Everyone seems to love the clean slate that comes with the New Year. It’s an opportunity to shake off bad habits and make resolutions for healthy new ones. The New Year is a great time for families to make new habits too!
Often, families are busy rushing from one activity to the next, without spending any time thinking about whether the life you’re leading is really the life you want for your family. Obviously, there are some responsibilities that we have that we can’t get away from, like work and school – but are there are other areas where you can become more deliberate? Creating the kind of home you want for your family takes purpose and intentionality.
What are the things that matter most to your family? Do you like to focus on adventure, serving others, a natural and healthy lifestyle or living out your faith? If you’re not sure, why not spend a Friday night (or several) creating a list of Family Rules or a Family Mission Statement that might guide your coming year?
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Get everyone involved! Make sure that each member of the family gets an opportunity to say what is important to them.
Start by listing words that seem to describe your family. Adventurous, Creative, Active, Healthy, Fun, Silly, Studious – write down whatever comes to mind!
Find some phrases that are meaningful to your family. Use quotes from movies, books or come up with your own.
Ask some questions and see if there are some common ideas or themes that you can use. How do your answers differ from your spouse or your children? What does everyone agree on?
How do you want to spend your time?
Where do you want to spend your money?
How do you want to talk to each other?
What do you want to stand up for?
What does your family do for fun?
Where do you want to travel?
How many outside activities feel like the right amount for your family?
Do you want to volunteer together? If so, where?
Is a Faith Community important to your family? If so, what does that look like?
What are household responsibilities? How are the jobs divided?
What are the words you would use to describe your family?
What goals do you have for the coming year? The next five or ten years?
What are your core values?
Who are our family’s heroes?
What are our priorities?
Try to narrow down to a list of ten words or phrases that reflect common themes from all of the members of your family. From there, you can start to build your statement. A family mission statement can (and should) be as unique as the family who creates it. Search the internet and you’ll find samples and templates that you can use to draft yours.
Once everyone agrees to the Family Rules or the Mission Statement, write it on a chalk board or have it printed at the local print shop. Having those words located in a central place in your home will make it easy to talk about, especially when you’re making big decisions as a family.
Families aren’t perfect, but the New Year is a great time to evaluate your priorities and become intentional about your family.