Secret of Success: Building a great support system

By Meagan Kline

At any stage of change, with any behavior, support can be your greatest motivator and help you stay committed.  Support can look different to everyone, but here are a few ways you can help keep yourself on track when it comes to reaching your healthy exercise (and nutrition) goals. 

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Group Exercise
Studies have shown that building a social network into your exercise program actually increases attendance. Whether that means attending the 9 am spin class each Monday or having a workout-buddy to walk with daily – partner up and you’re less likely to cancel. 

Family
Support at home can make a huge difference in your success. This may include cooking healthy meals together at home, walking with a spouse after dinner or playing outdoors with your children more often.

Co-workers
Include those you work with in your goal setting and allow them to keep you accountable. This will certainly be the case with our firefighters competing in the My Heart Challenge – 48 hours together allows for unlimited support from co-workers. 

Let others know about your goals
Social media can be a great way to track, update and include others in your goals and progress. Public exposure increases the likelihood that you’ll stick to the lifestyle change you need. 

Tracking
This can be a very effective method of motivation if used consistently. Track those variables that are most important to you. Individual factors can add up quickly, so don’t let yourself become overwhelmed. Tracking can happen in a notebook, on an app or even an old-school method: a calendar. The difference happens when you can see the progress you’ve made and it can serve as a motivator to continue in your progress.