! I appreciate you more than you know!

  18. Katie O'Keefe on January 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Lara, I love how you added the “why” in goal-setting. You’re right it is so important to know why you want something and set your intentions on a higher purpose. I’ve blogged my goals here: https://katieokeefeblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/make-2013-happen-my-goals/ Thank you for being such an inspiration and continuing to share yourself honestly. Hope your talk at church went well tonight – I’m sure it did!

  19. Victoria C on January 8, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    I admit I’ve been a lurker! I’ve been eagerly doing all of your steps in my notebook but haven’t shared. But everything has been so wonderful thank you! My goals are below:
    – Not be a bridezilla
    – Have a relaxed and enjoyable wedding day (start my life with Jesse on the right note)
    – Send birthday cards to family and friends
    – Ask “How can I help you?” to one person every day, and do it
    – Make a new friend
    – “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
    – Plan out weekly meals and go grocery shopping on Sundays
    – Buy a new (used) car
    – Furnish the majority of our house
    – Replenish my ISA back to what it was pre-house purchase
    – Enjoy my new job
    – Get licensed for health and life insurance
    – Earn my Series 6 or 7 designation

  20. katyrenee on January 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Well here’s my list so far…
    –Photographs daily because this kid is growing like a weed and practice makes perfect or a lot better.
    –Work on finances specifically investing, making our budget leaner, and starting a 529 plan because it intimidates me and will greatly benefit our family long term.
    –Eat right to lose weight so I can lower my risk of cancer and live a long time with hubby and junior, enjoy clothing more, and let go of the last few pounds/baggage that is holding me back (plan is paleo–simple breakfast, and lunch, and working on more complicated ideas for dinner with hubby)
    –continue weight training because it makes me feel strong and like a bad@ss and sometimes you just need to feel that way
    –invest in myself so I can demonstrate that I am important to myself, appreciate how I look, nourish and take care of myself and be a bit more confident. For example a bit of makeup, doing my hair, wearing a put together look, etc.
    –Write at least a few pages every week so I can get moving on the book I’ve dreamed about writing for forever. Focus on one topic and then work on another. I’ve got great things to say and can do it in an encouraging and creative way.
    –Continue to work on executing items for my business so I can have the best product I can, and focus on starting to market myself with confidence.

    I’m looking forward to the clutter busting!

    Thanks for the outline to help me get my thoughts together!

  21. Wendi Solari on January 9, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Once again, thank you for string what you encourage each of us to do. I will be sending you prayers and good vibes for a great year!

  22. Monica T Smith on January 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I have never refined my goals before and for the past few years I didn’t really focus on whether or not I achieved them. It turns out that I did well in 2012, but this time I dug deep for goals (something that I have not done before). Never thought about my CORE with regards to goals, but it makes complete sense.

    Since I am madly deeply in love with Jesus Christ and love conversing with Him all day long, I thought it best for me to search my CORE for His desires for me. Here are my goals for 2013 based on the Scripture verses He has laid on my heart for the past 9 days:

    1. Have a New Mindset – Romans 12:2 Instead of conforming to the world, be transformed by the renewing of my mind which will consist of fixing my eyes on Jesus, soaking in God’s Word and presence, daily worship and praise, speak His Word out loud, shut out the negative and no longer allow it to take hold of any thought space, and Matthew 6:25-34, do not worry. WHY? Because it is time to rise up out of the mental and emotional bondage I have been in for 12 years and become who God has called me to be. Because the darkness of depression, oppression and despair needs to go! Because it’s time!
    2. Romans 12:1, Isaiah 54:1-5 and 61:1-3 Live, do and be my life’s calling which is to educate, edify, encourage and empower women of all ages as they discover, embrace and celebrate who they are and are becoming in Christ. Write and share my story. Write and speak words of truth, hope, wisdom, knowledge, experience and words of healing and transformation as a life coach, image consultant and spiritual guide. Teach, preach, coach, minister and love simply. Be His light, take risks, connect, believe, work, commit, persevere and focus on His vision. WHY? Because like the Apostle Paul, I am compelled and can’t go a day without envisioning myself doing the work.
    3. Matthew 6:21, Hebrews 12:1-2 Be free of strongholds in the areas of time and finances. Triple my current income by doing what I love and am called to do. Pay off debts and save for an emergency fund, a Craftsman bungalow, my dream furnishings and retirement. WHY? Because I want margin and am tired of being in financial, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bondage.
    4. 1 Corinthians 2:2. Ephesians 3:7-14 Go deeper in Him. Know Him more and more through daily solitude and silence, Bible study and reflection, fellowship, and worship. Apply for and begin a Masters of Divinity program. Teach and preach what He is teaching me. WHY? Because I love Him so and would rather sit at His feet than do anything else in the world! Because it brings Him joy. Because the world needs to know that He is the Answer to everything!
    5. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Remember that I am not my own and that I was bought at a price, and a very costly one at that! Therefore, I will move for the joy of movement through dance, walking and weight lifting. Take my first vacation in 10 years. WHY? For the joy and beauty of feeling connected (mind, body and spirit), and to feel strong and beautiful. And, so that I may do the work He has called me to with greater physical ease.

    Thanks for this, Lara!


  23. Ashley on January 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Here’s a link to my goals for 2013: https://www.ashleydanyew.com/2013/making-things-happen-in-2013-part-iii/ and here’s a link to my Pinterest board: https://pinterest.com/ashleydanyew/making-things-happen-in-2013/. Thank you for your example, Lara!

  24. Ruthie on January 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I know I’m late in sharing my goals but I still wanted to share! 🙂 I’m SO excited for 2013 and I’m so thankful to YOU Lara for being such an amazing inspiration and women of God. Really hope I have the privledge of meeting you one day and giving you a HUGE hug! https://www.rutheileenphotography.com/new-year-new-goals/

    • Lara on January 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Ruthie! It’s never too late! And I have been meaning to thank you for your amazing note and mug. I have it on my desk and love it! You are so kind!

  25. Valentina on January 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I am SO excited to finally have a little bit of a downtime to start going through all these steps for 2013! Thank you so much for being such an encouragement and a light!

  26. Jessica on January 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I only got through steps one and two but I’m sooo looking forward to THIS step (hence the life of a new momma + business owner! What do you say.. finished not perfect? I say YES!) I know my 2013 goals are that I want a more organized and simplified life, a life that has growth in my faith, business, life, and family. I want clarity and direction – I’m tired of living life but really want to LIVE life – I’m looking forward to being able to define what that means for me!

  27. Jessica Chavez on January 13, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Study my Bible and journal daily (because I’m tired of saying I’ll start next year. Studying my Bible it’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle I want to be closer to God and to develop a deeper relationship with Him)
    Pray more (because I want to develop a constant communication with God and listen to His voice)
    Exercise at least 3 times a week (because I want to be strong and fit when I photograph, I don’t want to run out of breath or be sore after a wedding/session. I want my knee and shoulder to stop hurting)
    Juice during the week (because being slim by genetics won’t be forever. I want to be healthy to have enough energy to get through my days)
    Don’t let social media suck my time (because there is a life outside of it and I want to be part of it)
    Write just because more often (because I don’t want to let my feelings drown inside of me, it’s not healthy. I want to write so I can communicate how God has transformed my life through love and grace every single day)
    Write letters to my future husband, who I don’t know (because I want to remember that he exists, that God has him out there waiting for me. I want to be able to gift him a bunch of letters or notebooks letting him know that I was waiting and praying for him.
    Schedule dates with my mom (because I really want to have a better relationship with her outside the office)
    Get back to painting (because it helps me relax and slow down to appreciate the little things in life that make me smile)
    Laugh more (because it’s good for my health and because I want to allow myself not to take everything so seriously)

  28. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on March 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    My GOALS:

    1. Write, design, publish my eBook. This book is my heart right now, and I am so, so excited to finish it and release it into the world. I’m already praying that it will be a blessing to those who read it.

    2. Grow as a teacher/speaker/writer. In the five-fold ministry quiz, I rank highest in the areas of Pastor and Teacher. This year, I want to really dig into those two areas and further develop them — stepping even #FURTHER into the calling the Lord has placed on my life. I also want to grow as a writer, continuing to develop my voice and stretching myself creatively as much as I can.

    3. Pursue new freelance opportunities and creative collaborations. There are a few publications I am dreaming to work with, and I need to get my ideas on paper (and in e-mail form) and reach out. I also want to just collaborate more with creatives in general. I get so jazzed about working with other talented people, and I want to do so much more of this in 2013. It’s inspiring. It builds community. And it’s just so very good for the soul.

    4. Make intentional investments: in relationships, in His Kingdom, in developing my God-given passions, dreams, and ministries of writing and art. I want to be intentional in 2013. I want to seek Him daily. I want to hear His voice and respond. I want to always be asking myself these two questions: “What is God saying to me?” and “What am I going to do about it?” And I want to be intentionally inspiring, encouraging, and spurring others on, building community and relationships, and bearing His fruit in everything I do.

    5. Fight for my future marriage: We just completed a series at church about fighting for our marriages, and while I might not be IN a marriage currently, I can certainly fight for my future marriage. And I want to. I want to be a blessing to my future husband, even now, in singleness. I want to keep praying for him. I want to keep growing and being mentored and learning about who I am and what that might mean for our future relationship. I want to know — truly know — everything the Lord has to say about marriage, and I want to carry that truth in my heart. I want to be pruned and prepared. And I never want to stop hoping. I want to guard my heart against discouragement and know that His timing is perfect, and it’s always worth the wait.

    6. Balance: I want to be intentional about how I’m spending my time this year, and I want to be intentional about establishing a healthy balance in areas like online life/offline life, work/rest, etc. I want to pray and fast (and pray more and worry less). I want to create more with my hands and not just at a computer. I want to get back to painting, collaging, and art journaling. I love typing out my thoughts and putting fingers to keyboard, but I am also fulfilled in such a different way when I’m creating with my hands — when it’s messy, and imperfect, and tactile. I know I need to make more space for this in my life. I also want to eat healthy, fresh foods and exercise more. I want to joyfully create and work hard to accomplish my goals/dreams, but I also want to just experience the goodness of living life.

  29. Ashley Flores on May 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Well, I didn’t start the Power Sheets until April and have finally finished the “homework” and have written my goals! Even though almost half the year is gone, I am determined the make sure the rest of it focuses on what matters most!

    2013 Goals:
    Goal 1: I want to spend quality quiet time with God everyday, reading His word, listening to His wisdom and pouring out my heart to Him. I love Him, and I know that if I am to be more like His Son and truly allow His Spirit to guide me, then I need to spend more time getting to know His character. He is the source of my every need and I cannot do anything without Him. If I do not allow myself to be focused on His will, then no other goal I want to accomplish matters.

    Goal 2: I want to be fully-committed to investing in my marriage spiritually, emotionally and physically. I want to do all I can to make sure our marriage is a representation of God’s love and grace. The divorce rate in the U.S. is ridiculous, and it doesn’t get any better with the Church. I know that God has great things in store for Shelton and I, but we must submit our marriage to Him completely in order to truly benefit from the beauty of beaing His children.

    Goal 3: …TBA… *wink*

    Goal 4: I wan to develop a solid and productive business plan, program development manual, and 2013-2014 program calendar for Code BLUE Youth Mentoring, while encouraging and strengthening our Leadership Team. Organization and proper planning on our part means the greater the benefit will be for the girls who participate. We want to see their lives be truly changed, and the way they view themselves be transformed into the same way God sees them.

    Goal 5: I want to live on a tighter budget when purchasing personal items because my money is not my own. Everything I have been given belongs to God, and I need to be a better steward of it al so I can help His people more.

    Goal 6: I want to have the first draft of my book completed by November 1, 2013 because telling about the part of my life the book focuses on is not just a means of release for me, but it’s about helping others overcome the hurt, feeling of emptiness, guilt, shame, confusion and grief that comes along with it.

    Goal 7: I want to consistently encourage others by being as responsibly transparent as I can through my blog, and social media outlets. I never want these avenues of expression to be just about me. I want always pray about how my words and photographs will affect those who view them before I post them in hopes of uplifting them through the victories and failures of my journey.

    Goal 8: In light of the distraction that can be birthed from Goal 7, I want to spend more time strengthening my friendships, and less time on social media simply killing time. Time is valuable. Time is precious. Though time if a gift from God, time is not free. Once it’s gone; it’s gone. I want to be more aware of the way I spend my time and recognize if it is glorifying God, or simply appeasing my flesh.

    Goal 9: I want to cook healthier meals for our family and friends. Some people may feel that’s a ridiculous goal since they know that I’m pretty good about monitoring what types of foods come in our home, but I know that I can do better. I have cooked things for others that I would never eat myself simply because I know they like it. That’s called being an enabler. I know I can’t control everything someone eats, but I can at least make an effort to control what they eat when I am the one preparing the meal. I also want to make more of an effort to eat better for myself overall and stick to a more defined exercise routine. This is important to me because I understand that God has only given me one body while on this earth and I need to take care of it.

    Goal 10: I want to spend more time outside. This may sound like a rather silly goal, but I was looking through some of my Instagram pictures recently and noticed just how much time I spend indoors. Nature is so beautiful and unique. I don’t want to miss out on it splendor by keeping myself shut away.

    I really enjoyed doing this. I currently living out my first tending list and it feels GREAT! This update is coming to you from my front porch (which I have probably sat on three times) as I soak up some beautiful sunlight (that I would have missed if Go hadn’t given me Goal #10 a few days ago). I have not notebook out and am determined to allow the beauty of nature give me energy to pour the words of my heart out into some great blogs for my readers.

    Thanks for the encouragement! Not just from Lara, but from each of you ladies who are sticking to this. You all gave me hope that I could accomplish this.


    • Lara on May 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!! Wow, God is SOOOO good!

  30. Nadine on October 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    “His favorite sweater was in our charity pile this weekend and, when I asked him about it, he said he said that it wasn’t really giving unless you were giving something you didn’t want to give away for the sake of someone else. ”
    I find that incredibly inspiring to me. That’s a good word on giving.

  31. Megan on March 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I’m reading through old posts for goal setting and Powersheets inspiration, and just realized your anniversary was yesterday. Happy anniversary to you & Ari — hope it was romantic, relaxing, and beautiful!

    • Lara on April 4, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      You are so kind and thoughtful! Thank you so much — it was : )

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