Note: Several people have asked me how to create a Family Creed like what I did for my family. Below is some background on the creed along with 5 simple steps you can take to create your own.
What we think about matters.
Our thoughts can build us up or tear us down. That’s why we must be intentional with what we think about. And being intentional starts with a choice.
A while back I ran across an article that talked about the significance of creating a Family Creed. A creed is basically a “system or statement of principles and beliefs.” It could also be considered sort of like a mission statement or series of statements that serve as a guide for how you want your family to live.
Author Steven Covey said…
Family Creed’s are important because they help your family to create a vision. Without a vision or a destination in mind of the future, you run the risk of letting life just happen, of getting swept along with the flow of society’s values and trends without having any real sense of intentionality or purpose.
Family creeds help you as a family to decide what kind of family you really want to be and identify the principles that will help you get there.
I want my family to be intentional and think intentional thoughts. I want my kids to grow up and understand the values that I believe are necessary to succeed. And by “succeed,” I don’t just mean that in the sense of achievement… I mean it in the sense of fulfillment, happiness and joy.
As I sat down to write some initial thoughts for our “Decker Family Creed” it really made me think about the things that matter most (a good exercise in and of itself). I decided to use simple phrases, action statements and guiding principles that would hopefully “stick,” be easy to reflect upon daily, and recall throughout our lives.
I did this initially a few years ago but it wasn’t enough to simply write it out. I had to make the creed something that would be visible, present and a part of our daily routine. So, I had a designer take the words to our creed and create a visual layout. I then had it printed as a 22×28″ poster and framed it. That frame now hangs in our house in a visible location that we walk past daily. (See below for instructions on how to create your own Creed poster).
This exercise isn’t just significant for families. It’s also for organization and teams.
If you outline the path that you want people to go then they will have a much easier ability to get to the destination. A Business Creed or an Organizational Creed or a Team Creed can be just as intentional and just as purposeful as a Family Creed. It’s all about being intentional.
This is an exercise that anyone can do. It doesn’t take money (unless you want to create a poster). It doesn’t even take a ton of time. It just takes a desire to create a future and the actions to help make it so.
How to Make Your Own Creed:
1. Write It Out – Follow my format or create your own. Try to use simple words or phrases that are easy to remember.
2. Design It – Contact a graphic designer to have them turn your words into art. My poster is a 22×28″ but you can choose whatever size you want. You can find a designer on eLance.com, 99Designs.com or contact my designer… Dave Whitlcock with Principle Designs. Design cost can range anywhere between $40 and up depending on what you want.
3. Print It – You can get your poster printed, just on poster paper, by almost any commercial printer that has a poster plotter. You can also get it printed at Kinkos or NextDayFlyers.com. Printing can range anywhere between $40 and up depending on what size you want.
4. Frame It – We just picked up a simple inexpensive frame from a local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s crafts store. Our frame was around $25.
5. Be Intentional About It – It’s not enough to simply goes through steps 1-4 above. You still have to integrate your creed into your life or team. Talk about it. Bring it up periodically. Recite it together from time to time. Keep it top of mind. Most of all, try to live it.
Here is the text from our family creed…
The Decker Family Creed
Make wise choices.
Do what is right, even when no one else is looking.
Be a person of character.
Tell the truth.
Seek God’s will, not your own.
Don’t try to fit in. Stand out by standing up (for what is right).
Don’t Never give up.
Set the example.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be the light, show the light, magnify His light!
Don’t focus on things that don’t really matter.
Don’t focus on things, focus on people.
Be grateful for EVERYTHING that you have.
Look for solutions.
Give God the glory in all that you do.
Treat others like they matter (because they do).
Don’t ever believe anyone who tells you that you are not good enough.
Tell others that they ARE good enough.
Do the hard work.
Be people who make the world a better place.
Know that you are loved and that you matter.
Live Intentionally. Create a Creed Today.