Updated: Jan 5, 2020
Show notes from Episode 13
OK so let’s talk family goals. Why on earth would you need to set goals for your family? Well, I have to be honest here, because as I’ve started on this search for ways to bring healthy living home to families, there are lots of new things I’m learning about myself too. So while I’m giving you my ideas on this podcast, some of them I’m just trying out for myself too! So I’m not speaking to you as an expert family practitioner or even a perfect parent because lord knows I’m not always that. But I have made some of these goals i’m going to share with you, my own personal goals and have seen how they have had such an huge impact on me personally, so I just know in my heart that they will be even more beneficial if we can find ways to make them family intentions and family goals. Setting goals as a family teaches your kids that it’s a good idea to work towards something that is important to you as an individual and also for a group, in this case your family. It also gives them a sense of being a valued member of your family unit. It helps build self esteem because if you’ll be presenting these goals as a way to grow together and have everyones input rather than from an authoritative we have to do this - or do as i say approach.
When I was doing my research on this i found that typical family goals might be
saving for a vacation
spending time together
Those are great and all, but i think before you get specific and say the goal is for example to save for a family trip to Hawaii, I think it’s a better idea to take a step back and consider WHY you want to go to Hawaii. Is it because you want to relax? or is it because you want fun family time? or is it because you’ve never been there before? These are important questions to ask and I’m going to share why in just a moment.
But let’s look at the example of going to Hawaii - if your reason is that you want to relax together because your lives are normally pretty chaotic and rushed, filled with tons of activities, then it makes total sense that relaxing in Hawaii would be a rejuvenating holiday away from regular life.
If it’s because you want to do some fun family activities together, like swim, go hiking or boating or golf together, then it also makes sense that Hawaii could be a great place to do those things together.
If you’ve never been there before, then going on a family adventure to someplace new, sounds awesome!
But going to Hawaii isn’t the goal in this scenario, it's the action your family decides to take for a certain period of time to meet a family goal! Does that make sense? Hopefully it will in the next couple moments.
OK, So here are 7 family goals you could set for your family, that I believe, if you actively work towards achieving them on a weekly basis, you are going to have the best year ever! All 7 of these touch on our health, relationships and personal growth which I believe are the foundational areas of overall wellbeing.
Laugh together - right? i mean we all know that laughter is is the best medicine for physical and emotional health. It also brings people together and you instantly feel connected when you are sharing a laugh! So MAKE THIS your family goal and strive each day or week to sprinkle a little laughter into your life. You are teaching your kids that life isn’t all about work and stress and school and seriousness… it’s also about enjoying the moment we are in right now and maybe it’s trying to find the humor in something or maybe it’s watching a funny show together or reading a funny book or having family game night each week. Consider having a family meeting to discuss these goals for the new year and talk about ways you can schedule some family fun into your regular routine and you’ll start to notice lower stress, reduced anxiety and tension, improved moods and it strengthens relationships within your family unit. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
Relax together - This could be where you decide that your vacation fits in with this goal, but why limit it to once or twice a year? That’s why I’m suggesting you ask why you want to go on vacation. because if it is for relaxation, maybe you want to try doing family yoga together. Now that relaxation is the goal, it’s something you can work on throughout the year. maybe you start a family meditation practice where you all spend 5-10 minutes in silence being thankful for the day and to set an intention for great day ahead of us. If only i could get my family to do that. But for now that’s just my practice. But whatever comes to your mind that is relaxing, find out from your family members if that is something you can do together. Maybe it’s as simple as everyone going to bed at a decent hour so we all get a restful nights sleep. Whatever you decide, sprinkle in some relaxing moments together weekly, so you feel rejuvenated and refreshed throughout the year not just when you are on vacation!
Adventure together, see new places, try new things - This is a great goal because it builds relationships and it helps personal growth as well. And adventures can be anywhere doing anything. Adventures are limited to just Vacations. And Vacations don’t have to be exotic or far away. You can do a staycation. You can have an adventure going anywhere honestly even going to the grocery store. I remember when my kids were little and my husband wanted to have the kids go get him something - he would never just ask - would you go get me something….because that’s not fun and they would not want to do that. But he would always say, hey Jojo I need you. I need you to go on a mission. It’s top secret and it’s very important. Can you handle it? of course joey would say yes! And dad would say ok - you have 2 minutes I’m going to time you and you’ll have to see how fast you can do this important secret mission. Ok dad - what is it? Ok - go to my room and get my phone. OK! and Jojo was off -he would zoom to our room and be back speedy quick! What an adventure! Now that is perfect for a 3-6 year old but it’s just an example of how something boring can be an adventure it’s just how you position it to your family! So of course vacations fit into this goal, but what if you can only take 1 vacation a year? Does that mean you can only have an adventure 1 time in the whole year? No, look for ways to try new experiences together, or try new foods together, or try new recipes together when you are cooking a family meal together. Whatever it is, and if you have older kids it’s important to get buy-in on what the adventures are so they feel like it’s something fun they want to do instead of something they have to do. So remember it’s all about how you position it…. so hey let’s think of some fun adventures we can do together as a family! Throw out a couple big ideas but let’s hear small ideas too, ones we can do that don’t cost any money too! I’m sure you’ll be surprised with what they can come up with.
Work together - As a parent this goal is an important one, simply because life isn’t always fun and games and it’s important to instill a sense of work ethic into our children’s developing brains. Otherwise, our little angels can develop a sense of entitlement as they grow into teens. There was a study done called the Harvard Grant Study, it’s the longest running longitudinal study spanning 75 years where researchers identified 2 things people need to be happy and successful: 1st is Love, 2nd is work ethic which they say was formed through you guessed it chores. The kids who did more chores growing up, were happier and felt more successful in life. I’m going to put the link to this study in the show notes but basically it says that when you teach your kids to do chores they develop work ethic and have a pitch-in mindset. The younger you start the better. And just know that you are teaching them to become successful adults! So at your family meeting, discuss ways that you and your spouse help the family. Discuss all the family chores that need to get done and let them know that as they are getting older it’s important for every family member to help the family because we all love and support each other. Then you can ask which chores they want to be in charge of. The cool thing is that the more regular chores become, the less arguing or balking you will receive. When I let my kids slide from doing the dishes for a few days, it’s always a pain to get them to do it again. I have to hear about all the reasons why they are in such a rush and can’t help. But then I have to remind them that it’s only 10 minutes we are talking about and that everyone needs to help. When we get in a routine of this, they’ll just do it without even being asked! But the minute I let them go up and study or go hang with a friend instead then it takes a lot to get them back into the routine of helping. But I can say if you are laughing together, relaxing and going on adventures tother too, your family bonds are getting so strong that they will want to help you. https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/kids-who-do-chores-are-more-successful-adults-according-to-science.html
Support each other - How can you show your love and support for each other on a daily or weekly basis? Consider asking that question and seeing the response you get. Maybe it’s little like getting up on time for school so there isn’t any yelling or stress in the morning. Or maybe it’s allowing for some extra free time or screen time to be earned so the kids feel like they are getting to earn some extra fun time to do whatever they like. Or maybe it’s just as simple as asking how was your day, but since “fine” is always the answer to that question, how about asking things like, what was the best part of your day? or was a there anything that was particularly challenging? I personally think that kids these days are so scared of failing anything that the don’t want to share their problems because they think that can’t. They put so much pressure on themselves to get straight As or they won’t get into a good college and then their lives will be ruined. So wouldn’t it be great if they knew that we all make mistakes and it’s through our mistakes that we learn and grow? Wouldn’t it be great if we looked at problems as opportunities for growth instead? The bottom line is that families that can talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff too are the ones that will be stronger for it. Encouraging each other to talk about our troubles makes them smaller, because troubles always seem bigger in our heads, and knowing that we have the love and support of our family to work through the hard times, teaches your kids resiliency and instills the belief that things will be ok. I will put a great article in the shownotes if you want to read more about this. https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/family-life/routines-rituals-relationships/strong-families
Be Thankful together - This is another great goal to have that will also help ward off teenage entitlement. And finding ways to be thankful together encourages a positive mindset. The fact of life is that no matter where you are in life or what your life situation is, there will always be people and families that are worse off than you. One of my dearest friends has just gone through 6 weeks of intense chemotherapy and then has had a mastectomy. Through it all she has had the most inspiring positive outlook and attitude on life. I told her how much of an inspiration she is and asked her how she stays positive in the midst of having to deal with stuff as terrible as chemo, losing her hair, and feeling wiped out after treatments and surgery and then having 2 major surgeries still ahead of her. She told me this story about her friend. She said that he had some type of cancer 5 years ago and was recovering. They checked on him every 6 months and it wasn’t coming back and that after 5 years he could go to yearly check ups instead of 6 months. at 4 1/2 years though they found a different cancer somewhere else in his body. So he was doing another round of chemo. She had just talked to the wife who said that the cancer has now spread throughout his body and he’s only got months to live. Their boys play baseball together and he was a coach on the team through the summer even though he was being treated. He knew it would be his last summer to get to do that. So she said, I just think of that family and then realize, yeah it sucks to have breast cancer, but I right now, I get to live. I get to see my boys get another year older. I have friends and family that have stepped up to help me out when I’ve needed it this year and I’m so thankful. That’s pretty amazing of her to see things that way. So if she can have cancer and still find ways to be thankful for it, I challenge you to talk with your family about things you are thankful for. Make this a regular habit because I truly truly believe that whatever you focus on expands. And if you are continually thankful you will eventually have more things to be thankful for.
Be Kind together - I love this family goal because this is all about others. It’s about having manners, it’s about treating others the way we would want others to treat us. It’s about not judging others, it’s about sticking up for our friends. It’s about being the change you want to see in the world. Making this a family goal and discussing it openly with your family will do wonders for your sense of self worth and more importantly your child's developing sense of self worth. You are also being a positive role model for your children and modeling the behavior you want them to have when they are at school. And if that’s not enough, Being kind to others just makes you feel good! And if you can teach that to your children, you are creating such a huge ripple effect that will make the world a better place.
So just to recap your family really is better together. So setting these 7 goals and working on them each week is guaranteed to lead you to your best year ever!
adventure together , see new places, try new things
support each other
be thankful together
be kind together
So I’ve created some free downloads to help you with your goal setting. And I’ll also include a A fun family exercise to help you discover your family values. It’s just some great downloadable sheets I created that has a bunch of values listed on them. Circle the most important ones and have each family member do the same. Then you order them from most to least important. Now share your list and circle the ones that overlap. Discuss your top 3 and see if anyone changes their minds on how they rate their values. Now merge your lists and create a top 5-10 of your family values. These values will help you determine which goals are going to be the most important for your family.
So have fun with this! I love finding and creating new ways to bring health and home together and starting your 2020 out with solid intensions to build these family goals in your life is going to do so much for your overall well being. I’m excited for you to get started! And let me know how it goes! I want to know if you come up with any other great goals. Put them in the comments below I’d really love to hear from you. Wishing you the very best in the coming year. Together we are making the world a healthier place! One home at a time. Thanks so again for tuning in.