My family has this process that we started the fall after my wife and I were first married. It stems from my frustration of Thanksgiving being overlooked & disdain for New Years Resolutions. Currently I am calling it Reflect, Thank; Dream, Plan.
The first step is to look back on the past year, or longer, and see where you have come from. What all has happened?
Having twin one year olds this Thanksgiving, I can say that the year went by fast. We both have much to be thankful for, especially the growth in our babies and each other — both as individuals, as a couple, and family.
This part is simple, but important – be thankful & speak to people what you are thankful for. As a general practice I am trying to be encouraging more in the day to day, but there are still some specific people who have had an impact that I try to go out of my way to thank.
This moves from the past & present side to the future. Dreaming what the next year or longer should be. Currently I am thinking about a model based on relationships for viewing your world, so:
- Yourself – physical, mental, spiritual, capabilities
- Family – the special relationships around you
- Business – if you are an employee – you are a business hiring out your services to your employer. If you own or desire to one one, then you have a slightly different relationship
- Society – other people who are not in your business, or family.
So, what are the dreams for those four big areas? What about the subparts? Can you paint a picture that you are aiming for?
The practical steps you intend to take to make your dreams reality. Before you fully make plans you need to make goals. Goals are important because they are the measuring stick of how well your plans do, but doing the important work to write out the steps you are going to take to make the dream a reality is also vital.
My family is in the middle. We talked about reflecting and thanks recently. This week my wife and I will talk about our dreams for the next year – thinking in those four big fields. If you can have one dream for each & work on just four things over the course of a year – it will be amazing, as long as you take the steps of really making a good goal and then a plan.
What do you do to both reflect on the past & prepare for the future?