Goals are what keep us moving forward, reaching higher, and striving to be our very best selves. It only makes sense that setting goals with your family is a healthy way to bond and grow together. From daily habits to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, here are some goals to shoot for that the whole family can get involved with.
What Are Family Goals?
Before you can set any family goals, all family members, from toddlers to parents, need to understand what family goals are. At first, it might seem like family goals add to your already huge workload, but they can actually help reduce family stress.
Definition of a Family Goal
A goal is simply something you "aspire to do or wish to do," so a family goal is something you want to do together with all the members of your household or family. Family goals should incorporate working and growing together in a fun and beneficial way for everyone.
Types of Goals for Your Family
Like personal goals or business goals, family goals come in many forms. Some types of goals include:
- Daily goal: This is something you will all try to do together every day, like eating dinner at the table together without screens or phones, or reading for 20 minutes each evening.
- Weekly goals: This is something you will all try to do one day each week, like a family game night on Fridays, or evening walks every Sunday.
- Monthly goals: This is something you will all try to do once per month or just this month. Examples might be volunteer work or participating in a 5K together.
- Annual goals: Annual goals are goals you will all try to do once this year or once each year, like host a family reunion or take a family vacation.
- One-time goals: Think of something your family can try to do one time, like spend the summer in an RV or go on a massive hiking trip.
Family Life Goal Examples
Family life goals deal with your everyday lives, so they often center on the home or everyday routines. Brainstorm what would make your family life better or your bond stronger and create goals from there.
Create and Use a Family Chore Chart
If you don't already use a family chore chart, creating one together can help distribute household duties. Use a printable chart or create one using a chalkboard or dry erase board and hang it in a communal area like the kitchen. Attach rewards and consequences to family members who choose not to hold up their end of the bargain and perform their chore chart duties.
Make and Use a Virtual Family Calendar
If you have tweens and teens in your brood, using a virtual family calendar can increase your communication and cooperation. Something like a shared Google calendar on your phones can be accessed by everyone and will show all family members' events and appointments in one place. If your family is working towards a common family goal, holding family meetings might be essential to progress and achievement. You can add these family meetings to your virtual calendar, so busy family members on the go will still know when to show up for meeting time.
Cook Dinner Together
Whether it's once a week or every night, cooking dinner together teaches kids valuable life skills and takes the pressure off the parents to always prepare dinner. You can make it more fun by taking turns choosing the meals and the music you listen to while you work. Spending time in the kitchen is a powerful way to connect with family while providing life skills. Then, your next goal can be to sit down to the meal together.
Make a Private Relaxation Space for Each Family Member
Embracing each person's unique needs can make your home feel more comfortable and desirable for family members of all ages. Take a look at small, unused spaces to see how you could give each person their own private space. Then, let each person furnish and decorate that space. This is especially helpful if each child doesn't have their own room. Think about crevices under the stairs, large closets, corners of rooms, or areas behind furniture for young kids. Try making a "mini office" or a "cozy corner" in a basement or spare room for older kids and teens.
Start an Emergency Stockpile
Planning for emergencies as a family is a great way to prepare for the unexpected. You can make a plan to stockpile food and purchase emergency equipment like lanterns, batteries, and water. Choose a place to keep your emergency supplies and work together to fill it and keep it organized. Kids can add their personalized touches to the kit by adding paper and crayons, books, or cards to keep everyone busy should you have to hunker down for an extended time.
Clean and Organize the Most-Used Shared Family Space
Every family has that one room that looks like a disaster every day because it gets used by everyone 24-7. Set a date and time to work together on clearing out anything that doesn't need to be in that room. Share ideas on how the room could be better organized to keep it cleaner in the future. Use bins, baskets, blanket ladders, or anything else that might hide the clutter.
Examples of Family Health Goals
Take a look at your family's eating habits and physical activity patterns to see where you can improve. Health goals are some of the hardest goals for people to achieve, so working together can keep you all on task. Decide on a few and jump into action!
Create a Household Screen Time Budget
Just like you'd create a family financial budget, you can create a screen time budget. Look at your normal schedules and see how much free time you have to watch TV or play on devices. Find a way to divide that time up daily or weekly so each family member gets an equal amount of screen time and the family as a whole has time for movie nights.
Shop Your Meals for the Week at the Farmer's Market
If you've got a big local farmer's market, challenge yourselves as a family to eat only these local goods for one week. Bring some paper and a pen to the market, browse the stands, and brainstorm a meal plan that includes your daily meals and snacks. When the week is done, discuss your experiences and how you might alter your normal eating habits.
Plant Your Own Vegetable Garden
Set a date to plant your own vegetable garden that includes a few foods your family eats the most. From the garden layout to tending the garden and harvesting your vegetables, let everyone help create and maintain this space.
Take After Dinner Family Walks
Whether you're walking the dog or pushing strollers, getting outside together after dinner is a great way to bond and be active. You can do this daily, once a week, or only on weekends - whatever works for your schedules. Walk around your neighborhood or try different walking paths in your community.
Participate in a 5K Run/Walk
You don't have to be "in shape" or an avid runner to have fun at a 5K. Most 5K races offer walking options. Your family can get some exercise, achieve something together, and support a local charity all at the same time! Celebrate your achievement with ice cream or another tasty treat after the race.
Join a Health Club
Many communities have YMCAs or other health clubs that offer tons of exercise options and classes for families. Check out and see if your family might benefit from spending time together there. Sign up for a class together, play pickup basketball or swim in the lap pool a few times per week.
Start a Smoothie Challenge
Smoothies are tasty and healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy, so why not have a weekly (or monthly) smoothie challenge? Everyone in the family can find a smoothie recipe and make it for the whole family to try. Vote on which smoothies reign supreme!
Ideas for Family Spiritual Goals
Caring for your spiritual health as a family is something that's often forgotten in the daily rush. No matter what belief system you have, you can find ways to honor those values together.
Participate in Family Bible Study
Decide how often you'd like to come together to read and talk about verses, stories, or lessons from the Bible. Pick a comfortable place for your sessions and stick to your schedule.
Share Prayers After Dinner
Parents often hear children's prayers at night, but it could be a welcome change to have the whole family share their prayers. Choose a good time, like after dinner, when everyone can gather and share what they've prayed for that day or plan to pray for that night. If praying isn't up your alley, you can still share the good moments of the day or what you're particularly thankful for.
Volunteer as a Group at Your Place of Worship
From food pantries to cleaning help, places of worship and spiritual guidance rely on volunteers. Turn your value of service to others into reality by deciding on a volunteer schedule you can all keep as a group.
Build a Family Altar
Create a space in your home dedicated to spirituality. Discuss how and where to make your altar, then work together to fill it with spiritual symbols.
Create a Book of Quotes
Take your family's favorite religiously inspired quotes and make a book out of them. Have the book printed or turned into a scrapbook and put it in a part of the home where any family member can open it up and use it as motivation, inspiration, and comfort.
Perform Acts of Service for Neighbors
Getting the whole family together and ready on time to head out and volunteer for your community might seem daunting. Think on a smaller scale and brainstorm things you can do for your neighbors. Make a service schedule, so you have set times for achieving this goal. Think about elderly neighbors needing lawn care help or families with several young kids who might benefit from some rest and relief. Charity truly starts at home, and just because you do something on a smaller scale doesn't make it any less important.
Financial Goal Ideas for Families
While parents are mostly responsible for household finances, kids can contribute to family finances, too. Think of ways kids can help you save money to keep financial stress at bay. When they contribute to important family needs, they feel capable, connected, and confident.
Decrease Your Household Spending
A simple monthly or bi-annual brainstorming session can help keep saving on every family member's mind. Host regular discussions about how each person can help decrease the household budget, and report back on progress at the next one.
Save for a Large Family Purchase
From installing a swimming pool to buying an RV, every family has a dream item they can use together. Choose one large wish list item to save for, then make a plan that includes methods for collecting and counting the savings. Set a deadline for the goal to keep everyone motivated.
Save for a Family Vacation
Family vacations are expensive, so work together to save up enough money for your dream vacation. Make a plan that includes where you'll go, when you'll go, and how much money you'll need. Visuals like a savings jar or goal thermometer can help keep everyone focused on the goal.
Create a Coupon Center
Kids might not be able to supply cash to the family, but they can help save by clipping coupons. Set a time where you'll all sit down and browse coupon inserts. Talk about which ones make sense for your family, then organize them in a box or binder.
Set a Gift Budget for the Year
From Christmas to birthdays, gifts can create unnecessary financial stress for families. Set a gift budget for the year that includes every instance where you're likely to buy a present for someone. Consider adding homemade gifts to the list if finances are a little tight.
Save Up for Pet Expenses
Is your gang begging for a dog? They have to help contribute to the costs that come with pets. Kids can help contribute portions of their allowances to pet food, toys, vet bills, or other expenses that come along with the territory of owning an animal.
Examples of Family Educational Goals
Become a family of lifetime learners by setting educational family goals. These goals can include opportunities to learn from each other or from experts. Grow your bond and grow your brains at the same time.
Start a Family Book Club
Starting a family book club is just one family literacy idea that can spark conversations. Take turns choosing a book to read each month, then get as many copies as you need through your local library's inter-library loan program. Set a time limit of a month or so for everyone to read the book, then discuss the book over snacks.
Learn a New Game
From card games to video games and multi-player online computer games, learning to play a new game together can be a lot of fun and can create new skill sets. Try to find a game that appeals to all family members in some way. Choose games that are entertaining but also educational.
Take a Class Together
With online classes, you can take a class to learn almost any skill or topic you want. Brainstorm a skill you'd all like to learn, such as coding, then find a class you can take together. Some stores like Home Depot or Michaels offer classes you might be able to take in-person, as do many paint and pottery shops.
Learn a New Language
If English is your only language, it could be beneficial to learn a second language. You'll improve your understanding of a new language by having regular conversations, so learning as a family can make it easier. Someday, when everyone reaches a level of language proficiency, you can plan a dream trip to a country that speaks the language you learned.
Make a Family Tree
Tap into your family heritage and learn about your ancestors with a family tree project. Schedule times for research and a time to compile a special family tree to display in your home. Make a second family tree for your grandparents as this would make a one-of-a-kind gift for them.
Family Relationship Goal Suggestions
Family communication and family bonding are important relationship skills family members will carry outside the home. Look for goals that support individual relationship-building and strengthening your relationship as a family unit.
Create a Family Newsletter
You can create a family newsletter online or using craft supplies. Schedule times to work on the newsletter together and decide who you want to share it with. Family newsletters are a great way to strengthen relationships with extended family members.
Designate a Family Question of the Day
Find out more about your family members by asking and answering funny or profound questions regularly. Choose a fun question to ask family members and write it on a big dry erase board. Commit to adding your individual answers throughout the day, then talk about them at dinner or in the evening.
Create a Family Motto
Come up with a family motto can reinforce your family values and unite you. Brainstorm words that describe your family unit, then turn the best ones into a sentence or phrase that sums you up. Make a wall hanging of your motto to serve as a daily reminder.
Plan a Family Game Night
Use family night ideas to host regular family game nights. Each family member can commit to participating in the chosen game and take turns choosing the game. Pick a specific day of the week or month to make this a routine.
Schedule One-on-One Time With Each Family Member
Recognizing and respecting individuality within your family is important for nurturing individual self-esteem. Find ways to schedule one-on-one time so that each family member interacts with every other family member personally.
Tips for Setting Family Goals
If you're ready to set your own family goals, start by considering your family values. An adult will need to start the conversation, but everyone should get to express their ideas.
- Facilitate the conversation by asking others for their thoughts, feelings, and ideas before sharing your own.
- Make the process fun by using age-appropriate goal-setting activities so kids don't feel like it's a chore or punishment.
- Set one or two goals at a time, so no one feels overwhelmed.
- Encourage SMART goals to carry your ideas out in real life.
- Make a detailed plan that includes times to revisit the goal.
- Use a goal sheet to track your goals and progress and keep everyone on the same page. Goal sheets can be simple or complex, but should fit your family as well as your goals. Use the family goals printables below to set you on the path to success.
Family Goal for the Win
Family is important, and it needs to be nurtured so it can grow healthy and strong. Setting family goals can help keep you from getting bogged down in the to-dos and help you enjoy the want-to-dos. Be proud of all that your little team can achieve when they work together. With family, the unit is always stronger than the individuals.