At this point in the program, we hope you are feeling motivated to become/stay physically active! This week let’s talk about goal setting, which can help your child translate that motivation into action. The key to goal setting is to have SMART goals.
Specific. A good goal needs to be clearly defined so you know when it has been met. For example, a non-specific goal might be “I want to me more physically activity”, whereas a specific goal would be “I want to exercise 150 minutes each week” or “I want to take 7,000 steps each day this week.” Those goals are more specific because they state an amount of time to be active or steps to take.
Measurable. A good goal makes it easy to track progress that has been made. Going back to the earlier example, ‘being more active’ is not a measurable goal because ‘more active’ does not have a clear meaning. But if the goal is “to exercise 150 minutes each week” we can measure how many minutes we have exercised compared to the week-long goal.
Attainable. A good goal can be achieved. This keeps you and your child from setting unrealistic goals and from becoming discouraged when it is hard to meet them. If you are just starting out in an active lifestyle, it would be more attainable to say, “I want to walk 20 minutes per day” than to say “I want to run a marathon in three months”.
Relevant. A good goal takes you somewhere worth going. This is where your specific goal (“exercise 150 minutes this week”) connects to your bigger aim (“I want to be healthier”). You should fine tune your goal until you’re sure it will directly impact your overall aim of being healthier.
Time-bound. A good goal starts with a good timeline. During the goal setting process, it’s important to think about how long it might take to reach your goal. This should be a “deadline” that is strict enough to keep you focused and motivated without making it stressful.
Other Tips: Goals should have a significant and positive impact on health. Every person has their own personal strengths and weaknesses and we will help you to learn what (in terms of health behaviors) are your/your child’s areas of greatest weakness. If your child is a good at walking the dog for 20 minutes each day, setting a walking goal of 20 minutes may not have a significant impact on their health, because they are already doing this activity. On the other hand, if you set a goal with your child of doing 30 sit-ups per day, but at the same time you know that they then watch 4 hours of tv every night, setting the sit up goal is not likely to make a significant difference in the health of your child. We want to be sure that all of this hard work pays off for you and for your child–in terms of being healthier.
Please note: We encourage you to create physical activity goals each week. The Garmin sets step goals for your child to reach, but how can you help your child get those steps? Think about setting goals with your child that will encourage them to get their step goals, for example set an alarm as a reminder to get up and get moving or learn a new exercise together. We will also continue to send feedback on how your child is doing with meeting the Garmin step goal each week, but the Garmin created goals may be different than the goals you set together during the week.
Track your progress!
When you create goals, we would like you and your child to meet your goal at least 7 out of 10 times. This means the goal is still challenging, but it is still achievable on most days. How will you and your child know how often you reach that goal? By tracking your progress!
Track progress on achieving a goal in ways that:
1) Relate to the goal. If you are trying to get 150 minutes of physical activity each week, then track your activity in minutes. Or if your goal is to perform 10 pushups, you should track it by how many pushups you do.
2) You will see! If you place your method of tracking in somewhere you can see (if it’s an app putting it on your smart phone home page, or if it’s a paper copy putting it on the fridge) you are more likely to remember the goal and work to accomplish it!
3) You will use! Some smart phone apps or websites have a bunch of great features that allow you to track your activity, diet, sleep, etc. But if you rarely or never check that app or go to the website, then it will not be very helpful for you in accomplishing your goal. Make sure however you choose to track your activity is something you will use. Paper and pen may be old fashioned, but it’s also very easy to use!
Last week, we had your family track your activity levels on a worksheet. This week we are providing a similar tracking worksheet, but this time we encourage you to write you and your child’s goal(s) on the top and track how often you both are working toward that goal! Do you prefer to use a smart phone app to track your goals? Check out some of the ones below:
Strides: Allows you to track anything you want, has reminders to hold you accountable, & displays charts to keep you accountable
MyFitnessPal: Can be accessed by a smart phone app and website. It allows you to track exercise and diet goals and offers a community to share exercise and food diaries with.
Apple Health: this is preloaded onto iPhones and allows tracking of activity, sleep, mindfulness, and nutrition. This also shows stats at a glance and recommends an app from each category.
Family Activity Corner
We hope you and your child will focus on developing goals this week that motivate you to become more active and track those goals with the provided worksheets.
If you’re looking for other ways to be active with your child, this is a great time to be active outside and enjoy the fall weather! Did you know that common yard tasks, like raking up leaves, can count toward physical activity goals? There are many ways to take advantage of the outside weather and be physically active, like:
· Take your child on a jog to look at the colors of the changing fall leaves
· Take a family walk around a pumpkin patch
· Encourage your child to take in the nice Fall breeze with a bike ride or skate in your neighborhood or a local park
· Play a game outside like kickball or basketball
Brain Breaks: Help your child practice getting up and moving by using the ideas below. These can be done together, or you can encourage your child to do them by themselves.
· Have your child check out this PE at home video: Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “4 Spot Exercise” Challenge or click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G-DizR9rRE
· Try this challenge with your child! Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “Bop it” Challenge or click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIeiNqlb3MM
Don’t forget to wear a mask if you and your child visiting public places!
Current cases in the Kansas City, MO area: https://covid-19-response-in-kcmo-kcmo.hub.arcgis.com/
Visit the Stay Active Website for more information and resources
Contact us with any questions or concerns related to the Stay Active Program: