Good morning, Five Minute Families! Kim and I hope you had a very wonderful holiday season! So many Christmas parties, church nativity plays, community spirit events, and lights blinking throughout the neighborhoods have filled the days. After we enjoy our favorite treats that we only have this time of year, many of us will look to the upcoming year as one with renewed hope and possibilities.
Have you reviewed your standards this past week? Remember, as Proverbs 16:3 points out. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” You must raise your standards before setting goals or making resolutions. As we discussed last week many folks will make individual and family resolutions just to see those resolutions fade by the third week of January. But, we CAN deepen our familial relationships and improve the quality of our lives if we take a step back and remember the quick difference in our three terms of this short series:
Standard – the acceptable normal of your home
Goal – your desired result
And, last, Resolution – what you want to change
Here is a quick example for each of those three: For the five-minute family, you may resolve to have family devotions in 2023. A goal for that resolution would be to read one passage of the devotional book Dad bought each week on Tuesday evening, and the standards of completion and accountability probably come into greater emphasis with this particular goal.
As you work through your family’s goals for 2023, please keep in mind
Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Think about this, low standards can keep you from achieving your goals, and not breaking your resolutions into achievable goals will keep you from success. So, let’s discuss five points in how to reach a goal and what standard may need to be raised to achieve it:
First, you must choose a goal that is relevant to current family life. Does this goal really suit your family right now? This element of a goal will be greatly impacted by your standard of balance in life. For example, if your family wants to eat dinner together every night, but mom has to get up at 5am, dad doesn’t get home until 8 pm, teenager doesn’t end practice until 6 pm, and little one is in bed by 7 pm, then eating dinner together every night isn’t a relevant goal, but eating one meal together a week – whether it is breakfast on the weekend or lunch after church on Sunday, that goal might be relevant.
Second, you must evaluate how determined you and each other family member is to achieve this goal. Does your family have the ability to continue trying to achieve your goal, even if it is difficult? Your standard of completion comes into play here. For example, do you have the standard that when a kid starts a sports season, they must finish it?
Third, you must be willing to practice. How disciplined is your family to perform the needed task or skill on the schedule it needs – daily, weekly, monthly? If your family has a low standard for work quality, then that will need to rise before or during your time of practice.
Fourth, it is time to focus. Does your family regularly pay particular attention to issues or tasks that they enjoy doing? Having high standards in mastery of any area will help your family focus on the new goal. If your standard is low in focus, setting an alarm or marking the calendar for everyone to see may help.
And, fifth. Don’t forget the need for accountability. There should be accountability within the family unit, such as lovingly encouraging one another when someone is low in their willingness to practice that day, but you can also tell another family or friend, asking them to check in periodically to see how you guys are doing. Your standard of authenticity will need to be high or rising to achieve accountability in your goal. And, don’t forget, social comparison is off the table when you are choosing to improve the standards and goals of your home.
No matter what you are working on – a standard, goal, or resolution. Be specific. And, if the concepts of standards, goals, or resolutions are too overwhelming for whatever reason OOORRRR if you already have a life with high standards and regularly set goals, then, we encourage you to head over to your favorite podcast player such as google podcast, and find our Five Minute Family from 2020 that discusses choosing a family word of the year.
Thank you so much for joining us for the Five Minute Family this year. Each of us is blessed by our Blesser to be a blessing. No matter what you are motivated to achieve this coming year, remember to do all that you do for the glory of the Lord! Be blessed!