Feb 2, 2017

How to Prepare for a Refreshing February

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I don’t know about you, but February is typically a wonky month around here. We’ve historically had extra cold weather: February was the month of two epic storms we dubbed Snowmageddon and Icepalooza.

But, there’s one big reason why February tends to be a tricky month for many: the forward momentum of January. We get so excited about doing new things, starting fresh, and growing new habits, that we often burn ourselves out by February 15th. It’s statistically the month that gym membership attendance goes down, and fast food consumption goes up. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Knowing these things, I’ve set out to turn the wonky month of February into Flourishing February. I shared lots of practical tips on Instagram stories this week (above!). It resonated with many of you so much that I compiled my stories here for you.

I’m ready for this month!

My monthly PowerSheets goals for February:
– Settle into a new Cultivate What Matters work rhythm (more on this soon)
– Finish my final book edits
– Build what I’m calling a “Cultivated Calendar” + blog it (in the works!)
– Write my Gardening 101 Guide
– Memorize good words for goal number 3
– Take the next steps in garden planning and start some seeds indoors!
– Continue to gather good homeschool info (post coming next week about this!)
– Start my “little by little” painting (a painting I decided to create in celebration of what I’m learning in my Bible reading goal — more on this soon)
– Finalize 2018 PowerSheets
– Prayerfully prepare for and experience the Faith Retreat (a biannual retreat my friend Nancy and I are doing with a few friends to spiritually recharge)

Lara Casey Blog February PowerSheets Goals

Weekly goals:
– Sabbath – lifegiving weekends
– Meaningful connection with Ari
– Learn and cultivate new sleep habits
– Pray through my prayer journal (seen in the pic above)

Daily goals:
– Read my chronological Bible reading plan (I have been loving this!)
– Eat more raw foods
– 40 days of prayer with Ari
– Be active in my work day

Your turn! I’d love to hear: how are you feeling about February? Do you have goals for February? What are you doing to cultivate renewal this month? I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts!

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  1. Stephanie Osborne on February 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    This month is calling for a lot of health related progress for me personally. Moving my body more, breaking food idolatry and being a good steward of the temple I’ve been given by our King!

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:39 am

      Love your honesty and determination!

  2. Judy on February 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I’m super excited about February because I have actually made progress in January on several goals that I’ve been stressing about for some time. I’m feeling energized and motivated to keep going. And strangely ( or maybe not) checking a box to indicate I exercised is motivating!

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:39 am

      Yes!! I feel similarly! Energized and excited alongside you!

  3. Natalie Andrews on February 2, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    What is 40 days of prayer? Are Ari and you committing to praying together for 40 days?

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:38 am

      Yes, we have been reading a little book together called 40 days of prayer. You commit to 40 days of praying a list of your “impossible prayers,” and then noting His answers and progress as you go. It has been very helpful!

  4. Elizabeth on February 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I am using the same prayer journal! It’s on my daily goals for the second month now to open it every day. It’s been wonderful. I was looking forward to February but it’s been a rough week so I’m trying to not lose momentum.

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:36 am

      Prayers for your setbacks to turn into unexpected blessings!

  5. Kayleen on February 2, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Since our second daughter was born the end of January, my goals for February are focused on grace and learning new routines and rhythms. It’s a little frustrating putting some of my bigger goals on hold but it’s also already been a huge lesson in focusing on what really matters and embracing the mess.

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:41 am

      Congrats on your new little one! Prayers for your new rhythms, and I love what you are learning. So beautiful!

  6. Sara on February 2, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    February, you are an odd duck. I blame Punxsutawney Phil. With a name like that, you can’t be trusted…Praying the warmth of Spring sunshine and joy of puddle splashing is less than 6 weeks away.

    Taking time to gracefully reassess goal progress:
    – Finding creative ways to hit intentional communication with the hubs 4x a week. Very well could come in the form of a bathroom makeover. Lots of time for heart to hearts when you’re getting the subway tile spacing just right.
    – Master Bath Makeover, next step in making our home our humble sanctuary/refuge for the weary
    – Social Media detox: putting my phone in another room when i’m with my kids during the day or working on projects. Overestimated my ability to self-govern in that arena.

    Flourishing February, I might just learn to love you…

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:41 am

      Love it my friend!

  7. Catherine on February 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement! I am doing Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare and sharing the journey with my mom. It’s been great to have a bit of structure to remind me to give thanks, and I am excited that I will have a record of 1,000 gifts for which I am grateful by the end of the year.

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:36 am

      Oooh I will have to look into this!

  8. Candace on February 2, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Quick question, were the results of the you’re in giveaway posted somewhere? I so easily miss these kind of things and I didn’t feel like I saw it anywhere. Thanks!

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:35 am

      Great question, and a funny story for the answer… We use a project management system in our office called Asana, and we all somehow forgot to put in a task for choosing and announcing the winners!! So, the announcement is coming today (Friday) from Jess! Stay tuned.

    • Becky on February 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      I really love Asana – it’s great!

  9. Candace on February 2, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    *year end

  10. Heather Dolen on February 2, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    February, for me, is an awesome month! It’s my birth month (tomorrow actually! 2/3) It’s Valentines Day (and I LOVE LOVE!!) and it’s the month that I feel I settle into “rest”. The rush of the holiday season is over, the frenzy of the New Year is settled, and the time has come to just..rest. To regroup and realign with the goals and ambitions I set so highly at the end of December. I re-evaluate where I’m at, what is working, most definitely what isn’t, and I move forward toward spring with hope and focus and intent. But…still slowly, because February is a quiet month. An easy month. That last little bit of time where the days are still short, the night comes a little early and the world is still giving
    us permission to be rest…quietly…easy, and slow…before the bustle of the warming weather hits its and with it – Spring Fever!!!
    I love February!

    • Lara on February 3, 2017 at 5:32 am

      I love your thoughts, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Yahoo!!!!

  11. Laura on February 3, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I’ve never given much thought to February. Always the same routine year after year. But I’m getting intentional this year and February is the next step to changes. I’m loving my habit tracker this year, and it was exciting to make tweaks for February after assessing how January worked and knowing where I can improve. Also loving reading through the Bible this year so far!

  12. Jennifer Doty on February 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

    February is typically a month that I don’t enjoy because it is so cold, and we usually have snow. I have made some good progress in January with some of my goals, so I feel optimistic.
    I am looking to make a February a great month!
    Weekly Goals:
    I want to bless and encourage others in February. I have several friends who are dealing with significant losses, and I want to bless and encourage them through words, snail mail, and prayer.

    Exercise 4 times per week- I have been able to do 2-3 days about every week so far this year. I’m going to continue to train for 1/2 marathon that I want to do at the end of April. I hold this goal very loosely because my knees ache when I run lots of miles. I am working on focusing to strengthen my knees and hips and know that by God’s grace, I will eventually be able to do this even if it isn’t on my time frame.

    Sabbath- continue to enjoy and prioritize this time of much needed rest, I want to consider this just as important as any task on my to do list.
    Declutter- I have almost gotten my house in good enough order to be able make a huge dent in decluttering

    Continue to do my daily Bible reading in the Reading God’s Story Chronological Bible, I’m currently ahead of schedule.
    Eat paleo/whole foods type diet- I have had some difficulties lately with them. I will continue to plan and do my best to stick to this.
    Read- continue to read books that help me be able to better achieve some of goals I set for myself this year.

    I want to cultivate renewal by reading encouraging books that help me move toward accomplishing my goals. I want to also do this by using my phone and social media less. I want to be present for my family. I have also intentionally started prioritizing my time by choosing what I believe God is calling me to and not doing everything. On Wednesday, I had to say no to an opportunity that I knew would have put to much on my plate. It is life giving when we prioritize our time.

    • Sondra on February 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hello. I read about your comment to strengthen your knees for running. I have a suggestion: can you work swimming into your exercise routine? It really helped me to have a low impact way to strengthen my legs and joints. Also, I switched to no-impact shoes – Soft Star Dash- and this has helped tremendously. They are a little pricey by the first running shoe that does not give me blisters or backpain or even shin splints!

  13. Nicole C. on February 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your goals and tips!! I’m feeling lighter this month, and more energized, all thanks to powersheets and your blog, etc!!

  14. Brianna on February 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I’m excited for February! This month I want to make some sweet treats for Valentine’s Day for friends and family, continue with keeping a daily gratitude journal (a game-changer in cultivating contentment), as well as continue with my half-marathon training (race is next month!). This is going to be a good month! 🙂

  15. Janice Chan on February 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I think the February slump hit me in January! I would love to use February to reset and simply remind myself of the goals I set, and think more intentionally about how I can meet those goals.

  16. Kris on February 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I am feeling great about February! In January I learned that I need to pair down my monthly, weekly and daily goals to really cultivate what matters little by little. I’m going into February with a targeted list of goals that I know have bandwidth to focus on. I also finally started using the stickers at the back of the Power Sheets journal. It made filling out my February tending list that much more enjoyable! For the first time in a long time, I feel like more than just a dreamer. I’m a woman of Action!

  17. Becky on February 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    So I tend to bite off more than I can chew. I’m a single mom to 2 boys, working full time, and I just started grad school. So my tending list last month was FULL. I didn’t accomplish everything. In February, I am changing tactics. I still have a full list, but the last 4 are STRETCH GOALS. Which means, if I get to them, GREAT! If not, that’s okay. I’ll just move them to next month. I really think this will help with keeping motivated and not losing steam about mid-month. Because I can take a break if I need to and just let the stretch goals go for now. I’m excited to give it a try!

  18. Emily DeArdo on February 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    One of my favorite books about the Sabbath is called Souls at Rest by Charlotte Ostermann. I highly recommend it!!

  19. Sarah Pabody on February 7, 2017 at 3:06 am

    I feel really ready to conquer goals for February! I loved the Simplify This Month + Tending List combo in the PowerSheets. It was my first time using it since I did most of January Online and didn’t copy everything over into the Sheets. I felt it was a really excellent organizational tool and was so “painless” to use. Thank you for the help!
    To “cultivate renewal,” I am planning weekly dates with my kids (simple – even early morning dominoes & hot chocolate if necessary!), and committing to a tech-free Sunday (and trying for Saturdays, too! I think I can do it this time of year!)

  20. Sondra on February 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    February is a month that I have dedicated to self-care. As a homeschooling mom of three kids under 7, self care can often fall by the wayside. This month, I am attending two yoga classes a week, sledding in the backyard each afternoon with the kiddos (I even set an alarm on my phone for this), and reading some positive classics before bed ( little women, Anne of Green Gables). My husband also is going to be coming to one yoga class a week with me! Our date nights were getting kind of boring and trying something new together will hopefully rekindle a spark!

  21. Katie @ A Place to Dwell on February 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Hi, Lara! 🙂
    I loved reading your February goals!

    I still haven’t officially posted my 2017 goals yet, so I haven’t filled out a tending list for February. But I’m still off and running on my goals and actually completed the Whole 30 program yesterday, which was one of my goals for 2017! I’m excited to continue following much of those guidelines in the months to come and continuing to cultivate healthy habits that allow me to serve Him to the fullest!

    As far as renewal goes, I am hoping to take a “God weekend” soon, heading to a favorite B&B for a night and just really drawing near to Him and seeing what He has for me in those moments. I am praying about some things currently that feel very impossible, so I think a weekend away with Him to focus on His presence and promises is just what I need. 🙂 <3

    • Lara on February 8, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Wow, that sounds like such a great weekend! I wish I could join you! : )

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