Transcription of Cultivate Your Life Podcast Episode 030: How To Set Goals for 2020, Part 4

Episode 030 of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast was released on December 27th, 2019. Listen here!

Lara: Oh, that was really sweet. You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them. The things that last longer than you. The things that run deeper and are more thrilling than skydiving. The things that make you come alive. Welcome to the Cultivate Your Life Podcast where each week we talked about how to uncover what matters to you in the big picture and start acting like it today. Whether you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed or in need of some refreshing truth today. I’m Lara and you are in the right place. Let’s cultivate what matters together.

Lara: It is true today is the birthday podcast. Today is a day I’m celebrating you. Today is one year since the day you and I started our conversations here together and I could not be more grateful. Today also happens to be my 40th birthday and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than here with you, continuing the conversations that we’ve had all year long together about cultivating what matters. Now today, we have some fun ahead of us. We are going to dig into part four of 2020 goal setting. I’m going to share with you in today’s episode the Cultivate What Matters method for writing out your goals.

Lara: This is going to be a simple, practical method to write out your goals that’s going to help you to follow through on them and know where to start. Before we do that though, can we have a little party? Can we have a little podcast party? Let’s take a moment to look back at the episodes you loved most.

Lara: We’re going to count down together the top eight episodes of the podcast this year but there was something in every episode that was your favorite. Something at the end of every episode that you love so much that you mentioned it in reviews over and over and over, and I happen to have a special guest here, my husband Ari Isaacson.

Ari Isaacson: (singing) Yeah. I’m here. You’re welcome, honey.

Lara: So, Ari, you have had quite the string of, what do I call this like rap greatness this year in helping all of us to have a laugh throughout the year. So I have to ask you, what has been the highlight of your rapping career this year?

Ari Isaacson: That’s an easy question because up until about two weeks ago, my whole rap career had been rapping into my phone until there was a surprise party a couple weeks ago and I did my first live performance.

Lara: Yes, you did. So this is actually… This episode is coming out on my 40th birthday today.

Ari Isaacson: Right.

Lara: And we celebrated a little bit early and oh my gracious, this guy got me guys. He got me really good. So tell everybody what happened.

Ari Isaacson: Well, I wanted to throw Lara a 40th surprise party, and I had to get some help so I enlisted my mom.

Lara: I’m not very easily surprisable. I noticed things.

Ari Isaacson: And the Culti ladies.

Lara: Yeah, and the And the Culti ladies.

Ari Isaacson: Which is namely, namely Emily and Julie. And so we plotted about how to surprise Lara with a party, and it just turned out that Cultivate Your Year Live, was that-

Lara: Yeah, the conference. It was happening.

Ari Isaacson: Happened to be going on in the beginning of December. Now, Lara’s birthday is on the 27th, which is hard enough as it is because obviously two days after Christmas, it’s hard to get people together around that time. So we thought there are all these people coming in for Cultivate Your Year Live, why don’t we just throw the party at the same time. Now, the problem with that was Lara was stressed out for Cultivate Your Year Live and kept telling me how she wanted to do nothing that weekend.

Lara: Nothing. My mom told me… Remember she said, “Hey, I think it would be really great if we came in town that weekend and maybe your cousins who you haven’t seen in 10 years could also come visit, and we could all have maybe dinner.”

Ari Isaacson: And your brother too.

Lara: And my brother-

Ari Isaacson: Coincidentally.

Lara: … could fly in from Colorado the night before your conference, and I just had a moment of dying to myself and I just thought if that’s what my mom wants, I will honor this.

Ari Isaacson: Meanwhile, I had booked the room at the hotel, got the band, got the photo booth, got all these plans going on.

Lara: He’s so awesome.

Ari Isaacson: And Lara keeps saying over and over again-

Lara: I want to go to bed at 5:00.

Ari Isaacson: … I don’t want to do anything. I want to go to bed. I’m so stressed out.

Lara: I didn’t say I was stressed. I just said this means a lot to me and I want to make sure I’m rested.

Ari Isaacson: All right. But we got Lara to go out to dinner, and we got her to agree to stop on the way home to take a picture in the lobby of the hotel where the party was.

Lara: Right, because it’s very-

Ari Isaacson: Christmasy.

Lara: … famous for being… The Carolina Inn is lovely at Christmastime. If you’ve ever been there, their lobby is just decked out. And so I know my mom, it’s really important to her to have a holiday photo and so I thought, okay, once again if mom wants to do that, I will do that.

Ari Isaacson: So we went there and then the challenge was how was I going to get Laura to go into the room where the actual party was, but then the most miraculous thing happened. It was a Christmas miracle. Her dad had to pee.

Lara: Is that what happened?

Ari Isaacson: And the bathroom just happened to be-

Lara: THat’s right. Right next to the room.

Ari Isaacson: … right across from where the party was.

Lara: Thanks dad. Thank you Dad.

Ari Isaacson: So as her dad walked down to the bathroom, we all followed him.

Lara: Yeah, that’s right.

Ari Isaacson: As we were waiting for him to go and I said, “Lara, why don’t you come over? I want to show you something real quick.” And she came over and I opened the door and…

Lara: My heart is bouncing out of my chest just thinking about that moment. So the crazy part, and we’ll wrap up our story here about this party now. But the crazy part was I had just put the kids to bed. We had left them with a babysitter and I said, “Okay, guys. I’ll bring you something fun from dinner like a cookie or something and make sure you listen to the babysitter and you know go take your shower, all that.” And then I open this door a couple hours later and my kids are standing there along with like, I don’t know 50 other people that I love and couldn’t believe that we’re there, so you got me.

Ari Isaacson: Surprise.

Lara: But the whole point of us telling you guys that story was that you did your first live rap performance.

Ari Isaacson: And, man, was I’m nervous.

Lara: But it was fantastic.

Ari Isaacson: I hope so.

Lara: It was great.

Ari Isaacson: It was nerve-wracking.

Lara: It was great. We all do hard things. You guys have done hard things this year. You’ve stepped outside of your comfort zone and so has Ari. I’m really proud of you.

Ari Isaacson: You can say that again.

Lara: So without further ado, let’s talk about your favorite episodes this year besides the rap at the end of every episode that Ari recorded for you. We’re going to count down the top eight episodes, your favorites.

Ari Isaacson: Not the top top 10.

Lara: Not the top 10, no.

Ari Isaacson: The top eight.

Lara: I just wanted to go with eight. So we’re going to go at the top eight starting with number eight.

Ari Isaacson: Number eight, number eight, number eight, number eight, number eight.

Lara: Number eight was one of your favorites it was called How to Let Go of a Dream, episode 16. Told the story of how we let go of southern weddings. And I think I got the most mail, emails comments about how much this episode helped you to know that it was okay to let go of a dream in order to make room for something new. So number eight is episode 16, How to Let Go of a Dream.

Ari Isaacson: Moving on.

Lara: Moving on.

Ari Isaacson: Number seven.

Lara: Number seven.

Ari Isaacson: Number seven.

Lara: Came at our expense a little bit so this summer Ari and our whole family really… Our plans did not go as planned. We had a few things happen.

Ari Isaacson: Our house fell apart.

Lara: Yeah, our house fell apart. In fact, we’re sitting probably two feet away from the area where the first water heater decided to explode and you were downstairs putting the kids to bed and thought it was raining.

Ari Isaacson: Raining into our house.

Lara: It was raining into our house from the ceiling above. So episode number 23 was When Your Plans Don’t Go As Planned.

Ari Isaacson: Number six, number six, number six, number six.

Lara: Number six. Interesting. Y’all loved the episode number 12. Episode 12, Why I Stopped Straightening My Hair. I had two very special guests on that episode and I tell you the story, it’s not a story about hair, it’s the story about heart. So go on and listen to episode 12 why I stopped straightening my hair.

Ari Isaacson: Taking it down to the top five.

Lara: Oh, yeah.

Ari Isaacson: Number five.

Lara: Top five. Is it okay to set goals as a Christian. Y’all loved this episode. I had two very special guests on that episode also, Jess Connolly and Chrystal Evans Hurst. Great conversation about is it okay to set goals as a Christian? And lots of great resources in that one too. I would highly recommend listening to that episode now as we prepare for a new year. That was episode six. Okay. We’re down to four. Are you ready for this?

Ari Isaacson: Oh, that was episode six but that was number five.

Lara: Yeah, right. I know, very confusing. Episode six but it was number five on the list.

Ari Isaacson: On the countdown.

Lara: Yes, you got it.

Ari Isaacson: Number four.

Lara: Number four no surprise, my episode with Sally Clarkson, How to Plan Your Year. That was episode 10 on the podcast. Okay, moving on to…

Ari Isaacson: Going fast now, number three.

Lara: Number three. I feel like we need like a real drum roll.

Ari Isaacson: Well, we’re going to save that for number one.

Lara: Drum roll. Okay, number three on the list and then this is still true at this very moment. There is nothing magical about January 1st. So episode four, There’s Nothing Magical About January 1st. What a relief that is. Y’all loved that episode. And another one too that I highly recommend listening to now, and now let’s get to number two on the list. I think this episode is really my number one favorite on the list, and by a landslide it was the one that you guys said you listened to more than once. So number two on the list is How to Number Your Days. It was a special episode How to Number Your Days. That episode took me a whole month to record but it was well worth it.

Ari Isaacson: Did you remember the days it took you to record?

Lara: I did. I numbered the days and it was probably like 30 days.

Ari Isaacson: Okay. We’re going to go with the drum roll. Hopefully this won’t be too distorted.

Lara: Okay, ready?

Ari Isaacson: Ready. Here we go.

Lara: Drum roll. All right. And number one on the list. Number one on the list is the first episode of the podcast, which it’s appropriate that I have you here because the first episode was She Believed She Couldn’t and so God did. It’s our story of how God changed our marriage. In that episode, you loved hearing the story of how God transformed our marriage, but also how it’s okay to not be perfect, to not have a perfect track record. You don’t have to have lived a perfect life to live a meaningful life. So number one on the list is no surprise. Number one is where it all starts. Knowing that we can’t do it all and do it well, but we can choose to cultivate what matters and there is no perfection required.

Lara: As I sit here and reflect on this last year of conversations with you and all the times that we went out into the garden together, and all the times my children shared here with you, and all the adventures, and also all the challenges that you and I have walked through together, I counted as such a great honor and such a privilege to be able to spend time with you. We’ve lived a lot of life together this year, my friend. We’ve had some really good laughs too, and I am excited about the year ahead with you.

Lara: And today, I am extremely excited to talk about setting our 2020 goals. Now on to part four of the 2020 goal-setting series. This is where we’re going to lay down our actual goals. You guys have done the hard work of cultivating, of uncovering what matters and of breaking up the old hard ground to make room for the new, and you are ready to set some goals.

Lara: If you are just getting started with us, you are not behind one bit. Look, there is nothing magical about January 1st, so start with us at Hop on over there and you’ll find all four episodes from this series as well as great free resources and downloads and a 15% off discount code to get your power sheets intentional goal planners, so hop on over there, join the conversation. It is the best party. It really is my favorite place to be is in the comments cheering you on, hearing what matters to you and hearing all those light bulbs going off.

Lara: Imagine the end of 2020. December 2020 rolls around and you start reflecting on the year you just lived. What would it take for you to look back and know that you cultivated what mattered? What will you wish you had started today? Sometimes it helps to think about the opposite too. Where do you not want to be at the end of 2020? You have some ideas knowing where you want to be or how you want to feel, do something about it today. I know, I know. You just almost thought to yourself, “I’m going to turn the podcast off now, Lara. You want me to do things?” Yes. Here’s why, because I know that this life matters to you. I know after all this time that we’ve spent together in these last three parts of the series that your life matters. And the things that God created you to do, they fire you up. You want this, so yes, why wouldn’t we do something about it today?

Lara: Now, this is a success tip that might change everything for you as it has for me. It’s so simple. When you know what matters to you, when you have even an inkling of what matters and what doesn’t and where you want to be in the big picture, don’t waste time. Take that first small step. There’s no need to write it down even or have a perfect plan, just do it. Don’t we sometimes? Maybe it’s just me. Sometimes we really like to write things out and wait until we feel like the plan is perfectly laid out. The blueprint is set. Every thing is ready. The circumstances just feel perfect. Until we take that first step. Let’s not do that this year.

Lara: You know how much I love writing good things down. We’re all about that here, but sometimes you just need to do it. So really, get up right now from listening to this and take whatever that next best step is to get you to where you want to be at the end of 2020, and it’s probably going to be something really small. Just one tiny step and I’ll still be here when you get back so go on, you can do it. Make the call. Send the text message, write the email. Tell her. Say it, do it. Take that first step forward. Get that momentum going while everything we’ve talked about is fresh on your mind and you’ll be so much more likely to take that next step and then the next, and then the next, and before you know it you’re there.

Lara: Now, every decision that we make, every decision that we will make has an arrow attached to it either pointing us in one direction or the other towards what matters or away from it. There’s really no in-between. However, many hours or even minutes are left in this day as you’re listening to this, even if you’re listening to this in bed how can you shoot one of your decision arrows in the right direction to kick things off. I have a feeling that like me, you want your decision arrows aimed right at the target. That’s what being intentional is all about.

Lara: Now, if you need an idea for a starting step, hop on over to and click on part four. I have something really fun for you. You can make your best year declaration. It’s a free printable, a free digital download. It’s like a Mad Libs style 2020 manifesto generator. Fun right? You just fill in the words, choose the color you want and voila it makes a 2020 declaration for you to print or share, stick on your mirror, on your bathroom wall, on your refrigerator. Just make yours for free at and you can go over and read my 2020 declaration over there too.

Lara: Last night as I finished my 2020 power sheets, I really let my goal slow-cook. Ooh, and I prayed over those goals but as I finished my 2020 power sheets and this goal uncovering process today, I made some decisions on where I’m going and where I’m not going. It feels so good and now it’s your turn to do the same. Are you excited? Because I’m excited for you. Let’s step forward into 2020 together on purpose. Now, maybe you’re feeling a little fear about that though. I feel that too. What if our plans don’t go as planned? What if we don’t accomplish our goals? What if we fail? What if we succeed? Here’s the thing. When what matters to you is clear, you can’t lose. It’s likely that your life is going to change this year and things will not always go as planned, but here’s what you know now that maybe you didn’t know before.

Lara: Now, you know that goals will not change your life. Knowing what matters in 2020 will. Goals are just how you get there. So it’s okay for your goals to change throughout the year. They often do and you won’t make perfect progress, but you don’t need to. See, I told you we were doing this differently than the rest of the world. You are on a whole new path, my friend. And anytime you need a reminder that it’s okay to grow slow and that your small steps in 2020 will add up, I’ll be here for you. I need those reminders too. Where you want to be in the big picture, it really matters.

Lara: Now, the alternative to moving forward is staying right here, doing the same things you’ve always done but you’re not doing that, you’re moving forward. You’re cultivating what matters in 2020 even if it means changing and doing hard things, and getting out of that comfort zone to rap at a party. Imagine, the end of 2020, and you’ll know what matters is always worth it. So let’s believe together in what we can’t yet see. Let’s take some steps forward and little by little that fear is going to dry up. We’re not going to fertilize the fear of this year, friends. Are you with me? I thought so. So let’s decide to take action on goals that cut through all the things to get to the things that matter most. Won’t that feel so good?

Lara: Now, we are always in progress. Your goals may be the same. So as you go through different seasons in 2020, the way you take action on your goals may change. Embrace that as you learn new lessons and take on new life responsibilities. Your capacity to do different things might change too. As you write out your goals in just a minute, remember that you don’t have to set them for the calendar year or all the time, all right? They’re not going to be written in stone. Set them if you want to for just this season ahead and refresh your goals every 90 days.

Lara: If you have power sheets, you are so set for the year. In 90 days, you’re going to come back and we’re going to do a goal refresh together. Ooh, don’t you feel so relieved knowing that your goals don’t have to be forever? Me too. They don’t have to be perfect. You can change your mind. But for now, we’re going to start somewhere. So you’ve uncovered what matters, you know so much more about the big picture and where you want to be when you’re 80. What do we do with all this? How do you finally follow through on goals? You use this simple method to write out your goals. Welcome to what I call the Cultivate What Matters method. It’s not rocket science, but boy it works.

Lara: Hop over to to see this in action, but you’re going to fill out these helpful prompts as a way to write your goals. Number one, you’re going to write your goal starting with a verb. We want it to be active and not just out there floating in the middle of nowhere. So pro tip, start your goals with a verb. Number two, you’re going to write your why. Write out why this goal matters to you in the big picture because remember, knowing what matters changes everything. And when you know that the way that you live out that goal in 2020 can grow and can change as you do.

Lara: Number three, the positive effect taking action on this goal may have on your life and others. Think about the biggest possibilities with your goal. The positive potential impact that your goal could have on others. Even if your goal feels quote-unquote, small, write out the big possibilities. Number four, break your goal down into mini-goals. So every big picture goal is made up of mini-goals along the way. Over the course of the next year, what mini-goals could help you achieve or make progress on that bigger goal?

Lara: Number five, what could stand in the way of your progress? What distractions or challenges could you face? Let’s do a little problem-solving to kick things off. Write out how you’ll turn those challenges into opportunities or what you’ll do to get rid of the roadblocks to your goal. Number six, I love this question. Starting with the end in mind, what does it look like to win? What specifically does it look like to complete your goal or make progress? What would it look like to win this goal at the end of 2020? I have seen great results in myself in using this question in our business because if you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? If you don’t know where you’re going how you’re going to get there? So make sure you’re clear about what it looks like to win. What does it look like to accomplish or make progress on that goal?

Lara: Number seven, write out some starting steps and when you’ll do them. This is what really starts the momentum so sometimes the hardest part of getting started is getting started, right? So write out a few very small starting steps like things you could do in under two minutes. Steps that are so small that you can’t help but do them, and then add a date to each to keep you accountable. You’ll see all my examples for these things at

Lara: Now, lastly number eight. Apparently, we have a thing for number eight in this episode. Number eight, write some encouraging words. Give yourself a strong pep talk for the days you know you’re going to need it. Now, a bonus tip consider including a Bible verse to go with each goal if you like. There you have it. That’s the Cultivate What matters Method for writing out your goals to find great success in making progress on the things that really matter to you.

Lara: Now, I feel a little nervous. I feel like half so crazy, excited that if I could do round off back handsprings, I would do them right at this moment. And then half nervous because these things matter so much to me. And they just make me feel so relieved and so at peace. I’m going to share with you my goals and I would just be delighted to hear yours too. So here we go. I’m a little nervous but this is the heart with which I started this whole podcast. I remember being so nervous and having all the butterflies of various sizes and shapes swirling around in my tummy when I was recording episode one of the podcast a little over a year ago today, and thinking to myself why am I doing this? Why do this thing that feels so hard? Why do this thing that makes me feel so nervous?

Lara: My why was and is if one person, just one of you is encouraged out there, if one of you can avoid what I walked into in my life of chasing all the wrong things and not cultivating what matters and feeling like I was wasting my life and God changing everything, every part of that, if I can help just one of you with that, I’m so here for it. So without further ado, my goals. I have two goals this year. Now, don’t hear that and think to yourself, “Oh, that sounds really simple.” No, these are big goals for me and they have lots of mini-goals underneath them.

Lara: My two goals for 2020, goal number one and these are in no particular order, they’re both equally important, but goal number one is to number my days. See? I loved episode eight just as much as you did and Psalm 90:12 has just continued to ring in my soul. “Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Go back and listen to that episode if you haven’t heard that one yet and you’ll know how rich those words are and how they can propel us forward to use this life like it’s the only one we’ve got. So my goal it’s the number my days in 2020.

Lara: Why? I wrote this in my power sheets and the moment I wrote it, I started crying. I only get this one life and only the Lord knows how long I will get with our children and Ari. The positive effect taking action on this goal may have on my life and others. I will ruthlessly cut out anything that hinders me from living this life. Can you indulge me for a second? I’m going to say that again because I need to let it sink in and if you need to let your good stuff sink too, you say it over and over until it just roots itself in your soul. I will ruthlessly cut out anything that hinders me from living this life. I have a feeling you want to do the same.

Lara: This will have a domino effect in my life changing everyone around me as I live for him. Now, I have four very specific mini-goals and I’ll be using my power sheets to break these down even more throughout the year. Number one is to cultivate our marriage as a reflection of God’s extravagant love and grace. Number two is… I made up a word here, to praypare. Instead of prepare, its praypare. To praypare to cultivate faith in our children. Instead of just winging it, to prepare really well, to lead them to the source of life himself.

Lara: Number three, to run with God, to push my limits to meet with him and my workouts. And number four, my fourth mini-goal in this big picture goal of numbering my days is to just flat-out be with him far more than I am with the world, and at times to step away for a perspective. So let’s look at some of the things that could stand in my way. What could stand in the way of my progress not embracing new changes and different ways of doing things, keeping my habits and patterns, and nudges in my life the same. I need to shake things up if I’m going to do this and it’s not going to be easy. But what does it look like to win? It means spending less time with the world and more time with him. Just plain math there. And in that, growing a love for God in Ari and our children. By the end of this year, by the end of 2020, I want to look back and say, “Wow, I spent so much time with God this year and I didn’t miss the distractions one bit, period.

Lara: A few starting steps. So I’m not going to give you an exhaustive list of all of the starting steps I have, but one example is my starting step for my mini-goal of running with God actually already happened. So I have been working on this process alongside you and this goal came to mind and I was like, “Why, would I wait?” So I took my own advice here guys. I decided to make it happen. We have a really old elliptical that we got on Craigslist a million years ago and I decided that I needed more accountability in having workouts that really pushed me to my limits because I have been typically in the winter. It’s a little bit hard to get outside because it’s so cold here, but I’ve been running up and down stairs in my house or just like chasing the kids, and it’s good but it’s not pushing me to a place where I really feel like I have to rely on the Lord and where I feel like I’m really taking care of my body.

Lara: So I decided to start taking the Peloton running classes for accountability on their app and I love it. It’s so awesome. I have never sweat so much in my life and the best part is the kids can play Legos or read books in the same room as me. I still don’t have to leave my house. Okay, encouraging words for this goal of numbering my days. Lara, you get this one life. You don’t know how long you will have here on this earth with these children and Ari, and the people around you. It’s time to live it. And I chose a Bible verse for each goal. The Bible verse here is Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Lara: Okay, goal number two. Goal number two, I’m really excited about goal number two is to delight in the Lord. See? My word of the year come in full force on this one. Goal number two, delight in the Lord. Why? Because that is where real life is. The positive effect that this goal could have on my life and others is very similar to the one before everything in my life and the lives of everyone around me will be changed and affected by this. A domino effect of faith fertilized. Under this one, I also have four mini-goals. Experience solitude with God is number one. My number one mini-goal here is experience solitude with God. And this is a place where I want to come to be refueled and refreshed so that I can pour out on to other people.

Lara: Interacting with my physical Bible more instead of just my digital Bible and going deeper in prayer. My second mini-goal is it’s a really big one. There’s nothing mini about this is to orient our lives around sabbath at the center. As you know in 2019, we’ve had a year of sabbath. One of my goals for 2019 was to live that out and learn a new rhythm for our family. I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface. It wet my appetite and all of our appetites for so much more. I recently after much urging from Ari, he’s very into the BEMA podcast. I hope I’m saying that right. The BEMA sessions podcast with Marty Solomon and he keeps saying, “Lara, you got to listen to this podcast, and I have so many friends at church that say, “Have you listened to the BEMA sessions?”

Lara: And so I finally listened to episode number one and it wasn’t until the very like almost the end of episode one that I had a life light bulb moment about Sabbath. And I won’t spoil it for you, but go, listen to that podcast. It’s a little heavy for me. Ari’s very academic, but man, near the end of that podcast he just brings it home about Sabbath and rest at the core of who God made us. So highly recommend that and I cannot wait to dig into this.

Lara: My third mini-goal for this big picture goal of delighting in the Lord is to keep what’s called a commonplace book. Read more about that at but a commonplace book to delight in him and notice the blessings right in front of us. And my fourth mini-goal here is to experience wonder in God’s creation and the miracles he places before us. So I’m thinking about taking more hiking trips with the kids and just being out in the garden this year, just experiencing him and learning to worship together as we experience the miracles that he placed us before us.

Lara: So what could stand in the way of my progress here? Similar to my first goal, not doing things differently. This goal takes a lot of intentional change in how I use my time and in breaking habits to make new ones. So what stands in the way is embracing the hard period of new change to get to the point where Sabbath is at the center of our lives, and solitude is a part of who we are. What does it look like to win? At the end of 2020, winning means looking back and seeing that we’ve changed. We learned how to worship the Lord more together as a family instead of rushing to the next thing. We did Sabbath in new ways which means doing Saturday differently than most of the world.

Lara: It means having noticed God’s goodness and slowed down enough to thank him in my commonplace book, which is a book I also hope to pass to our children. And it means interacting with my physical Bible writing in the margins and touching my phone a whole lot less. So an example starting step. I’m going to be using the Chambray Legacy Journal. I have it right here for my commonplace book. I just love this journal. And my starting step is to decide what categories I’ll keep in this commonplace book. So right now I’m thinking that I’ll have a section for quotes, words, really good words, clippings that help me to delight in God and then maybe another section for things that we’re grateful for and that he has done throughout the year.

Lara: This is a book to help me notice what he has done, and to make much of it. Now, when am I going to do this? To keep myself accountable likely on December 30th. So what we’re doing here in putting down a date is you’re already starting to problem solve on when could I realistically start this and using that gift of intentional for a thought to make it happen. My encouraging words is very simple. Lara, be like David who delighted in the law of the Lord day and night. My Bible verse Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” And as we know it’s because he’s going to change your heart.

Lara: So there you have it, my two goals for 2020. Lots of two’s in there. I like that. Now, whether you came up with two goals or 20 answering those simple prompts will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be at the end of 2020. So tell me, what are your 2020 goals. I would love to hear. Hop over to, leave them in the comments. I cannot wait to personally cheer you on and a year from now, you’ll be so glad that you took a few minutes to live on purpose instead of by accident.

Lara: Dear all of our 2020 selves, we’re coming for you. We’re making intentional decisions for you now to set you up for success. But success that lasts longer than you. We’re thinking big picture to uncover some really good goals. Goals that make our heart sing, goals that are about growing what matters and they might be challenging and hard work at times, but we know they’re going to be worth it. Little by little, we’re taking steps forward for you. 2020 selves, the year ahead may not be perfect, but it sure will be meaningful. We’ve got you. We love you and we’re on it. Love our December 2019 selves.

Lara: You’re ready, my friend. You are ready for an intentional 2020. You’re going to focus on progress little by little progress, not perfection, and your small steps forward today will add up. A year from now, you will be so grateful you started today. If you need a little bit of extra encouragement along the way, I have some resources for you. Number one, grab a copy of one of my books. My first book, Make It Happen and my latest book Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life are available wherever books are sold, and I was really grateful to get to record the audio versions of those two.

Lara: So if you want to listen, hop on over, grab those audio books. Also, you can order your power sheets intentional goal planner. We are going to get close to selling out and so grab your PowerSheets goal planner today. Use the code best year 2020 for 15% off at And lastly, I’d really love to meet you. Can we meet in 2020 in person? I would love to meet you at the Making Things Happen Conference in March. Get your ticket today at I would love to spend two days with you in person uncovering what matters making an action plan and then learning to live it out together. Such a great experience. It’s like a life audit and detox and it’s such a great retreat experience at the Carolina Inn so join me in March alongside an amazing group of encouragement speakers, and I can’t wait to see you there at

Lara: Wherever you are right now, I wish I could give you a huge bear hug. I know that might get awkward. Maybe you’re on a treadmill, but I wish I could give you a huge bear hug to say thank you for encouraging me this year. I was here to encourage you and you guys encouraged me so much to cultivate what matters in my own life. And I am so grateful for you. I wish I could give you that bear hug, and maybe we’ll get that chance in real life in the new year, but until then, get out there, friends. Get your hands dirty in the soil of your life and cultivate what matters.

Ari Isaacson: (singing) Was that okay, babe?