What’s the single most impactful step you can take to set yourself up for success?
Build your core team.
Whether your goal is focused on health, career, relationships, or sport, your environment plays a monumental part in your daily and long-term success.
Why does environment matter so much? Because humans are hard wired as social beings. Even the most independent, hard-charging, motivated human beings are driven by a need to connect with others. Environment impacts our attitude, motivation, levels of stress and fatigue, and (of course) our daily behaviors. Take your nutrition, for example—when you surround yourself with people who value health and make meal choices aligned with that value, do you not find it so much easier and more enjoyable to select healthier foods options yourself? By building your core team, you decrease resistance so that your energy is focused on moving forward, rather than swimming upstream.
Who should make up your core team?
Start with family.
Take responsibility for communicating your goals with the people closest to you. At times, this means careful negotiation and compromise, particularly with family. How can you involve your family to make your journey fun for everyone? If improving dinner nutrition is one of your goals, how can you include your family in a way that’s fun, so that positive changes are sustained? Humans want to be healthy and feel good, but they don’t like to be told what to do or have things they enjoy taken away from them. Rather than focusing on taking things away, focus in on adding value around meals and healthy foods. Allow your loved ones to be part of your journey and your success! Yes, this takes thought and an openness for change. Give yourself the space to try to new things and have a few fails along the way. With a sense of humor and openness, those fails can be part of the fun.
Closest training partners and teammates.
The people you train with the most often know you the best. We all have a tendency to overdo it at times—your close training buddies can see when you’re dragging, or moody, or withdrawing (all signs that something is off and your body has unmet needs). Rely on each other to see what we (at times) cannot see in ourselves.
Coach and care givers.
Anyone guiding your choices around health should be carefully selected. Be discerning about who you recruit as your coach, doctor, physical therapist, etc., and make sure those people’s goals for you are aligned with your own health and performance goals.
How can those around you provide you with support if you are not supporting yourself? Take a place on your own team by giving yourself the same level of compassion and understanding that you would give to someone you love. Self-compassion is at the root of self-care, and any journey toward a meaningful and challenging goal requires a balance of stretching one’s limits with pulling back to restore and adapt.
Building your team and letting them in on your journey takes intention, patience, and clear and compassionate communication. The reward though, is faster progress, sustained growth, and richer rewards.