Monday, January 26, 2015

new years resolutions that actually KEEP (I hope!)

Have I ever mentioned my Dad was/is big into goals?  Oh boy, he is like the goal guru if there ever was such a thing.  When he and my mom first got married they went so far as to make a home-made mobile to hang above their bed that outlined their lifetime goals and what they wanted to accomplish so they could gaze up at it at night and remember the path they wanted to be on.
  
Yes he was that into goals.

He was so into goals that he got US into goals too.  Each Sunday he would sit us down and we would do "Sunday Sessions" that included our goals and plans for the week.  We would hang them on our mirrors or by our beds so that we could remind ourselves to get busy accomplishing things:)

But Heaven forbid we would do those Sunday Sessions without a bigger "hanging-mobile" plan for life.  

Before you do the incremental goals, you have to have a vision of the "big picture" of where you're going, right?

So I must back up.  Because before those Sunday Sessions became part of life in the Eyre household, my Dad presented us each with a three ring binder.  And in that binder we started with "Lifetime Goals" or dreams of what we wanted to do in life.  Next we worked on "10-year goals," (using the framework of our "Lifetime goals" to work from) which narrowed down to "5-Year" to "1-Year" to "1-Month."  And from those bigger overall visions we worked on those little Sunday Sessions of ours each week.

Eventually this planning/resolution/goal setting approach became a "thing" that my parents published...a book called "Lifebalance " as well as a kind of "help kit" that some people bought to help them on their journey of setting goals to get to their dreams and visions of life.  When Dave and I first got married we started our own 3-ring binder filled with all kinds of goals and plans based on his ideas.

Some little examples of our planning...keep in mind there is a whole binder full of this stuff.

This is from nearly 20 years ago.
This is intentionally a little blurry...just to give an idea of the "self-programing" words I envisioned would be wonderful qualities I wanted to gain.

We had all our goals lined out in that thing and I love looking back at it.

So this year, after we sat down and did our "New Years Resolutions" for Family Home Evening one night and I started seeing my kid's goals full of artistically-drawn-up resolutions that had already fallen off mirrors, got lost in the homework shuffle, etc., I decided it was time:

Time to present my kids with their own "lifetime planning" binders.

We would keep it much more simple...exactly the way that first binder of mine was set up back when I was a teenager.

I bought some binders, card stock and some permanent markers at Target and was ready (note to self: silver and gold sharpies do wonders for getting kid excited to create).


For Family Home Evening that night I took the kids on a little field trip to my bedroom where I pulled out the "Lifetime Plan" Dave and I made when we were still freshly married. (Dave and Max were out of town on a little business trip and the girls have since given this little schpeal to Max who has his own binder now too.)

Ours was written in a huge sketch book I had left over from my art/drawing class at BYU.  

I love when we pull out that book because they think I'm a superstar that I drew things like this:

But that's totally beside the point.  Let's skip to the back of the book where Dave and I, as a relatively newly married couple, projected our life forward to where we wanted to go (it was the closest we got to my parent's "hanging mobile" :).  
I know it's all blurred...for a little privacy.  But you can see how we started in that upper left hand corner and went with arrows from stage to stage of life in what we projected we'd want to be doing.  

Only the very first "stage" came true...because that's where we were right then (we wrote this up for New Years in 1998).  By spring of that year we figured we'd be in Arizona with "3 children/1 house and 1 piano" (gotta love the piano part:)

By 2005 we would be living in Boston with 6 kids renting out a home in California we had lived in already.

And by this "stage" we're in right now, we'd be back in California with our SEVEN kids.
(By that time, our "vision" included that we would have lived in Asia for a while too.  And also, what, exactly is a "non-profit person"??  I wanted to start a non-profit business to help families...)

Yes we had big dreams.

And they didn't turn out exactly as we planned.

But that's not the point.  The point is that we carefully laid out a path.  We had a vision.  

It changed a bunch of times through the years, and that's ok.

Some things came true.  Others shifted and changed and heaved and jolted more than we could have ever imagined.  But I'm so grateful for that plan.

I explained to the kids that you make new plans along the way.  But you have to start somewhere and have a vision.  I believe that goals and dreams help you seek out your divine purpose in life by helping you START SOMEWHERE, and KEEP MOVING (I've mentioned before how Dave came up with that wing-dinger of a phrase a few years ago and I love it.)  It's too bad we don't have a crystal ball that will show us our future...we can't know what it holds.  But God does.  And I believe He wants to help us get there if we work on progressing any way we know how.

With that I gave them their binders.

We started out with "Lifetime Goals" or "Dreams."  Anything they think they might want to do in life.

Then we went to 10-year descriptions of what they think they'll be doing in ten years.
 Then using those two as frameworks they wrote 5-year goals:

 Then one-year:

 Then one-month.  Lucy's was my favorite:
That girl has some BIG dreams this month I tell you!

Keep in mind that these are just works in progress.  This is all just a little seed to grow on.  But those "seeds" have sparked some interest in planning and dreaming.

I switched out the binders to something a little more sturdy and they are lined up in our homework cabinet to work on each month on Fast Sunday.
The plan is to have the kids take them out and work on re-evaluating, doing a new monthly plan, and REMEMBERING (I adore that word) the big picture.  Dave and I are working on our own binders to go along with them...all the old stuff is pretty out of date.  I've always loved this quote:

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined." 
--Henry David Thoreau

How grateful I am for those dreams Dave and I set into action all those years ago and the path those visions have helped us find along the way.

I'm so hoping this will be a way for all of us to remember our hopes and dreams and reach for the stars to shine any way we can in this little thing called LIFE.

71 comments:

  1. We did short term goals but I am going to have use this great idea to get them thinking past a year. I love it. I may have to copy Lucy's goals :-).

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  2. This is a good idea, but man, your kids are structured to the gills. It is a wonder they are not on blood pressure medication already. Nice to have goals, but as usual I think you are taking this one level too far. Maybe just a few lessons from Dave to the kids AND YOU on time management and organization would be more helpful in managing day to day life.

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    1. Seriously I have to know. ... what is your beef with this family? Why do you feel the need to badger her and other family blogs? What is so horrible that you feel the need to criticize their every move? Wouldn't the world be such a better place if we built each other up and cheered each other on? I encourage you to find the best in people instead of what you are doing. I'm sure you would be a much happier person!

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    2. I'm perfectly happy, thank you. And when you publicize everything you and your family do in a public arena, you are bound to get some criticism. Or is this just a place for ego stroking and public validation?

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    3. It must be the latter, Madam Queen. Maybe you should go by the old saying: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

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    4. Madam Queen, please get help. You need to reach out to someone, and not on the internet. In person. A therapist, and I mean that in the kindest way. I'm sure your family needs you to be healthy, happy and whole.
      At the very least, find a good cause to direct your anger -there are enough really worthy causes that could channel your energy-but constantly criticizing, questioning and bullying Shawni is not a worthy one. She doesn't deserve this, and frankly it's way outside the realm of "some criticism"-it's alarming and stalkerish and could easily be classified as cyber-bullying. Shawni hasn't hurt anyone with this blog, she doesn't abuse or neglect her children, she isn't spreading hatred or harming innocent victims. She is a good good person, and she has helped me and others-thousands-who love her blog and her passion for motherhood. Please leave her and her family alone. Don't waste the one life you have on ripping others down.
      Get help, for yourself and for your family.

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    5. Oh, Sarah - thank you so much. I will seek professional help immediately - I will tell them I disagreed with shawni and need readjustment immediately..... ;)

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    6. Madam Queen - You don't think what you wrote above is a little harsh? Read it as if it was directed at you. I think some of the same things you do about the Pothier family, but I usually just keep them to myself. They're not going to change their lifestyle for me or you, or anyone else. As I said above, you should go by the old adage: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

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    7. That sounds like a good idea, and a great place to start. A trained professional can take it from there. Meanwhile, leave this family in peace.

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    8. I know everyone has a visceral reaction to Madam Queen's comments, but if we're recommending professional help to people, what about the one's whose comments are always "incredible idea, implementing in my own family immediately, I love you"? I find those more alarming and potentially worthy of intervention.

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    9. Honestly to Madame queen and everyone else that has written on here, we need to be nice. No exceptions. I really don't understand why some things need to be criticized, but if someone has an opinion we have to be respectful. I for one love this blog shawni. I think it's uplifting and beautiful. There is already so much crap in the world that we should just be nice to each other. That's what Christ would have us do

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  3. thank you for sharing! this was the answer to my prayer.

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  4. Looks like such a great idea that I will use when I have older kids! Thank you!

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  5. Oh Madam Queen you do sure bring a smile to my face sometimes! Isn't it great that we all come from different families and are married to different people and can raise kids in our own ways according to the ideas that work for us? I'm so grateful for that.

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    1. I love this response! Way to go!

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    2. Shawni, I have been reading your blog for years and this is the very first time I've ever commented. There have been so many times where I think, "Wow, what a great idea!" And store whatever it is I've read away for future years with my littles. I just want to add my thoughts and say how impressed I've been with you MANY times for your kind, Christlike, and incredibly graceful responses to some not so nice comments here. Thank you for sharing an insight to your life and parenting. You are a rockstar!

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  6. Wow! There are so many things I love in this post! I am a life long goal setter and list maker and I always love finding new ways to approach putting our dreams into actions. My husband and I have been married for 27 years and the major goals that we have accomplished so far were first written on paper. So we have adopted a family motto of "write it down to get it done!" (Of course, there have many things we only talked about but have yet to accomplish.) Your post is so timely because we just yesterday discussed putting together a new list for the next 30 years. Thank you for all of the time and love your pour into this blog. It always inspires me!

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  7. You are awesome! Your kids are blessed to have their parents show them how to reach & stretch themselves & grow. (And I love your graceful response to the crusty comment 😉. Well said!)

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  8. Why does madam queen have it out for your family? Madam Queen I sure wish I had the time you do! Do you even know this family? ?? Great idea Shawni! We will be doing this for FHE tonight!

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  9. I'm just a long time reader and some-time commenter - we can't all be fan-girls.

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  10. Thank you so much for this post, you actually motivated me to do something like this! More now than ever, that we're starting big things as a couple, and we have separate goals, we should put them in common and consider all the goals in our life, not just a year (I usually only think of my week to-do list, but not goals). Thanks so much for sharing it! :)

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  11. If this family bugs you so much why do you read their blog? Do you have children? Do you have some sort of degree that makes you an expert in parenting? What good does posting negative comments do?

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry - I thought this was a place to leave our opinions. Didn't realize we all had to agree.

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    2. You are constantly leaving negative criticizing comments on her blog and other family blogs. It seems like it's almost an obsession.

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  12. Love that you do goals with your family. Think about this, Shawni for a FHE. Take it one step deeper and try to get your kids to express their values in life. The goal will be much more achieved if it comes from a value based intention. Something that is truly important to them. If you look back on your accomplished goals, things that came true where based from your core values in life. Life each day fully present and act according to your Values. Being motivated by something that truly brings you joy rather than being motivated by external expectations. A sense of well being independent of a specific outcome or achievement. I think you practice this already on some level. Basically, what is really important to you in each area of your life. Goals= statements of our values in each area of your life" "To eat for energy" instead of "Lose 10 lbs".. You are a great mom!

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    1. I love this idea of basing goals on a value!!!! Awesome!

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  13. Shawni, I emailed you the letter from my grandma about the Life Planning book. So fun to see you write about this book after I left the last comment. Let me know if you're able to forward it on. Thanks!

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  14. I think I "know" them as well as any of you do - through the blog. Some things I like, some things I take issue with. I'm sure all her life Shawni has been told that everything she does it great - and it continues here. Sometimes I don't agree with what she says and does. It's so funny that any comment other than "Great idea, Shawni, you are so wonderful and I love you" is considered bad. Do all of you who say you "love" her and her family "know" her?

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    1. I dont know Shawni or her family. I dont even share same religion with her but i have sympaty towards her and her family. They seems to look like nice family and trying help other families with their own experiences and that is very kind of them. Thank you Shawni...

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    2. And Madam queen, you dont have to agree with people all the time and of course you can say your opinion on anything you wish and i must say that i didnt like it when someone told you to get help just because you made a negative command but you must admit that on your command you Were hurtfull too. All shawni is trying to do is help out people and she deserves some appriciation too..

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  15. Speak with good purpose everyone ;)

    This sounds great Shawni...but WAYYYYY too overwhelming for me...which is ok! Thanks for passing along all of your ideas. I might think about using some of them but on a smaller scale.

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  16. I'm sitting nursing my first little baby girl. (LOVING every second of it) I had simple dreams marry a worthy kind amazing man. And become a mother (and be able to stay home with my children) my husband just finished school. This post came on such a perfect day. We both feel so overwhelmed with where we want to start our lives as far as careers go. Career for my husband. It weighs on our minds all the time. We are making loads of sacrifices for me to stay home because we both feel that is important, but my husband wants to provide more than just surviving for us. Anyways I just really want to say thanks for being a family we can look up to. And.... your favorite scripture got me through my pregnancy. I swear I would cry every day on the way to work hoping I wouldn't throw up. I would read those 2 scriptures in isaiah a million times a day! Thanks thanks!

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  17. Hi Shawni! I enjoyed reading this post and for sharing your ideas! I was just reading a conference talk given by Pres. Eyering from 2012 titled Help them Aim High. It just made me think of this post that I read earlier today. I think the most important thing you are teaching your children through these goals is that you love them!! You know they are capable of more than they realize! I think you are absolutely right to have them "aim high!". I agree that God wants us to do and accomplish things! He might tweak or greatly change our plans, but at least we are acting and trying to make the world a better place!

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  18. Wow! So much to think about here. I definitely want to live more deliberately but I'm not sure about this deliberately. I'm searching and thinking for that always elusive healthy middle ground. I notice that struggling with perfectionism, feelings of being overwhelmed, of never doing enough, the desire to please is a common theme amongst your sisters' blogs. I wonder if this style of "super deliberate" parenting and very specific goal setting is a contributor to these kinds of feelings. What do you think?

    I'm also struck by the fact that all your girls have the same career plan; to marry in the temple and be mothers. (Although it is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming to see Lucy's goal of doing research so she can see.) I'm wondering why there is no mention of also being a professional, a teacher, a doctor, an artist, a writer, or a......? Is it because they don't even see that as an option for themselves? I bet Max's plan looks very different.

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    1. I love that your girls have goals of desiring motherhood Shawni. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a mother is there? It's a testimony to the joy that Shawni finds in motherhood, and the example she sets. I think Jenny, you are over thinking things. As a sibling of many, I often copied my older sister growing up. Maybe that is what the girls did? Or maybe they didn't, maybe they don't know what they want to be yet, but they are certain they would love motherhood. I think many men AND women struggle with perfectionism, feeling overwhelmed as a parent, etc. It's very very common. I love that Shawni has shared her feelings with us as many of us can relate. And I sure hope Max's plan doesn't say "I want to be a mother", so it does most likely look a little different. :)

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    2. I loved your comment Jenny. I didn't read it as a criticism of desiring motherhood, wanting children and a family is of course a worthy goal. At the same time, there's no reason to limit girls to that role; it's surprising to me that none of the four would also want a profession of some kind.
      There's nothing wrong with wanting to be a mother and not wanting a career outside the home, but there's plenty wrong with discouraging children from ambitions of a professional career because of their gender. It shouldn't be automatic that Max would plan for a professional career because he's male while all four girls plan for stay at home motherhood just because they're female.
      I enjoy the blog and think Shawni and Dave sound like incredible parents. There's certainly no need to attack them or their parenting choices. Maybe it's the English major in me, but I agree with Madam Queen; I get even more out of it when there's an exchange of opinions on the topic presented. I also enjoy Madam Queen's sharp wit and can understand why she only comments when she's taking a different view from Shawni, there's plenty of agreement to be found here already and adding more may not contribute much to the conversation. Taking a different position can really open up the discussion. That said, rudeness and personal attacks don't add much either, and I was offended by the suggestion that Shawni could benefit from a "lesson from Dave" on organization and time management.

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    3. Thanks, Katy. I know my comments come off as offensive sometimes and for that I do apologize. But, yes - almost every comment is "great idea, Shawni, we love you" or a variation on the theme. If I agree I normally don't comment. I'm not feeding the ego beast.

      But if I disagree - I will comment. I'll try to keep it civil - but sometimes it's hard, especially when something is really out there.

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    4. I did notice that on one of the girls' plans-maybe Elle's? She wants a career in photography. I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting to become a mother. I also noticed one daughter wants to be fluent in 5 languages-that is a pretty impressive goal! We can each take whatever we want from here. I don't get the feeling Shawni is touting this as the only way to raise kids or the best way for everyone. I feel like she is putting what they do out there. I looked at this post and thought it was a good idea. I wouldn't implement it exactly how they did, but that is okay! If you want your kids to do other things with their lives than you can shape them and guide them towards other professions.

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    5. Jenny (also) I think you're right on two levels. My sisters and I are all overwhelmed a bunch. I have a lot to say about that for me personally when I can get around to it, because you hit the nail on the head as to exactly what I've been pondering over for the last month (along with my sisters in fact…we have a group email where we’ve been discussing this very dilemma). I can’t speak for my sisters, because I am not them and in my eyes they are each rock stars I look up to so much exactly how they are, but as for me, I’m working on slowing down very intentionally and I'm loving it.

      I LOVE that my dad taught me to do this specific exercise in this post on a regular basis. I think when you plan, you carve out a path. A good one. One that may change, but direction is important. Many of these comments have said that much more eloquently than I have. I want to help my kids do the same thing and I think this is a great way that worked so well for our family growing up, I'm so happy to share it with my family now (and for the reminder that it’s about time Dave and I reworked our own plans). That certainly doesn't mean it's right for everyone! Every family is different. Every personality is different. I’m just explaining what we do, take it or leave it.

      The older I get, the more brilliant I think my Dad is :)

      The second thing you're right about is that my girls don't have much on their "dream" lists...YET! That will change as we go forward...this is meant to be a "work book" that changes and is added to all the time. These pages I took pictures of for this post are just from our first brainstorm. I'm sure they'll have a lot to add and I’m SO happy the first thing that came to mind is that they want to be mothers and raise strong families. Nothing could make me happier. Max's goals are surprisingly similar as far as marriage and kids go. He wants to have a strong family and I love that. He hasn't thought through his career path ideas yet either and he's graduating so soon! I sure wish we would have “reinvented” this idea earlier so that he could have thought through these things more before now! ...so that Dave and I could help him and advise him on what he dreams of and wants to become while he's still at home. I'm sure he'll figure it all out, and we will help him in whatever he needs, but I'm excited for him to have a framework like this to work through to try to help him.

      And Madame Queen, I think I figured out what your deal is! You have a "phobia of nice-ness." Ok, not really, but I think it somehow makes you uncomfortable when people say nice things on here too much. It really is ok to say nice things! For all the years you have been reading this blog and commenting, I'm not sure that you have ever agreed or said one nice thing. That is TOTALLY fine, as you have pointed out probably 429 times, this is a public forum and people can say whatever they want, but that means it's ok to say nice things too, right? Kindness makes people happy. And it compounds the more of it that's around and spreads to make people productive and have joy. And that’s pretty great. You have some great points but I wish you could say them in a less harsh way. It would make for some good discussions.

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    6. Ok - I will try to disagree in a nicer, more respectful manner. I don't always disagree - I don't comment when I agree because, quite frankly you get enough of that already.

      So - truce?

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    7. It makes me so sad to see unkind comments on the internet....honestly I very rarely read them because for some reason people think that it is ok to say hurtful things when behind a screen. When I don't care for the content in a blog, or the way a blogger does things I don't read it anymore. I LOVE this blog....I love reading positive uplifting things. Of course no family is perfect and no where on this blog have I ever read where they claim to be! We are all just trying our best (hopefully!) and support for one another goes along ways. We don't have to do things the same way to get the same results. But man is it nice to get different ideas/perspectives of people who are in different seasons of life and have some insight into different situations/personalities. I understand why you don't block people from commenting because then you are attacked for not accepting comments that disagree with your point of view. (Not true, but could be perceived that way) Personally, I feel like someone who constantly is disagreeable and unkind needs to find another blog that would better suit what they are looking for. And maybe needs to be blocked to help encourage them to do so. I hope you continue to be you and blog away because I think there need to be more blogs that try to focus on the positive. Yes things need to be real....but like you mention not at the expense of your sweet kids. They will read this at some point and why would you post negative things about them? Of course you want to focus on the positive in your kids...we all do...and we all should! They are wonderful....most of the time ha! :)

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  19. Thank you for this! You have inspired me to try it in my family. We have one coming home from a mission soon and I think it we be great for him too!

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  20. If you stop feeding the trolls. They will go away.

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  21. One of the reasons I love this is illustrated in one of your parents book (the entitlement one?). When our children have long term goals they can have something to weigh their choices against. Will this choice to...(good choices or bad) help me get to where I want to go in life? I think if more people had a long term vision and learned how to think about that vision when making choices, there would be less out of wedlock pregnancies and addictions of all kinds.

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  22. One reason I have always loved Richard and Linda Eyre is because of how deliberate and goal oriented they are. I am known in my family as the list maker and the goal setter. I am sure your dad knew Stephen Covey and Hyrum Smith of Franklin Covey planners! They are the ones that add in the core values and the Seven Steps. Excellent goal setting teachers just like your dad! I can so relate. I have gotten frustrated when I look back at my goal setting and I am not where I planned to be (in many areas of life). When you showed your goals and how life has "Jolted" you around I realized that although I have not achieved my goals in the timetable I envisioned or how I envisioned, God has led me through some tremendous journeys to make me who I am today and be Grateful for what and where I am today! Thank you for the awesome post. And please thank your parents from me for their books that have helped me raise my children more deliberately!

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  23. Wow, what a great summary of this whole goal setting thing Shawn! As you always do, you took an idea of ours and made it MUCH more artistic and approachable.
    I think the thing so many of us have concluded is that setting goals is a wonderful kind of risk. The risk is that you won't make them all within the timetable set, but even so, you will likely be much closer to those goals than if you had not set them at all.
    Long live goal setting, Long live risk-taking.
    I love who you are and what you say and how you say it!
    DAD

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  24. Last night I was praying to live a more intentional life and then this was posted this morning. Thank you for a springboard as I set out to make some plans!

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  25. One of my favorite keepsakes from my teenage years is a piece of paper from a lesson I had as a Beehive. I recorded some goals about where I thought/hoped I'd be in 10 and 15 years. A few weeks back my girls and I shared a good laugh when we read through that paper, but I also felt so much joy and gratitude for the many things I had accomplished. I think your desire to help your children have a vision of who/what they want to become is wonderful! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us. :-)

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  26. i am totally wigging out right now. i think your parents and i are soul mates. i love me some lists and goals and binders and paper and... DREAMS! man... this is making me want to just... plan. right now.

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  27. One doesn't have to "agree" with what Shawni does; I certainly do not with everything. But her life isn't mine, and mine isn't hers. I admire SO many things about her and what she posts. I rarely comment, but when I do, I make sure that there isn't anything negative to say, because, why bother? I don't need to be like, "Guess what, I think what you're doing is weird/strange/over the top!" To her it is worthwhile and best yet, WORKS for her. Everything she posts doesn't have to work for me, nor should anyone see it and implement it and if it fails feel like they aren't good enough--because I know that would never be her intention.

    Just my two cents. I am a fan of making long term and short term goals. But also, like Shawni, know that sometimes they won't work out. But dreaming is nice, too :)

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  28. I'm honestly curious, how did your parents deal with a kid that was less than excited to be goal oriented? I look at that, and it freaks me out as an adult, I think I would have felt smothered as a kid. How did your parents deal with that? And how do you prepare your kids for the times when they do not meet their goals? Especially the big ones, or the ones that might not be fully in their control, like getting married. Thank you.

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  29. As impressive as this, there does seem to be a hint of materialism about it all: farm; business expansion; travel; rent out this house and buy that, or things out of our control like marriage and number of children... shouldn't our children's goals be centered around what they can control and work on? Not a criticism - just a thought? So for example - how do you work towards being a mother or a wife?

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    1. I love this point too! What a great opportunity for a conversation about personal growth and what qualities make a good partner and parent.

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  30. Shawni-

    Another great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. I'm a little turned around, Wellesley is Elle?

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    1. If you Google "71 toes Wellesley", you will get the reason for Elle's name. June 2009 or so........Shawni didn't attend Wellesley like her three sisters (Boston College and BYU, I think) but she loved visiting her older sister at Wellesley and named her first daughter after the college. I thought it was a pretty neat way to shorten the name.
      I learned from someone to Google 71 toes and the subject I was looking for to get any answers. I didn't think about blog posts being in google! Hope that helps even though I am not Shawni answering! !!!

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    2. Thanks! That is a sweet story. Love that name..

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    3. Thanks for your help on answering this, Jamaille!

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  32. Una vez hice mi "proyecto de vida", me parece significativo tener un objetivo en la vida y trabajar para lograrlo. Este post me ha inspirado a volver hacerlo y revisarlo constantemente para no perder de vista mis metas! Gracias por compartir!

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  33. Do you know if your parents still sell the workbook that goes with Life balance book? Even photo copies of the workbook would be helpful! Thanks!

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    1. You can get more information about the detailed planning system my Dad came up with over here: http://www.valuesparenting.com/lifebalance/

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  34. If you fail to plan, plan to fail. It's true! I know it.

    However, it is also true that all the dreams and planning in the world cannot guarantee they will come true... but we should STILL dream, and have goals, and hopes for the future -- writing them down is a good thing.

    My dreams were crushed when my husband died 10 months ago, leaving me a widow with 4 children. All that we had planned together came to a screeching halt. I have had to write a new plan for my life, a very simple plan...

    If I had a binder full of goals it would simply say this: Trust in the Lord.

    Because no matter the dreams, goals, etc., sometimes He has other plans for us.

    If we trust Him, all other things will take their proper place, and we can accomplish what He has in mind for us, which may not be what we have planned.

    But, I still believe it is good to dream. I still believe it is good to plan. It is good to see it on paper.

    Sometimes you just have to completely rewrite the dream, because life is unpredictable.

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  35. Who could have predicted that a post on goal setting would stir up such controversy!
    I think the idea of setting long term goals and then shorter term goals that break those big goals down into smaller steps to make them achievable is excellent. An organizer binder to keep them in and see what progress you've made, what needs to be adjusted, and to reevaluate when needed makes good sense to me. That said, I would hope for younger kids this is just kept light and fun for practice. This type of goal setting would be hugely beneficial for high school students and beyond, when the choices you're making have a much bigger impact and can really alter the direction of your life. Even goals for college that include, travel, explore options, etc to help one decide what they want for their future would be great. These goals don't have to be as concrete as major in bio, apply for med school, become a doctor. This really can be as structured as you want to make it.

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  36. Shawni, this is BRILLIANT! I love it! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. This came at the perfect time for our family...a complete tender mercy. Cannot wait to adapt it to fit our family's needs and implement it!

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  37. Shawni, this is BRILLIANT! I love it! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me. This came at the perfect time for our family...a complete tender mercy. Cannot wait to adapt it to fit our family's needs and implement it!

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  38. Great idea. Speaking of goals...I would like to come up with a daily schedule and cleaning routine. Do you have a good schedule/routine you could share?

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    1. Fly Lady has an excellent system for house cleaning!

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  39. I need this in my life now as an adult! lol Also, I love Elle's real name! I never would have guessed that Wellesley (Sorry if that's not how it was spelled) was her name! Love it!

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  41. I'm guessing that most of the readers of this blog are women. Am I correct? After reading some of these comments, here's my short thought for all of us. We live in a world that wants to beat women down. If the porn industry, the mommy blog wars, the lies from the media telling us what a woman should be or look like, the discrimination in the workforce... (I could go on forever) aren't enough to rip every holy and sacred quality of women and womanhood apart - then why are woman adding to these "battles" with such dumb and petty things like how a woman chooses to raise her children and family (when they are obviously happy)? Let's face it, women are still treated the same they have always been. And you know what's scary, it's not just men demeaning women like in "prehistoric", "ancient", "historical" days! We are doing it to each other!!! There are enough wars on women that are REAL that I think it's time all women come together to fight THESE REAL battles! Stop being so petty. Keep a bigger and better perspective! Build each other up. Look for common ground. Take what you want from another and offer her your best. Women all over the world have an amazing ability to affect everyone around them for the good. Take this privilege seriously and spread strength and positive empowerment! Women can empower women! And we should!

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