What does goal setting have in common with wanting the best for your children? As a parent the things that I want most for my children are for them to learn lessons in their younger years that will carry through to their adolescence, and adulthood (scary how quickly that comes!). Two of the most significant things I feel that I can teach them are the importance of family, and finding their purpose. Those sound like really heavy topics, right? However, the good news is that those lessons will come in simple actions and examples, which is why I wanted to share how our family has turned setting goals and New Year’s resolutions into a family bonding tradition. I’m also including a free worksheet for you to download to do with your own family at home.
Setting Goals + Family Time
Each January after the New Year has set in our family sits down together to write out our goals and New Year’s resolutions. In times as busy as the stage of life we are going through, getting all of us together is important. So we try to find simple activities that we can use as time to bond and connect. Plus, we want to instill in our children all the good things that come along with having goals to reach.
The Benefits of Setting Goals
- Gives them direction. By writing down a goal and being specific about the type of outcome they want, kids can get a vision of how they might make that happen.
- Helps them focus. Knowing where they want to end up helps kids concentrate on the actions they must complete. For example, if they want to get an “A” in algebra class, then they know they have to put in the time to focus on their studies.
- Provides motivation. Simply by stating something they want kids get excited at the thought of achieving or getting it. If they know it is a possibility, it gives them the drive to do what they can, the best they can.
- Encourages them to achieve. Setting goals gives them a little push to succeed at something, but in this case being pushy is a good thing. Working towards an objective is a good lesson to instill.
How We Set Our Goals Together + Worksheet
We try and keep this a simple thing to do as a family. Our younger kids need a little help coming up with their goals but our upper elementary and junior highers can brainstorm their own. Here’s how our goal making activity goes.
Set a time.
We make sure to pick a time when no one has a nearby obligation to have to rush out the door to. That way we can spend as much time as we want to make our goals.
Sit all together.
We usually do this activity at our dining room table so everyone can gather around. However, if you have a different place you want to sit, like your living room, that works too. The point is simply to be together.
Use a goal worksheet.
In the past we have just taken different colored sheets of paper and numbered them and added their name. However, a goal worksheet is a good idea. It makes it more official :).
We have always done 5 goals each. This year, though, I’m recalibrating slightly and going with 4 goals each but adding one family goal that we can all agree on and work towards together. I love this idea because I feel like it will unite us in our efforts.
With the exception of the family goal, the objectives vary for each member of our family. For our kids they are usually goals for school grades, sports achievements, household (like keeping their room clean), or things they want to do or see. For us adults our goals range from career goals, to fitness goals, to bettering ourselves in varies areas.
Put them in a special place.
We usually keep them in a magnetic file holder that hangs on our fridge. Other places could be a bulletin board. Hanging in their rooms, or somewhere that is visible or easily accessible.
Revisit your goals.
Here’s the hard part and also the objective for this activity. Throughout the year take the time to revisit the goal sheets. It’s a great way to keep your eye on the prize so to speak and also a good reminder to keep striving for what everyone wanted to achieve. To do this you can:
- Set family dates to sit down together and talk about how everyone is doing on reaching their goals.
- Make it a regular activity to read each persons goals out loud. This can be monthly or quarterly throughout the year.
- Have an incentive to get together. Take the kids to Starbucks or out to eat and enjoy a special time as you all reread what you wrote down at the beginning of the year.
Get Your Family Goal Worksheet
Just click the image below, enter your email, and I’ll send you the PDF of my family goal worksheet. I will also send the occasional update on what is happening on the DIY Detectives blog pages. You can unsubscribe at anytime, however, I think you’ll want to stick around 😉
The Most Important Goals
Chances are that not all of everyone’s goals will be accomplished through out the year. However, one of the most important achievements is spending time with one another and growing together as a family.
Another is that you are teaching your children to reach higher, work harder, and dream bigger.