How often do you and your family have “things” (AKA, goals) you want to accomplish? Whether it’s saving for a family vacation, decluttering the house a bit, or getting healthier together, chances are, you’re setting family goals. However, how often are you and your family accomplishing these goals?

Regardless of who sets the goals (a family, an individual, or a team or group), it’s more about how you set the goals that will determine if you accomplish them. Not all goals are created equal, and when we go into setting goals without a plan of action, we’re actually setting ourselves up to likely not meet our goals. And, if you’re working with others on the goal and not everyone is on the same page, well . . . you probably know how that can work out.

If you and your family want to accomplish goals together or individually, there are two core goal setting concepts that are going to help you accomplish whatever you’re setting your mind to:

Goal-setting concept #1: The time-frame of goals

There are long-term goals, short-term goals, and daily goals.


Long-term goals are goals for the future; how far in the future is up to you and the situation, but there is going to be some time before you can accomplish it, either because of the work needed or just the natural time-frame. For example, getting into college is a long-term goal for most kids (and for some, longer than others!). Not only is this goal a ways off, but it likely takes a number of steps to accomplish.


Short-term goals are still in the future, but for a shorter time-frame (again, up to the individual and situation to determine the exact time-frame). The great thing about short-term goals is that they actually help lead to long-term goals. If your family wants to declutter the house by the end of the year, then short-term goals may be something like finishing a certain room or area each month. Each short-term goal is something you focus on (and can be broken down further, as you’ll see), and accomplishing short-term goals can move you closer toward the long-term goal.

Daily goals

Daily goals feel self-explanatory; they are goals you set for today. You don’t have to have goals every day, and you may have more than one goal per day, but these are the goals you’re accomplishing in a very short time-frame that help you move toward your overall short-term goal.

By taking that big goal for the future and breaking it down into milestones of short-term goals by considering what you need to do on a daily basis, you better set yourself up for success in accomplishing the big goals you’ve set.

Planning out a goal as a family and breaking the long-term goal down into short-term and daily goals also helps create clarity for your family. You can make sure you know what you’re wanting to accomplish, the shorter-term accomplishments that lead you to that long-term goal, and you can communicate about everyone’s daily steps that help you all get there together.

Want to improve your chances even more of reaching that goal?

Goal-setting concept #2: Use the SMART acronym

Use SMART to help set your family up for success at accomplishing your goals.

S – Specific

By getting very clear and specific about what you want to accomplish, there is less room for confusion as specificity lets everyone know what exactly are you working on. “Get healthier” is vague. Eating at least 4 servings of veggies or drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day is much more specific.

M – Measurable

You need to have a way to know if you have accomplished your goal. Again, “get healthier” isn’t measurable—it’s subjective. The examples above are measurable because they mention the amount of servings, but you could also look at healthiness related to how fast you walk a mile or the way you feel after a round of golf (without a cart!).

A – Adjustable

The A is your fall-back plan. If you don’t accomplish the goal, or you realize time is ticking by and you’re not far enough along to accomplish a goal, you adjust. Sometimes we don’t need the “A”, but it’s important to understand that we can change or adjust our goals as we work toward them.

R – Realistic

If your goal is too far out of your current capabilities, you’re likely to lose momentum and motivation. When setting family goals, consider that the goal maybe easier for some and challenging for others, but it should feel realistic for the family as a whole.

T – Timed

Set a time-frame for when you will accomplish the goal. Without a pre-determined time-frame, it’s too easy to keep putting the goal off. This means giving a date to when you want to accomplish your short-term and long-term goals.

When you use the SMART acronym to create your long-term, short-term, and day goals, you set yourself up for a better likelihood of accomplishing the goal. And the great news is, you can apply these ideas to your family goals like saving money for a vacation, creating a calmer environment, or donating unneeded items, but you (and your family) can also apply these ideas to goals for golf and other areas of life.

If you want to improve your short game, get better at remaining calm on the course, or becoming an overall better golfer, you can create SMART goals of varying time-frames to help you accomplish what you want to. Goal setting principles like these can be applied in any setting and can help increase the likelihood of accomplishing your goals together.