It is really easy to see your partner’s bad habits and try to “fix” them. If your partner does not workout enough, eats unhealthy food, drinks too much, or has any other unhealthy habit that bothers you, you may be tempted to right their mistakes. Tread with caution. Trying to change another person can often be a recipe for disaster if they feel talked down to or unloved. Of course, that does not mean you cannot take steps to help your partner live a healthier life. Be smart, and follow these steps to lead your partner to healthy habits while maintaining a positive relationship.
1. Show, Don’t Tell
This is first because it is the most important step of all. You probably spend more time with your partner than you spend with anyone else. Whether you realize it or not, you are both influencing each other’s habits and lifestyles. If you eat fast food and sugary drinks all the time, chances are your partner will start doing the same thing, and vice-versa. If your partner is understanding and supportive, they will be happy for you when you change your own habits to be healthier. Start working out more, quit smoking, or eat less junk food. If you really make a positive change in your own life, your partner will take notice, and they might even follow suit. It is much easier to adopt a healthy habit when you are living with someone who already has that habit.
2. Do It Together
In many situations, both people in a relationship have similar bad habits. If you think you are much healthier than your partner, take a step back and think about that claim. Is it really true? What bad habits do you have, and what can you do to improve yourself? If you and your partner take a journey towards healthier lives together, you will each be much more likely to succeed. Working together reduces the possibility of conflict, and creates a natural support network. Make fitness goals together, workout together, and cook meals together. When you accomplish your goals, you can celebrate together and enjoy a stronger relationship.
3. Manage Your Expectations
Everyone has their own pace. What your partner decides to commit to and follow through with is entirely up to them, and trying to speed them along or put undue pressure on them will only put strain on your relationship. Be supportive, and help where you can, but remember that your partner’s journey is their own. You cannot do it for them.
4. Help Them Find What They Love
Just because your partner does not love the same kinds of exercise that you do, does not mean they simply do not like exercise. Working out should always be fun, and if you try to force your partner to do an exercise they hate, they will resent you for it, and they will not make any progress. Instead, try to find something they do enjoy. There are many different forms of exercise available, from hiking in the woods, to playing a dance game on the Wii, signing up for a kickboxing class, joining a local softball team, etc. With so many things to choose from, there is bound to be something your partner can enjoy and really get into.
5. Stay Positive
The best way to keep your partner on track and get healthy is to use positive reinforcement. Encouragement and positive comments will always be more effective than criticism. When you see your partner making small steps toward change, respond with praise. They will feel better about their new choices, and they will be more likely to continue them.
6. Talk About It
One of the most important things in any relationship is to communicate openly and honestly. If you keep things from your partner, your relationship will suffer. If you are trying to help your partner become healthier, you need to tell them that. Trying to get them to be healthier on the sly is dangerous, because it involves keeping secrets, and could result in a loss of trust. As long as you are respectful and kind, telling your partner that you want to help them develop healthy habits is not a bad thing. Keep an open line of communication, and involve your partner every step of the way. When you are in it together, the results will always be more satisfying.
7. Be The Rock
If you want to succeed in accomplishing your own health goals, and you want to help your partner too, the best thing you can do is to be as consistent and reliable as possible. Be the rock of your relationship. If you and your partner make a plan to wake up early every morning and workout, make sure you always do it, even if your partner doesn’t. When your partner sees your dedication and the results, they will be inspired to get up every day with you, and accomplish their own goals. Helping yourself will help your partner, and you will both be happier and healthier.