Keep those lines of communication with your kids open- even when it's tough!
Sarah here. We hope you’ve been enjoying our blog! Throughout October, we focused on values in general and more specifically on parenting values. We released our all-new parenting values self-assessment, Jump Start Your Parenting, which is available exclusively to newsletter subscribers. Today, I’ll be focusing on something that goes hand-in-hand with values: goals.
Oxford Languages defines goals in part as the following: “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” Based on this definition, it’s clear that goals are highly personal, they are tied to behavior and they focus on outcomes. While values give us a sense of direction and focus on what is important in life, goals give us concrete targets and focus on specific things that we want to achieve.
We have talked about how values serve as the compass guiding you on your path. Staying with that metaphor, if values are the compass guiding you on life’s journey, then goals are the stops along your way. They are the specific things you set out to do while you are practicing your values. Here’s an example: if being an organized parent is your value, goals along your way could include setting up a shared family calendar or implementing a family chore chart.
The above example highlights a key distinction between values and goals. Unlike values, goals can be accomplished. We can also fail to achieve goals. If you aren’t sure whether something is a goal or a value, consider whether it can be checked off a list.
For practice, read the list below and decide which items are goals and which are values:
Ready to check your answers? In order, the items on the list are value, goal, goal, value. Notice how the values are broader qualities and more general activities while the goals are concrete and observable.
Remember that goals are concrete actionable items we can check off a list. Setting goals helps us get things done and when we achieve them, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Goals also give us specific steps to take to live in alignment with our values.
This week, take some time to think about the goals you have as a parent. If you have trouble, go back to your values – knowing what is important to you can help you decide which goals to set. Let us know what you come up with in the comments below.
Still stuck on figuring out your parenting values? Sign up for our newsletter to get access to our all-new parenting values self-assessment, Jump Start Your Parenting!
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.