Do you ever compare yourself to other families and wonder how they’re so “together” and “successful”? It’s highly likely that they practice goal setting. Well, there’s no need to feel perplexed any longer. Read on, and hopefully your family will benefit from our advanced guide, which will help you understand why family goal setting is essential and how to best approach it.

Score! Another Goal for Our Team!

Who said winning isn’t everything? The sentiment is positive, but the truth is that deep down we all want to be winners. And when it comes to our family, we want the best for everyone—as individuals, and as a team. That’s why goal setting is so incredibly important.
In sports, teams and players have objectives and an aim. In business, administration, management, and workers create goals to build and improve their organization. The same applies to families. If you want to be successful, setting intentions individually and as an entity should be a priority for your family.
There are many things to be gained from family goal setting. Some of the most valuable are:

  • Self-discipline, Willpower
  • Learn communication skills
  • Practice empathy
  • Strengthen bonds


An Advanced Guide to Make You SMART

Back in the late 1960’s, a doctor by the name of Edwin Locke published a paper on the significant benefits of setting goals in an organization. Then, in 1981, George T. Doran expounded on Locke’s findings and published the paper, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.”
Those letters were an acronym for setting goals successfully in business. As it turns out, implementing S.M.A.R.T at home translates beautifully as well. Your family can follow the main principles, too.

  1. Specific. Make your goals specific. If, for example, the family wants to go on a summer vacation, choose a specific place. Discuss how you will get there, where you’ll stay, and for how long. Now you can decide on a budget; that will be one smart goal that can help you get to Hawaii or to go on whatever adventure you’ve chosen.
  2. Measurable. You’ve all decided to cut shower-time in half. That will save on the water bill. You’ve all agreed to give up the 200 channels on TV. That will save on the cable bill. Each month you can measure what you’ve saved and put it towards your trip.
  3. Attainable. Can you really get to Hawaii just by saving on a couple of monthly household bills? Probably not. So, what will make the trip attainable? Perhaps the parents/adults agree to work overtime twice a week. Maybe the kids sell all their old sports equipment on Ebay. Now it’s more likely that you’ll reach your monetary goal.
  4. Relevant. Now that we’ve created specific, measurable, and attainable goals, is the overall goal relevant? Can we really get to Hawaii by the summer when it’s already January? The family realizes they need more money or more time. They discuss other ways to save or earn, but, realistically, the amount they need for their vacation will take more time to amass.
  5. Time-Bound. We’ve decided on a timeframe. Our goal can be realistically met within a year. We will go to Hawaii next January. This will give us the time we need to meet our budget, and also allow for unforeseen life-things that may set us back slightly. And besides, we are excited about going tropical just when it starts to snow at home!

Some sources consider S.M.A.R.T. as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound; others use Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Timely. Either way, the principles of the goal settings are acutely similar and effective.

Ohana Means Family!

The great philosopher Lilo (from the Disney film Lilo and Stitch) taught us that Ohana (in Hawaiian) means family. “Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” Just like when families set goals and work toward a common aim, everyone wins.
Some typical goals families set for themselves are:

  • attitudes/communication
  • education/school/professions
  • finances/budgets
  • health/physical activity/eating habits


Good Goal-Setting Habits

1) As a family, showing each other respect by listening and being open-minded is extremely important. Each person should be involved in setting, implementing, and achieving the agreed-upon goals. Even young kids can be included—you just need to get creative.
2) Writing down the goals can be used as a guide. Keep the list somewhere everyone can see.
3) Keep the list manageable and attainable. Too many goals can become complicated and distracting. Stick to a few essentials and persevere.
4) Make a plan for the family to meet every so often and review the plans. How are they going? Check in with each other. Add, delete, or make changes when you meet. Discuss strategies. Follow-up is important to measure success but also to remind everyone of the goals. Review and reflect.
Adhering to this advanced guide should help your family be the best it can be. Through goal setting you can reinforce bonds between one another and become stronger as a whole. May your family achieve the satisfaction and success you desire and work so diligently towards. For more tips on family health and parenting, check out other articles on GetThrive!