At the beginning of each year, my family and I sit down and develop family and personal goals. We never call them resolutions because resolutions are easily broken. Goals are more tangible. We begin our goal setting session by reviewing our written goals from the previous year. If we fall short, we don’t make excuses. Instead, we analyze our short-comings and strive to make improvements in the upcoming year. If we succeed, we celebrate the success. We’ve created an award for the person who achieves the most personal goals, and we bestow it upon the winner with lots of pomp and circumstance.
(see also Start the New Year with 31 Days of Fun)
After our ceremony, we get busy on our new goals. Each family member must develop at least three personal goals (but no more than five). The kids usually select things such as learning to ride a bike, playing on a sports team or getting straight A’s in school. My wife and I come up with personal achievement goals such as learning to play an instrument, spending more time with friends or writing a book (that one hasn’t happened yet).
After we’ve discussed these personal goals amongst ourselves, we develop our family’s goals for the year. Serving an ambassador for the Together CountsTM program this past year has only increased the importance of focusing on family time and it will continue to be a goal for 2013. Some of our goals involve saving for a family vacation, spending more time playing active games together or being committed to showing each other gratitude. In addition to setting these goals, we create plans to achieve them. Without a plan of action, it’s easy to forget about the things we’ve committed to.
Once we’ve completed our personal goals, family goals and action plans, my wife prints them, places them in frames and positions them in conspicuous locations in each person’s bedroom. The family’s goals are posted on the refrigerator. With the goals easily in sight, we have a better chance of achieving all of them.
I’m a firm believer that goal setting is the key to success in any area of life. Properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating and help to build self-confidence. My job as a parent is to build my children’s self-confidence. And one day, I hope they will do the same for their children.
What are your family’s goals for the New Year? Share them in the comments below!
Fred Goodall, a Together Counts program blogger ambassador, contributed this post. When Fred is not out spending time with his family you can find him writing on his personal blog, Mocha Dad. Fred started his blog in 2008 to chronicle his life as a father of three children and to share the different family values he hopes to pass down to his children. Outside of blogging, Fred enjoys music, photography and surfing the web.
For more resources on how to start the New Year off on the right foot check out these resources from The Together Counts Program: