Manifesto: A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer (Merriam-Webster)

Years ago, on a road trip, my husband and I wrote our Family Manifesto.

Our girls were just itty bitty, non-talkers at the time.

But we knew what we wanted to promote as a family: Independence. Imagination. Healthy bodies. Courageousness. Sacred moments. Connection.

We’ve done all of these things, but now that our girls are older, it’s time to bring them into the discussion and let them help create the fabric of our future.

A Family Manifesto can be anything you want to declare for yourselves — for your health and emotional and mental well-being as well as your definition of success.

notepad on the grass with blurred background

To write a Family Manifesto — and I’ve written many manifestos over the years — it’s important to include these three things:

  1. Honor each other: Promote love in your manifesto if you do nothing else. Love to each other. Love to the earth. Love to the rest of your family. Love for just being here, where you are. Love for yourself. Or find some other way to say it but spread love because these connections to each other are valuable and irreplaceable. A manifesto needs to remember the most important ingredients. There may be more, but Start with Love.
  2. Absolutely Positively Upbeat: Your manifesto should include positive statements, happy statements — things that make you go, “Yeah!” This isn’t about losing weight, it’s about honoring our bodies and staying healthy so we can run and play together more as a family. This isn’t about spending less, it’s about using what we have in the most creative, useful ways. This isn’t about ridding ourselves of self-doubt, it’s about being brave and trying new things.
  3. Happy, Happy, Happy: What makes you happy as a family? What are those moments that you look back upon and laugh, smile, cry with joy? Yes, those! They are the ones you want more of this year or this month or this season. More ways to connect. Find the laughter in all the moments, even the difficult ones. Discover new things or new places. Take more adventures. Whatever it is, include it!

Here’s our family’s manifesto.

  • We will encourage questions — and the answers. We will be OK if the answers remain unknown.
  • We will do more together even when it requires going off schedule or staying up late or rising early.
  • We will show love to each other, the earth and this world through random acts of kindness.
  • We will be brave, courageous and try new things.
  • We will always put creativity ahead of all else.
  • We will be playful, always.
  • We will celebrate our efforts as much as — or even more than — our successes.
  • We will seek out sacred moments with each other.
  • We will take care of our health and our bodies.
Discuss: How about you? What’s in your family manifesto for this year? I’d love to read them and get to know your family better.

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