Goal setting is a common practice for many adults, but have you considered setting goals as a family? 

A few years ago my daughter came home from school and told me she had set goals in reading, math, writing, and friendship for the new year.  Wow!  We did not talk about goal setting when I was in first grade!  What an awesome thing to teach children at an early age.  It got me thinking about including our children in goal setting at home. 

Goal Setting for Families

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Why is it important for families to set their own goals?

Including your children in your family goals for the year is a great way to connect and show unity as a family.  Teaching them about goals builds a solid foundation for a future where they will hold themselves accountable, dream big, and persevere.  It also holds your family accountable for spending time together, working to better yourselves and it can strengthen your family connection and balance in your home.  Goal setting encourages each member of the family to make their best effort towards the success of the family.

How do you create a family goal?

There is no right or wrong way to set goals as a family.  If your kids are young (elementary age) I suggest keeping it simple. Have a brainstorming session and allow each member of the family to share their ideas. Allow them to lead the conversation if they are able to. This is a great opportunity to learn about respecting each other’s opinions and compromising for the greater good of the family.

We suggest writing goals for the following areas:

  • Family Time
  • Thing to Learn Together
  • Things to Try Together
  • Family Adventures

If your kids are older (middle school and up) you can start setting more specific, measurable goals. These are the categories I suggest focusing on with older children.

  • Personal Development
  • Health/Fitness
  • Spiritual/Religious
  • Family/Relationships
  • School/Career
  • Financial
  • Fun!

family planner

What are family goals examples?

Below is the list of the goals we came up with together as a family, but the majority of the list was written by my six-year-old daughter.  We kept it simple with our kids because they are still young.  Typically, I would focus on SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-sensitive) goals, but I felt that it was too challenging to explain to young children, and I didn’t want to discourage their thought process by asking them to be too specific.

Our family goals example list:

  • Family outing once a month
  • Game night every Sunday.
  • Movie and pizza night every Friday.
  • Less potty talk (wish us luck with this one).
  • Pray every night before we go to sleep.
  • Talk about our feelings more.
  • Clean up our toys every night before bed (did she just say that!?)
  • Slow down.
  • Rest more to calm your body down.
  • Kiss and hug before we leave for school every day.
  • Read to ourselves more.
  • Be kind and respectful always.
  • Always give someone a present at Christmas (ha!).
  • Take a summer vacation.
  • Eat when we’re supposed to.

It was cool to hear what my daughter views as items for improvement, and feels good to know they are mostly in line with my goals and wishes for our family.

When we had our first family game night my daughter was so excited about it all day long.  She pulled out all our games in the morning and laid them out on the floor in a circle (yes, I was tripping over them all day).  Then she wrote a list of all the games we had to choose from (she is so my child).  It was heartwarming to know that a simple thing like playing board games for an hour made her so happy.  We’ve continued our tradition of family game night for a few years now and it’s become something my kids look forward to each week!

Family Goal Accountability

The success of your family goals is in the follow-up.  The more we review and reflect on our goals, the more likely we are to follow them and feel successful.  Decide as a family on how often and when you are going to review your goals and then put it on your calendar to hold yourself accountable.

I laminated our family goals and put them on the refrigerator.  Each week before game night we review our goals and talk about what we are doing well and what we could continue to work on.  Do we miss weeks?  Yes! We are not perfect, but we try to be as consistent as possible.