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Episode 60 // What if you’re the only one trying? 5 steps to setting goals and creating change in your family relationships.

What are we talking about today?

Whatever your goals are for this year, I hope that you have a high priority on building or maintaining godly family relationships. We sometimes put a lot of pressure on ourselves to create meaningful goals, to stick with our New Years resolutions, or to change problems in our family relationships in an unrealistic amount of time. 

Not today, friend. As a counselor, I help people set goals and work through action plans all the time! Even in our relationships, when we cannot control the other person, we can have meaningful goals and see change happen (even if the other person isn’t a part of it at all).

So today, we are looking at some real-life goal setting ideas for your real-life (probably sometimes messy or emotional) family relationships. And I’ve got a simple 5-step plan for how you can create action and see change happen right away!

Ready? Let’s dive in, friend!

Listen to Episode 60:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 18 // 4 quick tips to family boundaries when you’re an overwhelmed and busy mom!
  • Episode 28 // Using time management strategies to boost your relationships: My 3-step process to a successful weekly schedule that strengthens my relationships AND gets the to-do list checked off!
  • Episode 34 // How can we intentionally shape our family life? Psalm 1 in the Bible gives wisdom and biblical encouragement to the busy mom.
  • Episode 50 // Marriage & Motherhood… why it’s so hard, why it matters so much, and my #1 tip for doing it all well.

Let me also offer two tools that I know will be helpful in strengthening your Christian family relationships:

If you’re feeling stuck in your family relationships, you need 5 tools. And you can get them for free! My free 5-day email course will help you build the 5 Tools Every Busy Mom Needs to Move Her Family From Autopilot to Intimacy. Get out of the rut and reconnect with your most important people.

  • And as you heard me mention in the episode, I find that a Christian planner makes a huge difference in working toward my goals! Check out my favorite one – The Hope Planner. It’s a prayer journal + planner, and is designed to help you keep your priorities in life straight (plus, get the to-do list done).

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

In a perfect world, we only set goals that we can control ourselves:

  • SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely.

That sounds great.

But in real life, we have all sorts of goals that are broad, vague, abstract, and heavily dependent on other people!

And the thing that I’ve learned as a marriage & family therapist is that ONE person does have the power to change a relationship – even if the other person or other family members don’t know anything about the goal or action steps that this one person is working on. 

Before we jump into the 5 steps of creating change, let’s remind ourselves of one important reality. Ultimately, if we want healthy and fun and joy-filled family relationships, the ONE person who can accomplish this is Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit changes hearts. Even the best mama does not have the power to change hearts… only to influence. 

A 5-step goal setting process for real life

Start by some simple dreaming. What goals do you have for your family? Do you want to laugh more? Have a family dinner twice a week? Get a date night every Thursday? Start volunteering together as a family? 

  1. Write it down. In your own words… forget about “SMART” goals right now!
  2. Get detailed about what life will be like when this is accomplished. What will you be feeling? What will your relationships be like? How will your day-to-day life change? What impact would this goal have on your husband, kids, etc? Write this down. Picture it your head. Get really clear on what you are hoping things will look like.
  3. Break down that goal & vision into what action steps need to happen in order for it to be accomplished. These are action steps from ANYONE, including you, including miracles of God.
  4. Now, you can look at those action steps and make a plan. Highlight the ones YOU can directly control. If you have a goal for more family laughter this year, you may have an action step around leaving one night free every week on the schedule so your family isn’t too stressed. You may have a goal for researching funny, clean movies your family could watch. Also, highlight the ones that feel like a miracle, out of your control – these are prayer requests for the year
  5. All that’s left is putting these action steps into your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. Write them down… in your planner, your calendar, and your to-do list! 

Pull out your planner – the Hope Planner is perfect for this. (It’s my favorite!) Write the goal big and pretty. Remind yourself of it daily! And add action steps into the schedule wherever appropriate, or reminders for yourself. 

Okay, okay… there is one final step. Don’t forget to be praying!

Friday Faith Follow-up

This episode went live as the first episode of 2022. A great time for dreaming and goal-setting!

In this quick bonus episode, I’m sharing my 2022 goals with you, from goals with my family, with God, and for this podcast. Dive in and let’s encourage each other.

Hey, before you go!

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.