In my last message, I mentioned that I have something personal to share with you. I am so excited to share because it's a big step for our family. Here it is.
For many years my husband Tim and I planned things and they don't seem to really happen. It's strange, considering we frequently plan and strategise for work and have achieved our goals. You'd think we'd have no problems with this. I mean, we love spending time together and we have tonnes of fun. But we sucked at planning as a family. Here's why.
In business, before we can strategise a plan, it is imperative to know WHY there is a need for the project/product in the first place. The WHY relates to the purpose and values while the plans and strategies are simply the out workings of those purposes and values. It's what I help my clients with. When businesses pivot, their purposes and values don't change, but their plans and strategies would have to adapt to circumstances and customer behaviour.
One would think that this should be obvious to me - that a family would also have a combination of purposes and values. You see, we have never really been on the same page about values and priorities - out loud. We assumed that we knew each other's purposes and values and we teach our son from that place. After all, it is because of these inherent values that attracted Tim and me to each other. We took life as it came and we responded to it based on our individual values. And you know what happened? We just drifted... wherever the wind took us, wave upon wave, year after year. We made plans but we don't see it through because they are not anchored to what truly mattered to us. So we gave up, saw it as a failure, and avoided the subject and don't plan at all.
Don't get me wrong, we are a creative family and LOVE going with the flow, but this isn't about that. It's about being grounded and intentional about living the life we want to live as a family, regardless of circumstances.
When a crisis like a pandemic happens, we needed something to hang on to, and so we grabbed hold of was what is important to us as a family. So I felt that it was necessary for us to clarify our purposes and values so that we can pave a way to serve our priorities as a family this year. Tim took a bit of convincing but agreed to do a short 'planning' session.
Well, we did it and it was AWESOME! It took just over half an hour and our son had fun contributing his thoughts and ideas. By the way, want to know what your family values are? Ask your kids. Our son pointed out that he knew what we valued as a family from 2 things that we do: 1. How much we talked about a certain value, 2. How frequently he got into trouble for not living out a certain value. I was blown away by this observation!
For the very first time, we are all on the same page, energised to implement activities that would serve our priorities, whilst giving ourselves permission to live out the kind of lives we want to live.
When we are intentional about why we do things, things fall into place. Here's a side story: We have been looking for a place to live for some time. We intuitively knew that our current unit isn't suitable for us any longer and began looking but nothing came through. On a practical standpoint, our home is too small for both of us to work from home. But after our family session, we realised that the new house we move into needs to serve our priorities so that we could live out our purpose and values, not just for practical purposes. And because we now know what our purposes and values are out loud, it made finding a place so much easier. Within a week, we found a rental, applied for it and got it. We will be moving this weekend and now we can tick this big item off our list of 'things we must do' for 2021.
Your experience may be different from mine, but I wanted to share how purpose, values and priorities help us make better plans and strategies. Plans that we are more likely to achieve because they are now linked to what matters to us most. More importantly, this is something families can ground themselves in, whatever the future may bring. These are the type of legacy we would want to leave our kids and grandkids.
If you would like to learn how to live more intentionally, I am running a workshop and sharing this very framework I have just written about. It is a highly versatile framework that can be used in any season for work, business and project proposals. I have used it for Made to Create many times too. See below for details and how to get a discount on tickets. If you are experiencing financial hardship but know you will benefit from this, please let me know - I'll work something out for you.
I hope this message inspires you to explore your purpose, values and priorities as a family. It is an essential element in increasing resilience in our creative life as we recover and rebuild in 2021.
Founder of Made to Create