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Family Goal-Setting Tradition


    One of the traditions that I encourage families to do is our year-ender activity which we call Family Goal Setting. 

    It started as a gift-giving tradition during Christmas. My children didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus. We made sure they knew that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and since the birthday celebrator does not need any material gift, their birthday gifts sounded something like this, “Dear Jesus, this year my gift for you is to become a kinder kuya to my younger brothers.” And then it evolved as they grew up. 

    I wish to give way to an article written by my second son Enrique on this tradition.

    Family Goal Setting by Enrique Fausto 


    You can judge a person’s character by the habits he’s formed. You can judge a family’s values by the traditions they uphold. If it is the things we do repeatedly and consistently that define how we live our lives, why not take a more active role in shaping them?

    Allow me to share one tradition my family does every year that, at first, may seem a little too formal or silly, but if done in your own way, can help each and every person in the family be the best they can be. We call it our yearly “family goal setting.”

    Every year, I’m sure you’ve tried, one way or another, to set goals for yourself such as starting a new diet, saving or traveling more. (How have your 2018 goals been coming along?) Some think and reflect on their goals while others even take the time to write them down on a piece of paper. Still, I hear of very few who actually go as far as calling a meeting with their family to discuss, bringing out the Excel sheets for scoring and setting goals, while taking down the minutes of the meeting as if it’s in a corporate setting. (I’m serious. We really do this). Don’t get me wrong; it’s a pretty chill and lax atmosphere where we’re in our pambahay clothes all clumped up in a room together.

The idea really started out with my mom (a.k.a the FQ Mom) who thought, “Why not formalize their ‘gift to Jesus’ tradition and put a bit of structure?” 

    Sharing New Year goals with people who only want what’s best for us is helpful and what better place to look than within our own family?

    After spending Christmas with our clans on both father and mother sides, we go to a place we haven’t been to together as a family, either out of town or out of the country. During the few days in the place, we allot a day for goal setting tradition. Each of us would find a spot to reflect on the year, look back at how we did, and dream some more on how to make the next year even better. During the family session, we would share our stories and our personal ratings of how well we did, giving a score from one to ten for the rest of the family to hear. After that, we would lay out all our goals for the next year so we would be accountable to each other. Anyone is free to give his or her comments as well as offer help and advice on how to improve.

    It may seem awkward at first, but trust me, you’ll learn so much about each other, know what each person truly values, and realize how great it is to have a support system as you shoot for the stars. It’s great being able to share your successes with loved ones without fear of being called mayabang. Celebrating these achievements, like getting into your dream school or starting a business, can really amplify the joy you get out of it. At the same time, having an avenue to share your failures and shortcomings without judgment can be the best therapy toward overcoming them.

    We know everyone is on the same team, and being aware of each family member’s goals gives us a chance to help where we can. We can’t help someone when we don’t even know where he or she needs helps with.

    At the end of the day, there’s nothing to lose with trying this out with your family. You might discover something about your mom or dad that you never knew before. You may even learn a thing or two about yourself. And who knows, this could be that little extra push you need to finally reach that goal. 

    I hope my son’s sharing convinced you to try this out in 2020. It’s also a great time to start something new and take full advantage of what we call as fresh start effect in Behavioral Economics - discussed in my other article entitled The Power of Fresh Start. 

    Of course, our goal setting includes a bit of numbers, like the amount of net asset value in x number of years, within the year, and so on. This might be that opportune time to invite your family members to take the FQ Test and really develop a high FQ family starting this decade. Have a great one! 


    Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom (FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient). She was an investment banker turned full-time homemaker and now a writer and speaker on money and family. She’s a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and Behavioral Economist, having trained under Dan Ariely, the Father of B.E. Richard Thaler, and recently completed a B.E. course at the Harvard Business School. She wrote bestsellers Raising Pinoy Boys, The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions), FQ: The nth Intelligence. She has a weekly column in PhilStar.com and regularly contributes to other magazines. 

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    AUTHOR BIO Rose Fres Fausto is FQ Mom. FQ stands for Financial Intelligence Quotient. Investment banker turned full-time homemaker, she is now a writer and speaker on money and family.

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