2018 Goal Setting, Pt. 1


2018 Goal Setting

With Lara Casey's Powersheets

It is hard to believe January is more than half over! Between the crazy weather (and countless snow days we’ve had), Izzie’s 3rd birthday, Tommy traveling for work, and wrapping up the holiday season, it’s hard for me to believe this month is almost behind us! I spent the last few weeks of December resting, reflecting, of course enjoying the holidays, and also working through my annual Goal Setting process with my favorite goal setting workbook.

I’ve been using Lara Casey’s Powersheets for my goal planning the past few years (with the exception of last year which I simply declared The Year of My Marriage :)). I love Powersheets because before you even begin to set your goals, there’s an entire section dedicated to walking you through a process of looking back over the past year at what worked, what didn’t work, what your big dreams are, and also asks you big questions like where do you want to be when you’re 80 (talk about perspective!), and more!

Today I want to share a bit about my personal reflection of 2017 and also what some of my goals look like for 2018. I love to document my annual goal setting process here on the blog because it’s fun to reflect years later and read how far I’ve come.

So, let’s dive in!

Cultivated Life Evaluation

Starting with one of my favorite spreads in the Powersheets this year, the Cultivated Life Evaluation walked me through rating myself in eight areas of life: Health, Friends, Spouse, Family Finances, Spiritual + Personal Growth, Work, and Recreation. For the first time that I can remember, I saw more positive than negative about each of these areas of my life (and also gave myself so much more grace than I usually do). While there is always room to improve in any area, it was so nice to look back and see that I really am doing alright in most areas. And the areas where I’m not doing great - at least I can recognize I’m not doing that great - and I can do something about it!

The areas I gave myself a positive rating in were: Health, Spouse, Work, Spiritual + Personal Growth, and Recreation. Mostly I recognized that I have improved in those areas over time and I gave myself credit for coming so far! The other areas (Friends, Family (I considered this extended family relationships versus immediate), and Finances) all have room for improvement, but mostly they simply need more of my time. While all of these categories are important to me, there are always going to be items at the very top of my priority list and I feel okay about where things stand for now. Though I do look forward to moving forward and continually improving in all areas.



What Matters Most To Me

After working through a series of pages and answering a variety of questions, I was brought to this spread which points to one simple question: What Matters Most To Me?

Here is what I wrote: A healthy and happy marriage, healthy children (mentally and physically), a business that brings a steady income and healthy routine to our family while adding quality to our community, a core group of friends to love and support, and connection with our extended family.

I love that every few pages, the Powersheets bring you back to what matters most. They do this by asking specific questions like “Where do you want to be when you are 80?” “What matters most to you today?” Because ultimately, this is the good stuff. Sure, I’d like to put together a freebie download for my website visitors and get my newsletter up and running consistently. But when I’m 80 years old, is that what I will reflect on and be grateful I spent my time doing? Probably not. So while some things matter today, it is always good to remember to focus on what is really important in the long term!

What Did and Did Not Work?

Okay, so here we are at one of my favorite parts of the Powersheets prep work. Looking back at what DID and DID NOT work over the past year. I always open my calendar and look back at every appointment, photo session, family adventure, and any other activity I participated in to get the most accurate perspective. As I did this exercise and my lists grew and grew, I got really excited! What amazing lessons I learned!!

A few of the things that DID work for me were:

  • weekend meal prep

  • regular date nights with Tommy

  • having lunch with the girls at Sunday’s school once a week

  • using a scheduling software for my business

  • embracing audio for books and podcasts

  • family time at the local Jump Trampoline Park (exercise + fun + family = huge win!)

  • indulging in a LOT of self-care (cooking, friend time, personal reflection, etc.)

And a few things that did NOT work for me were:

  • over-filling our weekends and months

  • not planning ahead for busy seasons of work

  • putting the girls in extracurricular activities (they really haven’t shown a lot of interest and it only adds chaos to our routine)

  • losing a healthy perspective (and focusing on the negative) in certain areas of life

  • not having a consistent morning/evening rhythm/routine at home

Some of my biggest lessons I see as I look through the items above are:

  • my family thrives on rhythms and routines even if I do not (they are all judgers to my perceiving personality type!! [myers-briggs, anyone??])
  • having the right perspective can change everything
  • keeping things SIMPLE is good!
  • weekly meal prep is completely vital to my success in my personal wellness journey :)

Once I worked through most of the prep I was directed through steps to find a recurring theme in my work. On p.29 “The Big Picture” page, I wrote the following:





                                                 ASK for help!

What can I implement in 2018 to create a peaceful and calm home with predictability for my people?



Turning the page brings me to the “Choose a Word” page. I considered so many words for this year: space, simple, system, slow, rhythm, cycle, surrender. I shared in my Instastory recently how I had settled on the word SPACE until God laid it on my heart to choose “Surrender” as my word instead. I was genuinely fearful of the word at first. But after some thought and reflection, I thought it only appropriate to surrender to Him and begin the year on the right foot. 

My word for 2018 is Surrender.

My question to myself in 2018 is: What will I let go of in 2018?

Tomorrow I will share Part II of my Goal Setting Process: the goals I’ve come up with and the steps I plan to take to make them happen! If you’ve read this far, Thank You!!!

Liz Cook Photography specializes in maternity, newborn, birth and family photography in Lynchburg, Virginia and the surrounding areas.

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.