Goal Setting and Getting Your Family On Board

Shawn Fink

I love the idea of working on myself. I have no problem creating a goal and trying to stick with it. I’ve accomplished MANY things in my life that way. I am proud of the hard work I’ve put into myself, always trying to improve, always trying to do the right thing, always trying to do better.

I think you are the same way. You are on a mission to improve, too.

But, many of the mamas who reach out to me either in The Abundant Mama Project or in private coaching, struggle with one very important thing — how in the world to get the rest of the family on board!?

And that’s when I often return to … you  can only change yourself, and that is mostly true.

However, I do believe there is one way to get everyone on the same page — or at least in the same chapter — and that’s by setting family goals.

In my last post, I gave you a framework to identify those areas in your house that might be a roadblock in having that peaceful, loving house you’ve been longing for. Now, we’re going to take action.

Slow action, that is.

There is no hurry here on accomplishing these goals. They are just a post to aim for in the distance. They are something to keep your eyes focused on as you travel along as a family.

Setting family goals can be a pretty simple process if the children are in a good place. Allowing them to do other things while you talk about these things is a great idea, especially for younger children but even older kids might feel more comfortable drawing or playing a game.

It’s been a while since we’ve started a brand new family tradition in our house and I love that we’ve begun official family meetings by working on what we can do to always aim to do our best.

Here is one way to establish your own family goal-setting tradition:

  1. STARTING — The best way for this to work is to sit down as a family — perhaps around a meal or special treat — and talk about what’s working and what’s not working.
  2. NOTE TAKER — Appoint someone — a child, preferably — to be your family note taker. If you have a child that longs to be a teacher this is a great job for them.
  3. PLEASE NOTE — This is not about blaming or shaming. Simply about trying to be our best. That’s when each person can decide what their ONE goal should be to focus on over the next month.
  4. GET WRITING — Set up a large piece of poster board and write everyone’s names, including mom and dad. Have everyone write their own goals down. Make sure you have a plan of baby steps — tiny actions — everyone can take to make sure they are successful reaching their goals. (For example, my daughter drew a book to remind her to read before bed instead of leaving bed to get one of us.)
  5. HAVE FUN — Write down each goal after each person’s name. Draw pictures of clues that will help everyone remember their action steps to reaching the goal. Use silly faces. Ask the kids to color the spaces around their goals and you do the same. Make it fun and memorable.
  6. DISPLAY IT — Hang your goals in a place where you can all see it all the time.
  7. REVISIT — Families should revisit those goals and celebrate the victories and guide and support the not-so-victorious.

Anytime families create a tradition together they automatically feel closer. Family traditions are a touchstone for raising confident, happy children. And, by EVERYONE in the family working toward their own goal it no longer puts the emphasis on just one person’s flaws. It goes from being a ME problem to a WE challenge.

If you want to learn more about family meetings, my friend Zina from Lasso the Moon wrote a fabulous post on how to host a successful family meeting.

You might also want to check out how to write your own family manifesto during one of your meetings.

What goals do you or your family have to work toward right now? I’d love to hear some of them — along with the baby steps you are using to accomplish them!



It is customary to create personal goals in the New Year. Do you ever create family goals?

Shawn Fink is a family wellness coach and founder of The Abundant Mama Project community and online program. She is also the author of The Abundant Mama's Guide to Savoring Slow and The Playful Family. She recently created the program Rise and Shine, a 10-Day Challenge to help you sleep more, rise early and take care of yourself before your world wakes.