[Part III] The Family New Years Plan: Harmony-In-Action

In Part I you found out about you and your family’s trigger zones.
In Part II you mapped out trigger zones and how to stop negative cycles. Now it is time to implement those habit stoppers.

In Part II I asked you to start with one ‘touchy’ area for your family and write down all of the patterns and habits that trigger fights and then ways to remove or block the irritations from happening.

You might have a few areas that you want to deal with. In my family, the morning routine on school days and I also mentioned that Sundays were tough times between homework, chores and TV time.

It is important to start with baby steps. Everyone wants to make things in the house smoother, but it will not happen overnight. Here are a few steps to implement the trigger stoppers.

1) Get Family Members In On the Goals.
Before you really start to implement the pattern breakers, it is important that your family also wants to try to make a change. Now that they have answered the questions from Part II, they probably have and idea about your desire to bring zen into the house. But it is really important to have a family meeting to discuss the big goal to have things run smoother. It is also a good idea to show them your trigger stoppers to see if they are ok and if they have anything to add.

2) Pick One Area
Start with one area to work on at a time. If you try to fix everything at once you will be absolutely overwhelmed.

3) One Trigger Zone at a Time
You want to break down goals into smaller and smaller pieces so that they become more attainable. Try to pick one trigger stopper per week and work on implementing it with your family.

4) Mark Your Calendar
Putting your goals in writing is really important and it is great to have something that is measurable. Write in your calendar or planner that by the end of the week or month, you want to have smoothed out your morning routines, or learned to pack backpacks at night…remember you want to have a challenge, but not make it so hard to reach that it overwhelms you.

Don’t get frustrated, stay with it and remember with each small negative pattern you break, the more harmony you will have.

Dream big, work hard and you will get there,
Vanessa Van Petten

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