Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO/Issue a family wellness challenge

Marjorie Spitz RentoComment
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I went to a benefit the other night for a wonderful little organization doing big things. Their mission is to get people to touch themselves. No, not in that way, but in the Selfchec, early detection and cancer prevention way.

Everyone has been affected by cancer one way or another, and early detection is critical to success in beating it. One of the benefit honorees used the opportunity to issue a “family wellness” challenge to his extended family. Genius!

Today I encourage you to do the same, whether among your family or friends.

Why issue a wellness challenge? Well:

  • There’s nothing more fun than seeing your siblings and kids get really into something that will actually help them.
  • Participating in a wellness challenge together, with the support of each other, is likely to lead to positive habit changes and improved health.
  • You can win stuff!
  • Think of the memories and stories you’ll have to tell.
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You may be asking, “What’s a family wellness challenge?” Great question! Beyond an opportunity to get everyone on the healthier train, it is a wonderful chance to learn about family origin and health history. YOU make the rules! Feel free to integrate any of the starters listed below, or make up your own:

Make annual medical appointments:

  • Physical
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Mammogram and prostate screening
  • Dental

Get moving (together is even better):

  • Walk, bike, run, swim
  • Kick or throw a ball around
  • Play a sport
  • Take a class
  • Sign up for a race (5K? Triathlon?)
  • Turn up the music and dance
  • Do a burst workout
  • Go up and down the stairs 10 times

Eat well

  • Cook (take turns!).
  • Bring your lunch to school/work.
  • Try a vegetarian or whole foods day.
  • Dissect the nutrition label of a commonly eaten food.
  • Get curious – try a food you’ve never eaten before.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day (adjust down for children)
    • I created a “decorate your water bottle” contest for a client and they loved it!
  • Have a family meal.

In addition:

  • Share information about common family medical issues and diseases. Heart disease, breast cancer, digestive disorders suffered by one generation can predispose another for a similar experience.
  • Award extra points for participating in stress relief practices such as meditation or breathing exercises.

Make your wellness challenge fun, spirited and inspire competition. I suggest it be comprised of the following elements:

  • A definitive beginning and end. Whether the length is one week or one month, be sure to have a start and end date and build in enough time to get people engaged.
  • Award a point for every activity completed – keep a board with results to encourage participation. Make it visible!
  • Encourage photo taking and sharing. Feel free to create a special Facebook page.
  • Come up with a meaningful prize. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but I do encourage you make it healthful.
  • No chores for a week.
  • A “Winner” t-shirt.
  • Family outing of choice.
  • Cooking class.
  • Personal trainer session.
  • App like Headspace, Lose It, etc.
  • Fitbit
  • Massage, or another spa treatment.
  • $100 cash or gift card.
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Award extra prizes for maintaining new habits for three months after the wellness challenge complete

Even if you just choose one item to “challenge” your family or friends to, small changes will make big differences. Importantly, enjoy the experience, have some laughs, and go make some memories!

Wellfully yours,

Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™