Cute & Simple: Welcome to 2011

It’s a new year…well, almost and that means it’s time to start thinking about what you and your family hope to accomplish in the next 12 months. 

When I was a teenager, my parents started this tradition of a “family goal setting retreat.”  Sure, the first time I heard about this new “plan,” I totally–like, OMG–rolled my eyes!  Their idea of a New Year’s Eve was checking into a local hotel with a pool and hashing out the details of the coming year.  We’d all bring our calendars, notepads and pencils and work it out poolside.  It was lame.  I was bored.  I wanted to do something more exciting than hang out with those old “duds” in a hotel on the most party-crazy night of the year. 

They had a good idea.  And I will only admit to this fact many years later.  I can see it working better though if you start this tradition early on.  Get the kids used to the idea of doing this by starting right away.  What kid wouldn’t like to get in the cool blue waters of an indoor pool in the dead of winter while mom and dad plan the events of the coming year.  I know mine would.  I was just too late in getting a hotel booked this time around.

If you go…

  • Bring your kids’ school calendar for the year
  • Large family calendar
  • Bring  notebooks, tablets, pens and pencils
  • Kid “work” to keep ’em busy if they are too young to contribute much, or for long
  • Snacks, bottled water, etc.
  • Think ahead to where you might want to go on vacation, when, for how long and what steps need to take place before you go (say, you need to sign up and complete SCUBA lessons or save money for that big European trip, study a foreign language)
  •  Next, think about each member of your family.  We’ve done this before by just writing their name at the top of a piece of paper and mapping out their year…interests, hobbies, possible goals.  Last year, for example, Kelly’s (age 3) looked like this:


  • Give up pacifer (she did!)
  • Introduce to  soccer lessons  (she loves it now!)
  • Continue with preschool program at least 2 days/week
  • Work on being less clingy with mom
  • Practice spelling her name

(There were other things she did this past year as  well, but these were the things that were bugging us a year ago).

Add in personal goals, things you’d like to try, household projects you’d like to tackle, organizing tasks, etc.  and before you know it–you’ve got yourself a plan for the year. 

This year we’ll find time to get our annual goal planning session underway, but for me–tonight is all about my new couch, take-out Chinese, a fire, and my honey.  Ah yes….welcome to 2011. 

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