It is 2018 and it is snowing in Savannah (a rarity)! It is during this season, however, where we set our goals for the year as a means to help in decision making and to aid in ensuring we are getting things accomplished as a family and individually. Why is it important to set individual as well as family goals? According to a specialist from Consumer and Family Economics of University of Missouri Extension setting family goals aids in building stronger families. “Goals strengthen the family’s ability to function and live their dreams” as well as provides guidance, aids in better communication and helps individual family members take greater control of their circumstances (http://extension.missouri.edu/bsf/goals/).
We want to be very intentional in our faith, family and finances and the best way to be intentional is to PLAN IT. Success does not just happen; it has be planned. So with God, good intentions and a plan in place, here are the 5 Steps We Implement to Set & Execute Goals Each Year!
Take a day or weekend (with spouse, if married) to discuss, write and plan goals for the year.
This is something that my husband and I have done for a few years now. And actually, we plan an overnight trip at the end of each year to do it. Plus, it’s an opportunity to have a night (and morning) without the kiddos! This is where we discuss what we will do as a couple (i.e. lunch dates, read a marriage book together), what we will do with our finances (pay off X debt, save X amount of money), our goals for our kids collectively and individually, our overall family goals, our faith/spiritual goals and then our personal/business goals. As we are discussing, we want to…
Ensure the goals are realistic and flexible
It is important to set goals that we know can be attained if we put some work into it; therefore, we try not to set lofty goals or goals we know are completely out of our reach. Why? Because we tend to become highly disappointed when we do not reach the goal which typically could lead to us quitting working on the remaining goals.
We also keep in mind that our goals have to be flexible. We definitely learned this last year when we made decision mid-year for me to quit my job. As a result of this decision, we were not able to reach some of our financial goals. Although we knew we would not meet those goals, we were excited because we were able to meet and exceed other familial goals (family time, homemade meals, boys’ grades/scores, etc…). Being flexible is vitally important because there will be times when you may need to modify your goals.
Create a plan to execute goals
This is the most important step to setting goals. Creating actionable steps with dates and/or deadlines help to ensure these goals are accomplishable. For example, if we create a goal to save $1,000 and pay off $6,000 in debt for the year, our budget incorporates those two goals each month through the end of the year. So, our budget for the year is set in January and includes the monthly amount we need to save or put towards a debt each pay period.
The same for setting lunch dates (scheduling it monthly), achieving academic goals (reading X amount of books per week) or eating together as a family on certain days. Ensure goals are not just written down, but has days, times and steps to ensure they are accomplished throughout the year.
Review goals and expectations with the kids
This step helps to include the kids in the process. This year we just discussed our expectations and family goals over New Year’s Dinner (or lunch…we ate very early this year) with our boys. We discussed how we would continue our Sunday Bible Study each week, continue to have scheduled (and unscheduled) family nights (UNO and Speed have been our game of choice recently) and even told them about the chores we will be adding this year (although we have boys, cleaning is not a “girl thing”. Everyone needs to know how to cook, clean, wash, etc…). We also discussed academic and personal goals with each child. This is great to do so they can feel like they are part of the planning process and they can give their input as well.
Print out and display goals in a visible area
I created a “Turner Family Goal Sheet” where I write down all of our goals and post it! You can laminate it and post it on your refrigerator, family room or any room in the house. This visual serve as a reminder every day of the goals our family is marching towards for the year. It helps us remain focused, reminds us of what our purpose is for the year and allows us to check off goals as we accomplish them (normally, I write the date we accomplished it as well). If you have subscribed to my blogs, then you have received this in your email. If not, subscribe here and download it via email.
So, don’t just “let” 2018 happen, let’s “make” it happen. Be intentional when it comes to your faith, family, finances and other goals. Don’t forget to include God and I declare your 2018 will bring much SUCCESS! Have a great year!