I have been a regular exercise enthusiast for the better part of my life. Thinking back, I was about 14 years old when my dad started taking me with him to the YMCA. He would run on the track and do some free weights and I would follow his lead. That was the beginning. I’ve keep up the habit and I continue to love exercise. But even the things we love can become routine. And sometimes it takes a little work to renew interest in a hobby, an activity or even a healthy habit. That was me about two years ago. I was still personally vested in exercise and healthy living, but I wanted something more from the exercise experience. I wanted to connect with others, doing what I love, while being a part of something that was bigger than myself.
I have since connected with a group of like-minded women, who share my interests in training and with whom I can meet up and exercise. Finding this community has re-ignited my passion for exercise. I have found new inspiration in the effort and commitment of others. Seeing them achieve their fitness goals keeps me ambitious as I try to keep up with their determination. I derive more pleasure from exercise now. And it’s not that the exercise has changed. Rather, I have discovered joy from connecting with others who share a similar interest. I am more motivated to maintain this healthy habit than ever before!
So what does this say about community? If we have quality relationships with positive people, we are better equipped to continue practicing healthy habits. This holds true especially during hard times or times of decreased motivation. Our social circles have great influence on our lifestyle choices. Consider who you are hanging out with? Do they share your core values and lifestyle choices? Who you surround yourself with, determines your long-term success.
- – Think about the following and how does your social circle measure up?Do your friends inspire you to be better? Good, positive people will inspire you to be a better person, motivate you to achieve your goals, empower you to make the changes you need to succeed and cheer on your success
- – Do your friends make you feel accepted and peaceful? Positive people will give emotional support making you feel a sense of belonging, security and community rather than feeling coerced or anxious. This communal support allows you to cope better with stress and life changes.
- – Lastly, do your friends make you feel happy and energized? Positive people are hardwired to create meaningful relationships. Full filling relationships will improve your mood, increase your energy and in developing a solid support system protect you against depression.
Make a commitment to spending more time with the supportive people in your life. The power of positivity…it might just get you to your goals!