Motivation Articles

Sharing Is Achieving

To Succeed, Tell Others About Your Goals

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’” (C.S. Lewis)
Which is why—whether you’re looking to eat healthier, increase your energy, lose a few pounds, or build up those nearly atrophied muscles—it’s good to find a fitness friend, maybe even several! In fact, experts say sharing your goals with others is vital to achieving them. Electing your own personal health-related “board of directors” can give you important tools—knowledge, insight, moral support and even humor—to help you get results.
But before you run off to enlist the aid of just any Tom, Dick, or Harriet, be forewarned. You should carefully consider how (or who) you appoint to your personal shape-up board. Picking fitness buddies can be fraught with danger; implicit in the concept is the level of trust and confidence you seek. Are you just looking for a jogging buddy? Or do you want someone who (gently) holds you accountable for overeating while at the same time encouraging you? Will you ruin a long-term, otherwise healthy relationship by pressing your spouse, neighbor, or friend into a new role that really doesn’t suit him?
Consider carefully whom you choose and the role they will play:
  • Don’t be afraid to share your goals with family and friends. Having those closest to you in on your plans can mean daily, invaluable support and assistance. You may even find that they’re willing to modify their own lives, at least temporarily, to help out—giving up soft drinks or helping plan healthy meals, for example. What’s more, just the fact that you’ve confided in them is a powerful motivator for helping you remain consistent and persistent.
  • Avoid naysayers. For whatever reason, some folks just have the habit of belittling or ridiculing the goals of others, whether because they feel inadequate and threatened, or are simply mean! You‘re under no obligation to discuss your goals or action plan with anyone. If you know upfront that someone will be negative—or even if you discover it after the fact— steer conversation away from personal topics.
  • If someone close to you is unsupportive, either tune out the negativity or distance yourself from that person. If that person is your partner or lives in the same household, the problem’s a bit more complicated. As far as possible, try to understand the motivation behind the negativity; is the person critical of your particular goal or of goals in general?
  • Demonstrate encouragement for the goals your friends and family want to accomplish. Even better, come up with some common goals that you can work on together. There’s strength in numbers. The simple act of one person saying no to an unwanted dessert can spark someone else to think hard about whether they really want to indulge.
  • Remember the old adage that to make a friend you have to be a friend. Make your fitness friendships win-win situations by making sure to give something back.
  • Don’t expect one fitness buddy to be all things. Instead, enlist a diverse group of people who can share your various interests in small ways, whether swapping healthy recipes, exercising with enthusiasm, or confiding weight loss secrets. Not only will that keep you from relying too heavily on one resource, but it will expand your circle of friends and keep things fresh as well.
  • Fit your weight loss needs into your life in small and varied ways: a healthy pot-luck lunch with co-workers, an evening walk with your spouse, or a brief morning chat with your online fitness buddies. You’ll be helping others while you help yourself.
Sharing your goals with others is a powerful step towards both clarifying and fulfilling them. Not only are you more likely to follow though once you’ve voiced them—you’re more likely to have fun along the way!

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Member Comments

    My support system is nonexistant. I have learned to "walk away" from their "concern". SP is my salvation and motivation.
  • Will make every effort this week coming to get a buddy!
  • How can some people NOT support those who are trying to better themselves....I find that those who do not support have way more issues than they care to admit. Whether is is losing weight, gaining weight, refraining from smoking or drinking...everyo
    ne should support!!
  • Such great reminders about who you let in to your "circle of trust". I have people close to me who are not positive, very needy, insecure, and emotionally draining where my own goals are concerned. Thanks for the reminder that I need to just tune them out and try to distance myself.
  • My 18-month-old granddaughter doesn't know it, but she's my exercise buddy. When she visits, we walk to the park, or to the library instead of driving. We get down on the floor and play with her puzzles. She "helps" get the garden ready for the garden. And while we're having fun, I'm getting healthier.
  • Whomever finds this post..I need your help..

    Please come find me..
  • I'm lucky to have a sister-in-law that also wants to change to living a healthier lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight. She is even more vertically challenged than I am and has had 3 lovely children who were no lightweights! She is a major help to me and helps to keep me on track. I don't think of her as an SIL but rather a sister who is strong enough to call me out when need be and it is reciprocal. Moving away from that is what made me join SP so that I have more support when I'm needing it.
  • Spark Friends and Teams are such an important part of success.

    One important factor, however, is to hook up with people who are winners . . .
    don't look for someone to commiserate with your failures or lack of motivation.

    Hitch your wagon to a Sparker and journey on to success!
    I feel it's best to work on losing weight and not bore everyone with the details, thank you. My husband just hopes I eat enough so I don't get that old "fishwife", cranky mood that he dislikes. Truth, people. Others don't want to know.
  • 2006GBHILLRD
    I am wondering where are the latest posts, I am looking at 2013. I was shown this website by a friend who should say hey you've gained too much weight over the past few years and its time to get back to normal or at least a better healthy weight. I had a physical 2 yrs ago and instead of me losing weight on the 1800 cal diet the doc suggested, I have gained 10 lbs. plus. I am starting out at 1500 calories a day, I went over this goal twice already in 1 week. But I'm not giving up I can do this. My spouse is not either encouraging or discouraging me, he is ignoring me. Just would like to hear some real stories not made up just be real. Please share Thank You in advance!
  • Thank you Cheryl, I love you too very much; you made me cry. I am glad I am helping others to discover a new healthier way of eatting and a healthier life style. I love telling who every wants to listen about my new journey to a new heathy life style, I love spakspeople. They have changed my whole outlook on life.

    I want others to feel how it makes me feel, losing the weight. I know how I felt inside, I might have smiled on the outside, but I was dying on the inside. I had thought I was going to die one of them people who had to be cut out of their home.That I was and would be an embarrassment to my children, my grand babies, and my family. I just kept getting bigger every year, no matter what I did. I spent so much money on diet pills, and different diet programs, nothing worked for me; until I found sparkpeople.

    I have lost 75 lbs since I joined sparkpeople in June, 2012. I have set my new goal for 35 more lbs by Mother's Day/my birthday. That will be the least I have weighted since I was 19 years old (37 yrs ago). When I acheive my new goal and I will. I will then set my final goal of 40 lbs for a total of 150 lbs.

    If I do not lose the 40 lbs, it is ok, if I do lose it that is ok too. I am not sure how I feel about losing 40 more. As I will not have been that weight since I was 17 years old. I may be happy staying where I am at my last goal. Whatever I decide to be my final goal weight I know that sparkpeople is always going to be in my life. Helping me maintain my weight loss and continue living a happier and healthier life style.

    Thank you sparkpeople and thank you Cheryl, I am glad you are coming on this journey with me. I love you sis..
  • My sister Deborah Rudas really has been over weight since a young age. Tried many diets, on her own and joining different groups. She started SparkPeople and has had more success then any other times she has tried to lose weight. I am so proud of her, yes for the weight she has lost, but also for her positive outlook on her journey to a new her. Debbie has inspired so many of her friends and family, including myself! When I say something about diet she reminds me this is not about dieting. This is about eating healthy! We alway's talk and she tells me if you follow this program correctly it t shows you how you can eat a good portion and still take the weight off. You do not feel hungry and deprived. I know she has gotten at least 6 to 10 people started on this program. My sister has shown us and talked with us and motivated us to get healthy with her. We are all excited about this new option brought to our attention and are also spreading the word as Debbie did. I just want her to reconized for her inspiration, motivation, and hard work to herself and to others. If you feel like your not sure about any of it she is right there to say why, what is it, talks you through it. Debbie helps you navigate around the site and gets you back on track. Thank You Sis for helping so many of us!! Love you!!
  • Not only sharing the positive, but the negative is what matters. I have a group of friends that watched me lose and then gain back the same 60 pounds. I think it would have helped if one person said "Hey Gretchen, you were doing so great, what's going on?"

    I gave them permission to ask me how I'm doing and permission to call me out if/when they see me slide.
    Thanx for the good job. I think sharing your success story will not be the best. The last time i achieve my goal even my hubby keep complaining and send me back to my formal weight bcos he keeps on monitaring from doing daily exercise and some diet which i av forgo for a long time.

About The Author

Rebecca Pratt Rebecca Pratt
A freelance writer who contributes to various newspapers and magazines, Becky loves covering ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

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