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Conscious New Year #Familygoals


How to consciously step into the new year with #familygoals

By Vanessa Durrant, MSW, LCSW-C, RMT, RYT

2017 is a wrap and we now enter a new year with infinite potential! The energy of a new year is a great time to slow down, reflect, and gather your thoughts for how you want to live in the new calendar year. Don’t step into a new year on auto-pilot, it will not yield the results you deeply yearn for. Whether we are single-parenting, step-parenting, or blending families- we all want to feel connected, secure, and joyful in our relationships. Yet-happy families don’t justhappen. They are a product of hard, conscious, work. And one way to get there is by using the new year to make a specific family goal/intention together. This process will help forge more purposeful relationships, unify, and increase family connection. Goal setting is an intentional process, and being organized, and inclusive of all family members, will help create goals that will have a positive impact in the home. Sometimes, coming up with a way to get everyone’s input can be overwhelming. Below are 12 tips for making a family goal that will stick throughout the new year.

1)Schedule a family meeting

Make it fun and include scrumptious snacks everyone can enjoy. Whether you have little ones or teenagers, make everyone aware that the family meeting will be about coming up with a new family goal together. Exude positive and open energy, and your kids will mirror that right back.

2)Stay focused

Again, this is a time to set family goals. Don’t use this as a time to air out family grievances, or use behavior issues as the reason for a goal. It will draw out the fun and create unhealthiness. Focus your insights and feedback in a positive way rather than thru negative feedback or language.

3)Involve everyone during brainstorm time

Seeking feedback and suggestions from everyone will help create individual investment. When someone invests into a goal, they are more likely to stay motivated in following it thru. Whether you have teens, or preschoolers, everyone should have a voice at the table. Make an effort to write everyone’s ideas down on a board for everyone to see.

4)Select the favorite ideas and go thru pro’s & con’s

Tally up the votes for the top 3 ideas and go thru the pro’s and con’s for each goal to help you nail down the one that feels the most feasible to carry out as a family

5)Be realistic and clear

Once you select a goal, make sure to hear everyone’s input as to whether they understand the nature of the goal and whether they can feel committed to reaching it.

6) Make it measurable and break it down

If your goal revolves around a fun trip, break down what you will need to make it happen, like money, location, and timeline.

7) Make a goal schedule

This is part of creating a deadline for your goal. Ideally, you want these goals to carry you throughout the year. So, break it up into pieces every month, and outline a way to make steady progress. Mapping out a step-by-step action plan will help provide structure and the actions needed to stay invested.

8) Sprinkle in inspiration and motivation

Be mindful to talk about what will continue to inspire you to reach the goal, do you need mini-family check in meetings? Half-way mark rewards? A plan if you feel stuck?

9)Surround yourself with support

Whether that be books, friends, organizations-anything positive that will encourage your progress with your goal. If your goal is to be more out in nature, get connected with your local nature center, or look for books at the library that revolve around nature.

10)Visualize your family reaching the goal

Life is about the energy you devote to things. Create a family collage visual that can be hung somewhere visible. Cut out images from magazines that show completion of the goal. If your goal is about being more outdoorsy, select image that showcase a family enjoying the outdoors, with words that also help depict the joy of being outdoors. The more that the entire family can visualize success, the more likely people will stay invested in manifesting the goal.

11)Adjust accordingly

If anyone voices concern or doubt over a portion of the goal, gather everyone up, provide the appropriate support and don’t be hesitant in adjusting a goal to make it reachable! Flexibility is a great skill to model to your kids.

12) Delight, love, and celebrate!

You have reached your goal or halfway mark. Praise the effort everyone put in and celebrate in a way that feels cheerful and authentic!

Always remember that the journey is more important than the destination. Slow down and notice what the process of achieving goals is teaching you and relay this to your kids. Let it spark a two-way conversation. In setting a yearly family intention, you are actually modeling something much bigger to your children. You are showing them that looking inward, and working outward towards something positive is possible, and that staying motivated, flexible, slow and steady, does win the race!

Vanessa Durrant, LCSW-C, RMT, RYT is the owner of Kindred Tree Healing Center, providing holistic psychotherapy, healing, and yoga services to children and adults who are looking to consciously heal and grow into the best version of themselves.

*This article was also featured in the November/December 2017 Issue of Frederick's Child Magazine


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