Prioritizing what matters most for the year ahead
It can seem overwhelming to talk about goal tracking “just because” a new year is upon us, but there's a reason so many people use this time to pause, reflect and reset.
While January goal setting might seem cliché, it can also be great excuse to reflect on your family's priorities. Why not use the natural momentum and energy that surrounds the new year to your advantage?
Whether we actually accomplish our goals or just get close, discussing our priorities and our aspirations gets us in the habit of thinking about what matters most. If we want our children to dream big, the new year can be a great time to model what that looks like together as a family.
Here are some tips for planning for and striving to accomplish your goals this year:
Discuss what a goal is (…and isn’t!).
Before you can make a goal together, it is important to define it. A goal is “something you are trying to achieve”. A goal can be short term or long term, but most importantly, it needs to be measurable. Without having a way to quantify your goals, you’ll have no idea if you’re getting closer to accomplishing them. So instead of “eat healthier”, your goal might be “eat 3 salads per week”. Perhaps give an example to your little ones to help provide more context; i.e. Spiderman plans to help at least 10 people every month this year.
Bonus: You could even make a math lesson out of it. 10 people x 12 months = 120 people.
Write down your family goals.
Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down? You can start by brainstorming your ideas on paper, then write them again once they are fine-tuned. Remember to break your goals down into bite-sized chunks so they are things you can actually track on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis – it’s much harder to stay motivated if it’s not something you can track consistently!
Bonus: This is a great way for your children to practice their handwriting.
Display your goals.
When you see them, they become top of mind. This will help you and your kids stay on track. Use your Hearth Display to look at them daily and monitor your progress as you go.
Bonus: Use Hearth’s routine builder so your kids can check in on their goals on their own.
Block time for your goals.
You can talk about your goals and write them out, but if you don’t plan for them, you are not likely to achieve them. An easy way to make sure you block time to achieve them is to put them in your calendar. Using your Hearth Display, you can record everyone’s goals.
Bonus: Utilize color coding in your Hearth calendar to help your family visually see their goals. You could color code by goal type (like “health”, “learning”, or “activity”) or by person to make it easy for everyone to see their goals.
Celebrate the small wins.
You might not accomplish 100% of all the goals you set. However, typically by taking the time to set goals at all, you’ll accomplish far more than you would have had you not taken the time to reflect on your aspirations. Even if you get 50% of the way toward your goal, celebrate that achievement as a family!
Bonus: Ask your children how they’d like to celebrate achieving a goal together as a family. Kids have a way of naturally celebrating the small things in life – so take their lead here!
Schedule check ins.
During family dinners, be sure to talk about progress and that it is okay to re-route a goal when needed.
Bonus: Kids and adults alike love to check off a completed goal!
To get you started, some goals for families that might work for you:
Family Goal Ideas for the New Year
- Eat dinner together weekly
- Take a family walk every weekend
- Try one new activity together each month
- Travel to a new place together once a year
- Watch a fun show together once a week
- Do something outdoors (without screens) together one a month
While January 1 might just be another day (and you can set goals on any day, of course!), it’s a great time to build on the momentum of a new year and be intentional about what your priorities are as a family.
Remember you can always start over and/or reassess your goals at any time. Setting goals for yourself will model this mindset for your children better than any discussion will. Go get ‘em, Hearth fam!
Want to dive deeper in goal setting with your family? Check out some of our other posts on similar topics: