Every day is busy. There are bills to pay, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, errands to run; these things never end! Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of every day life, we can forget to reflect on our priorities and take stock of what’s really important in our lives. Setting family goals is a meaningful practice that helps every member of your family (yes! even the kids!) recenter on what’s truly important. If you’ve never set family goals, it can feel a little daunting, so I’ve compiled some simple steps to help you get started.
Make it an event!
Oftentimes, we can assume kids won’t enjoy “adult” tasks like a family meeting, but we can easily turn these tasks into fun, creative events for kids. Set a time for family goal setting and plan an event around it. For younger kids, you can break out the glitter glue and markers and let them draw what they want their new year to look like. Older kids might enjoy putting together a fun presentation to give at the family meeting about something they’re passionate about. Whatever your kids love, try to integrate that into the event.
Prepare a plan for the goal setting event ahead of time. Do you want to write S.M.A.R.T. goals? Will you set goals in various categories (travel, financial, quality time)? Should each family member present their own goals? It’s important to answer these questions for yourself before sitting down with your kids. Remember, kids won’t have the same understanding of what “goal setting” means, so you’ll want to prepare to guide the process.
Write Goals with Intention
Sometimes we forget that the point of goal setting is to actually work toward those goals. Set the intention from the start. You’re there to talk about what you want your family to accomplish and how you can work together to accomplish that. Think about a vague goal like “Spend more time together.” How can you take this great idea from a meaningless thought to an actual family goal?
- Make it more specific
- “Spend More Time Together” becomes “Host a Family Movie and Game Night ever Thursday”
- Assign family members actions
- “Mom will buy anything we need for the family hangout, Dad will cook the snacks, oldest will pick the movie, and youngest will plan a game.”
- This helps everyone buy into the new goals. It also ensures that the work doesn’t fall on to one person.
Discuss Goals Regularly
Don’t let setting family goals become a one-time thing. Make sure you post the goals in a prominent place in your home so that all of your family members can hold each other accountable. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by life and forget the intentions we set. You can also add these goals to your Monthly Planner (free download here). By discussing your goals regularly and posting them so everyone can be reminded, you increase your chances of sticking to those family goals.
Most importantly, remember that failure is a part of life and an important lesson for our kids. If you write amazing goals and find that you can’t accomplish them, that’s OKAY! Reflect on that with your kids and talk about what you can do differently in the future! Goals are there to help guide you, not to stack on more pressure.
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