to a friend, a trainer, a workout buddy, to yourself! The more accountability you have to meeting your goals to more likely you are to do just that! This seems like a pretty basic, even obvious concept but it is one that in my opinion is so important when you are both starting and all throughout a fitness journey.
Lets face it, getting and staying healthy is not an easy task. It doesn’t happen overnight and even when you do achieve your desired goals it’s not like you can just stop training and eating right once you get there. It is a life long commitment you are making to yourself, a wonderful one, that will hopefully enrich and prolong your life, but a commitment nonetheless. Signing up at the gym or committing to a workout program is the first and possibly easiest step. You know you want to get healthy. You basically know what is going to get you there…exercising and eating right. The trick is continuing to show up. Showing up when just don’t feel like it. When the couch is way comfier than that recumbent bicycle seat. When it is cold outside. Or rainy. Or ordering that pizza sounds like a much better idea than making that kale salad that seemed like a good option when you were at the grocery store.
This is where accountability comes in! Sometimes you need that extra little push to get you up off the couch or to help motivate you to eat the salad over the pizza. Accountability can come in a lot of forms. Sometimes you can hold yourself accountable sometimes it helps to have someone else holding your hand (or dragging you kicking and screaming) to that workout. For me it is definitely a combination of both. I have a few ways in which I keep myself focused and a few plans for when I need that extra help. Take a look below for some of the ways I think are useful in achieving accountability:
- Make it Instagram official! – Or Facebook official, or start a blog or Snap Chat your progress…whatever works for you! Sharing your journey on social media is an incredibly powerful way to hold yourself accountable. This was one of the first things I decided to do immediately after I made the decision to get in shape. I started my Instagram page to document my progress because I knew if I put myself out there I would be more likely not to give up…and it worked! Not only do I feel the need to continually show up and share my journey but the support and motivation I have gotten from other users has been incredible!
- Tech – Santa brought me an Apple Watch 4 for Christmas this year and my favorite part about it is all the ways it can help track my health and fitness. It monitors and logs so many things from your steps, to calories burned, heart rate, workout goals, flights of stairs climbed and even tells you when you need to stand up if you have been sitting too long! It goes a step further with motivation by awarding badges if you meet your fitness/movement goals throughout the week which I really like. I have found this extra accountability to be a great motivator and a fun way to keep an even more detailed eye on my progress. There are a lot of great options for wearable fitness trackers from FitBit, Garmin and the really cool Motiv Rings. Do some research and find the one that best fits your needs! ⌚
- Planner/Journal Writing – Although the tech is fun, I am still old-fashioned and like to put pen to paper. This is why I also am a big fan of writing down my health and fitness goals. I love love love my Happy Planner (https://www.thehappyplanner.com) which is what I have been using since I started on my own journey last year. This particular planner combines the best of both worlds, planning and journaling, in one book that I myself use every single day. I record my workouts in it along with my goals for the week and month ahead. I go a step further too and get cute little stickers to mark special occasions or important dates which helps to make the whole process of getting and staying healthy more fun! 📝😜
- Join a Group – This is a great way to meet like-minded people who are striving for the same things you are! This could be a neighborhood group, an on-line workout group (I belong to one of these through the program I am doing and having scheduled workouts with a team is a great way to make sure you stick to your goals!), or even just a group of your friends or co-workers who want to make getting and staying healthy a priority just like you do. When one person in the group isn’t feeling it, the other ones are there to help them push through. In my experience, the hardest part of a workout is just standing up and getting ready to do it!
- Create a Group – If you can’t find an already established group to jump into, why not create and lead your own?? I did this as well with a few of my friends who saw all the positive changes I was making for myself and wanted to join in! What’s great about this is being responsible for other people’s health and fitness only makes me more accountable to my own. I feel like I need to lead by example now and not let them down! Talk about accountability! I am loving every minute of helping others though and sharing the passion I have found for this lifestyle. 👩🏫
- Sign up for classes – Sometimes accountability can be as simple as just finding a class you think might be fun and signing up! Along with the workout program I follow, I also make it a point to sign up and make it to at least one yoga or Pilates class a week. Signing up and putting it on my calendar makes it more likely that I will go and I love the variety it introduces to my weekly routine. As I have discussed in previous blogs, variety is so important to staying on track and not getting bored with my workouts plus an hour of zen a week and is soooo good for my life and everyone in it! 🙏
- Sign up for races/events – I’ve spoken about this one before as well, but I can’t stress enough how great having a deadline to work towards is for holding yourself accountable. I usually do these races with friends as well so that adds a level of competition (I am extremely competitive by nature- probably too competitive 😮) to them that only makes me want to train harder and more frequently. 5k’s, Color Runs, Tough Mudders, Terrain Races, Half Marathons…there are so many great ways to get out there and be active and a lot of them are to benefit charities which is the best part! 🏁
After you make that all important first decision to get healthy, find a way(S) to hold yourself to it! Just like one size does not fit all when it comes to working out or what meal plan works best for your body, how you choose to hold yourself accountable is unique to you. No matter how you go about it, though, finding ways to overcome the excuses and show up is what’s important! Below are a few pics of the ways I practice accountability from my list above…