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What to do, what to do?

Monday, May 21, 2012

I have been thinking about this for a long time. Is it time to step down as Leader of one of the teams I lead, The 50 Pound Challenge? I have so many mixed emotions. I originally started this team with Lady Sunbeam who is no longer on Spark People. It was created because she needed help and accountability to lose weight and to do it now. That now was in the middle of the summer back when I 1st joined Spark People with what I call the Eating Season being right around the corner. You know that dreaded time period, from Halloween through Christmas. You are constantly bombarded by candy and other goodies calling your name. You have huge family dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some even do a major Christmas Eve spread. Don't forget all of the holiday parties in between, it is a dieter's nightmare. we motivated and supported each other to navigate away from those foods. We rocked as a team back then. Pounds were melting away.

Anyways back to the present. We have people joining left and right so there is a need for this team. BUT, and yes but in caps they join and for the most art that is it. The participation is limited.

We have a Weight Loss Challenge that runs twice a year. The goal is to lose 50 pounds during the 6 month segment it runs and for each 10 pounds lost they receive a Team Goodie. We also have an Alternate Challenge for those who do not have 50 pounds to lose or do not wish to participate in a weight loss challenge.

The participation on either of these challenges is very sparse. The Team does not appear on paper to be losing weight. Hopefully they are and just not sharing that info with us.

I do love my team mates and we are more like one big happy family. Those that do participate are very honest and they do post even when they gain for the month. Now that is accountability! I am proud of them for that!

Unfortunately, more are posting gains than losses. We have a team thread that is a sticky and called Weight Loss Struggles.

It is not being utilized. If the team is not losing then why aren't they using the tools within the team to help them on their journey?

Don't get me wrong we do have some that participate either daily or on a regular basis. Those that do, the support and motivation is incredible. I just had a team member visit my Spark Page and leave me a beautiful message thanking me for what i do. It brought tears to my eyes because I am so frustrated because I don't think it is enough. (I'm not doing enough) I feel as though I am failing my team.

Is the answer, that Yvonne needs to step down as leader? Evidently I am not impacting their journey or helping them. This upsets me because I do care about my teams and Spark People as well. I feel responsible they are not losing the weight.

The answer is that diets do not work. Lifestyle changes are the answer. You have to follow a plan you can live with for the rest of your life. Exercise is included in this as well. We Team Leaders have stressed many times that everyone needs to get back to the basics. Spark people gives us fabulous free tools and they should be using them. Use your Nutrition Tracker, use your Fitness Tracker, track your water as there is a spot to do that as well.

I do realize I am impacting lives here on Spark People because many are joining the other teams I co-lead. For that I am happy, it is my way of paying it forward for what Spark People has done for me. I know a major part of my success is because of the support and motivation I get from my fellow Sparkers.

This Team as a whole needs to reset and refocus! I posted a thread in the team today. It was a blog by FITSPOGUY, "50 ways to hit your goal weight, remember them!" It is an excellent blog and something that would help the team to reset and refocus their journey. One person responded, another Team Leader. I am now banging my head against the wall!

Here is the link because it is as I said an excellent blog:

I don't know what else to do. Is stepping down the right thing to do? If not how do I breathe life back into my team?

What to do, what to do?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    There other answer is do we break up the group & start over fresh? You have to do what is best for you. I'll be sad if you go. Love you, Dawn
    2193 days ago
    I have to agree with so many here, you gotta do what's best for you! If this team helps YOU and if it's not a huge time constraint for you, then stay. Or, you could just pull back as leader, if you like, but still stay a member. Or you could wash your hands of the team and completely quit it. The choice is entirely yours, but hear this. What others do you cannot control. If they're not being accountable, it's not you it hurts, it's them. You are providing great info and I'm sure enthusiasm! I'm sorry if it may look as though your efforts are mostly for naught, but maybe not! Maybe all you need to do is tweak the team's accountability and goals. See if getting more of an activity thing geared towards true accountability might get more members involved. You are so creative, I bet you can give your team a new shot in the arm. Then maybe give it a bit more time and see if more come around!
    Good luck in whatever you decide. You are not the reason for whatever stagnation seems to be taking place there. emoticon
    2193 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/23/2012 1:53:56 PM
    You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

    You can only provide tools to people, you cannot make them use them. It is NOT your failure, but their life choices in play. If they choose not to use your wisdom, it does not reflect on you. You cannot take responsibility for choices other folks make. Each individual is responsible for his/herself.

    Give yourself credit and look at your successes. If you "need" a break, that is one thing. I am sure you put a lot of time and effort into the team. Maybe a Co-leader would help to energize you. If you "want" to leave because you feel like a failure, that feeling will leave with you.

    Tough decision. Do what you think/feel is best for YOU! You are the most important piece in this decision.
    emoticon emoticon
    2194 days ago
    Yvonne, I know this is a toughy and we have talked.
    I know you have worked hard and but so much into the team and I dont know why this is happening, but I agree many come all gung ho and then well anyone can get too stretched out. I also agree with the others that you need to do what is right now best for YOU!!!! I know the problems we have had and the lack of support by some and lately that includes me, I have been frustrated too.
    So here is my two cents for what its worth, I think you are just super and have inspired me since we met, you encourage and share so much all the time. It would a great loss for the Team, but GF do what is best for you, just dont give up on YOU!!!
    You are the best and I thank you for bringing that Team to birth and helping so many and one thing is I will always always be there for you.
    Hugs and love and smiles and all sorts of positive stuff.
    2194 days ago
    Is running this team helping YOU? If not, then it is time to step down.

    Running teams takes time and effort. You should be getting something out of it. I get inspiration, support, and accountability from the teams I run. And if I didn't it would be time to move on.

    If the few who ARE participating are getting something out of it, and you're getting something out of interacting with them, then maybe that is enough. Only you can know that.

    What I can definitely tell you is that you can't make anyone else succeed. It is heartbreaking to try and help people and see them fail. I feel that too. But those are THEIR journeys, not yours, and they own their successes and failures, not you.

    Hang in there, sweetie. Put your energy where it is accepted. The people asking for your help should get first priority.

    2194 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 4:59:43 PM

    You need to do what is best for you. I am sad to see what has happened to our team, but I guess I am not pulling my weight like I should be either. I have noticed, specially in the daily chat thread that we don't have much activity. There was a day that if you missed a few hours you missed alot, now 24 hours go by and there are no new posts. I will try and step up to the plate better. As I said yesterday, I appreciate all you do for us.

    2194 days ago
    Change is necessary for personal growth. If we don't change, we stagnate.
    Listen to your heart.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2194 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    lots of great advice....
    do what feels right in your heart of hearts...
    it is a difficult choice no matter which way you go...
    all the best with your decision...
    blessings and hugs..............lita

    > emoticon
    emoticon emoticon
    2194 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 9:45:36 AM
    This question seems to be asked over and over again by leaders. It's a frustrating situation. Do what feels right for YOU! There is not much loyalty out there for different reasons. Don't want to fault anyone, but if you aren't getting anything out of it, then it is not right for you!
    2195 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    Seasons change and so do we.
    You need to stop taking on the responsibility for others and work on you, with a place you can grow and glow. We all have to make tough choices. I know this stress is not helping you at all. You have been through enough stress, it is time for you to move into a season of fun, positive progression and living so you can! Without any stones dragging you down. NOT the people, they are all lovely and wonderful friends and if they are friends they will totally understand and support you. The stone is the burden that this has become. If the team is meant to survive it will and perhaps someone else can take it over and wish them well. Not each of us is cut out any more for what served it's purpose in our lives for that time, that season. Doesn't make you or them bad or wrong...just change/growth in a different direction.
    Love you,
    2195 days ago
    Annette is so right Yvonne. If it helps I was in a similar situation and stepped down.
    Do what feels right. Sometime down the line another sparker will pick up the gaunlet, don't feel you've "failed to help", some teams are just naturally inactive.

    2195 days ago
    Defiantvegan's comment was totally spot on. I couldn't have said it any better.
    I would follow her suggestions for the 2 different posts. Then make your decision.

    I know that you'll be praying about it. Maybe the LORD is leading you to focus more on the other teams you lead. Your heart is so generous that you want to help everyone, but it may be time for a new direction.

    You'll be in my prayers for peace with whatever decision you make.

    We Love You! emoticon

    PS The FITSPOGUY blog was amazing. I'm going to print it out to keep it in my focus. Thanks
    2195 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 2:11:26 AM
    I know what you mean the problem with that is some fall behind or they join to many teams because they are hung ho about when they first join then they burn out.

    This is a tough situation your in I would first post on the team forum and ask if others want to help and co -lead the team if no responses then post another message that you are stepping down.

    Go by the number of responses you get from the first post before you make the second post to leave the team.

    I didn't think that I was going to take a break at all but now I'm back because I have the time now, that can happen as well.

    I hope this helps and other posts on what to do.

    2195 days ago
    Only you can decide what the right thing to do is. No one should try to make you feel guilty about leaving if that is your decision. I do want to say that I just joined that group a few days ago. I found it because I read one of your encouraging blogs, and then visited your spark page and saw it there. I've also joined other teams that fit where I am at right now, and there is no way I can be active on each of them daily (gotta make time to get my exercise in too!), but I do try to if I can. As a newbie, I do tend to lurk more than comment, and to try to read and learn from others. I had planned on joining the alternate challenge in June, since they go by months and May is already more than half over. Wasn't sure how to jump in for the weight loss challenge so was giving myself until June as well to figure that one out.
    I find that challenges do help motivate me to stick with my plan better.
    Whatever you decide, I do appreciate what you and all the others who are team leaders do to help the rest of us.

    2195 days ago
    You already know what you need to do. The writing is on the wall, so to speak, and you feel it in your heart. Just rip it off like a band aid and use your valuable resource of time spreading your spark on a more active team where you feel your contributions are needed. It will all be OK. And so will everyone else on the team.
    2195 days ago
    Very hard question. If you are passionate about the team, for me, I would stick with it. Although, some of the teams that I co-lead aren't active on the threads, I know there is serious progress going on by looking at their Spark Pages and checking out the Leader Boards on the team. Although, a lot of the members may not be active on the threads, they are doing what they feel compelled to do. I would post a new topic in the General Section of the team reminding your members that if they haven't posted anything in any of the "Sticky Topic" threads to go to them and click on the icon the "Subscribe to this Discussion" to receive a notification when someone replies to the thread.

    Keep doing what you're doing and let the members post when they feel compelled to.

    I agree with FITSPOGUY's blog. It's very inspiring and DEAD ON!

    Follow your passion my friend.

    2195 days ago
  • DARA52
    Tough one. I know. I don't spend much time there anymore either. The girls who are there posting are awesome but noone is able to come consistently. Don't know why. Everyone seems to have moved on. I remember I left. I can't talk. :) I know where to find you guys!
    2195 days ago
    It is certainly not you. I have learned so much from you. In fact I did read the blog earlier and should have said something to let you know that it was being read. It was a fantastic blog considering I was coming back fresh today. I have been lax with participation myself. I think I have just spread myself to thin amongst other teams, challenges, weight loss pages and challenges on FB as well as Team BeachBody. You need to do what's right for you but you have made an impact. A new smaller team may be a good idea for you. Thank you for all that you have done for the team!
    2195 days ago
    Well, Yvonne, I don't think it's you. As a former member of that team, I remember how great it was when it first got started. It was a new team, it was relatively small, and everyone was so involved. The larger the team got, the worse it got, in my mind. I spent so much time trying to communicate with people who were no longer interested but didn't bother to leave the team. I found it frustrating, I blamed myself for being ineffective, I felt like I couldn't do enough, and I eventually left.

    I really think the team needs a true re-start, as in starting a new team. The people who are really interested will follow and you will have what we had way back when.

    I honestly miss that team and would come back to a reformulated, smaller team.

    Just my two cents....
    2195 days ago
    I know it can be hard to know what to do. I have a habit of joining teams and then not really participating. I didn't stop and think how hard it would be for the leaders. I know you will figure out what is the right thing to do for your team. You are not responsible for their wt gains. They are. You are such a inspiration to me.
    2195 days ago
  • LGAR519
    I am active in the Team I joined. I can't understand why people don't participate if they join. I know it isn't your fault because you have helped me and I don't belong to your team. Please don't blame yourself. But I can't tell you what you should do. That's up to you! I'm sure you'll make the right decision!
    2195 days ago
  • YIWEN39
    What a frustrating situation! One thing is for certain, YOU are not responsible for your teammates not losing weight!!!
    The way I see it... this team is causing you grief and anguish... it might not be worth it! if you stepped down, then you could focus on your other teams and find that more rewarding... If you wanted, maybe you could start a mini team just with the active members of that current team?
    Good luck! emoticon
    2195 days ago
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