How To Set S.M.A.R.T. Family Goals To Achieve Healthy Habits

health tips wellness Jan 17, 2021

With so many personalities within a family, how do you get your family on the same page to be healthier?


I hear this question a lot in my physical therapy practice as well as when I am coaching clients towards a healthier lifestyle.


For example, the Mom in the family is trying to lose weight and she wants to eat healthier but her family doesn’t want to eat salad every day. She struggles with trying to cook two different meals because that doubles her time in the kitchen and she is spending more money at the grocery store to satisfy two different menus. Inevitably this doesn’t work because the whole family isn’t working together.


If you can relate to this Mom, then I recommend creating S.M.A.R.T. goals the entire family can live with.


A S.M.A.R.T. goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.


In the scenario above, one S.M.A.R.T. goal for this family may be:


We will strive to eat 1 fruit and 1 vegetable at each meal 5 days per week this week.


1 fruit + 1 vegetable = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Realistic

This week = Timely


To achieve this goal, a list of fruits and vegetables can be given to each family member so each person can circle the fruits and vegetables they like on the list. At the next trip to the grocery store, the fruits and vegetables that the family says they like are selected and added to the weekly menu.


This is a Win-Win for both Mom and family. Mom is trying to lose weight by eating healthier and her family is now onboard because they were included in selecting the foods they like. 


One key to creating any goal and sticking with it is to get the whole family involved. When family members get the opportunity to help choose what they like, they are less likely to sabotage (knowingly or unknowingly) the change that is being made.


Another key is to Make It Fun! Creating a friendly competition like a Challenge Scorecard to see who eats the most fruits and vegetables this week or who walks the most steps this week can encourage healthy habits in a positive way. Just make sure to make the challenge age-appropriate for younger children in the family.


What S.M.A.R.T. goals will you and your family be making this week?


To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette

Dr. Jeanette M. De Witt is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who 100% owns her local ApexNetwork Physical Therapy franchise location in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. She also owns her online wellness company, De Witt Physical Therapy & Wellness, LLC where she provides online personal training and nutrition consultations. If you and your family are struggling to reach your wellness goals, Dr. Jeanette is happy to start a conversation with you!


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