What if everyone in your family was working toward the same goal of living in a healthier way? And what if it wasn't difficult? We know that sharing any load makes it easier to carry. How about sharing the load with other family members?
Here are Seven Steps to make being healthy a family goal:
- Tell your family you want to make good health a priority, and you want it to be something you do together. It may not be easy, but find a half hour when everyone can be together. (Stay focused and positive, even though there may be some whining and/or negativity at first. )
- Explain your thoughts on good health without making it too long and drawn out. Emphasize the benefits of good health to them: fewer colds, fewer stomach aches, and more energy. Encourage conversation and ideas. Ask your children and spouse or partner what being healthy means to them. Children may surprise you with what they already know.
- Make lists of healthy activities, healthy foods, and their opposites. (Unhealthy activities and unhealthy foods. )
- Pick two things to change: one for fitness and one for nutrition. (Examples: During the upcoming week, each person will ear 3 pieces of fruit and everyone will watch an hour less of television. Or the whole family will eliminate potato chips and go for a walk together on Saturday morning. )
- Plan a weekly meeting. Make this important. Don't eliminate this meeting when there is a time crunch. Put the meeting and the activity plan on the calendar, just as you would a doctor or dentist appointment. If the group is losing enthusiasm, a wellness coach can help.
- Each week, try something new, gradually eliminating unhealthy behavior and substituting healthy behavior instead.
- Keep talking and exchanging ideas. Perhaps your teen would like to start learning more about cooking. Maybe younger children can be involved in making the grocery list. When children are involved in the shopping and cooking process, they are more likely to try new foods and experiment with different fruits and vegetables.
Share the load and explore new ideas, and can make the “Health Thing", a “Family thing. "
Diana Fletcher is a Health and Wellness Coach and Certified Life Coach.
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