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(Note: My writer friend and adoption counselor and coach, Sharon Brani, posted this as a Facebook Note this morning and it was so good I asked to share it here. She graciously agreed.)

Well it’s that time again when you hear about resolutions and goals. I’ve been asked from time to time if I set goals. Yes, I do. Each year I spend some time alone to evaluate the previous year and then focus on what is important for the next year. I set a number of different goals and among them are my personal parenting goals and then a few family goals.

Goals give me a vision and a sense of direction. I make them specific and measurable. Some goals are for one year and other goals span the course of many years. It is all too easy to get discouraged if you don’t reach a goal, and just give up. I tend to set a realistic goal and then am usually pleased if I surpass it.

For example, it is important to be intentional about your parenting. This is nothing to take lightly or settle for being passive. The parenting years fly by quickly and before you know it you are helping them leave the nest to make their way in the world. There is much to teach our children during those short formative years. Setting goals helps to keep you on track with an eye towards preparing your children for the future. Spiritual goals, physical goals, educational goals-these and more are some possibilities.

All goals need to be made as we wait upon the Lord. He knows what our children need even more than we do. Listening to the Lord in the quiet gives one an awareness of His Will and Path. As we seek Him He will draw near to us.

Some of our goals for the coming year are still being tossed back and forth. Others we already know-for instance making more time to pray together as a family and planning to be involved in ministry. Don’t miss this time to begin again and to stretch your family in new directions.

So what are your goals for the coming year? Get everyone involved. Listen and then write them down. Place those goals in a place where you can read them throughout the year. Make this year a year filled with promise and hope in your family.

(Sharon is a mom, a licensed professional counselor and life coach. She also helps adoptive parents to build strong families. And she is a published freelance writer. She is a lover of life, people and the Lord. You can find out more at