3 Minute Read
One of the most useful things we can do to build better habits is to surround ourselves with people who echo similar habits. But what if the people who love you the most (your family) don’t echo those habits at all?
It can feel a little lonely.
A few years ago, my wife wanted to run a marathon. I smiled and said I would cheer her on from the sidelines because no sane person would really want to run 26.2 miles for pleasure. I thought I was being a good husband.
The first week went by, and it wasn’t too bad. 30 minutes on a weekday or an hour on a Saturday. While she was running on the hard cement, I was enjoying some alone time (aka: Netflixing on my comfy couch).
As her training progressed, the amount of time she was gone gradually started to increase. The 30 minutes on a weekday transformed into an hour and I wouldn’t even see her on Saturdays until late morning or early afternoon. The whole “spending time by myself” thing was getting a little tiring.
One late Saturday morning, as Sara entered the apartment from one her long runs, I mentioned how this whole running thing was taking up her entire life. She simply answered back:
“If you want to spend time with me, you need to run with me. You aren’t helping me achieve what I want.”
So, I started running and here’s what I discovered:
It’s easier to run longer if you have someone by your side. If you’re surrounded by runners, you’re more likely to believe it’s reasonable to run every day.
Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You’ll rise together.
Scripture is pretty clear.
Relationships transform lives. Those we choose to surround ourselves with will have a direct impact on who we are. Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the tribe. It converts a personal quest into a shared one. Previously, you were on your own. Your identity was singular. Now you are not. You are a part of a community that embeds this new identity and help behaviors last over the long run.
Now let’s be clear. Your family and friends do not and should not mimic your same habits. They should, however, support and breathe life into what you want to achieve. So, how can you get your family and friends on board?
- Talk about it.
Sounds simple and clear-cut, but how will they know unless you tell them what you’re thinking?
- Model it.
Lead by example. This is your life, and it shows how much this portion of your life takes priority.
- Ask them to join.
Like I said before, your friends and family don’t and shouldn’t change their habits because you think they should. However, if the practice you’re trying to change is something they could participate in–why not ask them? It’s better together.
Today, may you breathe life into the relationships that surround you. May you realize that good habits are never instant and take thousands of little moments to achieve.