January 27, 2022

Often when we think about goal setting, we focus on health and wellbeing or career and forget about one of the most important areas of our lives – what’s happening at home.

In part three of our goal-setting guide, we want to encourage you to think about priorities for your family this year. It might be something you want to do with your partner, or if you have older children, consider involving them in the process. It can even help to get advice or input from a close trusted friend who might be able to see your situation more clearly than you can!

Family life
Family is often more than the people we share a roof with. Many people are juggling extended families and caring responsibilities. Others live far away from relatives and rely heavily on friends, neighbours and the local community to be part of their wider whānau. Think about who you consider your family to be when you look at these ideas.

  • What boundaries do you need to set in 2022? If you are caring for an elderly relative, it might be around what days of the week you are available to support them. If you have teenagers at home, you might want to set up one or two nights when everyone is expected to be home for a family dinner. Or if dinner is too hard to manage, schedule a compulsory family breakfast. Whip up some healthy breakfast cookies or flapjacks using Te Atatu Toasted muesli to entice everyone to be there. When you have a young family, making sure you get some adult only time is really important.
  • What do you want to do more of? Do you want to have a weekly family bike ride? Do you want to be more social with friends, family or neighbours? After the lockdowns and isolating of the past two years, many of us have gotten out of the habit of entertaining. Do you want to have more weekends away? Or maybe you want to set some simple goals like dance more or read more.
  • What do you want to do less of? You might want to look at limits to screen time for the whole family given how much this has crept up in recent years. Is the distribution of household chores something that needs to be reconsidered? Older children can contribute to the running of the household or if finances allow, maybe some of those ongoing tasks like cleaning or lawn mowing can be outsourced.

In the home

Our homes have become an important sanctuary in the past two years. Everyone deserves to live somewhere they want to be. Think about:

  • Having stuff we don’t want or need lying around is incredibly energy draining. There is something very satisfying about a clear out. You can even divide the rooms into each month of the year to make the task less overwhelming. Community sites on Facebook or local charity shops are a great way to pass on items someone else might get use from.
  • The environment. What are you and your family going to do to look after our precious earth this year? Get some ideas from our blog on how to live more sustainably.
  • A maintenance manifesto. Whether this is the year you are finally going to replace the kitchen, or whether you just need to replace all the lightbulbs that aren’t working, now is the time to make a comprehensive list of all the things that bug you around the house. It doesn’t matter if you own or rent – there are things you can improve without spending a great deal of money. Don’t forget about the outside area – is it time to plant some fruit trees, get some new outdoor furniture or just invest in a few new pot plants for your balcony?

Finances

Let’s face it – talking about money and budgets is not everyone’s idea of fun. But if you spend a bit of time on it now, it can prevent a stressful situation later. Think about

  • Whether there is anything you can do to pay off your debts faster
  • What big ticket items do you need to budget for this year? If you know your washing machine is on its last legs, start putting aside a weekly or fortnightly amount to replace it. If taking a family holiday is a goal after two years of being stuck home, start thinking about how you will pay for it.
  • Where you might be spending money unnecessarily. There are some great budgeting tools online that can help you track your expenses. Are you paying for three online streaming services when you only use one? Are you still paying for a membership at a gym you never went back to after the first lockdown because you can’t be bothered with the hassle of cancelling it? Are you at the supermarket every second day, then chucking out food at the end of every week?
  • Reviewing your insurance cover – our needs change with different life stages. Life insurance might be vital if you have young children and only one income but once your kids are financially independent or your mortgage is paid off, you might want to put that money into better health insurance or saving for retirement.
  • Address financial issues honestly, especially if you are in a shared finances arrangement. If you have totally different spending and saving habits from your partner, or if you both prefer to stick in your head in the sand, consider consulting a professional advisor.

These are just some ideas to get you thinking about what you want to achieve for the people you love in 2022.