Creating Social Support Groups.
Social support has been identified by researchers and wellness practitioners as a vital component of successful behavior change. Having a trusted group of people around you to provide encouragement, support, and act as added accountability can be the difference between successfully adopting a new habit or sticking with an existing one, and falling off the bandwagon. The image at the bottom of this post shows that in-person as well as virtual social support are highly important for both initiating and sustaining behavior change.
Our hope for this section of the forum is that people will form social support networks to help each other reach their goals.
While the possibilities are numerous, below are some suggested possible uses of this section of the forum.
1) Create a support thread around a specific goal
In such a thread, you can post that you're looking to create a social support group around "x" goal that others with similar goals or needs could engage with. For example, let's say you want to create a group for people that tend to attend the 8:30am FS class every Monday and Wednesday. You could post a thread titled "Monday & Wednesday 8:30am Accountability Group!", and see if you can create a small community of people who support one another to attend that class. This could also be related to nutrition, or any other health behavior. Don't forget to bookmark your thread by clicking the golden star (pictured below) so that you get post notifications. Don't be discouraged if your group initially doesn't take off. The forum will grow over time and we hope that this section will become more and more active with time as well.
2) Join an existing group.There may already be an active group discussion that would make sense for your needs. Look through the recent discussions here, and if one sticks out to you, comment in that thread introducing yourself. These are public groups, so the expectation is that all groups are open to anyone who wants to participate. Thus, don't hesitate to jump into threads and engage with those already there.
3) Accountability or support with a specific short term goal
Let's say you have a specific short term goal in mind, such as making it to the gym tomorrow morning. You know you'll have a hard time holding yourself accountable, and you could use some help here.. You could make a thread here and and an AFS team member or other community members will follow up with you on whether you stuck to it or not. At the very least you can expect an AFS team member to check in with you. While over reliance on this sort of accountability is not super conducive to long-term behavior change, it can be very helpful when used sparingly for particularly challenging situations or early on in the adoption of a new habit.
So, with all of that said, we hope that this section of the forum proves helpful in forming a stronger social support system as we all work to establish new habits, or change existing ones.
Your AFS Fam