The other Family Planning

I usually spend Sunday night and Monday morning planning out my week, making sure every day is as efficient and productive as possible.  Some weeks are better than others but things have been rolling along pretty well as I cross the one year milestone of running the family business...  The kids seem to be doing fine, my wife is thriving at work, not worrying too much about me burning down the house, or allowing the kids to do so.  It looks like I'm doing ok on the day-to-day requirements but then I started thinking about the big picture...  Are we on track?  On track to what?

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily chaos that days, weeks, months fly by...  "where does the time go?"  I realized my micro-managing, penny-pinching, daily activities are fine but I need to get more on the offensive side with the big picture.  Don't just work the daily plan and HOPE that everything turns out ok.  HOPE is not a strategy.  Are these daily activities truly aligned with our family goals and priorities?  I've got to make sure that the next phase of our lives doesn't just happen to us.  Time to capture some ideas for a family plan.  It's not anything we don't already think about but when it's down on paper and you put some action behind it, good things happen.  Here are some of the big buckets I've been working with.

Financial Goals:  This is the one where the most time and energy is spent, it's fairly easy to define and everyone has these goals, right?  "What's your number?"  Retirement, vacations, monthly cash flow, etc.  This is why I'm pinching pennies.  I know what college costs, I need to save more!

Health:  Diet & Activity.  This one starts with me.  I have MS, I need to take care of me for all of us.  Gym, diet, (minimize red wine intake-- doh!!)  I have goals to create an active lifestyle for the whole family.  We've been running 5k's together for years.  Sure the kids are in it for the donuts after the race... whatever it takes!  Keep 'em moving.  Diet is the other one.  I love grocery bargains but I am very conscious of not contributing to the ongoing obesity epidemic.  Be creative and load up on those fruits and veggies!  I cut fresh veggies and put them out for the kids just before dinner.  They eat them up like a bowl full of chips!  Added bonus: don't have to battle DURING dinner.

Activities:  Keeping them busy but not over-scheduled is the trick.  Our philosophy is "expose them to as much as possible" in the pursuit of letting them find what they enjoy and are good at.

Academics:  I've tried to set the schedule and make it predictable so we get into a good routine.  Reading, homework, playing chess, and challenging them along the way, looking for teachable moments is where I'm at.  I've got to get better here...  How do you emphasize academics with your family?

Relationships:  Manners, Charity, Thank You notes, treatment of friends, feelings, all that good stuff.  I gotta get this one right.  I think a good minimum rule of thumb is, "Don't be a jackass."

Career Plan:  I don't know what the next chapter holds for me but I need to keep my finger on the pulse... I can't forget about this while I'm running the family business.

Just taking a few minutes to make sure all that daily madness is moving our family in the direction we want to be headed.  How do you keep your crew on track?

What am I missing??


KimD said...

Yeah! Someone else on the same path as me. Uh oh, either we are both AWESOME or NUTS. Check out what I wrote about all this! My "Executive Homemaker Series".

You're missing a Family Mission Statement! Something to sum up your family's goals and direction. Something you can hang on the wall or place on the first page of a Family Binder! A statement you can hang on the wall or memorize.

Daily Saving said...

Probably a healthy dose of both!! Thanks for stopping by Kim, I really appreciate it. I love your work, very helpful. I need to find a good outline for the family mission statement. I did some Covey work on that a while back, I need to dig it up. Thanks!! Brian