“Tracking New Year’s Goals,” Ensign, Jan. 2002, 69
Setting goals and striving to achieve them at times can seem to be an insurmountable task. Often we procrastinate setting goals until we feel we are more committed or “the time is right.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our family has discovered an easier way to set and achieve goals. We record our progress on a New Year’s goal poster.
We reserve the first family home evening of the year for setting goals. It helps to teach the importance of prayer in selecting goals. By taking time to pray and ponder about our goals, we are able to focus on what will most benefit our family. Then we have a short lesson on the importance of goals, types of goals, how to choose a goal by focusing on what is realistic and most important, and how to achieve goals.
We list our goals on a poster. To establish the goals we want to achieve, we list them on posters made of construction paper. Posterboard, cardstock, and other materials work well too. Then we spread magazines that we have saved, including Church magazines, on the table. With scissors and glue handy, we cut out pictures and words that represent the goals we are planning to work on throughout the year and paste them on the poster. Each poster is labeled with a family member’s name and the year. Then we help our children understand the importance of choosing goals in four different categories: spiritual, educational, physical, and temporal.
We display our posters in a prominent area. After we finish the posters, we take turns showing them to each other. Then we hang the posters in a prominent place in our rooms. The posted goals are a daily visual reminder of what we plan to achieve. As we reach our goals, we cross them off. The first year we made goal posters, we were surprised when we reached all our goals.
Each December we review the goals we have accomplished for that year and save the posters in our books of remembrance. My husband and I began this goal-setting tradition during our first year of marriage. When we saw the successful results of our efforts, we decided to continue the tradition, especially when children came into our home.
Listing our goals on a poster allows us to review our commitment on a daily or weekly basis. Making goal posters at the beginning of every new year is an eagerly anticipated event for our family that has helped us successfully set and achieve worthwhile goals.—Janalee Merrell Watkins, Maeser First Ward, Vernal Utah Maeser Stake