Health Planning For The Family: Are You Doing It?

As a husband and a dad, I take the health of my family very seriously. We have a top medical aid, and the names and numbers of doctors and various specialists in our contact lists. And as my wife, like most of y’all, is bloody neurotic, we have a medicine cabinet that would probably classify as a small pharmacy.

And yet, this has nothing at all to do with the health of this unit of ours.

Wait. What?

Yup, nothing in the least. It helps with the health of the family members, sure, but the health of the family unit, that’s a whole different thing.

A healthy family is one that does things together, one that has a common sense of purpose – a unit with a plan of action!

So here’s your five-step family health check:

1. Do you eat together as a family more than five times a week?

2. Do you do at least one healthy no-food-related family activity (just the family, and the whole family) together each week?

3. Do you find out more about what your family is doing by way of real-life interaction (as opposed to via social media)?

4. Do you laugh together, out loud, fairly often?

5. Do you have a goal for your family for the next 12 months (measurable and understood by everyone)?

If you said “no” to a few of these (I’ll let you be the judge of how many you think is right), then maybe your family isn’t as healthy as you may believe.

Or maybe it’s not that the family unit is unhealthy at all; perhaps I could just be healthier.

It’s amazing to me that if you look at almost any business unit in any company the world over, and ask them if they are working towards a common goal, they’ll tell you they are. And yet in the most important unit of all – our family – we just coast along.

Well, I can’t speak for you guys, but I want to change that.

I have fond memories, growing up, of day trips with my whole family. I’d say we did at least one a month. We went all over Scotland, from the Campsies to Loch Lomond, from Oban to Edinburgh. There were always adventures, there were always fights with my sisters, there was always my mum reaching back and pinching one of us, and, above all, there were always songs. Lots and lots of songs.

These are some of my fondest memories and yet I’m not sharing them with my kids. So it’s time for some family planning on a healthy basis. Success for our family this year will be day-trips we take – at least one a month, and, most importantly, we’re going to sit together as a family to decide where to go.

Hey, you never know; if this has resonated at all, perhaps I’ll bump into you on one of these trips. We’ll be the loud, somewhat tone-deaf group singing songs and laughing.

Can’t wait!

Who is the writer?

Richard Mulholland is en entrepreneur, speaker and father. He owns Missing Link, a presentation company, and co-owns 21Tanks, a perspective innovation lab. You can read more of his ramblings at the following link or follow him on Twitter at @RichMullholland.

Click here to find out how you can better balance work and life.