Family Calendaring: One Key to a GREAT Year

Last week we held FRANCIS FAMILY FROLICS. What’s Family Frolics, you ask? It’s our annual family planning conference.

All successful businesses and organizations make an annual plan–and our families should, too! Remembering the past, calendaring for the future, and setting goals are all keys to a meaningful and productive year.

Our planning sessions (Family Frolics) are simple. They generally have three elements:

-Remember the past (record favorite happenings from the previous year),

-Establish a Vision (set goals for the new year), and

-Formulate a Plan (create a calendar).

Here are a few more practices we use for each of the 3 steps above:

REMEMBER THE PAST: We have a fun family discussion while we eat or drive, and make a list of all of our favorite happenings in the past year. I record at least one or two for each of us in our family binder. I also ask our married/away from home kids to send me their top 2 memories so I can record those as well.

ESTABLISH A VISION: At another sitting (a different meal, car ride, or family meeting) we each set 2 goals for the new year. Again, I type or write as the children talk. We also look back at family minutes from the previous year and see how they did on their former goals. Of course, we set smaller monthly goals as individuals, but these “big” yearly goals are the main focus of our family frolics discussion.

FORMULATE A PLAN: Calendaring is one of our favorite parts of family frolics. We spread a physical calendar (one sheet for each month) out over the kitchen table and use crayons, markers, etc. to color in all of the major family holidays/birthdays, etc. Then we pencil in dates we already know about, like school vacations, family trips, or Dad’s meetings. These calendars are then bound or stored for the year. We review and refine each monthly calendar at our monthly family council and post it on the wall, but this beginning of the year layout gives us a good visual blueprint for what lies ahead.

That’s it! Simple, right? Yes. Family Frolics is as easy (or as complex) as you make it. We generally spread out the 3 major tasks on 3 different days, so our youngsters won’t burn out on calendaring and discussions. Then, mingled amongst our planning, we PLAY!

This year we embarked on a cross-country adventure, a first! Now that we no longer have babies, we felt that all of our kids could survive on skis, and we were right!


We had a blast enjoying the beautiful Utah mountains, and the adventure was a perfect memory during Francis Family Frolics.

Check out my Vlog for more tips on holding your own fun Family Frolics.


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