Family Strategic Planning Is A Thing And It’s Great
Kristyn Meyer is on a journey to make herself the best human that she can be. These posts are a reflection of that. She welcomes your support via reading and through commissioned affiliate links within her posts! To stay up to date on all of her shenanigans, please subscribe to her email list! (psst…there’s a free gift involved)
I’ve pretty much always been a woman with a plan. It may be a loose one, or that of the overly detailed type. Variety has been the common denominator with them. I may create an intricate to do list to accomplish a deep clean of my house. At other times I might establish a laid back itinerary that amounts to a five year plan.
Really it depends on my mood and the importance of what I need to get done.
When I decided to quit my job, we kept our goals pretty loose for the rest of 2019. We weren’t sure how it would all pan out, so we didn’t want to set high expectations and be disheartened if we didn’t meet them.
As it turns out, the rest of 2019 not only met our expectations, but exceeded them even further than what we anticipated. The year wrapped up with us in an amazing place, in so many different ways.
Around September I started thinking about putting a firmer plan in place for the year 2020. Not only a plan for me personally, and for my professional endeavours, but also a plan for the entire family. One where we could all come together to decide what we wanted to accomplish as a unit, how we were going to get there and how we wanted to grow individually.
Although the mini-human’s probably wouldn’t have much of a care as to what their parents wanted to do throughout the year, I did want to get their age-appropriate perspective. For Connor, age-appropriate perspective and his own personal desires meant that he wanted to watch car shows and eat pizza during the year 2020. Our daughter was a little more helpful during the process.
After many Google searches to narrow down exactly what I was looking for, I came across the idea of family strategic planning.
I liked the look of this one by Brian Howard and wanted to mesh it with this one that I also came across. I thought that both sites had great components but I didn’t need all of just one. Additionally, I really wanted to come up with a theme to carry us all through. Something that would incorporate our hopes for the near future as well as define what our priorities were.
After I started looking into this, I had my interview with Shannon Cohen, who mentioned that she does this every year as well! She and her husband go all out, and even get a hotel room for the weekend so that the two of them can focus on creating their plan. They find someone to take care of their son during that time as well, so they can devote themselves completely to the task at hand.
It was then that I brought the idea to my husband. I assumed that he would go along with it, even if he didn’t fully see or understand the benefit, because that’s typically how he is. He will give most things a chance, and he (for the most part) will structure any concerns as constructive criticism instead of straight out saying it sounds stupid.
And I was right. He just kind of listened and didn’t say much. But with what he did say, none of it was no or negative in nature. Later, he actually came out and told me he was kind of excited about it. Score!
I told him what things I was thinking as far as decisions I wanted us to make, personal goals I was considering, ideas I had for the kids. He said what things he wanted to incorporate (of course financial-based, because he wouldn’t be Jacob if it wasn’t). We set up a time for right around New Years to sit down together at home and create it.
We didn’t have a pre-made template at all, we just kind of winged it. But here’s what we came up with:
As you can see, we didn’t get overly detailed. We set goals, but not ones that were going to be really hard to accomplish. More it was centered around creating new habits that we wanted to have as a family. Our hope is that these habits make us stronger in the long run, and teach us all new things along the way.
For the kids, we set one big goal (Junior Financial Peace/Chores and potty training) and a fun one for each. Our daughter has been asking to do tumbling again, and we plan to sign our son up for a class too. We defined our own personal goals and laid out our hopes for our family and businesses. And we put a mission/theme for our family along the top to continually reference as we go.
Following that, we set up times to review our progress once a month. We put those on the family calendar (which the spouse will review weekly, per my request. Because what good is a family calendar if a big part of the family pays no attention to it? Going down a rabbit hole here….sorry about that. But seriously! Come on!)
And the most exciting thing? We aren’t just going to Alaska, we are doing a 7-DAY INSIDE PASSAGE CRUISE to Alaska and Canada! It’s already booked and a big portion already paid for, so the Meyer family will be adventuring for the first time via giant ship at the end of the summer.
I really feel like this has helped us to have better direction for this year. As a family, we have goals and things we want to get better at. And this year we will do all of that, together. As my daughter keeps telling us: “Everything’s better TOGETHER!” And I truly think that it is, and will continue to be.