Ask for support to achieve your health goals

As you make healthy lifestyle changes, challenges will come up. No matter what you're dealing with, seeking support can make the difference between reaching your goals — or not.

By Amy M. Charland

As you make healthy lifestyle changes, it's inevitable that challenges, such as an illness, financial dip, career change or relationship conflict, will come up. Or perhaps you're struggling to stick with your healthy-eating plan or stay motivated to exercise. No matter what you're dealing with, you don't have to face difficult moments alone. Seeking support during trying times can make the difference between reaching your goals — or not. So why not ask for help? It's a sign of strength, not weakness.

Asking for support can help you:

  • Stay energized. Change takes a lot of energy. Your reserves can be depleted easily if you take everything on by yourself. When your energy is low, fill up your tank by reaching out for support. Don't be scared to ask for favors, especially if this will help you stay on track.
  • Keep your motivation alive. When you hit a roadblock on your journey to making healthy changes, it can be easy to start wondering if it's really worth the effort. A positive and strong support network can lift you up during these times and remind you of why you're working so hard to change.
  • Share the gift of happiness. When you share your talents and strengths with others, you tend to be happier. So allow others in your life to use their talents to support you — it will make them feel good, too.
  • Create connections. Research suggests that when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we become "relatable." When you ask for support, you let others in and create connections. Humans are wired to want to connect with others.
  • Reach your goals. By seeking support, you increase your resources, especially during challenging times when you could easily become derailed. Let your support network keep you on the track to success. Getting an outsider's perspective may help you recognize an idea you haven't considered before or give you motivation at a time you need it most.

The truth is that no one can do it alone. We all need backup from time to time. The key is to know what type of support you need, when to ask for support and who to ask. Keep this in mind, along with a sense of gratitude, and you'll get the support you need when you need it.

Experiments

  1. Take a coffee break with a colleague, or strike up a conversation with a neighbor or someone else you see on a regular basis. Connecting with others is a great first step to finding people you can lean on.
  2. Call a family member or friend you trust and respect. Confide in them and let them know how they can support you through the challenge you're facing. You might be surprised at their open and warm response.
  3. Make an appointment with a doctor, counselor or licensed therapist to talk out your concerns, anxieties and goals. Seeking professional help is nothing to be ashamed of.
Dec. 07, 2016 See more In-depth