My husband read a quote on Facebook today:
“I was going to quit all my bad habits in 2017, but then I remembered nobody likes a quitter.”
Ha ha! That quote speaks to what many of us are thinking about as the calendar changes to a new year. We want renewal and change but our good intentions often aren’t fulfilled.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am kind of a New Year’s Resolution geek. And my family gets to entertain my obsession with goal setting just because they love me and don’t really have a choice. I only subject them to this once a year–when we do our family New Year’s Resolution/Goal-Setting night.
All kidding aside, I do think there are some great benefits for taking the time to work through goal-setting as a family; specifically two:
- Our kids learn the habit of self-reflection and the practice of change. It is actually quite easy to move through life without looking back to analyze what we has worked for us and what we can improve upon. Successful businesses do this annually (or even quarterly). They review the numbers or the growth they are trying to measure and make changes accordingly. Why not do this with ourselves and our families? In seeing what did or didn’t work last year we can then work on changing ourselves going forward. I want our kids to learn the gift of self-reflection.
- Our kids learn how to set concrete goals and steps for achieving them. We have all heard how the road to bleep is paved with good intentions. Well, I would love our children to learn the art of actual change and be able to look back on the year and see how their steps toward improvement made a positive impact on their lives. I want them to feel empowered in their lives with the ability to get “unstuck” if needed.
So in early January Jon, the kids and I sat down and worked through some questions and then talked about them as a family. We gave the kids a chance to identify some areas of their lives that they were happy with and some areas where change might be needed or wanted, and we did the same for ourselves. It was great and I would encourage you to give it a try!
If you would like to have a Family Goal-Setting Night, here are some questions for everyone participating to ask themselves:
- WHAT are some areas you would like to work on this year? For kids some examples may be in academics or sports or cutting back on social media. For adults some examples may be finding more time to connect with your spouse or goals with your work life or homemaking.
- What are the SPECIFIC goals you want to work on in the areas you picked?
- WHY do you want this to be a goal? This is one of the most important questions to ask–if we don’t have our strong “why,” the chances of change are pretty slim.
- What are the specific STEPS you can take this year to achieve your goals?
If you are like me and want a more structured plan than open ended questions, I created the FAMILY NEW YEAR GOAL-SETTING PRINTABLE
In the printable each family member can draw circles around areas where they want to set some new goals (spirituality, friendships, healthy eating, social media, screen-time, and family relationships to name a few) and then they can work through how to accomplish those goals.
Here is an example from my own life that I gave our kids as they worked through the printable:
One of my resolutions for 2017 is with meal planning. Last year I put as one of my new year’s goals “to increase the variety and consistency of making meals for my family.” Well, I totally flopped in achieving that goal, and it was a source of frustration for me all year.
But instead of feeling like a total failure as a kitchen maven, I took some time to really look at why my goal didn’t work. In 2016, two of our children had their license, all were in sports or working, involved in youth group activities, and my husband traveled about twenty nights out of the month. We had a revolving front door, with busy teenagers and constantly moving parts.
Even when I thought everyone would be home for a meal, I was constantly disappointed that I had made the effort to cook (something I don’t particularly enjoy) when plans would change and no one was there to eat it. And when the kids did trickle in they were not hungry since they had eaten a snack at work or church.
So this year, I am still going to make it a goal, but tweak it a little. (In the printable I created, each family member can work through these four questions):
GOAL: Planning meals that work for my family’s busy schedule
WHY: This is still an important need for my family and it makes me feel good when our kids are served a nutritious meal at home.
- To prepare a variety crock pot meals that the kids can eat whenever they arrive home. This is far more flexible and appealing than a meal on a plate in the fridge that needs to be reheated.
- To make sure that in our family meeting on Sunday nights I am aware of everyone’s schedule and they are aware of what nights I am making the effort to cook so they come home hungry and expecting a meal.
This was a great exercise for me to work through personally, and I hope you and your loved ones can find some time to do the same.
Click HERE if you would like to try this with your family!