If you’ve made it this far, you’ve made some seriously positive changes for your health. Way to go! September’s Hearth-Health Bucket List Challenge pushes you to spread that healthy momentum to your loved ones.
We all know someone who could use a nudge in the right direction, health-wise. But motivating a friend or family member to eat more greens or get out and exercise can be difficult, especially if you’re afraid of offending them or stepping on their toes. This month’s challenge will give you the strategies and tips you need to motivate your loved one to live a healthier life.
Find Their “Why”
While we all should strive to be healthier, everyone has different reasons for wanting to change their lifestyle. What works for you probably won’t motivate your friend or family member in the same way. That’s why it’s important to help them figure out their personal “why.” What’s going to help them make healthy choices at a restaurant, or get them outside to enjoy a walk on a sunny day? Their reason could be anything - from strengthening their heart, lengthening their life span, or just helping their clothes fit a bit better. There’s no right or wrong answer - all that matters is you connect them with a specific goal that feels personal.
Set Realistic Goals
Help your loved one set realistic, specific goals. Instead of saying “I’ll exercise more,” help them choose something like “my goal is to walk 20 minutes a day.” Then, plan it into their day. If your friend schedules time to take a walk every day before work, they’re much more likely to follow through.
It can be hard to change your habits and routines, but everything is easier with a friend. It doesn’t mean you have to join your friend for every workout at the gym, but make an effort to support their new lifestyle. If your loved one is trying to eat healthier, offer to try out some new vegan recipes together. Or, make a date to try out a new workout class or walking route together. Getting healthy with a friend not only makes the process more fun, but it adds a new level of accountability. If your friend knows you’ll be waiting for them at the gym, they’re much less likely to skip out.
Celebrate Their Achievements
If you’ve made it this far in the Bucket List Challenge, you know firsthand how difficult changing your health habits can be. Keep your loved one motivated by celebrating the work they’re doing and help them see the progress they’ve made. But, be strategic, here. Be mindful not to focus too much on appearances, as this can make someone more self-conscious and actually make them less motivated. Instead, focus on healthy habits or activities, like that 5K they just signed up for or the delicious healthy recipe they cooked last week.
We all need help at some point in our health journey. If your loved one is starting to fall off the wagon, getting real with them might not hurt. Remind your friend who smokes a pack a day how much quitting will reduce their risk of cancer. Tell your partner about the positive mental effects of exercise. Remind your loved one of why they started this journey in the first place, and talk about what’s keeping them from following through. Then, help them reevaluate their goals and how they can meet them.
Check Off September’s Bucket List Challenge
Helping a loved one get healthy isn’t always easy. There will be moments where your loved one will feel tired or unmotivated. In those times, remind them of their “why” and equip them with the tools and strategies to get over the hump. Together, you can stay on track and crush those goals!
Looking for more ways to live an active, heart-healthy lifestyle? Check out more heart-health articles just like this one!
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.