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Published on March 16, 2020

How To Set Family Goals To Build A Happy Family (With Examples)

How To Set Family Goals To Build A Happy Family (With Examples)

The demands and pressures of work and the desire to be successful in life may overshadow the need to take care of the home front. If this happens, it can take its toll on your family if you do not set family goals to address this need. You can claim to be working hard for your family, but your family might be suffering because of your work and other commitments.

The demands of the family can be overwhelming: you have your spouse to look after and share your time and affection with, and you probably have children who are depending on your availability, care, and support for their positive growth and development.

The failure to plan family life as we plan for our work, career, and social activities can be a reason why families fall apart. Specific family goals can help avoid this.

Highlighted below are insights on how you can set your family goals. They are placed alongside some examples of goals that can bring about harmony in your family life.

What Are Family Goals?

There are different ways that one can look at family goals. One way is that they represent the desires you plan to achieve for your family. However, another opinion sees family goals as “any goal that inherently involves another member of your family in order to accomplish it.”[1]

Looking at it this way, it becomes clear that you can’t achieve your family goals without the cooperation of your family members. For example, setting a goal to maintain peace within your family requires the cooperation of your partner (and perhaps your children) to accomplish.

Why It Is Important to Set Family Goals?

Whatever comes out of your family is the product of your decisions and that of your spouse or partner.

While you can experience some level of success as an individual, your success becomes more meaningful when your family is able to feel your impact. As a spouse or parent, you have to take responsibility to ensure that your family is headed in the right direction, which is why it is important to set family goals.

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A happy family doesn’t just happen by luck or by chance; it is a product of both good intentions and sometimes hard decisions to make your family successful. Setting goals towards making those decisions is an important step you should take for your family.

How to Set Family Goals

Setting goals for your family shouldn’t be a difficult task. Here are some things to consider to make setting your family goals easy and fun.

1. What Do You and Your Spouse Want for Your Family?

Every family is unique, so you have to decide with your spouse what you want for your family. Think about how you want your family to look every day, or what you would like to achieve in a month, a year, or in 3, 5 or 10 years.

2. Which Families Do You Want to Emulate?

There are good examples of some families that you might like to emulate. Look around you. What have you observed that you think are desirable virtues you can imbibe in your family? Write them down and check if you can work out similar things for your family.

3. What Have You Seen in Other Families That You Want to Avoid?

Have you seen anything around you that you perceive as threats to families? It is time to set your own goals to make sure that you don’t experience them. For example, getting home late perpetually can strain the relationship between a husband and wife. If you notice this trend, you might want to set a goal to return home daily at a scheduled time that can be considered early enough.

4. What Are the Current Challenges in Your Family?

Most problems in families persist because both husband and wife (and possibly children, too) have not sat to have a decent conversation about them. When you talk about the challenges and also discuss the possible solutions, then you can come up with family goals that will address those problems.

5. How Can You Keep Your Family Strong, Healthy and Happy?

Keeping your family strong, healthy, and happy should be top priorities in your goal setting. The following are identified as characteristics of strong families: effective communication, affective involvement, encouragement, appreciation, commitment to family, social connectedness, ability to adapt, clear roles, time together, etc.[2] Think about how you can develop these attributes in your family and set goals towards them.

20 Examples of Family Goals and Standards

Ready to set your family goals? Find some examples below to guide and inspire you.

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1. Maintain Mutual Respect

One of the causes of conflict in the home is the lack of respect for one another. Mutual respect is described as “speaking to one another in a respectful and considerate fashion, keeping your partner in mind when making decisions, and responding to your partner’s needs and wants.”[3]

2. Raise Responsible, Productive, and Happy Children

Raising responsible children doesn’t just happen by chance. Parents with grown-up children know this. You have the chance the plan how responsible, productive, and happy you want your children to be.

3. Have an Active Religious Life

If you follow a religion, religious devotion can play a key role in marriages. On one side, it can help you to maintain spiritual and moral uprightness; on another, it helps you belong to a community of people where your family can also get external support and encouragement.

4. Generate Sufficient Finances

There is a cliché that says money is the sugar in the tea of marriage. While that can be a subject of debate, the truth is that a lack of sufficient funds in the family can create stress and tension. Therefore, setting a goal to generate adequate funding for your family needs is a goal worth pursuing.

5. Have and Run a Family Financial Plan

You have to create a long term financial plan for your family. This includes considering saving plans, investment plans, child education plans, etc.

If you’re not sure how to start making a financial plan, this article may be able to help.

6. Deal With Conflict Maturely

You can’t avoid conflicts or misunderstandings in the family, but you can determine to deal with them decisively and maturely. Setting a workable pattern for conflict resolution is a goal you should consider.

7. Grow Up and Old Together (Longevity)

The primary purpose of marriage is companionship, and one of the ways to maximize this is to live a long time together. Plan the things under your own control to live long together, such as reducing stress, living happily, eating healthy, and exercising.

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8. Maintain Open and Productive Communication

Encourage open and productive communication in your family. If possible, have a day each week for “tell it all” where each family member will communicate their desires, pains, and opinion about happenings in the family and the direction the family is headed.

9. Create Family Values, a Vision, and a Mission

Visions, missions, and core values are not only good for individuals or corporate organizations, but they are also applicable to the family as well. Have some values and mission distinctive to the family and something you are all working towards together.

10. Create Work/Life Balance

Most people already have this as a wish, but you have to be more intentional about learning and implementing secrets to creating a work/life balance. Your family needs it most.

11. Encourage and Provide Top-level Education

You can make it your goal to support your family members with funds to attain the highest level of education possible. This will take thinking outside the box to generate sufficient income.

12. Start a Family Business

You can plan to create wealth in your family by starting a family business, a legacy you can pass on to your children.

13. Spend Quality Time Together

Make a goal to spend quality time with your family. If possible, keep phones and gadgets put away when you are at home so as to maximize your family time.

14. Create Time for Each Family Member

Each member of your family needs their own separate time with you. Whether you are a dad or mom, have it as a goal to spend one-one time with your spouse and each of your kids weekly or twice a month. Doing this will help you to get closer to them and understand their worries and needs.

15. Create Family Getaways and Special Vacations

One of the ways to create a happy family is by taking your family on special holidays and getaways. People can get bored in their immediate environment and might need a fresh atmosphere to unwind. You can plan this twice a year or once a year depending on your budget.

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16. Create Surprise Nights out With Your Spouse

Deliberately inject some ecstasy in your home by planning some surprise date nights with your spouse.

17. Follow a Family Diet Plan

Build a healthy family by ensuring that your family eats healthy. Once in a while, create a special diet plan for your family members to boost family health.

18. Exercise Together

Make your family a fit family. Have some fun with your family members by creating time to exercise together, either indoors or outdoors.

19. Create a Family To-Do List

Another way to encourage the unity of mind and purpose in your family is by creating a “to-do” list. For example, make a collection of books to read or movies to see and create time to discuss them later.

20. Start a Family Charity or Support One

Build a legacy in your family by creating a charity or foundation that caters to people with special needs. If you don’t have the time and resources to start one, you can make a commitment to provide regular support to a charity of your choice.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that when setting your family goals, your ultimate objectives will be to build a strong, healthy, and happy family. Being strong means that your family is bonded firmly together and that every member feels important and connected to the family.

Being healthy means there is mutual love and respect, and everyone is in sound in mind, body, and soul.

Being happy means there are few dull moments in your home; you are all having fun and everyone feels satisfied to be part of the family.

More Tips on Creating a Happy Family

Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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