Human nature is such that we may commit to something, but without a strong support system in place, we may find the process more difficult than anticipated.

Any number of things can derail us from our goal. Time, money, self-talk and lack of knowledge are just a handful of reasons we may quit on ourselves.

Making a decision to improve the quality of your life can be, well… life changing. Not everyone is going to be on board with what you plan to do.

This is especially true when what you decide to change disrupts the routines you’ve established with others.

When someone decides to start an exercise program that requires they get up earlier, their spouse may initially say, “Oh yes, I fully support you in this,” until they realize that means you’re getting up much earlier than usual which in turn means, they are being woken earlier.

Or what about someone who decides to stop drinking due to the chaos it is causing. Initially, their drinking buddies support this decision until they realize you are no longer meeting them at the bar for the standing Friday night get together.

What about those who dramatically change their eating protocol from candy, cakes, pastas and other foods that don’t support a healthy lifestyle. Family and friends may say, “Just this once you can have a piece of cake. You used to love cake.”

Your job is to put safeguards in place to assure your success.

Set yourself up for success

One of the best things you can do when making any type of lifestyle change is to enlist the help of a friend, family member or co-worker to offer support. As mentioned above, not everyone will support your change. Yet, others will.

Initially, you will feel like you can stick with just about anything, but as time goes on, your resolve may waiver. This is when the support of a healthy eating buddy, smoke free buddy, exercise buddy, or simply an accountability buddy comes in.

Coaches, mastermind buddies, accountability partner

To assure you stick with your commitments you are well served to find the right kind of support for your goals. In business, it’s not uncommon for successful entrepreneurs to have a business coach.

One might wonder why someone who is successful needs a coach. Actually, the reason someone is successful is that they know the value of a coach.

It’s one of those, what came first… success and then your hire a coach. Or… you hire a coach to fine tune success strategies.

Masterminds have been around for a long time. Popularized by the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, mastermind groups are a favorite of many people who want to improve in areas in both their professional and personal life.

For some people, accountability partners work great. An accountability partner can be your coach, a mastermind member or someone who has a common goal.

Regardless of the choice you make, any one of these can help you stick with your goals.

Change your playmates

There will be times when you absolutely have to let go of the relationships that do not support your changes. When I quit drinking over 34 years ago, I absolutely had to let go of the people who didn’t support this decision. It wasn’t simply a matter of wanting to, I had to. It was a life and death decision.

Was it easy? Not at all. It was quite hard, but it made all the difference in the world. Today, being a nondrinker is a nonissue for me. I can’t imagine ever drinking again, but I don’t tempt the hands of fate. I am still aware that I could go back to being a drinker so I don’t fool myself into thinking I’m bullet proof around this lifestyle choice.

When I first stopped drinking, I immediately surrounded myself with others who were on the sober path by getting involved in a 12-step program.

Whatever change you want to make, if you really want to increase your chances of success you MUST look at who you surround yourself with.

Change your playground

As previously mentioned, you need to put yourself in an environment of support. If your goal is to get to a healthy weight, look at where you do your food shopping. Do you stop by bakeries just to look? Baloney. Eventually you will say, “One cupcake won’t hurt.” Maybe it won’t, but chances are, you are setting yourself up for failure.

If you plan to get in top shape you need to put yourself in an environment that supports this. Join a local gym, go to local hiking parks, join the local Y or check out the local biking club. There is so much to choose from that it’s simply a matter of taking the action.

Take the initiative

Whatever change you want to make, take the initiative to set yourself up for success. It’s actually quite simple. Not always easy, but simple.

What it boils down to is this; do you want the change more than you don’t want it? If the answer is yes, you will do whatever you need to in order to create the change.