With the wrapping up of a year and the start of another, it may be tradition to reflect on the past and set new goals. While this is a good practice (no matter which part of the year), the challenge is actually following through the resolutions. 

Why setting resolutions as a family works even better

Many of us are likely inclined to set individual resolutions. However, goal-setting does not have to be a solo exercise.  

With appropriate considerations, your family can set (and achieve) resolutions together, towards a year of better health and wellbeing. 

Think about small, simple goals that even your kids can achieve. As we parents set a good example for our kids to adhere to the goals, we are in turn motivated to personally embrace the goals. Supporting and encouraging one another through the goals help bring the family closer. Experiencing setting and achieving resolutions as a family can also translate into good practices that serve our children well into their adulthood. 


How do we go about setting resolutions as a family?

The SMART way to set goals can be applied to resolutions for families.  

Specific   |   While the broad direction could be a healthier and more active year ahead for the family, it is advisable to establish bite-sized goals that are easier to accomplish. For instance, defining a frequency or schedule for activities, such as once-a-fortnight cook-together, once-a-week hike on Saturdays, 30-minute after-dinner walks on Fridays. This also creates something for the family to look forward to.  

Motivating   |   Both kids and adults are conditioned to work for motivation. Are we able to make goals out of something the whole family feels interested in or excited over? Can the reward from achieving the goal be something the whole family can enjoy together? Setting the goals around common interest makes it more fun for the whole family. 

Attainable   |   Probably a gentle reminder for the parents, to avoid setting unrealistic goals framed around your own expectations, and in the course of it, overwhelming your child. Making goals achievable for the whole family also increases the level of commitment. 

Relevant   |   While at it, why not make the goals purposeful for your child�s development? Cooking together can train your kids to help with chores or accomplish errands independently. Going for regular walks after dinner or weekend hikes can help improve their stamina, for physical activities in school. From a family�s year-long resolutions, there could be so many spin-off and longer-term benefits for your kids.  

Trackable   |   Lastly, help your child see their own progress as the family works towards the same measurable goals. These can include both areas done well and not done well � each an opportunity for parents to recognize or gently nudge your children.

Besides setting SMART goals, remember to make them fun for the whole family. Involve everyone in planning the goals and activities. Finally, here are some ideas we think are great for families!


Get MORE active

If your family is not already getting 20 to 30 minutes of workout 4 to 5 times a week, it�s high time to. It doesn�t hurt to help your kids expend their energy beyond what they are already doing in school. For the parents, it�s a good switch-off from work (be it in the office or from home) and chores. These workouts can be in the comfort of your living room or at a park near your home, if you haven�t already signed up for ActiveSG�s Academies and Clubs.


Make time for the outdoors

We may not be able to travel out of the country as yet, but make good use of the many hiking trails and parks in Singapore. Have picnics and races to make the outings more interesting. And remember to take turns choosing the venue and activities. 

Related reading:
7 Family-friendly Hiking Trails in Singapore


Schedule and cook family meals together

Even for busy parents, this is one commitment you should set aside time for. Turn sitting down for a meal into a family project - from planning (healthy yet tasty, no doubt!) meals, delegating tasks for older kids (such as checking ingredients, buying them, setting up the kitchen for cooking and preparing tableware), right up to doing the dishes at the end. This can become a monthly family event. 

Related reading:
5 ways to get your child to love veggies


Less screen time, more reading

Start your own reading club within your home and take turns sharing what you are currently reading. Try half-hour reading sessions together or have the kids act out story chapters. Parents can take these moments as down or quiet time for the kids, and kids can learn new words from parents. Most importantly, boost family bonding over books, while tuning out from electronic devices during these timeslots � remember to leave your smartphones out of reach.   

Related reading:
Managing Screen-time as Family