Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Everyone's On Board

Yesterday I talked about resolutions and goals, and told you of my plan to have our whole family set some goals that would help us improve ourselves in a few different categories.  The plan was to narrow it down to a few goals that would have a big impact, rather than a million different goals that would overwhelm us, and quickly discourage our efforts.  I wanted to present it in a Family Home Evening lesson, along with a plan for tracking our progress, and a way to help us keep focused and accountable.  I won't share all the goals right now (there are 6 of us you know!), but I thought I'd tell you what I came up with and how it went.

I first went and purchased 6 composition notebooks.  They all had different fun designs.  This is the one I picked for Monkey:
Now I'm not gonna lie.  The only reason we had cutesy decorated notebooks was because they were all out of the cheap plain ones.  But you can usually find the plain ones for under a dollar at Target or Walmart.

We started out our FHE lesson talking about some of the things we had heard in the church talk about goals and resolutions.  Then we talked about how we are taught that Jesus has asked us to be perfect, even as He is.  And how it is so important to set goals, and work towards them, and continually try to improve ourselves.

We then opened to the first page of our notebooks, and thought about, then wrote down 1 goal in each of 3 separate categories: Spiritual, Home and Family, and Personal Improvement.  There was no time limit.  I had already been thinking of my goals, but I wanted the rest of my family to be able to really think about what goals they could set that would have the most valuable impact on their lives right now.  So we just worked on it until everyone was finished writing down their 3 goals.

Next we divided the remaining pages of the notebooks into 3 sections - one for each goal category.  On the first page of each section we wrote down our plan for achieving that specific goal.  Whether it be smaller goals that were steps to reaching the main goal, or creating a tracking sheet to keep a record, or simply reminder cards placed in strategic places that we could see throughout our day.  Each family member was responsible for making their own plan for achieving each of their 3 goals.

The rest of the pages in each section are journaling pages.  Each Sunday will be a time for reviewing each goal, and evaluating and recording our progress - making note of successes as well as failures, and writing down our thoughts about what we're learning as we work on each of our goals.  We don't ONLY have to journal on Sunday.  If we have an idea, concern or victory during the week regarding one of our goals, we can jot it down at the time.  But we will always have an "official" goal-journaling time on Sunday.  Then each Monday at the very beginning of FHE, we will have the opportunity to share how we are doing with each other.  I told the kids that if one of their goals is really personal, they don't have to share if they'd prefer not to.  But I also think that sharing and reporting to each other is a good way to help us all stay accountable and on track with working on our goals.  It is also a good opportunity for everyone else to offer encouragement and ideas or suggestions to help us when we might be feeling like we're not doing the best.

Surprisingly, all the kids and the husband seemed eager to get to work.  I was helping Monkey most of the time with writing down her goals and coming up with a plan, but I would occasionally look around and each member of the rest of my family was always thoughtfully writing in their notebook.  I don't know what their goals are yet - we will be sharing those next week after we've had a few days to work on them - but I am eager to see what they have come up with!

I love my family, and I'm excited to see how we learn and grow individually and as a family over the next year as we work on reaching our goals.  I really feel like it is going to make a big difference in our home.  I'm sure I'll be sharing with you some of our different goals and how we're doing on them along the way...I hope you don't mind!


Outcast said...

I really like the idea of the notebook and honestly don't mind at all that you're going to give us regular updates on how well they go. Resolutions always begin to fade going into months after January in my opinion unless you try to turn them from an idea into a habit which takes a lot of motivation so hopefully you and your family continue soldiering on with the good work, this can only lead to goo things when you think about it.

Emmy said...

Love love this! What a great idea. I hope they keep their enthusiasm about it throughout the year.

Valerie said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the details.

I'm still in Christmas (vacation) mode...I need to kick my butt in to gear and get on with the New Year! :)


Great idea. I have always journaled (prayer and personal) since I was a child. I have volumes of the things and my dear friends know if something happens to me where they are and what to do with them.

Macey said...

So I might have skimmed a paragraph but I'm thinking you're going to use FHE as a little business meeting...everyone shows up with their notebooks and you have a planning session? I wanna come. :)
I bet you that Cowgirl is using hers for doodles and things like, "I'm bored."

Amy said...

Wonderful idea! I am so glad it is working out so well for you.