It’s hard to make big changes alone. That’s why it’s so important to get support from the people in your life!
If you’re adding new healthy habits to your routine, aiming for a specific health goal, or managing a chronic condition, you don’t have to do it all on your own. Here are four steps to put together your best support network.
Step 1: Think of the kinds of support you already get
Take stock of how people already help you. Maybe you have:
- A spouse or partner who encourages you
- A workout buddy or healthy cooking club who holds you accountable
- A coworker who praises your efforts
- A friend who competes with you and pushes you
- A family member who doesn’t pester you about your goals
- Or someone else
Try thinking about it for 5 minutes and write down your answers. Be sure to thank the supporters in your life if you find their support helpful!
Step 2: Pinpoint what kind of support you actually need
If the support you currently get just isn’t helping, it may be time to switch things up.
Think about what kind of support has worked for you in the past. Can you remember a person who helped you accomplish something big? Or helped you stick with it for the long haul? What did this person say or do that helped you?
Consider different kinds of help. Maybe you need:
- “I need someone to push me and hold me accountable.”
- “I want people to cheer me on and remind me I can do this.”
- “I just want people to understand how hard I’m working at this.”
- “I’d like help getting some tasks off my plate so I have more time for myself.”
- “I could use some guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing.”
- “I want someone to join me, like a fitness partner, support group, or healthy eating buddy.”
- “I need people to avoid tempting me into old habits.”
- “I need people to let me do my thing and not ask me about it all the time.”
Step 3: Identify who can give you the support you need
Once you figure out the kinds of support you need, think about the people in your life who can give you that support. It could be:
- A spouse or partner
- Your kids
- Other family members
- Support groups
- Trained coaches
- Or someone else
Good friends, family and professionals generally want to help the people in their lives. And you deserve the support you need!
Step 4: Ask for what you need
After you’ve figured out the kind of support you need and who could give it to you, it’s time to ask for it.
- If you need motivation, try saying, “I could use someone to kick me into gear. Could you call me out if it looks like I’m slacking?”
- If you need encouragement, try saying, “It feels great knowing you’re rooting for me. Please keep it up!”
- If you need recognition, try saying, “These changes aren’t easy and I’m working really hard. Could you point that out when you see it? It would mean a lot to me.”
- If you need help, try saying, “Could you do me a favor and pick up the kids? It will give me a little extra time to cook a healthy dinner for us.”
- If you need coaching, try saying, “I’m not sure how to do this exercise. Can you show me what I’m doing wrong?”
- If you need partnership, try saying, “I get bored walking alone. Would you like to join me?”
- If you need stability, try saying, “Coming home to candy dishes is too tempting for me. Could you please keep them out of sight?”
- If you need space, try saying, “I appreciate your desire to help. Actually, the best way to help me is to just let me do it on my own. It keeps me focused.”
Getting the right kind of support is a huge factor in your success. So don’t be afraid to ask for the kind of support that works for you!