A good friend gave a talk (sermon) during our church Sacrament meeting this past Sunday on motherhood and raising the bar on raising our children. It was very inspirational. She spoke about intentional parenting, about the need to have goals and plans in raising our kids. It was a great reminder about something I feel is really important.
I read a study once in which university students from Harvard were interviewed on whether or not they had a written plan on what they hoped to achieve in their careers. Only about 7% had written their goals down. When interviewed some years later, 97% of those who had written down their goals had achieved that which they planned. How incredible is that!
Back to my friend's talk. She made a very poignant confession: that although she is a stay-at-home-parent, many days she feels she is the "stay-at-home" part but not so much the "parenting" part. How easily I identify with this! So many days I am at home with my kids, and I scurry around trying to tidy and cook and clean, and what little parenting I do is reacitve rather than purposeful.
But with a plan...what could be accomplished with a plan! There is a great commercial on television right now that has altered the lyrics to the "Wizard of Oz" song "If I only had a brain" to "If I only had a plan." A married couple sing about all the financial things they could do, like save for tomorrow, pay for college, go on vacation, if they only had a plan. Enter a financial planner, who offers to help them create and write down a financial plan that will help them achieve all their goals and dreams. The ad is a little on the cheesy side, but it has stuck with me because it rings true. If you aim for nothing, you are sure to hit it.
James and I are preparing for our first official sit down parenting planning meeting. Over dinner next week, we plan on coming together and sharing our ideas for specifically over the next year, and generally over the next five and ten years. Once we share our ideas, we'll come up with a plan that will include goals we'd like our kids to reach, as well as personal and family goals, and the steps we might need to take to reach them. Then I'll write it all down and have it somewhere private, and yet visible for James and I to see a daily reminder about the plan.
It will be exciting to do this again next year, and also to evaluate how the year past went. Hopefully some, if not all, of the goals will have been realized. And if we fell short in some areas, at least we will have lived more purposeful lives. I think that even if specific goals are not accomplished, when you are living day to day in working toward something, there will be progress of some sort no matter what, even if it isn't in the direction you had planned.