The biggest impact on your health results will is the influence of those who you spend the most time with. It is that simple. We are a sum of the people around us. Spend time with successful people and there is a good chance you will be successful. Spend time with alcoholics, then there is a good chance you will be one as well.
It is no different with your health and fitness.
However, most people believe that their motivation and dedication to achieve a goal is the most important factor in determining their success.
What good is being motivated if those around you are not supportive?
Motivation only lasts so long.
So why are our health results impacted so much by those around us?
We spend a lot of time with them…
The people you spend the most time with in your life have the biggest impact on your health results for a few key reasons.
- They are the people you listen to and who listen to you.
- You take their advice more than anyone else.
- As you spend a lot of time with them, there is a high chance that you adopt similar lifestyle habits.
If these people are living their lives and offering advice that is in conflict with your goals, how can that not be a hurdle to success?
The answer is that it can be incredibly challenging. More often than not it can feel impossible.
“Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not drain your valuable energy with uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.” – Robin Sharma
It is hard enough making a change to your health…
Think about it.
The food prep, the exercise, the early morning workouts, the dedication and commitment to the goal. They are something that need to be done on a weekly and daily basis. They all play a MAJOR role when it comes to achieving a long-lasting lifestyle change.
Imagine how much easier that process would be if those around you were ‘all in’ on your success as well?
Surrounding yourself with people who can lift you higher, keep you accountable and celebrate your wins, far outweighs any benefit of doing it on your own.
We are a product of our own environment and ensuring that the environment is the best it can be to support the lifestyle change we are looking for sometimes means that changes need to be made.
Want to be happy? Surround yourself with happy people.
Want to be fit and healthy? Surround yourself with fit and healthy people.
Want to be confident? Surround yourself with confident people.
Want to be negative? Surround yourself with negative people.
Want to be unhappy? Surround yourself with unhappy people.
A few questions that you can ask yourself…
If you are constantly surrounding yourself with confident and ambitious people, you yourself will become confident and ambitious.
If you surround yourself with people who are unambitious and reinforce negative emotions and behaviors, then eventually those traits will become yours as well.
A simple thing that you can do to reflect on how the people in your life are impact on your health and fitness results is to ask some simple questions:
- “Who are the people I spend the most time with?”
- “Are they supportive of my health and fitness, or do they bring me down?”
- “Are they proactive about their own health and fitness, or is it not a priority?”
- “Do they believe that what I am doing with my health and fitness is achievable?
Asking yourself those questions as honestly as possible will give you a really good insight in to why/why not the journey to creating a fitter and healthier you has or has not been as successful as possible.
This doesn’t mean you should drop your friends…
It is really important to understand that not everyone in your life is going to be as supportive of you as you would hope. It is perfectly natural. I am sure there are people in your life that you are not supporting the best way you could be as well.
Yes they will impact your health results, but does this mean we should drop them from our friendship group completely?
There are a multitude of reasons why the people around you might not be 100% on board with what you are trying to achieve.
- Do they know exactly why you are making a lifestyle change?
- Do they know how important it is to you?
Afraid of change
- Lot’s of people are afraid of change, they see you wanting to change as a threat to the way they are used to doing things.
- Partners in particular can seem to be unsupportive because they often ask themselves the question “were they not happy before? What if this change causes them to question our relationship”
Should they also change?
- When a person in a close group of friends decides to make a change to their health and fitness, it can often reverberate throughout the group. Friends start thinking, should I also change?
E.g. You and your friends are out for dinner and you say you are not drinking and order a salad instead of the pasta. Quite often people will push their own insecurities/beliefs on you by being negative about not drinking etc.
In reality it is their own beliefs that they are confused about, and it is not the intention to derail yours.
The single best thing that you can do to try and get the people around you to support your goals is to have an honest chat to them about what it is in particular you are looking to achieve and why.
If they really are close to you, and care about your goals, then they will always be 100% supportive. You would have also added another layer of accountability to your journey. It is a great situation when that happens!
There will always be some people who will not be supportive, and will not be able to help with your health and fitness results.
That is natural.
It does not mean that you need to cut them out of your life. It just means that in terms of your health and fitness they are not the people that you need to ask advice/talk to about your journey.
They may well engage in other areas in your life where they can be helpful and supportive.
How can I create a better support network?
If you feel that you are not getting the best level of support at the moment it is important to make a change. The last thing anyone wants is a negative impact on their health results when there does not have to be.
Here are some great ways to create a strong support network. It will make sure that when you decide to make a positive change to your health and fitness, the right people are around you:
- Invite your friends to join you! If they see what you are doing, they might want to get involved
- Join a group of like-minded people. A run group or a group exercise class. A supportive environment is much more likely to foster a result than doing it solo
- Events! Linking your goal with an event means that you always have something tangible to work towards. It also gives you a direct target to aim towards and provides ongoing motivation.
- Subscribe to blogs and newsletters. The more information that you expose yourself to that aligns with your goals, the more likely you are to learn and understand what you need to do to take the next step. Quite often, they will come with there will be a loyal following, and interacting with these people will only build a broader support network.
At the end of the day, your health and fitness is your personal journey and it will come down to you to achieve the goals that you set.
The best thing that you can do is to involve as many people in the process as possible.
Be honest with yourself, if the people that are around you are not as supportive as they should be, do you need to shift their focus? Do you need to be clearer around your goals with them? Or do you need to find people who are more aligned with your health and fitness targets?
Remember, if you surround yourself with great people, great things tend to happen.
Want To Learn More?
Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.
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