Here’s why I think it’s so important to set goals for your family:
We rarely drift to our intended destination.
In their book Living Forward, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy share a compelling story from Michael’s life. On a vacation, Michael and his wife Gail went snorkeling just off the beach at their hotel in Maui. Immediately, Michael and Gail were captivated by the beautiful fish, the coral reef, and the world that lived underwater. However, unbeknownst to the couple, they’d also been caught in a riptide that pulled them far out into the ocean. With nothing more than a tiny inflatable board for both of them, Michael and Gail had a massive, exhausting task ahead of them. I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to make sure you know that they made it back.
Hyatt and Harkavy liken this experience to our lives. When we’re not paying attention, our lives tend to drift to destinations we never intended. It takes a concerted effort to go in the direction we want instead of following the whims of circumstances. Being intentional about our life goals helps to create a strategy to get where we’re wanting to go.
It takes a vision to address our concerns
What is rarely repeated is quickly forgotten
Without goals, you’ll be left feeling unaccomplished
Boy, I experience this one. In my role as a marketer, I regularly work remotely. Several years ago when I was in more of a production role, that often meant long hours in front of a computer screen without any human interaction. It wasn’t uncommon for me to not see or speak to a person all day. Even at the end of a day where I felt like I had been productive, I was regularly left feeling empty, like I hadn’t actually accomplished anything. I realized that it was because there wasn’t anything to accomplish. There was no checklist, no weekly or quarterly goals. I often share with my students that practices like this are kind of like when Forrest Gump played for the University of Alabama. When he started playing football, Forrest was only given the directive “RUN!” So he did… and didn’t stop despite hitting the end zone. Pause reality for a second and imagine how sad that must feel- success is impossible, you just have to work. After the initial game though, the team put safeguards in place so that Forrest knew that hitting the end zone was success.
In the same way, placing goals for your family will allow you to feel accomplished and to celebrate how far you’ve come. Do you need to pay off debt? Are you wanting to eat dinner together as a family on a regular basis? Are you wanting to save for a special purpose, like funding an adoption or fostering? Goals are important milestones so that you can stay encouraged and motivated to stay the course.