Friday, January 16, 2009

Family Friday: Achieving Family Goals

Last time I posted I asked you to discuss some family goals for the new year. Now that the goals are set, how will you go about achieving them? Start by writing your goals out for everyone to see on a daily basis. This will serve as a daily reminder of what you are trying to achieve.

It will also help to break your goals down into small steps and then into even smaller steps if necessary. This will help make the goal more manageable. Here are two different types of examples:

Goal- Add $10,000 to savings account this year
Mini-goals: Reduce weekly spending by $85, Increase monthly income by $500
Smaller mini-goals: Reduce weekly spending by increasing use of coupons, consolidating driving, eating out less, using up leftovers and buying in season/on sale as much as possible; Increase income by babysitting 3 days a week, monetizing my blog, and performing 10 mystery shops per month

Goal- Take a family vacation to Seattle
Mini-goals: Plan out transportation, Plan out lodging, Plan activities while in Seattle, Pack

The first goal, adding $10,000 to savings, is a bit daunting at first,but as you break down how you are going to do it, it becomes easier to see that it is possible. You may have other things you can do to reduce spending (for some it may be cutting out/reducing the cable bill, going down to one vehicle, etc) or to increase income. It all depends on your family and personal goals and circumstances. Breaking down the second goal, the vacation, allows for tasks to be delegated, at least for information gathering purposes. For example, your (older)children can research airline costs or driving time/mileage and/or local lodging options. They can also research what activities are available and give their input as to what they would like to do.

Another tip for achieving goals is to not give up if you falter a bit. Again using the $10,000 in savings goal, if I am only able to reduce my weekly spending by $50 and/or increase monthly income by $300, I am not going to give up the goal. As the year goes on, I will try to find other ways that will work for us to try and reach that goal. Goals can also be re-evaluated and altered throughout the year. Come the end of June if we have only been able to increase our savings account by $3500 and we are doing all we are comfortable doing to decrease spending and increase income, we may change our goal to $7000.

So to reiterate:
1) Write your goals out
2) Break the goals down into small steps
3) Stick with your goals, but be flexible
4) Believe in yourself and your family

The goals I listed above are not actually goals we have set ourselves, but could be. Whatever goals you have decided on, believe you can do it and it can be achieved.

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