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Family Goals: A How-To Guide For Happy Families (+printable)

When family members work together toward common goals and coordinate their efforts, they can accomplish anything. Today we are sharing how to set family goals in order to build strong relationships, develop a deeper sense of connection (or anything else you set your mind’s to).

Family Goal Setting Guide

Hey mama, are you feeling like running a household and raising a family is quite similar to running a small business?

(Or maybe even a major corporation depending on how many kids you have)

Well, that’s because they are similar. Your family is like it’s own company with individual employees who have different:

  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • interests
  • talents
  • opinions etc.

But ultimately everyone needs to work together for the business (or household in this case) to run smoothly.

The most successful businesses with the happiest employees meet regularly to discuss plans, objectives and upcoming events. They also provide their employees a time to share their ideas and accomplishments.

This allows them to work together toward a common goal, where everyone feels included, appreciated and recognized.

And your family is no different.

If you feel like time is ticking away- like the days are just passing without any sense of direction and you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with your kids and grow closer as a family, then a family goal-setting session is just what you need. 

Lauren @simplywellbalanced

Why Family Goals Are Important

Through goal setting, you and your family members can bond as you work toward a common purpose and rely on each other to accomplish it. 

When kids are included in the creation of family goals they are given the opportunity to learn about:

  • self-discipline
  • collaboration
  • and the importance of thinking ahead.

They will also be motivated to accomplish the goals because they were part of the planning process and were allowed to have input and share their ideas. 

As a super bonus they will also learn that no matter their age, their opinions and actions matter and have an impact in the world.

Family goals are also important because they help to create a happy home that everyone can enjoy.

And let’s face it, just because y’all live together doesn’t mean that everything will always run smoothly.

Clarifying and establishing family goals will help everyone learn to work together to come up with actionable solutions and a clear pathway to success. 

Download the Free Family Goal Setting Guide Printable

FREEBIE: Download the Family Goals Setting Guide in our FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY

How To Set Family Goals

There are many ways to set family goals, the most common is by establishing a family meeting; typically weekly or monthly.

Depending on the number of people in your household and their ages, the way that you run your meeting will look different for each family.

The basic idea is to get together and have everyone jointly commit to one or more objectives.

The first step is to decide what you want to accomplish.

For most families their goal setting plans fall into two categories:

  1. Solving or correcting a problem or issue.
  2. Accomplishing a task or objective.

When you are figuring out what your family’s goals will be, it’s important that everyone’s opinions and input are included.

If everyone has a chance to share issues or potential ideas within the household, then you can brainstorm a goal to match.

This is a great opportunity for kids to learn productive methods for participating, discussion and disagreement.

Schedule A Family Meeting

A family meeting to discuss family goal setting at home

If you are looking to become a goal-setting family, meetings will become your new bff .

Regularly scheduled family meetings are a great way to:

  • brainstorm and decide on goals
  • celebrate everyone’s progress
  • come up with solutions if things aren’t going as planned

If things are going well, even just a brief meeting with a recap and update followed by a reward can increase motivation.

Use the first family meeting to cover how the sessions will go, establish norms for discussion and give some general information about goal setting and how it can help your family.

  • For families with older children you could ask one of them to create a Google Doc where everyone can add their agenda items for the upcoming family meeting. Then during the meeting they can take notes so that everyone is able to contribute and remember what was discussed.  
  • If you have younger kids, you will want to keep things short and focused. Allowing them to  vote with a thumbs up or a thumbs down to make decisions. 

The first meeting should help everyone get comfortable and explain the idea behind family goals.

This is especially important for people with very young children. Some important rules to keep in mind for keeping the peace include:

  • Give everyone a turn to speak their piece, and don’t allow anyone to interrupt a turn or break the turn order.
  • Provide snacks so that no one starts to feel hungry during the meeting.
  • Designate someone to take detailed notes on the meeting.
  • Encourage everyone to speak respectfully and not make fun of any suggestions.

During subsequent family meetings, there are three phases for you and your family to go through when you’re constructing family goals: 

  • Brainstorm
  • Evaluate
  • Prioritize

Step 1 Brainstorm

What do the members of your family want to accomplish together?

This should be a fun and creative time where anything and everything is included. This approach will encourage participation and increase the fun factor.

It’s vital to get the ideas flowing at this stage, so don’t say no to anything. You will have a chance to modify the list in the next step.

Make sure that someone is writing down or keeping track of all the ideas. You can use our Family Goal Setting Guide to help with this process.

FREEBIE: Download the Family Goals Setting Guide in our FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY

Step 2 Evaluate

This is where you begin to edit.

Take some time to review the list of ideas to decide if they are practical, relevant and attainable.

Give everyone a chance to provide feedback and input before dismissing anyone’s contribution so that they are encouraged to participate in the future.

You can decide to delete or just postpone some of the goals for later.

Step 3 Prioritize

Since you’re more likely to accomplish your family goals when everyone concentrates on just a few, you will want to decide where you are going to start.

Having too many goals can reduce efforts and end in disappointment.

Instead, look at the list you have put together and try taking a vote within the family to see which goals are most important, or that everyone is excited about.

Focus on just 1-3 goals for now and rank them in order of importance. This will help when deciding how much time and effort needs to be taken to act on these goals.

Once you have completed these steps, you can make some final decisions about your family goals and create a prominent calendar or reminder sign to hang somewhere in the house.

FREEBIE: Download the Family Goals Setting Guide in our FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY

Put Your Family Goals On Display

This is an important and often overlooked step.

The last thing you want is for these goals to be out of sight and out of mind. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a poster or print out to hang on the refrigerator.
  • Create a family calendar with goal setting deadlines and activities.
  • Use a chalkboard or dry erase board as part of your family command center to update current family goals where everyone can see.

The following section will list some examples of family goals for you to start with. 

Types Of Family Goals And Some Good Examples

A family celebrating together.
Taking the extra time and initiative to set goals as a family will pay off in the long run.

We wanted to provide you with some examples of family goals to help you begin the brainstorming process.

Feel free to modify them to fit your needs and circumstances better, or completely ignore them and come up with your own.

.

Time Together

One constant complaint of busy modern families is that everyone is always going in different directions and there’s no time to slow down and connect.

If you decide to spend more quality family time together, everyone will be working on how to organize their weekly schedules to accommodate.

You can start with:

  • Eating one meal together each day at the table.
  • Designating a particular time of day as family hour.
  • Scheduling 1 on 1 time with each child.

Household Expectations

Your family standards reflect family values that you want to instill in your kids from a young age.

These family goals and standards should be general examples of how to behave in everyday and challenging social situations correctly. 

It is often easiest for parents to explain why you have chosen a specific standard, or set of standards, for your household before implementing the goals. That explanation will stick with them more than if you just impose a set of rules.

  • Speak kindly to family members even when upset.
  • Take care of your belongings.
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • No bad language.

Family Activities

Plan monthly family activities to give your family the chance to spend a day or weekend together having fun and while you strengthen relationships.

  • Host a weekly family movie night.
  • Take the family on a short vacation. 
  • Visit extended family, friends and relatives.

Health Goals

 A family getting fit and exercising together outside

Choosing to get in shape and be stronger is a great goal to work toward as a family since it is a lifestyle change.

With all the time we spend at home and on screens these days, health goals are a great way to help everyone be mindful and stay mentally and physically fit.

  • Have healthy snacks in the afternoon and only have desserts on weekends.
  • Schedule weekly bike rides, walks or hikes.
  • Join a local gym or YMCA as a family.  
  • Complete a family fitness challenge.

Financial Goals

Teaching your children about budgeting and finances is a great way to set them up for lifelong success.

Involving the kids in calculating a family budget or setting a savings goal is a great way for them to develop financial literacy.

  • Set a savings goal as a family to use on a future reward, vacation or item.
  • Start a change jar where everyone has to donate their spare change or money they find lying around the house.
  • Set up an allowance system for your children based on chores so they can learn to save and buy the things they want or need with their own money.

Short Term Goals

Even if a goal will only take a few days or weeks to accomplish, it is still worth setting.

In fact, these short term goals allow for quick wins that keep everyone feeling successful and motivated. Here are some examples:

  • Plan an upcoming family birthday party.
  • Eat dinner at the table instead of infront of the TV
  • Clean up the yard 

Long Term Goals

Unlike short term goals, long term goals tend to have multiple steps along the way.

These goals should have designated milestones and rewards for reaching those milestones so that your kids and you can feel like you have made tangible progress on your goals and motivate you to keep working hard. 

  • Learning a new language and practicing it within the household.
  • Save for a week-long vacation to a major destination.
  • Set up a fundraiser for a cause that your family wants to support.
Download the Free Family Goal Setting Guide Printable

Family Goal Setting FAQ’s

When it comes to setting family goals, it is only natural to have some questions. 

  • How do you know what kinds of things are realistic goals for your family? 
  • Which ones should you prioritize?
  • How vague or specific should they be? 

How Do You Write A Family Goal?

There are plenty of ways to establish family goals, but if you want your kids to be involved, you should consider writing down the family goals and putting them up somewhere visible in the house. 

Hanging a well-decorated poster or chalkboard of your goals gives your family something a physical reminder to cooperate.

As you create your list of family goals, young kids might want to help you make something fancy to hang on the wall so that everyone can see the goals when they first walk in the house or make copies to hang in different rooms. They should look like poster boards or be covered in stickers and glitter, but they should be eye-catching. 

When you work together with your kids and partner to write the family goals, you reinforce the idea that the kids were instrumental in creating them. 

For younger kids, if they feel like their opinions were heard and respected, they are much more likely to follow the rules or contribute to the family goal. This builds their overall autonomy. 

What Is A S.M.A.R.T. Family Goal?

Peter Drucker came up with the acronym SMART in 1981 to describe the best attributes for a goal that is both realistic and optimistic.

Your wording might depend on how old your kids are and how simply you want to convey an idea, but these principles are universal. When you and your family brainstorm ideas for your goals, keep these aspects in mind. 

This is a great video that introduces the concept of SMART goals and would be great to show to your kids at your family meeting.
  • Specific- You want your goal to be specific enough that you and your family can come up with ways to contribute to it. However, you don’t want it to be so precise that it limits the contributions. Anyone who sees your family goal list should immediately understand how people can participate throughout the household, regardless of age.
  • Motivating- This comes down to the joint desire to commit to the goal. Choosing a goal that is self-motivating and has intrinsic rewards is imperative. It might not be very much fun to do extra chores to save money, but if your child knows that the money will be used for a fun vacation they will be naturally motivated.
  • Attainable- As noted above, the goal should be specific, but it should also be something that everyone can contribute to and is achievable. You need to be practical when devising a goal to hope to achieve it in the household, so no fighting ever might not be a realistic goal. 
  • Relevant- Relevant might sound like a no-brainer, but it is essential to modify your family goals based on your family’s individual needs. There are plenty of family goal suggestions that simply don’t apply to your family. If your family already does a lot of activities together, then you don’t need to make family time a family goal. 
  • Time-bound- Setting goals with time limits can help kids and adults see their progress and feel successful. It can also be very motivating and help everyone avoid procrastination. A deadline is an important part of goal setting that helps give everyone a sense of urgency to make it happen.

How Specific Should Your Goals Be?

In terms of vagueness vs. specificity, you should remember that the younger your kids are, the more specific the goals should be. 

For example, a vague goal would be something like: Keep the house tidy.

To help young children be successful, you will need to break that down into smaller, action oriented steps like:

  • Put away their toys when you are done playing
  • Make your bed in the morning. 
  • Follow the assigned chore chart each day

If you lay out specific tasks that contribute to the goal, you can also assign corresponding rewards. 

You don’t need to give a reward for completing every job, or the rewards can be something small like stickers or praise, but most children won’t understand why you all need to go to church or keep the house clean for its own sake. 

Conclusion:

Setting family goals is a great way to connect and grow together as you work toward shared objectives.

When you work together as a family you have the opportunity to not only strengthen your relationship but look back on this time of your life feeling positive and productive.

It’s a great way to promote conversation, motivation and teamwork within your household and help your children develop skills that will benefit them throughout their life. 

FREEBIE: Download the Family Goals Setting Guide in our FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY

More Family Activities:

How to set family goals: a how to guide for families

How to set (and reach) goals as a family

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