5 Simple Steps To Design A Family Schedule That Helps Your Family Thrive

Preview: Trying to juggle the schedules for your whole family? Follow these five steps to design a family schedule that is realistic and attainable.

Creating a family schedule that supports your values and helps your family thrive can be challenging. Everyone has different interests and wants to be involved in different activities, and younger children have different needs than teenagers. But it is possible! These five steps will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Trying to juggle the schedules for your whole family? Follow these five steps to design a family schedule that is realistic and attainable.

Step 1: Identify What Is Important To Your Family

The first step is to identify what is important to your family. There are no right or wrong answers because every family is unique. The key is to know what’s important to you so that you can align your schedule with it. Consider your answers to questions such as the following.

  • How often do you want to have family dinners together?
  • What do you want to do together as a family, and how often?
  • How often do you want to be home?
  • How much margin do you want to have?
  • How much structure does your family need?

Step 2: Recognize Your Limitations

Depending on your season of life, you might need to make hard choices about what and how much your family can do. Some situations you might consider are:

  • How old are your children? Do you have young children who still take naps? Do you have teenagers who can drive themselves?
  • Do you have family in town who could help you with your schedule?
  • Do you have more than one car or other means of transportation?

There are drawbacks and benefits to all of our limitations. We can embrace the constraints and design a schedule that supports our current needs. Your needs and limitations will change over time. Embracing the process and figuring out how to thrive in your current situation benefits your whole family.

Step 3: Write Out Your Current Commitments

Brainstorm a master list of activities and commitments in which you are currently involved. Include activities that take you away from home and things that you need to do at home. Examples include the following.

  • Classes, co-ops, or music lessons
  • Sports practices and games
  • Get-togethers with friends
  • Work commitments
  • Lesson prep time for your homeschool lessons, any vo
  • Volunteer time
  • Self-care activities such as exercise and hobbies
  • Therapy visits and home exercises (physical therapy, vision therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, counseling, etc.)

Write down anything that requires a commitment from you. Don’t analyze it at this point; just write it down.

Step 4: Place Your Commitments On A Schedule

In step four, put the list you just brainstormed on a schedule. You could add it to your digital calendar, create a spreadsheet, write it out on a whiteboard, or write it on sticky notes. Use whatever method helps you process your commitments. Be sure to include travel time too!

Step 5: Evaluate Your Schedule

The final step gets harder. It’s time to evaluate your schedule and ask yourself some hard questions, such as:

  • Does it all fit?
  • Do you have enough margin?
  • Are you spending your time doing what matters most to you?
  • Have your interests changed?
  • What’s missing from the schedule?
  • How do you and your family feel at the end of the day and week?

Ask your children how they feel about the schedule and what they might want to change.

Next steps

When you follow these five steps, you can design a schedule that supports your family’s values and helps your family thrive!

If you want help with this process, consider enrolling in coaching. Coaching provides an opportunity for you to evaluate what is important to your family and make a customized plan and schedule to help you achieve your goals.

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