Setting Family Goals in the New Year
Are you working on any family goals (or resolutions) for the New Year?
When we were PK (pre-kids), all those resolutions looked different -- get in shape, get a promotion, complete a few DIY projects.
But (as the experts say) 'kids change everything'! :-)
Actually, I enjoy goal-setting more now that we do have kids. First, we have a running joke in the family (since I'm a little planning-obsessive) -
Every time I mention the word "planning" or "goals", my kids pretend to fall asleep on the spot. So, that interjects some humor into the day which is always a plus.
Our goal question:
"What do we want to do & enjoy this year?" will get everyone talking and dreaming!
Family Goals for the New Year
Once we get started, the kids do enjoy the discussions and I'm sure it's because we focus on goals for the coming year and not resolutions.
What's the difference?
In my mind, a goal is something you want to accomplish; a resolution is a change you'd like to make. In my experience, kids aren't always so crazy about changes (thus our tradition of PB & J sandwiches for the last 11 years ;)
I like to help them focus on accomplishing new things.
It's all in the way you frame the issue for the kids -- help them set their sights on new things they can achieve and experience.
Before you start a goal-setting session, be sure you have a few things ready. Here's some of the items we use along with affiliate links --
I love to use these awesome Post-it Super Sticky Notes, Lined, 4 x 6-Inch Pads because each person can brainstorm some of their ideas and we can stick them on the fridge or calendar.
The Family Calendar! Whether you use an electronic version that's shared or a paper version like this Big Grid Family Wall Calendar, it's a must for goal setting. Having a visible place to store/write goals will keep them top of mind!
Colorful pens and pencils are also great to have on hand (like these Paper Mate 12 Colored Ink Pens ) -- each person might choose their own color and then everyone can easily identify personal goals when you're reviewing the list.
I try to keep our goals focused in three groups: Personal, Home and Family.
So when my daughter says, "I want to be in a play this year", that becomes one of her personal goals.
Personal goals just naturally play out because each child already has an idea of what they enjoy doing or what they want to focus on in the coming weeks/months.
Just ask any kid "What do you enjoy doing?" and they'll usually tell you. Kids aren't shy about what they like.
Once we have a list of personal goals, we can talk about how that might happen -- maybe a summer drama camp or just scheduling some time with like-minded friends who also enjoy putting on plays will begin to fill my daughter's passion for the stage.
Our Home goals will usually focus on areas of the house that we want to improve or change, along with some financial goals of how we'll set aside money if needed.
My 9- year-old has started to help me clip grocery coupons as part of her weekly contribution to helping us save some money for things like drama camp (yep, she's definately pushing for that this year :-)
And my teen is starting to drive this year (this ties to my personal goal of getting back to yoga - oommm!). So there's been discussion about another car, and of course where it will be parked too.
Other home goals that we talk about include things that may no longer be working for us around the house --
Do we need to rearrange & clean out closets?
Is the front hall becoming over-run by shoes (this is always a yes in our house) and can we come up with a better system?
Can everyone see the calendar so they know what's on the schedule for the week? (this is where the fake sleeping creeps in again) - but they know we have a 24-hour family rule:
"If I don't have 24 hour notice of an event, it may not happen"
So knowing that things need to get on the calendar becomes more of a priority for everyone.
Last, and most fun are the Family goals --
Family goals help us focus on how to spend time together, what activities/events we'd like to try this year and where we'd like to vacation.
As the kids have gotten older, what they like and enjoy doing is constantly evolving (I'm sure as a parent, you've learned this too).
We always try to introduce them to new places or activities each year -- I think it's really important to try new things as a family. It really keeps everyone engaged if we head out to a new place -- it's kind of like "us against the world" as we explore new locations.
And there's so many new activities you can share with kids -- we've done corn mazes, open-horse sleigh rides, museum visits, new cuisines, and have visted a ton of new places. New activities don't have to be a big things -- visit my friend Danielle at 52 Brand New to learn how she introduces a new activity to her kids each week.
When you're done, post the list where the whole family can see it (let the kids draw pictures of the new things you'll try this year if they'd like).
It's also great to have it posted so that you can add to it during the year too.
And I say post it because kids remember things and they remind you of these things.
Kids will help you to achieve your personal goals and they will ask about the home and family goals you've discussed.
I've already been asked when the drama camp schedule comes out this year :-)
So what goals will you set as a family this year?
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