Okay, are you ready to dive into The 4 Steps on the Map?
If you just came to this page, make sure to read this first:
The Map to a Better Family Life
To reach the 'treasure' -- the life you want -- you have to know two things:
1) where you ARE and 2) where you want to GO.
Only then does the path become clear.
1) where you ARE
2) where you want to GO
Step #1 - Pause. If You Keep Doing The Same Things You're Doing Now You'll Just End Up With More of the Same Things You Don't Want
Before you can start down the path to a better family life you have to PAUSE...
If you spend everyday on the 'have tos' then there will never be any of the 'want tos'.
Yes, I get it, it's stuff that NEEDS to get done -- the laundry, the dishes, the meals, the chores.
You can't NOT do them.
But if you want a life that has more meaning you have to hit 'PAUSE' once in awhile.
You have to LOOK AT WHERE YOU ARE...
And then IMAGINE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
Most families don't create the life they dream of because they never take the time to do any dreaming -- they don't know what their 'dream life' actually looks like.
You have to get specific and know exactly what you want.
We've all heard the adage you can't hit a target you can't see.
This is especially true in designing a happier family life.
You have to know what you DON'T want...
And replace it with what you DO want.
Less fighting and more peace?
Less stress and more calm?
Less meaningless work and more travel?
Less debt and more savings?
PAUSE and get CLARITY.
From here, we start working backward from our 'dream destination'...
Which brings us to Step #2... the step BEFORE creating our ideal family life.
Step #2 - All Successful & Happy Families Share 'Common Denominators' Which Combine to Form a Successful Family Culture
Tolstoy said, "All happy family's are alike; but each unhappy family is unhappy in it's own way."
Whether he meant it this way or not, we know this much is true...
All successful and happy families share 'common denominators'.
Regardless of their background, culture, religion, or beliefs, happy families have certain things in common that they say, do, and think that unhappy families do NOT say, do, or think.
mindsets (fixed vs. growth)
heartsets (emotional mastery & processing)
skillsets (diplomacy, parenting, etc.)
All of these things together combine to form a unique but strong 'family culture'.
And it also determines whether or not you will live the meaningful life of your dreams, or just a life that is mundane and mediocre.
Cultivating the right family culture is critical to creating the family life you dream about.
So how then do you cultivate the RIGHT kind of family culture?
That brings us to Step #3 which has to do with HABITS.
Step #3 - You Are the Kind of Family You Are Because You've Developed the HABIT of Being That Kind of Family... And the ONLY Way to Change is Through Changing Your Habits
If family culture determines what 'kind' of family you are...
... then what determines family culture?
That would be your habits -- the family habits and the individual habits of each member of the family.
As mentioned above, all successful and happy families share 'common denominators'. One of these commonalities are the right kind of positive habits.
What sort of habits?
exercise & active lifestyle
earning, investing, & spending
helping things go right
goal setting and dreaming
quality family time
Each of these habits developed individually work together to build a strong, anchored, resilient 'family culture'... which in turn creates a happy & successful family life.
The next logical question then is...
If habits are the key to a strong family culture, how do you develop these habits as a family?
That brings us to Step #4 which has to do with your 'TO-DO' LIST.
Step #4 - Your Daily 'To-Do' List Determines Your Habits, Which Forms Your Family Culture, Which Creates the Life of Your Dreams
Most families don't create the life of their dreams because they are too busy organizing and managing a life they don't love.
They have a 'to-do' list a mile long...
They are busy from morning 'til night...
They are going, going, going... but never going anywhere (meaningful).
No wonder they are worn out, burnt-out, overwhelmed and exhausted.
Not to mention stressed out, empty, and unfulfilled.
They are making (and checking off) the WRONG 'to-do' list.
What does the RIGHT 'to-do' list look like?
Let's say you do some dreaming as a family of where you want to GO and you decide...
We want to hike Kilimanjaro! (It's one of our family goals, that's why I'm using it as an example).
Or maybe you want to get out debt and grow your savings...
Well, one of the first things you would do is start research what 'climbing Kilimanjaro' looks like.
(Are you paying attention? 'Researching Kilimanjaro' is added to the 'to-do' list.
Of course there are still laundry and dishes that need to get done... but they can wait. You're investing in your future life.).
Or if you want to get out of debt, add 'methods to get out of debt' or 'how to grow your savings' to your 'to-dos'.
After researching, you realize that you need to get in better shape and work up to walking/hiking/running 3-4 miles a day.
So you add 'walk on the treadmill for 30 min. 5 days a week' to your 'to-do' list.
(And if you're not in the habit of exercising yet, you create a new habit by using the 2 min. rule until 'exercising 5-days a week' becomes part of your identity.)
For you 'get out of debt goal' your research would reveal that using a 'snowball' approach might work best for your family.
So you make a chart to track your progress and add 'record transactions daily' and 'review finances weekly' to your 'to-dos'.
See how simple this is?
Your daily 'to-dos' are starting to predict your future.
Because one of two things will happen if you start putting your new habits on your 'to-do' list.
1. You will keep doing them everyday until they become an automatic habit which eventually creates a new culture which then becomes your new life, or...
2. You will stop writing them on your 'to-do' list and then you will stop doing them and things will stay the same as they are now.
And the way to make sure you DON'T STOP writing your new habits on your 'to-do' list?
>>> Daily Habit Tracking.
It really is that simple.
1. Become aware of your current family life -- where you ARE -- and determine your future 'dream' life -- where you want to GO.
2. Discover the common denominators of successful family cultures so that you can...
3. Identify the habits that create the family culture you want.
4. Add those habits to your daily 'to-do' list. TRACK these small daily commitments (to-dos) EVERYDAY.
"Every day do something that moves you a little bit closer to your dreams."
Repeating this simple but powerful process on a daily and weekly basis REALLY is the road map to the life of your dreams.
It seems overly simplistic.
But it is the exact method we have used again and again and again to create the lifestyle of our dreams.
You'll make mistakes. You'll mess up. You'll miss a day (or two or more).
That's okay. It's a process and that's how it works.
Keep learning -- what has been prove to work for others?
Receive more training on family culture and habits.
Ask questions and advice from extraordinary parents you admire.
Reevaluate what's working and what's not working. Why?
Recommit daily and weekly as needed.
Rinse and retry.
It's a journey, not a destination.
It take practice and repetition.
And a system that works.
When we internalize these 4 Steps and act on them, we tap into a powerful force -- the "slight edge".
Your measuring stick becomes progress -- constant and never-ending improvement -- instead of spinning your wheels.
Which leads to the obvious questions?
How do you progress?
How do you continually improve?
How do you stop spinning your wheels?
Where do you find a system that helps you do this as a family?
Where do you find a support group (tribe) of intentional parents?
We're glad you asked...
Because we asked ourselves the same questions...
And since we couldn't find the answer (or the 'tribe' we wanted), we CREATED it...
We call it the Extraordinary Family Life Group... and every month we do a 28-Day Habit Tracking Challenge.
The reality of creating your ideal family life begins by:
changing your family culture which starts by
changing your family and individual habits which happens through
daily habit tracking.
The 28 Day Habit Tracking Challenge shows you HOW to do this and WHAT habits your family should develop (depending on the type of family culture you want to create.)
Your 'to-do' list predicts your future family life...
If that's true (which it is), then you better make pretty darn sure that the RIGHT things are on that list.
So let's continue down the 'rabbit hole' and take a deeper look at how you identify the 'RIGHT' things to add to your 'to-do' list...