The New Year is often a time of reflection and many people think about their health. Setting SMART goals is a great way to help you make changes individually or together as a family.

SMART goals are:

Specific: A general goal such as “eating healthier” can mean something very different from one person to the next. Focusing your goal can be helpful; for example your focus may be “eating more vegetables and fruit.”

Measurable: Set goals that allow you to track your progress. It would be difficult to measure “eating healthier,” but something like “include a vegetable or fruit with each meal and snack” is easier to monitor.

Action-oriented: Focus your goals on the actions you will take to be successful. If lunchtime has been a challenge, the action may be “include a side salad or raw vegetable sticks at lunch and pack a fruit for snack.”

Realistic: Building healthy habits takes time and practice. Choose goals that are manageable. When you have achieved that goal, you can set a new one! Consider possible challenges that may get in the way and be prepared with strategies to overcome them.

Time-based: Including a timeline in your goal will help you stay on track and motivated to keep moving forward! For example, try “including a vegetable or fruit at each meal and snack for a week,” then take the time to check-in and assess how it is going.

Other family-friendly healthy eating SMART goal examples:

  1. Replace your household white bread with whole grain bread for a week.
  2. Include legumes in meals on “Meatless Mondays” for one month.
  3. Plan and prepare one new recipe as a family each week for one month.