Getting Started on a Health Journey: Step 3
In part 1 and part 2 in this five part series, we’ve covered making the decision to start your health journey and evaluating your current situation and personality. Today, we’ll take a look at your support system and discuss how to build a solid support foundation.
When we make the decision to start a health journey, it is critical that we have support so that we know we aren’t on the path alone. The support network is invaluable especially when we start to lose focus.
There’s a saying that is something along the lines of, “We are similar to the five people we are around the most.”
This is quite true – we tend to surround ourselves with people that either have qualities we admire or qualities that we ourselves have.
However, just because this is true, doesn’t mean it’s always positive. Sometimes, we don’t have a choice about the people we are around most commonly, especially in the workplace. This can be draining and unhelpful, especially when embarking on a health journey.
Take a second to write down the top ten people you spend the most time with and/or around. Then, write down whether or not each person is someone who will support you in your endeavors, or someone who will try and bring you down or sabotage your efforts. Be honest as you make these evaluations – you know the people you are around the most very well. You know their personalities and traits, so you should be able to determine whether or not that person will support or sabotage.
After you have your list and have determined what side each person falls on, it’s time to create your support network. Circle the people on that list (or ones that you want/need to add, like a health coach!) and cross off the people you need to spend less time around or eliminate all together. Remember, your support system is critical to your success on your health journey!
Once your list is complete, it’s time to make it real. Start by physically asking every single person on your supporter list to help hold you accountable as you begin this journey. Be very clear and upfront with this person as to what you want and need along this journey. It is serious, so don’t try and make a joke of it “just follow me around the hit the junk food out of my hands.”
For instance, if you know that you tend to have trouble on the weekends sticking with your sleep schedule because some of your friends like to stay out late, ask one of the people on your list to do more things with you during the day so that it doesn’t interfere as much at night.
Remember, you know your habits from step 2. Build that support system around you by asking for what you know you will need to be successful. And if someone on that list doesn’t want to support you or doesn’t take your request seriously, cross her off the list and move on. It’s that simple. You don’t need that toxicity in your network of support.
I mentioned this earlier, but it is also important to evaluate who you might need to add to you support network. Examples include:
This list isn’t extensive, but it is a great place to start. If you don’t have one or more of these people in your life, but you know that they would be of value to you on your health journey, start seeking them out and asking for referrals! (P.S. If you are in the Lincoln, NE area, I have lots of referrals for these people, so feel free to reach out to me!)
When building your support network, it’s also important to remember that the list isn’t permanent. People can float in and out of the network as you go along your health journey. Personally, I’ve added and eliminated several different practitioners as I’ve gone along my own health journey. There were some people that I didn’t mesh well with and others that I needed to seek out and add. That is part of the process, and it is so important to be constantly evaluating your current situation and changing needs.
Once you have made your decision, evaluated yourself and your current situation, and build your support network, it’s time to actually start taking the first steps on your health journey path. Stay tuned for step 4!