Monday, January 2, 2012

Ten Steps To Creating A Family Vision For 2012

Kids playing in the beach in Santa MartaImage via Wikipedia
In an effort to motivate her young charge to move out the door quickly, my friend challenged him in a race.  When he won with very little effort, he announced, "I won because I'm newer than you are!" She had to agree, he was a lot newer than she was.

In the new year, we are encouraged to set new goals and to focus on becoming newer and better.  One way to do this is to develop a family vision statement as well as family goals.  If this is a new idea for you, then you may be wondering how to do begin.  It doesn't have to be a formal agonizing process.  In fact, when I have taught classes on visioning and setting goals, we have made it a fun family affair.  Here's some suggested ways to make it happen in your family:
  1. Plan a family together time with refreshments and lots of creative materials available for everyone.  
  2.  Consider the personalities of your family members as you approach the  task at hand.  If you have 'D' style members, you want to make sure the time is structured to get results.  You might even want to set up a time frame and plan some structure into the activities.
  3. If you have more 'I' wired family members, plan a family party!  Make sure you have plenty of creative materials available for everyone to express their ideas.  You might want to work as a group and brainstorm ideas with one person assigned to be the scribe.  
  4. If you have 'S' wired members you will want to make sure the atmosphere is one of peace and harmony.  This doesn't mean everyone has to agree but at the same time keep the meeting positive and upbeat.    This is not the time to moan and groan about the past year, or a family member's irritating habits.  Stay focused on the future.
  5. Finally, if you have 'C' personality styles in your family, you might want to assign them the task of writing up the goals and putting everything in order at the end.  
  6. Make sure everyone in the family is involved.  Even the youngest members can make pictures of how they see the family working and playing together in the coming year.  Older members can also draw or even list words to describe how they see the family interacting.
  7. Spend some time discussing the values that you think are important to your family; love, generosity, achievement, playfulness, for example.  You may want to include some of those in your vision statement.    
  8. Make a collage from old magazines, children's art work or photos that is a visual of the family experience in the future. Express the family values and plans through a visual representation of how the family will spend time and interact together in the future.
  9. Keep it simple.  The vision statement should be expressed in as few words as possible and should be understandable to even the youngest family members.
  10. Post the result in a prominent place in your home where it can be an ongoing reminder to everyone.  Refer to it frequently as you plan your family activities.

The important thing is to make the family vision and goals representative of your family's personality and values.  The vision statement should not be a lengthy dissertation on family life.  Instead, it should be something even the the youngest member can understand.  My vision statement can be boiled down to two words:  Encourage and empower. One of my family goals for the future year is:  To accumulate positive enriching experiences with my daughters.

There is great value in the process and in the setting of goals.  It can be a time of positive family interaction and focus on the future year together.  What about your family?  Do you have  a family vision or family goals?  How have you created them as a family?

Some great books on developing a vision statement:


  1. I just caught up on your last post and this one, Lynne. I like the concept and also the steps you've outlined to do this....Makes me start wishing I had kids :)

  2. perhaps a 'key' to the code would be helpful for parents who are not familiar with myers-briggs -- believe it or not, there's alot of them ;-)

  3. @Corinne--thanks for the comment Corinne--the idea of a vision statement could really be used with any family structure or even individually. It is really just living intentionally through a vision for the future.
    @Dangerous Linda... an excellent idea! I've talked about the different personalities styles in previous posts but I'll see what I can do about keeping a static key on the page. It will take some figuring...

  4. I love the idea of having a family vision statement and goals. We think so much about our goals, but yet, to have ones set and organized by the family, how potentially powerful...Great post!