Hooray!!! So many of you have asked if I was going to do another homeschool planner (I’m so glad you loved the first one!) and I’m delighted to share that it’s HERE!

Enter your email below for your free download! It may take a few minutes to land in your inbox! 😊NEW in this year’s free planner download:
—The new planner is UNDATED so you can start anytime, print one month at a time if you like, or set up your whole school year the way you love it.
—New artwork throughout—it’s so pretty!
—Just like the PowerSheets Goal Planner, simple and intuitive pages created to help you focus on what matters most. Pick and choose which pages work best for you!

How to print your planner:
Download your free planner. Once you enter your email above, you’ll get access to a folder with all the pages you need! Click the sections you’d like and hit “download.” Voila!
Print what you love for your homeschool needs. Some people love having just an attendance record and monthly pages, and some people (me!) love all the fun pages, too. Choose what’s best for you and you can always add pages in as you go! (Keep in mind: if you want a year of teal monthly divider pages, print 12 of that divider page. If you want 9 monthly sections, print that section 9 times—you get the idea! Organize your pages the way YOU want them and enjoy!)
Printing tips: I had mine printed and spiral bound at a local printer which was significantly less expensive than FedEx Kinkos, and much better quality. I had them size mine down to 7.5 x 10. Printing on a home printer and using a three-ring binder is a great option, too. You could also print on your home printer and have it spiral bound at your local print shop!

Curious about how we homeschool? Read my post from last year—we’re still on the same path!

I hope this free download gives you great joy—and helps you focus on what matters most to you and your students!

Your turn! Do you homeschool? Considering it, but not sure where to start? Have tips or favorite resources for newbies? Share below!

P.S. Mark your planners: NEW Write the Word Journals are coming in 13 days—including a brand new volume for KIDS! We use Write the Word for Kids in our homeschool and Grace can’t wait to use the new one! 

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Update: The NEW undated 2019-2020 Cultivated Homeschool Planner is available for download!

Long before our first day of homeschool, when I was still in the preparation stages, I was asked what curriculum we were using, what my best tips were, and even to speak at homeschool conventions. This felt a little like being asked to teach others how to ride a bike before I ever touched one myself. 🙂

I understand why friends asked me these well-meaning questions, though—I asked those same questions of others myself!

There are so many unknowns when you begin this journey. How do I do this? What do I do exactly? What if I mess up and don’t do enough? Where do I even START!? There are a million ways to do school (the challenge), and you get to do what’s best for your unique and wonderful child (the blessing).

While I’m no homeschool expert, I am deeply passionate about cultivating what matters—and a huge part of that for us is growing the hearts we’ve been entrusted with. Moving into our second year of homeschooling, I have learned a few things, but I’m still—and likely always will be—the student here.

I haven’t shared much about our homeschooling journey for the reasons above, and because this has been a really special and sacred time for just Grace and me. I’ve shared so much of my life online, and this has been a sweet experience for just the two of us. Here are some basics of how we do it, though:

We homeschool because… Simply because God led us here. Our reason for homeschooling might be easier to explain, perhaps, if I had a strong schooling philosophy that leaned toward homeschool, or if I were homeschooled myself, or if there were no great schools in the area. None of these things are true though! The honest answer is God made it clear to us with every little step forward that this would be our path for Grace. Through conversations with friends, being around other homeschool families, little nudges and opened doors… it just fit. Much like our journey to adoption, homeschool was not on our radar for life, but we’re so glad He planted us here. There are so many ways to grow our children’s hearts well, whether that’s a wonderful public school education (my path!), private school (Ari’s path), homeschool, charter school, boarding school, unschool, or circus school (technically I was required to take clowning in college so this is a real thing, people!).

I don’t do it all. Grace goes to a “homeschool school” two days a week where she does history, social studies, and science, and I work with her for the other two days. Friday she does piano lessons and gets to play with her siblings and just have fun being a kiddo.

We don’t use a formal curriculum. I’m using recommendations for each subject from close friends whom I trust. Kindergarten was our year to build foundations, learning how to learn together. If I had to put us in a category, I’d say we’re Charlotte-Mason-ish with a side of Grace-likes-workbooks. My favorite resources: My friend, Lara, has been a wonderful resource and encourager. I also love Read Aloud Revival. Her book, The Read Aloud Family, is awesome. I have modeled our year after some of the Ambleside Online suggestions. We use our Write the Word for Kids to practice handwriting and as a fun way to get into the Bible. There are a few of blogs I occasionally read too, but my very favorite resources have been in-person relationships. We are in a weekly Bible study with three other couples, two of which are long-time homeschool families—one even runs a homeschool school. My friend, Natascha, runs a homeschool school, too. Many of our church friends homeschool. The list goes on. The Lord built this community around us, and we are grateful.

School this week with my buddies. : ) 

We finally have a school name! It took us our entire first year to come up with a school name that fit. Trying to create a name that embodied our school and also looked good on a future transcript felt like trying to name a child! Our final decision? Thanks to Ari’s suggestion, we chose C.C. Austin Day School. Cecil Clyde Austin was my grandfather, who I have written about many times. He greatly impacted my faith, and Joshua even has “Cecil” as a middle name. We often tell stories about him to our kids, flip through his old Bibles, and I probably mention his name at least once a week. Our school name makes us think of his humility and passion for the Lord. We love it! Now, onto our mascot, chosen by Grace: a unicorn, naturally!

We do morning time. A resource I’ve enjoyed for this is Pam Barnhill’s website.

We take it day by day, week by week, and we plan to take it year by year. Right now, this is where God wants us. We’re open to whatever He wants for each child in the future.

Homeschool is challenging and wonderful all at once. Our journey so far has been, to put it mildly, spiritually refining. It’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve done. And some days, it’s totally overwhelming!

To help me—and you—I have a little surprise!

Feeling overwhelmed by homeschool planning? I can relate! When I began our homeschool adventure, I prayed, researched, and readied myself as much as I could—but the most helpful thing I did was start each day with open hands. More than growing Grace’s mind, I wanted to cultivate her heart. I needed a simple system to stay focused on our big picture goals while getting the day-to-day learning done, too.

I created The Cultivated Homeschool Planner (a free download!) to help me get organized and focused on what matters most in our homeschool—and I’m excited to share it with you, too!

It is possible to set intentional goals and tend to them little by little with this customizable planner. No matter your method of schooling—or if your homeschool terms are six weeks long, three month periods, or traditional “semester” lengths, you can customize this undated planner to meet your needs. *I had mine printed and bound at a local printer which was significantly less expensive than FedEx Kinkos, and much better quality. I had them size mine down to 7.5 x 10. Printing on a home printer and using a three-ring binder is a great option, too!

I hope you enjoy this free download as much as I do!

Your turn! Do you homeschool? Considering it, but not sure where to start? Have tips or favorite resources for newbies? Feel free to share below!

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Hi, friends! Welcome to Part 1 of the 2020 Goal Setting Series! If you’re new, I’m especially glad you’re here.

Want to listen to this post instead of reading it? Listen to the brand new special episode of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast (includes bonus content and coaching for the series)!

You came here for a reason. What brought you here?

Maybe you’re feeling frustrated as you look back at 2019.

You didn’t make as much progress as you hoped on some of your goals—or you forgot about them completely.

Perhaps goal setting has failed you before and you feel defeated already thinking about the new year. You’re considering going “goal-less!”

Perhaps you stumbled on this post and it intrigued you because you want change in your life, but you’re afraid of how long it will take. You want change yesterday—you want a quick fix.

Or maybe this year has been great—you made progress on the right goals and you want to keep it going for 2020.

Whatever brought you here, you are in the right place!

Welcome to the ✨Ninth-Annual Intentional Goal Setting Series!✨ We’re 9 years strong, friends! (What are we going to do for our 10-year anniversary next year!? Let’s plan something extra fun together!) Many of you have been doing this series alongside me since year one and your goal updates each year blow me away!

Who is this 2020 Goal Setting Series for? The short answer: YOU! 😊

If you’ve tried goal setting before and burned yourself out—or didn’t follow through—you’re in the right place.

If you aren’t convinced yet that setting goals could work for you this year (and be fun!), you’re in the right place, too.

If you feel like your life is flying by, and you want to finally live your life like it’s the only one you’ve got, high fives!

If you’re new to this series, a big welcome from all of us—you’re in for a treat this year!

Whether you’re a mom, a student, a business owner, an empty nester, in a season of transition, or a season of starting fresh—in any place where you are in life, we’re going to let go of guilt-filled, fleeting resolutions, and embrace a whole new way of doing this goal-setting thing.

Are you SO ready for this?! Me, too.

First, let me back up a bit and introduce myself, because we’re going to get to know each other quickly as we go through this 4-part series.

Hi! I’m Lara. I’m a mom to three, a grateful wife, CEO of a growing company, and I love getting my hands dirty in my garden here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I’ve written two books about goal setting and intentional living (with a special book on the way next summer!). I’ve led a conference called Making Things Happen for 10 years, and I was once a personal trainer, a wedding planner, and the Editor-in-Chief of a national wedding magazine.

I am the creator of the best-selling PowerSheets® Goal Planner.

And… I don’t love goal setting. 
No, that’s not a typo.

I don’t like it at all… at least in the way it’s traditionally done.

Traditional goal setting (maybe you’ve done it before?) starts with “big dreams” that are often born of comparison, chasing perfection, fear, and a desire to keep up with others. Traditional goal setting tells us to conquer the world and that we can’t mess up along the way or we won’t achieve our big dreams. Traditional goal setting tells us that our worth is hinged on our performance and progress—or lack thereof.

I write about this because I’ve done it. I’ve fallen into those traps before. You, too? It’s doesn’t feel good, does it? Chasing the world’s idea of success always leads us to defeat.

Traditional goal setting.
No, thank you.
Have you had it with traditional goals, too? We’re going to be fast friends. You’ve found your people! ☺️

Nine years ago, I set out to uncover a process that works for the rest of us—those of us who don’t want to be ruled by overflowing to-do lists, who want to spend our time on things that really matter.

I flipped the traditional process on its head, and rather than starting with “big dreams” and adding more to my plate, I strategically examined what mattered in the big picture using some key questions. This changed everything. It changed what goals I chose to focus on and it gave me motivation to make them happen—no matter how many times I messed up along the way. I started seeing results without the pressure. I discovered that I didn’t need to make perfect progress to see results, and it was (and is) SO FREEING.

This is goal setting for people who hate goal setting. Welcome!

Feeling relief from the pressure already? Great!

Here’s the paradigm shift in how we do goals:
Goals will not change your life.
Knowing what matters will.
Goals are just how you get there.

You are going to uncover intentional, less-is-more goals—goals that lead to lasting change. Goals that add up to something in the big picture. I call these “cultivated goals.”

And cultivated goal setting starts with uncovering what matters.

Over the last nine years that I’ve been writing this series and watching you all live out your goals with your PowerSheets, I’ve studied what makes us feel unmotivated and what causes us to follow-through.

What causes people to change starts with one pivotal moment. It’s the moment when you decide that the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. It’s the moment you decide you are tired of doing the same things you’ve always done and getting the same results you’ve always gotten.

This might just be that moment for you.

Now, you could just stop here and quit before even trying. You could do that and I won’t judge you! 🙂 I’ve given up on a whole lot of things in my life right at the starting line. But, here’s where that might leave you (like it did for me): going through the motions, not feeling confident that you’re on the right path, getting distracted, lacking motivation, not taking care of what you’ve been given, and generally wasting your time.

Or you could end 2020 knowing you lived your best year, with direction and motivation (but no perfection required). Cultivated goals—the kind we are going to uncover together—will do that for you.

This 4-part series is a taste of the PowerSheets Prep Work. Your PowerSheets have many more goal-uncovering insights and guided worksheets than I’ll include here. Even more importantly, your PowerSheets help you take the good goals you uncover and LIVE THEM OUT in 2020—month by month and little by little. It’s not enough just to set good goals—you need to do something about them, too! : ) This series is a starting point to help you think differently. If you are ready to quit traditional goal setting, you are going to LOVE the PowerSheets!

NOW is the perfect time to get your 2020 PowerSheets if you haven’t already—the order deadline for domestic New Year’s delivery is Wednesday, December 18th. Use the code BESTYEAR2020 for 15% off your order today. (Two covers—Teal Linen and Pink Linen—have already sold out, but we still have two inspiring covers to choose from!) Our fulfillment team in Kentucky ships fast!

3 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS SERIES (and your PowerSheets!):

1. Instead of just thinking your answers, write them down. This is so simple and impactful! Write your answers in your PowerSheets or a journal. If you want accountability, leave them here in the comments. I want to cheer you on! And…

2. Cheer her on! You know how it feels when someone encourages you? Yes—amazing! Let’s do that for each other throughout this series. You never know how your words might change someone’s life forever.

3. Make a mess. If you tend to buy journals or planners and then leave them on a shelf (been there!), let’s turn that habit around starting now. Practice what I call “making a mess.” You aren’t going let the need for perfect handwriting or perfect answers or perfect timing keep you from uncovering your best goals, are you? Didn’t think so!

Ready to get started? Yesssss! I’m so pumped for you!

DO A LIFE AUDIT

Do you know the reason you burned out and gave up on some of your goals (or all of them) somewhere around mid-January or February? Perhaps you added to your already-full plate without subtracting a few things first. That’s like planting new seeds in a garden that’s already packed full.

To grow new goals, first look at what’s already there. Then, you can either keep growing those things if they matter to you, or clear them out and make room for new ones. Let’s do that together, taking a look at how we are doing right now so we can avoid burnout—and finally follow through on the things that matter to us.

Won’t that feel so good? Consider this spring cleaning for your goals!

Old you: growing allthethings at once, most mediocrely. The result: nothing grows well.

Cultivated you: growing the right things, one step at a time. Doing a few things well and loving it!

Answer this question: How are you? Really. How are you? Look at the life audit categories below and write a few thoughts about how you are doing in each one:

— Health
— Friends
— Family (including your significant other, if applicable)
— Finances
— Spiritual + Personal Growth
— Work
— Recreation

In the PowerSheets, we call this a Cultivated Life Evaluation (and we return to it every quarter, which is so helpful to check-in and reevaluate as our lives change!). Give each area of your life a rating between 1 and 10, along with a few thoughts on why you chose that number. 1 means you are not satisfied in the area and want to see radical change. 10 means you are happy as a bee on honeysuckle!

“How are you?” seems like a simple question, but getting your true thoughts out of your head will lead you to find solutions and set you on a new path.

Knowing where you are now, mess and all, helps you to leap to where you’re going! The soil you’re standing on right now is your growing ground.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Oh, Lara, every category is terrible for me! Guess what? You might think I’ve lost my marbles, but I think that’s GREAT! It means you have more opportunities for good change ahead. That’s exciting! So, call each category what it is—I’m cheering you on as you get honest to write it out—and let’s count those challenges as the opportunities they are.

An example from my life: In 2018, I was challenged by contentment and emotional spending. I felt especially frustrated by out-of-the-blue things that knocked us off course when I was working hard to keep our finances in order! But! I decided to use my frustration (and low rating in that box) as fuel. Earlier this year, after going through the PowerSheets process and uncovering what matters and what was holding me back, I set a goal to have a No Spend Year in 2019. (More on that shortly and how my frustration turned into big change—no perfection required!)

Allow yourself to write the things that may feel undone, imperfect, or hard, and write in some positive thoughts, too—even if the positive feels tiny!

Now, a bonus challenge: let the dirt be dirt. Once you’ve written everything out, notice your feelings for a moment—whatever they may be—without trying to change them or push them away immediately. Let the challenges and places you’d like to grow sink in a little.

If you’re like me, I often want to fix my circumstances right away instead of letting myself feel anything at all. My instinct is to reach for a distraction when faced with something that feels hard. (Anyone tempted to go scroll Instagram right now?)

But, distractions never bring me peace or clarity. So, let’s not do that. Maybe the soil of your life needs some fresh nutrients, or maybe there are some big rocks in the way of you planting new things. The only way you’ll know, though, is to see what’s there first.

Besides…

All those rocks and weeds?

They are opportunities—places in your life that are ready to be transformed!

LEARN FROM THE PAST

In traditional goal setting, you focus on the future, and on achieving your goals as fast as humanly possible. That is a recipe for b.u.r.n.o.u.t. I’ve done it many times before, and it’s a dead end. But! Uncovering cultivated goals means learning from the past in order to grow new things ahead. The past has a lot to teach us! Let’s take a look back at the last year.

What good things happened in 2019? What grew well? What are you grateful for from the last twelve months?

I know this can be a challenging step. We often don’t like counting our blessings, because it may feel self-indulgent or like it won’t get us anywhere fast—or perhaps you are thinking that there were no good things that happened in 2019! It’s easy to look back at an entire year and see only the hard parts, like when something happens to you at the end of the day and you automatically call it a bad day, regardless of what happened the other twenty-three hours.

Let’s do a little digging! A few tips to unearth the good stuff:

 Talk to someone who knows you well about your year and ask him or her to reflect some of the highlights back to you. He or she may remember some that you have forgotten! This is also a great way to celebrate the good things of the past year with others. Make it your dinner conversation tonight. (A tip: try looking at the good things from each season this yearit might help to jog some memories!)

Take a look back at your calendar, blog posts, social media updates, or photos. Those might give you a clue into some of the good things you’ve forgotten.

— Read through your 2019 PowerSheets—a simple way to see just how much you’ve grown this year!

—  Review your finances from the year. This is like reading a journal of places you went, and what some of your priorities were.

My Good Things: My word for 2019 was HEART. What that looked like this year: letting my heart be changed by getting to know God’s heart more.

This was the year…

— I learned how to nap—our Year of Sabbath has been a gift.
— Psalm 90:12 changed my life—and a whole lot of your lives, too.
— I started a podcast : )
Our plans didn’t go as planned. Our house flooded, our garden stopped growing, and things generally went awry this summer. Why is that a good thing? God had a plan!
— I wrote a children’s book (coming summer 2020!)
— We did an 8-mile hike as a family!
— My “No Spend Year” goal was a success. If I was doing traditional goal setting, though, I would be telling you it was an epic failure (see: house flood and unexpected expenses!). Here is where cultivated goal setting helps you win: you don’t have to be perfect to live out what matters, and you don’t need a perfect track record to make progress! I knew from the start that what mattered was my HEART changing about money and, by His grace, it did. (We loved this book as one of our first action steps this year!) Our little by little progress added up to heart change and more peace in the unexpected.
— I’ve made new friends this year and strengthened old ones. At almost 40, that is a gift.
— Team Cultivate settled into a new office, sold that office house a few months later, and then we signed a lease on a commercial retail space that we are so excited about!
— We grew our faith together as a team and went into the linen business 😉 We had fun!
— We took five hiking trips to the NC mountains with the kids.
— Ari and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. Read Make it Happen or listen to episode 001 of my podcast for our story.
— Grace joined the Bouncing Bulldogs jump rope team and is loving it!
— I am on track to finish the Old Testament by December 31—my number 1 goal for this year alongside some close friends who have been reading with me.
— We are in a wonderful homeschool rhythm using the cultivated homeschool planner.
— My neck is almost completely healed, praise the Lord. I share more of that story on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.
— Ari continued his rap career.

I set four goals for the year and, little by little, they happened! Did I mess up along the way? Yes! Did I have some challenges? Definitely. But, imperfect progress is still progress, and when you embrace that fact, you are far less likely to completely jump ship on your goals! My imperfect progress added up big time, and yours will, too!

Use the 15% off code BESTYEAR2020 to do this all year long with the PowerSheets Goal Planner!

A peek at the little-by-little progress I made each month: January / February / MarchApril / May / June / July / AugustSeptemberOctober / November 

Now, let’s name a few of the challenges from 2019. What didn’t help you cultivate what matters this year?

This may be the most valuable step you take—this will help you know where you’re NOT going in 2020! Write the facts and know that each thing you write down is an area of your life that could be made completely new.

A few of my 2019 challenges:

— The times I worried, feared, or gave in to stress when our plans didn’t go as planned, were because I forgot that God is God and He has done countless miraculous things in my life.
— My neck pain (from gardening, of all things!) was painful, distracting, and made movement difficult at times.
— 40 is knocking on my door and I’m feeling it.
— We intentionally chose to forgo our monthly date nights to help our budget and cover expenses elsewhere, but I think we could have had an at-home “date” once a month. (See? Your Prep Work can help you see what needs to be a focus in 2020!)
— Times pride got in the way of obedience or trust.
— Sitting too much at my desk!
— When I made decisions before asking the Lord.

There were many more challenges and, in all of them, I grew. For that, I’m grateful!

Where do you go from here with your challenges? Well… do you know how cow manure is one of the best fertilizers for gardens? It’s the same with our challenges! 🙂 Our challenges can be the best fertilizer for new growth ahead when you name the lessons you’ve learned from them.

GET AFTER GRATEFUL

One of my big lessons each year? I don’t do this life alone—even in the times I catch myself feeling “alone.” I’m not, and you aren’t either! 🙂

Looking back at your list of good things and challenges and all you’ve written in your PowerSheets so far, who helped you to live on purpose this year? Who encouraged you or helped you? Download a free printable worksheet here and write the names of those you are grateful for and why. And then, do something about it! Thank them for the specific things they helped you with or inspired in you RIGHT NOW. You may think they don’t need encouragement, but words have power. As my friend Rach says, “Get after grateful!” It changes things!

Download the FREE Gratitude List printable!

You can keep this simple and still make a huge impact: a text or an email can go a long way to change someone’s day—and change their life. I spent the morning sending emails to friends and colleagues who have meant a lot to me this year, and I’ve felt the glow of sending those happy messages all day! A few highlights from my PowerSheets:

Who are you grateful for this year? Leave your answers in the comments, but most of all, send some love to the people on your list!

Your turn! Here are your goal-uncovering steps for the week:

First, buy your PowerSheets if you haven’t already! Use code BESTYEAR2020 for 15% off while supplies last.

Do a life audit. How are you doing in each area of your life and which areas do you most want to improve?

Evaluate the past. Write your list of good things. Name the challenges. Learn from them.

Get after grateful. Name who you’re grateful for and do something about it!

Then, share your answers here in the comments to encourage others. I can’t wait to cheer you on. And remember this: we’re tossing comparison out the window and doing the most radical thing we can do: walking our own unique paths (and cheering other women on as they do the same)!

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it!? I’ll be back next Wednesday with more goal-uncovering goodness.

You’re doing things differently this year and I’m so excited for you!
Goodbye, traditional goal setting—and all the pressure that comes with it!

A page from my 2016 PowerSheets:

lara casey goal setting comparisson

You’re letting your 2020 goals bake like a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls. They wouldn’t be flaky and yummy zapped in the microwave, would they? I know you’re anxious to set your goals and have that pretty goals list in-hand already, but we’re going to do this right and slow cook them together, little-by-little, with some bold leaps of faith along the way.

Need some extra motivation? The Ultimate New Year’s Giveaway is ON! How great are these amazing prizes this year!? If you need a little extra encouragement to share your answers as we go through this series, this is it! I can’t wait to read your thoughts and hear your aha! moments. One person who comments with answers to every step in this series will win a bonus prize: one of everything from the Cultivate What Matters® Shop! Yes!!!

There are 36 prizes, so that means 36 of you are going to win one of these prizes—it could be YOU. (Including international friends for digital prizes!)

Here’s what you could win…

— 10 sets of 2020 PowerSheets to help 10 of you cultivate your BEST year yet!
— A Goal Guide Bundle to help you dig deeper on your specific goals.
— Five signed copies of Cultivate.
— Five signed copies of Make It Happen.
— One Write the Word All Seasons Collection to help you cultivate fresh faith all year long.
— A gift card (YES!) for a massage to kick off your year refreshed!
A pair of Apple Airpods to listen to your favorite podcasts, music, or audiobooks.
— A Swoozie’s gift card for all of your gifting needs!
—A Revelation Wellness membership with a ‘Wellness Kickoff Package” to cultivate your health in the New Year.
— Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course—a life-changing experience to help you pursue financial freedom.
— One Val Marie Paper Yearly Prayer Journal. I’ll be using one this year, too!
An Audible subscription to check all those books off your reading list!
— One Art Bar canvas (up to $150 value) to brighten up your walls.
— A Fitbit to help you celebrate your literal steps forward.
— An Echo Dot to keep you dancing.
— Two Italian Gift Frames from Framebridge to frame the memories that matter most!

Why am I doing this? I want you—yes, YOU—to know what I know now on the other side of burned out and overwhelmed: there’s a different way to do this—a way that works. Step by step, you are going to feel ready, renewed, and clear about your year ahead. I’m so excited for you!

Finally, a request: share this series with your people! Don’t keep all this goodness to yourself! I’d be so grateful if you spread the word about this free series. Email this kick-off post to your friends, tweet it, ‘gram it (here are lots of sharable graphics for you to make it easy!), text it—sing it to the rooftops! Let’s get all our friends in on this so they can feel as refreshed and clear about 2020 as we will. Here’s to our best year yet togetherstarting now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends January 10th. Winners will be announced on January 13th here on the blog. Hard goods are for US entrants only. If you don’t claim your prize within 48 hours, another winner will be selected, so mark your planners and stay posted! This post contains affiliate links.

P.S. A year from now, you’ll be so grateful you started today! Buy your PowerSheets NOW and use code BESTYEAR2020 for 15% off—while supplies last!

Photos by Traci Huffman, family photo by Gina Zeidler

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October 1st is days away!

You may be tempted to wake up that morning and think:
How is it October already?!
The holidays are here.
Merry Christmas!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

Whoa, Nelly.

There are still over 90 days left in this year. A lot can happen in 90 days. No matter how your year has gone so far, that’s a whole lot of life to live—and plenty of time to finish the year well. In the next 90 days, with small but mighty steps forward, you can cultivate what matters.

I’ll be right there with you doing the same, little by little, day by day—no perfect progress required.

Dahlias in the mountains!

September was a turning point for me and our family. I knew it was going to be a month of craziness between our house flooding repairs (still not done!), unexpectedly not having childcare for the month and having to somehow keep our business running, too, staging and selling a house in the middle of this, and my plans generally not going as planned. Guys. God moved in such big ways! What I thought was going to be a month of overwhelm (I had my moments!) was an unexpected blessing. I loved my time with the kiddos, the business didn’t fall apart, our marriage stayed strong in prayer, the house sold quickly, we signed on the dotted line for our new office that’s under construction as I type this, and we’re all still camped out sleeping in one room and grateful for it. More on my September PowerSheets goals and what I learned below.

September Monthly Goals:
— Ask God to prioritize my days. / I took every day this month hour-by-hour. I relied on Him more. Generous friends came to the rescue on many occasions. God always provides the next best steps.
— Do what’s most important in the big picture. / Same as above—yes!
— Finish the BOOK / Yes! I submitted the first draft of the manuscript, written in the parking lot while I waited on Grace during jump rope practice. Praise the Lord. So excited for this!
— Delight in the Lord. / There was a lot of crying out to Him and delighting in His power in my weakness.
— Enjoy the best month in the garden. / I picked the flowers we do have an put them in little vases all over the house. It has been sweet to savor these few blooms.

September Weekly Goals:
— Cultivated homeschool begins / PRAISE THE LORD for a truly wonderful start! Download the Cultivated Homeschool Planner here for free.
— Pray over the 2020 PowerSheets / Yes! Thanks to my mother-in-law coming to be with the kiddos for a few days (bless her!), I was able to go to our team summit in the mountains where we prayed over all the 2020 PowerSheets together.

September Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below!
— Bible reading each morning
— Run!
— Re-creation

Don’t miss these from September:
—Come work with me every day in Chapel Hill! I’m hiring a full-time Admin and Ministry Assistant.
— You are so excited about the 2020 PowerSheets Cover Reveal and we are excited for you!
— Get on the waitlist for Cultivate Your Year Live (SOLD OUT)
—Did you see the list of interviews I think you’d love?

On to October! You know the phrase, “Don’t fix what ain’t broke?” September was such a great month of perspective in hard things and I’m keeping most of my goals going for October.

October is going to be a fun month! The 2020 PowerSheets Collection launches on October 16th and the podcast is finally back next week (I can’t wait to chat with you again—text CULTIVATE to 81787 to get all the podcast updates!).

Ready for October with my PowerSheets Tending List.

October Monthly Goals:
—Ask God to prioritize my days
—Do what’s most important in the big picture
—Delight in the Lord
—Hire a full-time Admin and Ministry Assistant
—Put our home back together anew (next week all of the floors downstairs are being torn out and replaced from the flooding, so I’m using this as an opportunity to get rid of things and make our spaces more meaningful with less)

October Weekly Goals:
—Sabbath
—Be there (I’ve loved doing drop off and pick up and carpool and taking Grace to jump rope practice this month. Keeping that going for the long haul so I can be there more for them in those seemingly small moments.)

October Daily Goals:
—Bible reading each morning
—Run!
—Re-creation with the kids (lots of fall fun ahead in October!)
—Pray over our children

My sweet buddy helped me take these fun photos : )

Your turn! Do you have goals for October? Comment below and 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! 

P.S.  Mark your planner for the 2020 PowerSheets Collection Launch on October 16 at 10 am. I can’t wait to get these new products in your hands!

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Feeling SO READY for the new month ahead?

I’m right there with you—my plans didn’t go as planned in August!

You’re ready for a new month of fresh routines.
A month of getting the best things done.
A month of crisp air and being re-energized.
A month of intentional decisions.
A month of soul rest.
A month of savoring.

“Savor” means to enjoy something completely. Fully. All-in. This month, let’s do that. Let’s savor the little things that add up to our lives!

We hiked in Tennessee and NC with the kids in August and it was awesome! More in my Instagram highlights!

A quick progress update on my August PowerSheets goals and what I learned is below. I hope this encourages you to celebrate even the tiny victories!

My August PowerSheets progress!

August Monthly Goals:
— Do the Fresh Faith Challenge. / Our house sort of fell apart in August (exploding water heater flooded the kids’ room and our living room so the kids are all sleeping with us right now) and I count these 6 days of Writing the Word as a big win! I did it under the covers with soft light so I wouldn’t wake everyone at night. 🙂
Number my days and gain a heart of wisdom. / Yes, the Lord did this for me. Through Eva and several family members having major health issues, I have been constantly reminded that this life is a GIFT and I want to live it with all of me for the glory of the Lord!
— Prepare for fall homeschool. / YES! I LOVE MY HOMESCHOOL PLANNER! Get it for free here.
— Finish the first draft of the book. / Yes! The first draft has been submitted for feedback to my editor! Yippee!
— Take a month of rest from the podcast. Hear that story here. / Yes, and taking most of September off, too. The next episode will be live for you on September 25th!
— Teach the “How to Cultivate Your Calendar” class with Shunta. / This was so much fun. You can catch the replay here.

August Weekly Goals:
— Prepare for Q4 / Yes! 2020 PowerSheets are coming October 16th!
— Enjoy the garden right where I am (listen in here for more!)
— Delight in our home. / Yes – from music to an abundance of library trips that have filled the house with books, there has been lots of delight in our house.

We visited my parents last week—special time to remember to number our days.

August Daily Goals: / Progress on all of them below!
— Cultivate my days
— Bible reading
— Run! Praise!
— Write the Word

Don’t miss these from August:
—There are only 25 tickets left for Cultivate Your Year Live!
—Enter the End of Summer Giveaway–it’s so good!
—Get back to what matters this coming season with us—this bundle is going fast.
Learn 3 ways to cultivate your calendar with my dear friend Shunta Grant.
Have you ever made plans—and they didn’t go as planned? Listen in to my story here and get 3 steps to move past frustration and disappointment. A must-listen (and my last podcast episode for a few weeks—you’ll get that story in this episode, too!).

On to September! Long story, but I unexpectedly have no childcare for most of September. I’m excited for this time with them and also excited to be the most efficient with work I’ve ever been. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work yet, but little by little, the best things will get done!

My goals in September are simple and purposeful—and more big-picture so I can be flexible in how I tackle them with the time I’m given.

BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES for Mommy! : )

September Monthly Goals:
— (In light of what I shared above…) Ask God to prioritize my days
— Do what’s most important in the big picture
— Finish the BOOK
— Delight in the Lord
— Enjoy the best month in the garden

September Weekly Goals:
— Cultivated homeschool begins!
— Pray over the 2020 PowerSheets. I’ll be praying over every set as they get nestled in our warehouse for launch day—that they would be filled with good things and help women to walk in the light of life!

September Daily Goals:
— Bible reading each morning
— Run!
— Re-creation

Your turn! Do you have goals for September? Comment below and 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! 

P.S.  Mark your planner for the 2020 PowerSheets cover reveal on September 24th at 1:30 pm ET on Facebook. I can’t wait to show you what’s new. A clue? EVERYTHING!

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