Easy Ideas for Strengthening Family Connections Through Goal Setting

The start of a new year may have you thinking about what you’d like to accomplish, do and see in the coming year. Setting goals has many benefits including helping us to focus our attention on a tangible next step, keeping us motivated and leading to a sense of accomplishment when we achieve them, no matter how big or small the goal was.

Getting kids involved in goal setting from an early age can be a beneficial and fun activity for the entire family. Even when they’re young, kids can set age-appropriate goals with the help of the caring adults in their lives and have fun working together to achieve them. Here are some simple and creative ways to get the whole family involved in goal setting and deepen your family connection in the process.  

Learn Together

Before you start setting goals, take some time to talk the benefits of setting goals such as building self-confidence and encouraging perseverance. Make researching what makes a “good goal” a family activity. Older kids might benefit from learning about “SMART” goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely). Help inspire younger kids to try their hand at goal setting by reading books that open up age appropriate discussion about setting goals, facing challenges and persistence.

Set Family Goals

Kick off your goal setting with a family meeting. This is a great opportunity to talk about what your family values and let that be the framework for the goals you set. Boost connection by setting some goals for the entire family to work on together. Make sure that all family members, even the littlest ones, have their voices heard in the process. This will help everyone feel engaged and invested in whatever group goals you set.

Encourage Individuality

After you set some family goals, encourage kids to think about what is important to them individually. If they have trouble coming up with a goal, notice what’s important to them and let that guide the conversation. They will be more invested in working toward a goal if it is truly important to them. Look for opportunities for the entire family to recognize and cheer each other on as each person makes progress on their individual goals.

Spread the News

When kids share their goals with others, they can find reassurance and support. This is also a great way to involve long-distance family members in the goal-setting fun. For example, a grandparent that lives across the country can check in regularly with them on their progress. This can help long-distance family feel more connected to what’s important to the child and involved in their day-to-day even if they dont live close by.  

Celebrate Together

Kids will love celebrating wins – large and small! Acknowledging milestones along the way to a larger goal helps keep kids motivated. Celebrations don’t need to be anything fancy. Things like extra dedicated quality time together to do something they love, making or going out for a special treat, or hanging up a banner or handmade poster teaches them how those small wins contribute to the bigger goal.

Most importantly – keep it fun and encouraging! Let kids know how proud you are of them for setting goals and working toward them, regardless of the outcome. No matter what their goals are, talking about them and working toward them together sets them up for future success and is sure to bring the whole family closer all year long.

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