Set Family Goals for 2021 

Julie Bitely

| 4 min read

Mom helping daughter water a plant
With news that COVID-19 vaccines will reduce transmission of the virus by as early as this summer, it’s fun to dream about visiting all the places we’ve missed going to in 2020.
As we head into a long winter that will require further diligence in stopping the spread of COVID-19, take some time to put together family goals you can work toward and dream about together.
These can include resolution-type healthy habits you want to work on as a family as well as places you want to see or activities you want to try.
Making plans can be a positive step in breaking the monotony of staying home, which is critically important right now. We’ve put together some ideas for bucket list-worthy ideas to explore right at home and throughout Michigan.

At-home ideas

There are a lot of goals families can work on together right at home. Here’s what’s on our list:
  • Work on limiting screen time and increasing family time by instituting a family game night during the week.
  • Up your culinary game by aiming to try one new recipe per week or month. Start with these pad Thai noodles.
  • Plant a garden this year. Start seeds inside around March or April and encourage the family to flex their green thumbs all summer. This is a great way to get kids interested in how food grows and could encourage them to try new veggies if they’ve had a hand in helping them flourish.

A drive away

Michigan has so many beautiful places to see and visit. Here are some ideas to make the most of our gorgeous state.
  • Set a monthly or quarterly goal to visit a Great Lake or state park you’ve never been to. Local parks and trails count too! 
  • Go hunting for morel mushrooms in the spring, hit up a u-pick berry farm in the summer or go apple picking in the fall. There’s nothing quite like gathering your own healthy ingredients. Bonus points if you use them in one of the new recipes you’ll be trying out this year.
  • Make a list of the cultural institutions you’ve missed visiting and plan excursions later in the year. Museums have mostly been closed during the pandemic and will likely be excited to welcome visitors when it’s safe to do so. 

Activity-based goals

Getting outside and active is a great way to bond as a family and there are opportunities to try something new during every season.
  • Plan a snowshoeing or ice–skating adventure with the family this winter or keep it simple and make a point to visit your favorite sledding hill.
  • In the spring, take advantage of warmer temps to break out your bikes and commute via two wheels to a local park or other fun destination.
  • Get your camp on this summer. Even if you set up a tent in the backyard, nothing beats the memories that can be made around a campfire.
  • Try hiking or backpacking local or farther-flung trails in the fall when temps are cooler, and you can hear the crunch of the leaves underfoot and see their changing colors all around you.
  • Sign up for a 5K any time of year. Virtual or in-person, setting a goal as a family to walk or run a race is a great motivator to make time to exercise together.

From the heart

  • Start a letter-writing campaign. Encourage your kiddos to write letters to far-flung relatives and get in on the fun yourself. You can help them work on their cursive skills and spread joy to family members who will enjoy getting some novelty mail. You can also write letters to people living in senior homes or serving in the military.
  • Have a conversation as a family about charitable giving and set goals for how to support your favorite local non-profits through donations or volunteering efforts.
  • Get involved in or organize a community clean-up effort at a local park, school or roadside that could use some attention. 
What’s on your list for 2021? Share your family goals and bucket list destinations in the comments!
Photo credit: FangXiaNuo

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