Many things often fill our days between Christmas and New Years. Christmas returns, cleaning and decluttering for the fresh start of a new year, and thinking about what I would like to do in the coming year. Is it possible to have an intentional plan for family life?
Intention in Family Life
I’m not one to make resolutions because I know I’m unlikely to follow through. Just because I declared in a fit of exuberance on January 1st that I was going to declutter every corner of my house, doesn’t mean it will happen. I’m unusually ok with changing my mind and going a different direction.
However, this year I have taken my reflection of the past year and the planning of the new year more seriously. My hope is that by the end of 2017 I can look back and see many goals reached and memories made. Believe me, I don’t believe in forced memory making, but I do know that if time is not set aside now the year will fly by and be consumed with the mundane activities of life.
So how am I more intentional with my reflection and planning?
My husband and I sat down the other night and reflected on the past year. What had we done that was good? Not so good? We tried to stay upbeat but also addressed the areas where we could make improvements. We discussed some of the bigger issues for the year such as financial goals, family goals, and personal goals. We also asked the kids what were their positives for the year and what they weren’t enjoying.
It was great to hear about all the things they enjoyed and remembered. Big hits this year were a trip to an amusement park, going to the Space Center in Huntsville, AL, and our crazy conversations.
With this information, we started to craft a plan for 2017 that would honor everyone’s desires (as much as possible in a family of 8) and help us to achieve our goals.
The Big Stuff
Today, we sat down with my new planner and mapped out all our holidays, birthdays, and other important days (like the final days of our co-ops). We were then able to decide when we would take our vacation and we booked our reservation! Crazy! If we don’t get it confirmed and on the calendar, we will always come up with a reason to delay.
We still have things we want to schedule for this year, but just this initial planning was a huge step in the right direction. To help in visualizing and planning, we are going to use this calendar to highlight important days and holidays so we can see the entire year at a glance.
Now that we have this basic framework of all the “big” things, we need to go back and focus on each area we wanted to give attention to as a family. Things such as health, scheduling, finances, and communication.
I’m starting to get overwhelmed at this point, which isn’t surprising, but I know I need to focus with the help of my husband and create some small monthly goals in these areas.
The daily to-do.
Now I must think about what my days should include to reach these goals and live this year with intention and inspiration. I know a health goal for me is to get more water each day, what would make me remember this and get it done? I also would like time each day for personal reading and work on this blog. What small steps can I take to make these things happen and how can I make it easier?
A daily schedule will obviously be a moving target, what might work one week may fall apart the next. I would like to have at least an idea of ways to make this happen.
The fortune is in the follow-up!
As much as I would like for the first four steps to ensure we live an inspired year, I frequently get distracted and off course. Therefore, I need to build in times to reflect on where we are and if we are progressing towards our goals.
I also know my personality, and I need to keep all of this as simple as possible. Too much planning and too many moving parts weigh down on me, and I lose all motivation. I want my days to flow and be as effortless as possible. At least, this is my goal.
Yearly planning may be something you’ve always done as a family, but for us, it is new. I hope that by giving the upcoming year this much attention and thought, we will have a productive, fun and memorable year.
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