Have you ever been driving somewhere and using your phone for navigation when the service goes out? You have no idea which way to go. That happened to our family recently. I felt paralyzed until we used a compass app and eventually regained service.
How often in parenting do we have similar experiences? We lose a sense of direction and feel lost about the road ahead. But several years ago, my wife and I took what we had learned from over a decade in corporate America and as entrepreneurs and applied it to those moments. We learned to integrate several of the best business practices into our family. Here are 4 that turned out to be game-changers.
1. Create a family mission statement and bold vision.
A company mission statement provides overall guidance and direction for an organization. A family mission statement can do the same for your family. Ours serves as a bold and specific vision for what we want our marriage and family to look like 20 years from now. To be effective, the mission statement must specify exactly what you desire your marriage and family to be in the future. In my family, our relationship with God is what’s most important to us. So our mission statement took shape naturally: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength and love others as yourself.” What would the mission statement and vision for your marriage or family be?
2. Establish a set of core family values.
Core values are an organization’s fundamental beliefs—but families can have these, too. These guiding principles dictate our behavior and can help determine the difference between what’s right and wrong. Like our mission, my family’s core values are determined by our faith. Here are several of them: As a family, this house will serve the Lord. Be a family that’s not afraid to be weird. Choose to be present and put one another first. Make every effort to share our day around the dinner table. Create an atmosphere of belonging by loving well and calling out the best in one another. Take daring risks. Create one of the greatest marriages of this generation and raise up children who are world-changers and not like the world. What are your core family values?
3. Set annual and individual family goals.
If you want to be in the top 3 percent of people in the U.S., write down your goals. If you desire to be in the top 1 percent, review and rewrite them regularly. My wife and I do this by getting away at the end of every year without the kids to spend two days goal setting for the next year. We set goals for the family as a whole and for us as individuals, all of which tie into our broader vision and long-term mission. We use the SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, timebound) format for setting our goals and focus on seven areas including faith, family, friends, fitness, finances, career, and education. Don’t make the same mistake we did for years by having your kids set their goals at the beginning of the calendar year. Instead, involve them in the family goal setting at the beginning of the year and help them set their individual goals at the start of the school year.
4. Use productivity tools for the home.The best business productivity practice for the family is simple: calendar everything.
The best business productivity practice for the family is simple: calendar everything. I no longer have a business and personal calendar. My calendars are merged and I treat everything on my calendar with equal weight. If I have a child’s ballgame and need to leave work a bit early to be on time, my calendar tells me when to leave so I can wrap up my workday accordingly. Calendaring also creates accountability. When I have a daddy-daughter date night scheduled, nothing short of an emergency or illness is going to keep me from fulfilling the promise I’ve made to my daughter.
Sound off: What business best practices have you incorporated into your family?
This post is by Justin Batt, who aims to disrupt fatherhood with intentionality, by creating intentional fathers who raise good kids who become great adults. He founded Daddy Saturday in his own backyard with his four children and it’s grown into a national movement engaging fathers across multiple channels, including YouTube, social media, the Daddy Saturday book, an Alexa skill, a podcast, merchandise, live events, and a 501(c)(3) foundation, through which Justin plans to impact 10 million fathers in the next 10 years and end fatherlessness.
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think are some important goals our family should set?”