When my wife and I had our first child we lived in my hometown. The place my family has existed for as many generations back that can be counted. I had no idea that when my daughter was born that five years later our family would live in an entirely new place doing entirely new things. Did that reality change my thinking of what I desired for my family? No. Those remained the same.
So what’s the plan? Do you have one? Leading a family successfully is serious business. Long-term goals look into the future at retirements, college educations, and estate planning. Immediate goals solve the problems of today. But what are your mid-term goals?
Here are the important aspects to consider when creating your five-year plan.
First and foremost when formulating these plans, we must commit to leading by example in the plans we put forth. John C. Maxwell said this about leading and vision: “Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn’t come alive until the leader models it.”
If you have an infant you want to look from that point until kindergarten. A kindergarten child until middle school. Middle school until college. Education level provides growth milestones, but most of their development comes within the home. The goal is to instill in them the values and development of gifts and abilities that will provide the best chances of success at the next milestone. You’ll need to decide what are the age appropriate house rules you’ll set for best results. Things like bedtimes, eating habits, and proper balance of learning and play are important to consider. How will you participate in the process? Things like dedicated time reading to them, and one-on-one activities with dad are good ways to stay involved. Children grow quickly. Forward vision is essential to success at each level.
Five years of marriage brings many changes in a relationship. What is your ideal of how your marriage will look five years from now? For me, having teenage daughters, I’m looking at an empty nest in five years. How do we maintain a common purpose once our children are gone? Our shared goal as a couple is to end a pattern in our families of divorce and brokenness. We hope to set a new standard for future generations. To achieve this, we are intentional in carving out quality time that deepens and expands our bond. We serve together, give together, and experience together. Where is your marriage today? Where do you want it to be in five years? What can you do to make that relationship your priority? What are some bad habits you can eliminate? Plan wisely while considering the outcomes and consequences.
The needs of your family will expand. It is essential to plan financially for the upcoming changes. Do you want more children? Where do you want to live and what kind of house do you want? Will you choose private education or public? If private, that expense will need to be accounted for. Are both parents going to work or will one stay home? Plan wisely, efficiently, and for what’s realistically best for your family. Consider the possible financial aspects ahead in the next five years, and seek an knowledgeable advisor on how to plan accordingly.
SOUND OFF: What is your 5-year family plan?