A high-functioning, close-knit family does not just develop automatically. Each and every member of the family needs to be supportive of one another and realize that they can only be successful in carrying out their values if they work together.
Setting clear family goals and holding each other accountable can help families feel connected and focus on what is important. One way to assure the family stays close is to set some realistic goals that everyone can accomplish collectively.
1. Schedule a family meeting with the main purpose of setting goals
There should be no other distractions introduced that can move the conversation in a different direction. Family members need to be clear about the fact that at this meeting, only family goals are to be mentioned. Other issues, whether they are unrelated celebrations or gripes, need to be tabled for a different time.
Serving snacks during the meeting might encourage attendance. Be sure to involve every member of the family, no matter their age.
2. Create a brainstorming session where every single idea is captured
During the brainstorming stage of the meeting, accept all ideas as equal. This allows all voices to be heard without judgment, which is important for buy-in throughout the process.
3. Narrow down ideas
Collectively narrow down ideas from the brainstorming session to the top few goals that seem like they can be accomplished. Keep ideas that are beneficial to all members of the family.
Also keep ideas that continue to help bring the family together and maintain values. Remember to dream big, but not too big to the point where no goals can be accomplished and success is not realized.
4. List pros and cons for the top few ideas
The pros and cons will allow the family to further tease out which goals to go after and which ones to eliminate or table until later.
5. Identify short-term and long-term goals
Identify short-term and long-term goals while examining the pros and cons. Some of the listed goals may be accomplished within the coming weeks, whereas others may take a few months to conquer. Knowing which goals are for the short run and which ones are long-term will help family members prioritize needs and accomplish their goals more effectively.
Decide, as a family, which goals to tackle first. Goals are often reached successfully when there is a hard due date to keep members motivated and on track.
6. Figure out what success looks like
Determine what success looks like before actually starting to go about working toward a listed goal. As a family, it is important to figure out what success looks like. How will you know that you have successfully achieved the goal? It is important for family members to know what they are trying to achieve and how to tell they have reached their ultimate target.
7. Establish clear roles
Establish clear roles for each family member so that everyone knows what they need to do to contribute to the success of reaching the family goal.
8. Create a visual of the family goals
Create a visual of the family goals and post it in a prominent place so that everyone is reminded of what they are working toward and when they need to accomplish their tasks. A poster can serve as a gentle way of reminding family members of their roles and tasks without seeming too pushy.
9. Be open to making adjustments along the way
It is hard to know, at the beginning, what obstacles may stand in the path of a family trying to achieve its goals. When adjustments need to be made, it is important that every family member is apprised of the situation and is part of the decision-making to change the course or adjust the path as unexpected things come up.
10. Celebrate all the little successes along the way
Rather than celebrating big at the end, which is still important to do, acknowledging the smaller steps along the way is even more critical. It is the small successes that keep people going so that they can accomplish the bigger, end goals. Celebrating as a family can really bring about a special bond.
No matter how big or small a family is, it is important for everyone to live harmoniously under one roof and get along. Setting family goals and working collectively on accomplishing them can really bring members together to carry out their values.
Staying on the same page is one of the most difficult tasks families face, but with open communication, anything is possible.