Several years ago I started running. Okay, it’s more like very slow jogging. I ran around my neighborhood and sometimes went to the gym for some weight work. I actually like to run. It’s a great way to clear my head and the feeling when I’m done is fantastic (yeah endorphins!). But as much as I liked doing it, sometimes it was hard to get motivated. I’d talk myself into other “important” things I had to do. Things like dishes, laundry, watching tv. Or I would think about how tired, sick, sore I was and how I probably shouldn’t run feeling that way. Because I had nobody to hold me accountable, these excuses seemed perfectly logical.
Then I joined an outdoor boot camp type of exercise group. Camp Gladiator! The group meets outside (usually a parking lot) and there’s a trainer to run the show. I immediately loved the challenge and variety of work outs. I was hooked. I expected to get in better shape and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine in the process. What I was NOT expecting and took me by such surprise is the comradery in this group. I’m excited to go! I can’t wait to go see the friends I’ve made. We push each other and have friendly competition. When I’m feeling lazy, I can count on someone picking me up. They’ll text to make sure I’m ready to go tomorrow morning. The trainers text encouragement and hold me accountable.
This is a great example of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. As Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It makes perfect sense if you think about it. If you go to lunch every day with a group of people who order the double bacon cheeseburger, extra fries and large milkshake….will you order the salad, dressing on the side? Doubt it. If your roommates lay around binging on Netflix all weekend…will you clean the bathroom and then go for a bike ride? Doubt it. It’s only natural that you start to evolve into the people you’re around. That’s why it’s crucial to choose those people wisely.
If you want to excel in your school work or career, you want to be hanging out with people that already do that. If you want a healthy lifestyle, make friends at the gym or the farmer’s market. There are groups for everything nowadays. Search for your local Meet Ups and you’ll find business groups, gardening groups, study groups. Pick one and go check it out.
This may mean you need to change up your current situation. You may find this exercise beneficial. Take a long, hard look at each of your people. Think about how you feel around them, the energy they put out and their lifestyle. Them decide Demote, Promote or Terminate. Demote means you take a step back and maybe transition from “friend” to “acquaintance”. Promote means you get a great vibe from this person. You want to spend more time with them. Terminate is when you want to cut this friend off. That may sound harsh, but you should never apologize for doing what’s right for YOU and YOUR well-being.
I encourage you to take a time out and assess the people you’re surrounding yourself with. Do you want to be like these people? If so, GREAT! Keep doing what you’re doing. If not, it’s time to make a change. Don’t be scared. Don’t be apologetic.