When #1 National Bestselling author Michael J. Maher, author of (7L) The Seven Levels of Communication, Go From Relationships to Referrals asked me about my personal systems, I was surprised and excited to share with him. But I shouldn’t have been surpised. This is Michael Maher who preaches that the more you give, the more you’ll get. And the more you think about others, the less you’ll have to think about yourself. Pick up a copy of (7L) today. It is transformational.
Michael posted something on Facebook saying that anytime we get in trouble in business, it’s because we were outside of our system, or lacking a system entirely. I replied back (in Facebook fashion) that his point was true, but not to be limited only to business. As a dad, husband, and friend, when I get in trouble, it’s usually because I was outside of my system. Michael asked for some examples of my systems. Here are a few.
- The bedtime system. Getting a 4 year old and a 1 year old to bed takes a very good system! My wife and I tag-team and it works pretty well. First, I tell the 4-year old that I’ll time her running upstairs to go potty and brush. Then we go to her room and read a chapter from a book (currently Moby Dick). Then it’s scriptures, prayers, tickling and laughing, then kisses and lights out. She also gets 3 pennies which we put on her nightstand by her piggy bank. If she gets out of bed, she loses a penny. This is amazing incentive to help her stay in bed. This usually takes about 20 minutes, but we hit lots of important things. It’s a good system!
- Saturday morning crepes. When I was a kid, I loved “big pancakes,” or crepes on Saturday mornings. My dad’s grandma fed them to him, and he passed it on to us. I started it again a year or so ago. My little girl knows the recipe: 4 eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, a smidge of salt, and a half cube of melted butter — all blended and then cooked on medium to high. We look forward to Saturday and “big pancakes.” It’s a time I can give my wife a break, to go running, or just take it easy. And the kids love it and won’t ever forget it. “Is tomorrow Saturday? Yes!!! Big pancakes!”
- The spotlight game. We try (it’s hard with jobs and schedules) to have dinner together in the evenings. It’s our chance to talk as a family. But how do you have a meaningful conversation with a 4-year old or a 18-month old? Make it a game! We’ve started “the spotlight” game. We pick one person at the table (25% chance it will be you!) and then everyone goes around the table and says something nice about that person. Then we go to the next person, and the next person (100% chance you’ll get a turn!). Our 4-year old loves it. And it’s a great way to practice being positive. We don’t do it with every meal, but maybe weekly. Actually, if this is going to be an effective system, we should probably assign it a day and make it regular! (Soapbox: Being nice and saying nice things is hard in our world today!)
The key to these systems are the same as any good systems: purpose, regularity, and fun.
Homes in Order Systems
So how does this relate to Homes in Order? Simple. HiO is a money saving system, with your life’s biggest and most important investment. Let’s take the “system” of $2 = $1,000. If the typical homeowner were to pay just $2 extra towards their mortgage every month, they’d save $1,000 on their mortgage. That’s typical. What about YOU? How much can you save? Could you come up with just $1/day?
Just $1/day for these homeowners saves a year of payments and over $20,000. Paying off your mortgage early is a system, and if you’re good at it, you’ll save an amazing amount of money. Does this qualify for a system?
- Purpose. Investing, and getting out of debt.
- Regularity. Just add it to your regular monthly payment. But regularity is the key. You have to do it every month for maximum benefit.
- Fun. $20K? Yeah, I can think of something fun with that!
Absolutely. So whether it is a business system, a financial system, or a daddy system, if you can make it fun, make it purposeful, and do it with regularity, you’ll be on track for success.