As the new year approaches, it’s the ideal time to reflect on the year that’s ending and make some goals for the future. As you set personal goals for the new year, also look at family goals. By taking the time to plan and prepare, you can promote growth, happiness, and achievement for every member of your crew.
Make sure your family is set up for the best possible 2024, with the following four key checklists.
1. Take time to reflect on the previous year and visualize the next.
- Carve out some time to reflect on the past year and identify areas of improvement. Write down what you think went well and what could have gone better, in all areas (health, finances, connections).
- Encourage each family member to write down what happiness looks like to them this year.
- Itemize your family goals and visions of happiness and display them in a visible place as a reminder. A family room or communal bulletin board work well. These family goals can be as simple as “have monthly family movie nights” or “walk the dog together once a week.”
- Visual aids are also powerful tools to inspire and manifest goals. Consider making family vision boards for 2024. Display these items somewhere where the family can see them and be motivated throughout the year
2. Learn how to create effective routines.
- Create a daily and weekly routine that accommodates individual and family needs.
- You may already have a scheduling system that helps your family stay organized—this is great! Think about what parts of that engine could run smoother. Is it your morning routine or wake up times? Perhaps having a schedule to clean out kids’ sports bags would make things run smoother on your next game day?
- Take a look at your schedule for the next month and ensure there’s some dedicated time for work, study, family activities, and personal development, as well as free time to relax and unwind. Get input from everyone, too. The more each member feels included, the more accountable they will be.
- Slot in regular family meetings. These can help everyone stay on track with new and old routines and give you a chance to work through any challenges that arise.
- Stick to it! Be the champion of structure and stability. Practice (and repetition) makes perfect.
3. Spend some time financial planning.
- Assess your family's financial situation and set financial family goals.
- Identify any upcoming financial items that you’ll need to plan for or set aside funds for; carve out a path to get there.
- Are there any new memberships coming up? Are there any large expenses on the horizon, like household replacement costs or family trips? Take stock of everything you can predict, but make a plan for uncertain times as well.
- Look for apps or online tools that can help with budgeting and managing finances.
- Create a budget that allows for savings, investments, and necessary expenses.
- Teach your children about the importance of budgeting and involve them in decision-making processes where possible.
4. Talk to each other about health, wellness, and personal development family goals.
- We all know that the key to success starts with our health and wellbeing. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. That’s why it is so important to plan for success, even when it comes to how we feel.
- Encourage regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and getting enough sleep. Consider apps and tools that can help monitor your health and wellness habits, such as fitness watches or trackers.
- Consider family hobbies that encourage mindfulness and relaxation, such as nature walks, family reading time, art therapy (at home or in a class), or family yoga.
- Identify areas of interest for each family member and encourage learning opportunities. These areas could include taking online courses in photography or foreign languages together, cooking new recipes for dinner as a family, visiting cultural sites, volunteering at local organizations, or taking on some DIY projects around the home or community. Identify each family member’s area of interest for development in the new year and find an activity to help nurture it.
- Set academic goals for children and provide resources for their educational growth across the year.
- Promote open communication and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. Try to be empathetic and approachable, and lead by example in order to create a space where compromise and open discussion can take place.
Planning for the new year is essential for setting your family up for success in all aspects of life. By reflecting on the past and creating family goals for your health, wealth and day-to-day life tailored to your unique needs, you can support your family into the new year.