While it may not be January 1st, it’s never too late to set some New Year resolutions! We all know it’s not the easiest to commit to long-term goals alone, but doing it as a family is a creative way to inspire your child to make some changes in their habits. Plus, everyone in the family can benefit!
Goal setting is a skill your child can use forever, and it’s never too early to begin. Here are a few steps you can take to set some family goals and create the milestones to help you achieve them.
1. Make a Plan
Sit down as a family and make a small list of some goals you have. Be sure to have everyone explain why their goal is important to them so your child can understand why it must be prioritized. The goals you create should be achievable for everyone and don’t have to seem like a huge life change. Ease into them.
Some goals to suggest are to live a healthier lifestyle, to improve family eating habits, or to exercise more. Extra credit if you choose all three!
2. Choose Weekly Habits
Have everyone make one or two contributions to the list of weekly activities that will help your family achieve that goal. Examples of this could be to go on a walk three times a week, work out together in the park every Sunday, have family grocery shopping nights, etc.
These activities should be both realistic and fun! Instead of “go to the gym,” try “family sit-up competition.” Maybe you can make weekly grocery runs and have everyone choose a new healthy snack or ingredient. Talk about the health benefits of each and try to incorporate them into new recipes. Be specific in your chosen activities!
The goal is to make this a team effort and something everyone can stick to. These aren’t chores; they are milestones.
3. Create Accountability Checks
Understandably, the weekdays get busy. However, there are ways to track everyone’s progress while still making it fun!
Whether you have a dry erase board that everyone checks into or a group chat that you send photos of your healthy habits- accountability is everything. Again- you are a team, and your child will take it seriously if they see that you are too.
4. Reward System
We all love rewards (I’m sure your children do too)! Try creating certain family checkpoints that lead to a reward. It’s a great way to strengthen everyone’s commitment.
Maybe you have family pizza night after a week of lots of veggies and fruit. Treat everyone to a movie with buttery popcorn after five successful workouts. Each family is unique- so choose something that everyone can look forward to.
5. Monitor Progress
There’s no better feeling than seeing your hard work pay off. It may be worth it to have a way to monitor everyone’s progress with their New Year resolutions.
For example- how many more push-ups can your teen do since committing to more workouts? How many cups of veggies has your child eaten since the beginning of the week? Who could avoid soda the longest?
Find a way to measure your family’s accomplishments. Congratulate each other, and be sure to give a lot of support!
Lifestyle changes do not need to be sudden. Easing into it, setting goals, and watching progress is a sure way to a rewarding and fun experience for the whole family! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.
By Paytra Gessler, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, Certified Fitness Professional