The Importance of Creating Community
Often times, people embark on health and wellness journeys completely on their own, with ambition to achieve the one goal they have in mind. Although some are successful in their pursuits, many fail. I believe that one of the major reasons for this downfall is the low perceived value associated with a strong support system.
Having a sense of community, family, or support is one of the MOST important parts of success in your health and fitness journey.
It’s often said, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I believe the same is true for any success story. Surrounding yourself with the right people will make all the difference when it comes to reaching your goals, be it professional or personal. Throughout your fitness journey, you will undoubtedly encounter hurdles that will leave you feeling defeated. If you were to navigate through this battle alone, these hurdles may be enough to stop your journey in its tracks. This is reason number one why having a support system in place is crucial to your success.
You will have someone to push you on days when you feel like quitting. You will have someone who is experiencing the same celebrations and even the same struggles, someone who understands exactly what you are going through. You will have someone who believes in you to such depths that it makes no sense to you, but you know you can not let them down. You have the ability to choose who you want to add to your support system. This is your village; it is your team and you are the leader, always.
When you set your sights on building a healthier, more active, and, perhaps, leaner you, there are a few steps that I would suggest taking in order to build a strong support system.
CONSIDER YOUR WEAKNESSES
Reflect on what has held you back in the past and find someone whose strengths complement your weaknesses.
Maybe you dislike early morning workouts, but you know that the morning is the only time you have available. You should aim to find either a training partner, a trainer, a group fitness class, a running group, or a yoga class to get involved with, something or someone who you will MEET on X amount of days. Not showing up each morning as planned would not only be a step backward from your goals, but you would also be letting someone else down.
Be sure to discuss your goals and weaknesses with your support and clearly communicate how they can help in your success. Including your support in your goals will engage them more in your success.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Tell those within your circle about your goals and game plan. The more people you tell, the more people you will have on your team. They will be looking out for your success, even if they aren’t directly in your community. As an example, my best friend began writing a blog about her fitness journey. Through writing, she received overwhelming support and encouragement from friends, acquaintances, and utter strangers! Take advantage of the technology available to connect with other like-minded individuals.
ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT
Maybe you are feeling bored with eating the same foods on the daily and are looking for a healthy recipe idea to try. Ask your Facebook friends for their favourites! You can even reach out to others for workout advice, a new training partner, or even just a shoulder to lean on. Maybe you are feeling less motivation on certain days; don’t be afraid to ask a friend to meet you for a hike or even a motivational chat. Whatever you need, just ask for it!
Once you have your community together, it’s time to get specific with what you need and what you are willing to give. Maybe mom’s role is something as simple as not sending you home with baking (we know how mom’s can be). Maybe your sister’s role is to call you every Monday and chat for 15 minutes about your weekly goals and plans. Your best friend is meeting you at the gym four days a week for an hour. Just be sure to communicate clearly and articulate how the relationship can be mutually beneficial. Remember, people will most often be willing to lend a helping hand, just be sure that you can do the same for them.
As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”