Achieving Your Goals!
In the last newsletter we talked about how to set good, healthy goals for you and your child and how to track those goals. How is tracking those goals going? Did you find a method that works for you and your child (on an app or using a paper version?).
Sometimes it can be challenging to meet goals and change health behaviors. To help support you while you help your child change behaviors and meet goals, we want to provide you with extra tools to help avoid common problems.
· Watch for patterns: Being able to track goal(s) is one skill set that can help show how often they are being met or if there is a pattern in the days that the goal is being missed. For example, maybe Mondays are really busy days and your child consistently misses their goal on this day. By tracking the goal, you and your child will be able to recognize this busy day and create strategies to overcome this challenge. Make sure track goals daily. You might need to help your child track their progress since this skill might be hard for them.
· Stay honest: Part of being successful is recognizing when things go wrong. That’s a normal part of life, and we can learn from the imperfect days if we’re willing to face up to them. It is very important to remain positive and to be honest about this. Adults, we need you to praise your kids for tracking and working towards their goals - celebrate successes and talk through challenges to meeting goals. Kids, you can praise and give high fives to the adults in your house too! Making healthy changes is hard for everyone but remember that you can do it together!
· Stay positive: It is easy to be critical when you see your child not meeting their goals, or not making healthy choices. In fact, research has shown that it is very difficult for parents not to focus on the negative behaviors they see their kids displaying. For your kids to make these very difficult changes, they will need you to encourage them, and for you to shift your focus to the positive changes they are making. Think of yourself as their coach, who is positive and encouraging.
· Create incentives: Incentives are the reward your child can earn for meeting their goals. You and your child should earn something when you trying to change behavior and make improvements in your health. After all, incentives work! They can help you avoid the temptation to blow off your goals. Not all incentives have to cost money. Some great examples of incentives for meeting goals are: special one-on-one quality time spent together, such as playing your child’s favorite game with them, maybe it could be the privilege of inviting their best friend over for a slumber party, a “get out of a chore” day, or staying up a little later on a Friday/Saturday night. What are some incentives that would motivate your child to meet their activity goals?
Once goals are regularly tracked, you will see how often your child meets their goal(s). Encourage your child to meet their goal at least 4 days each week.
If they aren’t meeting goals: don’t panic or give up. Changing behaviors can take time. Have your child stick with the goal for 2 weeks and if they still cannot meet it, maybe consider lowering the goal a little so they can meet it at least 3 times a week when they try.
If they are meeting goals: If your child can easily meet their goal 4 or more days each week, then it’s time to make the goal more challenging! This can be done by making the goal bigger (if the goal was to exercise 20 minutes per day, create a new goal to exercise 30 minutes per day. Or if the goal was to perform 10 pushups, increase that to 20 pushups). Your child may not meet their goal the following week, and that’s ok, have them stick with it for another week or two! The ultimate goal of this program is to increase your child’s physical activity to support a healthier life!
Family Activity Corner
It’s always fun to try new exercises or workout routines. A lot of workout routines are available online. YouTube has a great collection of workout routines with video demonstrations of how to do the exercises. You can try doing some of these with your child. It might be fun to exercise together and challenge each other. Just type in a type of workout you’re looking for on YouTube like “Frozen kids yoga”, “family cardio”, or even “family dance cardio” if you want to practice your moves! These can be a fun and engaging way to exercise and you can do it together!
You can also try to make a scavenger hunt with family and friends and see if you can find everything on your walk. Examples include: 10 yellow houses, 15 blue cars, a fire hydrant, or a flag.
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.
· Check out this video with your child during break time. Go to YouTube and search PE at Home: “Towel Fold Target” Challenge or go to this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8vGrgxPvTs
· Your child can also try this activity. Go to YouTube and search PE at Home-Active Tetris! or go to this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VTYpUH284c
· You can also do yoga together! Visit https://fit.sanfordhealth.org/resources/fitflow-activity to help create yoga flows for your child to practice.
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: