Motivation Articles

How to Get the Support You Need to Succeed

Get Your Friends, Family and Fellow SparkPeople on Board


What happens if neither your partner nor your friends are supportive of your goals? You shouldn’t give up! Consider going to weekly classes at your gym. Often, the same people come every week, so you’ll be able to make friends who will hold you accountable for attending class too. Having classes scheduled at specific times will motivate you more to get to the gym than if you just want to hop on the treadmill sometime during the week. Ask some people in the class if they want to go lift weights once the class is over, or even meet up the next day for another workout.
  • Check out support groups in your area. There are often groups of both men and women who meet on a weekly basis to discuss their progress, roadblocks, and tips for success. In this context, you’ll also be able to give support to others, which helps you feel needed and important. You’ll be able to build relationships that branch outside of the support meetings—a healthy dinner club or Sunday afternoon tennis group might emerge!
  • Support yourself by keeping a journal. Whether you write down your thoughts and progress on a weekly or daily basis, you’ll have a visual just how far you’ve come. You can look back to past entries where you’ve seen success and use it as motivation for a tough week. Of course, some weeks will be good and some weeks will be a little bit harder. But by keeping a journal, you’ll be able to see an overall trend of progress. It will help you realize which workouts and food choices worked best for you and which ones didn’t. Record everything from your weight or inches lost to thoughts about how your body feels after a particularly difficult workout. Consistent journaling is a great motivator and will make goals much more attainable.
  • Take advantage of SparkPeople's supportive Community! The Message Boards give you access to THOUSANDS of other members and the SparkPeople experts. Others out there have similar goals and experiences as you do. Search the SparkPages to find someone to share the journey with. Jump into a challenge for that extra boost to get things rolling with the help of other people. Join a SparkTeam with similar interests, or start your own blog (on your SparkPage) to share your thoughts, hiccups and successes. Everyone in our community is here to help (and also to receive the support that you can provide)!
Just because you don’t have the support at home doesn’t mean that you should give up on your goals. The support is there; you just might have to seek it out a little bit more.
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

  • I have a neighbor that I do a great deal of stuff with...We mainly work on our properties, mowing, cutting trees, burning in our burn pits. She however is not competitive and doesn't comprehend the need for speed when we ride bikes! Hence, when I ride or walk with her, it isn't a fit walk or run for me! I need to push when I workout. But, any movement is exercise too! - 11/10/2014 10:30:23 AM
  • I'm on a couple boards and teams on SP - 9/27/2013 6:07:07 PM
    Find a Spark team with people of like interests and backgrounds. They can be a tremendous support and encouragement for you. - 9/26/2013 9:30:15 AM
  • Great article. My hubby can drop weight much faster than me. I get jealous but don't let it stop me. My son the same way. Him and I started together and he has lost more weight than me. But I love coming here to get support from others. Thanks - 9/26/2013 7:59:49 AM
  • It is so hard because I don't have a good support from my family or friends. I can't get any of my family to go work out with me. My mom and my one brother buys food that I can't eat. It is in the house and it is very hard to stay away from it. I'm having a hard time losing the weight. I'm plateauing and my weight has been staying the same. It is very hard. I feel like I can"t do this anymore and I feel like I have no way out. Like I'm stuck and I have nobody to talk too. - 7/8/2013 12:18:29 PM
  • I found it important to actively seek out fitness-minded friends. Besides the obvious places like the gym and weight-loss groups, I also found it helpful to join a hiking club (or other fitness-related community organizations), become involved in work-sponsored "wellness" activities, and initiating conversations with people I didn't know well, such as in church, the neighborhood, or the job, who were obviously losing weight, so we could get acquainted and encourage each other. The more you hang out with active, fitness-minded people, the more it rubs off. - 5/12/2013 11:42:13 AM
  • I guess it is normal for husbands to lose weight and trim down a lot quicker than wives. I have the same problem. My daughter and I were joking around about how all my husband has to do to lose weight is cut out mayonnaise. - 9/27/2012 10:26:17 AM
  • The SP community is the best support ever! Folks, you are #1! - 9/27/2012 8:24:32 AM
  • I havea fab husband who supports me but he ends losing weight and getting fitter than me ....It sometimes makes me feel negative about myself.on a bad day. I guess I need to focus on myself and make every day a good day.... - 6/19/2012 4:42:15 AM
  • Jettagirl33 - I have a husband that is even worse - I get NO support from him on any level. He has diabetes, COPD, refuses to listen and eats everything that is bad for him
    So like you, I come here for support.
    Flo - 9/29/2011 11:13:31 AM
  • I use the support of all of the people that walk round the block when i do. Who would be there to say hello to them if i didn't get out and go.I notice if one of them is missing and i know they notice if i am too. we don't even know each other really but saying good morning as we rush past each other spurs me on and i hope it dose them too - 9/29/2011 5:01:56 AM
  • support is hard to come by. I have sooooo much junk food in my house, it is not funny. So, when I am upset, guess what I do??, yes, eat it. At least I am getting better and eating less!! My husband (over weight) and 16 year old son (slightly over weight), don't watch what they eat at all. I can make good stuff, but they will hit the junk too. I really want to teach my son better habits. I have high cholesteral and pre diabetic too (at 43). I know he will go down the same trail I am. I am able to get my son to do some exercising, so that is good. My support is everyone here on SP. You guys get it!!!!
    Thanks for listening,
    From someone who is still trying to get there!!!
    AND I WILL !!!! - 8/29/2011 7:47:57 AM
  • Unfortunately, SP is the only place where I can derive support. My husband can and will eat anything and still maintain his tall, very lean structure. He HATES anything healthy and/or whole wheat and thinks exercise is boring and a waste of time. I try to explain to him that just because he doesn't have a weight problem doesn't mean he's healthy. My 7 y.o. son is a very good eater and doesn't mind eating the food that I prepare for myself (healthy). My husband, however, will have none of it. So, I guess I'm on my own, support-wise. :( - 8/25/2011 11:44:12 AM
  • I agree that some more tips for going it alone would be good, but this article is on the right track. My husband didn't want to make the changes I made, and my parents thought I was being extreme, so I just changed on my own. It did mean having separate nwals, but all it took was a little self-conviction. Soon enough, my husband joined me, and even my parents fell on track. All it takes is belief in yourself. - 8/25/2011 11:05:24 AM
    @ NC_BEARKITTEN: have you tried Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta (http://ronzonism
    arttaste.neww It's white pasta but it's only 170 cal per serving (dry 2oz). For the Holidays, what if you took a slice only ate a bite or two? Then that way you don't feel guilty for eating a slice and your MIL feels better that you tried her pie. Or if you are planning on having children you can always tell your MIL that you want to stay healthy for the (future or current) children! - 8/25/2011 10:50:53 AM

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