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Family 5 Year Plan & a Printable

Some of you may get chills that run up your spine just thinking about a five year plan.  Thank you for choosing to read in spite of your aversion to five year plans.  Fear not friends, this five year plan will have you reaching for the sky and ready to move ahead!  Last weekend, my husband and I were talking about some of the dreams we had for our family and where we saw ourselves in a few years.  He came up with the brilliant idea to write them down on a five year plan!  What a smart guy!  That idea was all I needed to get my wheels turning and you are going to be the beneficiaries of that genius idea!  Read on and be inspired.
Why a Family Five Year Plan?
We all have dreams for ourselves and our own perspective of what we want our family will look like, and where we want our family to be in the future.  And simply put, that's what our family five year plan is, our dreams as a family written down.  Think of it as a roadmap of your family's planned stops on the journey of life together.  Most couples don't often talk about their dreams, let alone talk about them in their entirety.  Building your family's five year plan can be that opportunity.  Allow me to walk you through our process.

Processing the Idea
In our information packed world, I immediately turned to the internet for some family five year plan inspiration.  Didn't find much inspiration at all, in fact, there was zilch.  Then I looked at five year plans for businesses.  No good whatsoever.  I wasn't writing a business plan, I just wanted to put our family's goals and dreams on a simple plan that we can maybe frame and reference from time to time.  I had another one of those "I'll have to do it myself" moments.  Yipee! I love getting creative!  What I did find a lot of in my research were Family Mission Statements.  I think those are a great idea, but it wasn't what we needed.  A family mission statement is more about how a family strives to live everyday.  Our family five year plan needed to be a where-we-are-going-so-we-can-begin-the-journey-today kind of plan.

Writing Down the Dream
It took us a good 45 minutes of great conversation to get our plan completed to our liking.  At first it began with what our financial goals were...typical.  Then the conversation quickly progressed to many other aspects of our lives.  I knew that our plan needed to encompass all aspects of our family life in an organized way, so I needed categories.  If you follow the blog regularly, you may know that I implemented a new filing system this year.  Cathy Anderson created the JOYS {Just Organize Your Stuff} line of organizing paper.  I love that name!  I adopted her system of categorization into my filing and the best part about it is that they can easily apply to different parts of our life, like the five year plan!  I love the consistency!
  • Here are the categories we used to organize the dream
    • Everyday
    • Wealth
    • Wellness {for the mind, body and spirit}
    • Home
    • Fun

By now you may be super curious to know what our family five year plan looks like, so wait no more.  Here it is {with our personal goals left out for privacy}.

Tips for Writing Your Family's Dreams
Keep the dreams broad, but not vague.  What's written down should be specific enough that the meaning makes sense months later, but not so wordy that one category takes up the entire page.  Keep it simple, a few words is all you need.

Mark the year that each plan falls on.  This will help you in thinking about which life stage each family member will be at that time in the future and gives a good frame of reference.

Notice the progression.  Leaving a straight five year plan may be a bit overwhelming, so we included a one and three year plan to act as a checkpoint of sorts to get you to the eventual five year plan.  It makes the journey more attainable and allows you to really mark the path you are on.

Use subcategories.  We did that several times in different areas like our personal career goals, service goals, and things we wanted our toddler to experience.
  • Other subcategories you might use include:
    • Everyday - school or career dreams
    • Wealth - debt elimination, college funding or retirement building
    • Wellness - new learnings, fitness goals, service oriented aspirations
    • Home - organization dreams or renovation plans
    • Fun - vacation spots, bucket list, sports and hobbies

Dream big!  I included a Dream Big {10 year} column for those far off "someday" dreams.  We all have them, so write them down.  Reach for the moon, you may just get there!

Starting the Journey Together
When a five year plan is applied to your family's dreams, it's not bone chilling at all.  On the contrary, it's liberating, inspiring and exciting!  This was an awesome opportunity to talk as a couple about the things we are passionate about, and a welcome change from checking in on our to dos.  As we dialogue about our dreams, we learn what drives one another.  Then, when things look down, look back at the plan together and know that no matter what speed bumps, flat tires or rest stops you face along the way, the journey together may very well be better than the destination.  I remember reading a quote years ago that went something like, "love is not in gazing at each other, it is in gazing together in the same direction".  What a blessing to be gazing together in the same direction, knowing that each day is bringing you one step closer to your family's dreams.  I don't know about you, but for me, it makes each day a bit more purposeful.  Waking up is more exciting, the mundane suddenly has meaning, and the "rut" is now the road.

We prayed before and after working on our family five year plan.  We prayed beforehand for direction, openness and blessing.  We prayed afterward in gratitude of the process and left our dreams in God's hands.  You can ceremonially "cut the ribbon" so to speak in your own way, make it meaningful for you and your family.  The important thing is that you chart out the course you take together.

A Gift for you
Now, as I love to say, I'm gifting it forward!  Now it's up to you.  I am making our family five year plan available to you as a free printable!  May this be a turning point in your family's life and make your everyday brighter.

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