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13 Ways To Get Your Partner Healthier

13 Ways To Get Your Partner Healthier

One of the hardest things to endure is watching a loved one self-sabotage through a plethora of unhealthy habits. You fear the long-term effects of their weekly drive-through runs and love for staying up until 2 AM regularly. Life changes involve sacrifice and are oftentimes hard to stick to because they require so much change, but with you as a support system, the transition will be less stressful. Here are 13 ways to get your partner healthier:

1. Start first

You can’t very well suggest that your partner start eating clean and exercising regularly if you aren’t doing the same. Start first. Try cooking a healthy meal a few times a week or taking a walk around the neighborhood after work. If your partner sees you making changes, they will be more inclined to do the same. Your ability to take charge of your own lifestyle will make it less of a threat than you confronting them first.

2. Keep the changes small

Too much at one time can overwhelm your partner. Rather than clean out the cabinets or splurge on new running gear, start with one healthy meal per week. Walk the dog for 10 minutes longer than you usually would. After you get comfortable, increase the number of healthy meals or suggest a walk around the neighborhood without the dog. Making changes one step at a time will help your partner adjust more easily.

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3. Get their friends involved

Express to his or her friends how much your partner’s health means to you, and then ask them to participate in the process. Invite them over for a barbecue and ask everyone to bring a healthy side. Plan group events like a soccer or volleyball game. The more support you create for your partner, the  better.

4. Come up with healthy date night ideas

Sit down with your partner and come up with some fun ideas to liven up date nights. Suggest a bike ride downtown, or try a new healthy restaurant in town. If he or she is stuck on going to the movies, skip the snacks and suggest a walk on the beach or around the lake after the movie. Pack some fruit and granola for the walk.

5. Let him/her help with decisions

One of the most important aspects of helping your partner get healthy is involving them in the decision-making process. Give them choices so that they can feel empowered. Let them actively contribute to their own progress and they are more likely to stick with it.

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6. Pick a theme for the week

This goes along with making small changes. Rather than throw a number of changes at your partner all at once, pick a theme for your week. For instance, the first week can be “healthy eating week.” For this particular time frame, you’ll focus heavily on eating well, and if you don’t get in daily exercise, don’t worry about it.

7. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier

One of the most important aspects of getting healthy is making sure we get enough rest. However, going to bed an hour earlier is pretty difficult. Instead, go to bed just 15 minutes earlier to start. Once you have done this for a week, add another 15 minutes on for the following week. This will train your bodies to relax earlier in the evening.

8. Collaborate on meal decisions

Pick out recipes that sound great to both of you, and then make the trip to the supermarket. Try to keep an open mind and realize that not every meal will go over well, but if you choose foods together, you are more likely to find things you both enjoy.

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9. Keep an open line of communication

Frustration is inevitable in any kind of life change, but remember to stay open to talking about it. Sometimes your partner might feel disgruntled with their progress. Make sure you are there for them to talk about it.

10. Be consistent even when they aren’t

If you stay consistent, your partner will be more likely to jump back into the new routine you’ve established. It is important to be a positive example to your partner.

11. Give them a gift to push them in the right direction

Has your partner shown interest in the local yoga studio or said something to you about the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings? To remind them that you care about their health, buy them a gift card to the yoga studio. Create a gift basket filled with fresh and healthy items from the farmer’s market.

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12. Remind them of how important they are to you

Sometimes a little encouragement can go a long way. Your partner might feel like quitting at some point. They might become discouraged. Remind them that you love and support them. Tell them how much they mean to you and that you are proud of them.

13. Celebrate successes together

Just like you grocery shop together, celebrate your success together too. Maybe they have dropped a pant size or quit drinking soda all together. Celebrate these things in a healthy way as a couple. Go shopping for new pants, or get a couple’s massage.

Featured photo credit: Alan Cleaver via

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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