Goal Setting for Your Family in the New Year

Father and daughter laying on floor writing on a pad of paper

Are you someone who likes to set goals? Do you find the start of a new year the perfect time to make lists of opportunities and challenges your family can accomplish during the year? Many people like to make resolutions, so perhaps your family too can establish some resolutions, goals, or challenges that can be achieved. I recommend you start with self-care!

Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. We can apply this same definition to the family, and together identify a set of habits that can improve the overall health of our family.

Self-care may be reflected in how we eat, sleep, and take care of ourselves. Do we get enough exercise? Do we drink enough water? How many hours of sleep are members of our family getting each night? The answers to these questions could become the beginning of our family resolutions for the year.

Keeping lines of communication open with one another is an
important family consideration. Could you set aside time once a week, to gather
all family members, and celebrate your weekly accomplishments? Give family
members time to share things they learned about themselves during the week and
offer members time to ask for help if needed for the week ahead. And even more
important, share family schedules so that everyone knows the plans for the

Do family members share responsibility for the meals that are shared during the week? Many families keep busy schedules so talking about meal time during the family meeting will help meal time be more organized. Older siblings might even help prepare the meal, and often, when kids are involved in meal preparation, they are more likely to eat what is served. Check out the Spend Smart Eat Smart website for meal planning and recipes your family might enjoy.

Parents can model the benefits of goal setting by encouraging family participation in identifying goals and charting progress throughout the year!

Success is built one step at a time, and today is the best day to begin! Happy New Year!

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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