The Family GPS

Falling in Love with your Family by Alison

In A Nutshell:  Happy Families take planning!  Once  month, have a GPS (Gain Perspective Session) to help you successfully navigate your way to a stronger family.

New Years is one of my favorite holidays because it embodies the principle of change. For that first week in January, it seems that anything is possible.  Now is a great time to recommit to strengthening your family.  Like most things that are worthwhile, it takes solid, consistent work to make things happen.  This year, I hope you’ll join us on a fun and meaningful journey to a stronger family.  To start with, you are going to need something very important…a GPS

GPS System

There is one topic I can truly speak authoritatively on–getting lost.  I get disoriented in the mall, and I have taken 4 hour detours on road trips.  I know lost.  I’ve learned in order to actually reach a destination, there are three very important components to know: 1) Where you are now, 2) Where you want to go, and 3) How to get to there.   The GPS (Global Positioning System) was invented for location-challenged people like me.  My GPS tells me where I am with a little dot.  It shows me my destination point.  And it draws a nice line on the fastest route there.  If you feel like you are wandering haphazardly through family life, a little overwhelmed or a little lost, try implementing a GPS.

GPS = Gain Perspective Session

The first challenge for 2012 is to implement a Gain Perspective Session.  This is a 30 minute piece of time each month where you ask yourself where your family is now, where you want your family to be, and how you can get there.  In between pancakes flying at breakfast and meltdowns at bedtime, most parents don’t feel like they have time to reflect, plan, and prepare for having a successful family.  But having a “hope it all works out”  approach to marriage and parenting is the equivalent of taking off on a road trip without any idea of where you are going and being surprised when you don’t make it.  Once a month, the GPS is a time to reorient and recommit yourself to success.

Try it Today:

1) Choose a time and date that will work for your GPS.  Write it on your calendar.

2) Get a notebook.

3) As a couple or by yourself, write answers to the following questions:

  • Where are we?  What is going well in our family?  What are the specific problems we are facing?
  • Where do we want to be?  What kind of family culture would you like to create?  What are your dreams for your family?  What kind of marriage do you want to have?
  • How can we get there?  What resources can help deal with our problems?  What ideas can we implement to address specific behaviors?  How can we help individual children?  What can we specifically do to strengthen our marriage?

4) Now, DO something!  Make reminder cards to remember to praise your child and tape them to your mirrors.  Pick up the phone and hire a babysitter for a date night.  Go to the Library and check out books on getting your child to sleep better.  Act on your good intentions.  Check your plan often through the month to make sure you are still on track!

You’ve got to know where you are going in order to get there!  Investing the time for a monthly GPS will help you arrive at the family life you are hoping for.

Happy New Year!