Happy 2017! I’m typing this with a stuffy head and runny nose. My year hasn’t started exactly like I had planned, but that’s life right? Even though I’m not feeling 100%, I’m still busy thinking and making goals for the new year. Do you make goals? Or do you prefer to make resolutions?
I’m more of a goal person, and I tend to shy away from resolutions. Not sure why that is, but I feel like goals are something that can be made, worked on, and adjusted as the year goes on. Resolutions seem to be tied with New Years and if you fail, that’s it. They seem so absolute and I don’t like that. So, I make goals and lots of them.
The goals I usually make are personal, blog, health, and financial related. This year I’m adding in a new category, family goals! I hadn’t really thought about it before, but spending time and growing together as a family is important. In this day and age, it is also something that has to be worked at and prioritized or it just won’t happen. Something I think we fail to realize in the busyness of day to day life, is that we have to work at our family relationships just as much as our marriages or friendships.
So, I put together 7 intentional family goals that you can look at and choose from. Seven different ways that you can work at growing closer as a family. I’m sure that there are so many other ways, but these are just a few to get you started. Here we go…
1. Weekly or Monthly Family Time
This could be so many different things, it will just depend on your family and the age of your kids. For us, right now, a monthly family day is something we aim for. We pick something to go do one Saturday a month, just the three of us. As Logan gets older, I can imagine having a weekly game night or movie night.
Setting aside intentional time together is so important. It’s easy to get too busy. There needs to be time to stop and reconnect as a family. So, sit down with a calendar and make sure to schedule in some fun family time.
2. Have One Family Meal A Day
This is such a tough one for us. Shadrach works 2nd shift, so most nights it’s just Logan and me for dinner. The thing I’m learning is that it doesn’t have to be dinner. It can be breakfast or lunch. It just needs to be a time where everyone can sit down and eat together. I can remember as a child, that is when some of the best discussions happened.
Don’t make this more than it needs to be. In other words, don’t stress about cooking a huge meal or try to make the table look perfect. Those things are great, but not necessary for a family meal. Keep it simple. Just make sure that everyone sits down at the table, with food, at the same time. Then watch the magic happen. 🙂
3. Family Chore Chart
Is everyone in the family that are old enough to do so, contributing to the household chores? I think it’s important to teach children that everyone is responsible for helping to keep the house clean and picked up. It’s not just mom and/or dad’s responsibility.
So now, while it’s a fresh new year, sit down and make out a chore chart. I don’t have a good answer for the perfect age to start this but I wouldn’t wait until your kids are older. The younger you start chores, the easier it will be in the long run. It can be simple things, like picking up toys, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or helping unload the dishwasher. These are all things that Logan helps us with, and he’s not quite 4. Do what works for your family, just get everyone involved.
4. Weekly Family Devotions
This family goal can be done once a week right before bed, or even in the morning over breakfast. You could knock out two family goals with one if you have a family breakfast and then do a little devotional along with it. Just remember to keep it age appropriate. Younger kids won’t have a very long attention span. Just find the best time and place to have a devotional and write it on the calendar.
The thing that makes this one so important is that our kids learn from example. How else can we teach them that they should be digging into the Bible and learning, outside of a church? Our kids learn the best from us, the parents. We know them better than anyone else and know the best way they learn. So taking a few minutes a week to sit down and teach about the Bible will have great long term effects.
5. Do A Community Service Project Together
What better way to bond as a family than over helping people! This can be done monthly, or just a few times a year, or even only once a year. It really just depends on the project you choose to do and the age of your children. Get on the internet and do some research to see what types of organizations are in your area that is looking for people to volunteer. Or ask around to see if anyone can suggest something. Then get busy!
6. Unplug Weekly
Once a week, it would be a good idea to ban all electronics. It can be for a whole day, or just for a few hours, but do not allow any phones, tablets, TVs, or computers. All of these electronics take our attention away from the important things, our family. So, make it a priority to turn everything off for a few hours and really concentrate on each other.
You could all sit and talk, play a game, just play on the floor with your children. It doesn’t have to be complicated or extravagant. Just focus on each other without any distractions for a short time each week. You will be amazed how much of a difference this makes. Plus you will discover that turning everything off for a little while doesn’t cause the whole world to come crashing down. 😉
7. Schedule Regular Mom and Dad Date Nights
I know this one doesn’t involve the entire family. However, the whole family can be affected by this one. To be better parents, you need to make sure you are spending time together, just the two of you, reconnecting, talking, and having fun. Yes, you read that right, have fun just the two of you. 🙂
This one can be as frequently as you are able. Ideally, at least once a month. I know that it will all be dependent on your babysitter and financial situation. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be an elaborate date. It could be as simple as finding a hiking trail and just walking together for a few hours. Get creative and find things that you enjoy doing together.
This time is vital because as parents, we are the heartbeat of the family. Make this a family goal and make sure that your children understand how important mommy and daddy time is. Make this a priority!
So, what do you think? Are any of these something you and your family might be able to try? If you really stop and think about it, family goals are so important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Get your kiddos involved in choosing. If they are old enough, ask them what areas they feel should be improved upon in your family. If your kiddos are still small, like ours, think about how you want your family to be in 5 years and choose the things that will help you get there.
Do you and your family already make family goals each year? If so, I’d love to hear about it. If this is new to you, I’d love for you to tell me which ones you are going to work on this year. I look forward to hearing from you all! Now go start planning your family goals!
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