Every year, round about this time, my hubs gathers his management team and for two days, they plan and strategize the coming year for the office. Several years ago, I had an idea. What if we did our own “annual plan” for our marriage, our family, and we got away to do it? I decided to surprise him, and I booked a room at a wonderful little inn that was about an hour away from our home. My only request from him was to bring his computer.

When we were in for the night, I had him get out his computer and I took out mine. Then, I pulled out a two-page document – The First Annual G-Family Plan – that I had put together for both of us to fill out. Now, my man LOVES a plan. LOVES. I think it might be one of his love languages, actually, so this went over BIG! We both perused the questions, answered honestly, and then traded to read each others’ answers. Perhaps you’re wondering what the questions were. Here are just a few:

What is one thing you can do to strengthen your spiritual walk?

What is the main financial goal you would like to achieve this year? How can we make it happen?

Name one thing you’d like your spouse to work on changing this year? How can you help?

Name three things you can do every week to take care of your marriage?

After we talked about our answers, and spent some good time dreaming together, we pulled up the calendars on our computers and blocked off date nights, vacation time and synced important dates that we both had coming up.

That first annual plan was five years ago, and we’ve done it again every year since. The only difference is, now, we pull out our plans from the year before and see how we’ve done. In some areas we’re victorious; in others, not so much. But it’s healthy, enlightening, and it helps us voice some things that are important to each of us that, otherwise, we might not bring up.

This weekend is our Annual Plan 2009. It’s something we look forward to, not just because it’s a chance to steal away, but because we start out each year on the same page, with common goals and a single focus.

Interested in doing a little planning of your own? If you’d like a copy of our plan, just email me! If it works for us, it will work for you…and besides, it’s just plain fun!