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 wonâ€™t always be this way. Consistency is important, not merely for your own benefit, but ultimately, for the benefit of those around you. Hereâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ Our American lifestyle is largely defined by food â€“ parties, eating out, using food to cope with our feelings, celebrating. When your friends and family see that youâ€™re making significant changes in the menu, they may be afraid that youâ€™re going to force them into changes they donâ€™t want to make themselves. They may feel threatened that things wonâ€™t be the same between you when you choose to forgo that beer or slice of pizza during a guyâ€™s night, or that youâ€™ll no longer know how to have a good time.
- Credibility â€“ This one falls on us. If youâ€™re one of the many people who have started something only to revert back to old habits, itâ€™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 isnâ€™t simple, but here are a few things you can do this time around:
- Mention it Once â€“ And once only. Let those around you know what youâ€™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 â€“ Donâ€™t expect support right away, because it usually doesnâ€™t happen like this. Consistency is key, especially if youâ€™ve had false starts in the past. Keep going, because chances are, when they see that itâ€™s real and working, youâ€™ll have earned their respect and theyâ€™ll want some of what youâ€™ve got.
- Invite Participation â€“ 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, theyâ€™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: