When you start on a new path – be it education or health or diet – you tend to be super enthusiastic and OMG-why-didn’t-I-do-this-earlier and how-can-anyone-not-do-this. You have seen the light and you want to share it with the world, starting with your nearest and dearest.
Here’s a tip: stop. Don’t do it.
What? I hear you say. Why not? Why should I let them live in the dark like this? Surely they will love me for showing them the way out of their misery, because even if they don’t say they’re miserable, I’m sure they are. Why can’t I help them?
Because these are your goals and your realisations, not theirs. As much as we want to help those around us, we need to remember this. It took us however long to get to the point where we were ready for change – in whatever way we’ve changed – and they may not be there yet. Of course, if they ask you for advice or help, then it’s fair game. They’re asking, therefore they’re ready (or getting ready) but still back off slightly. Support them but don’t make your dream or goal their goal.
I remember early on in my gym going, I was working out with a friend, N. I posted about how it took me a while to realise that her goals were completely different to mine and our training together changed. My goal was simply to be fitter and her’s was to compete in a fitness competition. Her talk of protein shakes and supplements and insane training schedules was not my dream.
My dream right now is to complete the Couch to 5k and run a 5k. The Boy has bad knees and so running is not on his plate. When we go for walks together, I need to remember that and slow down. I know that if I really wanted to, I could run ahead and he’d catch up and sometimes I’m sure I’ll end up doing that, but when we walk together, I like being together and so I need to remember that my goal is not his.
I know it’s tempting to share the light with everyone around you. Preach the power of protein and the downfall of dessert. But hold back a bit. Don’t make your dream theirs.