Sunday, January 5, 2014

Weekly Planning

This post is so very "married" of me.  
At the beginning of each school semester Braedon and I usually ask for a priesthood blessing. You can read about what a priesthood blessing is here. Last semester we got council through a blessing from Braedon's dad for us to start planning together and having family "meetings".  

Ever since then we have been doing planning sessions on Sunday night of every new week.  It has strengthened our marriage, kept us on the same page, and helped us establish goals that we couldn't accomplish on our own!  I really love our planning sessions and we feel like it definitely brings us closer.  I feel like a total mom whipping out our calendar and making notes but hey, I'm not ashamed!

We pattern our planning sessions after preach my gospel with a few modifications.  You can see what preach my gospel suggests here.

We use an app called CareZone (I know, I know) and we love it. You should get it. It has a calendar, a section for "to-do's", notes, medications, you name it. Plus it links to both of our phones so if either of us makes a change we'll get an alert.  Sometimes Braedon will write something cute in the middle of the week like, "7:00 Thursday: Dancing with Stef in the kitchen" and I'll get an alert that "Braedon has made a change to the calendar".  

Here is how we do our planning...

1. Start with a prayer together: this helps us get in the right mindset and have an effective session

2. Pull up the calendar (on CareZone) and map out what you have going on that week.  We include work, school, date night, and whatever else is set in stone that we can link a day and time to.

3. Set goals for the week/ semester or however else you'd like to do it.  One of our goals this semester is less stress, more fun.  We've tried to incorporate some tasks on our "to-do" list (which will come next) that will hopefully help us fulfill these goals!  

Yes our bedtime is now 10-10:30.  Again, this is such a married post.  

4. Set your "to-do" list.  This is probably one of my favorite features because you can check it off during the week when it's done and it'll send an alert to Braedon that I "finished" the task!  One of our "to-do's" this week included making each other a playlist of new songs we both haven't heard before. We're hoping this is a good start to "less stress, more fun".  

5. Companionship Inventory.  This is such a "mission" thing, but I actually really like it and it's helped us become a stronger team and push each other to be our best. 

 Basically it goes like this; first we talk about what the other person did really well the previous week, and the things we really appreciated.  This part is easy!  Next, we talk about what improvements the other person could make for the coming week.  At first, I was so uncomfortable doing this!  Who am I to tell Braedon what he needs to improve on??  It's kind of evolved into suggestions for accomplishing goals, minimizing stress, etc. You could think of it as a very non-threatening way to address any issues you might have. 
For example, Braedon has a new business venture that he's wanting to start so I gave him suggestions on how to get it flowing.  Braedon knew I was stressed last week and gave me suggestions that he knew would help me to overcome it this week.  These are things we do during the week but for some reason at this time it feels more meaningful and sincere because the focus is just on the other person.  

6. End with a prayer.  

Prayer is probably the most important thing for us to have a successful planning session.  It sets the tone, and gets us on the same page.  I honestly look forward to this little time together each week! No matter how "married" it may seem. Hopefully some of these ideas can be helpful for you too and if you made it though this post without falling asleep I applaud you!