In my last post, I introduced a framework for creating a healthier family environment. Today, I want to share some in-depth tips on what you can do, at this very moment, to make your home environment more positive and healthy.
Designate Space for Family Connection
Create a practical space to energize, play, exercise, and de-stress. Work with each other to plan and design space for such activities and avoid using tech gadgets while in this space. This space should be designated for self-care and rejuvenation. In case of limited space at home, focus on creating designated time where you and your family can practice creative activities and exercises.
Write Down Personal and Family Goals
The process of change starts with an effective goal. So it is critical that you take some time to dig deep when identifying personal and family goals. Your goals should be specific and as time-focused as possible. If you are creating goals for the family as a unit, this step may take more time, especially since you want to make sure to involve every single member of the family, where possible. When you’re done, post your goals in a common space as a reminder to everyone, or create a vision board to inspire your family members in achieving their goals.
Create an action plan for yourself and help your family members do the same. Take advantage of free apps for calendars, checklists, and/or fitness/nutrition tracking to create focus and accountability. If you prefer analog, download a goal tracking template. Then, hold a weekly family meeting to talk about the week and support each other. Remember, healthy competitions are effective but it is important to be empathetic towards each other’s progress as well.
Schedule Junior Chef Days
Involve kids in age-appropriate and safe meal prep activities, like washing vegetables, drying salad greens in a salad spinner. You can also go one step further and have your kids cook a healthy meal on a certain day of the week. This works best with older kids but you can also encourage younger kids to participate.
Keep Healthy Foods Within Reach
Clean out your pantry of all high-calorie foods, and replace them with healthier foods and snacks, such as dried and fresh fruits, dry roasted nuts, homemade energy/granola bars, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat milk. Use food labels to make healthy choices. Prep and store these healthy snacks and foods within easy reach of family members. So, for example, cut and prep fresh produce and place them in front on refrigerator shelves, or display fresh fruits on the table.
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