|Posted on March 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM|
Jim Rohn said, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. When it comes to fitness, I find this to be very true. Take me, for example. I spend a lot of time in a gym with others who make fitness and nutrition a top priority. I look forward to spending time with my clients and other personal trainers because we chat about and, more importantly, act on our shared interest of fitness. I’ve also had periods in my life where I hung out with the not-so-fit and not-so-nutrition-conscious crowd. Freshman year in college was one of those times. The five people I hung out with the most enjoyed fast food, late night pizza and fried cheesesticks (which, I admit, taste pretty great). Being the social creature that I am, I joined my friends as we foraged for the greasiest, saltiest and sugariest (I know that’s not really a word . . .) snacks around campus! I managed to put on the famous “freshman fifteen” by the end of the year. No bueno. That summer, while I was away from my "freshman fifteen friends", I joined a gym, took aerobics classes (it was the early 90’s), got introduced to resistance training and clean-eating. I started hanging out with the resident gym rats and the director of the aerobics program. I read fitness articles and books like Perfect Parts by Rachel McClish (still a good read). That same summer, not only did I lose the freshman fifteen, but I was looking toned, lean and fit. I also became a certified aerobics instructor. That took place in 3 short months. Could I have done all of that if I didn’t have the support and encouragement of my gym rat friends and my aerobics program director/mentor? Maybe, nothing is impossible. However, I know it would have been a lot harder to change my habits and find the motivation without their influence.
Here’s the thing: humans are social beings. I find the more social a person is, the more likely he or she is going to fit in with whatever group they are currently with because they will find common interests and connect with people. That's what social people do! Connection feels good, so we seek it with our friends, acquaintances and even strangers. Knowing this, we can choose our circle of five consciously. This is powerful. If you’re hanging out with people achieving what you want, keep hanging out with them, you will help each other tremendously! If you’re not, then ask yourself: Whose habits and fitness levels do I aspire to adopt? Where do these people hang out? Find them and make friends with them. One easy way to do this is to join small group personal training sessions, where you train with other motivated individuals who share similar goals as yours. Many personal trainers and gyms offfer this option (including me! You can learn more by clicking here) ask around and find a good fit for you. The camaraderie, motivation, built-in accountability (you wouldn't dare flake on your friends!) and even some friendly competition can really inspire you to take your fitness goals to the next level. Does this mean you have to drop your current circle of five immediately? Maybe, but not necessarily. Just start adding in more time with the new and improved circle of five and see what happens. After all, a person can never have too many good friends