" What are you doing, Mum?" Piper asked.
" I'm setting my goals for the next few months" I answered.
" Haven't you already done that before?"she continued, still colouring in.
" Yep, but when you meet a goal, then you set some others so you always hav something to aim for. This time I'm doing something a bit different." and I explained I was wanting to run more so my fitness goals are now based more on running.
Cue deep silence from the mini interrogator as she negotiated a particularly difficult flower on the Barbie page.
"Can I set some goals too Mum? Or is it just for grown ups?" came the next question.
And that's when we stopped my goal setting, and looked at what Piper wanted to do. She gave herself a deadline....July, before her 9th birthday. After we discussed how goals need to be realistic after 'getting a pony' popped up, and achievable in the timeframe after " being an Olympic hockey player" came next. She eventually settled on some simple, yet challenging goals.
1. Run 2 km
2. Climb the Grampians
3. Ride a bike 10 km.
And together as a family, we made sure we helped her meet those goals.
I have four children, 2 adult children and 2 younger. Since I changed my life to this much healthier version, first my husband got on board.....then my younger son and daughter. And now, I am overwhelmingly pleased to say, both my adult children have begun making steps towards healthier living as well. My eldest has begun running and asking advice about cutting sugar from her diet. My second has ditched the energy drinks and Oreo cookie dinners and started making meals with REAL FOOD in it.
This just shows me that every little thing I do, my children, no matter what age, are watching. Even when I think they aren't taking it in, that they don't notice what I am doing, their eyes are always watching, their values are always forming, their actions are still guided in some way by my own examples. In turning my own life around, I have helped empower my children to live better and stronger, to be able to make informed choices and how to reach their potential, using their own skills, knowledge and ethics.
But back to goals....
Piper ran her 2 km with me in training, slowly but determinedly. She ended up being selected for the school cross country team, running 2 km in a race. She came 56th but my heart was busting....she was off the couch, and feeling a sense of achievement.
Then yesterday.....we addressed her second goal. The family drove three hours to the Grampians, on a sunny but freezing cold day, so she could complete the Pinnacle walk. It is a 3.5 km walk. Not far, but most of it is vertical.....She completed it in 2 hours 30 mins with a sandwich break at the top.
The first set of rock steps...easy walking...spot the blue dot. That's her :)
There were a huge number of these metal steps put into the side of the rock. It was at this point, the " Oh my gosh Mum" started....frequent drink breaks and she kept powering on. She's the tiny blue dot at the top.
And at last....she reached the top. If it's any indication for those of you with heart rate monitors, I consider myself fairly fit and I burned nearly 700 calories just in climbing and walking.
As we walked to the bottom, she talked about the goals she might set now. I suggested maybe we could do this walk again, or another bushwalk. Her response made me smile.....
" Nah, I need something that will challenge me. I've done this."
What an amazing kid.
Just know, whatever you do, whatever you say, however you act, is being observed and filed away by those in your care. I have learned if I want a better life for my children, I must show them a better life, by being the person I would like them to be, by showing the values and behaviour I would like them to develop.
Gandhi was right....