The very first personal growth book that I ever, ever read was Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In that book, he mentioned the idea of creating a mission statement. Covey’s theory was that you always want to have an eye on the direction you’re going. I remember really taking that message to heart and when we had our children, my husband and I were ready to create a family vision so we knew what direction we were heading together.
Right now, my kiddos are 5 and 7. I frequently remind myself and my husband that we are in the golden years, where they are willing to be seen in public with us. I don’t want to look back on this time and wish we had been more purposeful about it.
So here we go, today’s episode is all about how to create a family vision together – no matter what your family looks like!
When my husband and I first talked about a vision for our family, we were actually sitting down to do our annual budget meeting (more on that in next week’s episode!). We were looking at trips that we wanted to go on and my husband mentioned wanting to take our kids on a road trip across the country. That caught me off-guard, because we had never really talked about anything like that before. But it was an interesting question: where do you see your family in 10 years?
This is a great conversation to have several times a year because it is constantly changing, at least for us. Our plans to travel cross-country changed. Now we are thinking more along the lines of trips abroad for their 16th birthdays. Again, travel is just an example, but thinking through this question can lead to some great conversations.
I strongly recommend that you write down your family vision in your MAP Book notebook system. This will be so helpful to refer back to in a few months!
Disclaimer: this practice is really hard! Families change and it is literally impossible to imagine what life is really going to look like in 10 years. That’s why I stress that this is a family vision and even if things don’t work out exactly the way you picture, you might find yourself more in the realm of where you want to be.
The next time we really talked about our family vision, we thought more along the lines of experiences that we wanted our kids to have and the kinds of people we wanted them to be. Raising daughters, we also had some skills in mind that we wanted them to have at an early age. This helped us to make decisions about different extracurricular activities that we were willing to invest time and money into.
For example, my daughters were really interested in horseback riding. My husband and I discussed it and decided that early exposure to huge animals with minds of their own might be a great learning experience. We did some research, adjusted our budget and now the girls are taking horseback riding lessons once a week. Since they started, we’ve seen a huge change in their confidence levels. We are so impressed with their growth in such a short amount of time!
My grandmother is 92 years old and has begun to develop dementia over the last year. It has caused me to think a lot about my family’s legacy as part of my family vision and what I want to leave behind for future generations. That led my husband and I to think about how we want to invest in something now/soon that our family will be able to enjoy long after we’re gone.
When we think of our vision for our family, we know that we want to pass down our family values. For our family, that means investing in a vacation home so we can reinforce our values of rest and reflection on future generations. Getting into the real estate market isn’t for the faint of heart and we definitely had to make some adjustments to our budgets to make this vision for our family a possibility. Is it 100% going to happen? Nope! But we sure are going to try!
I do love the idea that our girls are getting old enough that they can be a part of these conversations about our family vision. During our family meetings, we will occasionally check in on some of these different topics and continually tweak our family vision to match our family as it grows. I think it would be really fun to create some sort of visual representation of our family vision at some point too. That would help us to really communicate our values and hopes for the future of our small family.
In conclusion, this is a great conversation topic to chat about before your annual money meeting. My husband and I check in every January to plan our finances for the year, and having these priorities discussed ahead of time really helps us to decide how we are utilizing our cash resources. We will dive deeply into this topic next week.
In your MAP Book, make a list called “Where I See Our Family in 10 Years”. Take some time to brainstorm a few different aspects of what you want life to be like. You can then use this as a springboard to discuss with your kids or your significant other.
If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on Spotify or YouTube so you don’t miss next week’s episode, which is all about our annual money meeting that my husband and I have every January to discuss our financial goals and progress. And you know how excited I get about personal finance, you don’t want to miss this one!
If you want to connect between episodes, be sure to give me a follow over on Instagram – @sharonlegercoaching. I would love to support you on your personal growth journey!
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