Aug 1, 2017

July Recap + August PowerSheets Goals

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I am grateful for this new month! August ushered in a refreshing change of temperature, signifying a new season ahead. And it’s right on time. The cool air in the mornings here lately has made me take extra deep breaths in. It has been a relief from the heat of summer, and my garden is showing more joy with this fresh air too. Transition, I am learning, is a gift. This new month is an opportunity to start fresh, embrace the changes that are happening, and make the most of this life!

We welcomed one of our new team members, Kaylee, in July. We took her to Tomato Day at the farmer’s market to celebrate!

Here is a recap of July and the little-by-little progress I made on PowerSheets goals.

On my blog in July:

– My July Goals and Some New Thoughts
– Gracie’s Garden Tour + a Secret Garden Reveal
– I’d love to see you at Making Things Happen in March!
– How to Get Hired: 10 Essential Interviewing Tips
– Three Tips for Embracing Change

On the Cultivate Blog:

– Our July PowerSheets Party
– July Goals Round-Up
– Introducing Kaylee!

– A Recap of the Cultivate Book Launch Party
– Making Things Happen is happening in 2018!
– Our Top Resources for Goal Setting
– How to Pay Down Debt in 2017
– Podcast Recommendations
– Cultivating Habits in a Season of Transition
– How to Use Stickers in Your PowerSheets and Planner (this is one of my favorite posts this month!)
– Our Favorite Things in July

My July Goals Progress:

– Pray impossible prayers and be open. – Yes, there have been several significant personal challenges this last month and we have prayed some big prayers.
– Register our homeschool and write a “starting” plan. – I have not registered yet because we haven’t come up with a homeschool name yet (any suggestions??), but I did order lots of starting materials and feel like I am 70% done planning our start.
– Sing – because I’m grateful. – This was so fun and gratifying! I sang hymns with the kids one afternoon, sang to Sarah several times to calm her when she was upset, sang with Ari while he played guitar on Saturday, and sang a lot with Grace on our walks this month. It was so good to worship the Lord and have fun in this way!
– Teach with His wisdom (focusing on helping friends use their PowerSheets well this month to prepare well for a great second half of the year!). – Yes, I shared on my IG stories and in a live broadcast about good goals (WATCH HERE: How to get the most out of your PowerSheets), and I did an impromptu broadcast sharing what I am learning in reading Isaiah lately.
– Steward our time and finances well and passionately. – This one leads me to one of my August goals. More below!
– Prepare for the fall (for the homeschool transition and our Write the Word and 2018 PowerSheets releases coming soon). – Yes, I made progress here, and Write the Word re-launches at the end of August!
– Prune my time (for the above). – Yes, and I am considering hiring another employee to help on this front. I am still praying about it and sorting through what that role would look like.
– Enjoy the garden and praise the Master Gardener. Most definitely! We enjoyed cantaloupe, herbs, zucchini, and lots of flowers from the garden this week, and we have all LOVED watching the “Magical Trio” (the goldfinches, butterflies, and bees) on the zinnias! Here is the most recent garden tour, and it has grown so much since then!

Grace in our secret garden 🙂

July weekly goals:
– Worship the Lord in our date nights – Yes!
– Stretch my perceived limits to grow strength and endurance in my fitness – Yes, I tried hard.
– Read Traction – Moving this to August!
– Read What’s Best Next – Yes, I made progress and have loved this book so far.
– Read Teaching from Rest. – I didn’t start this one, but instead Ari and I started 12 Ways Yoru Phone is Changing You and we have been loving reading The Secrets of Happy Families every night.

July daily goals:
– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal! – Yes!
– #RunLiftPraise – Yes!
– Delight our children – Yes! This has been one of my favorite and most fruitful goals. I did everything from making these pancakes for breakfast (so good) to leaving Grace a surprise note, to making up extra silly stories for bedtime. It has been fun!
– Stay active in my work days —see how I do it here! – Yes!
– Praise Him out loud! – Yes, I prayed out loud a lot this month, which I will continue to do.

Here are my PowerSheets goals for August:

– Set homeschool in motion. Our official start is September, but we are getting our feet wet this month!
– Make Ebenezer’s with the Lord. This goal was inspired by 1st Samuel and a message at church about making memories with the Lord. When we make memories with friends, it bonds us closer together. We end up telling “remember when” stories, and we feel connected. I wrote about intentionally remembering all the Lord has done in our lives in Cultivate, and I am excited to do more of this in August.
– Refresh our family goals with the Parent’s Goal Guide (and I’m excited to chat with Korie Robertson tomorrow about setting goals as a parent!)
– Read + DO What’s Best Next
– Lead our Fall Team Summit with joy. Each quarter, our team has a summit to learn and grow together.
– Give a transparent and light-filled Core Business Presentation. I’m in a small group of Christian business CEO’s and it’s my turn this month to share everything about our business to get their guidance and feedback. I’m excited!
– Pray over + through the 2018 PowerSheets shoot. This has turned into quite a production. I’ll share more behind-the-scenes on August 21!
– Joyfully re-release Write the Word (Our sold-out Write the Word journals will be back in stock on August 23rd!)
– Suprise —- [I can’t tell you yet!:)]

I asked Ari to write something in my encouraging words box, and I’m so grateful I did.

June weekly goals:
– $100/week on groceries. Let me preface this by saying that the Isaacson’s eat a lot. We go through two dozen bananas and 2-3 dozen eggs a week. Josh is also allergic to dairy and soy, so we are limited with some choices. All this to say, groceries is one of the largest categories in our budget. I read an article recently about a family of five that spends $100 on food per week and it inspired me. It feels doable with some creativity and determination. We are giving this a try and have already made progress. I’m excited to teach Grace through this and get creative.
– WORK IT. I want to have more fun working out this month.
– Love Sarah + Mackenzie with prayer. Mackenzie is our new caregiver (thank you so much to many friends who prayed for us in this process) and she starts training today! This is exciting to welcome an amazing new woman to our family, but also sad because we love Sarah so much. (Sarah is having a baby this fall!) My goal is to love them both through lots of love and prayer in this transition.
– Encourage and pray for my buddy, Amber. In our office, we have a new buddy each month to encourage, and I’m so glad mine is Amber for August!
– Grow our faith in our date nights
– Enjoy the garden

June daily goals:

– Continue reading my chronological Bible reading plan for my Number 1 goal!
– #RunLiftPraise
– Delight our children
– Stay active in my work days —see how I do it here!

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The aforementioned hungry gents in our house, the orchid I wrote about in Cultivate bloomed again, and some other fun pics from July.

Your turn! I’d love to hear: Do you have goals for August? I’ll pick one of you to send a special surprise box of goodies to from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I love sending real mail, and I love hearing your thoughts! Congrats to July’s winner, Kylee Merritt!

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  1. Elizabeth on August 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    My August goals are:

    1. Simplify and prepare my work/home/heart for a month-long road trip next month
    2. Match quiet nights to read, journal, and rest with early mornings to exercise (on nights that I stay in, I wake up early the next day)
    3. Leave my current job, and my replacement hire, equipped and with a clean slate
    4. Spend at least a few minutes of each day in silence

    I love reading yours!

  2. Nichole on August 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Woohoo on slimming down the grocery budget! My husband and I did this months ago and we have really enjoyed learning how to do it well. I would really recommend trying out Aldi if you haven’t already. It made a huge difference for us in getting some of the basics while we still get most of our fresh produce from the farmers market.

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Such a great suggestion! Yes, we have one here and I am looking forward to trying it out!

  3. Chelsey Fisher on August 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I am getting married in September, so my main goal for August is to prepare for marriage! We’ve been reading a ton of books and working to have open, honest communication about marriage recently, and we’re hoping to continue to expand that as the wedding date gets closer. I’m also trying to work from a place of excitement and joy. Instead of thinking “ugh, another meeting this afternoon,” I’ve been making it a priority to be excited about the work I am able to do each day, instead of complaining.

    Also, I’m not sure if this has something that has been discussed before, but is there anything on going over the parents/couples guide goals refresher? My fiance and I tried to sit down and review our couples guide after a few months, but struggled to figure out how to have a meaningful conversation (other than “Yes, I still agree” and “We’ve made improvement here and not so much here”)

    • Lara on August 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

      Great question! A few things that have helped us are to:

      – Ask if our goals still excite and motivate us the way we originally worded them, or if the wording needs to be changed (this helps us in our team goals too!)
      – Decide what action step we each could take that same day – it helps ignite momentum
      – Practice asking second questions. For example, if you still like your goals, ask each other why.

      I hope that helps! I’m excited for you!

  4. Jill Robb on August 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    This is a big month for my husband and I as we anticipate adopting our twins in September! My goals this month include preparing our home physically for the arrival of our new miracles, but also to intentional time with friends and family before they make their arrival. 🙂

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Wow, this is a big month for you! How wonderful!

  5. Katie on August 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Our homeschool name was our last name combined with ‘Christian Academy’. After a graduation recognition at church someone come up to me and said “I thought you were homeschooled!” LOL! Guess they didn’t hear the first part of the school name. 🙂

  6. Brianna on August 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I always love reading your goals, Lara! They definitely inspire me! I love your goal of creating Ebenezer stones with the Lord – that’s something I may have to steal as one of my goals! 🙂

    A few of my August goals are:
    -pray about a huge upcoming season of change in our lives
    -Read through and study the book of Isaiah
    -Cook at home more – delight in making fresh and healthy meals for my husband
    -Purchase and begin learning Adobe Lightroom

    I’m planning to finish my Powersheets prep tonight with the rest of my goals! Happy August! 🙂

  7. Abigail on August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Happy August, Lara! I always look forward to these posts as well as the #TendingTuesday Instagram stories! It gets me fired up all over again, and inspires me to continue to pursue my goals!

    I am currently in a season of transition, so my goals are mainly focused around growing my faith + job searching during this season, but I left room for some personal growth and fun along the way. A few of my August goals are:
    – Establish core message (elevator speech) adaptable to a variety of jobs
    – Attend four networking events
    – “Career Day” with one of my dear friends where we talk about our dreams + how we can make those happen!
    – Explore one new thing about my city each weekend (get outside)
    – Find creative ways to encourage friends + loved ones

    Bless you and your work with this incredible company. May many more people find inspiration and meaning in each season of life as I have through your products + content.

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Happy August to you too, Abigail! I love all you shared and thank you for the very kind words.

  8. Sarah on August 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I love how transparent and genuine your goals are, Lara!

    My August goals include:
    -Pass one of the four CPA tests needed to be a certified public accountant
    -Find affordable furniture pieces for my new apartment
    -Schedule time to visit close friends in their new hometowns
    -Set aside quiet time every day to do a Bible devotional
    -RELAX! Take advantage of this slow season and be okay with laying out by the pool with a good book every so often

  9. Kelty on August 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Hi! We are starting our homeschool journey next month with Kindergarten too and I’m very excited (and only a little terrified.) I finished “Teaching from Rest” last week and it was really edifying. The title says it all. It’s an easy read and an easy audio listen too. I’ll probably rereading it at some point in the coming year. May the Lord bless both of our families on this new journey!

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      We are so on the same journey! Yes! I echo your prayer and am grateful to have a buddy in this. : )

  10. Maria on August 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    My August Goals are simple this month.

    1. I want to grow in my faith….we found a lovely new church and we love it there. So the goal is to go every week and become part of the community there.

    2. I want to prepare myself body and soul to grow a family. We are trying to have children (prayers please!!) and I want to use this time to prepare myself with better habits.

    3.Enjoy time with my husband…so often we sit and stare at the TV or at our phones and I’d like to stop that.

    4. Make an effort to spend more time with family and friends… two introverts my husband and I often default to opting out of events. I’d like to cultivate relationships that are important to us.

    Trying to Cultivate a Fruitful Life by focusing on What Matters Most!!!

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      I love number 3! Ari and I tried the Navigator’s Council questions lately and it was helpful. Do a quick google search and you’ll find them! : )

  11. Kayla on August 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Lara!! I just started using power sheets last month and I am LOVING them! My family and I just moved across the country so my goals for August are to:
    1- find a church community and serve WELL.
    2- make friends openly
    3-work genuinely at my new jobs
    4- be avaliable for my family
    5-support a book launch team that I’m apart of
    6-save $$ per paycheck for future business endeavors!

    Thanks for being so open and honest about your goals. It’s so fun to see how everyone process life and dreams!

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Yay! I’m so grateful the PowerSheets have encouraged you!

  12. Rosie on August 1, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    My biggest goal for this month is to prayerfully prepare for the new baby joining us next month! So many things to do and consider. Another goal of mine is to cultivate new friendships and be intentional with the friends I have. <3

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      That is so exciting, Rosie. Congrats!

  13. Erika on August 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Two big goals this month…begin setting new rhythms for our family as my husband starts a new job. To have fun! The past few months we have been diligently working very hard towards some big goals, so this month, we want to play!

  14. Alaina Monts on August 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing your great goals Lara! Have you thought about Ebenezer Academy as a homeschool name? Maybe it’s because I just finished Cultivate, but that seems like it could be a good way to show God’s faithfulness and guidance in this new adventure, and it sounds pretty official to me! I can’t wait to read about your homeschooling journey with Grace! She looked so excited opening her new curriculum today!

    I’ve updated my blog with my new PowerSheets tending list for August:

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      I love that name so much, Alaina! And I’m so excited to go read your blog and goals now! : )

  15. Angela on August 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    This month I am starting the Contentment Challenge. I am excited to see what I learn as go through these next few months without spending. I also plan to connect with a financial advisor. Really putting my 2017 goal of being a good steward of my finances on the front burner this month!

  16. Emily DeArdo on August 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    My August goals seem like a lot, but they’re mostly fun things!!
    My monthly goals are :
    *Attend my church group retreat day
    *tidy up the basement after a bit of flooding (eeek! Not fun!)
    *finish a knitting commission and start a new one
    *Go on vacation!
    *Do my August budget–I’m with you here, Lara, in that grocery spending is my top category! Trying to reduce this.
    *Finish revising my ebook and send it to beta readers!

    Weekly goals:
    *Mass once a week
    *Cleaning the house once a week
    *Meal planning
    *Saving $10 in my cash fund

    Daily goals:
    *Bible time in the morning
    *Zero out–tidy the house before bed
    *Duolingo–I’m learning Italian and brushing up on my French
    *Balance my checkbook every day!

  17. Amy W on August 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Ask your hubby a Hebrew name since that’s woven in your family story? Ours is Apostolos Academy… our kids are sent out as ambassadors of Christ.

  18. Amy W on August 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    My biggest Aug goal is to prepare well for our himeschool start. I’m loving your Cultivate book right now as I dig in the prep work dirt.

  19. Lindsey on August 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    My main goals for August are:
    Monthly – prayer
    – self care
    – date night with my husband
    – limiting social media
    Weekly – weekly preparation on Sundays
    – weekly meal planning
    – blog twice a week
    Daily – 7,500 steps
    – 128 ounces of fluids (mainly water)
    – daily gratitude
    – daily quiet time with God

  20. Becky on August 1, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    This month (July) I realized that I am “eating my emotions.” I am learning about my depression and realizing that I am eating to cover up different emotional responses. A goal for August is to find things to take the place of, substitute for, and refocus my food tendencies to constructive things. Frankly it seems toooo much to handle but I’ll work on it a day at a time, or even a half a day at a time.

    • Lara on August 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      That is so good, Becky! I don’t know if you have read it before, but there is a great book called Made to Crave that has helped so many of my friends with similar experiences. I’m excited for you and grateful you shared!

  21. Stacey on August 1, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Great post! We are just down the road in Chatham County ???? August goals are to reach for books instead of my phone and to make time for a date with each kid and my husband as well.

  22. Sarah on August 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    SO excited for August!

    Monthly goals:
    – find an accountability partner & mentor. Not sure where to start on this but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

    – Start a budget!
    – Write the Word journal
    – Listen to 3 podcasts a week

    Daily goals:
    – 100 ounces of water a day
    – Read for 15 minutes (Cultivate, I’m looking right at you)
    – Heart time in the Word!
    – Work on my Common App for college

  23. Rachael on August 2, 2017 at 2:36 am

    Hi! My August goals are centred around working hard so I can rest hard. September will bring a lot of changes for me and the team I work on so I’m trying to prepare well for what I know I’ll need so I have more capacity for all the unexpected in September. And I have two weeks of vacation so I’m setting goals to make that time intentional (like no tech for a week of that!).

    My weekly goals usually look the same – spending four hours a week learning Czech (I’m a missionary), blog twice, reset my flat, and a walk by the river.

    Then I’m continuing to try to establish good daily habits – bible, water, vitamins, reading. I know these will help me have a good foundation in the midst of the changes coming!

    So thankful for my Powersheets!

  24. Kara-Anne Cheng on August 2, 2017 at 2:43 am

    I just recovered from a horrible bout of viral infection, and then my senior bunny is quite sick again, so July’s goals fell away to the side. 🙁

    Trying to keep my goals focused and smaller this month. Also celebrating the 2 men in my life, my dad and my husband’s birthdays!

    So these are my AUGUST goals:

    – Pray impossible prayers (inspired by Lara! I don’t pray half enough and also pray very cautiously) + BELIEVE
    – Read Happy Pretty Messy + Uncommon
    – Bible Study: Genesis
    – Clean house thoroughly
    – Rebuild The Petite Co website
    – Abide Meditation

    – Facebook Live: Branding webinars 😀
    – Save $50 (starting small!)
    – Pre-schedule social media content
    – Do Fitness Marshall 3-4x

    – Bible Study + Devotional (SRT + IF)
    – Praise the LORD! (inspired by Lara)
    – Water 8 cups

  25. Melissa S. on August 2, 2017 at 8:18 am

    My August goals include prayerfully preparing for our homeschool year that starts on the 16th, prepping freezer meals to streamline lunches during school, sticking with my personal fitness goals and hopefully losing a few pounds to get my body in shape for pants/jeans weather, date night with my husband, and daily quiet time/prayer time.

  26. Amanda N Boser on August 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I would love it if you shared your grocery lists for August and some of the dinner recipes you made to stick to your $100 a week grocery budget. Right now one of my main goals is to cut down on household costs! The Pay Down Debt in 2017 post was super helpful but I am always looking to other people for little tricks. Every penny counts! Happy August!

    • Lara on August 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Yes, I will be sharing along the way! : )

  27. Diane Stern on August 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Goals for the month of August:
    1. Get outside with my kids – with no agenda – for between 30-60 minutes a day.
    2. Get up every morning in time to have adequate time in God’s Word and prayer before the kids are up.
    3. Goal plan and pray over each of my children before the start of our homeschool year in September.
    4. Work out a schedule that will work for our family and begin to follow it to make the transition easier in the fall.
    5. Identify 4 ways I can love my husband well and do it.

  28. Elisabeth on August 3, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Hi Lara!
    As always, thanks for sharing your heart and your goals for this month. 🙂 My goals for the month include date night with my husband, enjoying quality time with my husband and daughter during his week off, fund our trust, declutter my room, spend less in our budget, and leave the house earlier to prep for the transition back to preschool in the fall. My most important goal is to read the Bible, pray and listen to Jesus every morning.
    Happy August!

  29. Erica on August 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Lara!

    I’m currently waiting for my work visa from Kuwait City, Kuwait. This is teaching me patience which is a great lesson to learn. I’ll be moving there late August and will be working as an Assistant Principal for kids in K-2 grade. My goals are to have a smooth transition overseas. To do a great job at my new school. To keep pray more with my husband.

  30. Linda on August 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    So amazed that you’ve got grocery budget as one of your goals this month. So. Do. I. It gets out of hand so fast! I’ve been scouring the internet looking into who’s doing it well so I can learn, too. Please share what you learn along the way! May God Bless your transitions xo 🙂

  31. Essy on August 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I’m so happy to have found you. I haven’t yet done the power sheets (I came in too late) but have done the Write the Word and it was powerful. What the Lord is doing through you, goes perfectly with what He’s been trying to show me for some time…only I haven’t been as good at putting it all together and running with it. I think the power sheets may help me with that. Many blessings to you and all of your endeavors.

    • Lara on August 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

      I’m so grateful the Write the Word journals have encouraged you!

  32. Rachel on August 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I also eat a lot of eggs and was paying a similar price at Whole Foods. I recently found a local farm where I can get eggs, which is awesome for my wallet AND my taste buds. This is another great option if it is available near you!

  33. Katie on August 5, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Lara! Thanks for sharing your heart with us! My big August goal, that is permeating into my weekly and daily goals, is to establish a good morning routine. I am NOT a morning person but I find if I don’t get up early, I can stay in bed sleeping/lounging/scrolling my phone far too long. Currently, I’ve been working on getting up at 6:00 (early for me!), drinking water, doing the day’s Write the Word/bible reading, reviewing my Tending List for the previous day’s daily goals, and then spend the rest of the hour reading one of my current books (jumping into Cultivate this week with the Powersheets Book Club Babes’s Facebook group) or coloring in a fun coloring book. It’s been a fun way to start my day feeling relaxed and refreshed. Here’s to new habits and growing slow!

  34. Katy Zitzmann on August 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I love hearing goals! My goals for this month include:
    1. Read the Gospels chronologically/parallel
    2. Schedule rest
    3. Pack and prepare and enjoy our annual trip with our friends! We are going on vacation with another family. 4 kids under 4 and we will be camping part of the trip too!
    4. Surprise my husband
    5. Keep doing our half marathon running plan
    6. Read 3 books and listen to 8 podcasts
    7. Plan 2 invitations to play for my kids

  35. Erin on August 10, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    So we are moving…just 1/2 hr away from where we are but a new town, new school for the kids, new everything. So my goal is to simply move and enjoy the end of summer. Make time for swimming and too much ice cream…get the kids bedrooms settled, tour our new school, put away things as we can…and try to enjoy this new adventure instead of freaking out the entire time. I really want to just be a support for my girls especially for this transition and focus only on them until school starts at the very end of August. We are all excited about this move so I want to work at keeping it that way! Come September, back to reality :-}

  36. Kristen Money on August 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Can you link the article for $100 a week for groceries or share some recipes / meal plans that are working for y’all?

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