the one thing you must have

If you’ve decided to make life changes, whether that’s lifestyle, starting a business, changing career path, giving up smoking etc., there’s one VITAL ingredient that you will need; support.

involve your nearest and dearest

Whether you’re married, co-habiting, single, living with parents, house-sharing, flat-sharing, or any other living arrangements you can think of, getting your friends, family and room-mates on board can be a massive boost to your efforts.

Having support close to home makes it a heck of a lot easier. Imagine deciding to eat healthily and coming home to fried food every night? Imagine wanting to change careers, and having a spouse constantly reminding you that you need to stay in your current job to pay the bills…

Your immediate support network can literally make or break things.

start your own supporters’ club

In addition to your spouse, parents, etc. (or if you’re single and live alone), spread the word to a larger group of people. Let friends, acquaintance and work colleagues know what you’re doing; you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how supportive they are. That support will be invaluable to you, helping you push through when it seems easier to give up.

You might want to be a little cautious with who you involve – some people can’t help but be negative, and you don’t want them pouring cold water on things.

If you’re feeling really brave (or is it stupid?) start a public blog and/or Facebook page! Going public can bring a whole new level of support and encouragement. It might not be the ideal solution if you’re feeling terribly shy; on the other hand it might just be the type of bold action that finally gets you into gear.

it’s not just about support

The flip side of involving friends, family or even strangers is that you immediately become accountable. If you start a daily exercise program in your own room, never having told anyone else, it’s really easy to let things slide and eventually give up.

The more people you’ve told about something, the harder it is to simply give up when the going gets tough. The potential pain of embarassment and loss of credibility is a powerful motivator should your enthusiasm start to wane.

conversations with yourself

Based on my own experience, especially with running this public blog, involving others is really a chance to get things out in the open and to be frank and honest with yourself. It’s really a chance to drag your shortcomings into the light, examine them and fix them up.

By shining a spotlight on the various issues you get to face up to them and deal with them.

Just as one example, I know my eating habits are not particularly great. By including details of food and drink consumed in my daily journal, I actually initiate an internal conversation in my own mind about making better choices and become more directly conscious of decisions on what to put into my mouth.

seek professional help

Even if you have recently completed a full course of study on nutrition and exercise, you will still lack the bigger picture of yourself that can only come from another person’s perspective.

If that person also happens to be a fully qualified health and fitness professional then that perspective will likely to be complete, unbiased and (most importantly) honest. Don’t get a friend to assess you, they will hold back if they think something’s going to upset you.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on hiring a personal trainer – join a gym, see your doctor or find a trainer that does group sessions.

One thing is for sure, making the changes you want will be a lot easier if you get your support network in place.

In fact if you’re thinking “I wish I could do such and such” then take your first step today by simply TELLING people; once you let the genie out of the bottle you start to build momentum that will take you forward to your desired goal.

Go on, try it, you know you want to 🙂

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