What's Their Support System?

I've had it! I have reached my breaking point. I am tired of offering people encouragement, suggestions or advice, seeing them nod their head in agreement and then not changing their behavior. It's useless.

I feel better now-I needed to get that off my chest. No, it's not useless to provide guidance and encouragement to others-in fact the world needs more people who can offer such things in an inviting and non-threatening way. What I am coming to realize more every day, however, is that people don't suffer from sources of hope, inspiration and good advice. What they suffer from is lack of a support system.

Take a common one-trying to lose weight. My wife and I have a friend who has been trying to lose weight for over a year without success. She is a single mom who doesn't have many strong supporting relationships. She hasn't sought out anyone to become an exercise partner. She doesn't take the time to prepare healthy meals-why should she? No one at home is encouraging her to do it.

My amazing wife (hope she's reading this) has lost many pounds in the past 3 months. She exercises every morning while I am running with one of our daughters. If she doesn't get up and exercise, we gently chide her about it and remind her of her goal. We eat the same foods she eats at lunch and if she is preparing dinner we eat whatever she puts on the table. When choosing a place to eat out, we try to make choices that will support her healthy eating habits. I'm not bragging about me supporting her-I just realize more than ever how important it is to have a group of people to hold you accountable and motivate you to sustain a change.

I've taken a new approach when working with others on a workplace or personal issue. One of my first questions is now, "What's your support system to make this change?" Then, before we tackle the desired change, we look at ways to build a support system to make the change successful. What changes are you looking to make in the coming days or weeks? And more importantly, do you have a support system in place to help make the change successful?

Jones LoflinComment