By Troy Ismir, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach
NOTE: This is a 4-page article to help you better understand the importance of a support network. Be sure to read all four pages and then post your Facebook comments at the bottom and share it with others.
What do you think the biggest factor in deciding if someone will make lasting lifestyle changes? If you guessed more knowledge, I am sorry but you are wrong. The vast majority of people know what to do. In a very simplified version everyone needs to eat more real whole foods and move more. No big secret there. How about getting a better skill set? If I was just a better cook I would make the changes I need to. Never hurts to improve your skill set, but that isn’t the most important factor.
Are you ready for the suspense to be over with? Drum roll please….this may surprise you, but it is actually the quality of people’s helping relationships. The most important factor in making life-long change is the connection between them and their support network.
Lifestyle changes can mean different things to different people. It is highly individualized and takes on a different meaning for each person who wants to make transformative changes in their life. As a fitness and lifestyle performance coach that is faith based, I typically see five main areas that people want to make improvements on in their life.
1. Nutrition: Many people want to eat better quality foods. They realize the food choices they make can have a big impact on both their health and body composition.
2. Movement: We have become a sedentary society. A common goal is for people to want to build in purposeful movement into their day.
3. Recovery: We live in a world that is fast-paced and often times 24/7 with technology at our fingertips day and night. Sleep has become a precious commodity. Wanting to get more sleep at night has become a common theme for people.
4. Mindset: Our thought life can have a significant impact on our health. A helpful lifestyle change is focusing on inner peace and joy. This can be accomplished by incorporating some form of meditation or yoga into a person’s daily routine.
5. Spiritual: Having daily quiet time and drawing closer to God is another lifestyle change I often hear. Carving out time each morning to study the Bible and pray is a change that many people want to incorporate into their daily routine.
The best way for you to make lasting lifestyle changes is for you to build an alliance with people you know and trust. An alliance is a relationship among people that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose. A strong alliance and support network will improve your readiness, willingness and ability to make progress.
Helping Relationships: This type of relationship is characterized by empathic listening, clear communication, compassion and being non-judgmental with the goal of helping the person move towards positive change.
I want to explore two helping relationships that can help you on your journey of making lasting lifestyle changes. The first helping relationship is between a fitness coach or personal trainer and a client. The second helping relationship is a personal relationship between loved ones such as a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or a parent and their child.
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