FHE Lesson about why we set goals

Why We Set Goals

When we set goals and work hard to accomplish them, we exercise several gospel principles related to our eternal progression.

In order to exercise these many gospel principles, our family focuses on goal setting three times a year.

First: We set goals at the beginning of the school year until winter break.

Second: We set goals at winter break, until the end of the school year.

Third: As school ends, we set goals we want to accomplish over summer.

We like to focus a Family Home Evening lesson on goal setting around these times. This lesson provides a good review about why we set goals.



As a family, discuss some of the gospel principles related to setting goals.

Work and Self Reliance

Have someone read Moses 5:1.  What was one of the first things Adam and Eve did when they departed the Garden of Eden?

The principle of work has been in the world since the beginning. When we work hard, we are often rewarded with success and prosperity.

Setting goals helps us to learn and develop talents. It is our duty and responsibility to find and develop these talents as we transform into the unique and wonderful person God created.

Agency and Accountability

Have some read D&C 58:27-29. What does it mean to be “anxiously engaged”?

We have the agency to choose what we do with our time. Whether we use it for good and virtuous purposes or we choose to idle it away, we will be held accountable. By setting goals, we show personal responsibility for the use of our time.

Set high goals for yourself, and be willing to work hard to achieve them. Develop self-discipline, and be dependable. Do your best in your Church callings, schoolwork, employment, and other worthwhile pursuits. … Heavenly Father has given you gifts and talents and knows what you are capable of achieving. Seek His help and guidance as you work to achieve your goals. – For Strength of Youth, Work and Self Reliance.

Hope and Faith

Setting goals is tied to the principle of hope. As we set goals, we focus and work toward things we hope to accomplish. The action of setting goals and working hard to accomplish them is an example of faith.

Through Goals and Plans, our hopes are transformed into action – Preach My Gospel


Setting goals is tied to the principle of endurance. As we work towards our goals, we learn to endure in all things. We develop the strength involved in enduring to the end.

Discuss the amount of time Brother Haws spent practicing to accomplish his success. Emphasize how people often believe sports stars and other talented people are born with natural gifts and believe their success was easy.  In reality, most successful people set goals and work hard to achieve them, just like Brother Haws.

Discuss goals you have set and bear testimony of hard work and finishing goals.

Activity Ideas:

  • Start the process of setting goals. Write down some ideas of things you hope for in your life.
  • Re-emphasize how much work it took Brother Haws to develop his free throw skills. (Shooting 100 baskets a day – starting out only making about 60-70% – eventually shooting over 140 baskets in a row without a miss). Have your own free throw contest. Take turns shooting 10 free throws in a row and see how many you make out of 10 tries. Try again and see if you improve.

Let us know what you think. What other gospel principles are related to goals?

I’ve been asked several times for book recommendations related to goal setting. Most of our influence and ideas came from single chapters of various books, so it was hard to identify one source. After reading The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months it clearly stands out as a complete resource incorporating many of the best goal setting ideas in one book. This is my new recommendation for a comprehensive understanding of goal setting.

2 comments for “Why We Set Goals

  1. Shelby
    June 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I love goals and hope to write them down with my family this Monday. Thanks for the lesson and encouragement.

    • June 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Good luck! Our family had a fun time with this lesson.

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