As the new year begins, it's time to think about the direction your family wants to take in the new year. Setting goals that you want to achieve throughout the year as a family is a great start. These aren't new year's resolutions (some of them you may not be able to do anything about until the summer months or in 3 or 4 years time), these are family goals that together you can make small and large steps towards achieving this year. If you read Our Story you'll find this is exactly the way that I went from a Mum in survival mode to living a life that we wanted and working towards new goals every year.
But going about this as a family can be challenging, and working out a method that's best for you, and that works for your family is part of the process.
Sitting in a cafe in Mallorca a few summers ago, a family with 3 children, similar in age to ours, sat down with their parents at a table near us. As they sat there it became obvious that they were having a family meeting; talking about what they enjoyed over the weeks of the holiday and that specific weekend, and what they wanted to take away from the holiday and continue at home.
I loved this idea of sitting down together as a family, and talking about what you liked and didn't like, and as the new year starts we will sit down, and enjoy a meal together, and work out what bits we want to continue as a tradition, and which ones we didn't enjoy as much and will change or ditch completely. Just because it's something that we've done for a while doesn't mean it can't be changed.
What type of goals your family sets is up to you. Are you happy with the amount of time that you spend together as a family? Do you want to go somewhere special this year? Are screens taking over your lives and it's time to take them back? Each family is different, and also each person is too. Just because you think that screens are taking over your family's life doesn't necessarily mean that your partner holds the same view, and if that is one of the areas that you want to make a goal for the new year then you can bet your socks that your children won't hold the same view. As we sit down as a family, these are areas that we will be focusing on.
Maybe they'll provide inspiration for your own family to set goals for 2018!
Ideas for Family Goals
Family Goal: Less Screen Time for ALL the Family
My children don't have a lot of screen time but I'm aware of how much this influences their daily lives. The more TV they watch, the more it comes into their play. Instead of playing freely, they reenact the TV shows. Temper tantrums occur when a tablet or phone is taken away or not given when demanded. So cutting back on screen time for the kids is important, and also for us, as they aren't alone with the screens taking over their lives. I work on Rainy Day Mum and do tech support and design work for other bloggers. My husband works in IT, and yet when we're at home we often sit and type, read, play and watch TV instead of spending time together and with the family.
Family Goal: Making Mealtimes a Priority
Before we moved house in 2016 due to the time my husband would get home from work the kids would eat on their own and then I would eat with my husband later. With the move to a new house, this has meant that finally as he doesn't have such a long time commuting (no going through the whole of the town) we enjoy a family meal.
This family meal became a priority in 2017 as we were able to enjoy it for the first time. It opened up communication between us and meant that we heard about the children's day in a relaxed atmosphere. It's where our family meetings take place. These meals are accompanied by home cooked food that myself, my husband and sometimes the kids cook together.
Family Goal: Getting Outside
This goal works well with spending quality family time together and is also a great way of improving your health, your children's health and makes you feel better, whether it's going for a 15 minute walk around to look at the changes of the season, switching off the car and walking to do the school run, playing football in the garden when school finishes or even going puddle jumping.
Just a short time spent outside together can improve your moods and make you feel better.
Remember there's no such thing as bad weather - just unsuitable clothing.
Wrap up warm and spend 15 minutes outside in the winter days. Put on a sun-hat and take a 15-minute evening walk in the summer. Kick leaves in the park in autumn, and collect flowers for your home in spring.
Family Goal: Take Vacations Together
Last year, many memories were made on our vacation to Cyprus. It was 14 days spent together as a family with none of the distractions of life at home. We are lucky that my husband's work and mine allows us to enjoy times like this.
Your family situation may be different but spending time on a vacation whether away on a trip of a lifetime or a stay at home vacation. Make it a goal, and make it possible this year - book the time off.
See what you can budget, and if it's at home, then make it like you are visiting your home area as a tourist.
Family Goal: Become more Organised
After Christmas, is your house overflowing with toys, clothes, books that the kids are growing out of?
Do you plan to move in the next year, and getting organized and decluttering will help?
Does you garage look like a storage box filled to the rafters with boxes and things that you and the kids aren't using any more? Is your attic the same? How about the box room? (ours does which is why in 2018 this will be a whole family effort)
Well, if so, you're like us, and we're making a goal this year to organize and declutter.
Family Goal: Making Education a Priority
As a parent I want my children to grow up wanting to learn more, whatever interests them. This love of learning will help them through the years of compulsory schooling.
Whether it's helping with homework by providing the resources they need to go over areas of maths that they may struggle with. I know that schools find it difficult to cover all the bases and as someone who loves learning even now this is something that I am passionate about.
It started when they were little by joining in with a monthly Virtual Book Club for Kids - bringing books alive through crafts and activities which we host here every week to creating resources to support areas like spellings and times tables.
Join us in 2018 setting your Family Goals and Working Towards Achieving them!
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