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Springing into Success - How to Start Goal Setting for You and Your Family

The demands of your family can be overwhelming.

You may have a partner to care about and share your time and love with, and your children who depend on your availability, care, and assistance for their healthy development.

Up until I started to do more research for this blog entry, I didn’t realize that we needed a goal.

Did we have goals, sure, yes- absolutely!

Did we really plan them? Did we discuss them with everyone in the family?

Ya, not so much.

The goal “planning” and conversations were more in passing between me and my husband.

The kids weren’t participants nor were these written down.

Nothing had “due dates” nothing was concrete or actionable.

Rather they were just “hey, we should try to do this” types of conversations.

What Is Goal Setting?

Inspirational Quote for Goals

A goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.

The definition of goal setting is the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes.

Family goals can be viewed in a variety of ways.

One way to look at it is that they reflect the goals you want to set for your family.

Goal Setting Theory

Goal Calendar with Coffee

Goal-setting theory refers to the effects of setting goals on subsequent performance.

Researcher Edwin Locke found that individuals who set specific, difficult goals performed better than those who set general, easy goals.

Locke’s Goal Setting Theory is a great framework to use when setting goals for yourself and your family.

The Goal Setting theory is based on research showing that with the right goals, you can increase both productivity and motivation.

The five principles of Goal Setting are Clarity Goals must be transparent to be inspiring.

When an objective is straightforward, it is simple to grasp what you need to do. It is not subject to discussion or explanation.

Challenge Goals must be demanding, but not excessively so, to be inspiring.

A goal that is too straightforward to reach would not inspire you to step up your game and improve your results.

Similarly, a goal that you find to be much above your abilities would not inspire you.

It can potentially demotivate you.

A goal that motivates you must strike a balance between challenging you while not over-challenging you.

Commitment

You must be dedicated to a goal for it to be inspiring.

Similarly, if you are setting goals for someone, you must guarantee that they have bought into the goal.

Feedback

You must get input for a goal to continue to inspire you while you move through it.

For feedback to be efficient, the following conditions must be met: There must be a purpose.

Feedback must be given daily. Good and constructive responses can also be encouraged.

If you do have negative feedback to another, make sure you do so in a positive manner.

Task Complexity

A goal must not be too abstract to be inspiring.

Goals that are too complex can be daunting and demotivating.

The most important lesson from Locke's Goal Setting Theory's work is that goal setting, when performed right, can be an effective method for increasing motivation and efficiency.

This applies both when setting personal goals and when setting family goals.

Why is Goal Setting Important?

Planner

If you can achieve any degree of achievement on your own, your accomplishments become more important when your family can sense your influence.

As a partner or parent, you must take responsibility for ensuring that your family is on the right track, which is why setting family goals is important.

How To Create Goals For Your Family

Family Goal Chart

Have a brainstorming session with your entire family.

A goal should be proposed by each family member.

A healthy debate and clear voting will help you fine-tune your family goals.

Put your goals on paper. Don't be vague.

Commit to lose a certain amount of pounds as a family or stick to a fitness exercise plan if the family wishes to improve their health.

Have a plan. Break your goals down into manageable chunks.

How much would you have to save per week if you plan to save money for a trip?

Is there anything you'll need in terms of equipment, memberships, or tools?

Create a list of how you want to make your dream a reality. Assign responsibilities to each family member.

Every family member should be in charge of a specific task.

Small children can help by cleaning up after themselves so that the rest of the family can focus on specific activities.

Create a visual guide to help you remember what you're learning.

To keep track of your progress, use a Calendar.

The use of different ink shades will help you coordinate the tasks of each family member.

Schedule family meetings regularly to discuss growth.

Recognize that your family has gone beyond and beyond.

Recognize that one or more of your children, or partner that is having difficulty may need some motivation during these check-ins.

For family goal setting, as with anything new, it's best to start small.

Trying to do too many things at once or making them happen too fast will cause frustration and resentment.

Goals I Have Set For My Family

The Family Budget

Change in a cup

This year, our biggest goal is to save a lot of money towards a down payment on a house.

Unfortunately, as we live in one of the most expensive areas of the United States, it’s no small feat.

You may be wondering how this is a family goal rather than just an adults-of-the-home goal.

Saving, and especially, saving a lot of money requires sacrifices, understanding, and compromises from even the littlest voices.

Our goal includes the removal of certain creature comforts (some of which have been made impossible due to covid anyhow. WHOO for easy goals, huh?), less splurging at the grocery store, and the understanding that fewer toys will be making their way into the home.

The children can still earn some extras here and there with chores, but there aren’t any “just because” spendings going on.

The Make it to Next Year Goal

Child Llama Backpack

With everything COVID, my high-risk and complicated pregnancy, and everything else that has gone into this year our biggest family goal is to make it out alive and with more than one human by summer.

I should add that this “next year” goal is geared towards the next school year.

We have academic goals for our oldest that are written out clearly in his IEP, but our older two kidlets will have the opportunity to attend on-site school also.

We’re just working on the “getting there”.

This may sound like a strange goal, but the goal is obtainable really without anything, but time. The time needs to pass.

Beyond that, this goal includes us being kinder to each other, being mindful that we are all coping with different things, and all have different ideas on what a successful time period is.

This goal is more of us taking notes on what our family needs to feel special, loved, respected, and how they need to be challenged.

We’re just getting to know each other all over again as we all age and learn. I suppose this goal could be called “Know better, do better” and “Take Inventory”, but this is working for us.

Every Friday we have our “Family Movie Night” with pizza delivered to our doorstep, but before those festivities begin we talk and listen to everyone.

It’s difficult as parents sometimes to listen to our kids and often we’re asking them to tell us later, because hey, we’re busy.

Don’t let that discourage you- just make up for that time in a meaningful way. We’ll all get there!

Conclusion - Goal Setting For The Family

Having family goals will hold the family together as a solid, unified team.

Have a goal a setting meeting with your family to get feedback from everybody about future goals they would like to focus on to better your family in every way.

Don’t forget to set goals for yourself- remember, you are a person outside of your family role! I feel like it’s incredibly difficult to remember that and more- to embrace it.

Work in self-care to your family goals.

If your family goals include getting more organized, perhaps start in the fridge. Yes, the fridge. The place where leftovers hang out until they're thrown away. This happens, because there are so many hands in the "pot" and so many thngs are left unseen.