Finding a Community Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Rissa Peace Root 2007

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Many of you made a New Year's Resolution to lose weight or get fit.  Now that a couple of weeks have passed, you may be feeling a little discouraged.  If you lack direction or have not gotten any positive traction, there are several free nutrition and exercise websites out there.  Look for one that offers advice and support, as well as tools for monitoring your lifestyle and progress.  I joined one of those sites a few months ago based on a recommendation from fellow Crazy Quilter, who has lost more than twenty pounds since joining Spark People. 

Since joining Spark People, I have tracked not only my weight and measurements, but what I eat, how much and how often I exercise.  I also use the service to set long and short term goals.  I joined before Thanksgiving and made it through the holiday season without feeling deprived and I even  lost a few pounds.  The short term goals have helped me finally give up diet soda.  I also set up goals for wearing a pedometer, recording my daily steps, and weighing myself.  Surprisingly, one of the things I discovered was that I was eating too few calories, so I added more fruits and vegetables to my diet. 

During my first few weeks on the site, I decided to join several Spark Groups that share my goals and interests.  There is a group for almost every community and if you don't find exactly what you want, you can always start your own.  In fact, I created a Spark Group for CyberStitchers and their friends.  It is a small group, but we are there for one another.  One of the first things I did was to challenge the group to buy and wear a pedometer.  There are plenty of groups dedicated to 7,500 and 10,000 steps a day challenges, but I thought it would be a good way to encourage new people to get into the habit of wearing a pedometer. 

Everyone has to start somewhere and there is a place for everyone at Spark People.  As you have probably discovered, there is a down side to having sedentary hobbies.  Some of us need to be reminded to exercise, eat right, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of sleep.  Even if you are doing well with your resolutions, finding a community to share your goals can help you stay on track.

By the way, I keep track of my daily pedometer readings on yet another website, called WalkerTracker.  It even provides me with cool little widgets that I can post on my blog or a web page.

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