For over a year, my husband and I have practiced a weekly ritual: The Sunday Meeting.
I’ve written about it before, but now that it’s been 15 months of doing this with my husband I wanted to share the 5 reasons you should try this with your household.
As we were adjusting to a new place and new routines, my partner and I got sick of spending so much time taking trips to the grocery store, being too drained by the time we got home to make healthy food which meant eating out for lunch, and little tasks falling between the cracks. It seemed like on a whim, I asked him if he wanted to try a weekly Sunday meeting. So each Sunday, we sit down and review the coming week. All said, it takes around an hour, and suddenly it became strange when we would miss one. That was January 2015. Now I can’t imagine life without one!
Our situation may be unique in that we are a dual income household with no children, but based on our experience, here are 5 reasons why you should have a weekly planning meeting.
One of the first things we do during our meetings is compare our schedules for the week – we identify the events and evening commitments we’ve each made, our shared weekend events coming up, or when we plan on working out. I often have later days at work given evening events for students, so it’s helpful for Mr. PPP to know if he wants to be strategic with planning a happy hour. Knowing what we each have going on helps each of us understand the flow of the week and where the other person may be – not in a creepy way, but in a peaceful way. Since doing this we are able to strategically plan evenings with friends on the same days to maximize our shared time together.
By reviewing the week’s events, we are on the same page about major to-do items – for example if we know it’s my brother’s birthday dinner this weekend, we are both aware we need to
go buy write the card, go buy wrap the gift, and so on.
Since doing this my husband is more aware of what he can do to help me when it gets hectic, and things are taken care of more equitably. (Plus he knows that I would rather that he pack up the car than give me a reassuring hug anyway)
After looking through our schedules we can identify when we each have meals covered at work or out – so we know how many lunches and dinners we need to cook for the week. There is a certain hellish feeling of knowing you still have to use imagination at the end of the work day to create a meal idea, only to find out you have to go to the grocery store. So, we take the 15 minutes to take stock of what’s in the fridge and choose a few recipes to semi-map out for the week. From there, we make our grocery list on the Grocery IQ app, and go to the store that afternoon.
I can’t even express how much agony this has saved for us during the week in terms of needing to drive to the store, dredge up ideas, as well as save us money by cutting down on food waste and eating out for lunch since we more often than not have lunches packed.
After our grocery list we identify what other errands we have to run while we are out getting groceries – if we need more paper towels, cat food, or gas, we can pick the best route to hit as many of those things as possible that afternoon. There are several benefits to this. I spend less time after work stopping by various stores to pick up things – because you KNOW you spend a ton more money the more times you go to Target. It must be a researchable phenomenon. So if I minimize the number of times I go to the Dollar Spot, the more money I save, right?
Women everywhere know the feeling of being The Keeper for the family – the one who remembers to prep for this appointment, rearrange driving logistics, to grab the birthday card. This weekly meeting helps make BOTH of us aware, and share the mental burden – which I always appreciate. Since we co-create this plan, we both are buying into what the work is for the week, and into how we’re splitting it up. It’s definitely not perfect, and I definitely hold more of the planning pieces in my head (sorry hun, can’t argue that!), but it sure relieves some of that pressure.
The next thing I want to try (today, actually!) is a Monthly Review and Forecast. I want the opportunity for both of us to look back on the month and how we spent our time, what went well, what is not, and then use that in our Forecast where we review what’s coming up and what our intentions will be. Hoping he is willing to play (I’ll keep you updated!)
Now, this sounds a lot more intense than it actually is! It’s not for policing or anything, but simply an FYI and helps us feel more aware of what’s going on in this crazy life so we can continue shaping the lives we want to live.
Ready to give it a shot? Laughing because “there’s no way she or he would be up for that?” Obviously the biggest barrier is convincing your partner and family to be on board! I won’t pretend like I know what that’s like, but I can imagine the potential benefits. So here are a few strategies to try to implement versions of a Sunday review:
There are so many beautiful layouts and spreads you see in people’s planners and bullet journals, but it’s pointless to be doing the work and checking to-do’s if you aren’t doing the RIGHT work and to-do’s. This ritual has really helped us enter into each week in the right mindset, and on the same page.
Think you’ll try it out? Let me know in the comments down below!
Love this, Jessica! I’m trying to plan ahead on when we meet and what we do with the boyfriend, but the key word is trying! He’s a pantser, I’m a planner. I got him to make a list of date ideas and put dates to some of them this weekend though so… Hopefully we’re getting somewhere! I’d love to have a system like yours somewhat in place before we settle them — with cats too, because cats are adorable. Keep up the awesome!
I’ve never heard of the phrase pantser!! What is that? You’ll have to write me someday to tell me how it goes 😀
Panster is a NaNoWriMo term! I think it comes from “flying by the seat of your pants” or “winging it” 😛
Great article! 🙂
Thank you! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it
Hi Jessica! Interesting article, thanks for sharing this idea. I’ll try to apply this with my partner, it could take me a year; It’s the time that him took to begin with his own bullet journal… 😛
Have a nice day!
Slow and steady… 😉
My partner and I have been kinda sorta doing this for awhile, but I think formalizing it could really help. It does wonders for us because he’s absolutely willing to help out with anything going on, but what seems like a super obvious task/errand in my head (OF COURSE we need to get the oil changed this weekend! Why doesn’t he memorize the checkup dates like I do? haha) he doesn’t usually see as obvious. Regular check-ins force me to use my communications skills to actually tell him what is going on & needs support rather than just expecting him to develop mind-reading powers.
Thanks for the suggestions of how to approach this Jessica! I’m super stoked to make this a more formal regular process for us!
If only my husband could see the 2309483 tabs I have open in my brain, right?!
Love this! My husband and I just recently organically started this ritual through setting up our bullet journals on Sunday evenings. It’s great because it allows us to communication about each other’s evening plans over the next week, and, as you mentioned, when we will work out. Thanks for sharing this! It’s been super helpful for us! Glad to know others out there are doing this too. 🙂
Oh my goodness that’s awesome hun!! I wish my husband would use a bullet journal…
Great article! We have a dual income no kids house as well. We kind of have a weekly meeting. Basically I tell him what’s going on, he tells me what he wants to eat for dinner (he’s wicked picky!) and then it’s over. BTW- it is not creepy to know where the other is, we check in throughout the day, but the text usually starts with me saying…”omfg, student A just called me an a-hole!”
LOLOLOL!!! Fellow teachers, unite!
Love this. My hubby just got on board with budget meetings, and this might be the next progression. I hate being the “keeper of all the things.” Also, the idea about Target: FACT. We switched from going to weekly to going once a month and save so much money. It’s crazy.
Oh goodness it’s so true Beth!! If I just don’t go, I don’t have to buy all the things from the Dollar Section – but yessss it will make a huge difference to lighten the burden for you by sharing your tasks 🙂
Great article! My hubby and I have tried something like this before, and I remember it helped so much with food shopping. Gonna give it another try starting this weekend.
Oh my goodness yes it totally helped us with food shopping – though those extra snacks would show up in my cart somehow…. How has the weekly meeting been working?
[…] week, Mr. PPP and I sit down for a Sunday meeting to go over the week. This is when we get on the same page about our evening commitments, meals, […]
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