I’m a goal-setting, planner-loving junkie. But my latest tool for planning was created by someone who struggled with your typical goal-setting and set out to create a solution. I followed the ministry of Lara Casey online for a couple of years before deciding to buy one of her books and it’s made a world of difference in my life.
This is not a daily planner. It’s an intentional goal workbook that helps you discover what is most important to you and set practical goals to achieve your plans. And most significantly, it teaches you to give yourself grace and be okay with little by little progress.
Little by little and projects undone have always felt like failure to me. I love to excel at what I do. I’m motivated to succeed and accomplish big things.
In college I pushed myself harder than ever before and it felt good. To be at the top of my game and make all my teachers happy with my work. And then when I became a wife and mom, all my standards for perfection flew out the window and I had no measure for “success.” Boy, did that crush my longing for perfection and measuring up. I struggled for years with how hard it was to stay ahead, while honestly sliding farther and farther into survival mode. I became someone I never wanted to be. I didn’t know how to change.
My husband and I committed to making 2017 the year we would start walking out of survival mode and into a healthy life. I committed to making change. I told myself, “Don’t expect to be better in a few months. It’s okay if this takes all year.” Even that was a big deal. Here we are approaching October and I know now that you can’t give healing a timeline. But we are much closer to being well than we were a year ago.
And for my part, the Powersheets and the ministry of Cultivate What Matters have been a crucial part of my growth.
Let me just run you through these Powersheets. In the first section you’ll find 22 pages of prep work to get all your thoughts and ideas and dreams out on paper. To dig deep and see who you are inside and what you really want out of life. The pages are beautiful and inspiring and full of quotes and reminders. It’s easy to follow along and work through the muddle that might be inside your head.
Then, there is a goal-setting section, where you will lay out your goals and then for each goal complete a worksheet with specific action steps, what progress on that goal looks like, and how you’ll celebrate when you’ve met your goal. Along the way, you’re reminded not to set your sights so high you can’t reach them, and prompted to remember your “why.”
So each month you are given the opportunity to revisit your goals and reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and fill out a tending list for the month ahead that will help you break down your goals into small, actionable steps. I’ve been tearing out the Tending List and taping it to my fridge every month so I can see it every day.
In January, I worked so hard to do my dishes every single day, something I’d never done since getting married 6 years earlier. Being able to check that off my Tending List every day really motivated me. And each month I’ve had other practical and spiritual goals I’ve been working toward.
What has impacted me the most has been learning to accept when things don’t work, or when I need to scratch goals off because they were too much, or seeing just how my work and God’s work go hand in hand to help me grow. I plow the earth, plant the seeds, and water them, but God makes them grow.
I’ve been so blessed to have this guide in my hands to help me remember what is important and what I have to be grateful for and to celebrate the good work God is doing in me.