Better Family Article Series
Filling Nutritional Gaps
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- Setting family health goals helps involve everyone - especially children - in the formation of healthy routines
- A consistent short-term family health goal can be as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables to your weekly diet
- Don't forget to celebrate! Tracking simple and achievable health goals followed by celebrating family success can reinforce good diet and physical lifestyles for all family members
Family Health Goals (2 of 2)
The benefits to defining specific family goals and values are endless. Not only does the process of planning your goals bring you and your loved ones closer together, but the sense of accomplishment feels even better when it is shared among a group. Not to mention, setting family health goals helps to facilitate the development of healthy routines, especially among younger children. Having goals makes being healthy fun! Kids can enjoy rewards for their accomplishments while building strong habits that will bolster both their bodies and their minds.
In this article, we will explore the importance of setting both long-term and short-term goals for your family’s health by examining the concept of SMART goal-planning and listing some of the countless benefits that strong objectives provide for all ages.
What Are Goals
So what are goals? Why are goals important to have, both as an individual and as a unit? In general, you can think of goals as objectives that you have committed to achieving. They do not always have to be long-term, big picture objectives. Short-term goals are equally as important and can even help boost your confidence as you strive to achieve your larger goals. In fact, most larger goals are made up of a series of smaller goals, so if you find yourself struggling on the path to a long-term goal, try focusing on the short-term achievements along the way first. You may find it easier to make progress when backed by the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing your smaller goals.
Goals are important to have both for individuals and for tight units, like families. Individual goals will usually focus on bettering yourself or making strides toward a personalized objective. Unit goals are unique because they allow you to better yourself while also strengthening relationships with those around you. Setting group goals, especially within families, brings you closer together as you work toward a common objective, and the objective, of course, will itself lead to improvements in your own overall well-being as well as that of your family.
If you are just starting out actively setting goals for yourself, you need to make sure your goals are tailored to you without creating unrealistic expectations. This can be quite the challenge, as oftentimes our instinct is to reach for the stars right away, only to end up burned out not much later from pushing too hard at the start. SMART goals are an excellent tool that ensures you will always create goals for yourself and your family that are feasible and encouraging. SMART is an acronym that stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound” (1). As you formulate your goals, try to keep all five attributes in mind in order to make sure your objectives are within the scope of your current reach and abilities. You can always expand your goals in the future, so, at the start, it’s best to find a balance between pushing yourself and staying realistic.
On top of the goals you have for yourself or your partnership, it is important to dedicate time to developing and achieving family goals as well. Family goals have the potential to strengthen bonds between family members by providing a common objective that everyone can work together to achieve. Not to mention, the act of goal-setting itself should also be a collaborative effort, creating an engaging opportunity for children to learn how to properly set goals and think about the types of objectives they want to prioritize in their own lives. When setting family goals, try to be open and accepting of all opinions while remaining firm about enforcing important goals that may be a bit unpopular.
Both long-term and short-term goals are important, as each one teaches its own type of lessons. Short-term goals not only provide a much-needed sense of accomplishment, but also help create healthy daily habits that stick. Long-term goals, on the other hand, teach core values such as diligence and patience. Throughout the journey toward achieving long-term goals, children learn the importance of hard work and committing to an objective unwaveringly. They also promote planning abilities that can then be applied to various aspects of your children’s lives, whether it be planning for the future or simply setting up homework schedules.
Even if your family is unable to reach a goal that you have set among yourselves, there is still an added benefit of teaching how to deal with failure. Although you should always aim to create objectives that are attainable, sometimes life just does not pan out the way you expected. Rather than panicking or giving up, use opportunities like these to show children that failure is a natural part of life. Take the time to demonstrate how you can recover from failing to reach a goal by adjusting it or setting a new one, thus helping children learn how to adapt to unexpected changes or situations.
Examples Of Family Health Goals
So what are goals and objectives that apply specifically to a family unit? Some of the most important types of goals to keep in mind are health/physical goals examples. By centering some of your family goals around health and overall wellness, you can help your loved ones establish healthy habits that will last for a long time. Let’s take a look at some examples of family health goals you can work together to set with your family, both in a long-term and a short-term scope.
Short term family goals examples usually include objectives that can be accomplished in smaller bursts, whether daily, weekly, or even monthly. Some excellent short-term goals to consider are eating meals together on certain nights of the week, adding more fruits and vegetables to your family diet, and following a work-out regimen.
Long term goals for family units are oftentimes a bit more broad in perspective. Rather than focusing on accomplishing a singular task, long-term goals may be more involved, requiring a combination of different contributions. If your long-term goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, then you will need to make some alterations to the way you are currently living, whether by bettering your family diet or vowing to exercise together via something as simple as daily family walks.
An easy, all-in-one way to contribute to many different health goals is to add a multivitamin to your family’s routine. Our carefully crafted Liquid Daily Multivitamin contains 16 essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, K, B complex vitamins, iodine, selenium, chromium, and silicon dioxide, that effortlessly fill the common gaps in your family’s diet (2). Our blend of organic fruits also provides a much needed boost of antioxidants alongside a uniquely vibrant reddish color that makes our multivitamin fun and safe for the whole family to enjoy.
Smart Goal Examples
SMART goals are an excellent tool for creating family goals that are easy for everyone to achieve. Some common family smart goals examples include having family dinner a set number of nights throughout the week, exercising together for 30 minutes a day, and many more (3). Let’s take a look at one smart goal example in particular and walk through how it aligns with each of the five SMART attributes.
Perhaps your family’s goal is to have a better diet. As you set your goal, make sure it aligns with each of the attributes in a way that allows you to steadily progress. Here we have provided an outline of how the goal of eating a better family diet aligns with the SMART attributes:
- Specific: Make a plan that details exactly how you can better your diet, whether it be by adding multivitamins, cutting out junk food on certain days of the week, or adding more fruits and vegetables. The more specific you are about your objective, the easier it will be to envision and accomplish it.
- Measurable: Ensuring that your goal is measurable allows you to keep better track of your progress. When striving to eat a better family diet, you can measure the amount of healthy foods consumed compared to the amount of junk food to make sure the first is consistently outweighing the latter.
- Achievable: Your goal needs to be within the scope of what your family is capable of doing at the moment. You should not expect to have a completely perfect diet right off the bat, as that can be extremely difficult to accomplish, even over a long period of time. Goals are made to be reached, so be sure you do not set them too high for even the healthiest people.
- Relevant: Make sure your goals are related to the interests or needs of your whole family, not just yourself, your partner, or your children. Goals should not be set purely for the sake of having them, but rather with a clear idea in mind of the benefit that accomplishing your goal will bring to yourself and your family. In the case of eating a better diet, feeling better and having healthier bodies is an extremely relevant benefit to all family members.
- Time-bound: Goals are created with deadlines for a reason. If there is no end in sight, then you will not feel any sense of success or accomplishment. Making your way to the diet that you want for your family can be a slow process, but it’s not endless. You will eventually reach the right configuration, so keep your deadline in mind as you progress.
Whether you make use of helpful tools like the SMART acronym while creating your family goals or not, remember to tailor your objectives to fit the specific needs of your family and your unique situation. After all, even within a unit, goals are meant to be customized and personal.
For more information about how to set the perfect goals for your family, check out part one of our Family Health Goals series as well.
- Genewick, Joanne. “Setting SMART goals for success.” Mayo Clinic, 31 December 2020, https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/setting-smart-goals.
- Shah, Alpa. “What is the Nutrition Gap?” Get Healthy Stay Healthy, 30 April 2015, https://www.gethealthystayhealthy.com/articles/the-nutrition-gap.
- Harris, Thomas R. “25+ SMART Goals Examples for Life and Work.” The Exceptional Skills, 4 March 2019, https://www.theexceptionalskills.com/smart-goals-examples.
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