It is important to create your individual plans, but never forget you are part of a family, so it is as much important to do it with your children and partner. Without a plan to activate, you leave many things up to chance. But when you have a plan to navigate from, then the chances of your family having a fabulous year increases significantly.
I have found that the best way to plan for the New Year is to have a big old fashioned family “powwow.” I learned this term from my American friend who uses it to describe a brief informal meeting where something important is addressed. So my family has a powwow at the end of every year to discuss our goals as individuals and as a family.
This might be something that you want to try with your family too. Having an end of the year meeting with your family to discuss your goals for the upcoming year is very important so that you don’t just leave things up to chance. When you actually plan for the New Year, then everyone can stay better focused and as a result, be more productive.
They key to successfully planning for the year is to have everyone participate in the planning process, even the kids. And everyone should be given tasks that they are responsible for accomplishing. Of course the responsibilities that each person is given should be developmentally appropriate and do-able for them - but every member of the family should have some level of responsibility.
Also, your family should be making both individual and family goals. Everyone should be identifying specific things they would like to see accomplished before the end of the upcoming year and specific tasks should be developed to help them achieve the goal. This is important for personal goals as well as family goals. For example, a friend of mine plans the family vacation during their end-of-the-year family meeting and they discuss the importance of everyone contributing toward the trip. So, after they decide where they are going, the kids draw a label and they put the label on a big jar. The jar is left on the kitchen counter and throughout the year, everyone puts loose change or dollars into the jar. By the time the trip comes along, there’s plenty of spending money in there. Now, of course this family could have decided to save a different way, but my friend wants her children to contribute to the process so that they can feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment. And they make this goal known during the end of the year powwow so that everyone has the opportunity to pitch in.
Now, having everyone contribute to the family vacation may not be a part of your plan and that’s okay. The point is that you want to create a plan that is right for you and your family. Having a successful year starts with being intentional about planning. And the best way to do that is to have good family communication so that you can develop a plan that everyone is actively involved in. This process will help you and your family have a productive and fulfilled year.