Figure 1 Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash
It’s almost a joke these days: having new year’s resolutions.
But just because many others in society break the 1 January promises—often even before 1 February—it doesn’t mean you will. And it definitely shouldn’t keep you from making plans for the future.
Because that’s what these resolutions are all about: giving you a plan for the next 12 months.
Think of it this way: a business makes decisions that align with its values, to guarantee resources and time are spent in a manner that will help them reach company goals. In the same way, you can align choices with your new year’s resolutions, so you know you’re moving closer to the outcome you want in life.
And nowhere is this more important than the plans for your family. Let’s help you get it right for 2020.
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions
Firstly, are you keeping your long term goals in mind when you set up these short term ones for the next 12 months?
Also, don’t make plans in isolation. Imagine you plan to purchase a house, but your partner wants to go on a glamorous holiday. Your decisions are bound to frustrate each other and prevent everyone from reaching their goals. Rather get everyone’s input and devise a plan that incorporates everyone’s interests. If your spouse and kids agree with the plan, it will be easier for everyone to abide by it & support each other to reach the goals.
Now, to help you get started, consider these four important topics you need to think about before 2020 arrives.
4 Discussions All Families Should Have
Will Your Family Dynamics Change Any Time Soon?
Many of you other choices in the next few months are determined by how big your family is. It’s important that couples discuss if and when they will have more children. You can’t assume the other party will want to get pregnant at the same time you want to. Discuss it & agree on a timeline so you can plan using contraception as and when necessary.
Of course, you can’t predict when exactly you’ll fall pregnant, but at least make the possibility of another child part of your planning. Prepare mentally and plan to budget for this immense change in your lifestyle.
What Have You Been Avoiding?
It’s easy to keep yourself busy in order to avoid difficult scenarios. But they won’t go away!
Perhaps you’re getting by by paying with your credit cards each month. Why? Because no one has the courage to face the realities of your monthly budget and start setting boundaries. If you don’t face this, sooner or later you’ll have too much debt to cope with.
Or perhaps you haven’t discussed the first item on our list above—family dynamics—because you’re unable to have children. Artificial insemination and IVF treatment in South Africa have brought many families the joy of having children. But the financial and emotional challenges seem too much to handle for many couples. This matter requires long term planning. And if you don’t face it now, you may regret it in the long run.
It’s time to start talking.
What do You Value?
Asking yourselves this question can open up discussions about many other important aspects of life. Here are examples of questions to ask when you list your values:
- Health: Should the family eat healthier?
- Family:Are you spending enough quality time together or should you plan more family activities?
- Relationships: Should you limit mobile use in the house so you can talk and build relationship with each other?
How Much Will You Save and What Will You Save for?
Money is one of the most common reasons marriages don’t work out. For example, one party may not like how much the other spends. Over time this can escalate into big arguments and if not resolved, divorce may ensue.
Much of this can be avoided by agreeing on the same goals and resolutions; for the next 12 months AND long term:
- How much money can you save each month? What percentage should you save and how much should you use to spoil yourselves?
- What will you use the saved money for?
- If someone finds something they really want, must they consult the other one before buying?
You may need to compromise to find a plan that suits everyone, but having tough, honest discussions now is better than ending up resenting each other in 12 months’ time.
There’s the possibility of having an amazing 12 months ahead of you. But it starts with planning. What will you discuss with your loved ones around the dinner table tonight?