A loving and prosperous family is more than just practicing good parenting and making sure the kids are happy.
It takes more than our day-to-day effort to be there for everyone around us, whether for family members living in the same household or the ones that live somewhere else. The family institution is a sacred bond that takes a lot of planning and setting goals.
Goals aren’t just for personal achievement and business success. They are the milestones that keep our aim straight from all the distractions that could steer us away from our dreams. Simply put, without goals, it is hard for you to be objective in the face of challenges.
Families also need unified goals and aspirations to ensure that all members are living harmoniously. But how should you define family goals?
In this article, we will explore what family goals are and how to set the best goals for your family. Let’s jump right to it.
The Definition of Family Goals
A goal can be defined as something that you aspire to achieve, do, or acquire within a certain period of time.
Hence, we can look at family goals as results or a set of targets that we want to achieve with our families according to a specific plan.
As long as you’re able to achieve everything that has been agreed by all parties, you can be lenient and flexible about the process. This is because, unlike other goals, family goals require a commitment from all family members.
No matter how big or small the goals are, everyone should be working and growing together as a team.
The Importance of Setting Family Goals
Setting family goals shouldn’t be looked at as trivial things to do. In fact, it should be a priority no matter how small the goals are.
As parents, what we want the most is to build a great future for our children and grandchildren. As a spouse, we want to be the best version of ourselves and help our partners in life to achieve everything that we can as a family unit.
And as an individual, what we want is a purposeful life: a life that is full of meaning, direction, and clarity.
Hence, the foundation of a strong family is built on all of these three components. Everything from all of these layers of goals is related to one another. What we want as individuals is interconnected with our roles in our family. And what we do for our family will also determine our value as an individual.
By setting up family goals, you will teach your children how to:
- Take responsibility for being a part of the team to achieve the goals
- Create, set, and categorize goals based on priorities and urgency
- Nurture a habit of creating goals for future plans
- Make plans to accomplish harder tasks when they grow up
- Develop good work ethics, team-building skills, and the value of being committed toward achieving their goals
How To Set Your Family Goals In A Proper Way
Goal setting doesn’t take a lot of time. It is only the first part of the big plan. Some family goals are the same for every year, while some can be crossed out or removed when they have been achieved during previous years.
It is not a tedious task, let alone something that you should be worried about. Here are some things that you can do during the process of setting your family goals:
Find mutual ground with your spouse on family goals you want to set
Have a seat with your partner and decide what goals you want to achieve with your family. Look at the bigger picture and try to visualize the state of your family when you finally manage to achieve all the goals that you’re about to set.
Address any setbacks or challenges that your family have or will face
Communication is the key to solving most problems. Many unresolved family issues stem from the lack of understanding between family members and miscommunication. Take some time to discuss the challenges that you might face during the journey of achieving your family goals. Come up with a solution and try not to overthink past mistakes or setbacks.
Find ways to keep your family happy and healthy, both physically and mentally
A happy body influences a happy mind. Focus on developing your family, both internally and externally. Aside from doing something physical, you can allocate more time to nurture their emotions and spirit.
Emulate any family models that carry the same goals
It is true that every family is unique. What you want your family to have and learn might be different from the goals others have set for theirs.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t emulate some of the good qualities that others managed to instill in their families.
If you notice any desirable goals that you like from the people around you, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and opinions regarding those matters.
Learn from the mistakes of other families
When you set goals for your family, there are things you want to avoid so that your family won’t experience them.
There is nothing wrong with learning from the mistakes of other families. In fact, it can even accelerate your process to achieve all your family goals.
25 SMART Family Goals to Set with Your Family
According to the research done by the University of Missouri, families that have both short and long-term goals are more likely to achieve important things in their lives.
They also have control over their finances better than the ones who don’t set any goals. One of the best frameworks that you can use to set goals for your family is the SMART Goal framework. It is an abbreviation for:
S – Specific (Is your goal specific enough to be understood by everyone?)
M – Measurable (Can your goal be measured based on certain metrics?)
A – Attainable (Is your goal attainable, not just for yourself but also for everyone?)
R – Realistic (Is your goal realistic enough to be achieved by all family members?)
T – Time-based (How long will you set the time to achieve each goal? Do you have any specific deadline?)
SMART family goals can be also divided into different sub-categories such as daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. This would make it easier for you to track your day-to-day progress and adhere to your plan to achieve the goals.
Here are the 25 SMART family goals to set with your family:
1. Delegate household chores
As a family, everyone has their own roles to play. Delegating basic chores is one of the basic tasks that you should set to keep everything in your household neat and organized. You can assign each family member a chore that is specific only to that person.
For instance, you can do general cleaning while your spouse does the cooking. You can assign your children to take out the trash or set the tables for every meal. Once in a while, you can rotate these tasks to avoid things from becoming too mundane.
2. Pray and practice gratitude together
The simplest way to pray would be at the dinner table or before bed. However, you have the freedom to do it at any time that suits your family schedule.
Make it a habit to practice gratitude and talk about things you’re grateful for. This might seem like a small thing to do but its impact can go a long way. You can also teach your children to keep a gratitude journal and write down anything they are grateful for in their lives.
3. Create a personal time and space for everyone
Although spending most of the quality time together should be your main priority, there are benefits in taking some time off and allowing room for your own personal time and space.
This could prevent you and the rest of your family from feeling burned out. A little self-care is important to refresh everyone’s mind and body so that other activities can be done with enough energy and clarity.
4. Set a daily family devotion time
A family devotion time is important, especially among families with strong religious or cultural backgrounds.
Scheduling a daily devotion time shouldn’t take too much of your time. Some families prefer to have morning devotions while others that enjoy peaceful moments prefer to do it late at night.
5. Morning hugs and kisses
Starting your day off with morning hugs and kisses can definitely set your mood in a highly positive way.
Aside from a gesture of appreciation for your spouses and children, they will also experience living in an affectionate and loving environment when you set this goal as a daily habit.
6. Cut back on screen time
Cutting back on screen time is highly beneficial both for you and your children. Instead of letting everyone stare at the TV, computer, or smartphone, you can ask everyone to sit in the living room and talk about any topics.
It doesn’t have to be something educational. In fact, you could even tell old stories, jokes, or simply ask about their day.
7. Have a family dinner at least once a week
For many families, a family dinner is looked at as a ritual that is hard to be missed. As a matter of fact, having a family dinner at least once a week is fairly important, especially if you’re a career-oriented parent.
This is also one of the easiest ways to catch up on your children’s lives, what they did at home, and how well they perform at school.
8. Start a new family hobby
One of the best ways to spend more quality time with your family is by starting a new family hobby. It doesn’t have to be something big. You can start with small activities such as pet grooming, gardening in the backyard, or baking cakes in your own kitchen.
A shared hobby will also teach your children about having the same goal and working together toward it. So, be creative and have fun!
9. Organize a weekly game night
A weekly game night is one of the many family bonding activities that you can plan. There are a lot of card and board games that you can play including Scrabble, Monopoly, chess, checkers, Clue, and many more. These types of games are mind-stimulating and fun at the same time.
10. Improve work-life balance
Having a good work-life balance is important, especially for busy parents with small children. If possible, try not to bring your work back home or take any work-related calls when you’re spending time with your family.
Set a boundary so that any moment you spend with your family is free from any outside disturbance.
11. Assign weekly family jobs for each family member
Once you’ve set daily chores for each family member, you can change or rotate these tasks weekly to make them feel less boring.
If your spouse is in charge of cleaning and doing the laundry, you can take the roles and switch it up with other work. The same thing goes for your children.
12. Take a family walk
If you’re living in a good neighborhood, then, there is no reason why you can’t have a nice walk with your family.
Whether it’s in the morning or late afternoon, you can go for a walk at least once a week. Aside from being another form of exercise, you can also take this opportunity to meet your neighbors, in case you run into them.
13. Practice time management
Time management is essential, especially when you’re working in a group. Practicing time management with your children will not only teach them how to be punctual but also the value of other people’s time.
This can be done by showing up at the table for dinner on time, waking up every morning at the same time, or finishing their homework before the deadlines.
14. Plan for quick outdoor activities
Doing at least one outdoor activity each month with your family will surely increase your bonding time with them. This could be a short trip to the park, a few days of camping, hiking along the trail, riding horses, and other stuff that can be done in a group.
In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you know any place that has good food, a nice place to stay, and local activities that can be done around it.
15. Set a budget for monthly expenses
Tracking your family spending habit is a good way to gauge the cash flow and the current financial situation you’re in.
Having a budget will ensure that you don’t go overboard on something that you shouldn’t buy. You can always follow the 50/30/20 budgeting rule.
This simply means that 50% of your money should be spent on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% for savings or paying off debt.
16. Create a family bucket list
Make a bucket list of all the things that you want to do with your family.
Set a quick family meeting and ask for everyone’s opinions on things that they’ve always wanted to do. Go over this list every month and make changes depending on the timeline and the expense you could set aside for each activity.
17. Participate in a community service project
Doing a yearly community service project is another quality outdoor activity that you can do as a family.
Not only that you get to contribute to society, but you will also teach your children how to work with others outside of their circle. You can find a project in your region that fits your family goals.
It doesn’t hurt if it’s for a charity or a non-profit organization, there is a lot you learn and teach your children by simply giving to society. Your kids will also gain experience that can’t be bought elsewhere.
18. Declutter your house
Keeping your house neat and clean should be your monthly to-do list. You can set a goal to declutter your house together as a family.
If there are old clothes that you don’t wear, donate them to the nearest shelter or city center. Separate all recyclable items from the non-recyclable ones. If your kids have any toys that they can donate, let them choose which ones they don’t mind giving away.
19. Save up for a big purchase
Making a big purchase isn’t an easy decision to make, especially if you have a tight budget for the amount that you could spend. In some situations, you might have to buy something expensive such as a new car to replace the old one, a computer for your children, or a surprise for your spouse.
Hence, the wise thing to do would be to save up for all these things. In the meantime, you will also teach your kids the value of frugality and delaying gratification.
20. Plan a date night
Oftentimes, when we have kids, the responsibilities are totally different than the days before they were born. Juggling them and our career, we can get overwhelmed when there’s too much to handle on our plate.
Aside from your relationship with your children, you should also nurture the sacred bond you have with your spouse. This could be done by planning for a date night, going for a candle-lit dinner, or even something as simple as surprise homemade meals.
21. Set a budget for holiday spending
Every year, most purchases are being done during the holiday season. Although you can be extra generous and splurge on expensive gifts, there is always a limit to how much you should spend. Affordability doesn’t mean it’s necessary. You can definitely reward your spouse and children but do it rationally.
22. Check and monitor your family financial status
Aside from physical and mental health, you should always remember to check on your family’s financial status.
If you think your spouse is overspending on something unnecessary, then, it is prudent to take a step back and evaluate your monthly spending and yearly.
Don’t blame anyone for making mistakes. Instead, be supportive and plan to do better for the next year.
23. Start a family emergency fund
Look at your family emergency fund as a safety financial net for unexpected things. This could be a car repair, an accident or medical-related problems, or unfortunate events such as being fired from your job.
Although you might think that the chances of all those things happening are fairly slim, you would thank yourself when it happens and you already have a backup plan.
24. Plan a yearly family gathering
Take the time off from work and spend a few days together with your family and close relatives. Look at this goal as another way to reward yourself for doing your best during the whole year.
You can go for a vacation near the beach, a trip into the wilderness, or simply just stay at your in-laws for a couple of days.
25. Visit relatives and extended families
Keeping in touch with your relatives and extended families is important to make your own family feel like they are a part of a much larger family. This is also a good way to catch up with anyone you haven’t seen in a long time. You can do this at their house or invite them up to your place for a few days’ stay.
Whatever happens, you should always make your family goals as enjoyable and fulfilling as you possibly can.
Every goal is a milestone that should be rewarded accordingly to the effort of each family member. Make sure any opinion is being heard to avoid anyone from feeling like they’re being left out.
But most importantly, do it with love and empathy so that your family goals can be achieved no matter how long it takes.