When it comes to achieving goals, a strong support system is an essential component. If you compare goal setting to house building, starting from a good place of readiness is our foundation , a well-stated goal the framework, then our support system can become the nails that hold the whole thing together when the winds of being unmotivated begin to blow in and threaten to topple the whole building/goal.
I touched on this briefly in my previous posts on accountability and the “honeymoon” period, Strategies to Stay Motivated and on Track with Your Goal-part 2. However, I think this component deserves it’s own post.
If you have reached a point of low motivation, you are probably a few weeks into the program and the shine is wearing off. You need and deserve support and encouragement.
You should be seeing some results by now; you have lost a few pounds, your bank account is getting bigger instead of shrinking, or your college classes have begun, things are starting to happen just as you’d planned.
The key to this tip is to have the support system in place before it is actually needed. If your mojo is fading, this is the perfect time to get in touch with your support system and get some cheerleading going in your favor.
Online support groups work wonderfully for those who wish to remain somewhat anonymous. You can really get some rants and tough feelings sorted out with others who are going through the same thing. They may have some advice that is just what you need to hear. Sometimes just knowing someone else has walked a similar path helps. And it has been my experience, those who have been there are willing to share advice without judgement.
Judgement is the last thing you need when you are feeling wobbly.
Don’t jump into the first group you find. There will be many. Read around through the site and it’s forums. See if the goals and methods of communicating suit you. If not, move on, and keep trying until you find a good fit.
Family and friends do seem like an obvious place to look for support. And while most people will happily cheer you on, others may be de-motivating. I am not sure why this phenomenon exists. It seems to me we would want our loved ones to be successful in any venture they choose.
I believe fear has a lot to do with it. Change is very scary for some people. They don’t want to change, and they don’t want anything to change around them. The bigger the goal, the harder they resist, and they might even try to derail your progress. We all have that aunt that wants to push the food on us, the friend who offers a smoke or drink, or the one who wishes we would just throw our nice, tidy budget on the fire, and go out for a night on the town. If they see you change, they fear they may lose you in the process, or maybe it forces them to confront some issues of their own.
If this is the case, and you are around too many negative types you need…
…a new cast
Yup, that’s right, I said it. Does this mean you completely ditch your old cast? Maybe..,but if you are like me, you love your old cast. You may have to distance yourself from the old cast for a bit or limit the time spent with them until you feel stronger within the limits of your goal.
If your goal is weight loss, it does no good for your goal to hang out at the Olive Garden with your BFF. I had to forgo going to pubs with my pals for a month or so when I finally got serious about quitting smoking. If you have to write a paper for class, don’t be around people who push you to blow it off and “hang out.”
Keep your original cast. But consider adding a few new members with similar goals. When your old cast sees you are serious, they will either come around or not. In which case, what kind of friends are they really?
Need support for weight loss? Weight Watchers has a dynamite program (the ONLY commercial program this wellness writer recommends) with a built in support system, which, in my opinion is why they are so successful.
Need help staying on task with school? Consider joining a study group.
There are numerous avenues for exercise from community classes, gyms, run training classes.The great thing about exercising folks is they have lots of positive energy, due to all those feel good hormones and chemicals exercise releases. Consider joining or organizing a walking group.
If you are working on career goals there are professional groups popping up all over the place, check one out and make some connections with like-minded people. Or start your own, if you are an organizing type. Stay-at-home moms have a really hard job, and it is nice to gather and share experiences.
Whatever your goal is, and you can trust me on this one, there are many others working toward the same thing.
Establish your support system early, expand your cast, and make it full of positive, can-do people. Soon you will be one. And inspiring and supporting your own cast!