2021, Let’s Goal!

Happy New Year Friends!

I am so excited to share some of my 2021 Powersheets Prep Work along with my goals with you today!

(want to watch my 2021 Prep Work walkthrough rather than read? click the link below; to read scroll past it)

(Don’t know what Powersheets are? Start Here!)

Before we dive in and make a mess, can I share a secret with you? I couldn’t open my powersheets before The PSP Gals Annual Powersheets Prep Party (don’t worry there will be a whole blog post with many more pictures to come but here is last years.) Now normally, I sticky note the pages in preparation for our party (so that I can use my time as effectively as possible) but this year I couldn’t seem to open up them up. So I prayed over these pages, and every time I wanted to open them up but felt like I couldn’t – I stopped and I prayed.

It’s not that I wasn’t excited to dig into the prep work, I just didn’t want to face the decline and progression this year has held; let alone what next year will hold. You see, every year I make lots of room in my Powersheets for medical uncertainty; but this year I’m not just making room for uncertainty, I’m acknowledging that my new normal is unreasonably harsh, uncertain and hard. When the day finally came, I took things slow. I shared my brokenness and hesitancy, and asked for help and encouragement from my best friends.

And with just a pencil in hard, surely enough – little by little – I worked through the start of the prep work one page at a time.

It is hard to dream when you don’t know what is coming your way, but we can be confident because God does know. I am going to hold onto the confidence I have in Him, and do what He asks of me right now in this current body. So although it is intimidating to hope after a year like 2020, I am clinging to this promise in Proverbs 23:18, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” I spent my time in December reflecting on my hope for 2021 and where it comes from as I went through the 2021 Powersheets prep work. (Don’t know what Powersheets are? Start Here!)

I don’t know exactly where you are at with your 2021 Powersheets Prep Work. Maybe you got your powersheets, completed your prep work, and are pumped to get goal-ing! Maybe you are curious about powersheets and have been eyeing a set, but haven’t placed an order yet. Maybe you bought your powersheets and can’t seem to open them up, like me.

Whether you are new to the Cultivate Community or a seasoned veteran, you are welcome here. Whether you use colorful pens and stickers or just a pencil and pen, you are doing great. Whether you had your 2021 prep work and January tending list done before January 1st or you are taking your time finishing, you are right on time.

One more thing before we jump into the prep work…

If you are struggling to dig into your powersheets, know that you are not alone. I encourage you to talk to Him, ask for His grace, and pray your way through this prep work. He will honor your willingness to entrust your heart to Him.

It’s okay to be unsure, but don’t let that stop you from living – and writing- in hope. 

But there is one thing you should know before starting your prep work, this year is not going to be your year if your hope is in 2021; likewise this year is not going to be my year either if my hope is in 2021.

Let me say that again: This year is NOT going to be your year or mine if our hope is in 2021. Placing our hope in anything other than Jesus will lead to disappointment. So I urge you, as your go through the prep work, to not place your hope in this new year, yourself, or your goals. Rather place your hope in God and what He will do in and through you this year. If you want to hear more on this specific topic check out Chronically Cultivating Episode 1 of Season 2 below on Spotify (or here on apple podcasts.)

Alright, let’s dive into the 2021 Powersheets prep work!

In the pages you will see here, I went over my pencil in a black Papermate flair pen because it looks prettier, but I only used pencils and stickers initially for the prep work itself (you will see a fair share of pencil in a special video look at almost every page of my 2021 prep work which will be on my instagram tomorrow, Wednesday January 6th at 4 pm EST)

Let’s get started with the first action page: 2021 Goal Ideas (pg. 5)

Now if you remember, last year I color coded this whole page right off the bat. In the 2020 prep work, I promised I would update you on whether I liked my preliminary color coding to not, and I have determined I did not like that. I do have a color code that I use for areas of life (rather than colors for each goal.) Once I completed my prep work, I went back and added the color coded hearts.

My second favorite page: What Fires Me Up (pg. 9)

This is my second favorite page because I feel like it is so so important to recognize our passions. When we are feeling uninspired, worn out, or tired, these are activities we can come back to! Most importantly by identifying the activities that as Lara would say, “make us come alive,” we can build them into our goal planning so we can hopefully avoid burnout and embrace joy in the journey!

Then we get to pages 12-13 – (where my favorite section of the prep work is found!)

Good Things and Challenges (pg, 12-13)

Coming out of 2020, it was really refreshing to look at all the good that still came out of this past year, such as: social media boundaries, launching Grace + Goals, compression ice packs (getting an EDS diagnosis should come with these 🤣) and getting the opportunity to be Foxy’s hospice care and love her so well until the very end because Jared was working from home.

There were also many challenges our world faced in 2020, but I actually left COVID out of my list. This year I faced significant disease progression and that has been the greatest challenge; COVID had nothing to do with it though besides emotionally making it hard to not be able to grieve with my people. I found out the hard way that we can’t put our hope in anyone that isn’t Jesus, and the tree besides my office turned out to be a huge challenge… when it crashed into our house.

People I’m grateful for + Lessons I Learned (pg. 12-13)

The people I’m grateful for section is always an important staple when evaluating our life because our people have a huge part to do with our goals and our why behind most goals. Pro Tip: this is a great starting list if you want to send some happy snail mail but don’t know who to encourage first!

The lessons I learned section is my FAVORITE page out of all of the powersheets prep work! I am a huge believer that if we don’t pay attention to what God has taught us then we will forget and have to learn them again. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy making the same mistakes again and again. It was hard to only choose a few lessons, but if I had to pick a top three it would be: So let it grow (from James 1:3-4), that His faithfulness is not dependent on my positivity, and that He wants our hearts – not checkmarks.

The Big Picture (pg. 17)

We cannot make what matters happen in our life if we don’t determine what will and won’t matter to us. We also cannot become who we were meant to be if we don’t know what legacy we hope to leave behind. This is such an insightful page.

My Cultivated Year (pg. 18)

Once you get to this page – before filling it out – it’s helpful to go back and look at all you have done so far. Once you’ve done that, you can brainstorm what you want the year ahead to hold. I made a simple list all starting with verbs. Such as delighting in the Word, enjoying the garden, loving Jared well, and celebrating with confetti!

My Yes and No List (pg. 19)

My body and other circumstances may hinder my ability to reach my goals, but my yes and no list lay the foundation for life changes I hope to see. These declarations are not just tied to one specific goal, rather they will help me build the lifestyle and mindset I will need to achieve my goals (even if those goals have to be achieved differently than I planned.) My top yes is living one day at a time; my top no is making unnecessary purchases.

Now let’s put it all together!

Imagine It: Your Best Year Yet (pg. 21)

This is like a goal planning version of the “mad-libs” game (anyone remember playing that game as kids or is it just me?) Anyhow, this helps you collect your thoughts and gives you prompts from most of the pages prior. Certain sentences hit me real deep – not that all of the prep work doesn’t do that, but there were a couple prompts on this page that really tugged on my heart. So I am going to share them with you:

My legacy starts today. When (I’m at the end of my life), I want to: know that I did my best, and let Him do the rest.

I will do this little by little and with leaps of faith along the way. I want to make what matters happen because: He made me for such a time as this with this current body in mind.

My definition of success is: doing what You (Lord) have called me too. (checkmarks are NOT the only way to define or mark success!)

I will live this by saying yes to: living one day at a time.

I will surround myself with less: hustle and comparison, and fill my life with more: sabbath, sunshine, and saline – I’m ready – let’s do this!

For a quick minute we are going to skip a page ahead….

Word of the Year (pg. 29)

You may notice that I did skip over a page, but that’s because I don’t like to determine my goals without this page being done first. There are many different ways to choose your word of the year, but I like to pray about mine and write down ideas as I go through the year. I also like to look at the overarching theme in my prep work and for me this year it is worship. I chose worship because I know that everything we do can be an act of worship – from the small and mundane tasks to the big and broken trials of life – it can all be used for God’s glory.

There verse I chose to go along with this word its Colossians 3:17 NIV, “and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Last but not least: My Yearly Goals and Vision Board (pg. 26-27)

Now I have never done a vision board in my powersheets before, as I have one in my desk that I love and update yearly, but I decided to try it and loved it. I took the encouragement from the cultivated life evaluation pages (pg. 10-11) to choose the three areas I most want to cultivate in 2021, and chose a picture of each. This was so fun and I will surely continue this in next years.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for… My 2021 Goals!

This year I have 7 goals,

  • Love Jared Well
  • Develop the Chronically Cultivating Podcast
  • Worship Him in all things
  • Steward All He Has Given Us Responsibly
  • Cultivate the Garden
  • Build my Platform
  • Strive to do my best and let Him do the rest

I don’t know what 2021 will hold, but no matter how crazy this life gets or how many well intended goals I can or can’t complete – I look forward to seeing all God will do in 2021.

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your goals for 2021? bonus question – what is your favorite page in your Powersheets Prep Work?

In case you didn’t know, here on Living the Chronic Illness Life you now have access to the Grace + Goals Resource Library which helps you tailor your goal setting and powersheets to seasons of uncertainty. You can find all the info here!

Don’t have a set of Powersheets yet? Don’t worry you can get yours now; if you have some specific items you want get, I encourage you to order soon because most of the items (including the powersheets) in the shop, once sold out, will not be restocked. The Clear Skies, Sea Glass, and Pink Sunrise cover choices are already gone – so get the Citrus Garden Cover before you can’t!

(and if by the time you are seeing this they are sold out of the 2021 full year powersheets, you can still get the 6 month undated sets until those sell out!)


Cassie Nolin is a married spoonie who lives the chronic illness life with EDS + Co. (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it’s comorbid conditions.) She challenges others to choose grace over guilt while goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through Grace + Goalsand The Spoonie Study. She loves planting, hand lettering, and sharing the hope she has found in Jesus. Her blog, Living the Chronic Illness Life, is in the top 100 chronic illness blogs and in 2019 she launched her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, where Cassie encourages women to live authentic and intentional lives through their diagnosis’ not in spite of them. You can learn more about her at www.livingthechronicillnesslife.com

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