Use these examples of family goals to help your family develop healthier habits, build stronger bonds, and achieve your family’s vision.
Examples of Family Goals to Start Working on Now
All goals are not created equal. There are some goals that you’ll want to get started on sooner than later. These might be goals that you’ve already identified as important, but have been putting off, until now. Below are three goals that I recommend to every family as a starting point.
1. Have Meals Together.
This is probably the most basic goal any family can establish; but I can’t tell you how difficult it is for many families to put this in place. Having regular meals together is a challenge for many of the families I meet. If you ask most parents, they’ll say that family mealtime ties in deeply with their family values. But they’ll then express how difficult it is to get everyone to sit down to eat at the same time.
Having meals together doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Set a goal with your family to start having dinner together one or two nights per week, and to eat together on weekends when schedules may be more relaxed.
The time spent at the dinner table has been shown to have many positive benefits for kids including boosting academic performance and keeping them out of trouble. So sit down and break bread as a family.
2. Start a Special Savings Fund
Does your family talk about doing something big together or making a large purchase, but you never have the funds available? Perhaps there is an expenditure that your family could benefit everyone in the family. Your kids might be asking for a trampoline for the backyard or your family might want to upgrade the TV or computer.
nstead of waiting until you obtain an extra lump sum of cash, create a special savings fund to save up for it. This can be a family piggy bank that everyone can add to at any time. Watching the dollars add up will keep everyone in the family motivated to keep working towards this goal.
3. Start a New Family Hobby
If your family members tend to be scattered and involved in their own activities or hobbies most of the time, it may be time to start a new family hobby to bring everyone together.
Having a family hobby is a great goal for any family. It’s a way to get everyone working towards a common goal and having fun! This could be learning a new skill together, doing sports together, or doing something at home like starting a family garden. These activities allow your family members to gather in a fun atmosphere while reducing the amount of time spent on digital devices. A famil hobby can also be a great sool for relieving stress, improvig communication skills, learning something new, or growing an existing skill together.
Examples of Family Goals to Work on Anytime
There are certain family goals that you’ll want to work on at regular intervals like weekly, monthly, or even yearly. And then there are other goals that can be started anytime. Below are some examples of family goals that your family can work on together, at any time of the year. You can start working on these whenever you want and set your own target date to complete them.
4. Do a Community Service Project Together
Teaching kids to contribute to their community at a young age is a lesson they will carry for life. Is your family passionate about a particular cause? Identify a community service project that you would like to work on together as a family. Whether your family is passionate about protecting animals, helping those with special needs, the environment or something else, there are numerous ways you can get involved.
A few places to look include your local Social Services Agencies, hospitals, churches or organizations like American Red Cross or Goodwill. Find a project that aligns with your family’s common passions and helps your community at the same time. You and your children will grow from these experiences, strengthen family bonds, and feel a sense of reward by giving back.
5. Introduce Your Family to Significant People in Your Life
Most people would say that their family members are the most important people in their lives. But we all know that each of us spends time with others outside of the home that become a big part of our lives, too. This may be your best coworker, your workout buddy from the gym, or someone else.
If there are people that are a big part of your life outside the home, introduce them to your family. Take the mystery out of your life away from home by giving your family a peek into what goes on at the office or in other parts of your life. This also helps to give your family an appreciation for what you do and the things that are important to you.
Examples of Family Goals to Set Once a Year
Sometimes parents are so bogged down with day-to-day demands that they aren’t looking at the longer term view. But looking down the road at where you want your family to be in the future is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of creating your family goal plan. When you know where you want your family to end up several months or even years from now, you’ll be more likely to take steps to get them there. And when this is done as a family activity, it can help to bring your family’s vision to life and give everyone a sense of unified purpose.
So, let’s take a look at some annual goals that you and your family might want to set this year.
6. Visit With Extended Family
Staying in contact with extended family is a healthy habit to develop within your home. Depending on the closeness of your relationship and where they live, you may consider creating a goal to visit with extended family every year. You might alternate visiting them at their home and having them come to yours. Whether they’re grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins or other family members, visiting in person helps to extend the bonds and connections within your immediate family.
Knowing that they are part of a larger family network, and being involved in that network, can have many benefits to you and your children. It preserves your family history and brings awareness that you’re all part of a tribe that began long ago.
Knowing that you are connected with distant relatives also provides a safety network for your family and your kids.
7. Take a Family Portrait
You probably take hundreds of photos on your digital device throughout the year. But it’s also nice to have one professional photo of the entire family together. Taking professional family portraits every year doesn’t have to be costly either. There are many options for getting affordable family portraits. Find a deal on a site like Groupon or head to a studio at the mall.
Having family portraits helps preserve your family memories and gives everyone a sense of connection and history each time they walk by a lovely framed photo of the whole family.
8. Set a Budget for Holiday Spending
Every January do you feel that you’re playing catch up from excessive holiday spending? This year create a goal around your budget for holiday spending. Look at how much you’ve spent in the past. Set a limit and create a budget for gift giving. Also, identify as a family how you would like to celebrate the holidays. While gift giving is the norm, it is not the only way to celebrate the season – and can actually detract from the meaning altogether. So, teach your children non-monetary ways to celebrate the holiday this year.
9. Take a Yearly Family Vacation
When was the last time your family got away from everything? Taking an occasional break from the day-to-day is necessary for every family. Set a family goal to take a vacation and get away from it all. Take a hiatus from your daily schedule of commuting, homework, after-school activities, and everything else to reconnect as a family.
Family vacations are a great way to focus on the family and expose everyone to new experiences while creating lasting memories. Choose places that will excite everyone in the family and get this on the calendar once a year.
If far-away destinations are not an option, plan a staycation. Take an affordable vacation in your local area, your own state, or a nearby state. Programs like CityPass give you discounted package rates to tour an entire city such as New York, Orlando, Toronto, Denver, and more. This gives you the best bang for your buck while opening up access to multiple attractions in one trip. The key is to break out of the normal routines to give everyone a rejuvenating experience.
10. Pull credit reports.
You might not realize this, but everyone in the family, even the children, needs to have a credit report review every year. Checking your credit report is not something to only do when you need to finance a major purchase. Your credit is something that should be checked on a regular basis, preferably annually. Your credit report contains a record of each credit account that has ever been set up in your name. Making sure that this information is accurate will help you avoid problems later on.
And it’s not just parents’ credit that needs to be checked. Identity theft is becoming increasingly common, and many of these thieves are targeting children. Therefore, it’s wise to check the credit of everyone in the family as a part of your yearly family goals.
Examples of Family Goals to Work on Every Quarter
11. Work on Home Projects
Do you have a to-do list of home projects that you never seem to get to? From fixing a leaky faucet to cleaning out the garage, the list of projects we need to do in our homes never seems to get shorter, only longer.
Make a list of your pending projects and put them on the calendar. Start tackling them one by one and aim to complete at least one project every quarter. Some examples of goals for maintaining your home are organizing the garage, getting vehicles serviced, trimming trees and bushes, or making minor repairs to your home.
If appropriate, get the whole family involved and have a family work day. Working on these projects together will give your family a sense of accomplishment and keep your home looking beautiful.
12. Declutter Your Home
Set a goal to declutter your home together as a family. And do this on a quarterly basis to keep your home clutter-free. If there are things laying around your house that are broken, old, and have no further use or purpose, get rid of them. You can donate, sell, recycle, or simply throw it out.
If the kids have mounds of broken toys or toys that they no longer play with, let them help choose which ones to give away or donate. Instill in them that quality, not quantity, matters when it comes to material possessions.
Examples of Family Goals to Work on Every Month
13. Plan Family Fun Days
Set a goal to have fun together as a family on a monthly basis. These days don’t have to be totally planned out with an agenda. they simply have to be fun. Too often we’re engaged in technology or activities outside of the home and having a family fun day at least once a month is a great way to build healthy family traditions and keep everyone centered.
On these days you can do fun activities around the house, in your own back yard, or head out in your local area. Some ideas are to play games in your backyard, enjoy a local concert, watch an outdoor movie, head to the zoo, go to the beach, visit a Botanical Garden and much more.
Get everyone together to create an idea list of fun family activities. Then set a goal to do one every month. This gives everyone in the family something to look forward to year-round.
14. Read Physical Books
Downloadable media like eBooks offer a lot of convenience. You can simply swipe, tapm and read on your digital device and take them with you anywhere. However, your family could benefit from reading more physical books, too.
Reading physical books offers an experience that you cannot get just looking at a screen. And while books do cost more and take up space, they’re worth the investment. Whether you order from Amazon or head to your local Barnes and Noble store, having books in your home will help build healthy habits around reading. Not interested in buying books? Borrow books your local library.
Set a goal for every family member to start reading physical books each month.
15. Create a Family Budget
The decisions we make with each dollar on a daily basis can either add up to a lifetime of security or struggling to make ends meet. While most of us know the term budget, not many of us have really worked to establish one. But when you think about it, creating a budget is just as important to your family as it is to a multi-million dollar company. After all, if you’re an average family that is about how much money you will likely earn during your lifetime. Learning how to make the most of your family’s earnings and assets will be the key to creating financial wellness for your family. But how do you achieve this? This is where the budget comes in. Start actively working on a budget, and review it each month. Use the family budget as a tool to help keep your family finances on track and allow you to build wealth in many areas of life, not just the bank account.
Other Examples of Family Goals to Start Working on This Year
16. Build Your Family’s Financial Literacy
In addition to creating and managing a budget – as mentioned before – it’s also important to build financial literacy for everyone in the family.
Financial literacy means that you are able to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources – such as your income or savings – effectively. This helps build a lifetime of financial well-being. Gaining these skills is a valuable part of living a healthy life. And these skills can be taught to children at a very young age. Some ideas for building financial literacy include:
- Learning to balance a checkbook
- Knowing how to comparison shop
- Becoming a good negotiator
- Distinguishing “needs” from “wants”
- Saving for things you would like to buy in the future
In general most parents focus on building the chilren’s academic skills, but there’s not enough focus on building money management skills. Help your entire family to build financial literacy by setting this as a goal for your family. Help your children build a healthy mindset about money from a young age.
17. Place Value on Experiences, Not Things
Nowadays it can be easy to go down the rabbit hole of accumulating more material things. It seems that someone is always posting about something new they have or tried. And perhaps your children come home and tell you stories about the new toys their friends at school have received. If we’re not careful, we could quickly get caught up in the mindset that more is better. But this is a huge mistake.
Set a goal for your family to start shifting the emphasis from things you want to have, to things you want to do or experience together as a family.
The Bottom Line on Setting Family Goals
Family goal setting is often overlooked. But setting goals together with your family can bring everyone together, enrich your experiences, and create lasting memories. It also teaches valuable skills to everyone in the family such as planning and communication.
Creating a happy and healthy family atmosphere is something we all need to work on. Setting healthy family goals can help you and everyone in the family to develop self-confidence, a sense of purpose, and a deeper feeling of belonging.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.