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

  • Good advice in the article. It's hard to find the right buddy, within my existing friends because my friends are supportive, regardless of what I do. So, if I decide to skip a workout, or go off track food wise, they will support me. :-) Great friends, but not great accountability work out buddies. In a workout buddy I want someone who will challenge me when I skip out. Actually, its hard for me to make my friends accountable sometimes because I don't want to create a long term riff in our friendship.

    However, I will find the right person(s). I know it.
  • Strength in numbers
  • I used to try to work out or even walk with friends or my sister. I found that if they bailed on me I would just skip it. I work better by scheduling my fitness with different activities and just going. I have gotten to know new people that way too!
  • Having an exercise buddy is great but I find for me I become embrassed if they can do more or better than me and then I get down on myself. I like going to the gym by myself. My husband keeps an eye on my blood sugar and how long I work out and that has been working for me. Some days I do great and other days not as good. But life is about ups and downs. We can't always be on 100%.
  • buddies are golden
  • I'm glad I moved from someone who tried to say I was anorexic because I wouldn't eat as much as them and moved more than them. And tracking everything at the time.
  • I often hear, "You don't need to loose weight because you are tall and it doesn't show." Of course they are trying to be kind, but if I listen it can enable my overeating. Besides, my heart doesn't care if I am tall 6'3", my heart just knows there's 40 pounds or excess fat (down to 20 pounds fat now!)
    Buddies are the best.
    I have two workout buddies, what a tremendous addition to my program.
    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!!

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.