Whether you're looking to lose weight or stop smoking, studies clearly show that it's easier to stick to a plan with a friend by your side.
Losing weight. Quitting smoking. Becoming a better person. Good intentions are rarely enough to get the job done. That's why people are encouraged to have a plan to help guide them to their goal. According to a study from the University of Leeds, having both a plan and a partner works even better.
The study looked at people who wanted to increase their amount of physical activity. Over six months, people who had both a partner and a plan exercised more often and for a longer period of time than people who had only a plan or a partner alone. And as an added bonus, they also lost more weight and trimmed more inches off their waistlines in those six months.
There have been few studies done on the effects of planning or partnership on exercise or weight loss. Most have been short-term studies done with college students. The Leeds study used employees from 15 British councils, government organizations of social workers whose employees are socially and economically diverse. Because the study group was broad-based, it makes it more likely that the study's results are generalizable, results a typical person could expect to achieve.