Close this search box.

Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

Secrets of Goal Setting for Kids and Adults

Print & Share
Secrets of Goal Setting for Kids and Adults

Learn new secrets to goal setting for kids and adults to help everyone in your family have a successful New Year!

After a particularly challenging year for kids, parents, and families, it’s time for a fresh start. Start 2021 with positive changes and habits that can be sustained all year round. Whether your goal is to improve your family’s health, nutrition, or fitness, it’s the perfect time to get the ball rolling. Follow these simple exercises to put yourself on track for long-lasting changes!

Which Qualities and Habits Contributed to Past Successes

First thing’s first. To enable success in the future, you have to reflect and appreciate the past. Think about the qualities that directed your life’s path, helping you navigate each turn, speedbump, or crossroad. Drive, a positive attitude, creativity, repetition, perseverance? Whatever qualities helped most, embrace and apply them to your NEW goals to help you achieve lasting success and break bad habits. Next, take a moment to revisit a previously accomplished goal. Perhaps you mastered a new hobby? Improved your family’s fitness habits? Completed a challenging work project? Implemented a family game night? Regardless of how big or small, everyone has their unique achievements. Find one that is specific to you and your family.

Once you have selected your past success, reflect deeply on the qualities that facilitated this particular goal. List them out on a piece of paper. Some common attributes that contribute to success include the following:

  • Dedication
  • Planning
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Intensity
  • Focus
  • Persistence
  • Efficiency
  • Open-mindedness
  • Confidence

You may find other qualities to add to your list as well – let the ideas flow and get them on your paper! Seriously – write them down.

Apply These Qualities to Your (Realistic) Health Goal

Next, think about a nutrition, fitness, or health-related goal that you want to accomplish. It can be a personal goal or can involve the whole family. How can these listed qualities be used to help achieve your NEW health goal? Here are two example scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: You showed extreme dedication when teaching your child how to ride the bike last year. You want to redirect this high level of commitment to your new health goal of including fruits or vegetables at every meal in a variety of shapes, sizes, forms, and temperatures. You’ve shown dedication before; you can do it again!
  • Scenario 2: Remember when you planned ahead for all of your kid’s soccer practices? Your child was on time, had a snack, and came back in one piece because of your organization. Let’s face it; parents are the true deservers of the MVP title. Now, embrace those same planning skills to get your family active and moving! Whether it’s planning daily afternoon walks, weekly Saturday hikes, or evening visits to the park, the possibilities are endless! Find an activity that you and your family love to make this change realistic, sustainable, and enjoyable to incorporate daily.

Small Steps Lead to Big Changes

Foster success by making your goals realistic and measurable over time. Remember, small steps forward are still steps in the right direction. Then, low and behold, meaningful changes occur. The trick is to set one or two small goals that will stick. Can you dedicate 5 minutes a day towards your goal – we know time is limited? But, once it becomes part of your routine, you are more likely to continue doing it. Recommit to your small goal one day at a time. Most importantly, don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate your accomplishments and reestablish new realistic goals to tackle. Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once!

Ride the Momentum Wave

Exercise and nutrition accomplishments go hand in hand. They work synergistically to help you get over speed bumps to healthy living even faster, ultimately facilitating your success. Think of this as a positive feedback cycle. The momentum you build in one area gets transferred to the other, similar to a snowball effect. For instance, have you ever had a great workout first thing in the morning, then feel motivated to select a healthy breakfast to fuel up for long-lasting energy?! Find the momentum and ride it out! You may even find it has a positive effect on even more areas of your life too!

quote about kids activities and cookbook
The Super Crew’s Breakfast Cookbook for Kids, 50 Tasty Recipes + 100 Fun Nutrition Activities

Seek out Social or Expert Support

Teamwork makes the dream work! While your goals may feel like a solo mission, it doesn’t have to be. Enlist a friend to be your accountability buddy or get the whole family involved to maximize your chance at success! For example, if your goal is to eat a healthy breakfast each day, delegate each family member to help out with daily breakfast prep. Ask your child to help make several batches of overnight oats in the evening to have healthy breakfasts on hand for everyone AND save time in the morning. Maybe you’ve been considering working with a registered dietitian to learn more about balanced eating, replacing a medication with lifestyle intervention, or helping you create new healthy habits; if so, then book a nutrition counseling session today!

Consider Your Environment

While Rome wasn’t built in a day, it did have all the necessary tools! To enable success, create an environment that is conducive to your goals. It can be as simple as stocking your pantry with nutritious snacks to ward off energy lulls or sugar cravings and putting any sweet treats out of everyday view. Or, creating a fitness environment by storing your yoga mat or running shoes in a new place that is more visible as a helpful reminder to get moving!

Take-Aways for Goal Setting for Kids and Adults

Make this your best year yet, and move forward with a positive mindset! Commit every day to find gratitude, no matter how small, to keep your goals going. Take some time to write down three goals you’re committed to working towards. Next, plan, strategize, and schedule the actions needed to make the goals happen! Use the core qualities that helped you succeed in the past to create new realistic goals, then watch your actions build momentum to help you reach your health, nutrition, and fitness goals.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter!

Similar Articles You May Like...

About the Author

Sign Up Today

Sign up for our newsletter and get realistic, easy & tasty ways to eat healthy. Plus get free fun kids' activities!​

Get our free guide Say “No” to Food Rewards when you join.