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. Continued ›
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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.

Member Comments

  • 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! - 1/3/2015 2:34:44 PM
  • 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.. - 1/5/2013 1:31:36 PM
  • 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!! - 1/4/2013 2:47:15 PM
  • 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. - 10/25/2011 7:06:55 PM
    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. - 10/25/2011 6:08:45 AM
  • If it is helpful to you, tell folks. If you get support solely here on SP, cool. Different strokes for different folks. I am not comfortable sharing my goals and such with others (maybe years ago, before my fiance passed away), but I find it helpful to participate n SP via message boards, comments, etc. I just don't appreciate the title implying that not sharing means not achieving. Let us decide when sharing is appropriate and don't blast us for not sharing, especially if not asked. I don't appreciate unsolicited advice and I don't give it to others. The best line in the article: "You‘re under no obligation to discuss your goals or action plan with anyone." - 7/29/2011 8:38:17 PM
    I have a 115-125 pounds weight loss plan. I am in stage one of my plan. I will detox for 4 weeks, with the well researched Master Cleanser (mastercleanser.c
    om) detox. During that time period, I will complete Spark People's 5 week 5K your way to "walking" program (http://www.spark
    g-plans.asp) for cardio and Spring into Shape 4 week bootcamp program (http://www.spark
    p?gid=50382) for strength. That's my plan and I am sticking to it. - 5/9/2011 11:33:10 AM
    I think this is so true. I've been struggling this week - a number of things have knocked me off balance but what has really helped is having somewhere to write about these things - somewhere safe where I won't be misunderstood or mocked and second is the feedback I've had to the blogs I've posted and I have turned things round and I am doing better. Thanks spark people you are amazing. - 11/7/2010 5:34:03 AM
  • Spark Friends are the best in providing support. Like many of you, there is a long trail of failed weight loss attempts behind me so I have ZERO credibility with my family and friends and especially with my husband who has seen every crazy diet I have ever followed. I will not share my goals with ANYONE I know. It is too embarrassing and it feels like setting myself up to fail. Negative naysayers are a fact of life, so why give them any fuel? I am quiet about my Spark program so I succeed and fail privately, but I do reach out to my virtual friends here... - 10/26/2010 2:52:29 PM
  • Hugs Wannabe751 and Lynmenders. I know that you guys can do it. Take it one day at a time and find supportive family and friends that will help. They can be from your work, school, church, or right there in your neighborhood. You are worth it! I believe that you can do it! Have a good day. Holly - 10/25/2010 6:21:21 AM
  • I understand what they are saying. It is more helpful to have the support/encouraga
    ment from you family and freinds. I am glad that I have the support of my mom. She has really helped me along on this jounrey I am taking. We eat healthier now and exercise together sometimes. I am so glad that she told me about sparks people. This is a great place to be. I have a lot of nice people here. (Willing to add you if you need any extra support). Hope that you are all doing well. Have a good day my friend. Your sis in weight loss, Holly - 10/25/2010 6:18:53 AM
  • This is great! Share your goals...ask people to encourage and help you to the extent in which they are interested...and encourage them back! A Course in Miracles teaches, "to give and receive are the same."

    - 7/24/2010 2:00:28 PM
  • Thankyou so much for this article.....Natsa
    yers and Unsupportivepeopl
    e is what I was brought up with and needed reminding to saty away from such folks..... - 5/9/2010 8:06:28 PM
  • NAYSAYERS...I was brought up with them and only recently realised how much they affected my life. It went like this:

    -you're not pretty enough to be a nurse

    -you're too fat to be an air hostess

    -what you? a teacher? - 3/20/2010 6:14:12 PM
  • I have told people every time I started on another weight loss journey, and believe me, there have been many! Unfortunately it has become the girl who cried wolf.....No one believes me anymore. I have shared the Spark with just a few people who have been having the same struggles as me. The rest, family especially, I have made a conscious effort not to mention it. I don't want to hear "ya, ok, right, I've heard that before". It only leads me to negative thinking. - 12/9/2009 2:34:27 PM

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