Everyone knows it takes discipline and determination to live a healthy, fit, active lifestyle. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it.
With so much temptation staring us in the face in the form of greasy fast food burger
s and fries and comfortable couches in front of TVs inside air-conditioned homes, if your willpower to pull yourself away from those vices or situations falters, well, it’s a slippery slope my friends.
Remaining dedicated to a healthier lifestyle also takes a meaningful “Why?” (I covered this in a previous post). If you’re not working out and staying fit and eating better for the right reasons – the most personally meaningful reasons – it’s simply too easy to give it up.
But sometimes, internal motivation only goes so far. Because working out can be really freaking hard. Because results don’t always immediately surface. Because donuts tastes so stinking good!
And this is where accountability comes in.
For lack of a better definition, accountability is simply the positive pressure you feel from making your intentions known.
If your idea of accountability is fear-based and negative in nature, that’s coercion, and that’s not cool.
When it comes to fitness and health, accountability and being in communication with other like-minded people can have a dramatic and profoundly affirming effect. In a post on ExperienceLife.com, Gina Demillo Wagner cites that “a 2011 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that the exercise habits of people you know have a positive influence on your exercise habits.”
Positive accountability can take on many forms. Here are four essential accountability hacks to keep you on the right path:
- Set goals – But don’t just look at the end. Create milestones to achieve on your way to those goals, and go crush them! And as I covered previously, make sure they are measurable and time-bound.
- Tell others – Tell your spouse, your kids, your siblings, your parents, your best friend, your business partner, your favorite barista. Tell someone important in your life what you are doing and why you’re doing it. The knowledge that they might ask “How’s it going with that?” the next time you see them
- Get a training partner – Nothing helps you bust through plateaus and keeps you going like knowing you have a trusted friend with you … who will celebrate with you when you hit that new PR or who will text you when you’re late to the gym in the morning!
- Keep a log – Measure your progress. Taking notes daily of how much you lifted or how fast you ran or how many calories you consumed and comparing those over time to when you started can give you the insight you need to see that results are happening even on the days when it seems like nothing is changing.