10 New Year Family Goals (Pedcast)

Topic Introduction

I read a lot of articles about child health and one that caught my eye recently came from a weekly newsletter that is created by the staff of fellow North Carolina pediatricians, the Salisbury Pediatric Associates. The article that I am going to discuss today was written by pediatrician Dr. Christopher Magryta. In it he posted ten goals for parents and children for the New Year. I thought his goals were so useful, practical, and full of wisdom that I wanted to share them with you.  I think each of Dr. Magryta’s goals will help you kick off the New Year in a great direction, for both you and your family. So here goes, straight from Dr. Magryta in his own words.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. Don’t miss today’s post, 10 New Year Family Goals

Musical Introduction

Dr. Magryta’s Ten Family Goals for the New Year

I am going to read you, Dr. Magryta’s ten personal and collective goals he thinks we should all set for both ourselves and our families that he laid out in his December 11th, 2017 post. So here goes as I read from the newsletter:

“What are some goals that we can set for personal and collective growth this year?

1) I think that meditation/prayer is a unique human need to balance and calm the modern monkey mind of negativity and self doubt. The world will not get less complex or easier from a stress perspective. Let us teach our kids how to balance at young ages.

2) Let us spend much time teaching our children to see the individual first and not the peripheral biased opinions of color, creed or gender. Expect people to be good until they prove you right or wrong. Make it a point to be nice to anyone who is unlike you. Make others feel accepted. That pay it forward attitude can only grow.

3) Keep working hard on your families eating habits with the goal of moving towards a whole food, limited refined foods organic local farm fresh diet. Read Michal Pollan’s Food Rules.

4) Exercise as a family daily. Family walks are a favorite in our house as it offers collective conversation, movement and unity all at once.

5) Say you are sorry when you mess up! Let your kids know that you are human. Perfection is unattainable and anxiety over it is unnecessary. Parenting is very very difficult for me and I am supposed to be an expert! Do your best and love yourself and your kids daily, especially in the storm.

6) Read as a family every night!. Try to keep screens off during the school week. Sunday night at 5 until Friday night at 5 is a 120 hour period of family time uninterrupted by the screen babysitter. Please do not bring your phone, ipad or other device to the dinner table ever! It hurts me to see kids on screens at dinner siloed in their lost world of useless games.

7) Consider joining a mission trip, community or church giving experience to teach your family the act of giving and living with others regardless of who they are.

8) Aim to sleep in adequate amounts nightly. Consider melatonin if you have trouble falling asleep. Avoid screens at night.


9) Spend time with an elder person to tap their wisdom, exchange conversant energy and be a part of their life.


10) Keep setting goals and aiming higher overtime. You are worth a moon shot every year!”



One of the things I really enjoy about Dr. Magryta’s perspective is his sense of optimism and understanding that we are, to a large degree, in control of our children’s health by the decisions we make about their nutrition, sleep habits, exercise frequency, screen time, attitudes toward life, and their mindset.  Their overall worldview. He doesn’t dwell on negativity but rather stresses what positive actions parents and children can do to make their lives better and more meaningful.  What could be timelier than to consider Dr. Magryta’s ten goals for 2018? Let’s all try and live them, shall we? I know I will.


Thank you for sharing a few minutes with me to discuss your children’s health and well-being. If you enjoy exploring pediatrics with pedcasts, please take a moment to consider writing a review on iTunes, my Facebook page, or by subscribing to my blog at www.docsmo.com. Oh, and of course, you can receive Salisbury Pediatric Associates weekly newsletter with Dr. Magryta’s comments free by subscribing on their website.  I’m sure you will be glad you did.

If you have questions about a specific pediatric topic, don’t forget to explore my seven years of posts on a wide variety of child health and wellness topics–all free for the taking. Just simply do a search on the homepage of my blog, Portable Practical Pediatric, and you are there. It’s that simple. This is Dr. Paul Smolen, still recording in studio 1E, that’s the first child’s bedroom on the east side of the house, hoping that you can rock and roll, with your 2018 family goals. Until next time.