At the close of every year our family uses this time as an opportunity to review, reflect, predict and plan. We each have a journal where we have kept our goals and it is interesting to look back over the years and see where we have been successful and areas that still need work or redefining.
We do not just take a “What should I change?” perspective when goal setting but we also look at our strengths, as individuals and as a family. We collectively examine how well we have been keeping the family mission statement and look closely at what each of us did in the previous year as individuals that worked.
Some questions we will ask each other in our family meeting on Jan 1, 2009 ...
- What am I doing well?
- What did I complete or do successfully during 2008?
- What are my highest held values and how can I build on them?
- How am I documenting my successes and excellence?
- What are my three month, one year, & five year goals under the categories of personal, professional, family, spiritual, and financial?
- Long term- what 2008 goals have I achieved?
Everyone of us has something that works in life; something we can build on and develop. I am a big believer in developing strengths. To be highly successful you figure out what you do well and where your passions lie and you develop that area to its fullest. I am convinced that is how one achieves excellence, by playing to one's strengths. In our family, the areas of weakness will get attention too, but while we work on our deficits we understand that our most heroic efforts will often yield mediocrity at best. The exception is when our deficit is in an area of passionate interest, then motivation typically pushes us to produce despite any circumstance that may conspire against us.
We also celebrate together our successes and we hold each other accountable for laziness. Our family meetings throughout the children's lives have been a powerful way to develop their voice, encourage their strengths and to receive from them their wisdom regarding life choices we are contemplating. A good friend told me recently, "Never sell short the importance of raising wise children, as we will need their wisdom as we grow older." Never a truer statement! I can't count the times my children have been able to look at my circumstance and offer a perspective I had not considered that was wise beyond their years.Have a blessed New Year. Take some time to reflect and plan as a family. You will be richer for it.