Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healthy Associations

Having good examples and positive influences in your life is important in helping you achieve your goals. People who associate with a coach, trainer, or mentor have an advantage when it comes to positive support. I've heard people say that your finances will be an average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. I think this same concept can be applied to other areas or your life, including fitness. 

As a teenager, I learned the importance of associating with people who pushed me to progress and improve. When I was on the high school basketball team, I was given some good advice to practice against players who were better than me. As a result, I played pickup games with college players who were bigger, taller, stronger, and more skilled than me. For quite a while I got my butt kicked, but the increased competition caused me to improve my game. Eventually I could hold my own against most of the college players I'd play against. It was tempting to play against people I was better than because I could dominate, but you stop improving when you stop pushing yourself.

It's easy to be a big fish in a little pond, and one way to avoid that is to look for associations with people who challenge you to improve and who bring out the best in you. This applies not only to fitness and sports, but music, academics, art, and business. Most parents understand the principle of association and that is why they are concerned with what kind of friends their kids play with when they are little.

So how does this apply to someone wanting to lose weight or get in shape? If all the people you spend time with eat junk food and are overweight, then there is no pressure for you to improve if you are accustomed to an unhealthy environment. If however, you have friends who model healthy behaviors and are physically active, then you are more likely to do so yourself.

Am I suggesting you end relationships with your friends if they don't have a physique better than yours? Of course not, I'm just trying to point out how we are influenced by the people we spend time with and if your family, friends, or associates are sabotaging your efforts, then you may want to spend more time with people who encourage you to accomplish your goals.


Emz said...

OKAY - this my friend, is a FABULOUS post.

I love it.

So true.

Well written.

MikkSolo said...

Is this why you hang out with me? Wait, are you the "Big Fish" or am I?

Dawn said...

Very true. This is why I keep my online health/fitness community close. It's important to have that support if you do not get it from friends and family.