How to set GREAT goals for your Christian family life, and some ideas to get you started // Episode 110

Setting goals for strengthening your Christian family life

What are we talking about today?

It’s that time of year again. Do you just love new years resolutions? The chance to start a new year fresh, try some new things, and make every moment count with your favorite people?

I love it. I love the fresh blank paper planner. I love the time to reflect on what’s happened and to pray for what is ahead. I love that feeling that anything could happen.

But if we aren’t careful, we can linger in the feelings and not actually get anything done! 

Well, that’s why today we’re talking about how to set goals for the new year – goals for yourself, for spiritual growth, for your family life, for anything! How should we think about goals, what are G.R.E.A.T. goals, and a few ideas to get you started.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 110:

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More resources for you!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, these resources will give some additional support:

Christian woman drinking coffee with The Hope Planner on her lap

Try out the Hope Planner

As you consider the goals that will best support and strengthen your Christian family, a paper planner will be so helpful!

As I prepare for the new year, I am so excited to dive into my new Hope Planner. I love this planner because it is designed so that time with God comes first – Bible reading, prayer, and application – and then helps me organize my tasks and schedule for the day in a simple way. It’s lovely, practical, and helps me prioritize well.

Check out the Hope Planner today.

[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

I love goal-setting. But not just for the sake of setting a goal.

No, it’s the full process that I find so enjoyable. I appreciate reflecting on a season of time that has passed. I enjoy looking ahead at what is to come (I am a planner at heart!). I love praying over the people and things that are important to me.

And then, I usually set way too many goals, and I put off diving in.

Well, we’ll talk in our next podcast episode about how to practically move forward on your goals. But first, we have to set them!

So, start with some time for reflection, considering two areas:

  • what were the strengths of the past year (what went well? where is progress happening?) and
  • what were the struggles of the past year (where sin has crept in or things aren’t where you want them to be). 

And then, put pen to paper (I love the Hope Planner for helping me to do this!) and jot down some goals for your new year.

G.R.E.A.T. Goals

You may have heard of “smart” goals… and those are fine. There can be a lot of advantages to setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely goals. 

But this is not how I set helpful goals. 

Instead, I am a big fan of GREAT goals. Let’s take a look.

  • Godly. Do your goals line up with God’s priorities? When an area feels important to you, consider what the Bible says about that area. 

  • Relationship-focused. Will this goal bless or strengthen your relationships? It may not be specific to a relationship, but every change will impact you AND your people.

  • Exciting. Are you genuinely excited to achieve this goal? Let’s be honest: if you aren’t, you won’t make much progress! Make sure you are excited either about the goal itself or the life change that you’ll experience on the other side.

  • Achievable. Can you actually achieve this goal? Is it realistic? It’s helpful to consider how YOU can directly influence the goal, since you can only control yourself. Sometimes, other goals have to be achieved before we can work on our ultimate goal.

  • Timely. Yes, you could set a date for when you will evaluate progress on your goal. That can be very helpful! But I mean this more as ensuring that your goals actually match the season of life that you are in and the priorities of your life today. Otherwise, they are unlikely to really happen or make a difference.

Some ideas to get you started

In the Friday Faith Follow-up episode below, I share about my current goals for the new year. But more broadly, I would encourage you to think about goals within the most important areas of your life.

  • Loving God well… what spiritual goals do you have this year? Maybe in reading the Bible, consistency of prayer, or digging into a theological topic.
  • Loving yourself well… what changes would boost your mental health, emotional health, or physical health?
  • Loving your family well… how can you invest in your marriage or your kids in a meaningful way this year?
  • Loving others… where are you already plugged in (or desire to be) that impacts other people with the the love of Christ?

After setting your GREAT goals, let me leave you with one reminder: hold your goals and plans loosely! At the end of the day, it is always the Holy Spirit who facilitates change. We do our part, but we are never in control or all-knowing about the true outcome of our goals.

Want more encouragement on this topic?

Check out these other episodes for more biblical encouragement and practical tips on this topic:

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

  • Episode 85 // Finding the secret formula for raising (and enjoying!) your Christian family

  • Episode 96 // How a busy mom can create family rhythms that bring joy and peace to family life (no matter what craziness is going on)

And don’t forget to grab a resource or two that will help you LOVE Christian family life!

Friday Faith Follow-up

Enjoy this short follow-up episode where I share MY goals for the new year!

Hey, before you go!

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Hugs & blessings to you, my friend! I’ll talk to you soon.

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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.