The behaviour of those around you can have significant impact on your health and fitness goals. Generally we are the average on the five people closest to us—also known as our circle of influence.
So what are the health and fitness traits of your circle of influence?
Do they exercise regularly?
Do they value the importance of looking after their health?
Do they eat well most of the time?
Do they have a positive or negative outlook on life?
Are they supportive of your goals?
When your circle of influence have healthy habits and beliefs it is much easier for you to gain or maintain this lifestyle too. When you hear your girlfriend has been getting up at 5am to run you are likely to think “I could do that” or “I will do that” or “I want to be a fit person too – better not miss yoga class tomorrow”.
So what happens if your circle of influence isn’t a positive one?
You have three options (and no—getting your own tub of Ben and Jerry’s isn’t one of them).
Option 1: Do nothing aka hope for the best.
You can choose to not rock the boat and rely on grit, white-knuckle willpower and self-talk to get you through the times you are faced with a possibly less-than-stellar choice. Possible to do, and may even give you some “I’ll prove them wrong” motivation.
Option 2: Lead the charge aka be the fit-girl
You can choose to set an example in the hope that others will come along for the ride. We are not suggesting harping on about your top 5 green smoothie recipes while everyone is tucking into birthday cake (no one likes that person!), but instead lead by example. People will start to notice your big smile, your radiant skin and your boundless energy and want what you’re having. They will see what’s possible and hopefully begin to mimic some of your healthy behaviours. You will feel a sense of pride as you get closer to your goals, which will serve as motivation to keep going.
Option 3: Change your circle aka find like-minded people
We are certainly not suggesting you ditch your mates, but just start to spend time with people who are living the lifestyle you aspire to or find a workout buddy.
If you don’t known anyone like this yet consider using health and fitness as an avenue to make new friends. Group fitness (e.g. gyms, bootcamp, yoga) is often social and certain options make it more likely to find people similar to you—mums and bubs groups, gyms with a crèche, and work sporting teams are some examples.