This article is part 4 of a 4-part series about having your own Goals Summit every year.  Here’s links to parts 1, 2, and 3.

In our previous posts we showed you the whole point of having goals (and the 3 financial buckets we use), what the 5 Capitals are, and everything that could be covered in what we call the Year End Goals Summit.  Now I want to tell you how my wife and I pull it off…

My wife is an event planner.  That means that whatever it is, she does it UP.  Our Christmas décor is just so (and mercy on the foolish husband who’d bring home some tacky drugstore curio, thinking it will make it into the Holiday Look at my house.  It will not.), trips are planned out with panache and élan and other French words, and events like Passover are done first class with beauty and warmth and meaning everywhere.  Seriously, you should hire her crew.  This also means that my bachelor attempts at romantic weekends were not looked upon with much humor, and poorly organized family outings of any kind are just.  Not.  Done.  So…

We do the Goals Summit right.  Over the years, we have established the pattern of saving hotel and airline points all year long so that we can do the summit at a fabulous location… for free.  And the last few years (because we love it and save points and miles with increasing passion) that’s meant going to NYC and staying in a fancy hotel suite.  This is REALLY important (the fact that we have a suite, not that it’s fancy), and has become a non-negotiable, because we spend a LOT of time in the room over our days there.  (We have become fans of apps like Postmates and Caviar as well—we loves us some City cuisine!—because we can continue Summiting uninterrupted.)

We also take the content and spread it out.  If you’ve looked through Part 3 of this series, you know we cover a LOT of ground.  As a habit, my wife and I start our review on the airplane on the way over.  This is also when she presents me with the financial summary of the year.  When we hit the ground, I send my wife to get her nails done.  This should be as enjoyable as possible; we’re going to be doing a lot of work.  So we go see a movie (or three), maybe take in an NBA game if I can twist her arm, and plan at least one touristy outing like a museum or a show.  I give space for some shopping, I plan a nice dinner out, and we like to run or walk in Central Park.  We also like to be tourists at one of many outstanding churches throughout NYC.  I’m listing all this out because I want you to see how I endeavor to make it enjoyable and break up the intensity.

Not everybody can give 4 days to your Summit, I understand that, but I venture a guess that when you start tasting the sweet fruit of this time with your spouse, it’ll become more important to you—and you’ll put more effort toward making it great.  “It’s the perfect mix of high intensity brain work and light fun,” says Mrs. Wallet.  (And I work hard to keep it that way.)  You don’t have to be this fussy about it, but I actually put together an itinerary every year that captures: when we’ll cover each step of the goals-setting process; dinner and show reservations; and when we’ll just be off duty.  (And when I’ll be heading out to the comedy clubs.)  If we have 2 nights, that might look something like:

Day 1 (let’s say it’s Friday afternoon ):

In transit: REVIEW. What happened?  Review calendar, bank statements, goals sheets, financial report.Arrive: check in, continue review.

Dinner out.

Before bed: pray thanks for last year, go see a movie if time allows.

Day 2 (Saturday):

Exercise, leisurely breakfast

Dream some before lunch

Quick/walking lunch

Dream more

Outing before dinner

Nice dinner out; have some awesome sex (optional)

Day 3 (Sunday):

Find a local church and praise Jesus with the locals


Quick/easy/cheap lunch

Complete your goals sheet and annual/weekly calendars)

Consecrate your plans to God

Head home!

Maybe you’d rather spend time in Montana fly-fishing, or on a beach in Georgia.  Maybe you’d rather be in Las Vegas or Phoenix or Chicago… but wherever it is, make it special.  If you drive to a state park and camp out, that’s still great.  Just get in a space where you can dream and talk and meander together.  Your family is worth the time.  And, if left undirected by YOU, Mr. CEO, the year to come will direct YOU.  Unacceptable for you, you son of Abraham!  A family builder like you grabs the year by the year handles (“year handles”?  How do you grab time?), makes plans, and bends the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that a year presents and makes the most of them, for the Kingdom’s sake.  Your children’s children will thank you for the ground you take during this next revolution around the sun.  Bless you and bless your Year End Goals Summit!