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It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s a fresh opportunity to focus on strategies to keep your family’s bond strong and your memories unforgettable.
If you’re aiming to break your same old routine and move past the status quo when it comes to family time, setting goals together is a great way to ensure this can happen.
You can make goal-setting into a fun and interactive activity with your family to encourage everyone to participate. Your family members will be more likely to work toward achieving a goal if they feel their ideas are being heard. Take everyone’s ideas and suggestions to create a list of potential family goals. Then work it down to a shorter list that makes everyone happy.
Here are some family goal examples to help get you started.
What You Will Learn
- 35 Family Goal Examples to Share with Your Loved Ones
- Daily Family Goals
- RELATED: 21 Examples of SMART Goals
- Weekly Family Goals
- Monthly Family Goals
- Yearly Family Goals
- Final Thoughts on Family Goals
Daily Family Goals
1. Divide Household Chores
Aside from having everyone clean up after themselves and making sure their own living spaces are organized, give each family member a chore that is strictly their own. Fighting over who is going to do the dishes can put a strain on a relationship, so take everyone’s preferences into consideration and divide up all of the household chores.
For example, if you have a younger child, they may be tasked with setting the table or putting the trash out. An older child may need to walk the dog. If a mother cooks, the father can do the dishes. Whatever works for your family will be beneficial.
RELATED: 21 Examples of SMART Goals
Want to set goals you can actually achieve? Then watch this video that provides a quick overview of SMART goals with 21 examples.
2. Be Supportive of Each Other
People tend to take their family’s opinions to heart, so if someone’s decision or goal goes unsupported, it can be really hurtful. While you need to see yourself as a family unit, you also have to recognize that everyone has their unique individual goals and it is best if you’re able to be supportive without passing judgment or getting in the way of your family member’s dream. Support each other’s choices, as long as they’re reasonable, safe, and won’t hurt anyone else.
3. Keep Your Voices Calm
If your family tends to get into arguments (even if it’s sibling rivalry), make a goal to not yell in your home. Yelling increases everyone’s stress levels and is never an effective way to get your message across. Parents who use yelling as a form of punishment for their children are setting their kids up for a lifetime of poor coping and communication skills.
Try to use better methods of communication to solve disagreements, such as compromising or simply talking things through. Focus more on learning how to have calm dialogues with each other. This will help turn stressful situations into learning opportunities for everyone.
To help you understand your parenting style, take one or two of these parenting style quizzes.
4. Forgive and Move On
Speaking of communicating in an effective and respectful way, if you do have a disagreement within the family, make it a goal to quickly forgive and forget. The time you have with your family all living together in the home is so short, it’s not worth it to waste any of it on holding grudges or giving the silent treatment.
If someone offers an apology, accept it and move on. Don’t let your few negative interactions overshadow all of the positive ones that you have. And, even if you don’t get an apology, give the person the benefit of the doubt.
5. Play Happy Music at Home
Put some light music on in the common areas of the home that will make everyone feel good. Music can certainly have a strong impact on one’s mood, so keeping happy music going in the house can create an environment that is conducive to everyone feeling good when they’re home. You don’t have to blast the music, just keep it playing lightly in the background.
6. Allow Everyone to Have Their Own Time and Space
When thinking of family goals, you probably automatically think of families spending time together and strengthening their bond. While this is the foundational idea of family goals, the importance of allowing each person to have time to themselves cannot be overlooked. You have to make yourself a priority, because if you start to suffer, the rest of your family will too.
For instance, think of a mother who stays at home with the kids. In order for her to maintain the best relationships possible with her family, she needs some time to decompress and engage in some self-care. But in order to do this, the rest of the family has to recognize this need and support it by taking care of some of the things that mom would normally do so she can go out and focus on herself.
Everyone in the family needs to have some type of alone time, and while this may not be every day for every person, it is definitely something that everyone needs to keep in mind on a daily basis.
7. Practice Gratitude
Live a life of gratitude as a family. Take the time to talk about the things you’re grateful for on a regular basis, including having each other. Encourage everyone to keep a gratitude journal and share it with the family when you’re facing any type of challenge.
8. Maintain a Family Garden
The ability to do this may depend on the climate of your hometown, but if you can, maintain a garden and grow your own food at home. This will help teach your children to have a sense of responsibility and it will help them feel rewarded once you’re able to eat the things that you’ve planted. It will also help your family eat as healthy as possible, because you can’t get any more local than your own backyard.
9. Create a Family Mission Statement and Live by it Every Day
We’ve talked about how to write a personal mission statement, but you can do this for your entire family as well. Is there a joint purpose that you all share? Or do you have family values that you all live by? Creating a family mission statement can help remind everyone what’s important in your life as a family and leave the house each day with this message in mind.
Here is an example of a family mission statement:
“To care for ourselves and each other, show love and be generous to others, be a healthy family that takes care of our minds and our bodies, support each other, consider each other’s feelings, help people in the community in need, and care for the environment.”
10. Set a Good Example
Older family members can have a goal of setting a good example for people in the family who look up to them. Whether this is older siblings or parents, it is a helpful goal to practice what you preach every day so the younger generations can not only hear what the right things to do are, but also see them being done at home. Setting a good example helps protect younger children from making poor choices as they grow up as they become increasingly independent.
Weekly Family Goals
11. Eat Dinner Together at Least Four Times Per Week
There are so many benefits to eating together as a family. To name just a few, sitting down to a meal together can:
Try to eat dinner together on most weeknights and maybe make your Sunday night dinner special in some way. You can try out new recipes or have the kids help out in the meal preparation so they gain a sense of accomplishment.
12. Put the Phones Away
Speaking of eating together as a family, make it a goal for everyone to leave their phone or smart devices out of the dining room when you’re eating. Make this time strictly about bonding as a family and talking about what’s going on in each other’s lives. Having your phones out at dinner is a habit that can impede children’s healthy development–both emotionally and socially.
While this is a weekly goal when talking about putting your phones away during meals together, this can also be a daily goal. Whenever you’re talking to a family member in person, don’t do so while also looking at your phone. Give the people in your family your full attention.
13. Exercise Together
This could be a Sunday afternoon walk or a tennis match sometime during the week. Or, if you live near hiking trails, hiking is a great way to get some exercise as a family while also getting the mental health benefits from being outside. If you have a long weekend, you can even make your hike into a camping trip.
14. Practice Time Management
If one person tends to run behind, the whole groups runs behind. Practice time management with your family by being ready on time for any outings or family events. Show up at the dinner table on time, get to school on time, get to appointments on time, etc. Review your progress on this every week, as your weeks will probably have a slight change in routine of some sort.
Teach your children to get excited about recycling by taking an active role in reducing your household’s waste. Teach your kids about “upcycling” by using (clean) trash to make into crafts or art projects. Also, help your kids go through their stuff and choose items to donate that they don’t use anymore. Aside from passing hand-me-downs within the family, bring your kids to a local Goodwill or other type of donation center where goods are reused.
16. Eat More Vegetables
Ideally, this is something you will do daily, but you can think of it on a week-to-week basis. Plan to eat more vegetables as a family to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases and ensure your bodies are getting the nutrients they need. If you mess up one day for whatever reason (which we all do), you have time during the rest of the week to make up for it. In addition to eating vegetables at home, report out each week on how well you did while you were on-the-go. You can even make some friendly competition out of it!
17. Improve Work/Life Balance
While this may not apply to younger children, parents can certainly do this for the betterment of their families. Having a healthy work/life balance means not taking work calls when you’re with your family and not hesitating to take personal time off. You will be a better family member–and employee–if you can live a well-rounded life in this way.
18. Take a Family Walk
If your neighborhood is a conducive environment for walking, this is ideal because it will give you the opportunity to run into and meet neighbors. If not, go to a local park or walking trail to get moving together.
Monthly Family Goals
19. Plan Fun Days
Plan some family fun days so you can feel like you’re on a short vacation without actually having to pack up and leave town. Go to a theme park or take a picnic to a local garden. Or, if you don’t want to go anywhere, plan a pajama and movie day where you all just stay home and relax all day while watching movies. (Here's our list of the best family shows on Netflix.) Cater to everyone’s preferences and make it a fun day for you all.
Do this once a month (at least) so you always have something to look forward to together as a group. Maybe alter who plans the day so everyone gets a chance to show the family a good time.
20. Take More Pictures
Take more pictures when you’re all together to document what’s going on in your life. Capture raw moments that paint an accurate picture of who everyone is in your family rather than only getting posed shots on holidays and special occasions. You will always enjoy looking back on pictures of doing everyday things as a group and having those memories of life at every stage.
21. Identify Areas of Improvement
Researchers have found six qualities to be indicators of a strong family. These include:
Take some time each month to go over these qualities and measure how well your family is doing. Identify possible areas of improvement and make specific plans to spend the following month working on them.
22. Spend Money on Experiences, Not Things
When making your family’s budget, talk more about the things that you all want to do instead of the things you want to have. Make memories with your family instead of accumulating more things in your home that probably won’t last you very long.
For birthday gifts and Christmas presents, offer gifts that will provide your family with an experience, whether it’s for everyone or just that person. Consider gift cards to theme parks, movies, or a local gym membership for the whole family.
23. Read a Book Out Loud as a Group
It’s important to let the world slow down and allow your family to have a place to use their imaginations and unplug from technology. Choose a chapter book that you can read out loud to your children every night and allow them to create what the story looks like in their own minds. Growing minds need opportunities to be creative and reading books to your children help them use their imaginations without even realizing it.
24. Make an Emergency Safety Plan
Would everyone in your family know where to meet if there were a city-wide emergency? Would they know what to do if there was a fire in the home? Make emergency safety plans for your family and review (and practice) them every month. Practicing them will not only help you learn and remember them, it will also allow you to determine if your plan is feasible for a variety of situations.
25. Try Something New
Whether a new restaurant opened in your city or a museum is showing an exhibit for a little while, look for new things in your area to try with your family every month. This will help ensure you all get out of the house and keep up with what’s going on in your city. New things are always popping up, so check your city’s website or a local Facebook page to stay in the loop.
Make a plan to get rid of anything in the house that nobody has a use for. Sell, donate, or throw away things that are just taking up space, even if you have no plans to replace it with something new.
If you have young children, you may have to do this for them–and you may have to do it when they’re not around. While they’ve probably forgotten about that toy dinosaur someone gave them two years ago for Christmas that they’ve never even opened, as soon as they see you trying to get rid of it, they will probably react as if it’s their prized possession.
27. Schedule Date Nights
No, this doesn’t include kids, but it is a critical goal to maintain the family’s wellbeing as a whole. For your family to work well together, you and your spouse have to work well as a team. Spending quality time alone with your spouse is a very important factor when it comes to the health of your family. It’s much easier to keep a family running like a well-oiled machine when you are in sync with your partner.
28. Spend One-on-One Time With Each Family Member
This is true especially if you have more than one child. You don’t want anyone to feel left out or feel like one family member is closer to someone else than they are with them. Make it a point as a group to each spend one-on-one time with everyone else in the home at least once a month. This could be just going out for ice cream together or doing a puzzle or game at home. If each individual bond is nurtured, your bond as a whole group will remain strong.
Yearly Family Goals
29. Get a Family Portrait Done
Family portraits really don’t have to be cheesy, and by getting professional pictures taken every now and then, you can keep the photos around your house up-to-date. Find a photographer and pick a nice day where you can get some great shots of the whole family together. While this can be a little pricey, the result will be worth it.
Having updated pictures around the home will help everyone in the family feel a strengthened family bond. Families change quickly through marriages, births, and people moving away. Capture where you are right now, and if you’re able to do this every year, you will be able to see the progress of your family’s growth.
30. Start a New Hobby
There are a lot of benefits to having a hobby, and while many of them cater to the idea of having an individual hobby, having a family hobby can be just as great. Volunteering is one idea that comes to mind that families can easily do together that will make everyone feel good at the end of the day. Or, you can learn to play a sport together like golf or racquetball that will allow you to be active and get some exercise together.
31. Save Up For Something Big
Is there some type of common expenditure that your family could save up for together? Maybe it’s a tropical vacation or a new television for the living room. Or, maybe you want to save up money to buy a pool membership for next summer. If there is something that everyone can benefit from, create a group piggy bank and put it in a common place where each family member can add to it whenever they want until you reach your family goal.
32. Introduce Important People to Your Family
Is there anyone significant in your life with whom you spend a lot of time during the week? Maybe this is a co-worker who turned into a great friend or a group of friends you’ve developed while doing an activity outside of the home.
If you spend a lot of time with anyone in particular who isn’t in your family, introduce them to each other. Have your friend(s) over one night so your family can get to know them (and you) a little bit better. Your life outside of your home doesn’t have to be a mystery, and chances are, your friends would be delighted to see where you come from.
33. Visit Extended Family
Depending on where they live, this could be a semi-yearly goal, but make it a goal to keep in touch with aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Staying in touch with distant family members can be psychologically grounding for your nuclear family. It helps people recognize that they’re a part of a larger group that began hundreds of years before any of us existed.
Extended family can offer a safety net and even provide help, should the need come up. For children, keeping in touch with extended family offers a good lesson on how to get along with others and it helps preserve your family’s history for future generations.
34. Do a Community Project Together
Get your family to complete a community service project every year. There are endless options for this activity, so take some time to find a project that falls in line with your family’s values and help your community in some way, whether that’s for a charity or for an individual. Both children and parents can learn from giving back to the community, and you will be rewarded with quality bonding time with your family.
35. Go On a Family Vacation
You have to get away every once in a while and it can’t always be to go see other family members. Take the time to get away with just your immediate family and travel somewhere that everyone will enjoy. Consider going skiing or to a tropical beach to get away from your everyday routine and gain a sense of refreshment. On a tight budget? Consider these staycation ideas.
Final Thoughts on Family Goals
Having family goals will keep your family bonded as a strong, cohesive unit. Have a goal-setting meeting with your family to get suggestions from every person on possible goals they would like to work on to improve your family in some way.
Keep in mind that responses from adults and older children will be more thorough than those from younger children, but make sure to include all suggestions from anyone who is old enough to understand goal-setting. Narrow your list down to 1-3 goals and track your progress on them by making them into SMART goals. Doing this each year will help your family continue to improve as a small group for each other and for the community in which you live.
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.