Developing new, healthy habits is oftentimes met with negativity from the people around us. There are several reasons for this, but the good news is, it won’t always be this way. Consistency is important, not merely for your own benefit, but ultimately, for the benefit of those around you. Here’s how to overcome adversity when starting a new healthy habit.
Understand Where the Adversity Comes From
There are many reasons why you may experience adversity when starting a new healthy habit, but here are a few of the most common:
- Guilt – When you begin a new workout routine or diet, oftentimes a feeling of guilt may rise up in those around you because you are making changes they know they should be making themselves.
- Fear – Our American lifestyle is largely defined by food – parties, eating out, using food to cope with our feelings, celebrating. When your friends and family see that you’re making significant changes in the menu, they may be afraid that you’re going to force them into changes they don’t want to make themselves. They may feel threatened that things won’t be the same between you when you choose to forgo that beer or slice of pizza during a guy’s night, or that you’ll no longer know how to have a good time.
- Credibility – This one falls on us. If you’re one of the many people who have started something only to revert back to old habits, it’s very understandable that those around you will consider this just another one of those false starts.
How Do I Overcome Adversity When Starting a New Healthy Habit?
The answer isn’t simple, but here are a few things you can do this time around:
- Mention it Once – And once only. Let those around you know what you’re up to, but then leave it at that. Constant reminders may incite more feelings of guilt and resentment from those not ready to make changes.
- Consistency – Don’t expect support right away, because it usually doesn’t happen like this. Consistency is key, especially if you’ve had false starts in the past. Keep going, because chances are, when they see that it’s real and working, you’ll have earned their respect and they’ll want some of what you’ve got.
- Invite Participation – Ask your family for meal ideas and get creative. Bring your kids to the market to select produce, ask your spouse to help prepare the meal, ask a friend over early to help with meal prep. When someone participates in the process, they’re more likely to want to help consume their shared creation.
For a great video on this, check out the recent entry from Thomas DeLauer on Overcoming Negativity: