What if this time next year . . .

. . . you have a great feeling of hope and satisfaction about the direction of your family? Sound good?


But do you know what that direction looks like?

How do you want things to be different in your family?

Can you describe it? Or is it just the same vague desire you’ve had for years for things to be ‘better?’

Maybe in your heart it’s always been an ‘I wish’ kind of thing for a closer, more loving family. Less dysfunction and drama. More reconciliation and healing. But you’ve never been specific about it or defined it as a goal or known how to get there. It seems so much bigger than you, so complicated with personalities, agendas, histories, and obstacles out of your control. So mainly you wish and hope.

Or maybe your family is actually pretty rockin’ solid. Yet there are holes and dysfunctions that you feel hold some members – or your whole family – back from being all you think they could be. You don’t need perfection, but love desires the best, and you love them.

You like the IDEA of a vision and goals for your family, but being specific and purposeful about it has never been on your radar. Where would you start? How?

You could start now

For a few weeks we’ll talk about how to think about your hopes for your family. Maybe something will click. Maybe you’ll catch some encouragement for how to influence your family. Maybe you’ll want to keep at it longer than a few weeks.

I think this time next year you could definitely feel that greater hope and satisfaction.

But it won’t be the result of a formula or following steps. It’s more nebulous, like pursuing an attitude and a perspective, and adjusting your expectations.

Recently someone asked how our family ‘got that way.’

The person asking seemed to see something they liked.  You know what I said?

“I don’t know.”

I don’t like that answer. Like I said at the beginning, you ought to be able to be a little articulate about a thing that you say is so important to you, right? So I did some thinking, and talked with my wife Brenda.

Here’s what I know: I can’t tell you how to get where you want to go. Every family is different, and is at a different place. But I can share what we’ve learned, our experience, things we’re convinced are important. And we definitely have some things we’re convinced are important. Again, these things start with attitudes and expectations.

For the next two or three Mondays we’ll take a few steps

We’ll begin to think purposefully about your family. You’ll have a chance to see some specific steps that might be good just for you. After that, we’ll keep on in that direction on the blog and maybe some other ways, too. I hope the next few weeks are encouraging to you.

But progress takes time, longer than two or three weeks. And you’ll have to be the one to do the work of taking the initiative. Oh, and no guarantees.

Maybe the change this year won’t be big. But the change can be meaningful, and this year can be the beginning of big changes.

See you Monday.

What is one change you would like to see in your family?

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).

  • Life Takes Over

    I’m really looking forward to this series. I expect it will be perfect for where my family is in its journey.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      I hope it is, and hope you share some of that journey :)

  • Pam Cason

    Love this, Gary, and am excited about joining with you on the next few Mondays to learn how to get to where we’re going : )

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Great! Hope your new year starts super encouraging.

  • LeeAnn Taylor

    Our family is “getting that way” (closer, more intentional, focused on more holy things than just worldly things, etc.) one baby step at a time. We used the family goals night model with both of our families and our discipleship team this holiday season. What a blessing in so many ways to have people affirming one another and sharing their hearts for the future. Learning about this at The Barn event was reason enough for God to have placed me there that day!

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      Awesome. Wonderful. Onward!

  • Laura Jean

    The one change I’d like to see in my family is unity. I’d like us to start acting like we love each other. I’d like the fighting and the selfishness and the constant annoyance with each other to stop. I’d like us to treat each other like we treat our friends.

    • http://garymorland.com/ Gary Morland

      My guess is that’s the most common desire for families – you’re not alone

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