So it’s a new year and with it brings a time where we declare we’re going to start doing something different, stop doing something else, and ‘resolve’ to something even more vague like “be nicer.”
I don’t like resolutions. They stare at you. Mock you when you slip up. They cost you lots of money (don’t believe me, how much have you used that treadmill in the other room since you bought it?). They are always ready to condemn you for every misstep.
I much rather prefer, goals.
Goals are measurable. Goals give you a framework to succeed. Goals change behavior.
A big difference between goals and resolutions is direction. A resolution requires an abrupt end to specific behavior that, for many of us, is born out of habits, worldviews, and routine, and to simply resolve not to do something is often setting ourselves up for failure because we simply can’t rewire our behaviors or thinking that quickly.
Goals, however, give you a step-by-step plan to reach your end result. They don’t demand perfection; they DO demand action.
As a parent, what are some of your goals for 2013? We all want to do a better job at raising our children into Christ-following adults. So grab a pen and paper, grab your spouse and spend some time writing out your goals for your family for 2013. Here are a few tips for you:
- Make sure the goal is something that you actually want; not something that sounds good
You don’t want to labor at a goal if the result is not something you want in your life! What do you want your family to be characterized by? Prayer? Service? Hospitality? Name it and set out to do something about it!
- Write your goal in the positive, not negative
Use: “Eat supper as a family 5 out of 7 nights” instead of “stop missing supper with my family.” This gives your subconscious a positive next step – positive is always better at achieving a desired action
- Set your goals high
Trust me, it is so much easier to blow off a low goal as something that doesn’t really matter than it is to blow off a high goal that will require sacrifice and determination to reach. Don’t be unrealistic; it’s impossible to run a marathon without training, so set the date of the marathon that you’ll run in and train appropriately for it.
- Use your own goals
Don’t take someone else’s goals for their family – what are YOUR goals for YOUR family?
- Write it down/Be specificIf it isn’t written down somewhere, you’ll forget about it quickly. Put it somewhere important that you’ll see every day and be specific about what actions and behavior is required from you.
Got a goal that you want to share? Let us know in the comments!