If you are interested in the “My Intentional Life Journey” program, I suggest that having a family meeting be your first step to getting started. Use a 2 item agenda your first meeting. Lead with an introduction to the program, followed by a discussion on whether or not it is something the whole family wants to pursue. If the decision is to give it a try, use the second meeting to create your weekly family agenda. At every meeting after, cover the components of the program. We used our “Weekly Topic or Activity” agenda time to cover the components.
The best way to share the concept of a family meeting is probably to go over our family’s agenda. Please keep in mind that I enjoy being organized, almost to a fault, so you may choose not to have such a detailed agenda and that is a-ok. 😉
I’ll explain each item to give you an idea as to why we chose to list it. Fair warning – this is a long post, but it has really good information for you.
Evaluate Our Efforts – Living intentionally doesn’t happen on its own, we have to work at being intentional each day. Therefore, as a family we evaluate our efforts using the 5 steps of self evolution. Using self awareness, we begin by identifying what we are doing well and what we can improve upon.
Celebrate Progress – We celebrate the strides and reflect on how far we have come. This is a great opportunity to rewards ourselves with an outing for ice cream or a movie.
New Commitments – Anything we noted that needs to improve is given new commitment. We decide what the plan of attainment will be and commit to making it happen.
Review Schedule and Discuss Plans for the Week
We have several lists that keep us organized.
- Meals/Shopping List – The family throws out suggestions for meals for the coming week. As we decide what meal we will have each night of the week, we create a shopping list. Having our meals scheduled reduces the how often we eat out and carves out time for us to spend together.
- Cleaning List – Household chores are listed by day of the week to spread the responsibility throughout a week. Everyone is expected to help get the work done. If we all do one or two things a day, the chores are much more manageable especially on the weekends when we want to be able to do fun stuff together.
- To Do List – This is a list we use for tracking tasks, especially the mundane ones that we don’t want to forget. If need be, we schedule time for it.
- Project List – A list breaking down the details of the projects we are working on. The Project List helps us reduce big projects down to small steps which we can move over to our “To Do” List when we are ready to schedule a step.
- Family Time – We wrap up our scheduling by discussing what things we would like to do during the week as a family. Once an activity and time is agreed upon, it is written into the schedule.
Both our kids have listed “excel in academic performance” as one of their goals. Before the meeting they go online to check grades and then they share their grade for each class at the meeting. The family makes a point to support their efforts, congratulate them for good work, and hold them accountable if they are not meeting their goal. We would likely do this even if they didn’t have it listed as a goal. 🙂
Being accountable to your goals is always easier when you have a support system. Each of us report where we are in relation to each of our goals and encourage one another towards achieving the desired outcomes. This keeps our goals fresh in our minds as we go into the week. We’ll go into more detail about goals in Components No. 3 and 4.
Have you ever heard that relationships are like bank accounts, you should never take out more than you put in? That’s exactly what our relational accounts are . . . bank accounts with each family member. Sometimes it is hard to really see how much we deposit or withdrawal with others, so we have a system to help us visualize it. I’ll cover more on this topic in later posts. We’ll introduce them in Component No. 3 and cover the tracking system of deposits and withdrawals in Component No. 14.
Award Weekly Earnings
Our family has chosen not to pay out an allowance, since we believe that chores are a responsibility that comes with having and living in a home that needs proper care. At the same time, we realize that kids want to buy things from time-to-time and they need to learn how to manage money. So, we award a weekly earning similar to how a business might share earnings with employees. Both kids have an opportunity to earn up to $5 a week. How much they receive is dependent on how well they performed in the following areas:
- School Work – Did they stay on top of their studies?
- Housework – Did they help with housework when time permitted?
- Relational Accounts – Are they carrying positive account balances?
- Use of Our Resources – Are they using our resources (money, water, food, material items, time) wisely?
- Attitude – Did they generally maintain a positive attitude?
For each area they performed well for the week, they receive a $1 in earnings.
Discuss . . .
- Blog – We use this blog as an accountability tool. I would not feel comfortable sharing this information, if we didn’t put it to good use ourselves. Now, that the blog is up and running, we review the activity for the week, so I can get their feedback on how I have presented the material. 😉
- Family Issues and Teachable Moments – If we have an issue that needs to be addressed, it happens here if it hasn’t already. In many cases, we have already addressed the issue by taking advantage of a teachable moment, but this is our opportunity to reinforce lessons and open it up to discussion. The kids will often use this time to ask questions about the situation to gain a little more understanding. This coming week, I will be bringing up the fact that they kids need to make sure they have everything they need for each day packed the night before. Between parents and grandparents, we made 4 extra trips to school this week to take them items they forgot at home. Ugh!
- Family Traditions – We’d like to add more tradition to our lives, so when we can, we use this time to present ideas.
- Family Plans – We value our time together, especially get-a-way time. This time is used to discuss and plan trips we’d like to schedule or have on the schedule.
- Weekly Topic or Activity – This is my favorite part of the meeting! Each week, I set aside either several small lessons or one big lesson to learn and grow ourselves. Typically, I pull my materials from other blogs, webcasts, podcasts, emails, a book, etc. I have a bunch that I plan to share on the blog, so you can use them too. I’ll cover this topic more in Component No. 12
After learning more about the benefits of meditation, the family has committed to making this practice a part of our lives. I currently have it at the end of our meeting, but I am think of moving it to the beginning to get us ready for the meeting. 🙂
Whew. That was a lot of information. So glad to see you made it through! ~Angie
Question – What topics do you think need to be included on your family agenda? Please share your answer in the comment field below.
*** This post is just one in a series of many covering the aspects of the My Life Journey Program. To learn more about the program, click here. ***
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes