Motivation Strategies

Get Others Involved in Your Goals

Don't be a Weight-Loss Loner

Coaches, mentors, trainers, teammates, partners, fans. Even the greatest athletes in the world can’t do it alone.

People naturally perform better when others are on their side and helping out. Even in everyday nutrition and fitness, we’ve found that people who involve others and ask for help get much better results and stick to their programs longer than people who try to go the distance on their own.

Why is that? For starters, positive peer pressure can be one of the most powerful motivators around. It’s tougher to quit when someone else is counting on you. In fact, with a team that’s pulling for you, it’s less likely that you’ll want to quit.

When you involve others, you have access to more knowledge, more ideas, more enthusiasm, and more resources. Bicyclists and race car drivers are finding out that they need teammates looking out for them if they have any chance at all of winning. You can take advantage of the same benefits.

Finally, having other people help out just makes weight loss a heckuva lot more fun. Especially for social exercisers, trying to lose weight and exercise alone can leave you bored out of your mind.

Your weight loss goals are every bit as important as those of a world-class athlete. This is why SparkPeople emphasizes meeting and getting to know other members. We’ve seen the Spark that happens on the Message Boards, when members rally behind someone who’s struggling, or congratulate the latest success.

Business people draw on a team of accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, headhunters, board members, etc. Together, they form a team of specialists that open up possibilities to that businessperson and his/her business goals. You can build a similar team around your weight loss goals. People that can help with your journey are all around you. You can do this without making a lot of demands on anyone’s time.

Some possible ways to build a strong team by only asking one thing of each person:
  • Ask a friend to check with you once a week to see how you’re doing.
  • Ask your significant other to be there when you need to unload.
  • Ask a co-worker to keep you upbeat.
  • Ask your kids to help you find active ways to have fun.
  • Ask your brother-in-law to pass along inspirational reading and interesting health news.
  • Ask your photographer sister to take "before" and "in-progress" pictures.
Better yet, why not ask someone to join your healthy lifestyle quest? Going through and succeeding with a new program with a friend or buddy can create a bond that carries over into other areas of your life.

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Member Comments

  • It has been 3 yrs since I came to Spark. I am 60+ and do not like the weight gain I am experiencing. I have gained belly fat that I have never had before. A foot injury has kept me from walking for 8 months now and it is not helping with the weight gain. Any suggestions to get rid of this belly fat? Is it possible at this age or something I just need to learn to live with?

  • In an ideal world, finding a local support system among friends & family would be great and easy. Thankfully, groups like Spark are here for those of us whose immediate circles are less than supportive to downright negative. Thanks, Spark!
    I am a private person and don't really want to share with co-workers or other acquaintances. My husband knows what I am trying to do, and so does a close friend. The SparkCommunity provides support in a manner that allows me the privacy and discretion that makes me comfortable, rather than insecure.
    Not mentioned here is that getting others involves a level of trust. Experience has taught me that people are not to be trusted, so what do you do then?
  • I am in sw Michigan area anyone looking for a walking buddy? I know I don't like to walk alone, but recently my husband said he would walk with me and that makes me want to walk more but he is ill and cant keep up with me now I feel bad and end up walking slower....but atleast its still walking.
  • I don't have people here that I share with in my town on my challenges and goals, but I do share with SP friends, and close friends that can cheer me one and keep me accountable. I like that they do and the are always encouraging! :)
    Happy day. I am on my way-I walk alone when I go usually, but have an elderly friend who will be going hiking/walking with me in the next week or so!
  • Does this article page show with a darker blue background for anyone else? This has happened a few times recently and it's more difficult for me to read than the regular white background.
    I would rather do it alone, every time I Tell my neighbor, she starts baking and bringing it over, saying its for my husband, that's like leaving a beer when an no thanks I'll do it alone
  • I really appreciate this article and the comments of the "loners" who have worked on their weight loss journey. I thought I was a loner and my previous attempts to lose weight and be healthier has failed. Me and my two sisters are all obese and have all complained about our unhealthiness.

    Now that me and my younger sister live so close, we've been motivating each other to at least be more active. Saturday will be day 21 since we've been walking. Haven't missed a day and are clocking more miles than when we started. So although I was a loner, I'm a buddy person now!
  • It was really hard for me, but this time I have asked my husband to help me with my weight loss. Once I broke the ice and asked for his help it has been easier to share my daily set backs and challenges with him. Of course I had to get past the truthful comment, "I have noticed you look big in those new jeans. Did you buy a bigger size?" LOL
  • This step is one of the hardest for me because I hate being criticized. Oddly enough (duh) I have been accused of being critical of others. Another realization is that its not about losing weight or dieting - it's about changing your lifestyle permanently. In doing that, I'm finding I may change what kind of people I get along with and do things with. Even with family, I'm changing what we do together. Changing the relationships in your life is a LOT harder than just changing yourself.
  • I too prefer to exercise on my own. I do have support from my sons and b/f along with sparkpeople and my dr. I suffer from high anxiety so having someone with me would make me unable to do anything thus not get the benefit of exercising thus not getting healthier.
  • I also agree with many of the comments that I have just read. I like to workout on my own. I like to focus and I also like the time for doing something for myself. It is me-time. It is about the only time of day that I get that.
  • ALEWIS0807
    I agree. I am a social butterly too, but I like to workout on my own. This way I can do what I want each, aerobics, Kettlebells, running, etc. However, I do agree that having a buddy keeps you motivated longer.
  • Count me as a weight loss loner, it works for me. I am able to concentrate on the task at hand. Like others have said before, if I feel the need for support I can always rely on

About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

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