Kicking goals

And no, we’re not talking about the footy! 

The best way to kick-off healthy habits as a family is by setting goals, and no we’re not talking about the footy. The type of goal we are talking about is when you have something you would like to aim for or something you would like to achieve. Most of us informally set goals all the time, sometimes without realising it! For example, to get a certain amount of work done for the day, or to finish cleaning the house by a certain time. When we want to make health change as a family, setting formal goals with the kids can enhance our motivation and reinforce healthy behaviour. 

Teaching our children to set goals, can give them the persistent mindset to set them up for a healthy future. Plus, it can create a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem when goals are kicked! Although, to kick goals successfully right down the centre of the field, we need to have some strategy behind them. One way to do this is by using the SMART goal principle. Smart sounds for Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Relevant-Time bound. Let us talk you through it… 


1. Specific 

Name and label what you want to achieve. If your goal is “to be healthier as a family” or “to be more active together” start by specifying how you are going to achieve these things. Maybe you are going to serve an extra cup of vegetables with evening meals, or have a healthy breakfast together every day as a family, or organise a weekly family activity on the weekends. While you’re specifying what you want to achieve identify why the goal is important to your family. 

An example of a specific goal is we will go for a 30-minute family walk twice next week instead of we will do more activity next week 


2. Measurable 

It’s important to decide how you are going to measure whether the goal has been achieved or not. Make this crystal clear. This will help you track your progress as well as give you the opportunity to reassess and make your goal easier or more challenging.  

An example of a measurable goal is we will go for a 30-minute family walk twice per week instead of we will walk more next week.  


3. Achievable 

While it can be tempting to shoot for the stars when you’re setting family health goals, you want to make sure they are actually achievable. Instead, take baby steps and set small goals to start with. The more achievable the goals are, the more likely you’re going to stick to them!  Over time, this will help you build momentum and your goals will turn into habits. And before you know it, it will just be part of your daily routine and you’ll do without even thinking about it, like when your brush your teeth in the morning!  

An example of an achievable goal is we will go for a 30-minute family walk twice per week next week instead of we will go for a 10km walk as a family every day next week 


4. Relevant 

Make sure your goal is relevant to what you are trying to achieve. Set a goal that is relatable to your overall target.  

An example of a relevant goal is we will go for a 30-minute family walk next week instead of we will read a story for 30 minutes before bed time every night this week. 


5. Time-bound 

Everyone needs deadlines to get things done. To kick goals, they need a set time frame rather than an open-ended dream that becomes unaccomplished. This also gives you a time frame to review your goal to make it easier or harder if it has or hasn’t been achieved by the end point. 

An example of a time-bound goal is we will go for a 30-minute family walk twice this week instead of we will go for a 30-minute walk twice in the next year 


The most important thing when making healthy lifestyle changes with your family is to be kind to yourself! Making changes is never easy and it’s normal to expect a few bumps along the way. 

Remember, a whole family approach to making healthy changes will make you accountable and give you the support you need to stick with it. What goals are you going to kick?