You, as an individual, are completely responsible for your own choices, but making the healthy choice is far easier if the people around you are doing the same. Surrounding yourself with people working toward similar goals takes your Stone Age programming and leverages it in your favor. You build each other up and you help to move each other forward.
Building your health bubble from your family outward can have a profound impact on you and the people that you love, but getting that bubble started can be challenging. Here are five tips to get you started:
- Find each other’s unique motivations. Your interest in health may not be driven by the same goal as your spouse’s, and that’s okay. Perhaps you want to be more active, and he or she wants to look better in a suit. Talking about your goals ahead of time can make it easier to coach and support each other down the road.
- Take small steps. Tackle your changing routine one piece at a time. Trying to upend your entire life in one day leads to yo-yo-ing. If you can agree to each start taking the stairs and going for a walk after work together, you are making valuable progress that you can build upon.
- Be forgiving and supportive. Everyone makes mistakes on the road to Optimal Health. Try to avoid shaming each other and to instead focus on learning from the misstep to prevent it from happening in the future. Identify the source of the problem and discuss strategies for overcoming it.
- Hold each other accountable. You can still be supportive while also keeping each other accountable. Checking in with each other throughout the day with an encouraging word is a good place to start, and scheduling time to exercise together can keep you on track even on the days that you feel like quitting.
- Find a larger community to join. As you build your health bubble at home, look for opportunities to expand it beyond your family to a larger support network. Working with a health coach can help you do this. You could also join a pick-up basketball league or a yoga class to surround yourself with other people passionate about health.
If you take the time to build your health bubble, you can discover a new shared passion with the people you care about, and you can set yourself with a support network geared toward success.
How do you share health with your family and friends? Plug into the community of support and share your favorite ideas for developing a healthy support system!
eHealth Challenge Tip: Counterthink
Our inner dialogue can get us into trouble when we worry that refusing food or drinks will hurt or offend someone, or call attention to ourselves in a negative way. Likewise, we may tell ourselves that if we have a bite of cake, it’s all over and we’ve failed in our attempt to get healthy once again. This negative self-talk can be counterbalanced by more constructive thoughts, such as, “It’s going to be tough to avoid having dessert at this party, but I’ll be okay. I have techniques I can use, and my health goals are definitely worth it.”