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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.
51 Family Goal Examples to Share with Your Loved Ones
Daily Family Goals
1. Divide Household Chores
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.
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.
11. Show More Love
We don’t all love the same, and so we have different love languages – how we show and understand love. When a family’s love language isn’t the same, it’s easy to feel unvalued, unappreciated, and unloved.
Make time to learn what each member of your family’s love language is, and then make sure to show them how much you value and love them in that love language – every day.
You can all complete a love language quiz like this one by Truity. Or if your kids are too small, experiment by doing things that fall in the various love languages and asking them when they feel most loved.
Once you’ve identified each person’s primary love language, talk about what that means and find ways to show love to each family member. Create a vision board or poster, or write each person’s love language on a white board and create “activity ideas” to make them feel loved.
You can also add a weekly or monthly goal to check in with everyone. Ask how they are feeling and if they are feeling well-loved (which is the goal), and if not, talk about ways you can better meet their love language.
Remember, this is a journey to learn, so the family shouldn't feel bad if they aren’t 100% meeting a love language. It’s also essential for the family to be honest about how they truly feel, so create a safe space that’s free from anger, judgment, and any other negative emotions.
12. Do Dinner Family Conversations
Do you also just ask each other the usual “how was your day” when you all sit around the dinner table? And then while your 5th grader tells you what they remember learning about, you also get an earful with all the latest school gossip?
While it is good to check in and ask about your family’s day, you can make it a goal to have fun dinner conversations that are more constructive.
When sharing about their day, ask your family to include one high and one low (or challenging part) and elaborate on each. What did they do? How did it make them feel? You can call this the “sweet and sour of our day” or the “rose and thorn of your day.”
There’s also the option of using conversational cards or diving into cool questions, like:
You can take turns drawing a question or two out of a hat and have everyone answer and discuss.
If your family can’t do dinner together, then make it a goal to have a quick but meaningful breakfast conversation.
13. Start a Kindness Club
Being kind doesn’t cost anyone anything, yet it’s something small that helps you (and the person you were kind to) feel good. Kindness also boosts confidence, happiness, and your overall health, so make it a family goal to practice kindness each and every day.
Let it become a habit, because the world can do with more kind people.
Make time every day to do something kind for your family as a whole, for one specific family member, for yourself, or even another person like a friend, colleague, or stranger.
You can ask your kids to share their kindness activity with you before they go to bed, and you can talk about it briefly (because la-la land awaits). Share what you did as a member of the family kindness club.
If you spend time together as a family each day, you can make sharing the kindness activities part of that, or have a short kindness club meeting every day.
14. Morning Hugs
Start the day on a positive note with morning hugs. Every member of the family needs to give everyone else a hug (and a proper one, not a quick whatever hug) before they leave and start their day.
You’ll find that soon you’ll be looking forward to that comforting hug because it helps relieve stress and tiredness, and it’s a safe space to just be for a few moments. If mornings are too busy, make it an evening hug for everyone.
If your family is away on business and school trips, make sure you hug a tree as part of your daily routine.
Weekly Family Goals
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
20. 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!
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. Do Mental Wellness Activities
Mental wellness is critical to leading a happy, fulfilling life. Improving your mental well-being helps make you more resilient as you can handle stress and obstacles better.
When you take care of your mental health, you set a good example for your kids. It’s also a reminder when you see your family (especially your littlies) about being aware and proactive with their mental wellness.
You can define mental wellness as tuning into your feelings and emotions, honoring yourself, and actively choosing activities and people who benefit your mental well-being.
So talk about what mental wellness means and set individual and family mental well-being goals each week. This ensures that you all carve out time for the upkeep of your mental health.
24. Work on Improving Your Family’s Financial Literacy
Having great financial skills is something most of us lack, and it all boils down to how we were raised and what we learned as kids. If you have an unhealthy relationship with money, it makes life doubly as hard.
And you can change this by working on financial goals but also learning more about your relationship with money, creating good money habits, and sharing what you’ve learned and how you are doing better with your kids.
Sure, setting and managing a budget is great, but you need to do more. Working on your family’s financial literacy helps ensure you can manage your financial resources (income, savings, and investments) more effectively to create a lifetime of financial well-being.
Set a weekly goal to work on money matters, and you can make it simple with this age-by-age guide so even the little humans can understand, learn, and develop a healthy relationship with money.
25. Use Reusable Shopping Bags
When we rush and go shopping, it’s easy to just opt for brown paper or flimsy plastic bags for our groceries and other necessities. But you can make it your weekly family goal to be more organized and use reusable shopping bags instead.
Buy a couple that you can keep in your vehicles, and I like to even keep one or two material ones that fold up compactly in my handbag so I always have a reusable shopper’s bag with me.
You can even make a game out of it and ask the kids to remind you about using these eco-friendly bags. Decide on a reward for X reminders to make it cost-effective.
26. Create a Weekly To-Do List
When you plan ahead, it helps set you up for success. So involve the whole family and create a weekly to-do list to help cut down on the chaos of the “who needs whats” and “who needs to be where whens.”
You can create an online Google calendar and color-code each person’s activities with notes. Set reminders to help everyone stay on track with all the comings and goings too.
Or you can buy a big white or chalk board and create the weekly to-do list there, and then tick off what activities have happened.
Assign a person to manage the list each week. This family member needs to update the list with new activities and note any changes.
Monthly Family Goals
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
33. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. Take Family Field Trips
A great monthly family goal example is taking field trips. You can use these trips to explore your neighborhood, city or town, and even nearby counties. Decide whether this month’s field trip will be educational or fun, or a combination of both.
Ideas for family field trips are visiting the:
If you can’t go out, do a virtual field trip with the whole family.
38. Work on a Home Project
As a monthly goal, you and your family can also decide on a home project to tackle together. This will teach everyone new skills, give them a sense of accomplishment, improve communication skills while working as a group, and make you feel closer as a family.
Ideas for home projects you and your family can consider are:
The world is pretty much your oyster with home projects for you and your family.
39. Add to the Family Piggy Bank or Emergency Fund
Teach your kids the value of saving and being able to pay for fun hobbies and more for the family from a family piggy bank. Alternatively, you can all save up for an emergency fund.
For example, if there’s an unplanned school field trip or your monthly budget is stretched too thin, an emergency fund can save the day.
Encourage everyone to add to the piggy bank with what’s left of their allowance and then vote on what you’ll do with the money every month (or even every couple of months if you are saving for a bigger ticket item).
If your kids are little, you can start with monopoly money and use that “money” to buy special items (snacks, cool stationery, etc.) from a secret drawer in the house.
40. Cleanest Room Contest
A fun family goal is holding a monthly cleanest room contest. This could be just the incentive your kids need to tidy up and clean and have their rooms look respectable again. If you are on the slob end of the neat-messy spectrum, then this can be motivation for you to clean too.
As a family, decide on the reward for the cleanest room contest and what the criteria are to win. Stuffing all the toys, clothes, and dirty glasses and plates under a bed or in a closet should be a no-no.
You also need to decide to inspect each room as a family, and if your kiddies are old enough, you can create a check-list or scoring card.
Remind everyone to leave jealousy and sibling rivalry at the door to ensure there’s no souring of the contest and winner. The winner wins – fair and square – and if someone didn’t get the prize this month, it should motivate them to do better next month.
You can also have surprise wins for “most improved” (person who cleaned their room better this month).
Yearly Family Goals
41. 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.
42. Start a New Hobby
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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. Do an Eco-Friendly Project
It is always great to teach your kids about the environment and how we can make a difference to love and protect it better. And what better way than to decide on a yearly eco-friendly project to tackle as a family?
While you decide on which project to take on, also learn about how it’ll help the environment and how you can further give back to the planet.
Be creative with your projects and remember to have fun.
Some ideas for eco-friendly projects include:
49. Make Holiday Cards with Well Wishes
Some families have a wonderful tradition of making Christmas cards, and you can do this too – but for other holidays too. Plan themes and decide who’s doing what, and start making holiday cards.
Let your kids and the family as a whole get creative with well wishes to write, and you can tailor these for each person you send the card to.
While you can do themed family photos, you can also make the cards by hand – like a junk journaling project – but for well-wishing cards.
You can even make cards for strangers, a local retirement village, or soup kitchen. It’s sure to put a smile on people’s faces.
50. Create a Family Bucket List
When you have some spare time as a family, do you know exactly what you want to do? No, right? There is a lot you want to do, but at that moment …. Nothing. Your mind's blank.
So prepare by creating a family bucket list. You can make a bucket list for the whole year, for each season, or even every month. Then see how many of the items you can tick off together and set rewards for the family (like an ice cream outing) for ticking off all the items on the list.
51. Review the Past Year and Make a “I Never Knew List”
It’s a good idea as the year draws to a close to sit together with your family and review the past year. A cool activity is to make a “I never knew list.”
To elaborate, every person makes a list of things they did or that happened that they never knew they wanted to do or wanted to happen to them.
For example, let’s say you never thought you’d love bungee jumping, but on your trip to the Niagara Falls, you all decided on the spur of the moment to go bungee jumping. You had an amazing time, and while this activity was never on your to-do list, you are happy to have the experience.
Take a week or so and let everyone think back and make their lists. Then you can set a date to unpack the list and chat and laugh and learn about each other.
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.
And if you want more resources about family, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 25 Family Hobbies That Are Fun To Share Together
- 75 Family Bucket List Ideas to Share Together in 2023
- 7 Ways to Be Less Annoying to Friends and Family
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.