by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
You are doing all the right exercises and eating the right foods. Why aren’t you reaching your goals?
The missing ingredient in your diet, or exercise in your routine, may be accountability. Often, we know what needs to be done. Instinct alone warns a bag of chips over a piece of fruit is not a good idea. A stint on the treadmill is healthier than a sitcom. We have the basic knowledge. We even may be motivated. What’s missing? Answering to someone.
Ultimately, we must answer to ourselves. It is this peace-of-mind that allows us to sleep soundly at night. However, when it comes to self-improvement, accountability to oneself is not always enough. Self-neglect can be justified as we reason with ourselves why we missed a workout or grabbed fast-food. We explain we were too busy taking care of others’ needs, working, or tired from responsibilities to the rest of the world. With that mindset, it almost sounds commendable to have to miss a workout.
Being accountable to someone helps us commit to ourselves. That person can monitor our actions and police our excuses, with our best interest at heart. S/he may not even need to get involved. The thought of this person’s opinion when we contemplate a cookie or shorten a workout can be enough to keep us on track. Extra points if it is someone we admire and want to impress.
Find the Perfect Match
Choose an accountability partner based on your needs.
Pick a friend to be your coach. You know that person in your life who often has a smile and a pep-talk at the ready. Ask if s/he is willing to become your accountability partner. Explain your expectations and needs. Allow him/her to decline if too overloaded with his/her own commitments to monitor yours.
This person does not necessarily need to work out with you. (A great solution for those who relish workouts as “alone time.”) S/he should know your workout schedule and fitness goals. Report your progress and confirm each exercise session you accomplish. Give him/her a copy of your training program and health goals. (This means you’ll have to create one first, which also helps commitment.)
Grant permission to be checked on, and gently harassed, when needed. Random calls or texts are acceptable to spot check workouts in action. Added bonus if this friend is your frequent coffee date. S/he’ll know when you skipped a Center visit for a latte and bun.
Find a workout buddy. Pick someone from your Group Fitness class or the early-morning swimmer who shares your schedule. Look around the Center for a familiar face. If you recognize someone, chances are you enjoy working out in similar areas with compatible schedules. This type of accountability partner can be reciprocal, each of you supporting the other.
Choose a person at your skill level or slightly higher. You want friendly competition without feeling inadequate. Set goals together. Perhaps you both want to try a half-marathon, bodybuilding contest, or cycling event. Maybe you want to try a new exercise method, like the Pilates reformer. Sample a new Group Fitness class together or venture onto the Exercise Floor for a different weightlifting program. A workout buddy reduces intimidation as you advance and grow your fitness program.
Hire a personal trainer. Take advantage of the skill and insight this accountability partner can share. More than a person to whom you must answer, this professional assures you exercise at maximum potential. Each fitness session is closely monitored and developed to meet your needs that day.
Make the most of the time you now consistently dedicate to fitness. A trainer that specializes in your fitness goals and needs can safely help you achieve fitness success, which helps hold you accountable for many workouts to come. The financial commitment involved also helps get you off the couch and to the Exercise Floor.
Be accountable! Make an appointment with one of our trainers today!
As a Center member, there is never a reason to go it alone. Find an accountability partner and share the journey. Show up. Be encouraged. Achieve.
All you need: flickr.com/photos/sixmilliondollardan/3675896785/