Every New Year fun is made of New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting. Facebook is riddled with jokes about goals being made and forgotten. There is a good reason for the jokes as most resolutions are broken during the year and often within the first few months. Past failures are not an excuse to neglect goal setting. It’s a reminder how much we need to work on our goals. The most important part, however, is that proper goal setting can build family unity and family bonds.
Goal Setting Tips
Brian Tracy is an expert at setting and achieving goals. One of his goal setting programs gives a thorough plan on the proper techniques for goal setting. As an overview, here are a few important things he urges people to consider when setting goals:
- What are 5 things you value most in your life? What would you sacrifice for?
- If you learned you only had 6 months to live, what would you want to do in that time?
- If you won $1 million dollars, what would be the first 3 things you’d do with it?
- If you were to have 1 wish granted to you, with no regard to failure, what would you wish for?
Mr. Tracy recommends starting with these ideas and setting goals for the achievement of those items. Any goal setting needs to have short term, medium term, and long term time periods. For New Year’s resolutions, make your short term goals things to achieve within 2 months. Medium term goals are for 3 to 8 months. Long term goals are for 9 months to 1 year. Here are some fine tuning steps:
- Write down everything that comes to mind when thinking about the questions above.
- Put each item into the category of short, medium, or long term.
- Now prioritize the list within each time category.
- Start working on the most important short term goal and move to each item as they are achieved.
Goal Setting Tips for Families
You may be wondering what this has to do with family relationships. The answer is that it has everything to do with family relationships.
Imagine a family discussing what it wants to achieve in the next month, 6 months, and year, and putting forward a plan to achieve it. Imagine setting goals and plans to achieve:
- Plans for work
- Dinners together
- Vacation plans
- After school activities
- Day trip locations and timing
- Restaurants to eat at and when
- Books to read and discuss
- Home remodeling plans and when
- Lawn care and gardening plans
- Sports and hobby plans
These are just some of the things that can be discussed as a family.
Again, imagine if the family put down all their goals and plans on a master calendar and discussed what was coming up and what was needed to accomplish it. When each family member is assigned responsibilities and duties for the goals, the family has a chance to work together towards something positive. Individual family member responsibility helps each person focus on what lies ahead and the importance to the family. It takes the focus off of the person and places it on the family. Cooperation between family members can reduce hostilities and keep everyone focused on family goals.
Goal setting is a key counter measure against the 3rd external influence that damages relationships, that of multitasking. Every day we are bombarded by emails, phone calls, texting, TV shows, and countless other things seeking our attention. These constant distractions keep us focused on minor things and away from what is truly important. Setting goals helps keep one focused on what is important and what needs to be done each day.
If you aren’t having family dinners 5 to 7 times a week that is a good goal to start with. Family meals are the single best opportunity spouses have to connect with one another and to connect with their children. Using this time together to talk about upcoming plans and required tasks keeps everyone focused on what is truly important – the family.
Have you seen the 2-part video series on relationship building? If not, check it out here.