{ Our Goals Revisited-Goals VS.Plans }

At the beginning of the year we set our family goals that we wanted to work on. When we set our goals, we just set them for the month of January –hoping they would be more attainable, but as the end of January rolled around we evaluated what we had accomplished and unfortunately it wasn’t much.

At about the same time I was finishing reading a book I got from a friend for Christmas called The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre. I love reading books that have great ideas for parenting/organizing/homemaking/decorating/loving that have a main goal or theme that is already along the lines of what we are doing and what feels right for our family. This book fit the bill perfectly. The first half of the book was about helping your children (and ourselves really) earn and budget money through a variety of methods. I loved that many of the ideas were ones that we were doing or had done in the past, but it had that boost of motivation we needed and a few great ideas to add to ours to make it a success. The second half of the book talks about helping kids own the choices they make, values, taking care of their body through their choices, etc.

There was a part during the last half of the book that caught my eye as I was having a hard time trying to figure out why our goal setting strategy wasn’t really working for us. It talks about the difference between goals and plans. I realized when I looked back on many of our goals that they were more of plans than goals. At the beginning of March for FHE, we talked about the difference with the kids and Aaron helped us know the difference with a method he had read about at work called SMART. The goals need to have all of these things:




R-It is suppose to be Realistic, but we thought that was very close to achievable, so we changed ours to Recordable. We wanted them to be able to record down their progress.

T-Time Framed

A lot of the goals we had set before were great, just a bit too vague. Mine was too lose weight, but I had written it as exercise 3 times a week. What did I ultimately want to accomplish? To lose weight. Aaron’s was a list of things to be healthier, but really he wanted to max out his PT test in April. When we saw our real goals, it was a lot easier to come up with the plans.

We decided that just focusing on one goal for right now would really help us know this system well, and be able to accomplish it. I typed up papers for us that had two columns. One for our goal, and the other column for our plan. I numbered that column from 1-5, because I wanted us each to think of quite a few ideas to help us achieve our goal. I also made each person a paper with a large circle on it. In the book they talk about having something like a pie chart to show your progress. I loved the idea to be able to visually see when we had accomplished even a little bit of our goal. I know that I feel so much better and stay motivated when I can see that all my hard work is paying off.

We helped each of the kids come up with their own goals. Whatever the goal was we they helped them divide their circle into that many pieces that they could mark off as they accomplished that part. I loved seeing all of our papers hung up on the wall in our family room, with our pie charts ready to be filled in. It was exciting for us all. Some of the kids took a little longer thinking of goals and are still working on deciding exactly what they want to focus on. That’s okay. It’s a process.

Most of us took one of our goals that we had previously written down at the beginning of the year, and fine tuned it to make sure it was a goal not a plan. Here are a few that we chose.

Scott-be able to go potty by himself. For his we just used his circle to put stickers in each time he was able to go by himself. Before this, his usual routine is-hop up and down to tell me he has to use the restroom, ask me to help him (which really only involved me coming into the bathroom until he got on the toilet, then he would say,”okay, now get out”.), yelling at me to come back in and get toilet paper of the roll for him, then insisting he wanted to do the rest. He was so close already.

Abby-To pass off a word list a week until the end of school. She had already passed off one, so we divided her paper into 10 more sections (there are 11 total). Her plan had three parts:

  1. To read my list with mommy each day.
  2. To write my words 3 times each week.
  3. To circle the words in a magazine.

She was so happy when she passed off a word list to be able to color in one of her pieces of the pie.

Erika-To be able to run 1 mile without stopping in one month. Her pie chart was the cutest. Where we live there is a big circle that circles around our neighborhood. From our house all around the circle is one mile. Aaron helped her to draw a map of the neighborhood in the shape of the circle. He divided it into four parts (one for each week) that she could color her line in on the map road as she accomplished running a little farther around without stopping. It was so clever. Her plans were set up as a daily and weekly schedule.

Erika's Goal Map

  1. Week 1-Be able to run 2.5 minutes (or about 1/4 mile) without stopping. Monday-run around out side while mommy times you for 2.5 minutes. Tuesday-go to soccer practice (run there) Wednesday and Thursday-run like on Monday. Friday-go to soccer practice. Saturday-go with daddy and try to run the mile around the neighborhood. Try to run at least the first 1/4 mile part without stopping, but finish the whole mile either walking or running.
  2. Week 2-The same routine except try to do the run for 5 minutes and run for 1/2 mile on Saturday.
  3. Week 3-The same routine except try to do the run for 7.5 minutes and run for 3/4 mile on Saturday.
  4. Week4-The same routine except try to do the run for 10 minutes and run the whole mile on Saturday.

Brooke-still nailing down her exact goal.

Austin-To be able to run a mile in 5 minutes 45 seconds. His plan was set up kind of like Erika’s with daily and weekly plans.

  1. I am going to run 2 miles 3x a week.
  2. I am going to run 1 mile and record 3x times a week.

Monday-Run 2 miles in the evening 9pm

Tuesday-Run 1 mile in the morning before school 6:15am

Wednesday-Run 2 miles in the morning 6:10am

Thursday-Run 1 mile in the morning 6:10am

Friday-Run 2 miles in the morning 6:10am

Saturday-Run 1 mile in the morning 9:30am

Brianna-To be able to run a mile under 7 minutes 30 seconds in a month. Her plan was like Austin’s.

  1. Run 2 miles at least once a week. Run 1 mile at least 3x a week.
  2. Record results.
  3. Get enough sleep (10 hrs).
  4. Drink at least 5 full glasses of water a day.

Monday-Run 1 mile at night after FHE.

Tuesday-Run 1 mile after school.

Wednesday-Stretch day.

Thursday-Soccer practice.

Friday-Run 1 mile after school.

Saturday-Run 2 miles.

Monae-To lose 20lbs by our anniversary trip to Puerto Rico in April. I divided mine into 20 pieces of the pie. I liked being able to mark off even the littlest accomplishment. My plan was this:

  1. Record food I eat on myfitnesspal.com Limit calorie intake to 1240 per day.
  2. Exercise at least 3x a week for 30 minutes and record on myfitnesspal.com.
  3. Weigh in only once a week-Monday mornings.
  4. Limit treats to 2x a week.
  5. Drink more water. Try for at least 5 cups a day. Record on myfitnesspal.com

I also made smaller rewards for myself at each 5lb mark. After 5 pounds I would get to buy some new itunes songs. At 10 pounds I would get to buy new workout pants. At 15 pounds I would get to buy a new swimsuit (for our trip). And at 20lbs I would get to buy a new pair of jeans. We talked with the kids about rewarding ourselves with things that would help us with our goals. If I rewarded myself with a big candy bar, that would kind of defeat the purpose.

Aaron-To be able to max out the PT test at work. His plans were basically the same as what he had listed for his goals before. Eating healthier, excising certain days, and lifting weights/pushups and sit ups other days. He was so busy helping the other kids he didn’t get a chance to write his out. He is doing great working on his though. It totally motivates me to see him get up early before work to exercise. I love that he also has joined me on recording his calories on myfitnesspal.com-his is to gain weight though so he gets a ton more calories than me. The thing is with his super high metabolism he probably needs more than that. A problem I totally wish I had. His goal is a little hard to write in pie chart form until the actual test, unless he does his own practice tests.

It feels so good as we are closing out the month to see all that we are accomplishing. Our pie charts are filling in, and we are becoming better at those things we want to do. I love that we are able to see our plans becoming reality-such a boost for us as a family. Austin and Brianna both made the track team, so they have been doing a lot more running than they had planned. They are both really close to their goals. Tonight is their first track meet, so it will be fun to see their times that they each run the 1 mile in.

A quote from the talk by President Monson about Living an Abundant Life that we put on our goal charts to reminder us to not give up:

Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

1 comment:

Dre + Drew - Midwest Living - Iowa City said...

Wow great goals. I am excited to read that book. Love all the planning. How fun for you to head to Puerto Rico for your anniversary cannot wait to see photos and to hear all about your travels. Thanks for your comment the other day on my blog. That was such an interesting day. It gets a little crazy but I am loving it. Thanks for your encouraging words.