Every new year most people bring out their journals or notes to set some New Year goals. As part of a family when you set goals they are bound to affect the other members of the family. Therefore it is a good idea to set some of your goals together. A good place to start is to spend sometime reviewing the past year and use this to determine goals. [Read: 3 Ways to take stock and review your year] Here are some tips for setting family goals.
There are many advantages to setting goals. It is easier to overcome the inertia, fear, backsliding, distractions and all the other things that stop you from achieving your goals when you have someone you are accountable to. Setting a timeframe to your goals and actively pursuing it makes it a reality.
Setting Goals as a Family
The advantages of setting goals as a family, is that the you have one of the best support groups you can have. Setting goals as a family brings everyone on board, encourages togetherness and gives everyone common goals to work towards.
Family goals can either be personal and shared with the family or set as a family.
Personal Goals – You can set up personal goals and share it with the other members of the family. When you do this you get your own in-house cheerleaders to support and encourage you. While we were setting ours, our primary school aged children volunteered two goals – one being to stop using our phones/laptops so much and the other being to start exercising! #PointTaken.
Family Goals – This takes everyone’s interest on board and makes it a collective goal. For example a family goal could be to have dinner together. Below are some examples of setting goals.
Tips for Setting Family Goals – Meal TIme
Goal – To have dinner together without devices.
Reality – Take into account all the realities of life, e.g. traffic, work loads, children’s bedtimes, bringing work home etc.
Options – Decide how often? e.g. It could be twice a week (Thursday) and the weekend (Saturday or Sunday).
The good thing about family goals is that there is no right or wrong answer.
When – Decide to start immediately this week or weekend. To achieve this, a practical way would be for mum and dad to leave work early one day per week to make it home in time for family dinner (before children’s bedtime).
Tips for Setting Family Goals – Family Trip
Goal – Save towards a family vacation
Reality – The vacation costs a certain amount and it would be necessary to save an agreed amount.
Options – Determine how every member of the family is going to help towards achieving this goal. Everyone will be intentional and make an effort towards getting the funds. The options include making more money, saving money and or sacrificing certain luxuries now towards the holiday.
When – Start immediately. Some of the ways to save money is reduce the use of electricity. The children can decide to work to earn some money – they will offer to work a few hours over the weekend at a family friend’s office. The idea is to get everyone and the children working towards the goal together. This also helps children not feel entitled for some luxuries that they enjoy.
More Tips for Setting Family Goals
- Every family member should participate in setting and achieving the goals, with young children get creative.
- Don’t have too many goals at once. One or two goals at a time is advisable. Too many goals then becomes overwhelming and harder to achieve.
- Set goals any time during the year. It does not only have to be at the beginning of the year, choose anytime that works.
- The goals should be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound
- Write the family goals down using a goal setting chart or dashboard and post in a visible place where everyone can see it regularly.
- Schedule time on your family calendar to sit down and review how you are doing and make any changes that might be needed.
Here are some other resources to help children understand how to set their own goals.
Have fun setting goals as a family!