The only thing better than staying healthy is encouraging other people to join you on the journey. The problem is that motivating others is an entirely different problem than motivating yourself. Even if people understand the benefits of being active, they may have trouble staying motivated and believing they can even get started. We all understand the benefits of eating right and exercising, but who hasn’t been caught in a rut and been unable to make changes? Here are some tips on how to motivate others to stay healthy.
Help Them Understand the “Why” of it all
The path to health and wellbeing begins with understanding “why” – why it matters that a person stays healthy. Some people make the change because they want to fit into their old clothes. Some people do it because they have health conditions that are managed by better health. Others do it out of vanity. No matter what the reason a person wants to be healthy though, it’s important that you connect them to their goal. Make sure they understand their motivations and stick to them. Give them a personal goal to work towards to encourage them to stick to the path to betterment.
Listen to Them
Listening to people sounds obvious, but it’s still very important. Don’t be afraid to offer your own support and suggestions, but make sure that you listen to what the other person tells you they want. You shouldn’t try to replace their personal story and struggles with your own. The better you understand their objectives, fears, motivations, and rationale, the easier it will be to motivate and encourage them.
There’s no harm in offering someone a bit of self-bribery and incentivization to encourage them to exercise. Try to create a rewards system for the other person that’s built into the relationship you already have with them. If you are trying to motivate a partner, for example, then offer to watch something they want to watch, no matter what, as long as they eat a healthy dinner with you. If it’s a friend, offer to get dinner with them if they go to the gym with you. Find something that helps to create a habitual behavior in the other person.
Avoid Scolding Them and Being a Perfectionist
Don’t forget that the reason the other person needs help in the first place is because making a change is hard at the best of times. Also keep in mind that progress is rarely ever smooth and straight. If something goes wrong you should use it as a chance to keep the other person motivated and looking at the big picture. There’s no golden rule on how to motivate someone, but there is a golden rule about how not to do it; never ever shame or humiliate the person you want to motivate. Don’t push them to the impossible. Stay flexible and work with them to create attainable goals.
Offer Some Gentle Insistence
While you shouldn’t be too insistent with a friend or loved one, you also need to offer gentle prodding. You can’t let them get out of not sticking to their commitments. It’s good to be flexible, but having set start dates and plans is just as good. Make sure the person understands that life can get in the way of their plans and they are allowed the odd day off, but commitments are commitments. They have to understand that making a commitment like this means something to you and it should mean something to them. Make yourself a part of their plan and be supportive but firm to encourage them to keep going.
Don’t Get Lost in Positive Thinking
There’s no doubt that positive thinking can be a wonderful thing. With that said, there are some caveats to keep in mind. Once you help someone understand and picture what they want out of the plan – such as to have more energy or be physically fit – help them to understand what might get in the way of that. Create strategies to get around their internal blocks so they can achieve the success they want. If someone is more likely to exercise at a set point in the day, for example, then encourage them to work out during that time.
Be Their Workout and Meal Buddy
Actually being there for someone as a workout partner and meal buddy is the best thing you can do for them. Don’t just tell them what to do, but do it with them. Offer to take fitness classes and go to the gym with them and eat the same things they are. Go on bike rides and cook food together. Offering mutual accountability and support like this is great for both of you. Working out with a partner increases compliance with workouts and offers better results from those workouts. Additionally, you can guide them when it comes to useful supplements that are actually backed by science and not just wishy-washy pseudo pills. If you are uncertain about supplements yourself, we recommend to check out some health product reviews to get an idea of what is actually useful in additional to a balanced diet.
It takes a lot of effort and dedication to make positive changes and stick to them. People may come to you to get the help they need. It’s worth knowing how to keep them motivated and how to push them to achieve success.