Use this simple tool to stay focused on what matters this school year.
A new school year is a great time to set some new goals or refresh your resolutions. If you're like us your back to school plan includes practical things like being on time, getting more rest, managing family time well, and helping the kids stay organized.
Practical goals are necessary but it can be easy to let them overshadow the important job of shaping our children for their future.
Here's a four step process to help you push beyond the practical and think through what matters most to your family. I hope this tool will help you stay focused on what's most important as you tackle the coming school year.
What you'll need.
Time. Set aside 30 minutes to think through the coming year. Feel free to make it fun. Brownies and ice cream, anyone?
Your Family. Get your kids involved in this process too. When you include them you not only help them learn to set goals for themselves you also send a powerful message that they matter to you.
Something to write with and write on. We're going old school here with the magic of pen and paper. You can add your final product to your favorite device later.
Work through the following questions together.
If you and your kids could accomplish anything this year what would be on your list? The sky is the limit. Go nuts. Make a list of all the things you can imagine accomplishing with your kids this year. Here are some categories to get you started: education, relationships, faith, athletics, music, etc.
If you could see your child grow in only one area this year which one would you choose? Which one would they choose? When it comes down to it what one item on your list from above stands above the rest. (Need to pick two? It's okay. I won't tell.) What does growth look like to you? What will be different next June?
Five years from now which skills or character traits from this year will still be important for your kids to have? Use this question to broaden your thinking. Looking into the future can help us put our current situations into perspective.
What's most important this year? You've just answered some important questions. As you think back over your answers choose three to five big ideas for your family to focus on this year. Of course you can still accomplish other things just let your big ideas rise to the top as you go through your year.
Put your list of goals where you and your family will see them. Review your list each morning and before you make new commitments this year. If the new commitment doesn't help you reach your most important goals you have permission to pass.
Here's to a great school year and to keeping the main thing the main thing.