While setting your goals and sticking with them – in the end – depends on you, having support along the way is crucial to your success. If we lived in a vacuum where plans didn’t get interrupted, peer pressure ceased to exist, and meals and workouts centered around us, it’d be much easier to reach our health and fitness goals. But, this is an interactive life we live, and those people we spend time with can either be a burden or a benefit when it comes to reaching our goals.
Don’t go it alone! Set yourself up for success by creating your personal support team, and leave unnecessary struggles behind. Here’s how:
It’s All in the Family
It’s naive to think changes in your lifestyle won’t effect those you’re with the majority of the time; your family. Whether you live with just your spouse, you have children, or live solo, you’re in contact with family in some way everyday and these relationships are lifelong. Without support from your parents or your spouse, you’ll be fighting a battle everyday and will wear out quickly.
Scenario A: Your goal is to eat better on weeknights so you make a new healthy recipe, only to be greeted at the dinner table with complaints and requests for pizza.
Scenario B: Your goal is to go to a strength training class at your gym 2 mornings a week. You’re usually the one to bring your daughter to day care, creating a time conflict. Your spouse doesn’t think your gym class is important, and is bitter whenever you ask them to take over daycare duty.
Sitting down and having a conversation about your goals and why they are important to you, is a great place to start. Let them know you need their support, and work out compromises to foreseeable roadblocks before they happen. Your spouse may fear that your healthy changes mean they have to change too, and they aren’t ready for that. They may fear your new behaviors will create differences and drive you apart. By asking for their support, you make it clear this isn’t about them changing, it’s about you. Asking for support shows that you still want to be a team. More often than not, they’ll start to pick up your healthy habits as well!
Thank You For Being a Friend
When adjusting unhealthy behaviors, starting with changes in your eating and activity habits is most common and practical, however these are habits often done with friends. Grabbing a drink after work and meeting up for brunch on the weekend may no longer align with your goals, but you don’t want – or need – to lose touch with your friends.
Scenario A: You’ve been going to a spin class after work on Wednesday’s and are really enjoying it! Your friend wants to go for happy hour and when you tell her you’d rather not that evening, she says you’re no fun and continues to plead for you to skip the class and come for a drink.
Scenario B: You’re out to dinner with friends – dining out doesn’t have to be unhealthy! – and turn down fries and a second glass of wine. Your friends keep offering fries, saying you’re making them feel bad and that one more glass won’t hurt.
Just like with your family, having a conversation about the new habits you’re trying to adopt, is where you should start. It doesn’t have to be as serious as with your family, simply let them know that you’re changing things in your life and you’d like their support. It’s good to tell them how important they are to you and if you choose to forego brunch, or happy hour, it’s nothing to do with them. Let them know it’s hard for you to turn them down, and if they could accept your decline or healthy choice without complaint, you’d appreciate it. Come up with a middle ground; going to dinner at restaurants with healthier options, meeting up for a walk instead of a drink, etc.
Put me in Coach
Behavior change isn’t easy, and with the information overload on the Internet about health and fitness, it’s hard to know where to start, what to believe, and how to implement what you learn. Hiring a coach can clear all of this up, and hold you accountable. Having someone rooting for you and guiding you through the rough spots with expert knowledge can truly be a lifesaver.
Finding a health coach is akin to finding a therapist. Each has their own philosophy, coaching style, and personality. Working with someone who’s values align with your own and you can personally relate to is imperative. This is why I always meet potential clients in person or talk with them on the phone before we start any program, to ensure it’s a good fit for both of us. Don’t be afraid to “shop” around, and ask them about the things most important to you. If a coach sounds like the right move for you at this time, I would be delighted to have that conversation with you! Email me at Samantha@sjkfitness.com and let’s chat!
Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Your family and friends care about you, and often don’t know how to react when you make changes in your lifestyle. Letting them know you value them, you want their support and how they can help, is all it takes to surround yourself with pillars and not barriers. Go team YOU!