Stuff happens. So does family life.
When I do work with my clients around values and prioritising lifestyle lifestyle choices, we always prioritise in TWO ways:
1) What needs action. What needs to change.
2) What's important. What matters most to you.
The common response for action/change is often around business and finance - most people would like to be earning more or happier in the work that thy're doing. That's understandable.
But what gets identified as most VALUED is connection. Times of connection with our partner, our family and our friends.
When you search up quotes about family, you find all kinds of celebrities from Michael J Fox to Princess Diana basically all saying the same thing. Family is Everything.
Brene Brown says:
"Connection is what matters - it's why we're here"
So, with such a universal agreement on the value of family, don't you think that it's crazy that we spend so much of our time and energy focusing on financial wealth, while we kind of let family life happen by accident?
Family life becomes the stuff that we squish in around the edges...
What if we became as deliberate about inspiring family culture and as we did about creating work culture?
You know, with Christmas is close. It's a beautiful time when we get to take a break from the busyness and finally enjoy some time with the people that we love the most - but despite how much we love them, and despite how much we've longed for this time together, it is sooo common to find that it was the bones of work and routine that was actually propping us up. The holidays come and we fall in a heap. We've forgotten how to just BE together as a family. 😔
So let's apply some of our hard-earned business smarts to creating a more positive family culture.
When is a good time to invest? - BEFORE the boom time - right?
If you wait until the market reaches its peak it's too late.
So, with that in mind - NOW is the best time to invest in family time. #$*&^% Wait... What!? Are you crazy? Do you know how busy we are right now? The kids have exams, I need to reach my yearly sales target in under 2 weeks - now is not good.
Um, what was it again that you said that you valued most?
I think you've got 2 choices.
Set aside some time now (just 60 minutes at the start of the week is what we're doing, or you could do 15 minutes a day?) and put some practical strategies in place so your family time during the holiday break is more about deep connection rather than recovery.
Just push it home. Stumble exhausted to the finish line and trust in the unfailing love of family.
IF you are serious about creating a positive culture in YOUR family - read on...
So here's what we did.
3 weeks ago we started having a family breakfast on Monday morning.
We got up an hour earlier and did pancakes together and all sat down. Our first meeting was discussing how we can show more respect with our words. ie: Stop being so rude. (I'll admit the first meeting wasn't great. We all slept in a bit, the meal was rushed and I think the topic was a thinly veiled dig at the kids to stop being jerks. They actually took it surprisingly well! and I think I saw in that moment how much they just appreciated our effort.)
So we persevered.
The second meeting was better - what are we grateful for in each other (I think the family was grateful for me finally getting my coaching mojo back!)
"The first meeting is going to be like the first pancake
- a little rough around the edges."
And our last one was better again.
We all wrote on post-its what it looks like when our family is working well together.
There were things like:
everyone helps with the cleaning
when we sing in the car together
lots of laughing
stories on the lounge with the Christmas tree
eating healthy with occasional treats
date nights (the kids said this too - not just me!)
Dad running project based homeschooling
We had about 40 post-its on the wall.
Next, we noticed that without copying each other, we all had some common themes emerging - so we clustered the post-its together in themes. Some could have belonged to more than one group, but we did the best we could and we came up with 6 themes.
The homework for this week is to pick one of these themes and to come up with a practical activity that promotes it - for example; TLC time = set aside 30 minutes each week to sit on the lounge together and say something we're grateful for. (That's just one idea - I'm sure there are hundreds more and I'm sure that the kids are going to come up with the best ones!)
I know that setting up our family values like this is also going to help us to come together as a team and help us all to see what we get from the less pleasant aspects of life - like book-keeping or cleaning the kitchen - it's going to be easier to see the positive purpose.
So, give it a try!
I'd love to hear about how YOUR family meeting went!
If you have some other ideas to create positive culture in your family-life, please leave a comment below.
And if you think this conversation has value - please share it with your friends.