Overwhelmingly, the thing that I hear over and over again, is ‘Elizabeth, I want to work out (or eat healthy, or go to bed on time), but when it comes to actually doing it, I just don’t. I don’t feel like doing it.’
I can totally relate to this. In the light of day, I have the best intentions to eat vegetables all day, go for long walks, and lift heavy things, but when it comes to actually doing it, I have a hard time motivating.
This time of year can be especially difficult: it’s getting darker earlier; there is so much going on, it can seem easier to just say ‘eff it! I’ll start new in January!’; it’s cold – which breeds hibernation, and starchy comfort food.
Its not surprising that motivation is the thing that folks struggle with. We think that we need more information – so we go out and by books, magazines, cookbooks, and start following gurus on Facebook – all thinking that all that stuff will somehow spark something in us to get spurred on to finally make the change.
But it doesn’t.
So, what is motivating? What makes some people finally just flip that switch and change their behaviors to finally change their health?
I think that there are a few reasons why people decide to make lasting change:
- The pain of staying the same becomes greater than the discomfort of changing
- They get tired of their own bull-shit
It doesn’t have to be rock-bottom (maybe for some), but whatever the problem is, it needs to be uncomfortable enough that in their mind, there’s no other option than to make a change.
Many folks turn to others – friends & professionals to help them stay on track – as a form of accountability. And telling other people about your goals is THE most effective strategy to getting accountability and accomplishing what you set out to do.
Telling others about your goals is THE most effective strategy to getting accountability and accomplishing what you set out to do.
Declaring your Intentions is a great way of keeping yourself accountable to a specific goal. This is where you publicly declare, “I’ve registered for the marathon, and I’m starting training.”
Your friend group is excited and supportive about what you want to accomplish. Because of that, they ask you questions, keep you engaged with your goal, and motivated to keep going.
Get a Workout Buddy! I’ve always been jealous of folks that I see in the gym, working out together. I love the idea of having a workout partner to help keep me accountable, but my schedule is so all over the place – I don’t know if it ever would work out.
But I think that having someone to workout with is almost as complicated as finding a life partner; you want someone who has similar enough goals, someone who is similar in fitness level, who knows as much as you do (if not more than you do, and doesn’t mind teaching you), and someone who isn’t a flake. Because worse than standing up your workout buddy, is getting stood up!
Personal Trainers are often used as accountability buddies as well. Although, trainers are a rather expensive option, they do motivate us to show up when we said that we were going to – and if we don’t show up, we get a high cancellation charge as negative reinforcement.
(Most) trainers know what they’re doing, you will get good results, and will make sure that you don’t get hurt. But personal training isn’t a sustainable expense for most of us.
Online Health Coaches (like me) are a cheaper option – if you already know what proper exercise form is, and maybe just need a little bit of accountability. You don’t need someone to stand over you to make sure that you just did 15 repetitions, and not 14 – you just need someone to check in with you to make sure you did what you said you were going to do, and help brainstorm some of the obstacles and barriers that can sometimes get in our way.
Online Group Coaching is an emerging business model, and one that is really affordable, and provides a lot of the structure that the other accountability methods provide (with the exception of someone standing inside the doors of the gym waiting for you! 😉
This last option – Online Group Coaching – is what Health with Friends is all about. You’ve heard me talk about Health with Friends over the past few months, maybe you’ve been curious. But I don’t think I’ve done a good job explaining what it is, because I’ve been getting tons of questions about what it’s all about.
I created Health with Friends because overwhelmingly, the number one struggle I hear my clients complain about is not having motivation or accountability to exercise and eat right on their own.
Health with Friends has three parts: Community, Coaching, and Content
Community – Over the years that I’ve been working in health, I’ve met some amazing, fun, smart women. The common thread that runs through their experiences is that they’ve been fed a bunch of mis-truths about how they should eat and exercise, and how they should feel about their bodies. I’ve gathered many of these women together to support one another in a very moderate, no nonsense approach to their health.
Coaching – I am coaching the group as a whole in general health principles, but am also providing individual responses and attention for those times when our situation is just a liiitttle different. The coaching takes the form of live and recorded video, and written response.
Content – Starting in January, members of Health with Friends will also get exclusive access to monthly exercise programming with recorded workouts, printable PDFs with the workout written out so that you can take it with you to the gym, and progress logs; effective nutritional strategies to try to find your special formula for eating so that you never have to diet again; and other fantastic resources that I’ve curated from over 10 years in this business.
I created Health with Friends because I want to provide a high value, low cost support solution for my clients. I want you to be successful with your health goals. And I know that online coaching works, because I have clients who prove that.
Online groups have been instrumental in much of my success. I always learn so much from the folks that I’ve interacted with – and consider many of them friends.
But I think that when I say group, that there’s some inherent scariness about joining a group like this – especially if you’ve never been part of an online community. It’s similar to walking into a cocktail party by yourself – and you’re pretty sure that you won’t know anyone else there. Are you dressed appropriately? Will you like the other people at the party? Will you have anything to talk to each-other about? Are these other people going to be weird?
I think that there’s a huge positive when it comes to not knowing anyone in the online group. Where you might not want to talk about something health related with your family or friends (maybe come clean that you just polished off the last of the cookies), there’s an anonymity with the online group where you can be yourself, and not worry about judgement.
When we show up with full honesty, and who we are, I’ve found that we’re more likely to get the support that we need.
If you’re not ready for Health with Friends, but want to learn more about it, get other great tips & stories that I tell to my list, you can sign up to get that info HERE.