If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together...
- African Proverb.
Don’t underestimate the power of community when it comes to creating new habits. Research has shown social support can help create lasting change, especially if the support is from a group or someone you identify with.
Connecting with supportive and like-minded people has many benefits, including:
· Feeling less isolated and more connected
· Feeling less judged and more accepted
· Increased accountability and focus
· Receiving useful advice and ongoing inspiration
· Learning from others’ expertise and experiences
I recommend finding a coach, support group and/or a group class relevant to the changes you wish to make.
When I began meditating, I practiced on and off for years. I would drop in on a class here and there with friends or by myself. Eventually, I committed to a daily practice after noticing some subtle changes. Within months of practicing at home, the benefits became more apparent. I wanted to go deeper.
I started looking for a local class comprised of others with similar intentions and goals. After trying several groups, I finally found one that felt like home and fit into my schedule.
I created many beneficial connections including several with experts whom I could ask for help when I was confused or unsure. This group truly helped me take my practice to whole new level as well as improved my well-being in countless ways.
There are groups and classes for anything and everything you can imagine. If you’re ready to start cooking meals at home, take a cooking class or join a supper club. If you have unresolved feelings surrounding a death in the family, seek out a grief support group.
When working with a group or with a professional, there needs to be chemistry. If it’s not there, keep looking until you find one that fits. And if you can’t find the right group, you can always start your own.
A few of the many places to find a group or class include:
· Social media (i.e., Facebook)
· Meditation centers
· Religious establishments (i.e., churches, mosques, synagogues)
· Community centers
· Fitness centers (i.e., gym, yoga, Pilates, dance, etc.)
· Art studios
· Adventure groups
· Volunteer groups
If you have more questions, please email me. I offer free consultations over Skype or phone, privates in SF, and workshops in the Bay Area.
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Harvey, I. S., & Alexander, K. (2012). Perceived Social Support and Preventive Health Behavioral Outcomes among Older Women. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 27(3), 275–290. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-012-9172-3
Gallant, M.P. (December 2013). Social Networks, Social Support, and Health-Related Behavior. The Oxford Handbook of Health Communication, Behavior Change, and Treatment Adherence. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199795833.013.016
Heinrich KM, Carlisle T, Kehler A, Cosgrove SJ. (January and March, 2017).Mapping Coaches' Views of Participation in CrossFit to the Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change and Sense of Community. Fam Community Health. 40(1):24-27.
Edwards, E. A., Lumsden, J., Rivas, C., Steed, L., Edwards, L. A., Thiyagarajan, A., ... Walton, R. T. (2016). Gamification for health promotion: systematic review of behaviour change techniques in smartphone apps. BMJ Open, 6(10), e012447. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012447