Making Changes – The importance of having support and why your best friend might not have your interests at heart

How often have you decided to make some changes in your life and you start off full of enthusiasm only to fall by the wayside a few weeks later.

This is usually prompted by the ‘everyone makes a resolutions for the New Year’ syndrome’, ‘I have a holiday coming up and I need to look good on the beach’ problem, or the ‘my health is seriously hampering my enjoyment of life’ realisation

You know the sort of things I mean – when you decide you need to lose weight, so you buy the new book / diet  plan / products, choose a Monday morning to start your new regime, and off you go. It’s going to be the real thing this time and you’ll definitely stick to it and make it work.

Or you decide you really need to take more exercise and get fitter, so you sign up for the Gym, exercise classes or a bootcamp. Initially you are full of enthusiasm but then progress slows and you find yourself coming up with excuses as to why you can’t go today,-  you are too tired to go, there’s something good on the TV, you had to stay late at work or whatever.

Often we are full of enthusiasm initially but then this can wane and if we feel that we are swimming against the tide it is all too easy to give up.

It is hard to implement changes on your own and it is vital that you have support mechanisms in place to help you to make lasting changes.

You do need a supportive partner, colleague or coach, especially if you are surrounded by others who do not understand what you are doing or who feel threatened. For example if you regularly go out with your friends for the Friday night drinking session followed by the late night curry,  you might decide to knock it on the head because  this is no longer a healthy option. Then your friends are likely to feel slighted and upset and might try and make you feel guilty for spoiling the status quo, rather than being supportive of your decisions

Now you could get your partner / family / best friend on board with what you are trying to achieve so that they do not undermine you. Find an accountability buddy – someone who is going through the same process – you can then provide mutual support.

However there is always the danger that they will unconsciously sabotage you. For example, the partner who might be afraid of the changes in you that will turn you into a different person; the best friend who might be jealous of your success; the buddy who isn’t making the same progress as you etc.

That’s not to say they would deliberately act against you, but unconsciously they might be following a different agenda because they are afraid of what changes in you might mean for them.

So that is why it is SO valuable to find an independent mentor, coach or accountability partner who will be supportive and yet not let you off the hook, someone who can see the bigger picture and has your best interests at heart. Someone, or something, to keep you accountable and on track.

That is how you get to make real and lasting changes.