For most people, getting unhealthy is far too easy. But getting healthy can be incredibly challenging. Whether it’s losing weight, controlling your cholesterol or managing your Type 2 Diabetes, positive, lasting changes to your lifestyle will require a support network of loved ones who will motivate you on your journey.
Being self-motivated is something that is hard to sustain. Most of us feel incredibly inspired to stick with our health goals for the first couple of weeks.
We stall. It gets too hard, and we start to slip and cheat and fall back into our old patterns.
This is why it is so important to have friends and family around to cheer us on and support our healthy efforts. While we ultimately have to be the ones to commit to the journey, having a little help along the way can keep us on track.
Here are 3 secrets to forming a support network that will keep you motivated.
1. Know What Kind of Help You Need
The first secret of putting together the right support network for your health goals is to know yourself well—specifically know your weaknesses. What kinds of things do you think you’ll really need help with?
For instance, your sister may be one of your best friends who loves you very much. But if you’re trying to lose weight, and your sister is someone who eats fast food often, she’s not someone who can realistically motivate and support your new choice to eat wholesome and nourishing foods. If you know you need help with making better eating choices, be sure to have people in your network who make healthy eating choices themselves.
Knowing your own weaknesses will help you find people who have the strengths you’re looking for.
2. Get Yourself a Mentor or Two
Mentors are invaluable because they are currently where you want to be. What better resource to have access to than someone who has been on a similar journey and ended up at your desired destination? If you want to reverse your Type 2 Diabetes, you need to have someone you can talk to who has accomplished this goal.
So where can you find a mentor? You may personally know a mentor, or you may find one through a local support group. Maybe there’s a qualified mentor at your gym. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trained fitness instructor or someone you’ve watched lose weight over the course of a few months. Or, consider asking your physician if he or she can put you in touch with someone, perhaps another one of their patients, who has been able to turn their health around.
3. Use Positive Reinforcements
You know that your success requires you to reward your own efforts from time to time, but you might not have considered that your support network also needs rewards in the form of positive reinforcements. All people like to be noticed and appreciated for their efforts, so be sure to thank the people supporting you every now and then.
These reinforcements could come in the form of a simple “Thank you,” a gift card, or offering that person a favor when they need it. The more you let your support network know how much you appreciate the support, the more support and encouragement you will get!
Making positive changes in your life is a great goal, but it comes with many challenges. You’ll be able to meet these challenges head on and reach whatever goals you set when you surround yourself with the right support network.