Leading in the SparkPeople Community

Did you know that helping other people is one of the best ways to stay on track and reach your own goals?  Read on to learn why and how you can apply this at SparkPeople.com…
When members decide to step forward and take leadership roles within the SparkPeople Community, it’s for a variety of reasons.  Many do it because they want to give back after having such a positive experience on the site.  Others do it because they see a need they feel they can fill.  Regardless of the reason, most leaders would agree that the benefits far outweigh the extra time and effort they put into the process.  After volunteering to lead one of our new member “Class” teams, one Community Team member made the following comment:  “Leading this team was one of the most positive and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had on the site.” 
Walk the Talk, Reach Your Goals
Leading in the SparkPeople Community doesn’t just benefit other members- it helps you become more successful in your own program.  Hearing other members say “I couldn’t have done this without you” or “You inspire me” will motivate you to work even harder to reach your health and fitness goals. 
It’s difficult to tell another member not to get discouraged if you’re feeling down and getting off track.  When you are motivating people to reach their goals, you’re so much more likely to stay consistent with your own.  For example, the SparkPeople Staff participates in an internal health and fitness program (called the SparkPeople Adventure) because we feel it is so important to walk the talk.  We can’t tell others to live healthy lives if we aren’t doing it ourselves.   
This strategy even works for SparkPeople Founder & CEO Chris Downie.  Chris says, "I've made over 10,000 message board posts on SparkPeople.com.  I do this because I'm passionate about helping other people reach their goals.   But, I also notice that when I'm being a leader by helping other people, that increases the odds that I'll stay consistent with my own health and fitness program.  It's a true win/win path that ANYONE can follow." 
People often think they need to have reached some major goal themselves before they can really help other people.  But we've seen that this is not the case.  ANYONE has the ability to provide support.  Sometimes even the smallest outreach of support can be the "spark" that eventually transforms someone's life.  And even on Day 1 of your program, providing support to others in these "small" ways will then increase your odds of staying on track to reach your most important goals in life.
Success Spreads to Other Areas of Life
Community leadership will also help you build skills that carry over to all other areas of your life.  We’ve heard from countless members who say their experience on the site has prompted them to start a new career, develop financial stability, improve relationships with family and friends, and more.  Don’t underestimate the power of a healthy mind and body, and the goal-setting skills you’re developing along the path to this healthier lifestyle.  Your journey doesn’t end when you reach a weight loss milestone or complete the 10K you’ve always dreamed of finishing.  Use that momentum, along with the leadership skills you’re cultivating, to aim for even bigger objectives in your life.  
Healthy Leader Movement
As you probably know by now, SparkPeople is not simply a diet site.  In fact, our underlying program involves a strong combination of topics related to both health (nutrition, fitness, etc.) and leadership (goal setting, motivation, etc.).  We have done this intentionally from the beginning to help people improve in all areas of life.  What this effectively does is create healthy leaders one at a time.  One of our real goals as a company is to have a major impact on the world by helping to build an international movement of healthy leaders reaching their goals, supporting and motivating each other, and then spreading the spark to help even more people.  Imagine being part of tens of thousands of healthy leaders taking one small step to make a major impact on the world.
Start Today!
If you’re interested in becoming a leader within the SparkPeople Community, there are many different ways to get started.  Ask a leader of one of your SparkTeams if they need extra help, or take over a team that is leaderless.  Consider starting a new SparkTeam if the topic you’re interested in doesn’t currently exist.  Join the Community Team or become active on the Message Boards, offering support and advice to those who need it most. 
Whether you’re an established leader or just looking to take your program to the next level, SparkPeople’s Fuel for Improvement System can help with goal-setting strategies in all areas of your life.  
Are you ready?  All it takes is one SPARK!
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Member Comments

They say it only takes 4 seconds of blocking/ignoring
/holding off on impulsively doing something to break that strong desire. It has worked for me at times because I can see a quick end to that strong pulling of desire.Then one needs to quickly fill that next moment with a great optional act...ie..drinkin
g a glass of water (vs eating something I shouldn't). Report
After a period of time for using meizitang (http://meizitang
zitang/) products, I have lose one pound in a week, would you like to have a try. Report
My Main goal is to remain healthy, lose down to my normal weight for my height. Keep my sugar under control, Stay as heart Healthy as I can keep my A-Fibs in a normal range. continue to keep my body as flexible as possible on my walker. Not too much of a chore do you think??? I do Physical Therapy 3 time a week Report
I started 10/8/2012. I am an emotional eater and I work with a bi-polar individual that today is bouncing off the walls. I want something sweet and fattening! Trying to control myself...so hard! Report
Just 1 kg short of my first goal which was to loose 10% of my body weight. The next goal is to loose a further 10% by early December then loose the remaining 5 kg in the New Year. Report
Ok so I started my LOVELY journey on 09/05/2006 and I did not expect for it to happen....I lost 30lbs in 4 months!!! It would have been 3 months but I got side tracked by a chocolate cake I made on my birthday which I spent all alone so just imagine it....A whole chocolate cake, alone on my birthday....I had a piece of cake everyday of that month...so um yeah

How in the WORLD did you LOSE THE WEIGHT???

Well I used 90% of Spark People's resources. I tracked my food (even gum) EVERY day. I did not eat more than 15 grams of sugar during the week. I ate what ever I wanted on a Saturday and started back eating healthy again Sunday through Friday. I drank more than a half gallon of water every day and NO I never added a lemon...Lemons done messed up my enamel by the way :(

I ate 2 cucumber with a little salt 5 days a week..ask me why...Hek if I know..They are just so good lol :)

It helped in my weight loss tho lol :)

Wanna see what I ate...Check out my food tracker for 2007 starting at January to April I think...You will see what I ate. Plus check out my fitness tracker for those same dates...Man I was on it!!

Spark People WORKS!! You only gain the weight back if you stop working...

It does become a habit and you will succeed, I lost 30lbs with Spark People. Spark people is the reason for my loss, not my gain. If the weight comes back don't worry. Just come on back to Spark People and do it all over again. This is a GREAT site and best of all it's FREE!! You have nothing to lose but weight and you are motivating soooo many which is the BEST FEELING EVER!!

God Bless :) Report


About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach and medical exercise specialist, with additional certifications in behavior change, functional training and senior fitness. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.