It’s that time of year again when everyone is making resolutions to be better and improve themselves in some way. The pressure to make a resolution can be overwhelming, so let’s talk about ways to make manageable “goals” instead of resolutions! One mistake often made when setting goals is making too many at a time. It may be unrealistic for you to work toward five goals all at once. Instead select one goal to focus on and then continue onto others once they are achieved. Especially when trying to change a habit, it is much easier to make a small change stick. For example, filling a water bottle everyday before work is a small change to help you drink more water. 

One way to set yourself up for success is to make SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable 
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

If you wanted to eat more family meals together at home, your goal should include things like: who would be at the additional family meals (specific), when, and how often (measurable). You should make sure it is doable with your family’s schedule (achievable). Also think about if it is relevant to your family’s long term goals, such as spending more time together and improving health. By adding this “why” to your goal, it reminds you of why the goal is important to you, and can help motivate you to continue. Set a time-frame for your family to achieve the goal. For example “By the end of March, we will be eating dinner together at least three nights a week.” By adding all of those details to your goal, it makes it easier to set up a plan to achieve your goal.  

SMART Goals: Make a chart like this and write down your goal with all the details.
Put it somewhere you will see frequently to remind you of your goal.
Specific: What do you want to do?  
Measurable: How will you know if you have completed it?  
Achievable: How will you complete it?  
Relevant: Why are you setting this goal?                                                                                               
Time-bound: When will you complete this goal?  

To help start your goal setting, the next four blog posts will be about different goals you could set with your family and ways to achieve the goal for each topic, including:

Week 1 -- Family Meals 
Week 2 -- Drink More Water 
Week 3 -- Be More Active
Week 4 -- Try New Foods

Check back each week for tips on how to be successful in creating healthy habits for your family!!

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