You’ve changed your diet. You’ve found your fitness groove. You’ve lost the weight (and gained some impressive muscle). What’s next? You want to spread the word.
Once you’ve recognized the benefits of healthy living, you want everyone in your life experience those same benefits.
Unfortunately, sometimes the people closest to you aren’t ready to make the same changes. So, how can you motivate your family and loved ones to choose a healthier lifestyle?
Here are four ways to encourage the people you love to get in shape, invest in their health, and take care of their bodies.
MOTIVATE YOUR FAMILY WITH FUN ACTIVITIES
Your family members may see exercise as a burden, a chore, or a punishment. Help them to find the joy in consistent exercise by presenting fun, stress-free workout options. Sure, maybe someday they’ll want to hit the gym five times a week for a hardcore strength training session, but start with something a little bit more beginner-friendly.
Begin to build healthy habits by creating rituals or traditions that incorporate these fun exercise patterns. Go on a family kayaking outing every Saturday. Bring your daughter to a peaceful yoga class every Thursday morning. Invite your partner to walk the dog with you after dinner each evening.
These small patterns will begin to have a ripple effect in your family’s lives—plus, you’ll make meaningful memories in the process.
MOTIVATE YOUR FAMILY WITH SMALL CHANGES
Beginning a fitness journey or a lifestyle change can be incredibly overwhelming. Encourage your family to make healthier choices without forcing them to give up all of their unhealthy habits overnight.
Instead of pressuring your son to give up soda altogether, ask him to replace one can each day with can of sparkling water. Invite your partner to join you at the gym once a week, not every single day. Make one grain-free dinner each week instead of trying to cut out carbohydrates altogether.
And remember: slow and steady wins the race. For most people, small, step-by-step adjustments are the key to lasting change.
MOTIVATE YOUR FAMILY WITH HEALTHY GOALS
It’s easy to fixate on physical milestones: losing weight, getting more toned legs, building biggers shoulder muscles. However, when it comes to motivating your family members to pursue a healthier lifestyle, shift your focus to other areas.
Encourage your loved ones to adjust their diet or incorporate more exercise into their routines by sharing other (even more important) benefits, such as increased energy, increased confidence, and increased strength.
MOTIVATE YOUR FAMILY WITHOUT GUILT OR PRESSURE
There’s nothing worse than being told that you need to change, that you are inadequate, or that you’re doing something wrong.
Your family members are probably already aware that they are living an unhealthy lifestyle—they don’t need to feel additional guilt or pressure from you, even if you have the right intentions.
When you’re trying to motivate your family to make healthy choices, keep a positive, encouraging tone. Instead of reminding them that they aren’t in as good of shape as they used to be, focus on the benefits they’ll gain from regular exercise and a healthy diet. Don’t draw attention to what they’re currently doing wrong...simply share a few new habits they could begin to include in their routine.
No matter what, choose to be your family members’ biggest cheerleaders. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and they’ll need your support as they pursue a healthier lifestyle.