First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope 2012 was filled with exciting moments and lasting memories, and that 2013 brings you happiness and vitality! People often start their new year by making resolutions, either individually or as a family. Many think of a resolution as a single goal, or a habit that should be created or dropped. Instead of this approach, try planning all that you would like to accomplish over the next year. This is even more fun if you do this with your teen. You may find this experience an eye-opening opportunity to learn about what is important to one another.
Creating with each other is another way to build a strong relationship. Teens feel important when you show an interest in them and empowered when they get to contribute to family plans. The first step in creating together is being individually thoughtful about what you want and then coming together to discuss. Take some time to brainstorm what is important to you personally and what you want for your family. Then, build a new tradition by sharing what you have come up with over a good cup of tea or your favorite meal.
Plans don’t have to be complex. In fact they should be simple, a true expression of what you want to achieve and your initial thoughts on how you would go about accomplishing your goals. The best plans start out short and very high level. Of course, you can create as many plans as you would like, but make sure they inspire you!
Use the following format and begin creating!
Five Steps to Planning Your Upcoming Year.
1. Review the Last Year. Take some time to think about what you have accomplished, and what you have left undone. Some people make lists that they can check at the end of a given year. It is important to remember that this is not a time to be critical of yourself. Don’t assign meaning to what was not accomplished, but instead evaluate if that is still important to you. If it is, include it again this year. If it is not, scrap it and create something new.
2. Identify Your Goals, Where You Are Now, and New Steps Toward Your Goals. Begin by making a list of your high-level plans and then start filling in the details. It can take some thought to move you from A to B. This is where you can benefit from the ideas and support of other family members. Of course, you can continue to add to this as the year goes on and you learn more and more about what it takes to reach your goals.
Follow this template:
On the top of a blank sheet of paper, write “What I Want”
On the bottom of that page, write “Where I am now in relation to where I want to be”
In the middle of the page, from the bottom up, write “The steps that will get you to your goal”
3. Share With Your Family and Continue Brainstorming. Share what you have come up with and then write as many new ideas as you can on your sheet of paper. Be open to what comes up in the discussion. Don’t judge yourself and HAVE FUN! You can make a final product later.
4. Display Your Goals: Find a common place in the house to display everyone’s goals. You can use anything from an inexpensive cork board to a more creative display. This can serve as a daily or weekly reminder of what you are committed to over the next year. It also provides a place to celebrate achievements, or to adapt initial goals as the year goes on.
5. Revisit Your Goals Together. Pick regular intervals to revisit your goals as a family. This may be monthly, quarterly, or whatever time frame works for you. Don’t leave this step out! Peoples’ lives and circumstances change on a regular basis. Revisiting will help you stay present to what is going on in each other’s day-to-day lives.
You will be surprised by what you can accomplish when you are intentional!