In this blog series, Portrait of an Intentional Family, we have introduced you to the Allen family, one of the first Intentional Families we interviewed as a part of the Intentional Family Project. We hope their story has given you a glimpse of what walking through the 4-Step Intentional Family Process looks like in real life, and given you some inspiration to begin your journey today.
Last month, we talked about how the Allens went from talking about their dreams and goals, to making their dreams and goals a reality. They intentionally created reminders around their home and set boundaries around their way of life that helped keep them on-track to achieve the dreams they had for their family life. In this final series article, we will explore how the Allen family tracked their progress towards their dreams and maintained the momentum needed to achieve their dreams, even in the mundane of everyday life.
If you have ever set a New Year’s Resolution, you know one of the most important elements of keeping that resolution is holding yourself responsible to stick with it. For families who activate their own Intentional Family Plan, the same is true. Accountability is key. The Allen family recognized that their plans for financial freedom and household peace wouldn’t come without purposefully meeting often to talk through their Intentional Family Plan. As they said during their interview with me,
“We meet every week to discuss some of our short-term goals and then monthly for our longer-term goals. We try to integrate these conversations into our natural rhythms of life so they are more organic. These conversations help keep us on track and on purpose.”The Allen Family
By tracking their progress through visuals such as their family calendar and their “Debtonator” chart, the Allen family was able to talk purposefully and accurately in their weekly and monthly meetings about their progress toward their financial, nutritional, and relational goals. While all Intentional Families do their meetings just a bit differently, the Allen family found that meals were their best time to check in and discuss their goals and values as a family.
Most of our Intentional Family Plan goals are goals that will be achieved over a lifetime; therefore, it is important that we celebrate the small wins along the way. For the Allen family, it was important to notice and celebrate small wins together. If one found that they could wear a shirt for the first time in the past 3 years because of their nutritional goals, they celebrated that together. If one debt was removed from the Debtonator, moving them toward their financial freedom goal, they acknowledged and celebrated that together. These small celebrations were enormous momentum for them to keep on going. As they described it,
“We try to celebrate the small things by remembering the big picture. If you can imagine that big picture being a thousand piece puzzle out of a box, we look for when a new piece of the puzzle snaps into place. We start to see the edges form up and some of the details of the puzzle becoming clearer. It helps us see our long-range goals coming into better focus. That’s when we’re like ‘okay, we need to keep doing this. This is helping us.’”The Allen Family
As with each family, the Allen family is still on their Intentional Family journey. They would be quick to tell you that they are not perfect people, and they don’t always get it right. But they do want to give the best they can to their family life, and share their journey to inspire families who want the same. So, with the inspiration found in the Allen’s family story, we now invite you to begin your own steps to an intentional family life. You can start here with our introduction to the four-step Intentional Family Process to begin the journey!