Does your family make New Year’s resolutions? On January 1st do you create a list of changes you’d like to make during the year? You might want to eat healthier food, exercise consistently, or spend more time together as a family. Although making resolutions is a good way to kickstart healthy habits, the problem is that most people don’t follow through (80% to be exact). This year, focus on setting healthy family goals that will help improve your family wellness while having fun!
Although I’ve gotten away from making resolutions per se, I still find tremendous value in setting and focusing on goals regularly. And what better time than the beginning of the year to sit down and reflect on all of the wonderful things that were accomplishes last year, evaluate where you may need to make tweaks, and come up with goals for the year ahead.
Last year around this time, I wrote about focusing on a “word” for the year. And while I have settled on the word “impact” for this year, I know it’s still critical to break my word of the year down into a concrete plan so that I can do just that… make an impact in my life, my health, family, and even my community.
Why Setting Healthy Family Goals Matters
Goal-setting doesn’t have to be only for you and you alone. With the right approach, you can get the entire family on board with a plan to meet and achieve goals that support your family’s overall health and wellness.
How you set and track the goals depends on how basic or elaborate you want this to be. You might create a family vision board to go along with your family’s goals. Or you may post a written plan on your refrigerator to serve as a reminder for everyone.
My recommendation? Use the SMART goal-setting system. Even though you’re setting goals for a group (the family) rather than an individual (you), you still want the goals to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited.
In addition to creating SMART goals, make this process fun for everyone by creating a theme around your goals. You can choose a theme for the entire year, or focus on a new theme each month. Using a theme gives everyone a focal point and makes it clearer what your family is working towards.
If you’re stuck on how to bring a family goal-setting plan to life, I’ve got 12 themes to help kickstart your creativity.
Start off each month with a new theme to ignite excitement into your family life.
Below are some ideas for setting healthy family goals this year. Many of these are part of our Family Wellness Challenge which is free for anyone to join. So if you want a roadmap with clear tips and guidance on how to boost your family’s health and well-being, check out the challenge here.
12 Ideas for Setting Healthy Family Goals
1. Plan family meals together.
Getting everyone on the same page with mealtime can feel daunting when you have a busy family. Sit down this month and create a family meal plan to create healthier meals and simplify your life in the kitchen.
Allow everyone in the family to contribute their thoughts and suggestions for favorite meals to add to the plan. If your kids are older and mature enough, have them help with meal preparation once a week. Being involved in the meal planning process will get your family excited about mealtime once again. This also gives everyone an appreciation of the work that goes into making meals for a family.
2. Manage family finances.
While you won’t delegate bill-paying to your children, this plan involves setting a goal around the family’s finances. You may decide to start a saving club. Perhaps you would like to take a family vacation this year without putting it on credit. Or maybe you simply want to be more conscious of how the family funds are being spent. Managing family finances goes beyond knowing how to create a budget, but obviously creating a budget is a great way to get started. This year commit to improving your family’s finances. Start a conversation about finances, and include the kids.
Setting healthy family goals can and should include not only your physical health, but your financial health too. This a great way to plant the seed for a strong financial future for everyone in the family.
If you need help to build your financial knowledge, check out this list of our favorite financial books.
3. Get creative as a family.
This one is one of my absolute favorites. Has your family fallen into a rut of the same set of activities day after day or week after week? It’s time to get creative! Start an art or reading club at home. Or start a family band. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play. Studies show that it’s the synergy that occurs by just jamming away that matters, not whether you hit the perfect notes. What new, creative activities can you and your family start doing this month?
4. Read more.
Reading is a great way to destress, acquire knowledge, or learn a new skill. And this is an excellent choice for setting healthy family goals as reading can also boost kids’ vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Getting into the habit of reading is a great way to also boost family bonding. Make reading a priority in your home by starting your own reading club! How to get started? Check with your local library or child’s teachers for recommended books in your child’s age range and reading level. Everyone can read aloud or independently. Then, to make it even more fun, have the kids retell or act out the stories or books they read that day or week.
5. Give back to your community.
Take on a community project or volunteer together as a family. Come up with ways to help others who may not be as fortunate. This may be a family in the neighborhood, an elderly person, a church, school, or other organization. Let everyone contribute to your “giving back” plan and see how fulfilling and bonding this experience can be for your family.
Enjoying these tips about setting healthy family goals?
Be sure to join our Family Wellness Challenge for more helpful tips and support.
Join the Family Wellness Challenge now and you’ll get daily emails with tools and action steps to know exactly how to get your family back on a healthy path this year.
Your first free lesson will arrive on Sunday so be sure to sign up now. Get the support you need to get on track with a healthy lifestyle for your whole family. Sign up for the FREE 21-day Family Wellness Challenge and be sure to share it with your friends!
6. Improve family communication.
Create a family goal around communication. Rather than waiting to correct kids when they express themselves in a not-so-nice manner, be proactive and set clear expectations around how you expect family members to communicate with each other. Of course, ask the kids their thoughts on this too, and for their input on the family communication plan. Being respectful and kind to each other is a goal that helps to build better communication at home and outside of the home.
7. Adopt an attitude of gratitude.
The dining table is not only a place to eat; it can be a place to create healthy family routines and habits. And another great skill for children to learn is the practice of gratitude.
Research shows that giving and expressing thanks to others can boost our overall happiness. It is a practice that can create stronger bonds between family members. Be intentional about forming an atmosphere of gratitude in your home. This can simply be making thank you cards, verbally expressing thanks, or sharing hugs and other simple (yet powerful!) expressions of love and gratefulness. And make no mistake. Giving thanks can be for the simple things that family members do for each other every day; not only for material objects.
Start Your Family Challenge Now!
Take our FREE 21-Day Family Wellness Challenge to build stronger habits and reach your goals.
8. Strengthen your faith as a family.
Not every family attends church or worships regularly, but studies show that a wonderful way to strengthen families is by attending faith services together.
Your family may say blessings at the dinner table. You may say prayers in the morning and/or at nighttime. But challenge yourself and your family to develop other ways to strengthen your faith and spirituality.
9. Set healthy family goals around online activity.
The amount of time families (adults and children alike) are spending online or attached to devices each day is escalating each year. While as a parent you may believe that your kids are hooked on their phones or tablets – or scrolling through social media too much, you may be surprised to also find that the kids themselves believe they have a problem!
According to a study by Pew Research, 60% of teens ages 13 to 17 say that spending too much time online is a “major” problem within their age group. Not only do 54% cite spending “too much time” on their cell phones, but 41% of the kids polled feel that their age group is overdoing it on social media too.
While it may take some overcoming resistance, try to set regulations around the use of technology in your home. You might try my old technique of having an EFD (electronics free day) so the family can reconnect in healthier ways.
10. Set goals for learning together.
A family that learns together stays together. Okay, that’s not an official saying but you get my point. Challenge your family to explore or learn a new activity together. This can be something fun that everyone can enjoy. Consider hobbies like crafting, painting, writing poetry, painting, building models, or something else. You can each choose a skill to work on and track your progress or choose something that everyone can participate in.
Get Active While Setting Healthy Family Goals
Start Your Family Challenge Now!
Take our FREE 21-Day Family Wellness Challenge to build stronger habits and reach your goals.
11. Boost your family fitness level.
Your plan for setting healthy family goals would be incomplete if we didn’t talk about physical activity. This year set aside time to move more and get active as a family. It’s recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. Broken down, that’s 30 minutes of exercise five times per week. Kids need more though. It’s recommended they have an hour of activity or play each day.
Be sure that your family is not falling into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle and get everyone up and moving. Together is best! Create a routine to play sports, go walking, head out to the park, or do other activities together. Plant the seed early for a lifelong love of being active.
12. Set healthy family goals for quality time.
Setting healthy family goals can involve not only what we do together as a family, but the quality of that time spent together.
Does your family schedule sometimes leave you feeling like you’re simply not connecting? Maybe you and your husband sometimes feel like ships passing in the night. Or you don’t get enough one-on-one time with each of your children. Remedy this by scheduling quality time for everyone in the family. That goes for parents with kids, kids with each other, and parents with each other.
Having a way for each family member to have regular quality time with each other is critical for enhancing relationships among family members.
While there will be seasons where you struggle in this area, prioritizing this time together is a critical aspect of your family’s overall health and wellbeing.
Creating goals for your family not only helps create focus in your home, but can also be an effective way to improve family wellness in many areas.
But remember this one simple rule: slow and steady wins the race. By focusing on one area at a time – and being smart about how you set those goals – you can create an environment at home that supports better health and happiness for the whole family!
So, what goals will you focus on for your family this year? Will you set a theme for each month or establish one guiding vision to carry you through the year? Take a look at these examples of family goals to give you more ideas on areas that you can work on with your family this year.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.