The family is the center of our world, providing us with support and guidance. But sometimes, we struggle to get along, and that’s where family therapy can be beneficial.
Developing SMART goals in family therapy will help you identify problems and work on solutions that benefit the entire family. This post covers examples of SMART goals to help families nurture a stronger intimate connection.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART framework will help you set practical goals for family therapy. SMART is an abbreviation for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Here is a deeper explanation of each SMART letter:
Regarding family therapy goals, the more specific you can be, the better your chances of success. You’ll ensure everyone accurately understands what they are striving towards and how it can be achieved.
For instance, instead of setting a goal to “be closer as a family,” try addressing more specific elements like conflict resolution techniques or relationship dynamics.
Measurable goals give you a roadmap for progress, providing constructive feedback and an understanding of what must be done for continued development.
Making your family therapy goals measurable also gives you tangible evidence of success and a baseline for improvement. It will help you identify areas that need further attention.
Goal setting involves acknowledging our limitations while considering what resources are available to reach our desired destination.
Rather than attempting to achieve unrealistic outcomes, we should honor that progress takes time and dedication to reach those objectives. After all, if not accomplished, overly ambitious goals could even lead to disappointment.
Setting meaningful goals will energize you to achieve your aspirations. By embracing your personal values, you’ll remain steadfast even during times of hardship, giving you an extra boost of strength to stay the course.
Realize that establishing a reliable timeline is critical to staying on the path to goal attainment. But remember that success won’t occur instantly—it requires hard work and determination cultivated over time.
12 SMART Goals Examples for Family Therapy
Below you’ll find 12 examples of SMART goals for family therapy:
1. Increase Communication
“I will work towards having more open and honest conversations with my family within three months. I want to ensure that all family members feel heard and respected so that we can work through our issues together.”
Specific: The aim is to have more open and honest conversations.
Measurable: You can track the number of successful conversations you’ve had.
Attainable: With practice, it is definitely possible to build better communication skills.
Relevant: This SMART goal will encourage stronger family relationships.
Time-based: Three months gives you enough time to reach success.
2. Develop Problem-Solving Skills
“As a family, we’ll work together to develop our problem-solving skills by trying different approaches and strategies over three months. This will help us to better understand and work through our disagreements.”
Specific: This SMART statement is explicit because the family will focus on developing their problem-solving skills.
Measurable: You could track your success with each problem-solving technique you try.
Attainable: Improving your problem-solving skills is doable with the right mindset and consistency.
Relevant: Enhancing problem-solving skills is crucial for families to resolve conflicts effectively.
Time-based: The goal should be achieved within three months.
3. Strengthen Emotional Connections
“I want to increase the emotional connection between family members and find ways to express support for each other that don’t involve arguments or shut-downs. In four months, I’ll have identified three strategies to strengthen our family’s emotional ties.”
Specific: This goal includes the desired outcome (strengthening emotional connections), the timeline for getting there (four months), and what you’ll do to reach it (identify three strategies).
Measurable: You can measure the emotional connection between family members and track how often the strategies have been implemented.
Attainable: Finding and implementing strategies that improve emotional connections is something the whole family can work towards.
Relevant: Strengthening emotional ties is vital for achieving a healthy family dynamic.
Time-based: The goal should be completed after four months.
4. Foster Healthy Relationships
“I’ll research evidence-based strategies to foster healthy relationships between family members for two months. After I review the research, I will provide a list of recommended activities for family members to participate in together.”
Specific: The goal is well-defined, detailing the objective and how it will be accomplished.
Measurable: By researching evidence-based strategies, the family can check their progress.
Attainable: This can be accomplished by looking into various available strategies, methods, and activities.
Relevant: The goal is relevant to family therapy as it will help promote positive relationships between family members.
Time-based: There is a two-month end date for completion.
5. Improve Parenting Strategies
“I’ll reconnect with my family and work on improving parenting strategies by enrolling in a parenting class within two months. I will commit to attending the classes and putting into practice what I learn.”
Specific: You’ll join a parenting class and commit to implementing the strategies learned there.
Measurable: You can measure your progress by creating a chart to track how often you practice the strategies in your daily life.
Attainable: Two months is enough to learn the concepts and put them into practice.
Relevant: This goal is appropriate because it helps you to become a better parent.
Time-based: You have two months to finish the parenting class.
6. Facilitate Conflict Resolution
“I will create a plan to help family members resolve conflicts healthily and productively within 6 months. That could include implementing a conflict resolution committee, providing training, or setting up meetings with a mediator.”
Specific: This goal includes creating a plan to help facilitate healthily productive conflict resolution.
Measurable: Determine the number of conflicts resolved or the progress made in resolving them.
Attainable: The goal is realistic if given the necessary resources and support.
Relevant: This is an appropriate goal to help family members resolve conflicts and create a healthier family environment.
Time-based: Success will be met in 6 whole months.
7. Promote Respect and Understanding
“For 8 months, I want to encourage open dialogue and create opportunities to discuss differences of opinions in a safe environment. This way, family members can learn to better understand one another and work together to build a strong bond.”
Specific: The SMART goal of promoting respect and understanding is well-defined.
Measurable: You can measure progress by gauging the level of open dialogue and mutual understanding.
Attainable: It’s possible to create an environment that encourages open dialogue and understanding among family members.
Relevant: Promoting respect and understanding is essential for family members to get along.
Time-based: Goal achievement is anticipated after 8 months.
8. Learn to Set Boundaries
“I’ll learn to set better boundaries in my family relationships by the end of 5 months. I will practice non-judgmental communication and actively listen to my family members with an open mind. I’ll also seek help from a therapist if needed.”
Specific: This goal is about actively learning how to set better boundaries.
Measurable: Check if the person can effectively communicate and actively listen to family members with an open mind.
Attainable: Learning to set better boundaries is a complex process, but it can be done with the right tools.
Relevant: Setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships with family members.
Time-based: There is a deadline of 5 months for this particular goal.
9. Change Unhealthy Habits
“I want to make positive changes by breaking unhealthy habits I’ve acquired during this difficult time. For the next four months, I’ll limit myself to two unhealthy habits per week.”
Specific: The statement outlines the habits that should be changed and the timeline for completing them.
Measurable: The number of unhealthy habits conquered each week can be tracked.
Attainable: Limiting the goal to two habits per week is absolutely doable.
Relevant: This goal is pertinent to promoting healthy lifestyle changes.
Time-based: There is a four-month timeline for achieving success.
10. Create a Positive Home Environment
“I want to create a positive environment in my home by the end of two months. To accomplish this, I’ll reduce stress and conflict, encourage healthy communication, and create time for shared activities, such as playing games or going on family outings.”
Specific: This goal is evident in its mission to foster a positive environment at home.
Measurable: You can note if there is an increase in positive communication and a decrease in conflict.
Attainable: The goal is feasible because you have identified actionable ways to make it happen.
Relevant: Creating a positive home environment is essential for the family.
Time-based: Two months are required to accomplish this goal.
11. Explore Creative Solutions to Issues
“To foster healthy communication between family members, I will have everyone explore creative solutions to issues that arise within the next three months. This could resemble role-playing, drawing out scenarios, or finding a metaphor for the situation.”
Specific: The individual wants to foster healthy communication between family members by exploring creative solutions.
Measurable: Count the number of creative solutions explored.
Attainable: This is reachable because family members can work together to brainstorm solutions to issues.
Relevant: This goal is suitable because it encourages positive communication and engagement between family members.
Time-based: The goal statement has a three-month timeline for success.
12. Take Responsibility for Actions
“I will start taking responsibility for my actions, rather than blaming others or external factors, within 6 months. I hope to develop a better understanding of how my behavior affects others and by being honest with myself about when I’m in the wrong.”
Specific: This goal outlines what needs to be done (take responsibility) and when it should be achieved (within 6 months).
Measurable: You can determine if you are actively taking responsibility for your actions.
Attainable: Taking responsibility is a skill that can be learned and developed.
Relevant: Acting responsibly for our actions helps us become more self-aware and accountable for our behavior.
Time-based: The goal should be accomplished within 6 months.
The SMART method is a powerful tool for achieving success in family therapy. Whether you’re a therapist or a family looking to resolve conflicts, SMART goals can provide structure and clarity to your shared journey.
Make sure to take the time to design goals that fit your family situation. Following the examples outlined above should only be a starting point. You’ll be on the right path leading to greater harmony and understanding.
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