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Change is hard, but support helps

When trying to make a health, wellness or lifestyle change it’s crucial to your success to consider your sources of support and connectedness.

Our modern lifestyles can be very isolating. We’re busy, overwhelmed, tired and stressed. This can lead to spending a lot of time alone and a loss of connection with friends, family, communities, nature, spirituality and your self.

In fact, isolation has actually become a known health risk. Research shows people who are better connected to their community, to nature, to their work, have a connection to something greater, and who have good self connection, appear healthier than those who are isolated.

If you’re about to embark on a heath, wellness, or lifestyle change such as new way of eating, a new movement program, quitting smoking, sugar or gluten, or just generally looking to be healthier – you need to look at these areas to ensure you have the support to help you reach your goals.

Taking on any of these changes will be a lot easier and more enjoyable when the people you love and surround yourself with support your journey.

Consider these scenarios. You decide to:

• Start a new fitness program and your partner sits home every night watching TV

• Give up sugar and your mom keeps baking you cookies and sweets

• Adopt a healthier lifestyle and your friends party and drink every weekend

• Bring healthy home cooked lunches to work and your co-workers get take-out everyday

In any one of these scenarios, your chances of success are low. You’re discouraged, unsure, frustrated, and unsupported. All of your connections are reinforcing an unhealthy life while you are trying to make positive, lasting change.

Even though though have your own free will to make choices, the bottom line is these external influences have an impact. And sometimes it is the people closet to us that have the hardest time with lifestyle changes. When we change it impact their lives and makes them uncomfortable.

Clearly you can’t leave your partner, disown your mom, dump your friends or quit your job. What you can do is ask yourself a few question before you jump into any big lifestyle change to ensure some sources of support are in place.

Ask yourself:

• Who can go on this healthy journey with me?

• Who inspires me that I can possibly reach out to?

• Is there someone in my life I know will not be supportive of my changes?

• Do I need to hire a professional like a fitness trainer, a personal chef, or a health and wellness coach?

• Is there one friend or family member who can be an exercise buddy or who might want to go gluten free?

Answering these questions, and exploring alternatives, will all help you be successful at living the healthy life you want.

*This post was originally published in the Herald Community on May 7, 2014

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