You hold yourself accountable at work to your boss, your teammates and deadlines. You are held accountable by your child’s teachers to ensure they get to school, do their homework and behave. Your friends, neighbors and others expect you to make good on your commitments.
And in most cases – you deliver on those promises, commitments and obligations. Mostly because you’re decent people who stay true to your word, but also because some is watching or expecting something from you, and many times there’s a reward or recognition that is attached (a promotion, successful children, happy friends and family). However, when it comes to your own health, weight loss, exercise, and general well-being, you don’t hold YOURSELF accountable. You’ll find reasons, events, excuses, and other nonsense to fill up the time and put your health on the back burner.
I’m not a big believer in the “New Year New You” mantra because I don’t think anyone should wait for a new year to make positive lifestyle changes. However, if you look at the New Year’s resolution statistics, only about 8% of people stick to or achieve their resolutions. That sucks! Why? One contributing factor, accountability.
How do you hold yourself accountable
If you’ve come to the point in your life where you want to make a healthy change – you know WHY you should do it. So, our failure to stick to a plan isn’t about knowledge. And, if we put aside injury, lack of access and some other barriers… our giving up really comes down to accountability. If someone isn’t checking in with us or following our progress, we’re more likely to sit on the couch and have that second bowl of ice cream.
Accountability and weight-loss results have been proven in many studies. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal is a great example of it’s power. But I’m of the belief that it is much broader than just weight-loss. Getting comfortable with being accountable to yourself and putting yourself first benefits you in so many other ways. Your mental health will improve, your confidence will build, your ability to say NO and prioritize will become second nature.
So, I’m here to give you some of the strategies that work for me. In addition, a few tools that may help track your goals, and tips for engaging those around you to help you hold yourself accountable to what might seem like a selfish thing – YOUR HEALTH!
- Say Something. Once you know what you want to do… lose weight, exercise consistently, eat better foods, speak up. Tell your spouse, kids, BFF, what you are trying to accomplish. If you say it out loud, post it on your computer screen or refrigerator or your forehead. Talk about it and you will become it because most of us enjoy that sense of accomplishment.
- Get a Buddy. You are exponentially more accountable when someone is waiting on you at the gym or to walk the neighborhood. You can take that even one step further and get someone to do meal planning and prep with. Make a date every Sunday afternoon to plan meals, prep a few dishes, etc. It’s socializing too! Which is always a motivating factor for me. Note – sometimes family members and best friends aren’t always the best buddies. They may not be ready to join you on your journey. Look for co-workers, neighbors, fellow parents from your kid’s school who have said out loud “I want/need to make a change.” The bonus… you may gain a great friend.
- Track it. Anything worth doing is worth tracking. I’m a type A personality and very motivated by results and, well, winning. Even if it’s just winning a little self-competition I have going on in my head. Track food intake. Doesn’t have to be calories and macros if you’re not ready for that. Start by writing down what you ate and how you feel. It will help you determine what’s working and what’s not. I recommend weighing in weekly if weight loss is your goal. Don’t do it daily… so much contributes to weight fluctuation. Keeping a diary of your healthy living journey is so helpful too when you’ve taken a step back or gotten off track. You can go back to times when you were feeling good and start those habits again. My favorite apps for tracking food and fitness – MyFitnessPal, LoseIt and 21 Day Fix Tracker.
- Find your Tribe. Say what you want about social media but it has opened up so many doors for finding support for anything you want to improve in your life. Find an online accountability group or one that meets in person. Spending time with like-minded people on a similar mission does amazing things for your results. They will not only hold you accountable but you will learn from their experiences and find new resources and strategies to stay on track. Looking for a good one to join on Facebook? Join me and my fit-minded, healthy-living peeps at Road Warrior Fit Club.
So those are my tips! I’ve used these over and over for 7 years to keep off over 20 lbs. Want more help? Need a buddy who’s not too close to you and won’t judge you, your goals and your progress? Hit me up! I’ve been doing this for a while and know how difficult it can be when you’re busy, stressed and feel pulled in a million directions.
Until next time, eat clean, move more and enjoy the journey!