Support for new goals can be the glue that you need to solidify the discipline for crushing your goals. However, for some individuals, it can be challenging to find those sources of reinforcement in their everyday life. Today’s post has four awesome sources of support for anyone to find and how to make sure you won’t destroy your current relationships while trying to find these reinforcers.
Get your family on the same page
Make your goals clear
If your family is open to supporting your life goals, make sure they know what the big picture is. Don’t say “I want to lose 10 pounds“, try “I want to drink less soda“.
The difference between these phrases is one is a short term goal (the former) and the latter is a lifestyle change that will eventually lead to the former goal.
The reason I emphasize the latter goal is to avoid the possibility of nagging/nitpicking from family that we are all familiar with for every little thing involved with said goal.
The latter goal emphasizes a habit that will naturally aid in accomplishing the former. A study from 2009 on a sample of 810 adults found that a reduction in soda intake lead to a weight loss of 1.08 lbs (0.49 kg) after six months and 1.43 lbs (0.65 kg) after 18 months.
This is all from reducing one serving a day!
Now those reminders become helpful since they will mostly remind you about your soda intake instead of about all of those “healthy” tips.
Create systems to prepare for possible conflict
Some family members just won’t care to or want to support you. Some may even actively (or subconsciously) sabotage you.
Creating systems can help you prevent losing traction in your goal that your discipline helped build.
Systems are habits, environmental changes, or routines that enable you to stick with your lifestyle changes more easily.
For example, I can’t stop my mom from buying specific snacks that I also like and may end up bingeing on them when I’m “bored”. My system for this situation is to put the food away from my eye level.
Essentially, “out of sight and out of mind”.
A longitudinal study from 2017 over the course of 4 weeks found an increase in sales of “healthy” food when they were repositioned to more favorable positions aka eye level. This supports the previous adage.
Luckily, I’m relatively short compared to her (5’3 or 161 cm versus 5’7 or 170 cm), so it was easy to move the items to places in the pantry that were optimized for her. Another plus is that I’m also relatively lazy, so getting the footstool to reach the items is a bit too much effort to try.
Get your friends involved
Don’t nag them
Similar to making your goals clear with your family, opening up to your friends helps in your life also.
However, don’t go all-in with the enthusiasm. Not only will you possibly annoy them, it may backfire if you do not reach your goal.
Only include them somewhat
Having your friends cheer you on is awesome and achieving the goal together fuels the motivation even more.
Even so, focus on what works for you since everyone has unique needs.
I’m currently working towards increasing my physical activity with my friends. I personally made a goal for the “lazy” me where I aim for at least 15 mins of intentional movement per week. I mentioned this to my friends as a nice way to support them in their goals since you pretty much plan for the worst case for you goals.
I’m 80% sure I’m the only one using this method of goal planning lol. One friend commented that she has been doing a workout series with her sister every day.
That definitely goes against the planning for the “lazy” you idea, but they have stuck with it for 20+ days while I have missed one week.
My tracker has fewer days done than her, but we both accomplished our common goal.
So basically you do you.
Join online/in-person groups w/ like-minded people
When your family and friends are not a reliable source of support, you can turn to the world wide web!
The internet has so many possibilities to get the boost in motivation you need. The plus is you pretty much eliminate the possibility of ruining/straining your immediate relationships.
From Reddit (my personal favorite) to Facebook groups to safe meetups, you can join very specific groups/forums that are tailored to your goal.
I was recently part of an awesome group of individuals that also do OMAD but on different schedules. It was so motivating because it was a competition, but also a support group to fall back on when I had those days when I struggled.
I’m the only person in my life that I know of that does OMAD, so having people to talk to about struggles with this helped get me to my lowest of 189 lbs at one time in the past.
See a professional
Now seeing a professional is not a bad thing at all. I got help reframing my negative self-talk and thoughts about my body at my college’s health center.
I’m currently in the process of transferring out of my school’s system, but I know seeing someone will be a regular occurrence for me in the future.
This process is even easier nowadays with more access to telemedicine via online video programs. There are even places that cater to individuals with no insurance to aid in getting mental health services affordable to everyone with sliding scales or subsidized costs.
Some alternatives besides those in psychiatry can be coaches, therapists, and counselors.
All in all, the help is out there to take and I believe that it is a rewarding experience that many can benefit from.
When you start a goal, you generally want to get everyone in on the great news and hope they unconditionally support you. But for some people, they struggle with being overzealous or might annoy those in their life. They may even need to put in more effort when these same people may actively prevent them from succeeding.
Luckily, there are simple ways to organize your family life to aid in your goal, gain some motivation from friendly competition between friends, find those who understand your struggles online/in-person, or employ the help of an expert to guide you on your journey.