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  • Kenton E. Biffert

Goal Setting as a Family

Every January, usually around the 1st of the year, we sit down as a family, review our goals from last year and adjust them for the new year.

As a couple we've been setting goals yearly since we were married so it was only natural to include our children into the discussion. This year, however, was our best discussion yet. Our oldest two had already been anticipating the family meeting. Both had already prepared a journal and had written down goals for the coming year. As a father, I felt like this guy in the picture above, shouting, "I'VE DONE SOMETHING RIGHT!!!!" (This is how parents feel when their children buy into the philosophy of life they are giving them).

So what does goal setting look like for us?

We set goals in a number of categories:

a. Spiritual: goals here revolve around how many daily Masses/week, or confessions/month, or books of the Bible to read, or weekly adoration times, or moving up in altar serving, or receiving a new sacrament, etc.

b. Physical: these goals are goals about the health of our body - it includes eating habits and exercise habits.

c. Educational:

these goals go beyond 'finishing my math text' to what specifically they would like to learn or study this year. We keep this area different from 'personal goals' and keeping them specific to study and learning - perhaps researching how to market a new board game or learning how to code.

d. Reading: in this section, though we are all reading all the time, we pick specific books or series that we hope to tackle this year. For eg: this year one son wants to finish the Lord of the Rings series and another has a list of Great Books that he wants to finish. Daddy wants to get through one Charles Dicken's book.

e. Personal: this is usually the biggest section and includes anything that isn't already covered from kayaking lessons, to learning to sew, to catching a pike or teaching our three year how to ride a bike.

Finally, we add more category:

f. Family Goals: Here we discuss the 'State of the Family' in the Biffert home. Is there a goal we can all work towards together? Examples of this are things like learning to snowboard as a family, to explore a new lake and island or to get to know a new family and their children. This may also include virtues we need to work on or manners/etiquette as well.

So how do we remember all of this? We review the goals on our Anniversary, which is about half way through the year. At this time we adjust, kick out butt's or congratulate ourselves.

At the end of the day, it keeps us at the point of living our lives by design rather than just letting life happen to us.

Many blessings to you in 2020!

Semper fidelis


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