If you’re struggling to keep up with your healthy resolutions you made at the beginning of this year, don’t stress-just because these goals are on pause right now doesn’t mean that you can’t focus on your health this summer. Here are five ways to get you and your family back on track to a healthier lifestyle.
1. Set weekly goals
This may sound obvious, but writing down your goals and keeping them in a space where you can visually see them (like on your refrigerator or on a wall in your kitchen) will help you stay motivated and incentivize the kids to hit their goals, especially if there’s a prize involved. Start small at first and slowly work your way up toward more challenging goals. This will help you get into the mindset of making your lifestyle a healthier one.
For example, your weekly goals, in the beginning, could be to take three 30-minute walks and cook at least two meals a week. Your kids’ goals could look something like this:
- Eat vegetables with dinner at least two times a week.
- Play outside for 30 minutes.
- Stretch in the morning for five minutes.
- Meditate before going to bed every night.
According to House Method, one way you can get more motivated to work out is to create S.M.A.R.T goals for you and your family. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Goals outside of this range may be too difficult for you and your family to manage and maintain, so think about this method when creating goals for the entire family.
2. Meal plan
Eating out or grabbing fast food on the way home may seem like the more convenient option for busy families, especially on days packed with sports practices, work meetings, and volunteering, but cooking at home is usually healthier, allows for a more balanced diet, and helps with portion control.
To help you and your family start eating healthier, consider meal planning every Sunday night and keep your nutrition simple. Get inspiration from Pinterest, cookbooks, or friends and try to plan out each meal for the week. Make a list of groceries you’ll need and have your kids help you grocery shop-this will help them understand which foods are healthy and which ones should be avoided.
3. Practice mindfulness
Being mindful can be a great way to develop a new appreciation for all of the things around you. Truly being present in each moment can give you a greater understanding of what’s important, both mentally and physically. Just a few benefits of mindfulness include more self-control, reduced stress, improved concentration and mental clarity, and better sleep.
As a family, you can practice being more mindful by limiting cell phone usage during family time, taking walks together, and enjoying meals as a group. You can also dedicate a space in the home solely to meditation-maybe it’s a spare room that doesn’t get much use or a quiet kitchen nook.
4. Encourage each other
There will be days where you’ll want to cheat and eat the foods you’re not supposed to and days when exercise is the lowest of priorities. Falling off the fitness wagon is perfectly normal and to be expected. If you find yourself or one of your family members experiencing this, offer some encouragement and try getting back on track to hit your goals. Remind them of how good they’ll feel when they hit their goals and how healthy their body will be.
Keeping a chart with gold stars might help and encourage your kids when they’re falling behind on health goals for the week-reward them with a star or treat every time they check something healthy off of their to-do list.
5. Remember moderation
Healthy snack choices can look pretty unappetizing when chocolates, junk food, and other sweets are readily available in the pantry or fridge. If tossing out these treats is too challenging at the present moment, stash them away and indulge in moderation. Typically, when these foods are out of sight, they’re out of mind. Replace the cookie jar with a fruit bowl, give your kids strawberries or mango slices instead of other sweets, and introduce the family to flavoured sparkling water as an alternative for juice and soda. As each food passes through the stomach, don’t forget to also pay attention to your family’s gut health.
Staying on track with hitting your health goals for the year can be challenging, especially when a ton of other pressing priorities pop up throughout the week. By keeping these tips in mind, you may be able to successfully get you and your family back on track to a healthier lifestyle.