Tips to Avoid Social Undermining of Our Health and Wellness Goals

When we make the decision to work at making healthy lifestyle choices, oftentimes it isn’t the normal day-to-day challenges we face that can interfere with our goals. It can be our well-meaning friends and family!

The decision to lose weight or get in shape is often a very private and personal one. However, when we begin implementing new habits, or changes in our old routine, we may notice a public response. Since what we do has a trickle effect on those around us, reactions from family and friends might not be what we anticipate. Not meaning to, others may undermine our resolve to stick to healthy habits that help us accomplish our wellness goals and a healthy lifestyle.

Have you ever experienced any of these scenarios? Your plan is to hit the gym right after work, when your friends ask you to join them for Happy Hour? Out to dinner with a friend, she urges you to share the Brownie Delight for dessert, telling you that you’ve done so well on your diet, you deserve a treat. A little bit won’t make that much of a difference, will it? You go to Mom’s for dinner, and she’s cooked all your favorite and very fattening dishes. She will be so insulted if you don’t indulge, and go for seconds. You’re getting ready to head out the door to the gym on a Sunday morning, and your spouse convinces you going out to brunch would be such a nice thing to do. After all, it was a very busy week, and you hardly had any time together!

Without meaning to, it feels as if everyone around us is trying to sabotage our efforts. We tell ourselves that we can make up the exercise at another time, or we’ll be diligent with our food choices tomorrow. Repeated often enough, we find we aren’t getting the results we’re after, frustration sets in, and we may even give up. And usually, we blame ourselves for our lack of willpower!

Well, it doesn’t have to be like this. With foresight, thought and planning, we can avoid the social undermining that otherwise will derail our health and wellness goals. Try some of EnerG Coaching’s Tips to Avoid Social Undermining and see if they help you stay on track with your diet and fitness wellness goals.

Tips to avoid social undermining of your wellness and health goals

1. Let the important people in your life know your intent to adopt healthier habits, and tell them how they can help. If you don’t explain to those around you the importance of your lifetime fitness decision and be specific about what they should and shouldn’t do to help you out, they can’t possibly know.

2. Schedule your exercise sessions on your calendar and treat them as you would a business or doctor’s appointment. When asked to join in activities that conflict with your fitness plan, explain how much you would like to participate but that you have a previous engagement. See if the plan can be shifted to accommodate your schedule.

3. Be proactive in avoiding social situations that might derail your goals. Meeting friends for dinner? You be the one to choose a place where you know you can make a healthy choice. Tell Mom in advance that you are trying to eat healthy, and suggest she prepares a dish that works into your plan. If Friday after work is Happy Hour with friends, head to the gym early morning or lunch hour instead.

4. Keep your wellness vision in your mind at all times, and be polite but firm about your decisions. When friends or family tempt you to eat what you prefer not to, or skip an exercise session, politely remind them how important this is to you. Don’t preach or try to change the mind of others; just remind yourself how great you feel when you follow through on your plans.

5. Be flexible. There will be times when rearranging exercise sessions or eating in restaurants that are more challenging is unavoidable. Keep in your mind that you can balance exercise and nutrition with the 80/20 principal. If 80% of the time you are on target, the 20% that is somewhat off will not destroy all your hard work and efforts.

Remember, your friends and family do want you to be successful and happy. Include them in the process and you greatly increase your chances of achieving your goals.