Setting Family Goals

As in most previous years, 2020 started out last January as just another regular year. It was full of all the normal expectations and hopes. Then, in mid-March, everything changed, and life as we knew it changed completely. In the remaining months, many of us experienced sickness, isolation, frustrations and fear. We were exposed daily to negative feelings and difficult situations as we dealt with financial instability, working from home, school online, and, in some cases, the terrible loss of a family member or friend.

Thankfully, on a more positive note, families found new ways of entertaining one another, exercising and cooking together and most importantly….talking, sharing and getting closer. Adult children moved back home to either assist their aging parents or due to financial necessity. It required patience, tolerance and a lot of love. Hardest of all, the holidays were celebrated differently with limited travel, much smaller groups or just skipped altogether. But again, on the positive side, families utilized Zoom and Facetime to be together to remain connected.

It has been said, “Goals are dreams with deadlines”. As we carefully venture into 2021 it is a perfect opportunity to create goals using the SMART formula of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-related. Consider having a family meeting (no cell phones allowed) to have this important discussion on family goals and then select a regular day and time to discuss all successes and challenges. Everyone needs to participate, regardless of their age and all will share in the rewards when steps are accomplished. The main objective is to build on the love you already share and have fun along the way. It is also an important opportunity for parents to set the example, with giving praise frequently along the way. You will strengthen the family, and your relationships.

A fun project can be creating a vision board of pictures and words from magazines and newspapers from the list that was made. It should be displayed in the kitchen, hallway or family room where it is seen every day to keep everyone on track with duties and timelines.

My last suggestion is to practice kindness and gratitude, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-related every single day. Let’s all strive to make 2021 healthier and happier, and watch your family thrive.

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