Setting Goals

We lead a busy life, probably busier than it needs to be on some nights. With two girls playing sports, all of us actively involved in our church and a couple other activities thrown in, our calendar often looks like someone threw up colored ink all over it.

Every now and then, it's important to re-evaluate everything that's on the calendar. We have to take a step back, look at our goals and decide whether the things we're putting on the calendar meet our goals as a family.

We're doing that this week. Monday night at dinner, everyone got a goals worksheet. (You can get a copy here or by clicking on the picture above.) They have until Thursday night at dinner to fill it out so that each person has time to pray and think about it. The worksheet asks each person to decide on their spiritual, family, academic/work, sports/fitness, and character goals. Each person has to figure out what their goals are, the steps they need to take to accomplish those goals and the things they need to reach their goals. Thursday night at dinner, we'll talk about what each person's goals are and how to meet them. We'll also evaluate the things we're doing to see if we're working toward the goals we've listed.

Setting goals is a good exercise not just for our kids but for us grown-ups, too. Sometimes our families can just cruise along on auto pilot, doing the same things we've always done just because we assume that everyone is happy doing them. The truth is that over time, our kids change, we change. If we don't take the time to re-evaluate every now and then, we miss the opportunity to change what we're doing. We may miss an important opportunity to work with our kids on a spiritual issue or a character trait. We may be forcing our kids to keep doing an activity they don't want to do and missing an opportunity to encourage to do something else they love.

Proverbs 21:5 says, "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." We often end up with a poverty of time and/or money because we aren't diligent in making sure what we're doing is meeting the needs and goals of our family. We may have unrealistic goals or we may have goals that don't fit the gifts and desires of the rest of the family.

Sitting down together and setting goals as a family is a good way to make sure you're on track to meet the goals that everyone has. It helps you to distribute the limited resources of time and money that your family has in the most effective way. It gives you an opportunity to pray over those goals and make sure your family is all on the same page.