How to plan for a glorious grandparent journey
Have you ever planned a vacation?
Whether you are the type of person who likes to map out your days in detail, or prefer a loose itinerary with plenty of room for improvisation, you still need to decide a couple of things in advance: where you are going and how you are going to get there. Without those crucial bits of planning, you run the risk of never getting anywhere worthwhile.
Your journey as a grandparent is no different. Sure, you can just ride along and see where it takes you, but if you truly want to foster a strong, lasting bond with your grandchildren, it takes planning and preparation. Neither of these things is hard, especially when the result is so rewarding.
What does planning for your grandparent journey look like? It starts with a vision statement. This affirmation should describe how you hope to impact your grandchildren and family. Think of it as a way to write out your goals and hopes for the kind of grandparent you want to be. The business world has some guidelines about the proper form and wording, (one of my communications clients spent weeks fighting amongst themselves over whether or not a vision statement had to start with the word “to”), but your grandparent vision statement can take any form that feels right to you. Aim for short, simple, and specific, but don’t get bogged down trying to make it beautiful.
I can tell you from experience that getting started is the hardest part. (If you got our January email, you read about my own process—if not, you can read it here.) Set a timer for five minutes and write down all the things that are important for you to do as a grandparent. Use post-it notes or a big piece of paper and colorful marker. When the timer goes off, go back and see how they relate: can some goals be grouped or combined? Pick the top 2-4 goals and write them out. And bam! You’ve got a vision statement! Doesn't that make you feel inspired?
Okay, now you know where you are going. Next, you have to think about how to get there. What does each part of your vision statement mean to you? What sorts of things will you do to make those happen? Be specific. For example, one part of my vision statement says my purpose is “To instill the importance of family by conveying how important they are to me.”
Here are some ways I plan to do that:
Writing these things down is like booking your flight and hotel for a trip: it shows you are committing to your destination. Of course, that’s just the beginning of the process! In upcoming blog posts, we’ll be sharing the next steps for planning a glorious grandparenting journey. So get your vision statement ready and we’ll see you next week!
PS—When you’ve written your vision statement, come back and share it in the comments!