We are so happy you’re here!
This 5 Day Healthy Habits Challenge is for the whole family. What we love about this challenge is that each family can take each activity and tweak it to suit them. Themes are general, and can be adapted to fit the family. Think of the theme is there as a grounding, but there is room for flexibility. You are able to take these challenges are make them fit your family principles and activities. For example, with regards to the move your body challenge, if you are an active family, you could go for a cycle, hike etc, and if you’re not a very active family then you can dance in the lounge or do a cosmic kids yoga together.
Thanks to Dr. Jenny Rose for creating this incredible content.
Day One: Move your body challenge
The challenge today is to move your body, but not just your own body, your ‘family body.’ That means, as a family, you do something together that entails moving your body. If you’re an active or fit family, this might look like a morning cycle, or a hike together. If you’re a ‘not so fit’ family, it might be a dance party in the lounge, a walk around the block or a quick dip in the pool together. What matters here is there it’s done together. This challenge is great because its benefits are twofold – you’re moving your body which is good on so many levels (health, happiness, fitness etc!), but you’re also connecting as a family. Engaging in activities like this are amazing for connecting because it’s not structured, and doesn’t rely on additional items / things (like a board game, cards etc). It means that at the core of this activity, is the relationship. So your challenge for day one is to move your family body, as many times are you can!
What it looks like:
1 x family movement session (dance party / hike / walk / cycle)
Day Two: Positive Day
Today’s challenge is around shifting the lens through which we see the world. We often get caught in the dynamic of what is wrong around us, and what we need to change. Very often, our engagement with children is about what they aren’t doing as they should, and becomes a correction of behaviour. After today, you would have made a conscious effort to look at all your family is doing right, and the successes they have. Hopefully, this will encourage a shift of thinking, that is not always directly focused on what they should rather do, but instead giving credit to what they’ve already done. Today’s challenge should be viewed like you were training a certain part of your body. Let’s say you were aiming to train your biceps, you would work on them for days at a time, but if you didn’t work on them the muscles wouldn’t be as strong. We constantly need to be ‘training’ ourselves to look with a positive lens, finding the good and the success in behaviours around us. It is far easier to look at the negative, and the things that need to be corrected. So this is a challenge for just one day, that will hopefully be the start of a shift in thinking for many days to come.
What it looks like:
Verbalise each time you see something worth commenting on. Thank each member for something they may have done. Your goal is to ensure that you have said 3 positive things to each family member for every negative thing / correction you may have done. This could be a reflection of their character, what you love about them etc, or can be a comment on something positive in their behaviour.
Day Three: Nature Day
Today’s challenge is to get outside! As a family, try to incorporate nature into as much as you can today. Have a picnic dinner outside on the grass, do a nature treasure hunt, feed the birds, have morning tea in the garden. You will be surprised at the impact that something so simple can have. Again, just ‘being’ and slowing the pace down, forces connection through the relationship. When we escape outside to nature, we remove all the toys / screens / distractions that often act as a barrier to connection.
What it looks like:
1 x family activity outside (tea in the garden, family picnic outside, outdoor treasure hunt, beach visit, forest walk, hike etc).
Day Four: Emotion Day
This is another one that requires a shift from what might come more naturally or easily. We tend to operate more comfortably from a more logical standpoint, often focusing on thoughts and behaviours ahead of emotions. For today’s challenge, I want you to try respond to situations by seeing and acknowledging the emotion in it first. Instead of your instinctual response being correction, try to first validate and recognise the emotion. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid the behaviour, but try see that as secondary to the emotion. Try do this with each family member, granting them compassion and seeing the emotion in the situation rather than only the behaviour. This is again like that muscle that needs continuous training, we need to train ourselves to be able to hold both the emotional and behavioural components in each situation.
What it looks like:
Rather than simply responding with “No, don’t hit your brother, or please don’t pull my shirt,” rather respond with the emotional validation first; eg “I know you are SO excited to go to the park, but please don’t pull on my shirt, or I know you’re angry with your brother but I won’t let you hit him.” Even with your partner, instead of responding to just the practical or administrative side of things, reflect on how tired they might be from the day, or that you see how frustrated they are with work etc.
Day Five : Screen Free Day
This is a toughie, and has been saved for last for that reason. These past few days have been the start of creating healthy habits, and through each challenge, there has been a subtle focus on connection and engagement of the family. One of the biggest obstacles and barriers to connection is screens, something we are all guilty of. Today’s challenge is two fold; the first part is about reflecting on the role of screens and their usage in your own home. This might look different depending on your beliefs and principles, but also the age of your children. Do you use screens as an escape to give you some down time after an intense few hours with young children? Does the TV / Ipad function as a babysitter to give you a breather? Do you scroll through social media to take your mind off other things? Do your teenage kids spend hours gaming / on their phones? Thinking about the function of the screens is a healthy reflective activity to be able to address the how and why you use them. The second part of the challenge is then to have as much of a screen free day as you possibly can. If you need your phone / laptop for work, or if you have messages you’re unable to leave for a day, then try make your usage very mindful and specific. Take time to put your phone away for big chunks at a time. Leave it in your room for an hour, or lock it away until after dinner. This is one of the biggest ways we model healthy habits for our kids – and without realising it, we are so often modelling to them a distracted / half connected response because we always have one hand / eye on our phones.
What this looks like:
Just for today, make a conscious effort to have your phone AWAY from you (in another room). If you need to check it every hour or so, that’s okay, but don’t have it close by where its too easy to fall into the habit of simply picking it up and checking it. If this feels like an overwhelming challenge – try do this for chunks of the day, maybe during dinner, maybe until your kids are asleep etc.
We hope this has inspired you to pause and think about creating small, but healthy habits together as a family.