New Years Goals in a Special Needs Family

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New Years Goals in a Special Needs Family

We can’t ever remember setting goals for the New Year in January; but we always used that month to discuss our previous year in light or what we’d hoped to see happen and accomplished in our New Year, so at the start of February, we listed our goals! We would add things we felt were taking priority and we would remove things that we didn’t feel were productive or necessary. Either way we chose, it was based upon time in prayer as well as conversations with each other and our children. Together as a husband and wife we know that our life is intertwined in a “divide and conquer” attitude. For us that means we often can’t both be away from home at the same time unless there is care for our son with special needs. So we always knew (and know) that we must keep our calendars up to date with each other so we don’t double book making one of us have to cancel. The rule then is this: it needs to be determined who made the commitment first. They win the toss. After prayer and discussion we’d then put the list together on one page, and review it during the year to be sure we were staying on track. We have always wanted to live our lives and instill in the lives of our children the desire for a vision driven rather than just a task driven life. When you have a vision for what God has for you to do, it makes it much easier to keep, remove, or replace things on your list. And we have always been advocates that it is fine to revisit and change some goals in the middle of the year if you agree to it. Here’s what our plans and goals looked like (in general):

Ferrini Family Areas of Involvement and Goal Planning (Year) (When the children were younger)

JOE: As a Husband and Father Joey – DAILY: play video games with him, help with personal care, drive to work (1 hour) per day. (Joey has special needs and this is the best way for them to “connect”!) Dates with daughters Kristina and Kathleen (monthly), homework help, good talks together Weekly dates with Cindi (even if they are coffee dates because we can’t “go out”)

In Ministry Substitute as needed for radio Pause for Prayer (WCRF 103.3FM) Mentoring @ 4-5 guys ongoing locally and nationally (monthly) Completion of discipleship materials for publication. At Work Dentist – work 4 days wk. and some Saturdays; taking time off for family events and activities as needed along with 4 weeks vacation. Financial goals: savings for retirement; personal savings goals, college $ goals, etc. CINDI: As wife, mother, helper to my husband The office books-payroll, check writing, etc. as part of office staff (at home). Dating each other (helping to make sure it happens!) Joey’s guardian papers, finances, Dr. appt., helping him dress, caring for his needs (showering, toileting, etc.) daily, getting him after work (1 hr. day drive time); his primary advocate with Joe’s help as needed. Time with the girls to connect (talking, shopping, events, having fun, lots of talk!) F3 (Ferrini Family Fun) vacation trip planner – once a year! Cooking, cleaning, driving, phone calls, laundry (with Joe’s help as needed.) Ministry Blogging, speaking, complete book. WCRF Pause for Prayer – coordinator, writing, taping and airing monthly Mentoring younger women as the opportunity and time avails itself Coordination of marketing for our books; social media platform, etc. Prayer letter sent out monthly – to our prayer team, also FAMILYLIFE team JOE AND CINDI TOGETHER: FamilyLife National Speaker Team – 4-6 weekends as needed. Associate staff with Cru: city ministry. Meetings, collaboration, connecting. Weekly radio spot My Marriage Matters – prep and presenting weekly. Speaking nationally and locally for topics on leadership, marriage, special needs, family, organization, as we are asked-and as we are able with our schedule. Work out 2-3 times per week (walks, mainly). Keep weight at ______ pounds. CHILDREN: Joey, Kristina, Kathleen Our goals for them would change sometimes monthly depending on their needs: · Activities – school, church, personal, school meetings, etc. · Events – making sure we were at every occasion, performance, etc. · Needs (emotional, spiritual, physical) · Making sure they knew we were “there for them” at all times This is just a rough idea of how it looked for us. The beauty of making goals is seeing them fulfilled at the end of the year. Having a child with special needs can sometimes put the attention and focus on that one child because their needs are so necessary to fulfill since they can’t often do all things on their own. Making these goals for our son with multiple disabilities as well as for our daughters made us aware of the fact that we wanted our investments in each of them to be obvious to all of them. We didn’t do things perfectly, and for that reason, if (during family meetings) we felt we were off course we could certainly reframe those goals. It’s to be a gracious guideline not something that frustrates us! With these couple of thoughts, we hope that your New Year is off to a good start. Where might you find the best place to start on a vision (not task) driven set of goals? Make them meaningful….and fun…just for you and yours! Happy New Year!

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