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This activity plan is part of a series that supports the Eat Well and Be Active Every Day poster. It is designed to help intermediaries educate children and adults about key healthy eating and physical activity messages and encourages individuals to take action to maintain and improve their health.
Educators are encouraged to use the activity plans with a group according to the numbered sequence, as some concepts in the series build on each other. However, educators should adapt suggested activities and sequence to meet the needs of their group.
This activity plan:
Setting goals is an excellent way to increase motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes.
SMART goal setting is creating an action plan that helps individuals set and achieve personalized goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Canadians can look to Canada's Food Guide and the Physical Activity Guidelines to help set SMART goals as a step toward healthy living. Following Canada's Food Guide and the Physical Activity Guidelines will help Canadians reduce their risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis, high blood pressure and depression.
Incorporating healthy eating and physical activity into everyday living by setting SMART goals can help individuals achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and image, improve energy and increase and maintain bone and muscle strength.
|Specific:||What do I want to do?
I should describe exactly what I would like to achieve. Being precise in my goal will allow me to focus on it and will bring me closer to achieving it.
|Measurable:||How much and how often will I do it?
I will indicate a quantity, like number of times, duration and frequency, for the goal. This way, I can mark down on a calendar or in a journal when I've worked on my goal - this gives me proof of my progress and helps motivate me to continue!
|Attainable:||How will I do it?
I should figure out ways in which my goal can be reached. My attitudes, abilities, skills and supports should be well-matched to the goal I am trying to achieve.
|Realistic:||Can I do it?
My goal should be something I am willing and able to commit to working toward. It should be challenging, but not so much so that I will not be able to achieve it. For example, running a marathon may not be a good start if I have never taken up running before; eating spinach every day would not be a good goal if I really dislike spinach. However, joining a running team at school, and eating one green vegetable every day are more realistic goals.
|Timely:||When will I do it?
I will specify a time period (or time frame) during which I will work towards this goal. I will decide when I want to start working on it and by when I would like to have achieved it.
For more information on this topic see suggested readings.
After completing the activities below, participants will be able to:
Icebreaker: What is healthy living? Ask the children what they think "healthy living" means. Their answers may surprise you! Discuss how "healthy living" means being active, eating and enjoying foods so that our bodies grow strong and allow us to do lots of fun things.
Activity Plan #1 discusses the benefits of healthy living.
If you have not completed Activity Plan #1 with your group, you may want to complete the Benefits activity in Activity Plan #1 before beginning this activity plan.
If you have already completed Activity Plan #1 with this group, start this activity by recalling the benefits of healthy living discussed previously.
Ask the children how healthy living makes a difference in their lives. For example: Does it make them happier? Does is help them play sports or other activities? Does it help them concentrate better on their school work? Does it help them do fun activities with their friends and family?
Key Message: Knowing the benefits is a first step to eating well and being physically active.
Ask the children to think of a goal or success they have achieved in the past. Have them share what their goal was and what steps they took to achieve it. Sharing healthy living stories can encourage others to make healthy food and physical activity choices.
From their stories, discuss the steps involved in making a change towards healthy living (ex: recognizing the benefits of change, being motivated, setting goals, maintaining the change).
Discuss potential barriers to making a healthy change and what supports a person needs to overcome these barriers. Write these down on a flipchart or board. Refer to Barriers to healthy living, solutions and supportive environments for some common themes.
Key Message: Identifying barriers and potential solutions can help you overcome these barriers.
Healthy Eating SMART Goal example:
Healthy Eating SMART Goal: I will eat more fruit by having one fruit with lunch every day this week.
Physical Activity SMART Goal example:
Physical Activity SMART Goal: I will play outside after school for 30 minutes with my friends and a parent on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.
Or, ask the children to look at the images (you may want to print out several Eat Well and Be Active images to circulate), and find two images they like: one related to healthy eating, and one related to physical activity.
Write a few ideas down or post the selected images on a flipchart or board. Use these examples to discuss what possible goals the children can set.
Get Moving Tip: If space and time permit, ask the children to 'act' out the physical activity image they chose.
Along with each of their goals, ask children to think of one barrier that may make their goal difficult to achieve. Ask them to write a solution to this barrier. Think about the earlier discussion on barriers ("What do I need to do to live healthy?" section).
KEY MESSAGE: Goal setting is very important for making successful healthy lifestyle changes.
KEY MESSAGE: Short term goals can lead to great successes. Celebrate the achievement of every goal.
|My parents or others choose what I eat and what activities I do.||
|I don't like the taste of healthy foods.||
|I like watching TV and playing video games instead of playing sports.||
|When I get home from school and I'm hungry, pop, chips and chocolate seem like quick and easy snacks.||
|I would like to walk to school, but my parents drive me because they think walking isn't safe.||
|Creating supportive environments|
|S||Specific||What do I want to do?|
|M||Measurable||How much and how often will I do it?|
|A||Attainable||How will I do it?|
|R||Realistic||Can I do it?|
|T||Timely||When will I do it?|
|My SMART Goal:|
What is one barrier that may make your goal difficult? How can you overcome it?
Keep track of your progress using the Tracking Chart!
|My SMART Healthy Eating Goal:|
|My SMART Physical Activity Goal:|