As the pages of the calendar turn and a new year begins, it is often the case that lofty and ambitious goals for change are made and then given up on in a matter of weeks. Making a New Year’s Resolution is a popular pastime, yet there are far too many who endeavour to fly too close to the sun and find themselves falling perilously back to earth with their goals firmly out of reach. When it comes to matters of your health, it is of vital importance to ensure that you and your family commit to making positive changes — just try not to do it all at once.

In making a change for the betterment of your health, don’t attempt anything too drastic. It’s probably not the best idea to try to become a vegan overnight, especially if your family currently eats steak three times per week. It’s also not the best idea to attempt to lose weight by replacing all of your meals with some fad diet that forces you to drink nothing but liquids for weeks on end. Focus on being more generally healthy by making it a goal to simply eat more vegetables each day, or to eat a piece of fruit in place of a less-than-healthy option.

Identifying areas in which changes can be made is difficult, but snacks are quite often the most troublesome component of any person’s diet. It is very easy for a handful of potato chips to turn into two, then three, then four, and so on until the whole bag is gone. Replace the unhealthy snacks with healthy ones that are just as tasty. Homemade kale chips are simple to make and satisfy the snack craving just as well as potato chips. A small bag of almonds is a much better option than a small bag candy, and more filling too. And if you are a pop drinker, you can replace at least one of your daily pops with fruit- or vegetable-infused water, which is still sweet but also a much healthier option. Tackling snack time can be a great way to improve your health without having to make lifestyle-altering changes.

Increasing the amount of exercise you engage in is also an obvious and important component of improved health. You don’t have to sign up for a marathon, but you may be able to sign up for a 5K or 8K if you already run a bit. If you don’t, walking is a great way to get started. It’s low impact and allows you and your family to have nice, long conversations while also enjoying the outdoors. Short walks can eventually turn into long hikes through nature, and you can even pack some nice lunches for when you finish. Fresh fruit is refreshing and particularly delicious after a long day spent outdoors.

So while everyone is different, there are some simple changes that you can make for improved health without radically altering your lifestyle. If you eat fast food three times per week, cut back to twice per week. If you walk the family dog two blocks in the evening, try going for three next time, and ask family or friends to come along too. The key to a successful health resolution is to have a great deal of support, so make reasonable changes that everyone in your family can accept and be a part of. If you slip up, don’t worry too much. Just laugh about it, enjoy your slip-up, and get back on track the next day.