How to Set Achievable Wellness Goals

Creating goals is a great way to help you and your family create healthy habits while also spending time together. Plus, goal-setting is a great skill for kids to develop.

Setting and sticking to goals isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely doable. Read on for tips to set and work toward family goals that are realistic, achievable and fun.

mom and daughter high fiving in kitchen

It’s helpful to set goals as a family because setting goals:

  • Gives everyone something to work toward.
  • Brings your family closer together.
  • Helps hold everyone accountable.
  • Helps kids learn that goals are part of a healthy lifestyle.

mom writing down wellness goals

Here are our top tips for setting goals with your family:

  • Talk about your goal as a family. Kick off your journey with a family meeting to talk about why your goal is important and how you plan to achieve it. Have regular check-ins to see how your goal is going as you work to achieve it together.
  • Choose one goal. Keep one goal in mind at a time. For example, if you want your family to drink more water and get on a better sleep schedule, choose one to start with.
  • Make it attainable. Think about your family’s current routine, and create a goal based on what you think is achievable. A goal should challenge you a little, but still fit into your current lifestyle. For instance, if your family wants to limit screen time, try decreasing it by 30 minutes each week, rather than cutting it back by several hours at once.
  • Take small steps. Small steps can lead to long-term changes, so try breaking your goal up. For example, if your family decides to increase their vegetable intake, start offering more veggies at dinner 1 time per week and then increase from there. Remember, veggies can be fresh, frozen or canned.

family playing game together

Sometimes it’s easier to set a goal when you have a clear example of what it could look like. Here are a few ideas your family could try (remember to just focus on one goal at a time).

Goal: Be more active as a family.
Example steps: Go for a family walk once per week. Take active brain breaks each day. Create an activity jar (each family member adds their favorite way to be active) and pull an activity each week to do together.

Goal: Eat more veggies and fruit.
Example steps: Add more veggies (fresh, frozen or canned) to 1 meal per day. Swap a sugary snack with fruit 2 times per week. Encourage kids to pick 2 veggies at the grocery store to try each month.

Goal: Get better sleep.
Example steps: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Put screens away 1 hour before bedtime. Keep screens out of the bedroom.

Goal: Spend more quality time together as a family.
Example steps: Practice a healthy coping strategy together once per week. Put screens away during mealtimes. Use car rides as opportunities to talk openly and listen actively.

family in kitchen together

Reaching a goal may feel more doable or more fun if you have support from family and/or friends.

Here are some ways you can give and get support:

  • Have conversations about progress, challenges and wins.
  • Give encouragement—written notes, a text, a phone call, whatever works for you.
  • Ask others to join your goal or create an accountability group.
  • Celebrate when you reach your goal.

Create a support system that works best for you. Find people who can hold you accountable, but also give you grace as you work toward something important to you and your family.

dad encouraging daughter after a setback

The first, and most important, step to dealing with “failure” is to avoid seeing a setback as failure at all. Life happens. From busy school days to late-night work sessions, celebrations or just needing a break, there will often be things that can throw you off. And that’s totally normal and to be expected.

When you view a setback as failing, it can feel like you’re starting back at square one, resulting in feelings of disappointment, sadness and shame. Instead of beating yourself up, give yourself and your family a break. Try to make modifications as needed to get your family back on track. Or, if you feel like the goal is no longer doable, give your family permission to come up with something new. Being able to adapt and change allows you to model a healthy way to navigate life’s challenges for your kids.