Simple steps to setting family goals

Nov 1, 2011 at 3:35 a.m. ET

Is your family stuck in a rut? Take the edge off any brewing family tension with these simple ways to enrich your family experience by setting goals.

how to set family goals
1Ask for everyone's input

Schedule a family meeting and ask each member of the family to weigh in on how to improve the situation. Because it's a family issue (or issues), it's important to make each member of the family feel like his or her opinion is being heard.

2One goal at a time

Once you've heard how everyone feels, it's time to fix the issues. Instead of trying to solve every problem at once, take a family vote on which issue is most pressing and begin there.

3Write it down

Once you've decided on your goal, write it down. Pick one or all of the children to write it out, or create a drawing of the family goal. Then post it in a central location in the house so that each person can be reminded of the goal throughout the day.

4Schedule a regular time to meet

Continue to meet as a family at a regular time to discuss the progress toward achieving the family goal and how well the family is working together to achieve it. This is also a great time to discuss what's working and make changes to what's not.

5Give praise

Most goals will not be achieved overnight -- and there are sure to be bumps in the road -- but make sure to put some focus on the positive. Given time and praise, the situation will improve if you are working together as a family. As it does, be sure to highlight each person's role in making it happen -- it will motivate each person to continue working toward the goal.

Just the process of working together to achieve a family goal can strengthen your relationships and improve the situation. Remember that it takes time to achieve a family goal, but if everyone remains dedicated to making it happen, it will. Stay positive!


More tips for setting goals

Teaching kids to set goals
New Year's resolutions for kids
The family meeting: Strengthening the family unit