Making lifestyle changes and breaking habits can be difficult, but as with many things in life, support and encouragement can go a long way in easing the process.
No matter what stage of life you’re at, or what you’re trying to achieve, we can all benefit from social interactions with others and a supportive presence along the way. At heart, humans are pack animals who thrive off the close-knit communities we create for ourselves. Beyond the importance of social interactions for fundamental health needs, a strong support network can be intrinsic to the success of any lifestyle changes you may choose to make. Research has shown that having a strong support system can improve overall wellbeing, help to foster better coping skills, and act as a motivating power source.
How can those around us impact our behaviour?
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat’? Well, it is a similar idea with those you spend time with. There is a theory that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, meaning that you are likely to have a similar mindset, decision-making process and behaviour pattern to those who you spend most of your time with. As with any theory, there will be exceptions to this rule, however, it is an interesting concept to consider when looking at behaviour change.
It is common for those making specific changes in their lifestyle or behaviour, to surround themselves with other people who are also making this change. For example, people who wish to lose weight often join weight loss groups. This is likely due to the fact that they can benefit from the support network built within these groups that offer them encouragement, accountability and motivation to reach their goals.
It is logical that when you decide to make a change, being around those who are continuing with the behaviour you are trying to stop, will make it far more difficult for you to not cave and join in. Instead, spending time with those who either support your choice or are on the same journey can help to reinforce your new habits.
What is a support network?
A support network is fundamentally the group of people in your life that encourage and help you to achieve your goals. This can include friends, family, colleagues, trainers, coaches, teachers – anyone who supports you in an emotional, personal or professional manner. These are generally people you can rely on for advice, guidance or encouragement both in times of stress, but equally to celebrate your successes.
The OYNB support networks
One thing that we have discovered to be a cornerstone of an alcohol-free journey is community. It is the most common aspect we receive feedback on from our members as being the element that cemented their habit change. Having 24/7 access to other like-minded people across the globe who are all on the same journey as you to confide in when you’re feeling low, or to cheer you on when you are seeing progress is a powerful resource. Equally, being able to offer advice and support to others who may be in the early days of their challenges once you are more established in your journey can be just as valuable in reinforcing your lifestyle changes.
When you join OYNB, there are a number of different support networks for you to be involved in. When you are active on an alcohol-free challenge, you will have access to the OYNB Connect Facebook Group where you can post updates about your challenge, interact with others in countries all over the world, and see exclusive content from the OYNB team such as Facebook Lives with industry experts and access to community events.
For many, this is enough support to see them through their alcohol-free challenge successfully – however for others, they prefer a smaller, more private group setting where there is heightened accountability and support. Our Alcohol-Free Me community was designed to offer this, with additional access to the latest resources in behaviour change science, guidance from our expert coaches and multiple Zoom calls for you to join each week allowing you to meet with your AFM community ‘face-to-face’.
“AFM has delivered everything I was wanting and more – the community, coaches, support and care was without doubt a game and life changer. The inclusive environment allows everybody to find their own speed, engagement levels and comfort zone”
Once your challenge is over, you will have the choice to remain in the OYNB Connect Facebook group on a community only subscription, or to join the OYNB Challengers Facebook group where many OYNB veterans choose to stay in touch with the strong support network they have built along their journey.
Looking to make a change?
If you are curious about exploring an alcohol-free lifestyle, or simply want to challenge yourself to a period away from drinking, then the OYNB communities are ready and waiting to encourage you along the way. Come see the power of an alcohol-free support network for yourself!
Take the challenge and join the OYNB community!