As our next year approaches, Cody and I sat down with our family binder and evaluated each aspect of our lives. Originally we set up this binder system in 2014 but failed to meet some months, thus we didn't meet all of our goals for 2014. Here is what our binder looks like. We have a divider and extra information for each part inside:
Inside our Castillo Family Pyramid binder, at our meetings we discuss 6 Fs that our family is based on. In order for our family to function we have to address the 6 elements at each weekly meeting, determining weekly goals and monthly goals to meet. The 6 most important aspects in out family are: FAITH, FUNCTION, FINANCE, FIELD, FITNESS, and FUN. That pyramid makes up our FAMILY.
We have some ground rules for our meetings- first no texts, calls, or social media during our meeting. Next, we start each meeting with a small prayer. Last- set the next meeting time/date at the end of the meeting. Let me take you through what we discuss in each divider tab, what we write down in our calendar, and how we communicate.
Faith: this is our first tab and most important, or base, of our family. Here we discuss what we want to do weekly to become stronger in our Catholic faith. Our weekly goals add up to one overall monthly goal. (Example: this month we want to memorize and learn 2 Latin prayers. Our weekly goal is to memorize the confiteor in weeks 1-2, and the Gloria in weeks 3-4). Our monthly goal will change in February and can be anything we decide it to be that helps us grow in our faith ( individually and as a couple). We also set small personal faith goals here (for example it may be to say a rosary 1x a week, extra scripture study, or go to Eucharistic Adoration 1-2x a week) sometimes our personal goals are the same and sometimes not!
Function: this is our second tab. It's important we know our roles and goals and how we will operate weekly. Here, we review the weekly chores and decide who is doing what -that week. We have 10 chores, so we each have 1 small chore 5 days a week. We can choose the day we do each one, but we don't write that in our calendar...rather we mark them off with a dry erase marker in out binder (the chore list is page protected for easy wipe off)! We also have an "other" section where we pick from a list of alternating tasks-- things that don't need to happen each week but maybe only twice a month (bathing dogs, washing the cars, cleaning the pantry, etc)-- you decide! We also make a "To do" list of tasks for the month in our calendar (like getting an inspection, or ordering contacts...) you get the idea! Here we make our grocery list and plan our weekly meal prep ideas/ dinner ideas.
Finances: Studies show that for most couples, finances are burdensome. Cody is in charge of budgeting expenses, while I am in charge of our bank account balance- we both pay the bills depending on who is home or what our day looks like. We look at our budgets to see if are over or under budget, what bills are coming up soon. Cody uses the app called "mint" and "mint bills" where he has set up budgets for our spending (example we have 200.00 a month for gas; he puts our bank transactions in each "budget title" to see if we were under, met, or over budget. We have about 20 categories. Some of our categories include things like: rent, gas, personal fun money, church...you get the idea! After checking each budget, we then plot pay days and "bills due" on our family planner/monthly calendar... Because writing it all down just helps! This meeting, we also set our 2015 BIG savings account goal and how much we need to save each month to get there. Any money not accounted for at the end of the month goes straight to savings! We have 2 pretty BIG things we are saving for this year and we are excited to start both of those processes...but that's a post for another time ☺️
Field: here we set weekly goals for our careers/ field of expertise. The better we succeed in our career, the better our family will function. This month, mine is to stay late at work 1 day each week to grade so my papers don't stack up, while Cody's is to watch 1 video each day for work.
Fitness:it's important for couples to be healthy for themselves, one another, and their children. At this point we evaluate our schedule and set 1 monthly goal- it may be to lose 5 lbs or workout so many times that month! Then we look at our week and write in our calendar what we plan to do, to meet that goal. For me, it's to find more balance- so my goal for January is work out only 3 days each week- that way I don't get overwhelmed with working out plus all my other busy weekly activities! Each month, our goal changes... For example you may choose to be dairy free for a month or workout each day- whatever works for your lifestyle!
Fun: this is our last tab but one we look forward to! It's important for couples to set a time to be together or to do something they look forward to each month. For us, we find that weekly date nights work best! Here we discuss upcoming events for the month. We plan a date night each week unless we are scaling back to save money, and we also discuss trips for the year or quarter and details if necessary. We discuss our date night ideas and what our plans are for when friends spontaneously show up and want to have fun. We discuss an increase or decrease in date nights based on our money flow for the month. Then we plot our dates on the planner/ calendar.
After going through all 6 parts, we quickly recap goals and set up our next meeting based on how our upcoming week looks. We usually try to meet on Sunday, but if one is out of town or we are gone, we look at the calendar to set up a better time to meet! I hope this will help you and your family in setting SMART goals for the 2015 year!
Also, check out Dr. Taylor Marshall's planning tips in this video
Happy Family planning y'all...