Your friends should motivate and inspire you. Your circle should be well rounded and supportive. Keep it tight. Quality over quantity, always.
sometimes it’s important to first address the long list of things to do. What won’t work when it comes to motivating a friend? Prying, nagging, begging, bartering, manipulating, criticizing and shaming. At the very least remember this one: Don’t offer advice unless you are asked. Trust us! If your friend has asked for help, chances are they have already recognized that you know what’s what when it comes to all things health and fitness related.
You might not be able to be there in the morning to get them out of bed for that early Cross Fit session or be allowed – at least in some social circles – to slap the bagel out of their hand, but sometimes just lending a little support can go a long way. Be there when they need help, have them over for a healthy dinner (and be sure to offer up the recipe!) or set up a gym date – whatever it takes to show them your unfailing support!
Once your friend has shown an interest in health and fitness, it’s time for you to subtly give advice. But rather than just serve as their fountain of knowledge, steer them to resources (such as Mark’s Daily Apple) that they can access on their own. There are plenty of health and fitness blogs and resources out there, some more helpful than others, but try to help guide them towards those that will help them understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and how to best approach the task.
While you can certainly do your part to help your friend become a fitness aficionado, the reality is, you can’t do it alone. Instead, the onus is on them to make the decision to be healthy, to decide how to implement a fitness and diet regimen that works for them. In this case, while your support and advice is certainly welcome, this one, quite simply, just isn’t about you!
Your friend did it – they turned their life around, met a fitness goal, or mastered a new activity. Whatever the measure, be sure to celebrate the success. It doesn’t have to mean a big gift, a blow-out-bash or some other material token – you’ll find that a true friend can celebrate just by providing a few words of encouragement. Especially when those words are coming from the very fitness guru who has been there since day one.