Monday, February 10, 2014
I want you to think back. How long ago did you start with Spark? My start was on 1st June last year, the date is indelibly printed on my memory. It was the day I decided to change the rest of my life.
What about you? 3 years? 3 months? 3 days? Maybe it's even 3 minutes. I've been amazed at the number of people joining Spark. Over 2000 have joined since yesterday! That really is amazing. It's those new members that I really want to reach today, but I'm hoping that the rest of you will remember your first tentative steps too.
I remember seeing the screen in front of me as I joined. It seemed as though there were so many things to complete. There were a number of things that I didn't want to enter - who's business was it that I weighed 'xxx' how tall am I? I really didn't know - and so on. Things have simplified a bit, but the first few minutes are really daunting.
Of course, the one thing that you really don't think about is that everyone has already done this. Everyone that is on Spark has felt the pangs of being a 'newbie' but they seem so 'mature'. Don't worry, you won't feel like that for long. The other thing you don't know or anticipate is that everyone that has been using the site for a while is now rooting for YOU too because they want YOU to succeed, and that applies even if their walk is currently very difficult.
Probably the most difficult decision we ever make is whether to make our page visible. It is one thing to join a group like this - but anonymity is a wonderful thing. As long as we are anonymous we can hide and if we fail - no-one will ever know. I can understand this - what if the lady (or gent) down the road is a member - I don't want them to know that I weigh....... ! Well, they don't let them stop you changing the rest of your life. They don't have to ever know that it is you. Choose a nickname. Choose a name that will only mean something to you. Don't choose something that is instantly recognisable - have some fun. You can describe yourself in any way you like. I'm not implying that you should make something up - but you can say as little or as much as you want. 'Trying to do my best' says a lot more than a potted life history.
The best bit about Spark is that everyone really does want to help. This starts at the top and works its way down through team leaders to team members. Everyone is in a team - we all start in the team of our week and location, and they are the ideal places to find friends. Make friends with those who are at the same level as you - at least you have that in common - and soon you will find that there is so much more.
Over the past months Spark Persons have become my very special Sparkeroonies. I have made more friends than I expected, and received more help and encouragement than I dreamed would be possible. I want to pass this on to every new member - allow us to work with you as you begin your journey here on Spark. Pick our brains and find out the best steps to take. We aren't perfect - and I know I never will be - but slowly my life is changing - and yours can too. Take it slowly. Don't come here for the quick fix - lasting results are worth waiting for.
Onwards and Upwards, Sparkeroonies. It's a privilege and a pleasure to know every single one of you.