It happens every year. The ball drops, the new year begins, and millions of people start working on resolutions that most will abandon by mid-January.
The new year offers us a clean slate to try to better ourselves. We do this in a number of ways, from setting health-related goals like working out or eating healthy to creating finance-related goals like paying down debt or saving for college.
Often our resolutions are solitary endeavors, but have you ever considered setting goals with your family? These goals could be similar to typical New Year’s Resolutions or they could be completely different.
For instance, perhaps your family could set a health goal of being active together for 30 minutes a day, a financial goal of saving a particular amount towards a vacation, or a service goal of volunteering once a month in your community.
While the sky’s the limit on what you choose for family goals, there are several compelling reasons to choose to set goals as a family, instead of or in addition to your individual goals.
It’s common knowledge that the majority of resolutions are abandoned within weeks. According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who make resolutions are actually successful at attaining them.
By setting family goals however, you now have one or more people who are not only working towards the same goal as you, but also working with you towards that goal. Chances are that on the days you’re not feeling particularly motivated, someone else in your family will be and you’ll be ‘forced’ to continue to work towards your shared goal.
Teaching our children to set ambitious, yet achievable goals is a lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives. By involving them in the process, kids will learn to take responsibility for everything that goes into meeting a goal, from setting the goal to breaking it down into smaller tasks to tracking their progress and making the necessary changes to stay on track.
When it comes to setting family goals, the “goal within the goal” is family togetherness. Whether you’re spending time together cooking, playing, volunteering, exercising, or whatever the case may be, perhaps the most beneficial part of setting family goals, even the ones you might not completely meet, is that you are intentionally spending time together.
No matter your goal, if your family grows closer together through the process, you can call it a success.
The point of any individual goal is growth in some area of your life and the same is true for family goals. You may grow healthier, grow more financially stable, grow in empathy for those around you, or grow closer as a family.
We encourage you to sit down with your family in the next week or two and set some goals for the coming year. Write them down, post them somewhere everyone can see, plan the steps that will get you there, and then chase those goals! We know you’ll be happy you did.