How to Inspire Your Family Without Force

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Whether you’re already a Health Coach, or simply passionate about health and wellness, you know that positively affecting your closest friends and family often presents the biggest challenges. Why don’t they just listen and do what’s best for them?

To you, eating whole foods, exercising, drinking water, and making time for self-care are the obvious steps to health and happiness. Watching family or close friends experience difficulties that you know can be alleviated with simple lifestyle adjustments is disheartening, if not outright frustrating.

Then again, have your frequent reminders about eating more vegetables been effective? Have your nocturnal raids of all processed snacks stopped your family from craving “junk food”? If the answer is “no,” then perhaps it’s time for a new approach.  

Here are a few tips to help you use your talents where they’re most appreciated:

Accept that you cannot help those who are not ready to help themselves. You cannot hold yourself responsible for the choices of others, and you must give loved ones space to have their own realizations about what they need.

Focus your efforts on your own health and happiness, and that of the people who actively seek your support. Your behavior will still have an indirect effect on the individuals you want to reach most. In time, they might be inspired to ask you for help.

Do what you can. There are many subtle ways you can gradually effect change. For example, offer a friend a taste of a healthy meal you’ve prepared or invite them to try a new class at your gym. These minor shifts in the way you present healthier options are more likely to inspire them to make adjustments in their own lives, without feeling that they were told to do so.

How do you address the challenges of helping those who are resistant to change?

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About Diana Chaplin

Diana Chaplin is the Lifestyle Editor of the Integrative Nutrition Blog and a 2012 graduate of the Health Coach Training Program. She can be reached at blog@integrativenutrition.com.