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The best family goals will be based on the core values that your family members hold most firmly. So what are “core values”?
“My core values” is another way of saying “my most significant beliefs” — those beliefs you hold most firmly to. In the case of family values, these beliefs would be jointly shared by all or most family members.
How do you know what those values are? The best answer is to take the time to talk and discuss your beliefs and feelings with all family members. I want to add, there’s a great list of Common Personal Values at James Clear’s blog.
Involve the Entire Family
Now let me mention this: if you are married without children, then the two of you are the family members. There is no reason the two of you should not decide on your family goals, and there are all sorts of reasons why you should. Building a family tradition is best based on and grown out of the parents’ tried and true beliefs.
If, on the other hand, you are single, there is no reason to put off setting your personal goals. The process is different and less complicated. You get to make all the decisions. This makes it easier to carry over into marriage, because you have an idea of what you want to do.
Set Up a Family Values Discussion
To get started, decide when would be a good time to sit down with all involved parties. Make sure no one is in a hurry to get to some other commitment. Have a tablet and pen to make notes. Plan a small treat of some kind for after the meeting.
One way to ask for discussion about values and goals is to comment about how certain famous people’s families are known for certain things. The Kardashians have a certain reputation. So does the LeBron James family. Talk about the values that seem to guide their actions.
Ask what values they feel are important to cultivate. Ask what kind of reputation they want for their family. Also discuss the legacy they would like to leave when their life is finished. Write down every suggestion, no matter how silly they sound. They are all fodder for further discussion.
Set a Project to Develop the Desired Value
Then brainstorm projects to further the development of those values. For example, if your family values good health, you might start with a family membership in the YWCA/YMCA or the community recreation center. They usually have many healthy activities for all age levels. Then, to give a deadline to your goal, maybe you could sign up for a 5k run for charity.
The membership is a long-term project and the 5k run would be a short-term project. Varying lengths of commitment can keep the enthusiasm fresh.
Again, write down all the possible projects. Then ask them to choose a long-term project and a short-term project that reflects the values they have chosen.
Overcome Obstacles Together
Discuss the obstacles and various ways to solve them. For example, if lack of money is a problem, ask for money-making ideas. Select the first step to make and set a beginning date that is very close.
Write down all of these things: the project, the date to start, the date to finish (if there is one), and the activities to be undertaken. Be sure to post where everyone can see it every day.
Enjoy the Treat and the Project!
Serve the treat to everyone and tell them how much you are looking forward to the accomplishment of your first project!