This New Year’s, rather than making personal goals or individual resolutions, shift your focus and set some family goals instead. We’ve provided a huge list of family goals examples, plus a free printable goal setting template to help.
The New Year is a great time to begin setting family goals – resolutions that you and your kids can strive to achieve together, working as a team.
You may wonder, “why is goal setting with families so important?”. Well, the beauty of family goals is that you have a built-in support system to motivate and encourage one another, which not only helps you reach them, but can strengthen family bonds and relationships in the process. Additionally, it’s a way for us as parents to teach our kids how to set goals, stay on course, recover from any setbacks, and celebrate our achievements – all amazing life skills.
We’ve partnered with Guiding Stars, a program that helps your family easily choose foods and recipes with the most nutrition (because let’s face it, a top goal for all families should be good nutrition!) to walk you through the process of how to set these resolutions, plus provide a huge list of examples of good family goals that can help spark your thinking.
And we’ll even provide an awesome free printable family goals template so you can write down your goals on paper, making it easy for everyone to reference and hold yourselves accountable!
Whether you call them New Year’s Resolutions or not, read on for 25 family goal ideas that you and your crew can work towards this upcoming year.
Best Practices For Making Family Goals
Before we get to the examples of family goals, we think it’s important to walk through some best practices to set yourself up for success. Simply dictating to your kids what your family’s goals will be for the year will not garner as much interest and cooperation as including them in the process of creating them. While setting goals that are far too lofty or vague will likely lead to disappointment.
And remember, you can start these new goals at any time. They don’t have to be New Year’s Resolutions that you kick-off at the beginning of the year. Begin the process whenever it’s a good time for you and your family.
Follow these steps when setting common goals for your family for a greater chance at success:
Deciding on the specific family goals you want to achieve over the course of the next year is a big deal. It should be planned ahead like any other family activity, and put on the calendar so it is clear when the discussion will take place. A few days before the big “Family Goal Planning Meeting”, remind everyone of the date/time and ask your partner and kids to put some thought into potential goals, and to come to the meeting with a few ideas. That way, everyone will be prepared to hit the ground running.
For older kids, consider using our free printable Family Goals Brainstorm Worksheet which they can use to jot down ideas using categories like “health” and “community” to guide them.
To download our free printable Family Goals Templates, simply enter your email in the box below and we’ll send the easy-to-print PDF directly to your inbox:
Make It Fun
You want your kids to be excited about the process of creating these goals, so put some effort into making it fun and creative. Perhaps the family meeting is combined with a pizza party and everyone comes in their coziest clothes, or you set-up an ice cream sundae bar with lots of fun toppings. You could even move the meeting from a table to the couch, with plenty of pillows and blankets to keep the family comfortable.
A great starting point is to ask each family member for potential goals ideas, and write each one down – even if you think it’s not feasible. Ask them to think about their own goals, and how the rest of the family could get involved. Ultimately, everyone is more likely to get onboard with the final list of goals if they feel like their ideas are being heard.
The best way to do just that is to use a jumbo Post-it Pad or chalk/white board to record all the ideas so the entire family can see what’s already been said, and to spark alternates thoughts.
You could also huddle around our printable Family Goals Brainstorm Worksheet and use that instead.
Go through our list of family goal examples below and see which ones fit best with your overall family values. Write those ones down as well.
Narrow Down Your List
Once you’ve finished brainstorming, the first step is to go back over each idea and circle, highlight or put a star besides those that seem to resonate with the whole family. Keep these things in mind when narrowing down your goals:
- Be Realistic
Although you want your family to push themselves in this process, setting goals that are completely unrealistic will be a recipe for failure from the start. Keep them achievable so that the long-lasting effect will be a positive experience for your family.
- Be Specific
Making a vague resolution like “we will eat more meals together” is far less effective than “we will eat dinner together at least 4 nights a week”. The more time you take to really focus and make your goals specific, the more likely you and your family will be in keeping and achieving them.
- Focus on a Few
Although we’ve provided a list of 25 family goals examples, it would be next to impossible to achieve them all. And if you set too many goals, you’ll burn yourself out trying to stay on top of them. We recommend making just a handful of realistic, specific goals to focus on each year.
- Make Them Measurable
While deciding on your list of goals, make sure that each one is measurable so you can easily track your family’s progress. For example, if your goal is to “exercise as a family at least once a week for 30 minutes”, you’ll be able to cross it off your calendar each week, creating confidence and motivation to keep going.
Write Down Your Final List & Display
Having your final list of family goals written down and displayed in a high-traffic area of your home can serve as a constant reminder and motivation tool to help you stay on track.
We think it’s so important, that we created a free printable Family Goal Setting Template for you to use so you can easily write down your final resolutions/goals to display.
If your kids are too young to read, ask them to draw pictures to represent your goals or create a Vision Board with clipped magazine images or computer print-outs that you can display alongside your written goals. This way, everyone has a visual cue for your family goals.
As a bonus, we’ve included this fun printable that you and your children can use to visually showcase your final goals:
Simply fill-out the box below and we’ll send you all 3 FREE Printable Family Goals Templates directly to your inbox:
To increase your family’s likelihood of sticking to your goals, we suggest revisiting them on a regular basis. Perhaps you review them weekly during a dinnertime discussion, or monthly at a shorter family check-in meeting. You can discuss your progress towards each goal, and each family member can share their thoughts, including the good (small victories) and the bad (potential roadblocks or failures). Having a healthy discussion not only reminds every one of the goals at hand, but will ultimately motivate you to keep going.
Family Goals Examples & Ideas
We’ve pulled together some good family goals examples so you don’t have to start at square one. Some of these ideas are short-term goals that can be accomplished right away (for example, start a Family Book Club), while other are long-term goals that may take the full year to complete (save up for a vacation).
Some are even daily family goals (drink more water) vs. weekly or monthly activities (have a family game night each week). Overall, it’s a good idea to take a mix of these different goal types so you’ll have a good variety of tasks to accomplish over the course of the year.
Eat Better with Balanced Nutrition
This is a long term goal that makes it onto our final list every year in some shape or form, because eating better is something we can always strive to improve upon, and as parents we want to make sure our kids are learning healthy eating habits that they can take with them into adulthood.
As with any family goal, it’s easier to achieve if everyone is working together. So if mom is going to the grocery store, she’s committed to bringing home food that will provide the family with a healthy balance of nutrients, and if dad is cooking dinner, he’s committed to making a nutritious meal, and when everyone is eating the meal, you are all committed to eating it (or at the very least, trying it!).
What Moms Love Tip: One easy way to know how to select nutritious options at the grocery store is to use Guiding Stars, a program that helps you easily choose foods with the most nutrition.
Guiding Stars scores products using a patented algorithm that was developed by independent nutrition science and public health experts. When food or beverage items meet their high standard for nutritional quality, stars are awarded to indicate GOOD, BETTER, or BEST nutrition.
This means there’s more of the “good stuff”, like vitamins, minerals, fiber, whole grains and Omega-3s, and less of the things you want to limit, like saturated and trans fats, added sodium and sugars, and artificial colors.
So when you’re shopping at the grocery store, simply look for the Guiding Stars to ensure you’re making nutritious food choices. If a product has no stars, it hasn’t met the nutritional threshold to earn 1, 2 or 3 stars…so move on and choose something with stars instead.
It’s that easy! All you have to do is look for the stars – they’ll guide you to nutritious choices, every time.
As we mentioned in the best practices section above, you’ll need to get a little more specific with this goal, as “eating better” is too broad and would be difficult to measure your success. Try narrowing your focus instead. Here are some thought starters for healthy family goals:
- Only buy products that rank on the Guiding Stars nutritional scale (see above)
- Limit fast food to 2 times per month or less
- Eat 3 servings of veggies every day
- Keep junk food out of the house
- Swap juice and soda for water
- Eat 2 pieces of fruit a day
- Eat a salad 3 times a week
- Make a meatless/vegan meal once a week
- Pack and eat better-for-you snacks for school
Try New Foods/Recipes
This one can go hand-in-hand with the goal above, but is perfect if your family is stuck in a rut making the same meals over and over, or if your kids are pickier eaters.
Create a goal of trying 1 or 2 new dinner recipes every week (or if you don’t think that’s feasible, try every month). Not only will it expand your own cooking knowledge, but it’s a great way to introduce new foods and flavors to your child’s palette.
If you need help finding nutritious recipes, Guiding Stars has a database of over 1,200 recipes that qualify under their good-better-best rating. The ones we’ve tried have been delicious!
Make Cooking A Family Affair
We know how much time and energy goes into planning and making meals for your family. To take the burden off one person’s shoulders, make it a goal for everyone to lend a helping hand with these goal ideas:
- Divide up the week between you, your partner and any older kids that can make a meal themselves (if they can’t, see below!). Each person gets a few nights where they’re in charge of cooking.
- Teach older kids how to make an easy meal, then put them in charge 1 night a week
- Enlist younger children to help prep food – washing/drying produce, chopping, spiralizing, making dressings, etc. Assign one child to be your helper each night.
Don’t forget about setting the table and the clean-up! Both jobs are part of the process of getting a meal on the table, and a great opportunity for young kids to lend a helping hand.
You’ll be surprised how receptive your kids are to the idea of helping in the kitchen – giving them that level of responsibility and trust is great for their self-confidence. Just see how proud they are putting their meal on the table!
Eat Meals Together
Spending time together at the dinner table can have so many positive benefits for your family: creating daily connections, teaching good eating habits, and cultivating strong conversation skills to name a few. Aim to eat a certain number of meals together each week. If family dinners are tough because of job commitments or activities, try gathering everyone for breakfast instead.
Making fitness a priority for your family is a goal that you will all benefit from, both physically and mentally. It’s been proven to not only keep your body strong, but lower your stress and lift your mood.
Keeping active as a family unit will make it more fun, and provide a built-in support system to keep you going month after month. This is a goal that can take shape in many different forms, and could be one that you switch up over the course of the year.
Consider a few of these health goals:
- Take a family hike or walk every week
- Play backyard games on the weekend (throw the football, shoot some baskets, soccer, etc)
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner
- Train for a 5k walk/run
- Learn a sport you can all play together (golf, skiing, tennis, ice skating, etc)
- Do a workout video together 2x a week
- Go for a family bike ride on the weekends
- Have a dance party every day!
Learn Something New
Learning something new together is a great way to bond as a family while expanding your skill set. It could be something small like learning how to bake or cook a new recipe, or something on a larger scale like learning a new language.
Talk through these ideas and see what your family gets excited about!
- Learn some new card games (we’ve got a great list of the Best Easy Card Games for Kids)
- Take a cooking class together
- Learn self-defense
- Follow an online tutorial to build something cool
- Take music lessons (singing, piano, etc.) and have family music nights to showcase your skills
- Pick a country you’d like to visit one day and start learning their language
- Take a coding class
- Learn a new art form: origami, pottery, painting, etc.
- Take lessons to learn a new family-friendly sport like golf or skiing
Volunteer Together /Charitable Giving
Volunteering together to help your community is a wonderful way to build your child’s character, teach them life lessons, and give you all a great sense of accomplishment. Make it a goal to serve your community as a family one weekend each month, and brainstorm different ways you could help make a difference. Think about the causes you are passionate about and how you can get involved. Look at local hospitals, churches or organizations like the American Red Cross. Here’s some thought starters to get you thinking:
- Volunteer at a local nursing home
- Raise money and participate in a charity run/walk
- Help out at a nearby animal shelter
- Pick up trash from a neighborhood park or green space
- Donate clothes and toys to a shelter
- Make/deliver meals through a local meal service
- Create your own community service project based on your town’s needs
There are endless possibilities of how to help, and the rewards are well worth your time and efforts.
If your home feels like it’s overflowing with stuff, make it a goal to declutter and organize your home as a family this year. Although this task can feel pretty overwhelming, if you divide and conquer, giving everyone a specific age-appropriate job, and focus on one area of your house each month, by the end of the year you’ll be clutter-free, super organized, and far less stressed!
Practice More Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the hardest concepts for kids to grasp, but without a doubt, one of the most important. Being more thankful will drive their empathy towards others, increase their own self-esteem (it feels good to make others feel good, right?!) and lessen their entitlement of materials things. So make it one of your family goals to teach and practice more gratitude this year.
Try creating your own “Gratitude Board” where family members can continually write down things (or draw pictures) of what they’re thankful for throughout the year. Hang it in a high traffic area of your home so you can reference it daily.
Alternatively, have a simple daily gratitude conversation over dinner or at bedtime, where everyone can talk about what they’re thankful for. These discussions can help you and your kids really think about the people, things, events and actions that they might otherwise take for granted. Learning to be grateful for what they already have, will ultimately make them appreciate the things they do receive that much more.
Get Unplugged / Reduce Screen Time
This might be our absolute favorite goal of them all: less time in front of devices, and more time connecting with each other. We all know that limiting screen-time for our kids is healthy for their well-being, but there are so many benefits for ourselves as well.
Try one of these resolutions for a happier, more connected new year:
- Go “screen-free” during the week (that means non-essential phone usage for adults too!)
- Create “unplugged” time 2 hours before bedtime where all electronics are turned off (no tablets, devices, phones or video games)
- Limit screens to 1 hour each day
- No phones (or any other devices) at mealtimes
- Talk to each other in person instead of texting while in the house!
- Spend weekends completely unplugged and devoted to family time
Spend More Time Outside
Make it a goal this year to spend more quality time outside with your family and soak up the fresh air, vitamin D and screen-free time to connect together. The possibilities are endless, but consider these ideas as you craft your specific goal:
- Spend at least 30 minutes outside playing every day
- Eat meals outside a few times a week when weather permits
- Plan a family camping trip or try camping in your own backyard
- Go outside and look at the stars once a week (learn the constellations together and see who can spot them first!)
- Plan a fishing or boating excursion
- Create a “Nature’s Playground” in your backyard or hang up a cool swing or hideout
- Walk, rollerblade, scooter or bike around the neighborhood every day after dinner
- Make a list of different hikes in your local area and plan to do them all over the course of the year
- Invest in a smokeless Fire Pit and sit by the fire on the weekends telling stories and having s’mores!
Save with a Purpose
Make it a common goal to work towards saving enough money for a special purchase that everyone in the family is excited about. Whether it’s for a Disney World vacation, a new TV for the family room, or simply a trip to the movie theatre, create a special savings fund so everyone can contribute. We recommend a simple glass jar so kids can visually see the money growing. You’ll be surprised to find them adding in portions of their allowance and birthday money!
Ask them to help count the funds at the end of each month, and calculate how much more needs to be saved to accomplish your goal.
It’s a great way to start teaching your kids about financial goals, and the value of a dollar. They’ll soon see that it takes time and commitment to save up enough money, and ultimately create a great sense of pride and accomplishment when the goal is finally reached.
Check out our popular post, 50+ Ways to Save Money While Raising a Family, for actionable ideas to help you form a financial plan and save faster.
Make this year the year that your family becomes bookworms! Create a family goal to go to the library once a month to pick out books. Create special reading spaces in your home and discuss your books at family meals.
Have screen-free time designated for reading where you ALL read. Modeling the behavior for your kids is such an important thing to do – if they see you reading often, they’re far more likely to do it themselves.
Keep reading to your kids, even if they’re old enough to read to themselves. Graduate from picture books to chapter books for older children. Series like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are great for keeping tweens and even teens engaged. You could even give yourself a read-aloud goal of reading the entire series before the end of the year!
Keep a family reading chart where you aim to read a certain number of chapters or books each month. Use our Printable Summer Reading Kit for extra motivation over the summer months.
You could even start your own Family Book Club where you pick a new book each month, then have a special meeting (make it fun by ordering your favorite takeout!) to discuss the story and characters.
Be More Eco-Friendly
Create an important goal that’s not only good for your family, but for the planet too! Make an effort to recycle more, reuse instead of discard, and use less plastic and Styrofoam. Teach your kids the importance of these efforts, and how even doing something as small as turning off the water while they brush their teeth, or turning the lights off when they leave a room can help.
Have More Unstructured Fun
As parents, we often get bogged down with schedules, rules and what “needs to get done”. Having stress-free time to hang out and let loose is an amazing way to form deeper connections with your kids, so consider making it a family goal to plan Family Fun Days every month. These could include:
- Hold a family Olympics in your backyard with an obstacle course and outdoor games
- Enjoy a concert together
- Head to a local drive-in or set-up an outdoor screen to watch movies in your backyard
- Visit the zoo
- Have a beach day
- Go to a theme park
- Take a hike and bring a picnic lunch
- Head to a trampoline park, bowling alley, or place to play laser tag
- Pretend to be tourists and see the sights of your closest city
And make sure to include planning at least one “Yes Day” where you have to say “yes” to everything your kids ask for an entire day (there can be some ground rules you set before hand – we always say “no asking for pets” and “nothing that will cause harm to anyone”!). Your kids will remember it forever!
Plan Special One-on-One Dates
If you have multiple kids, you know that being able to spend time with them individually can be tough. But those one-on-one moments are MAGICAL. Away from their siblings, with you all to themselves, they are as sweet as can be, and you’ll find yourself really connecting.
So make it a priority this year to plan weekly or monthly one-on-one time with each of your children. Ask them what they want to do, and follow their lead. It can be something as simple as grabbing a donut at your local bakery, or heading to a playground with just them. The memories and connections are well worth the extra effort.
Take an Annual Family Trip
Taking a break from the day-to-day grind is healthy for every family, and going on a vacation together gives you a chance to explore new places while making lifelong memories. So, make it a goal to go on an annual family vacation, and choose a place that will excite everyone – because looking forward to the vacation is part of the fun, right?!
And remember, a vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or to a faraway destination. Going on a camping trip, exploring a nearby city within driving distance, or even planning a staycation in your own town will create just as many connections and memories as a fancy beachfront resort (although that would be nice too!).
Make a Commitment to your Religion
Caring for your family’s spiritual health is often something that goes on the back burner in the chaos of your everyday routine. Whatever belief system you have, make it a goal to recommit to those values this year, which could include:
- Attend a service at your place of worship every week
- Commit to a daily 10-minute family religious study
- Say a prayer as a family before your meals and/or going to bed
- Volunteer as a group at your place of worship
Create a Weekly Tradition
A fun way to committing to more quality family time is to create a weekly tradition – something you can do together each week that everyone looks forward to.
Two popular weekly rituals to consider include:
Family Game Night: Each week choose a different game to play as a family. It could be an easy but engaging card game that younger kids can enjoy, a few fun board games, or commit to mastering a more complex game like Chess. Whatever you decide, we love how this tradition can create a strong family bond.
Family Movie Night: Pick a night each week where you snuggle up on the couch together with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie. Alternate which family member picks the movie each week so everybody gets a turn, or pick 2 movies to choose from and have a vote.
But really, something as simple as “we will eat breakfast together on Sunday mornings” or “we will go out for dinner on Friday nights” is just as effective.
Start a Family Garden
Creating a family garden that you plan, plant and take care of is a great way to teach your kids about responsibility, and we love how you can quite literally enjoy the fruits of your labor! You don’t need a huge plot of land – some small planters with tomatoes and herbs works just as well.
And as a bonus, you’ll find that your kids are much more willing to eat (or at least try) your homegrown foods, because of their own hard work that went into growing them.
Ditch the Toxins
Join the increasing number of families wanting to live a less-toxic lifestyle by making it your goal to reduce the toxins in your home, in your products, and in your food. By reducing your chemical exposure, it can improve your gut health and immunity, reduce inflammation in your body, improve your energy, reduce your stress, and many researchers believe, it can also decrease your risk of developing cancer. Worthy benefits indeed.
This is a great goal for chipping away at over the course of the year. For instance, as you buy new products, opt for ones without harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates and fragrance (use EWG.org to see their rankings). With every food switch or new product you buy, you are taking one step closer towards living a less-toxic lifestyle. Focus on each small improvement, and they will ultimately add up to make a big difference in your family’s overall health.
Need help with starting? Check out: How to Live a More Natural, Non Toxic Lifestyle. 8 Simple Changes to Detox Your Family’s Home & Health.
Connect with Extended Family
Staying in contact with your extended family is a great goal to strengthen family relationships. Having your kids aware that they are part of a larger network of relatives can provide comfort and strength, and lots of fun too! Give your kids the opportunity to form strong bonds with distant cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents who can pass on family history and wisdom.
Your specific goals will vary based on where you live in relation to your family. If you are long-distance, you’ll have to get more creative, but consider creating a goal to see your extended family at least once a year. Some other ideas include:
- Plan a family reunion
- Call/Facetime Grandparents once a week to catch up
- Create a family newsletter or online blog you send out once a month – each family member can contribute to it, whether it be writing, drawings or photos
- Start an annual Family Olympics
- Create a family email or text chain and use it to send updates with photos and videos
Make an Emergency Plan
Would everyone in your family know what to do if there was a fire in your home? What about a tornado, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster? Make it your goal to develop your family’s emergency safety plans, and practice them every few months.
Placing more value on experiences over “things” is something we all want our children to learn. Accelerate their learning by setting a goal for your family to simplify your gift giving this year, shifting the emphasis from “stuff” you want, to the experiences you would like to have. Set reasonable expectations now, so when birthdays and holidays roll around, there won’t be any disappoint.
Take a peek at these great ideas for Meaningful Non-Toy Gifts for Making Memories
One tradition we started when our kids turned double-digits was to take them on a weekend trip away with just mom and dad (no siblings allowed!). The special alone time was such a treat for them, and they have the best memories from their birthday trip. Highly recommend!
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Both children and adults are facing more anxiety, stress and mental health issues than ever before. By making it a family goal to prioritize your mental health, you’ll be teaching your kids important coping mechanisms and self-awareness to help them throughout their entire lives (while helping yourself in the process!).
Learn meditation, and practice together. Breathe and stretch with yoga. Create a quiet space that anyone can use if they need some quiet time. Practice self-care by giving your partner guilt-free time to themselves (use this Self-Care Checklist for ideas). By focusing on your mental health, you’ll become a happier, less-stressed family who have tools to fall back on when times get tough. So valuable!
We hope we sparked some great discussion with your crew with this list of family goals examples. Whatever family goals or resolutions you set this New Year, working towards them as a unit will bring everyone closer together, give you a sense of purpose, and create life long memories. You’ll prove to yourselves that together, you can truly accomplish anything!
Thanks again to our partner, Guiding Stars, for providing a quick and easy way to identify nutritious foods and recipes with their 3-star good-better-best ranking. If eating better is one of your family’s goals, just look for the Guiding Stars on the shelf tags at your local grocery store, or search for products using their simple app – they’ll lead you to nutritious choices, every time!