The Encouragement You Need is Right at Your Fingertips

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Before starting my job at SparkPeople, I never would have been interested in online Communities.  I’m a pretty private person with a small group of friends and family who I confide in about my ups and downs.  Why would I want to share all of that with a bunch of strangers?  Over the past 7 years of working for SparkPeople, I’ve changed my mind.  Every day I see amazing things happen when people get the support, motivation and information they need in the SparkPeople Community.   
SparkPeople prides itself on having a positive and supportive Community.  I always say that negative or mean-spirited people don’t last long here.  For example, someone posts that they are having a bad day and they are ready to throw in the towel.  Within a few hours, they will have ten responses to their post, encouraging them to keep going and not give up.  The responses are varied:  one might have some helpful advice about how to get back on track, another shares a similar experience and what worked for them, and a third will say something like “I’ve not been in that situation before, but just wanted you to know that I’m cheering for you and I think you can do it.”  Many times those simple responses, which might have taken someone only a minute or two to type, can help someone get back on the path toward success. 
The SparkPeople Community is a big place, and it can be hard to know where to start.  Do I post on the Message Boards?  Do I join a SparkTeam?  How do I make friends and begin to get involved?  Check out SP’s Guide to Posting in SparkTeams and Message Boards to learn more reasons to become an active Community member. 
Another way to make new SparkFriends and find extra accountability is through SparkPeople LIVE!, our online meetings that allow you to chat with other members and SparkPeople experts.  Here are a few quotes from members who have tried out this feature:
“I love my LIVE! meetings that I attend. I come away energized and encouraged. The other members attending are on the same road as me and do not put me down. They lift me up!!!! And I love the opportunity to visualize what I will be like when I accomplish my goals.” ANYVAR54
“I love SparkPeople LIVE!  It is very informative and by the end of the meeting, it has you feeling great. You get take-home information on everything that was discussed so you don't have to take notes, and each week they give you a new challenge to accomplish. Very down to earth and achievable.” AJHALL11281
Are you an active member of the SparkPeople Community?  Why or why not?  If you are, what features do you find most helpful?  Have you checked out SparkPeople LIVE?

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I am as active as I can be, with the time, that I have. I love the friends, (past and present) who I have met here. I'm only on one team, and that's enough for me. I couldn't keep up with more. I do love sparks, and all the help, I've got through, the articles, the people, trackers, etc. Thank you. Report
I am a very active member and I blog daily and am on conditions and community teams.
I am 68 years young and many of us older people have no clue about computers so even though I signed up for this ONLINE support but when I think about even trying to use it I just do not have a clue how to get there. I am not alone. Spark has a lot of us older people and that is an issue for others like myself. Computers never were in my life till Spark . I have no skills in the computer language so I cannot even ask the experts. I asked my spark friends and they came to my aid. Last week when the tracker changed I was totally lost barely able to use it and ready to quit. I blogged "help" from my friends and I am still here, Pat in Maine. Report
I've received so much positive support from this community, it makes me want to bounce it right back. Teams are a great place to make friends and so is being active on your SparkPage. The ongoing communication can help you stay involved and on track. And you just never know when you'll end up motivating someone else. The tools and info are what brought me to Spark but the community is why I stayed. Report
Yes, I'm a part of the SparkPeople community. I gain lots of strength from posting and the responses. In midJanuary, I was diagnosed with Diabetes, type 2. SparkPeople has helped me to find a healthy lifestyle and maintain it. I have been able to lose 11 pounds and to learn about diabetes. Report
Great Blog I joined on a team when I first started with spark in 2010 and I become so close to my team mates we have a facebook page and we are always encourging each other and you know I dont even know them face to face
that is the sad thing but someday we may all meet
i didn't even know there was a spark Live. now i'm excited and gonna have to find out when it meets!!! Report
I, too, am a relatively private person, and I don't always want to share with other people. I do like having a membership though on the teams where we all work towards some common goal. 10,000 steps a day, or walk your way across.... these are groups I enjoy participating in. And even with this limited exposure, having joined a group helps me to be accountable. I am not doing it to support others but to be accountable to me. And that helps! Report
Not a big 'joiner,' though I am on some teams. It's just hard for me to feel any connection to something so intangible. Still, it's nice to know the support is there. Report
Wonderful article! I am sending this to a friend who is struggling with her weight and I've been encouraging her to join our group. I know she will benefit as I have from the wonderful support and reinforcement I get from your articles, blogs, recipes and comments from everyone.
Hope Report
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