SSM Physician: Set goals as a family for 2021

MADISON, Wis. — Often times, New Year’s resolutions revolve around diet and health, and are more focused around adults. But Dr. Jacob Becker with SSM Health says making goals for 2021 a family activity helps give our children a voice and small achievements to celebrate throughout the year.

“It kind of allows your child to participate in teamwork as a family, and you can have measurable goals where you can actually see improvements over time, foster self-confidence, dedication and things like that with the family, and really help strengthen that family dynamic,” said Dr. Becker.

He adds you should focus on SMART goal setting, an acronym that means you should set a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and in a certain Timeframe.

Dr. Becker also says that some kids may try to give up on their goals at the first sign of difficulty. If that’s the case, Dr. Becker tells parents to remind their child that working towards a goal is meant to be challenging, and to remind them of why their goal is important to them. Focus on all the work they’ve done, and explain how they can keep improving.

Our Time for Kids: Recipe for Health team is asking what you want to hear about. Let us know what health topics you’re interested in, or share your family’s health story with us online at