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The gift of wellness is an excellent opportunity to help someone you love to begin his or her personal journey to health and happiness. However, when you choose your gift, be sure your friend or loved one knows it is wrapped in love–not criticism about their health habits.

Make Your Intention Clear
Intention is the purpose behind an action. Moreover, an intention can be the force that makes your goal or vision a reality. Let’s imagine that you are concerned about a friend’s weight gain. Your intention is to help her be healthier but if you give a gift that implies she’s too heavy, she may think you don’t like how she looks. In other words, your intention was positive but your gift may come across as negative.

When you give a spa or wellness gift card (like ahem, a card from WaySpa), she can use it how she likes. She might choose a massage over a fitness class but if your intention is to help her start healthy habits, you can trust her to make the choice that’s best for her.

Reminder: Intentions are seeds need to grow on their own. Let them choose their own paths to wellness.

Be a Good Example for New Healthy Habits
Not everyone grew up with healthy habits. Your mom or dad may have had lots of healthy snacks on hand but a mother with a junk food addiction may have raised your friend. Or perhaps your parents loved outdoor activities and you grew up hiking, biking and swimming for fun. However, your friend’s family thought good times involved binge-watching TV, along with sugary drinks and carb-loaded snacks. You can see where we are going with this.

If you want to help your friend embrace healthier habits, introduce him to enjoyable fitness activities like a walk on the beach or that new hip hop class you discovered. Start slow and encourage him to walk further or dance harder without being a nudge or lecturing. You’ll be surprised how quickly he learns to make exercise a regular part of his life. Then you can suggest the boxing class.

Reminder: It’s not your friend’s fault that he grew up with unhealthy habits. Be a positive role model by including him in healthy fun activities.

Hang Out with Healthy People
It’s a fact: our friends have a big influence on our health. In a 32-year study, The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who had one or more close friends who were obese were more likely to be overweight (a 57 percent increase). In addition, a Gallup poll showed that smokers were more than twice as likely as non-smokers to have friends or family members who also smoked.[1]

If your friends need some motivation to change to a wellness lifestyle, introduce them to your Pilates teacher at a social gathering or invite them to a fun and social yoga class.

Reminder: The people you hang with have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. Motivate people you love towards a wellness journey by introducing them to friends and family who live a well life.

Feel Good, Inside and Out
Feeling happy is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If your goal is to help others discover the joys of feeling and looking their best, we suggest you practice these four intentions[2] – and then invite your friends and family to join you on your path to wellness.

  • Manifest happiness naturally

  • Lead by example

  • Love unconditionally

  • Make someone smile every day

And don’t forget: a WaySpa gift card is a great way to say you care.

[1] Next Avenue, “4 ways that choosing, and hanging with, the right ones can help,” Rashelle Brown, August 2015
[2] MindBodyGreen, “10 Intentions To Set For Your Most Authentic Life,” Chandresh Bhardwaj