Often a major factor that is overlooked whilst on a weight loss program is your current social networks aka circle of influence. This article will cover why it deserves your attention - especially if you are looking for long term results.
Every relationship we have had to some degree has impacted the quality of life we are living today. From big career life-changing decisions to choosing what we have for dinner, the people closest to us usually have the strongest influence over our decisions and we don't even realise it!
The closest relationships in our lives form our inner circle and whether we like it or not these people influence our beliefs, ideas, habits, way of thinking, self esteem and morals - just to name a few. So it is no wonder why long term success at anything in life is dependent on the type of people we surround ourselves with.
Jim Rohn has been someone I have always admired and here is what he had to say about Circle of Influence:
"We become the combined average of the FIVE people we associate with most"
Try this statement out for yourself; list 5 people you spend most of your time with and see if any of your current habits, lifestyle choices, hobbies, or decisions has been impacted by these people. Then ask are these people:
- Pushing me up?
- Pulling me down?
- Or keeping me comfortably in neutral? (This is still going backwards)
Once this is complete, there may be people who are shocked to find that their inner circle isn't filled with "pushing me up" people but don't be disheartened as I'm not suggesting that you find a new social circle but more so just to be aware of different people's influence over you and that depending on your current goals some people might deserve more or less of your time.
Okay so now what? What does this have to do with my Health?
To answer this question let me provide you with two scenarios of how your life can be impacted by your own personal circle of influence.
Scenario 1: You've just started exercising regularly, ditched the fast food, sugary snacks and soft drinks - you are on a roll! Friday movie night arrives and after a long week of work and nailing your exercise and nutrition plan you can finally sit down relax and enjoy a movie with your partner. Then your partner comes out of the kitchen with a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream (your favourite!) and a bag of chips while you are sitting there with your protein shake.
Scenario 2: You and your partner decide to go on the journey together - Friday movie night arrives and after a long week of work and nailing your exercise and nutrition plan you can finally sit down relax and enjoy a movie with your partner. This time your partner comes out of the kitchen with a healthy homemade meal for two that you can both enjoy. Not only that but your partner has also shown their on-going support by preparing your gym gear and snacks for tomorrow.
Who do you think is going to have a tougher time achieving their goal? Scenario 1 or Scenario 2?
Now neither example is good or bad but the difference is that on one side you've got someone that can't relate or give support to their partner because they're still adopting the same destructive behaviour, whereas on the other side both people know what each other are going through therefore they'll be able to relate, support and influence each other to stick to their new healthy habits and when repeated long enough will ultimately become their lifestyle.
I have seen and experienced that when people make the brave move to improve their fitness and nutrition habits it is very likely they will succeed (long term) if they have support from the people closest to them.
After all of this if you are still sceptical about how powerful our circle of influence can be ask yourself this: When I was at my happiest in life, who were the people that I was surrounded myself with?*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.