Emma Thomas Full-time mum to an almost one year old girl, part-time blogger and writer, with a background as a Kindy Teacher/Director

As we move into the new year you, like me, might be thinking about new beginnings. 2020 sounds like a good year to get stuff done! I’m sure you have spent some time pondering personal goals (start running, lose weight, save money) and professional goals (new job, pay rise, better productivity) but have you considered family goals?

When you go to look back over 2020, what do you want your children to remember? You have 52 weekends and 262 weekdays. You have home days, work days, holidays, sick days, happy days and sad days.

Will your family go on a holiday, move house or welcome a new baby? Will there be a big adventure or lots of little ones? Will you spend time making memories at home, camping in the backyard, cooking together or having movie nights?

It is so easy to get caught up in our day to day busyness and let time slip by. I encourage you to be intentional at the start of this new year by thinking about priorities your family.

Your family goals need to suit your family and the season that you are in. They could be related to special activities you want to do together or simply sitting down each night and eating dinner together.

Making family goals is a wonderful shared activity. Have a family meeting where children can make suggestions for activities or holidays and take on responsibility for goals like keeping the playroom tidy. By involving your children in discussions around your goals they are more likely to understand and support the changes you want to make. They might even surprise you with what they are willing to do!

Your discussions might focus on:

  • Family goals: What do you want to do together this year?
  • Family values: What are the things that form the basis of how you act?
  • Family mission statement: How would you describe your family to someone you’ve just met?
  • Family traditions: What are the big and little things that you do together that are special to you?

There are different goals for different times, try and make:

  • Daily goals (kids tidying their toys before bed each night)
  • Weekly goals (walk or bike ride as a family)
  • Monthly goals (day trip to a favourite location)
  • Yearly goals (family holiday)

I have been thinking about my family goals for this year and would like to share a few with you:

  • to prioritise time with extended family by visiting my grandparents every 6 weeks.
  • to care for the environment by eating vegetarian dinners twice a week and using the community garden compost bin.
  • to plan ‘home days’ where we have time to sit and play together without too many jobs, errands or events.
  • to create a toy rotation system so that we only have a few toys out at a time.
  • to share our love of travelling with our daughter by visiting special places together.

I hope that 2020 brings your family opportunities to grow closer together and make lots of wonderful memories.