The truth is, no one’s family is perfect. Whether it’s an unhealthy lifestyle, a strained relationship or an unhealthy family dynamic, all families struggle in some aspect of their lives. Instead of wondering how others manage to have such “perfect” lives, reflect upon your own blessings, and consider how you can make things even better than they already are.
Setting goals as a family is proven to be more effective than setting personal goals that focus on self-development. Not only does working towards a goal together help to improve your relationship, but it is also a great learning tool for your children. As children watch how you deal with set-backs or celebrate successes, they are learning how to set goals for themselves in the future.
Working towards a family goal is also very effective as your actions are immediately reinforced by other members of the family. When you succeed, you succeed as a team! Alhumdullilah!
To get your children on-board with these changes can be difficult. One of the best ways to get them excited about these new goals is to decide about together.
Nothing will make them less enthusiastic than if you say, “Mummy and Daddy have decided that….!” Instead, allow each person to talk and contribute an idea on ways/things that could improve. If your children feels shy then ask them to write it down, and together decide what your new family goal will be.
Ideas for Family Goals
What you decide to set as your family’s goal is very personal to your situation. Here as just a few ideas that may inspire you:
- Eat Well
Modelling healthy eating is a wonderful way to positively impact your child’s relationship with food. It is not easy to get your family out of the habit of eating unhealthily, but it is something that they will benefit from in the short-term and long-term insha’Allah.
- Get unplugged
Increasing evidence suggests that long hours of watching TV and on devices is damaging to your children’s physical and mental health. As a family, you could have one day a month where all screens are switched off. That means no TV, no mobile phones or tablets. Instead your children will have to use their imagination to entertain themselves. The most wonderful thing about this “un-plugged day” is that you and your children will be undistracted, and can really be present in this time together.
- Exercise more
Exercising together is a fantastic way to spend time as a family. Why not go for a walk, bike ride or have a snow fight in the garden! Find an activity that you all will enjoy and can do together.
Keep it Simple
When deciding on a goal, keep it simple and achievable. Difficult goals will ultimately only make everyone feel bad about themselves when they are not able to achieve these lofty expectations. Set small, specific and achievable goals.
When these goals have been met, then you can set another goal that is slightly more ambitious.
For example; instead of saying,
“ We will exercise 3 times a week” , you could say
“we will do something active together every other day, for at least 15 minute each time.”
When this has been accomplished for a few months, then raise it to 30 minutes, and so on.
Keep it Positive
Instead of talking about sacrifice or denial, keep the goals positive. Talk about what will be gained from achieving that goal.
For example; instead of saying “No more dessert after dinner”, say
“We will enjoy healthier family meals together”.
To keep your family motivated, celebrate the milestones. For every month that you stuck to your goal, celebrate!
Whether it’s going to the cinema as a family or inviting friends over, you must acknowledge the effort that everyone has made and enjoy it! Let your children know how proud you are of them and congratulate one another.
Setting and achieving goals together is a wonderful way to strengthen you family relationships, whilst improving an aspect of your lives.
Have you set any goals with your family? Did you achieve them?
We would love to hear about your families’ experiences in the comments section below insha’Allah.