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Oh no the kids are asking us one of ‘those questions’! RUN. In this episode, Dean and Anne share how they approach the difficult yet important conversations.


Hello, I’m Anne and I’m Dean and together we are Collectively Aligned, the conversational podcast about intuition, parenting, lifestyle, and business.

We are delighted to have you here. So let’s get into today’s episode.

Welcome to 2024. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. And we are laughing because this is our second take because somebody, that would be me (Anne), forgot to hit the start recording button.

Anyway, moving on from that today, we thought we would actually tune in and chat to you about goal setting as a family. And, what we do with kids so that, uh, everybody has a kind of a vision, a goal for what they would like to see themselves. It’s doing within that year. However, we don’t use a setting, you know, I want to achieve ABC.

We actually use the word of the year to reflect what our goal is. So, last year as a family, we got a canvas and we painted everybody painted their words with paint pens. So everybody wrote their words down and then we decorated it with our hands. We painted them and printed them onto or pushed them onto the canvas as our way of signing that deal.

We hung it up on the wall or we had it sitting in a prominent area where we would see it every day and every month we would stop and talk about where we’re at, what we achieved in the month leading up to that point and what we were planning to do in the next month to make sure we were keeping ourselves on track.

So last year, some of the words that we had, for me (Anne), I had the word Sparkle, which was to do more of the things that bring me joy and give me that glitter-in-the-eyes type of effect. But that was my word to represent that.

Mine (Dean)  was grounded. I wanted to ground myself more and spend more time outside and bare feet on the ground and I achieved that. I would just go outside in the middle of the night, kids come out a couple of times, and ask ‘what are you doing dad’ ‘It’s dark out here’.

I (Anne) used to laugh, they’d come running into me. ‘Mum, something wrong with dad?’ I’m like, what do you mean? I was lying on the grass. He’s outside on the grass. What’s he doing?

(Dean) It’s dark. The night sky here is absolutely unbelievable. To lie down on the grass and just sit there and watch the stars in the sky is just absolutely mind blowing.

Some of the words the kids had Colour, Craft and we can’t remember the third one. That’s pretty bad. Is that parenting fail?

The craft was a representation of doing more mindful activities, sitting down and just, just being in that moment. Being away from electronic devices or being distracted by other things.

Colour, he wanted to just do more art.  Yeah, he wanted to do different things. Different things and bring more of that into his life.

Third one was Expand. That was about them stepping out of their comfort zone. And for that, they actually put themselves forward for one of the leadership roles at school and ended up with an award come the end of the year for all the things, that they’d done throughout the year. We were very blown away by that.

This year we have picked different words. So for me (Anne), it’s River. Which is about  a river flowing in and out. So I’m bringing more into my life and I’m also letting go of things. And throughout this year I will reveal more of those in bigger details.

Dean, your word for this year, you’ve actually got two, which is believe and trust.

Yeah, believe in,  or trust that the spirits, God, all those above have, your back and are there guiding and helping you along the way.

Our daughter, she has, ‘stepping outside her comfort zone’, whilst it’s not a word, it’s a sentence, but you know, she’s already even taken steps to do that.

After Christmas we went up to one of the local big shopping centres which is probably an hour and a half away from us here and said to the kids they had all got money for Christmas and we’ll go up there and go for a little bit of a shop.

There’s a shop that sells canvases, prints and paintings and other kinds of things. And our daughter fell in love with large painting of really colourful, bright coloured birds with a palm tree background and it’s a really gorgeous photo. Anne and I were looking around the shop and we found a couple of other things that we were discussing and talking about and I went up to pay for a couple of the prints that we purchased and I said, hang on a minute, I’ve got to pay for my daughter’s painting.

The shop assistant said she’s already paid for that. And I said, Beg your pardon? And she goes, Oh no, she, you know, she’s already paid for it. Our son goes, Yeah, Dad, she’s already paid for it. She gave her the money. She got the change. Afterwards, she was very proud. And she just said, my words this year are stepping outside my comfort zone. And that’s what I was doing. We were very blown away by it.

The boys haven’t come up with their words as yet. They’re still deliberating, for the right word. I (Anne) know it took a couple of weeks. I kind of had other words that floated around it, but they didn’t feel like they were the right words. And then, when at least expected the right word came along.

We’ve also got words as a family. As well, um, and that’s, uh, they are, um, laughter. We want more fun times and laughter in our lives and collectively together.

And, um, memories, which is to do more fun things, to create more adventures and, you know, make memories, um, together. Uh, obviously one of our kids would idealistically like us to, um, get an RV so that we can go on road trips every weekend because all he wants is the RV. So, yes. That, that would be for, hey, anybody wants to sponsor us, we’d be open to it, but, uh, yeah, not, not on the foreseeable future, but, uh, yeah, so these, these.

It’s, the way we do it is that we, you know, do the canvas and, and hang, have it sitting somewhere where we can see it throughout the year. But every month, you know, we sit down at dinner, um, and in the conversations we bring it up and just check in with how people are going, you know, what do they think they’ve achieved or any hurdles they might’ve had to face or, you know, what are they going to do in the next month to keep them on track to keep going forward.

And how they interpret it too, I think is, you know, half of it as well. You know, different things happen, you know, throughout your life and how they interpret those things to, to fit in. with the, you know, the words and what they’re trying to achieve as well. Yeah. Sometimes they, sometimes they look at things, you know, you know, not thinking about, you know, the word or that, you know, the direction they were heading.

But when you sit there and talk about it, it’s quite funny how, you know, they all revolve back around what they were trying to achieve. And we’ve had some quite funny conversations around the table with, you know, um, where, you know, we’ve, um, Kids have explained things to us that have happened and, you know, why is this and why are we doing that?

And, and you say, well, hang on a minute, what was your word? And, you know, oh, yeah, that makes sense now. Well, we did that because of this. And, and they start putting the little pieces together as well. And it was actually, we

had some really awesome conversations. Yeah, it’s quite funny because, um, They very cheekily like to bring things up in conversation.

So Den and I are very in tuned and often do the same thing at the same time. And so you’ll hear them going, Oh, you two are like a collectively aligned. So they like to throw all the words that they learn and know back at us to remind us that they’re so on top of it. But we also explain to them that it’s not just about achieving that end goal.

It’s also the journey to get there. And sometimes it’s not a straight path. Might be whiny, might be two steps forward. you know, three steps back. Um, and you know, we like to explain to them that it’s about celebrating all of the steps, whether they’re big or small, and to embrace the journey that you’re learning along the way, because they create the characters that we are.

And they also, you know, give us the foresight and knowledge for what we can bring forward with us. Um, I always say to the kids, you learn, you know, as well as you know, until you learn a better way. Yeah. And you can only do with the knowledge you have until, you know, somebody teaches you something different or you experience something different and then you’ll do it a different way.

So yeah, this, uh, we hope that, you know, by sharing this might give you some inspiration to set your goals or your words for the year and, um, you know, feel free to share it. We’d love to hear them and, um, how you go along. Yep. Okay. Thanks. Thank you.

We hope you enjoyed today’s episode and wanted to thank you

for being here.

If you’d like to learn more about us, head over to www. collectivelyaligned. com. au