Reignite the Spark!

Friday, March 21, 2008

We're kicking off a new project here at SparkPeople. As an active member of the Community, your help is crucial to its success. We're calling it Reignite the Spark and the goal is for you to strengthen the connections you've made with other members and to provide encouragement for members that might be having trouble.

We want everyone to know that our Community is so strong and positive that even if you don't explicitly ask for help, someone from the SparkPeople community is going to reach out and offer a kind word or motivational thought. We want everyone to know that SparkPeople.com is not just a free weight loss website—it’s a global movement of people taking control of their health and helping others do the same.

As an active member of SparkPeople, you have probably supported or received support from a lot of members. (If you haven't had a chance to connect with others yet, you can learn why our community improves your likelihood of success.) But sometimes you lose touch with members that you've created friendships with. So we're asking every member to reach out to SparkFriends that you've lost contact with and see how their doing.

If you're going to reach out to old friends, it might help to look over the some of your personal archives to figure out whom you've lost touch with. (Make sure you’re logged in for these links to work). You can do this by going through your SparkMail sent folder or by visiting your Recent Message Board History.

If you've stayed in contact with all of your friends or you'd just like to reach out to a few other members that might need a helping hand, then we'd suggest browsing SparkPages to see who hasn't updated their page in a while. Once you identify who you'd like to reach out to, the best ways to connect with new friends is to send a SparkMail or a SparkGoodie, or add a comment to their SparkPage or recent blog posts.

The key is that you do something—anything—to let others know that you want to see them succeed! Help yourself and others to Reignite the Spark!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    just got back from an 'ALL' inclusive week in the Carribean, St.Andres island, waiting for my weigh-in on tuesday!! in TOPS language will I : 'turtle[good] ,lose [great] gain {try again] but !!!!I am back on my "PROGRAME!!
    3743 days ago
    What a great idea! I'm new to the SparkMagic but am happy to help out any way I can. It will help keep my Spark alive too! Thanks for the idea.
    3743 days ago
  • HITTIN40
    Sounds exciting! I have only been a member for three weeks, but I love the idea of reaching out to other members who may be struggling. also hope to meet a few new Sparkers in the process.
    3743 days ago
    The comments and support from other sparkies has given me boost at times I've needed it. I'm here for others!
    3743 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    I always check back on people as it makes me so sad to see how many of them start and then QUIT within a few days or don't do anything after making their SparkPage. This is the best help they can find, and once they come here, we need to really help them to stay and break their cycle of food addiction. Junk food and binge eating is not the answer to a lack of love and happiness in anyone's life. That is why having Sparkpeople is so important.

    3743 days ago
    I will definitely do that. SparkPeople and the members have been there for me and I want to be there for others!
    3743 days ago
    I can help others. I love helping others. I just need to get more time here so I can receive some myself and refocus. I all in to reigniting the Spark!
    3743 days ago
    Sounds good.
    3743 days ago
    I love the idea. I have a question--is there a way to find out if someone has left SP. There was a person I kept in contact with and I think that she left SP when she got close to her goal.
    3743 days ago
    You can count on me to help.
    3743 days ago
    My spark is still weak,but I will try to help others. Together we can do it.
    Together we will do it!!
    3743 days ago
    Sounds like a plan to me. Know the first person I'm going to SparkHarass. (-:
    3743 days ago
    Count me in!
    3743 days ago
  • ME4CAM
    What an awesome idea. There are a few people that I can think of that we used to e-mail each other every few days and see how each one of us is doing and that has stopped. I will get back in touch with my "friends" again and see what they're up too. (Or I mean "down" too)

    3743 days ago
    I'M IN!
    3743 days ago
    Great idea. I visit SparkPeople almost daily, but I am not meeting my diet and exercise goals. I really do need a buddy for motivation...even though my wedding is only 5 weeks from today. Yikes! I know it's possible to lose 5-10 pounds by then. Why isn't the wedding motivation enough for me?
    3743 days ago
    this is a good way to keep the community going =) - I will do mine to make it happen =) - even though I am new here
    3743 days ago
    It is a great Idea, I always try to give encouragement when I see someone is having a bad day or week. Also a pat on the back when things are going great for someone. I love your sight and thanks for S/P .
    3743 days ago
    What a wonderful idea! I'm going to make it part of my routine to get in touch with someone everyday. Thanks, SparkGuy!

    3743 days ago
    This is exactly why I know Sparkpeople will help me to lead a healthier life. You really do care! Thank you for making this available to everyone!
    3743 days ago
  • STLW27
    What a great idea! I'm on board.
    3743 days ago
    Great idea! This is so helpful and takes so little time to do.
    3743 days ago
  • CHERIE55
    I try to reach out to someone daily. My daughter signed up here from the invite I sent her, but it still has not showed up on my points. How long does that take? I will continue to reach out to people. Hugs, Cherie
    3743 days ago
    I am like Newenglander. I haven't been on in a while but had been doing great tracking and exercising for weeks. I did not lose one pound and got discouraged so I haven't been on . I went to the Dr. the other day and found out I had gained several pounds so I am more determined than ever to give this another try. If anyone has any words of encouragement for me, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
    3743 days ago
  • BCRUISER2003
    great idea!!
    3743 days ago
    It is a good idea. I do it as much as I can and will keep doing it.
    3743 days ago
    This is a great idea. I have been telling all of my friends about this website because it is a great tool for weight loss and encouragement. I have met so many really nice people on this site who are working towards the same goal as myself. We have struggled together and together we are making progress. Thanks for this reminder and I will do my part to REIGNITE THE SPARK!
    3743 days ago
    This is something I do on a regular basis!!
    3743 days ago
    I am one of those SparkPeople who needs encouragement. It has been over a month since I last logged on and have gained three pounds in the interim. I have rededicated myself to logging on every day and posting my meals and exercise. Water intake is a big hurdle to overcome, also.
    I welcome encouragement from other SparkPeople. I also endeavor to be of encouragement to others.

    3743 days ago
    Great Inspiration and plan, thanks
    3743 days ago
    This is a great idea! I had been thinking that i needed to make contacts with some Sprark friends, but i am busy during the day, with looking for a job, and "Spring things" going on....and I usually go to Spark late at night, that is my free time. I cannot get into the Spark site hardly at all after midnight, I am on MSN, but I get messages like you haven't entered password, or the site is busy at this time... the site does updates, or changes at this time, or sorry, cannot enter, and to try going to spark pages, or any number of other sites for Spark...I get discouraged, because it does this to me when I am trying to track my food, also.... so i just give up, and haven't had time to just stay on the computer all the time, to find out when the site is working. This is my second attempt to post a comment on this blog....as the last comment sent me to a page that said i was not logged in, and to try spark pages, etc. and this is the page i was on. I was logged in, and it said that i didn't enter password, which i did... so something is definitely wrong on the site, and I believe SparkPeople is a wonderful idea, and I again commend and thank you very much! BelStarr
    3743 days ago
    I do try and do this daily, but thanks for the reminder! It's so very important that we do this when we don't hear from people because they might just need us to let them know that WE DO CARE and that we are here for them and not only for ourselves.. We need to always try and be prepared to share information or just a friendly hug and say WE ARE HERE if you need us.. hugs everyone, Sandy (sandeekay02)
    3743 days ago
    I think this is a great idea i had a spark buddy i don't hear from her anymore i think this will help.
    3743 days ago
  • KALOLA555
    I know the reason this site has worked for me is because of the people I have met here. My friends, yes they are truly friends, have always kept in contact with one another. If a few days go by and someone hasn't posted we will always put a shout out to them to make sure all is okay. I think why some may have a problem is they join too many teams. I can't really see how you can connect with people as individuals if you belong to 20 different teams with hundreds and hundreds of members. I would suggest you limit yourself to just a few teams and post daily, learning about your team mates day by day.
    3743 days ago
    I've done this intermittently, but will try to do so more regularly. There were some new people back in the fall, that I haven't seen post activity lately - KristenR - you are my first one - up there in Alaska.

    3743 days ago
    This is a great idea! There are a ton of friends who I check on from months ago that are have no more activity on their pages. It can get tough and hard with little support!

    So let's do this! And if you are still active and need some support, check out the LEAN ON ME team (blue with a shooting star). We are a positive team that offers and collects motivation and inspiration to keep on the right path.

    Good luck everyone!
    3743 days ago
    I made some lifelong friends on another site, Freedom From Smoking. I'm hoping to do the same here.
    3743 days ago
  • NANNY541
    I love it. I need sparking too!
    3743 days ago
    I think it is a great idea. I know the support I have received ha made a real difference for me.
    3743 days ago
  • LUCKI*4
    Love the idea because there are a few team members I have not heard from lately that I was thinking of. I think I am going to send them some spark goodies.
    3744 days ago
    This is a great idea! What I love most about Spark People is the connections and the support - I can already think of a few people I need to contact today!
    3744 days ago
    This is wonderful but I am afraid their is a TEAM to which I belonged that reaching out to HELP and empathize and sympathize and hold a hand and touch a heart was not acceptable. Maybe it was not acceptable because I was the one who reached and cared. I joined this TEAM in September 2007 because I wanted to lose weight and I thought I might find a friend or two with whom I could relate. I made my Spark Page and told about myself and then I began to post and in the beginning I wasn't sure how much was okay to post and others would talk about their past experiences, so I would tell something of mine. I got accused of LIVING in the PAST and told to "get over it." I tried to send daily inspirational quotes and these were called "fluff" and "Hallmark-like" and "silly" by the other members. I felt very hurt by these innuendos towards me. It was not okay. I am sensitive but I am not STUPID and I resented this kind of treatment. There is a definite clique of certain members who started together and stick together and hide behind each other no matter how hurt another member has been. In fact they put their "heads in the sand."
    After 5 months I decided to QUIT. I am not a quitter, but I received many unpleasant and offensive notes on my Spark Mail. I was accused of being a "crybaby, depressed, needing mental help, etc." These comments only hurt me and were so unfair after what I tried to do as a TEAM player. Yes, I did travel the path of depression for many years, sought the necessary therapy and today I am strong and well and mentally very healthy. It is a very sad thing when people who have not walked in the shoes of depression, or diabetes, or heart disease or divorce, or abuse of any kind or whatever the problem might be can lash out at a fellow member and bring all that unhappiness back. I , on the other hand tried to empathize or sympathize with a member who was facing a crisis and needed a friend, not a jab . I think there is a place on every team for a member like myself. I have lived my entire life with compassion and thoughts for others and never went out of my way to harm or hurt anyone in any way with either words or deeds. It was not okay that it was done to me.
    I won't mention the name of this TEAM because there are still some very wonderful people on it. I did make some precious friends with whom I e-mail daily. Another lady was hurt last week the same as I was and it is not okay to do this!!!
    Everyone wants to feels welcomed and needed and have the opportunity to mention a problem if they are having a problem and not be ridiculed for needing someone to acknowledge their presence.
    I certainly hope this is not happening on other TEAMS but thought you needed to BE AWARE of it. It is going on! It is not FAIR! It is not what SPARKS wants in it's TEAM MEMBERS.
    3744 days ago
    I'm on board with anything Spark. I am struggling right now with asthma and medication -- I need to go looking for the help I need tro keep going!
    3744 days ago
    Excellent idea!
    I think it is great to reach out to people...it is a safer environemnt often than their own friends/family since they have preconceived ideas about how they'll do based on past performance. We Spark People members, however, simply see the limitless possibilities!
    3744 days ago
    I often look through old posts on the team l lead and check in with members we haven't heard from. Sometimes I get a response, sometimes I don't. But if it helps one person come back to the team then it is worth it!!
    3744 days ago
    I did not read this article til now, but two days ago, reached out to someone that I had not heard from in a long while. Glad I did! Thanks for the update.
    3744 days ago
    What a thoughtful idea.
    3744 days ago
    Great idea. I'll do it Joany
    3744 days ago
  • GRANDMA695
    This is a super Idea the more suport the better
    3744 days ago
    Great idea. I've done this lately just to find out what's happening. It has been good for me to do this as I have found that most aren't as active but are still Sparking. Will continue.
    3744 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.