11 steps to involve your kids in family goal setting, while teaching them to dream big and follow through, together as a family.
Unless you're Type A, goal setting can create additional anxiety and seem like a daunting task. Even if you are the most official planner out there, setting measurable intentions can be challenging if you are implementing them as a family; however, instilling a strong family bond and accomplishment early on in a child's life can create lifelong habits and future success.
Not a planner? No worries! You can still help your entire family manage and fulfill their aspirations. Chances are your kiddos may not want to sit still for long and boring family meetings either.
Here are 11 steps to getting the whole team involved and ensuring everyone can play their part.
You have to start somewhere! What is it you want to accomplish? If you are at a loss at where to begin, break down your dreams into categories, like family, personal, financial, career, and wellness. This is the perfect opportunity to check in on the way family members are spending their time. It's a great way to teach kids that how they spend their quality time is how they spend their life.
Create a vision board
Your kids may not know where to start either and may have an even harder time knowing what it is that they want. Grab some paper, kid-friendly scissors, a glue stick, and some magazines and go to town. If you don't have any magazines, just search images of things they might like or have them tell you what they want and print them out.
It could be a desire for a weekly “mom date” symbolized by playing in the backyard, or that they want to go on vacation this summer to have quality family time symbolized by a sand castle. Help them visualize their goals and go from there. Remember, you're benefiting from completing this exercise too! Be sure to make the family specific goals together so they are likely to be more invested.
This is arguably the hardest part of goal setting, but if you can't quantify it, it isn't a goal. Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? It's unclear who coined the term first, both George Doran and Peter Drucker have been credited, but it's an easy way to check in and see if your goals are actually trackable. To be a goal they need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
Measure it out
It may be hard for your children to understand what measurable even means, so why not help them visualize it? If you want to teach the act of measuring, try baking a recipe (we love Sally's Baking Addiction Strawberry Cake) and using the cake to demonstrate how measuring ingredients is essential to getting the cake to come out right. Our life goals are similar in that sense. You have to put in the work and measure them correctly in order to achieve them. After all, the cake isn't just going to bake itself.
There are only so many hours in a day – so make the ones you are awake count. We often hear (and think) “I don't have time for that”, but the truth is that we make time for what we want to get done, so choose to make time for what is most important to you… not what you think is most important based on what someone else desires.
Remember that you can say no to things and that “having plans” doesn't have to be with other people to be considered plans. Some of the most important plans you can make and keep are with yourself.
Don't be afraid to lean on your calendar
This will be as helpful for you as it is for your kids. Have your children help you fill your calendar with your goals. Want to take time to eat and not just have another working lunch? Block that calendar so no one else can schedule a meeting in that slot. Want to make sure to eat dinner together at least once a week? Put it in your calendar so you don't have any late, last minute meetings.
When kids witness this, they will learn the importance of setting goals AND boundaries. To get them more involved, have them schedule an evening with you (on your calendar) where they choose what to do and help plan it. They will take ownership and get excited about making it happen! Same can be said for family trips, birthday parties, and more. Bonus: your Hearth Display will help them see when the special dates are too!
You don't have to be a kid to be motivated by progress. Most people love a good checklist and goal tracking is no different. Hearth Display connects to existing calendars, has tasks and reminders, along with routines and reward tracking that align with your family's goals.
Watch it grow
Say your kids want some beach toys for the annual summer vacation… Grab a jar and have them place a coin or so in it per day. You can give them the choice to use it on something else that would gratify them now, or to put toward the goal they set for later. As they see the contents grow, they can conceptualize measuring and learn some savings lessons too.
Rinse and repeat! By following through with your family goals, you will not only be leading by example, but also teaching your kids that time invested in planning is time gained and returned later. Organizing goals and thoughts may not seem fun at first, but it allows you to have more fun later. Family life is all about balance.
What kid (or adult) doesn't respond well to fun?! As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Hearth Display can not only help you visualize your goals, but also aid in success rates and more time back for things you love.
Prioritize your family health
Healthy eating is a cornerstone of a happy family. Planting a family garden is a great place to learn more about what fruits and vegetables are growing in your region. Plus, it's a great way to build responsibility and get kids involved.
The whole family wins when grocery shopping becomes a collaborative effort. Instead of one family member taking time to create a list, build out the meal planning process, and preparing family meals, everyone contributes. Family dinners can be a moment of connection, a time to build healthy habits while celebrating family life.
Look forward to family vacation
Family goals can extend beyond household chores or family values. In fact, using family goals as a way to plan for a family vacation is a great way to instill anticipation while highlighting the important life skill of preparation. Spend quality time mapping out what would make family vacation special for each family member.
If your kids are old enough, you could set family goals regarding vacation spending. If they save money to spend on the trip, they can shop for souvenirs as they please. Setting family goals, whether they're financial or related to mental health, can prepare young kids for prioritizing personal goals in the future.
Find ways to have fun as a family unit
Family game night can be a perfect end to a family goal setting. Try a family book club to encourage reading before bed. Fun family activities range from one-on-one time to volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Teaching kids to make time for fun together as a family is essential.
Maybe one of your family goals is to see two movies every month. Perhaps you're dreaming up a family business. You could even get the family involved with a renovation or project around the house. A family goal can be the gateway to family tradition. And that family bond is worth celebrating.
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