Family Goal-Setting

As the New Year rolls around, we all tend to think about resolutions or accomplishments we hope to strive for individually or as a family. Sometimes all we do is think about them or perhaps work towards them for a brief time then feel lousy when we don’t meet our goals. It’s key to focus only on a short list of achievable or S.M.A.R.T. goals if we want to be successful instead of demotivated.

S stands for specific—instead of saying “we’re going to be more active”, individually or as a family, quantify it like “we are going to do one family physical activity each weekend” and brainstorm together to create a list of ideas to get you started (e.g. going to the pool, trying a new hiking trail or hitting a trampoline park).

M stands for measurable—ensure you set a target so you stay motivated and know you’re reaching success. Think up a fun, non-food reward, for meeting those milestones like buying a new board game or going to a movie everyone is excited to see.

A stands for achievable—it wouldn’t make sense to choose the above goal of adding a family physical activity each weekend if one family member works weekends for example, or to train for a full marathon when current running levels are only a couple of kilometres. Make sure everyone is in agreement about the attainability of the type and timing of the activity or family goal.

R stands for realistic—perhaps your goal is about cooking and eating at home together as a family more often. Is it realistic to set the goal for every single evening, especially on a day that’s busy with extracurricular activities? It might be more realistic to strive for 5 out of 7 days for example or one more day than your family is currently cooking and eating together.

T stands for time-based—consider setting one or two long-term goals but also some short-term daily, weekly or monthly goals. It’s very motivating when you achieve success with the short-term goals and can continue to strive for the long-term ones.