Building Your Support Team

When it comes to health and wellness, a solo journey can be daunting and full of uncertainty.

No matter your experience or skill level, tackling a new goal is always a challenge for one reason or another. There are people out there that thrive on independence and being alone while many others do not.

Having a support team doesn't mean you have 10 other individuals, jerseys, and a home field. Your team can consist of one other individual or maybe a few. These days, it might even be a virtual team member. The options are endless.

Call it what you want, but most people want to feel that they are part of something. This concept along with accountability, motivation, and not wanting to disappoint is what makes a support network so important and successful.

On a holistic level, being part of a network or community is highly correlated with overall longevity regardless of the community mission.

But how do you establish this team in the first place? Do you take out an ad in your local newspaper? Run an ad campaign on Instagram? Or do you ask random people at your local coffee shop?

Now if you want to try these then don't let me stop you but I think the following will be a better start.

Here are three areas you may want to consider first!

1. Family

Having positive support from one or all your immediate family members is vital. If the rest of the people you live with are on a completely different

path, your journey will be that more challenging with road blocks and detours every mile. Getting on the same path doesn't mean everyone has to have all the same goals and be as committed as you; however, that would be helpful. They should be aware of your goals and objectives as you work towards them. This will hopefully improve accountability if others are encouraging you and helping you avoid making an undesirable lifestyle decision. Basically, you want to simplify things and the choices you have to make on a daily basis. When family isn't on the same page and you have to cook completely different meals for the family, that could be a deterrent. If your family members tend to eat out regularly, your food selection might be compromised. But if everyone has a similar mindset, healthier choices become the new norm and are simply worked into everyday life. Without this type of support, your chances of long term change are limited.

2. Friends

If you live alone and family comradary isn't your thing then the next component of your life might be your closer group of friends. This group of individuals may be friends who aren't necessarily local or people you see every day but might frequently communicate with one way or another. Utilize health and wellness as a reason to reconnect or have more frequent get-togethers. I know for me personally, every year that goes by, I find myself having to work harder to stay in touch and making plans to spend time with friends. This could be improved upon if I had a friend willing to team up at the gym or just feed off each other for motivation and encouragement. With all the technology in our world today, this concept could even work remotely as long as schedules and time zones lined up. At the end of the day, a similar concept of accountability and support is achieved, a common bond is made and goal is established. Now some pressure is taken off your shoulders and your network has begun.

3. Co-workers

Here we have another group of people that are frequently in your life. Unless you work from home or run your own business by yourself, this might be a solid environment to recruit your team. Today, many businesses see the value in providing health and wellness events and benefits to their employees. Consider seeking out a structured community event or pioneer one yourself. Even though you might not be very close with your coworkers, finding ways to be active together or creating healthy goals as a team could help everyone stay accountable as well as build a stronger network in the work environment.

Now give all this some thought and figure out what will fit your lifestyle and schedule best.

What if you're reading this and think a network or team approach just isn't your thing yet starting the journey alone is not in your cards either. Consider a personal trainer or health coach to guide you towards your goal.

Although this will be the more expensive option, you are also working with a professional whose purpose is to help reach your goals and wellness state.

If you are reading this then you have already taken a step forward in your new or revised journey. Now it's time to take action. Don't wait until tomorrow. Make contact with an individual in your desired network.

-Make it a lifestyle,

Dr. G

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