Tuesday, March 1, 2011

7 Habits of happy families-begin with the end in mind

The last two weeks, in our 7 Habits classes we've discussed the idea "Begin with the end in mind."
We received one of the BEST compliments we've ever received as a couple and as a family when the instructors  made an off handed remark that they were talking about us and how we're a family who really begins with the end in mind.

This is not only one of the best compliments we've ever received, but also one that we can feel comfortable accepting, and acknowledging that this is an area that we are succeeding in. This is a somewhat new habit for us, but it has been a very natural habit for us that we didn't even realize we had developed.  But the evidence shows, this is a habit we are using to our greatest advantage.

Part of our success in developing this habit is realizing one very important thing.  People need sleep.
I'm not joking.

"How does sleeping relate to beginning with the end in mind?" you ask?
"If I take time to sleep, how will I ever get to the end?" you wonder?

As a family of cave dwellers with a crazy schedule that didn't make much room for sleep, we were not an effective family. Not at all.  We spent the majority of our time responding to "fires", living life as a series of knee-jerk reactions to circumstances that at least felt out of our control.  We definitely weren't beginning with the end in mind, because we could hardly function well enough to know what we would be dealing with the next day! To be fair, I think there is some element of this that is unavoidable when you have small children in the home.  It is difficult to say the least to know what your entire week should look like, let alone what your morning will look like when you've got diapers to change and naps to put little people down for.  But we were past that, without ever really getting past the reactionary living.

The biggest thing that has changed for us is sleep.  This past November we were fortunate to receive a new work schedule that was beyond our wildest dreams.  It didn't come magically, it came by way of mr, Cave Hair having to admit that neither he nor his family has handling the old work schedule well .  I'm sure it was not easy for him to do that, there is a part of him that LOVES the exciting circumstances his old schedule would allow him to participate in. But he did it for us, and the results have been tremendously good!

Its really a blessing to sleep.  Not just to sleep, but to sleep peaceably.  And having appropriate rest has made us able to think ahead, know what we want, and plan for it.  We have been able to adopt a "begin with the end in mind" way of living.

I'm really excited to be working on a family mission statement and can't wait to share what we come up with.  The process is turning out to be very enjoyable and even the youngest of our clan has been able to give valuable input.  I will share more soon, I want to talk about the process as much as the results, and can't wait to see your feedback.