4 ideas to help you pass on family traditions this holiday season

As the holidays are approaching, I want to help you with 5 easy ways to pass down family traditions.

1. Holiday Decor

As you’re unwrapping and unboxing your holiday decor in preparation for decorating, are there any that hold special value to you? Are there stories you can share about an ornament, stocking or special holiday dish? Were any passed down to you? If so, from whom? And who would you like to get them when you’re gone?

Identify just 1 or 2 items you want to write about and jot down their significance to you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – just some of your notes and memories that you can wrap up with the items in the New Year.

2. Recipes

Food! This is a fun one! The holidays are a time for indulging on special treats that may only appear this special time of year. Do you have a favorite holiday treat? A favorite recipe? Are there recipes you make every year? Are there traditional foods you always had growing up? Are there recipes you want to make sure get passed down? Do you you have a memory of making a recipe as a child? What about a recipe mishap? (Like when I made the green bean casserole with frozen green beans that were suppose to thaw first.;-)

Make copies of recipes you cherish, write a story about one or two, share a favorite memory with a loved one.

3. Holiday memories

What are your favorite holiday memories? From childhood? From adulthood? Who did you spend your favorite holidays with? Where were you? Was it cold? Snowing? Are there any holiday memories you’re eager to make? Who with? Where?

Make a holiday memory book – past, present and future!

4. Traditions – past, present & future

In addition to food traditions, what traditions does your family have? What are you doing that your parents did? Your grandparents did? Were there religious services you attended? What are traditions you want to start?

It’s never to early to start new traditions. Writing them down is the first step to making them happen!

I love knowing the story of my grandfather’s parents collecting a goose for their holiday meal. I love the memory of my mom and uncles fighting over the holiday mashed potatoes. I love having the stockings and ornaments my grandmother needlepointed. Although I am not much of a cook, I enjoy trying my grandmother’s recipes at the holidays and now our daughters are enjoying making them, too.

Sharing heirlooms, recipes, memories, and traditions is a gift. And, a gift that keeps on giving. Best of all, it’s free. Just takes a little thought and time.

Give this priceless (free) gift this season!

Sending love to you and yours,

Jody

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts, ideas, memories with ME! Remember..your story matters. It’s your legacy.

Email me at jody@missingpiecesplan.com

Putting my money where my mouth is…

I get it.

People send you emails all day long. Asking you to do something.

They ask me, too. 😉

Guess what? You opened this and I am not going to ask you to do ANYTHING!

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’d like you to keep reading. And, I’ll make it brief.

So, I get…

~ the dread

~ the wanting to “put it off”

~ the thinking that there’ll be time “one day”

Confession. I feel that way about my own story. (What I call my legacy).

So, today, I am putting my money where my mouth is and over the next 30 days I’ll be sharing my answers to the Missing Pieces Plan Legacy Questionnaire.

You know there’s a motive here, right?

Full disclosure.

Here’s what I think. That by reading my story, my memories, maybe it will help jog yours. It won’t see that hard or time consuming. And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be motivated to grab a pen and your legacy questionnaire and start writing.

Don’t have your copy of the Legacy Questionnaire yet?

Click HERE and we’ll send you one, FREE.

Thanksgiving is coming. Around the table, what stories do you want to hear? What stories can you share?


Here’s to your legacy,

Jody

http://missingpiecesplan.com/legacy-questionnaire/

Aunt Susie’s story…this was NOT her wish

Recently I got to spend time with my dear friend, Tori, and her mother.

I have been fortunate to witness a few of their family gatherings and celebrations which often took place at the home of Tori’s aunt, Aunt Susie. They included a one-of-a-kind jello salad and a plethora of casserole dishes – any kind that called for crushed potato chips on top.


~ ~ ~ Tori and her mom, 2017 ~ ~ ~

A year ago, I learned of Aunt Susie’s sudden passing and how profoundly she would be missed.

It wasn’t until my most recent visit with Tori and her mother that I learned of the ‘misfortunes’ that took place after her death.

Aunt Susie lived in a beautiful home that her father, Tori’s grandfather, had built. It was a unique home in style and architecture but made even more exquisite by it’s proximity to the pacific ocean. The home sat on a hill on 5th street…5 blocks from the Pacific Ocean. You could see the stunning view from the front yard.

The house was sold after Aunt Susie’s death. I hurt for the family’s loss of this treasure.

What I learned recently made my heart sink even more. (No matter how many of these stories I hear, they still break my heart. I am not sure I’ll ever be numb to the pain of missed pieces.)

Selling the house was not what Aunt Susie wanted. It was not her wish.

Aunt Susie had been married to her second husband for twenty years. She had one adult son and he had two adult children from a previous marriage.

Her husband had predeceased her years earlier. And when she died, the Wills they had drafted while they were married were the most current.

Tori and her mom knew Aunt Susie’s intentions (her wishes) were for her son to keep the home. It was communicated numerous times. They knew she wanted the home to stay in “her family.”

However, when her husband was living and presented “estate planning documents” for her to sign, she signed. She trusted her husband knew her wishes for the home and they’d be followed. Yet, as it turns out, what she signed provided that the house proceeds would be divided into thirds. Her son, whom she intended to be the sole heir, now had to split the proceeds of his mother’s home with his two step siblings. He would only receive one-third.

If this wasn’t bad enough, Aunt Susie also owned a triplex in the same beach community. Which, you guessed it, also had to be split in thirds.

This was not what Aunt Susie intended, wanted or wished.

Tori’s mom said when the attorney read the Will, their heads dropped. She added, “Aunt Susie would be heartbroken to know this happened this way.”

~ ~ ~

How can you ensure your wishes are followed?

Not only is it important to communicate your wishes, it’s also important to make sure they are documented properly.

Make your wishes known…start today!*

Sending love!

Jody

*If you’re ready to get started, start with the FREE Missing Pieces Plan CHECKLIST. Then start documenting your wishes in your Missing Pieces Plan worksheets. BUY YOUR COPY HERE.

#makeyourwishes #shareyourwishes #plannow #livenow #liveyourbestlife #now #MissingPiecesPlan

5 FREE books!

We have added 5 FREE copies of the Missing Pieces Plan to the Family Legacy Video GIVEAWAY!

It’s keeps getting BIGGER and BETTER!

Now, when you enter to win the

MPP Legacy Family Video Giveaway,

(valued at over $2,500)

You will be entered to win a FREE book!

FIVE winners will receive a copy of Missing Pieces Plan!

ENTER HERE: www.missingpieceplan.com/contest

And… please share with family and friends! When you do, you’ll have more chances to WIN!

Sending love,

Jody

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​How writing your obituary today could benefit you – and your loved ones

The benefits of writing your obituary today. Yes, today.

Write my obituary now, as in, today? YES! Here’s why…

A friend of mine recently told me how her mother made her sit down and write her obituary when she was twenty. Twenty! I love this! My friend wasn’t sure of her mother’s motives but I would guess her mom wanted to help set her daughter’s path. Maybe to help her see where she wants to focus her life? What she would want to be known for, life for?

What if I told you that writing your obituary today would help you solidify your values, craft your legacy and live now?

What do you value? Crafting your obituary, ‘the story of you’ in one column I believe, will help you solidify your values. To do this, let’s start by figuring out what is important to you. What your top 5 values? Examples of values are family, education, community, spirituality, health, etc.

What causes are important to you? A great exercise to determine causes that resonate with you is to take a newspaper and circle the headlines that speak to you. Notice if you feel outraged, compassion or indifferent. Circle the headlines that ignite a feeling inside of you. Then, identify what causes they relate to. This is an excellent way to find out what you care about.

If your “legacy” were summed up in one column, what would it say?

To me, by telling your story, you are crafting your legacy. How? Start my making a list of your accomplishments. Then, make a list of what you would like to accomplish in the years ahead. Finally, spend time writing your goals for next 5 years, 10 years,15 years. You get the idea. You now have a list of all you’ve accomplished, as well as, a list of what you intend to accomplish. You are crafting your legacy – what you want to be known for. By writing it down, you’ll have a roadmap to live your best life.

Speaking of your best life, reflect on the lists you’ve just made. Relish in your successes and accomplishments. And, I believe that by naming your future goals, you’ll likely accomplish those, too. Having a purpose, knowing what you stand for, and what excites and invigorates you, will guide you to live a fuller life NOW.

So, what if I asked you to write your obituary today? What would you say? What would you include? What do you want people to remember most about you? What did you live for? And most importantly, are you doing those things now?

Your obituary is your imprint on this world, your community, your family and friends.

Let’s make sure it reflects your values, is representative of the legacy you want to leave and encourages you to live your best life now.

Sending love,

Jody

Casey’s story

Today’s story is an excerpt from the Missing Pieces Plan. My friend Casey reflects on her father’s creation of a family foundation.

Excerpt:

It was the week of Thanksgiving. My husband, daughters and I were in Cleveland visiting my Mom, Dad, my brother and his family. Before the office closed for the holiday, my Dad asked me to meet him at work so we could talk. My Dad told me he wanted to start a foundation or some sort of charitable vehicle. He wasn’t sure what the options were; he just knew he wanted to formalize his giving. With 15 years of experience working in the philanthropic sector, I was eager to hear my Dad’s thoughts.

In that meeting, we talked about whether a donor-advised fund at a local community foundation made sense—lower overhead and less administration—or if he wanted a foundation for autonomy and reach. Knowing that we would need a mission, a clear idea from my Dad about what he wanted to support, I asked Dad what he had historically supported. I asked about what he cared about and who he wanted to help.

Based on what he shared, I researched the costs associated with donor advised funds and foundations. Then I went to work crafting a few different mission statements. I came back to my Dad with the results of my research, and we settled on a mission and structure.

We would create a foundation, which would receive an investment from my Dad as well as an annual contribution from our family business. We contacted a local lawyer with experience applying for non-profit status and began the paperwork. My Dad would be the chair of the Foundation. My brother, sister, and I would serve on the board. Fast forward a few months and my Dad suddenly died of a heart attack.

I sometimes wonder if Dad had a sneaking suspicion that he was not well. He had set the wheels in motion to create a foundation, and he put the finishing touches on his estate plan just months before he passed away.

Regardless of his possible premonition, I will be forever grateful for our Thanksgiving chat where my Dad shared his motivations for giving. Thanks to that, my brother, sister and I now direct the foundation’s resources to “support the efforts of young people who strive to improve themselves and the communities in which they live.”

My favorite part of Casey’s story is the fact that she and her dad had a conversation. Our legacies may not involve creating a family foundation. But the one thing we all can do is communicate our wishes for our legacy.

Our legacies don’t have to wait until we are gone.

They can be lived today.

By embracing this truth, we can step up the life we want to live and leave.

Today, I encourage to have a conversation with a loved one, a family member. What is important to you? In this life? And, when you’re gone.

I believe by just taking these small steps, we are moving forward – towards a more fulfilled life.

Sending love,

Jody

P.S.

Do you have questions?

I would love to connect with you!

My email is jody@missingpiecesplan.com or cell is 310-927-5345

What I wish I knew…

Gone too soon…what I wish I knew

Recently I asked a few dear friends to write down questions they wish they could ask their dads. Unfortunately, these dear friends lost their fathers way too soon. 

A lot of questions remain for all of them regardless of the amount of earthly time with their beloved fathers.

Here are some of the questions they wish they could ask:

  • What did you have the most fun doing?
  • What made you laugh the hardest?
  • What would you spend more time doing/less time doing?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What do you love most about yourself? And me?
  • When did you feel fearless?
  • What would we do together if we only if one day left?
  • What would you want me to know about your life and how it made you who you are?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve done?
  • What’s your hope for your kids?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • What was it like the first time you met my mom? What did you think of her at first?
  • How did you feel when I was born? Where you scared and sort of like “oh shit what now?!” like I was?
  • What was your happiest memory of my childhood?
  • Do you think I should have another kid?
  • Is there anything you would do differently knowing where you ultimately ended up?
  • What advice do you have for your grandson and what would you want to be sure we passed on to him?

If you are a dad – or grandfather, grandmother, father or mother – share your answers to these questions with your loved ones today. I am certain after you’re gone there will be more questions your loved ones will want answered, but at least they’ll know these.

Taking the time to share your story and your answers with loved ones is a priceless gift. It is your legacy. 

One that your loved ones will forever cherish.

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Legacy Questionnaire designed to help you write or craft your legacy. You can include as much or as little as you choose. The information provided will be a gift to your loved ones. To learn more visit www.missingpiecesplan.com.

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here: http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Sending love!

Jody

Why I think the word “legacy” is such a turn off

Often when people think of their “legacy” they think Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. Yes, they have incredible legacies, but you don’t have to be a genius or millionaire or any other qualifying factor to build a legacy or to be remembered.

When I think of “legacy,” I think it’s building upon your values, identifying how you would like to be remembered and then living into those values and dreams for your life.

I also think one of the greatest legacies is just sharing your story with your loved ones.

Sharing your story with loved ones is your legacy.

What I would give to have recorded my grandfather’s stories from the war, his love notes to my grandmother, hearing what it was like to grow up in the depression, how he built a homebuilding business, what it was like losing his mother at 18. There is so much I wish I knew about my grandfather.

I think like most, I always thought there would be more time to ask these questions and learn their answers.

But then he passed.

We did our best to write his obituary after his passing. He had many accomplishments. But what would he have wanted us to say? Maybe if we had asked, I would have gotten the answers to the questions above.

I’ve been told, “but I don’t want to think about it or write anything down, that will mean it will happen. I will die.” I get it, the thought of writing your obituary or jotting ideas down on how you would like to be remembered, is scary. It means the inevitable will happen. I hate to break it to you, but it the inevitable will happen – whether you write something or not.

So, go there with me. Think of your loved ones and how they would love to know more about you. Today, I encourage you to think of how you’d like to be remembered. What you would want your obituary to say? And before you think you are too young or healthy … anyone can do this – regardless of age! Even if you are 20!

To get started, simply write five things you would like to remembered for and then next to each how your are living into each today. At the very least you are crafting how you’d like to live today and letting your legacy be known.

In the Missing Pieces Plan we have a Legacy Questionnaire designed to help you write or craft your legacy. You can include as much or as little as you choose. The information provided will be a gift to your loved ones. To learn more visit www.missingpiecesplan.com.

To order your copy of Missing Pieces Plan, click here:

http://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Sending love!

Jody