By Yuri Diogenes
In a study done by Brandon Irwin and colleagues from Michigan State University in the US, published online in Springer’s journal, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, in 2012 when social media was not as strong as it is today, it was found that a competent, virtual exercise partner can boost motivation and improve team performance. Since my friend and former coach, Greg McCoy first invited me to be part of the Destination Transformation Challenge support team, I had the privilege to see many people changing in the three months cycle. Four challenges later, I have enough evidence to say that this study done in 2012 is still very accurate, and the results are real!
The reality is that not only in the physical activity realm, but also in business, having a support system that is formatted to make sure you succeed, can have a direct and positive effect on your journey to achieve goals. An employee’s experience with a company will be direct affected by how this employee is encouraged and supported by his direct manager. Amy Gallo (2011), published an article at Harvard Business Review that lists some key attributes to make sure your employees are succeeding, and among them, there are three that are extremely relevant to every person that is helping someone to achieve goals, which are:
- Make sure that goals are attainable, but challenging: this is imperative in anything you do in life, Jodi Miller and I covered that in our Ready, Set, Achieve book, when we talk about SMART goals.
- Create a plan to success: without planning you have nothing to follow through, and chances are you will derail from achieving your goal because you don’t know what’s next. The plan is your blueprint to get where you want to go.
- Monitor progress: how do you know if you made progress or not without monitoring your improvements? You really can’t, and this is very true when you are going throughout a body transformation.
When you have a support system that cover these three pillars, and you have a group of people that are focused in achieving a common goal, you have the recipe for victory. In a weight loss research study conducted by Ray Wu, the cofounder of Weilos, it was found that a group of people that used this platform to share their weight loss journey were able to lose 1.2 lbs. per week, compared to 0.27 lbs. lost for the other group that didn’t share their results in this platform. Interesting enough, they key find was that accountability factor. When people are sharing their results they feel more accountable to make changes and show their results. The psychological aspect of knowing that someone is watching your progress, can make a huge difference in your daily activity, and motivation. How many times I experienced Transformation Challengers posting message in the group board saying: “I didn’t feel like going to the gym today, but when I saw you all posting pictures at the gym, I had to just go and make it happen.” – this is absolutely great!
Jim Rohn, the motivational guru once said: “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”, which is something that most of motivational speakers will say, matter of fact Tony Robbins expanded this quote saying: “Who you spend time with is who you become! Change your life by consciously choosing to surround yourself with people with higher standards!”. I personally believe that this is true, in everything you do in life. When I moved to US in 2003 to work at Microsoft, I was probably the one with less experience in my group, I was surrounded by engineers that I considered the best in the market. I could be shy and stay quietly in my place, but I didn’t, I was like a sponge, learning, learning and making sure that I used them as role model to continue my personal growth. After 11 years at Microsoft, I achieve many things, including publishing 17 books and becoming Master of Science in Cybersecurity.
The same pattern happened when I met Greg McCoy and his group of people at the gym. I was 280 lbs, 36% body fat, hanging out with local bodybuilding champions, and top athletes in this sport. Again, I used their work ethic, discipline and I learned many thing since 2011 when I started. Which makes me believe all these motivational gurus are correct when they say that you need to hang out with people that will that will lift you up and help you to get to the next level in your life.
Are you leveraging the right platform to achieve your goals? Make sure that you have a great support system in place to help you achieve your goals, this is a vital step in your life, and you should take advantage of it.