A Better Way to Plan 2018 With Your Family

Hey Everyone,
The start of a new year has a way of getting our attention. We reflect on the year behind us and dream about the year ahead of us. We take stock of our habits and make new goals. And while this is often done individually, it’s really important to do this as a family as well. That is, it’s important to make resolutions and goals as a family and not just make resolutions and goals as an individual.

Nate and Melissa Navarro are a Vista family that the Fischer family really respects and looks up to, and they’ve recently started making family resolutions and goals. So we reached out to them and asked a few questions. Check it out and figure out how to apply their story to your own lives. Since we’re not having church on New Year’s Eve, we thought this could be a great exercise to do as a family instead. Because remember, God doesn’t just have a plan for YOUR life. God has a plan for the life of your entire family.

Austin Fischer

Why did you guys think it was important to have family resolutions and goals and not just personal resolutions and goals?

The truth is that things like "goals" and "resolutions" aren't actually very natural for us. Neither of us are natural "planners" and we tend to be "go with the flow" types of people. In some ways, that is a really fun way to live, but in other areas, it makes life pretty hard. As we have tried to learn together how to "adult", communicating about things like money, our schedule, our goals, has really helped. We aren’t good at it yet, but we are taking steps to grow.

What family goals did yall come up with?

The big discussion for us has been, "What is our priority for our lives, our marriage, and our kids?" We found that it's easy to say things like, "What’s most important to us is GOD FIRST, OUR MARRIAGE SECOND, OUR KIDS THIRD, EVERYTHING ELSE NEXT, ETC..."

But then we asked ourselves this: If someone were to look at our SCHEDULE and our BANK STATEMENT, would that ring true?

So we started by doing two things. First, we decided to prioritize the things we want to be about and here’s where we landed (note—this is a work in progress, and everybody's list may be different, but it is a great conversation to have):

  • God
  • Our Marriage
  • Our Kids
  • Our Work
  • Our Friends
  • Our Community
  • Our Health

Second, we promised that on the first day of the month we would talk about the upcoming month’s schedule and budget, compare it to what we said was most important to us, and make changes if needed.

Here’s an easy example: It’s easy to say that "our marriage is a priority", but then we look at the calendar for the month and see we have 12 kid’s sporting events, 4 lunches with friends, 3 weekly workouts....and not one date night scheduled. 

What have you done to make sure you’re consistently pursuing those goals as a family?

Like I mentioned, since we aren't naturally consistent people, we basically promised each other we would carve out a couple hours the first of every month to talk about the upcoming month. That holds us accountable.

What difficulties have yall experienced?

For the most part, we feel like marriage and family problems are the same for most of us: being on the same page when it comes to money, parenting, and sex (sound familiar)? And the way to work through these difficulties is simple even if it isn’t easy.

1- Honest Conversations
2- Prayer
3- Counsel from trusted friends
4- Mutual love and respect for your spouse

The most difficult thing for most of us, is simply doing the things that we know we should be doing. Nobody has to tell us that we should respect our spouse, date our spouse, pray with our spouse, and seek wise counsel from friends....just like nobody has to tell us we probably eat too much, stare at our phones too much, and should go to the gym more. We all know these things, but the follow through is the problem. So talking about it and making a plan is the best solution.

What benefits have you seen?

We are just getting going over the last few months so we are not experts on this, but I will say that only good will come from more conversation and more prayer with your spouse.

Like most things in life worth pursuing (losing the extra weight, carving out more time to serve, putting the phone away and focusing on the real life humans around you), it won't always be easy, but it will be good.

So this is our challenge to you:

Take some time this weekend to set family goals for 2018.

Really ask yourself what it is that God is leading your family towards this year.

How are you going to make decisions? What are your priorities? What are you going to say no to so that you can say yes to the things that matter most to you? Set a list of what your family values and then look at how you spend your resources. It might be uncomfortable. It might mean making some changes. Take small steps initially that can set you up for bigger steps later.

Maybe you want to…

  • Be intentional about finding community, so you commit to making Small Groups a priority for your family.
  • Get a better understanding of faith, so you sign up to attend Starting Point.
  • Finally find financial freedom, so you sign up to go through Financial Peace University.

As you figure out what your goals are for your family, create a plan to involve and share your goals with your kids. Use this as an opportunity for your family to encourage each other and work together all year long.

Then, be proactive to hold yourself accountable. Share your goals with family friends, or trusted mentors. Schedule those check in meetings to evaluate your progress.

As you pursue these goals in 2018, we want to support you and help you. Use our community at Vista to encourage you. We love you and your family and want nothing but the best for you in 2018.

Happy New Year,
Ross Rice