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FHE Lesson for New Year’s – Goal Setting

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FHE Scripture


D&C 67: 13

Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.

FHE Lesson Hymn


I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus #78 or You can make the Pathway Bright Hymn 228

I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus

1- I’m trying to be like Jesus;
I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as He did,
in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,

“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”

2- I’m trying to love my neighbor;
I’m learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness
when Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons he taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying:

You can make the Pathway Bright

1. You can make the pathway bright,
Fill the soul with heaven’s light,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Turning darkness into day,
As the shadows fly away,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

If there’s sunshine in your heart,
You can send a shining ray
That will turn the night to day;
And your cares will all depart,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

2. You can speak the gentle word
To the heart with anger stirred,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
Tho it seems a little thing,
It will heaven’s blessings bring,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

3. You can do a kindly deed
To your neighbor in his need,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And his burden you will share
As you lift his load of care,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.

4. You can live a happy life
In this world of toil and strife,
If there’s sunshine in your heart;
And your soul will glow with love
From the perfect Light above,
If there’s sunshine in your heart today.


FHE Lesson


*For Younger Children* Read this story and discuss the questions at the end. You may also want to use clipart to help tell the story.

The ringing went on and on, and Jamie finally opened his eyes. He rolled over and shut off the noisy alarm. He wanted to stay in bed, but he knew that if he didn’t get up, his mother would come get him. He needed to clean his room this morning. He swung his legs out of bed and jumped on the floor.

“Ouch!” He had banged one of his big toes on a red racing car that was on the floor. He looked around at the clothes on the floor, his train and blocks by the door, and the books on the floor of his closet.

“It just isn’t fair,” Jamie thought. “My room is always messy.” He felt frustrated. “Why can’t I keep my room clean?”

He knew that his big sister, Jill, would ask him the same question. Jill was nine, and it seemed like her room was always clean, her clothes were never on the floor, and her toys were always neatly put away on her shelves and in her toy box. Jamie couldn’t figure out how she did it.

Last week in family home evening, Mom and Dad had talked to the family about goal-setting and asked each person to set some goals for the new year. Jamie decided that his goal would be to keep his room clean. Well, it was the first week of the new year, and already he was failing. He tried and tried to keep his room clean, but it got messed up every time he played in it.

After breakfast, Jamie went back to his bedroom to clean. He decided to drive the toy train around the room to help pick up some toys. He added some blocks and toy cars to the train’s load, then he stopped by the toy box and dumped them all off. Then he stacked up a few books to make a bridge for the train to cross. Before he knew it, he was busy creating new bridges and pathways for the train. By the time Mom called him for lunch, he still hadn’t finished cleaning his room. In fact, it looked worse than it had before! There were even more toys out, and his pajamas had joined the other clothes on the floor.

Jamie walked slowly into the kitchen, dragging his feet and sighing. Mom looked at him. “Jamie, is something bothering you?”

“Mom, I can’t keep my New Year’s goal,” Jamie admitted. “I can’t keep my room clean. I guess I am just too little.”

“Do you mean that your toys are too heavy for you to put away, or that your dresser drawers are too hard to open?” Mom asked.

“No,” Jamie answered, “I’m just too young to keep my room clean. I don’t know how Jill keeps hers clean. She must not play in it very much.”

“I don’t think that’s it.” Mom thought for a minute. “Jamie, I think you need to learn a little bit about how goals work.” She got out a box of graham crackers and a bunch of grapes, then sat down at the table next to him.

“Jamie, what things need to be done to have a clean room?”

He thought for a minute. “Well, my toys need to be put away, and my books should be on the bookshelf. My bed should be made, and my clothes should be in the closet.”

As Jamie named each item, his mom placed a graham cracker on the table. The crackers formed a line.

“And when all of these things are done, your room is clean. Right?”

“Right.” Jamie answered. Mom placed a grape at the top of the line of graham crackers. The graham crackers looked like a pathway leading to the grape.

“OK, Jamie, pretend that the grape is your goal—keeping your room clean—and the graham crackers are things you have to do to reach your goal.” She took one of the crackers away. “What happens if one of these things isn’t done?”

“The crackers don’t reach the grape anymore.” Jamie thought for a minute more. “And I can’t reach my goal.”

“That’s right. See, all it takes to reach a big goal is doing a bunch of little tasks all together. But it’s hard to accomplish your goal if you don’t know what little steps you have to take.” Mom picked up all of the graham crackers and handed them to Jamie. Then she helped him decide what he needed to do to keep his room clean.

“I can make my bed as soon as I get up in the morning,” Jamie said. He put down one cracker. “I can put my books away after I read them.” He put down another cracker. “I can put my toys away after I finish playing with them.” He added another cracker to the line. “And I can put my clothes away after I take them off.” The graham crackers now reached the grape.

“If I do each of these things, one at a time, soon I will reach my goal!” Jamie said excitedly. He grabbed the grape and tossed it into his mouth.

After lunch, Mom and Jamie made pictures of the things he had to do to keep his room clean. They hung the pictures on the back of his bedroom door to remind him. Then Mom helped Jamie clean his room.

The next day, the pictures helped Jamie remember to make his bed before breakfast and to put away his pajamas instead of leaving them on the floor. Jamie smiled. It was nice to have a clean room, but it was even better to know that he could keep it clean all by himself. (Terina Atkinson Darcey, “Graham Crackers, Grapes, and Goals”, Friend, Jan. 2005, 20)

*Discuss these questions as a family*
1- What did Jamie bag his toe on when he got out of bed?
2- What was Jill good at doing?
3- What did Jamie’s parents talk about in Family Home Evening?
4- Why was Jamie sad when he went into the kitchen for lunch?
5- What did the graham crackers lead to?
6- What did Jamie hang up on the back of his bedroom door to help remind him how to keep his room clean?
7- Was Jamie able to keep his room clean all by himself?

*For Teenagers or Adults* Share and discuss the following thoughts, ideas and council from Elder Ballard.

(M. Russell Ballard, “Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance”, Ensign, May 1987, 13)

As most of you know, coping with the complex and diverse challenges of everyday life, which is not an easy task, can upset the balance and harmony we seek. Many good people who care a great deal are trying very hard to maintain balance, but they sometimes feel overwhelmed and defeated.

A mother of four small children said: “There is no balance at all in my life. I am completely consumed in trying to raise my children. I hardly have time to think of anything else!”

A young father, who felt the pressure of being the family provider, said: “My new business requires all of my time. I realize that I am neglecting my family and church duties, but if I can just get through one more year I will make enough money, and then things will settle down.”

A high school student said: “We hear so many contrasting views that it is hard to always know what is right and what is wrong.”

How often have we heard this one? “No one knows better than I do how important exercise is, but I just have no time in my day for exercising.”

A single parent said: “I find it next to impossible to accomplish all that I need to do to manage my home and lead my family. In fact, sometimes I think the world expects too much of me. Regardless of how hard I work, I never will live up to everyone’s expectations.”

Another mother of four remarked: “My struggle is between self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of self-worth versus guilt, depression, and discouragement for not doing everything I am told we must do to attain the celestial kingdom.”

Brothers and sisters, we all face these kinds of struggles from time to time. They are common human experiences. Many people have heavy demands upon them stemming from parental, family, employment, church, and civic responsibilities. Keeping everything in balance can be a real problem.

I have a few suggestions (eight) that I hope will be valuable to those of you concerned with balancing life’s demands. These suggestions are very basic; their concepts can easily be overlooked if you are not careful. You will need a strong commitment and personal discipline to incorporate them into your life.

1- Think about your life and set your priorities
Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there. Jesus, our exemplar, often “withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:16). We need to do the same thing occasionally to rejuvenate ourselves spiritually as the Savior did. Write down the tasks you would like to accomplish each day. Keep foremost in mind the sacred covenants you have made with the Lord as you write down your daily schedules.

2- Set short-term goals that you can reach
Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting.

3- Everyone faces financial challenges in life
Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life. Far too many individuals and families have incurred too much debt. Be careful of the many attractive offers to borrow money. It is much easier to borrow money than it is to pay it back. There are no shortcuts to financial security.

4- Stay close to your spouse, children, relatives, and friends
They will help you keep a balance in your life. In a recent study by the Church, adults in the United States were asked to identify a time when they were very happy and to describe the experience. They were also asked to describe a time when they were very unhappy. For most people, one thing that had made them the most happy or the most sad was their personal relationships with others. Much less important were their personal health, employment, money, and other material things. Build relationships with your family and friends through open and honest communication. Good marriage and good family relationships can be maintained through gentle, loving, thoughtful communication. Remember that often a glance, a wink, a nod, or a touch will say more than words. A sense of humor and good listening are also vital parts of good communication.

5- Study the scriptures
They offer one of the best sources we have to keep in touch with the Spirit of the Lord. One of the ways I have gained my sure knowledge that Jesus is the Christ is through my study of the scriptures. President Ezra Taft Benson has called upon members of the Church to make the study of the Book of Mormon a daily habit and a lifetime pursuit.

6- Plan time for sufficient rest, exercise, and relaxation
We must schedule time on our daily calendars for these activities if we are to enjoy a healthy and balanced life. Good physical appearance enhances our dignity and self-respect.

7- Have a weekly family home evening
This family practice, if we are not very careful, can slowly drift away from us. We must not lose this special opportunity to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77), which will lead families to eternal life.

8- Pray often as individuals and as families
Parents need to exercise the discipline required to lead out and motivate children to join together for regular family prayers. Our youth can know the right decisions to make each day through constant, sincere prayer.

Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste away our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance. Our main goal should be to seek “immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39).

Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and, before you realize it, your life will be full of spiritual understanding that will confirm to you that your Heavenly Father loves you. When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and meaning, making balance easier to maintain.

Live every day with joy in your heart, brothers and sisters. I humbly testify that life can be wonderful, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



FHE Treat


Snowman on a Stick or New Year’s Hats

Snowman on a Stick


Bamboo skewers
Mini chocolate chips
Pretzel sticks


1- For each snowman, you will need three thick slices of banana, a grape, a sliver of carrot, and a triangular piece of apple. (Tip: Poke a hole in the apple piece with a bamboo skewer first to make assembly easier.)

2- Slide the fruit onto the skewer, then use the carrot slivers for noses, mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons, and pretzel sticks for arms.

New Year’s Hats


Sugar cones
Ice cream
Chocolate chips (one 12-ounce bag for 10 to 12 cones)
Fruit strips or shoestring licorice (we used Kellogg’s Fruit Streamers)


1- Spread melted chocolate chips over each sugar cone with a small spatula. Let the chocolate harden for about 1 hour (or 20 minutes in the refrigerator).

2- For chinstraps, use icing to attach the ends of a fruit strip or a length of shoestring licorice to the inside of each cone.

3- Use icing to decorate the hats and attach nonpareils.


(Recipes taken from


FHE Game / Activity


1- Set New Goals for the year (If needed, like Jamie in the story above, determine the little things that need to be done in order to reach the goals.)

2- Set goals as a family (such as the goals suggested by Elder Ballard).



Join the Discussion!
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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.


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