Is one of your family goals this year to spend more time together? If not, it should be! This quality time allows us to create memories, develop a close bond, and enjoy the years we have together – which, as any parent knows, go by all too quickly.
But the average American family spends just 37 minutes of quality time together each day. That’s so sad but maybe not entirely unexpected! We all lead busy lives and have increasing amounts of screen time, too, so setting aside time to be both in the same room and connected to each other can be challenging.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 12 fun family goals to help you make the most of your time together this year.
What are family relationship goals?
Need a family goals meaning or definition? Simply put, family goals are aspirations for your family relationships. They might involve boosting communication, spending more time together, developing closer bonds, or improving your family’s quality of life.
Families are always a work in progress, so family goal-setting is a sign that you’re committed to the well-being of every family member. Plus, they’re a great way to get the whole family involved in making positive changes.
What is a SMART goal for family?
The task of setting family goals can be a bit vague, and all too often, we don’t get around to making them. Worse still, we map out goals without any plan to achieve them. That’s where the SMART system comes into play. This acronym breaks down each goal into manageable steps to ensure you stay right on track.
Provide detail about your family goal, so you know exactly what you want to accomplish. For example, instead of “We want to take a family vacation this year,” a specific alternative would be, “We want to take a 1-week family vacation to Mexico in August this year costing no more than $X.”
Track and measure your progress towards the goal to see how well you’re doing. In our vacation example, this might involve looking at the cost of airfare, hotels, and other expenses to see how much you’ve saved. The ultimate measure of success will be booking the vacation and jetting off together as a family.
Ensure your goal is realistic and something you can actually achieve. If you’re moving this year, have home renovations to pay for, or have recently lost a job, then your current financial situation may not make a family vacation an achievable goal.
Your goals must be relevant to your family and aligned with your values. So, this might involve considering whether everyone in the family is on board with taking a trip.
Set a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal to keep you motivated and on track. Selecting a date for booking the trip and paying for it provides a clear target to work towards.
What are some long-term goals for family?
Family goals can be short-term, like planning a movie night next Friday. Or they can be long-term, like setting up a college fund for your child. Another example of a longer-term goal might be for your children to take over the family business years down the line. As you can see, long-term family goals will differ from one family unit to the next. So, it’s all about finding the right goals for you.
12 best types of family goals for this year
Family goals don’t always have to be long-term or super serious. While the future is important, family is also about enjoying the here and now. So, without further ado, let’s check out 12 fantastic types of family goals you can get your teeth stuck into.
1. Choose and save for a family vacation
If your kids are old enough, ask them where they might like to go on their next vacation. Would they like to invite extended family like grandparents and cousins too?
Take everyone’s considerations into account, remembering you may need to compromise a little. Once you have a destination and plan, work out how much you’ll need to save and a budget to get you there. If you want to learn more about creating a budget, I recommend reading our ultimate guide for creating a family budget.
2. Eat family meals together
Eating family meals together may sound like a small goal, but it’s pretty significant. In our fast-paced, go-go-go world, it can be all too easy to eat on the run or in front of the TV. But sitting down to share a meal fosters communication and togetherness. It also teaches kids about nutrition, healthy eating habits, and how to cook simple meals.
Even if you can’t eat breakfast and dinner together seven days a week, hatch a plan to break bread as a family as often as possible. Perhaps commit to a weekly Taco night?
3. Recycling challenge
Starting a recycling challenge as a family encourages you to be eco-conscious and save some money too. So, see how long you can go without buying any new plastic items or single-use items like straws and coffee cups. Can you switch to glass or metal water bottles or bring your own bags to the grocery store?
By making these fun and easy switches, your kids will understand our relationship with the world around us and, ultimately, how to reduce your family’s impact on the environment.
4. Reduce screen time
We all know that too much screen time is bad for our physical and mental health. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that older children get no more than 1 to 2 hours of screen time per day.
As a family, challenge yourselves to cut down on the time you spend looking at screens. Start by setting a rule that there are no screens at the dinner table or for 1 hour before bedtime.
But to make this seem like less of a punishment to your kids, come up with substitute activities you’ll do instead. Perhaps a trip to the park or hosting a family karaoke party?
5. Take part in a community project
Take your family bond up a notch by teaching your kids how we can care and share within the local community. Doing something to help others shows kids how lucky they are and how they can make a difference in the world.
Out of ideas? How about starting a food drive for the local food bank, visiting an elderly care home, or helping to clean up your neighborhood? There are so many options and ways to get involved, so think about what would suit your family best.
6. Make a family time capsule
Family memories are important, and making a time capsule keeps them safe. Wondering where to store them? Bury your capsule in the garden or keep it hidden away in the attic – either way, it’ll be a fun surprise to open in years to come.
To make your capsule, collect items that represent your family today. This could be photos, letters, postcards, paintings, videos, or keepsakes. Once you’ve gathered everything together, put it all in a container (which could be a shoebox or steel time capsule) and seal it up tight.
Write the date on the outside so you know when to open it, then hide it away until it’s time for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
7. Set family fitness goals
Is your family vibe more sedentary than up-and-at-them? If so, it could be time to set some fitness goals as a family. Yup, getting fit and active together is a great way to improve your health, have fun, and bond as a family. And having a family accountability partner also makes it more likely you’ll meet your fitness goals.
But what types of exercise should you do? Well, you could commit to going for a family walk or run once a week, playing tennis together, or setting fitness challenges using an app like Strava. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something everyone will enjoy and that it fits into your busy lives.
8. Take more family photos
We all snap plenty of photos on our iPhones, but how often do we print them off and frame them? Probably not as often as we’d like. So, if your home lacks family portraits, it’s time to make a change.
Set a date for an annual family photo session and update your frames every year. Better yet, make a fun tradition out of it by going to the same place or photographer each time. Then, once you’ve got your new photos, get them printed and up on the wall. Alternatively, you could make a holiday card from them. Your future self will thank you.
9. Christmas declutter
What does your home look like on Christmas Day? A bit of a wreck, right? But not if you anticipate the Christmas mess and commit to a family declutter ahead of the holiday season.
This will make space for new gifts and teach your kids about the importance of decluttering and donating unwanted items to charity. It’s a win-win for everyone and a wonderfully festive thing to do.
10. Start a family savings challenge
According to a recent study, 51% of Americans have less than three months of savings. If your family is in the same boat, how about changing that? Your first step is to choose what you want to save up for and find out how much you need.
For example, if you want to purchase a new trampoline for the backyard, look for the right size at the right price before creating a savings challenge strategy to afford it.
Different budgeting ideas that kids love include the envelope system and the 52-week money challenge. Find the one that works for you and get saving!
11. Tackle your family debt
If you’re carrying any family debt, commit to paying it off sooner rather than later. This will lighten the load financially and hopefully ease any associated stress.
Begin by working out how much debt you have and the interest you’re paying, then create a plan to pay it off. You might need to make some lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on spending or working extra hours, but it will be worth it.
Of course, you might not expect your children to contribute financially toward your loan or credit card debt repayments, but you can involve them. Seek their help in switching to more affordable groceries or taking out a family Spotify subscription to save money compared to individual accounts.
12. Start a family side hustle
Does your family need a little extra money to put towards the family budget? In that case, how about starting a family side hustle?
There are lots of different businesses you could start together, such as setting up an eBay store and flipping second-hand goods, setting up an Etsy account and making jewelry or other bespoke items, or even starting a family YouTube channel.
Working on a business together helps you bond as a family, and you never know; it might even turn into a full-time business one day. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that everyone will enjoy and that will fit into your busy lives.
Get started with family goal setting
Are you ready to start family goal setting? The first step is to sit down with your family and decide the types of family goals you’d like to accomplish. Remember to make sure everyone feels heard and gets the chance to contribute.
Once you’ve got your family goals, start working on them. Break them down into smaller tasks that you can complete each week or month. And don’t forget to celebrate each milestone along the way. Good luck!