Dec 16, 2016

LITTLE BY LITTLE / Finishing 2016 Strong


With all the forward focus on the year ahead, it’s easy to forget that 2016 isn’t over yet! There’s still time to finish this year strong, no matter how the other 350 days of the year have been. But, finishing strong to me doesn’t mean doing it all, or checking items off a to-do list. These words describe the kind of strength I want as I finish 2016. True strength doesn’t mean performing. I want to keep grace as my focus, knowing I don’t have to do it all, or do anything perfectly!

fullsizerender_1We love our Walk in Love T’s around here, and these seesters loooove each other.

Here are ten things to help you cultivate what matters, little by little, in the week ahead.

1. Listen in. If did two podcasts recently where I shared my story from this year and lots of practical advice and encouragement for hard seasons. You can listen to my interview on the Creative Empire Podcast here, and the God Centered Mom podcast here. Podcasts are a great way to make intentional use of holiday travel time.

2. Prepare well. A little forethought goes a long way. Emily, Nicole, and I shared all of our best PowerSheets and grace-filled goal setting tips this week to help you finish this year well, and prepare for the season ahead. Listen in for free here. So much good info!

3. Know that there is still time. It’s worth repeating to help it take root in our hearts: there’s still time to cultivate what matters in 2016, whether that means slowing down, changing your course, or doing something you’ve always wanted to do. My friend Nancy is most definitely making the most of these last few days of the year by tackling a big (meaningful) goal. Read all about it here.


4. Learn from wise women. One of my PowerSheets goals from 2015 was to have wise mentors in my life. Renee Swope has been a friend and mentor to me this year, and I asked her if she would share her wisdom with you too! Listen in to our live broadcast yesterday here. And be sure to register for the final Cultivate Interview of the year with farmer-florist and author, Erin Benzakein here. See you Wednesday a noon!

5. Grow together. I never imagined I would lead a team when I first started my business in 2004. I have learned so much (and have more learning to do). I turned the mic to the ladies I work alongside to share their best tips for growing a great team here.

6. Slow down time. This post (and the article Em mentions) has stayed with me for several weeks. A great read, especially this time of year as we begin reflecting on 2016 and find ourselves saying things like, “Where did all the time go?”

img_7259Grace and I made a whole lot of orange cranberry jam this weekend for holiday gifts!

7. Have an adventure. So, this doesn’t exactly count as one of my ten items for this post, but it’s my blog and I’ll break the rules if I want to! ; ) Traveling with two babies and a Gracie is logistically challenging for many reasons. We have gone to the grocery store together, and to church—that about sums up our family travel this year. But, we really want to bring the kids to my parent’s house in Florida for the holidays. Ari does not like flying, and I really love him, so flying is out. Instead, we’re renting an RV and driving to my parent’s house (13 hours) the week after Christmas. They don’t know this yet, so shhhhhh if you know my parents or my brother. Ari has to work on Christmas weekend, so we’re starting our trek on my 37th birthday – the 27th. It shall be a memorable birthday, no doubt! Anyone else driving a long distance to see family? Or have tips for RVing with babies?

8. Write and sticker your heart out. I remember how fearful we were to add color to the PowerSheets for the first time. We loved the idea of making goal setting, and life in general, more colorful and fun, but what would everyone else think? We did it anyway, and our PowerSheets workbooks (with corresponding stickers) have been a huge hit! The sold-out Cultivate What Matters pens are back in our new PowerSheets accessories bundle, which includes the Cultivate Sticker Book. (As of me typing this, there are only 77 bundles left.) Order today for holiday delivery… and make sure you read the next tip before you order. : )

9. Don’t miss number 9 here. I am so grateful for you, and our time here on this little blog!

fullsizerender_3A page from my PowerSheets above.

10. Goal get ’em! Mark your planners—my sixth-annual Grace-filled Goal Setting Series (how has it been six years!?) starts on December 26th! I will be sharing my PowerSheets goal uncovering process (including the challenges from this year and what I learned from them), additional goal uncovering steps that have been helpful for me, my 2017 goals, and I’ll be inviting you to do the same! Get ready for lots of inspiration and, as usual, great giveaways along the way too!

Cultivating what matters alongside you–little by little,

Lara Casey signature

P.S. Inside the Life Handbook, as requested!


  1. Tiffany Grant on December 16, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Awe I love that you are adventuring in an RV! So awesome!

    • Lara on December 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      We are excited… and bracing for the adventure with two babies! : )

  2. Becky C on December 17, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I’m looking forward to reading the goal setting series! I found your blog (actually it was the Making Things Happen on Tumblr!) on 2012 and I’ve been loving it since. A lot has changed but I love your approach to goals, you inspire me so much.
    I’m already reflecting on what went well and wrong and what I want 2017 to *feel* like. Can’t wait for 26 december and read your blogposts on this!

    • Lara on December 19, 2016 at 9:53 am

      I’m so grateful you’re here, Becky!! See you on the 26th : ) : ) : )

  3. Ann-Marie on December 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Hey Lara, there’s a great road tripping with kids episode on a podcast called Thrifty Little Mom (I’ll be a first time Mom in May and let’s just say I’m way ahead of myself!) but I thought it might help you!

    • Lara on December 19, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Thank you for that suggestion! : )

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