Achieving Your Goals With The Right Support
So you’ve read about The Health Benefits of Journaling. Now what?
Putting plans into action is the tough part. Even after formulating a plan and identifying your intrinsic motivations for achieving your health goal, the tendency may be to stop there. That’s why it’s so important to consider the circumstances and the people that surround you as you start on your journey. After all, you are four times more likely to reach your health goals if you have a support system in place as you make long-term lifestyle changes.
What is a Support System?
A support system is a network of people who can give you emotional, psychological and physical support when you need it. The system can consist of friends, family, co-workers, or mentors. These are the people you can count on to give you a push whenever you need it and to celebrate your progress with you.
Naturally, when you feel supported by the people around you to pursue your goals, you’ll feel even more motivated to see them through. This is because now, you are not the only person invested in your progress. Now, you have a whole support network of people who are just as eager to see you succeed in your goals.
Having a support system keeps you accountable. By informing the people around you about the goal you wish to achieve, you are inherently creating a positive form of peer pressure for yourself that pushes you to see your goal to the end.
The Kind of Support That You Need
Support can come in various forms. This support can go beyond just emotional support or simply being your motivational cheerleader. Sometimes, support can be as simple as:
- A reminder from a family member to take your medication on time
- An offer from a friend to give you a ride to a health appointment
- Someone distracting you to stay away from junk food if you had resolved to eat healthier
Support can also come in the form of committing to the same goal together. An example would be enrolling in a gym class together with your friend. A study reports that 95% of people who entered a weight loss program with friends completed the treatment, compared to a 76% completion rate for those who registered alone. The same is true for other matters that require consistent accountability. For example, a show of support is someone ordering healthier food options with you in a show of solidarity.
The support you need differs depending on the goal you have set. If your goal is one that is professional and oriented towards work, seeking a mentor to support you and give you valuable advice would be the way to go. A superior in your workplace or someone who has experience in the field that you wish to venture into would be a good choice.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of reaching out to someone you know in person, online coaches or mentors are also able to give you the support and professional counsel that you might need.
When Support is Lacking
Sometimes the people closest to us are unable to support us and our goals or are simply unwilling to. In such situations, it is a good idea to extend the circle of support a little further, by joining clubs, associations or communities that provide an environment in which you can thrive. With many options now available for virtual communications, your circle of support can be global. Participating in communities of like-minded people is helpful as not only does it allow you to communicate and receive tips from other people who are going through the same process, but it also acts as a form of motivation when you see other people putting in the hours and working hard.
The Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries
Sometimes the people around you can be not only unsupportive but even downright discouraging. Words like impossible or unrealistic get thrown around, and every attempt at you trying to do better only gets met with disbelief or ridicule.
When this happens, it is important for you to establish healthy boundaries as you continue on your journey. Setting up healthy boundaries helps to protect your self-esteem and values, and most importantly, allows you to make yourself a priority. You shouldn’t allow the discouraging words of others to shape the way you think and act, especially if your goal is one that will only do you good in the long run.
Be someone else’s support system
Much like the way we hope to be supported by our own network of family and friends when pursuing our goals, it is important for you to support others in their time of need.
It helps if that someone else clearly communicates their goals and aspirations with you so that you can support them best, but if that is not the case, it is often possible to discern minute changes in behaviours through observation that may indicate someone is trying to better themselves. Ask them about it. Offer your support. And if their goals align with your own, join them.
Just know this: support doesn’t always have to be grandiose gestures or actions. Sometimes, support can be a kind word or two or even a quick text message. What’s important is showing that you care; because that alone can motivate someone to reach their end goal.
The Naluri app offers members access to a team of health and wellness coaches dedicated to helping you achieve your healthiest and best self. Schedule a demo to find out more about digital health coaching.
- Written by:
- Asma' Jailani
- 14 January 2021