Setting Family Goals {Octavia and Vicky}

Setting Family Goals

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Setting Family Goals {Octavia and Vicky}

Family goals? What are they? Have I become Oprah all of a sudden?

After a truly hectic December (who’s wasn’t!?) and leading into what is going to be a super busy year for our family, I thought it would be a good idea to take a step back, look at the big picture and work with my family to set some goals together. Bumbling through December and hitting the ground running every day has left us frazzled, snappy and grumpy. Not cool!

I regularly set goals with the children in my classroom, but I’ve never tried setting family goals. To be honest I was laughing a bit at myself for even thinking about family goals, and thought Paul might laugh at the idea too! However, when we sat down and looked at our family as a whole, and where we are headed, it really brought us closer together and made us feel positive and excited about the year ahead.

I’m no expert on families or goal setting, but here is the process we followed. I hope it helps you set some family goals too.

Family Goal Setting

  1. choose areas to focus on. We chose Personal (career, self development, health), Home (house and garden) and Family (us as a family and extended family).
  2. look at the month/year ahead and what is important or needs special attention. This year I’m returning to work part-time, Paul will continue with his Masters after taking time off while we settled baby Rocky in to our family, Pebble is starting Kindergarten and Rocky is starting regular formal child care and care with Grandma. We looked at what needs to happen to make all these things work successfully and planned our goals around that. We also included a focus on charity and service in the community and spending time together as a family and with extended family. This should be easy, right? :P
  3. make your goals smart – and S.M.A.R.T. There’s no point aiming for weekly date nights when you have no baby sitting support, or a major home renovation when there is no money. You’ve probably heard of SMART goals, especially if you’ve worked in any kind of business-y type place. Make your goals Specific (simple, clear), Measurable (how will you know you’ve achieved them?), Attainable and Realistic (is it possible to achieve these goal?) and Time specific (set deadlines). There are slightly different versions of the SMART goals theory, just Google it and you’ll come up with lots of info!
  4. include the whole family. Discuss goals as a family and agree on them together so that everyone’s input is valued and included. This helps all members of the family take ownership and responsibility for goals. We decided that as Pebble is only three (almost 4!) we discussed the family goals separately first, then asked her about her own. Think about how to phrase this for the age of your child. When asking Pebble about her ‘family’ goals, we asked, “what would you really like to do with the whole family all together?”. For ‘personal’ goals we asked, ‘is there anything that you’d like to learn?’. It was very interesting to find out what she was thinking, she had some very clear ideas!
  5. write your goals down. Put your family goals on paper and keep them where everyone can see them or refer to them. The kids can draw and write about their goals to make them more meaningful to refer to.
  6. revisit your goals regularly as a family. We plan to revisit our goals at the end of each month and plan new goals for each new month. This will help us to know if we’re reaching our goals and improve our goal setting skills as we go. This is a learning experience for us!

In my next post about family goal setting I’ll be sharing some of our goals for January and 2014.

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11 Comments

  1. What a great set of goals. I love how simple you’ve made this for other families (mine) to adopt. Thank you!

  2. Great ideas! THanks for sharing – look forward hearing more about your goals for 2014!

  3. My hubby and I are big on goal setting, but I really love the idea of asking our kids to contribute too.

  4. Great idea. We write a list of things we want to do together as a family but no goals as such. I love how this encourages such awesome communication xx

    • That sounds like goals to me :) A goal of spending time together. What have you been up to as a family lately? I’d love to get some more ideas, although Pebble usually has her ideas firmly in mind haha.

  5. Fantastic! I love how you explained it to your 3yo…I have been known to talk to my boys and have either puzzled looks or blank stares in return as they have no idea what I’m talking about! haha.
    Kristie recently posted..Sundays…1/52 and Week 1 #myfamilyandmeMy Profile

    • Do you get that look where they are just waiting for you to stop talking so they can ask for a snack? LOL I know that look well! I think we nailed the goals talk though :) Pebble may be changing her mind about learning to write, we’ve been doing some activities and she says “can’t I just do drawing now?” LOL

  6. I love how you spelled out how to set goals as a family. We do this as well, and involve everyone. It is highly successful and I feel we have much more focus and understanding of our family needs when we do this. Thank you for linking up, I look forward to following along in 2014 for your goals updates.

  7. Pingback: Setting Goals for 2014! - Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting

  8. Very late commenting on this, but I love your approach to setting family goals. It’s very smart ;-)

    • Thank you Mary-Anne. I’m still learning that’s for sure. I set the bar to high last month, even when I thought my goals were modest, we still struggled to meet them all. I’m not deterred though, we’ll try again this month!

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