Making a conscious decision to embark on a wellness journey is a big step towards a happier, healthier life! Sometimes, however, when an individual decides to swap old habits for new, healthy ones, they may be met with resistance, especially from others who have the same unhealthy habits. For example, your partner may want to order take-out instead of cooking a healthy meal or your friends may try to tempt you to go to happy hour instead of the evening exercise class you had planned to attend. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop hanging out with them. Instead, follow these tips to help you get the support you need from family and friends when starting your wellness journey.
Have an Honest Conversation
Informing those closest to you will help foster an understanding – and hopefully garner support – for your new wellness path. Find the time to have an honest conversation about your new wellness habits and goals with those that mean the most to you. This includes your partner, your children, your colleagues, and your friends. This is especially important if you regularly engage in social activities with some (or all) of them. When you have the conversation, include your “Why” and “What”. Why you are doing this and what your end goal is.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
Sometimes it is easier to cave into situations because of feelings of guilt or obligation or fear of missing out, instead of simply saying “No”. Don’t be afraid to say “No” to situations where you think your ability to maintain your healthy goals may be jeopardized. For instance, if you know that going to happy hour with your friends leads to multiple drinks and then copious amounts of greasy food that night and the next day, you are better off passing on the get together, especially in the beginning of your journey. As you move forward and your new habits become more ingrained, you may be able to re-join these outings with new set boundaries of what you will drink and eat.
Sometimes individuals are afraid to say no to a gathering or social situation because they don’t want to be left out. While you may have to say no more than you’d like in the beginning of your wellness journey, you can offer your family and friends alternatives. Ask if they’d like to go for a walk, a hike, try a new exercise class, etc., You may be surprised how many people actually say yes enthusiastically.
Find An Accountability Coach / Partner
Research has shown that having an accountability partner increases your chances of success. Find a wellness coach, a partner or friend, or an online community who is onboard with your healthy lifestyle and who will support you through highs and lows. Make sure they are someone whom you have access to and can have frequent check-ins. If they are also on a new wellness journey, you will have the wonderful role of being their cheerleader as well.
Finally, congratulations on taking this big step towards a healthier, happier existence! Once you’re on your way, I can almost guarantee that you’ll never look back.