The Family Mission Statement and How You Go About Creating One:

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Part of creating a positive culture at home may include getting the family together and creating a family mission statement. Something that you can do as a way of writing down the core of what your family is all about. This is something that I just really discovered and had never really thought about until now. Although my wife and I haven’t yet established one of our own, we have now begun the conversation about getting our values, principles and who we want to be as a family, our vision in other words drafted up into a mission statement. Just like businesses have a mission statement, a family can have one too, “a family’s raison d’être – it’s reason for existing.”

It’s all about the Process: It’s important to remind yourself as you start developing one of your own that it doesn’t need to be perfect and worry about if it “sounds good,” or “looks right.” The value is in the process of working on it together to develop something you will share together. Through this process you will hopefully establish what is truly important in life and have discussions that are meaningful, a way to bond and become closer than you already are with your family.

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Set a Time for a Family Meeting: Start off by discussing its importance and really have an understanding of the benefits or creating you mission statement. Make it a special time and perhaps do this on vacation or go somewhere special for the weekend. Guidelines to be set should be to “make sure everyone gets a say, listen empathetically, write things down, and it doesn’t have to be done in one sitting.”

Ask Questions: This is where your values are really established and made clear, where you see your family headed as you head into the future. Be open throughout the process and do your best to get on the same page as your spouse and truly knowing what your values, goals and everything else that you need to discuss. This will help in avoiding conflict along with everything else you do as part of your commitment to family and putting them first. Really get into your purpose, support for one another, expectations in each other’s external families, finances, parenting style, and even traditions.

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Write Down Core Values, Phrases to Identify Your Family, and Big Ideas: For myself and my family, we value honesty, respect, education, humor, kindness, and loyalty to name a few. Your values are what define you in part, and maintain them in every situation good and bad, they are unwavering. Come up with a phrase for your family that they can identify with such as “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose,” for example. After you have written down all your thoughts, highlight the major ones and make a list of your top 10, ideas that really stick out for everyone as a unit.

Start Creating Your Mission Statement: This is where your top 10 list will be integral in developing your mission statement. If you take this seriously and want it to have the desired effect, keep it short and memorable, shoot for 100 words. It is also important that it develops as a collaboration with everyone involved and know that it there isn’t one right way of doing it as you may want to revisit it every so often and revise it. It’s all about the process and should be viewed as something that can grow just as your family will.

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Now Take that Statement and Place it for all to See: I couldn’t think of a better way to have something you created as a family as a constant reminder of what your family is all about and values most than by framing it and placing it for everyone to see. Not just your family, but also to those whom you welcome into your home and possibly inspire others to do the same. The family mission statement is your signal to one another about “what you want to be and the values by which you will live your life,” always.

Do you find value and purpose in creating a family mission statement? I challenge you to develop a one of your own, just as my wife and I have set out and intend to do.

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Effective Steps to Take for Less Than Desired Behavior, AKA Discipline:

This is the time that I haven’t been exactly looking forward to, having to learn effective ways of disciplining my child. How do you go about getting the desired effect to correct their behavior in an appropriate way? I want to personally behave consistently in the actions that I take to curb the temper tantrums, not listening and less than ideal behavior. As communication at this point is difficult until she is able to understand everything that her mother and I say, we can at least begin practicing.

Communicate with Your Spouse on How to Discipline: This is the first step, hopefully long before you have to start disciplining so that you are both on the same page and don’t contradict one another when that time comes. Doing this is also healthy for your marriage and that you each understand each other clearly and don’t end up with a conflict with each other. Set your plan on setting boundaries and giving your child structure.

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It isn’t a Negotiation: “The word discipline is rooted in meanings of learning and teaching.” Even before discipline occurs, make it as clear as you can what is and is not acceptable behavior and the consequences for breaking the rules, the trust. Discipline is a teachable moment for both your child and yourself. Have an understanding of the rules and that your child has a choice and begins to understand expected behavior. Remain steadfast, consistent and don’t deviate from the consequences accordingly for the offense. This will also teach your child part of being personally accountable for their actions. It’s also good to keep in mind to give praise for positive behaviors.

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Use Your Words and Stay Calm: I remember when I was young and my mother would say, “Wait until your father gets home.” Just the thought of what he might do struck fear into me, but what I remember most is how calm he was and how he spoke to me to ensure I understood that my actions were not acceptable. No matter how mad you may be, it is important to remain calm and make sure your child sees and understands this. If appropriate, “it’s best to wait until the heat of the moment has passed.” I believe that it is also absolutely necessary to keep it private.

These simple steps also serve their purpose in the workplace when you think about it. At work there is a code of conduct followed with consequences for breaking them. You have a clear understanding with the intent to provide a healthy environment in which to work. Although not always true, but a good rule to follow is to remain calm and assess the situation in a deliberate and calculated view and should always be done privately.

What are your thoughts on discipline? I would like to hear your effective and positive ways of dealing with poor behavior.

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3 Ways to Begin Teaching Your Kids to Have Integrity

I was raised to know the difference between right and wrong, what integrity was, and to become someone with integrity and morals to back it up. My parents taught me to be truthful in what I say and that honesty was absolutely necessary no matter what. If you screwed up, own it and be personally accountable for your actions and to not hide from it. To have strong moral values for myself and how I treat others. My mother would always tell me, “treat others the same as you would want to be treated yourself.” How I conducted myself,  to have good work ethic at home, school, and work/chores, and my interactions with others. Being someone with integrity shows others that you are trustworthy, sincere, fair, and firm in who you are. By adopting these traits you build confidence and develop character by staying true to yourself as you move through life following your basic values and principles. My intent is to help my daughter become a strong woman with integrity and be someone that has strong moral values and character, to know the difference between right and wrong and to follow her conscience.

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Integrity is About Who You Are: It is within you, drives you to stand up for your beliefs and personal values to the decisions you make on a daily basis. It is who are you on the inside and something that will continually develop as you age. Don’t lie, steal and cheat, instead be someone who is trustworthy. Treat everyone with kindness and be someone that you are proud to be. Having integrity is how you conduct yourself and your whole way of being from your thoughts to your actions. Ask yourself “what is your conscience telling you?”

Teach Values and be Respectful of Others: For me this lesson began with honoring my mother and father and following the rules, principles, and values they had established for me. My parents instilled in me values that will stay with me for the rest of my life. They led by example through their words and actions, showing what was expected of me while I was “living under their roof,” and would hopefully emulate and take with me after I had left the home. They did their best to teach me to treat others with respect even if I may disagree with them, to not judge or be judgmental of someone different than me, to be courteous and kind, and to listen, but hold steadfast in who you are. Learn to apologize and say you’re sorry, be humble, and remember to say please and thank you. Have empathy and understanding for others.

To Have Courage: Stand up for what you believe in and help others in need. To do your best to do the right thing even when it may be difficult or challenging to do so, no matter the consequences. Through practice, confidence will grow and be easier to lead your life with conviction. When you say you will do something, do it, and with a happy heart. Learn to say no and make it clear if a situation arises where you are being pressured to act in a way not in line with your value and character. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, saying no is ok and most people will be understanding.

There is a lot more to having integrity than this, but its a start. I encourage you to reflect and always lead your life with integrity.

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Application of Work Life Balance; Balancing Work, School, Friends & Family:

This past week I was able to effectively and seamlessly budget my time between work, visiting an old friend, getting a significant project done for my MBA program and making time for my family. In order to accomplish all of this, I needed to ask for help and communicate this tight schedule. Through this blog, not something that I had anticipated on happening, was becoming more confident and/or comfortable with asking for help.

School & Friends:

I hadn’t seen my old college roommate for quite some time and my family and I have been meaning to go down to Los Angeles and visit, but there never seemed to be an opportune time with our busy schedules that is until the perfect opportunity came up. She received her BA degree with a specialization in broadcast journalism and knew she would be ideal in helping me out with my MBA project. This opened the door to both visit my friend and get some school work accomplished. So my family and I booked a flight to go visit an old friend for a four day weekend.

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The other motive was to bring my daughter to Disneyland for the first time. As this was part of the plan, my mother in law also came down for the occasion and was able to visit with her as well. I really don’t like crowds and Disneyland is definitely one of those places, but I got through it. Just seeing the absolute joy on my daughter’s face as she rode the Winnie the Pooh Ride and got her picture taken with “Moanna” made it all worth the heat and crowd of people.

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Work:

At work, we are in the middle of submitting our budgets for next fiscal year and imperative that we get everything turned in on-time. In coordinating my plans with my supervisor, I was able to flex my schedule in order to get in my required hours, the budget items before the deadline, and take off for a four day weekend.

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Execution:

To ensure that I was able to execute and get in a budget, finish my project and other school work, visit with my friend and spend time with family at Disneyland, I made a checklist to get a visual and see how all of this would be possible and come together. More importantly I asked for help and communicated what I was trying to do to everyone involved. The plan involved specific tasks that needed to be accomplished by date and time and tried to focus on each individually, checking them off as I moved forward.

In the end, I was grateful for being able to spend time with a friend and work on a project with her, spend time with family, and accomplish both my school and work requirements. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to something and purposefully set a plan to balance what seems to be an overwhelming schedule. This is a prime example of what ideal work life balance looks like to me.

Do you ever feel that making work life balance possible a daunting task? Start by making yourself a checklist. It gives you both a visual for the steps to be taken as well as reducing stress.

The Power of Just Being Yourself Part II:

A local newspaper once asked my mother something along the lines of what advice she had for kids and their happiness, her answer was simply “be yourself,” and that was it, no long explanation needed. She had that clipping posted up on our fridge for the longest time as a reminder and probably thought it was pretty cool to be in the paper. I thought that was really powerful, clear and to the point.

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Each of us is Unique: Remember that there is no one like you and that you have a lot to offer to those around you. Embrace your uniqueness and see where that takes you. When you do this, more often than not, you will be more of a goal setter based on your interests, productivity level will go up and will be more enjoyable to be around in the home, work and life itself. “You were born to shine” and shouldn’t shy away from letting everyone see who and what you’re all about.

Be Inspired by others, but Create Your Own Path: We are all inspired to act or do something differently throughout our lives which is great and needed as well. However, take what you need from inspiration, make it your own, and create something new that gets you motivated to walk down your path. You will eventually be rewarded for what you create and strive to do. In creating your path, the first step may be, and I can’t stress this enough, simply to just be present. It takes practice and reflection sometimes, but in the long run it will only get easier. You ever heard the term, “better lucky than good?” this may be somewhat true, but really you are the one ultimately responsible in the path you take and what got you there in the first place. Listen to your “inner voice” and see where it guides you.

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Find a Quiet Place to Gather your Thoughts: You may find yourself being overwhelmed or life weighing on you and might start becoming a little pessimistic and thinking negatively. It’s the easy way. When I sometimes get like this or say something negative, I do my best to catch myself to force myself to ask for help or just pause and take a moment away from everything. I have found that making a list can help to collect your thoughts to give you a visual to push forward. This helps get you back to being you. Maybe even try being a big kid and doing something that is fun just because. In the end, do your best to take a calculated view of life and realize nothing is that bad and overall, life is great and what makes it great is you just being you.

What are your thoughts on being yourself? Go be a kid and have some fun.

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The Power of Just Being Yourself Part I:

My mother always used to tell me to just be myself especially when I thought life was maybe a little rough or unclear. She told me this so as to not be anybody different, to be true to myself.  It eventually improved my confidence in who I was and am now today. I think that if you pretend to be someone you’re not, most will see right through the façade. Being yourself everywhere you go helps build connection with those around you as well as adding to your overall happiness. It’s very powerful when you come to realize this and the success it will bring you in the future as well as the stronger relationships you create.

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Be Comfortable Being You: You can’t fool everyone or at least not for long when you aren’t being true to yourself. That and I’m sure it will eventually catch up with you and can be pretty exhausting trying to be someone you’re not. By being yourself you will allow yourself to live up to your full potential. I think that it takes some time to figure out who you are and what values you hold more closely, but once you start to figure it out you will see the benefits of opening up yourself for the world around you.

It Will Build Confidence: Through being yourself you eventually become more confident with yourself and will gain connections with those around you, people that you may become close friends with. People that are more authentic and may even share common interests with, but appreciate each other for one another’s uniqueness as well. I believe this is important in how one develops over time and the relationships they forge as one moves through life. It can be critical in whom you may end up committing to in the future to start your own family with. It aids in long-term success in those relationships as well as professionally in the workplace.

Reduce Stress: If you aren’t being you, then who are you being? It can be mentally and

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emotionally difficult to try and maintain being someone you’re not. You don’t need to be a people pleaser. It really opened my eyes when I was younger once I realized there is no way you can please everyone and trying to do so won’t end up the way you hope it would. I used to be habitually late to most everything I did from meeting up with friends to even work. I would over committed myself and tell someone I would be there at a certain time, knowing very well that I probably couldn’t make it, but said what I thought they wanted to hear anyway. I now show up early, which relieves a lot of stress in itself, but also learn to either say no or work out a plan that is mutually beneficial. Do your best to smile and laugh often to reduce stress as well.

Just be yourself and everything will work out. You will be happier by staying true to yourself.

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Be a Good Dad; Check Out These 10 Tips Part II:

Part II of being a good dad (miss part I?) I will discuss the other aspects I find helpful through the more “life skill” parts of being a dad. These include doing chores, teaching the value of money, setting a good example, independence and taking time for yourself. All of which I would hope my daughter will pick up on and continue to be influenced by in her life. I was fortunate to have had these lessons taught to me and feel obligated to pass them along.

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Do Your Part Around the Home: There’s the traditional mowing of the lawn, fixing things around the house and other such projects, but more importantly is doing all the other things that you may not think of and should. Take pride and ownership of the fact you change the diapers, feed them, bathe them, and comfort them as it isn’t solely the mother’s responsibility. For those of you who don’t know, changing diapers becomes old hat pretty quickly and isn’t that bad.

Teach Them the Value of the Dollar: As I previously discussed in my blog “Teaching Your Toddler about Money,” teach them the value of money and to provide them with a guide to good habits in order for them to grow up to be financially responsible. There are numerous other ways to teach your child finance as well and can even create a fun project to do together as a family. As they get older task them with goals they want to achieve, either it saving some for college or purchasing something they want.

Be a Good Example: You can’t expect them to do something that you yourself aren’t also doing. Be respectful and courteous to others, make sure you say please and thank you, work hard, watch what you say, and really just be a good role model for them to emulate as they grow. Instill in them the values that you would like them to know and to always put family first. Teach them that there is “nothing wrong with failure unless you allow it to win.” Encourage them to take calculated risks and to learn from their experiences. Behave in a manner that is to be expected and can be proud of as it will most likely be ingrained in who they may become.

Raise Them to Be Independent: Allow your child to just be themselves and let their personalities shine. Over time they will gain confidence in everything they do and their overall outlook on life. Encourage them to figure things out on their own and help only when they request it, and sometimes even then, don’t. Teach them to appreciate the sometimes painful struggle in learning to do something new or challenging. Let them make their own choices and slowly let go as they get older.

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Take Time for Yourself: Finally, sometimes just getting away for some alone time or going out for a game of golf with your friends is needed to recharge and get back to being a good dad. It’s important for your health and mental well-being to do things on your own, to maintain your independence. Same goes for your spouse, do your part and give them some time to do the same. My mother is very wise, as she is always asking if I’ve taken my wife out on a date. Having alone time together as a couple is also very important to maintain your relationship and to be able to spend time without distractions away from the kid/s. It’s not always easy to accomplish this, but one way or the other you’ll figure this out because it’s necessary.

What have you done with just your spouse lately? Plan a date night and go have some fun together. If you’re from #reno, I recommend Wild River Grille, especially if you need the brownie points.