So who’s keeping you accountable?
So many times I hear that what people are really missing is the accountability piece. But what I sometimes also hear in their voice is a sense of defeat that they need that.
WTH?!! Are supposed to be made of steal and completely self sufficient?
NO!! As I say, it takes a village!
I’ve been in fitness and wellness for a long time and even I need coaches….lot’s of them. For my own fitness goals, my spiritual practices, areas of interest, etc. It keeps me fresh, learning and growing…..and that is what feels great. Someone to hold my feet to the fire in the areas that i want to grow and flourish.
Who is supporting you? We’d be honored to do so.
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Successfully achieving any goal often results in that rewarding feeling of accomplishment, yet it feels even more satisfying when our goals lie in the area of self-improvement!
Being able to look in the mirror and seeing a healthier, happier version of ourselves looking back?… Well, it just makes all that time and focused effort worthwhile!
When we are able to implement positive change in our health, we not only look and feel better for it, there is also a rippling effect that spreads out into the many other areas of our life.
Our social lives, family lives, work lives and even the way we enjoy our own free time is enhanced by the improvement in our physical health and our mental wellbeing.
The reason I mention our mental wellbeing here is because there is a symbiotic relationship between our physical body, and our emotional mind.
Have you ever noticed how when you are feeling sick and run down, you might start to feel a little low or even negative? Or in reverse, you might be really excited and happy about something and even though you are exhausted or a little unwell, you seem to muster up a burst of energy?
This is actually explained well through the Ayurvedic principles of the ‘koshas’, or layers of self. This principle views each of us as being comprised of 5 layers. There is the ‘annamaya kosha’, or physical layer, the ‘pranamaya kosha’, or energetic layer, the ‘manomaya kosha’, or conscious mind, the ‘vijnanamaya kosha’, or higher/intuitive mind and the ‘anandamaya kosha’ which is our connected/spiritual layer.
Basically these principles of the koshas shows how in order to work at our optimal level, we need to focus from the bottom up, because each layer impacts on the next. So in order to support ourselves in achieving our fullest potential, we need to firstly work on ensuring our bodies are healthy and running smoothly.
So how do we achieve this? Well firstly you need the intention, or the desire for change. Then, and perhaps most importantly, you need goals. (This is where you are at now!)
“Goal setting is one of the most important skills taught to athletes in order to help them achieve optimal performance.” – According to Alan S. Kornspan, in ‘Fundamentals of Sports and Exercise Psychology’.
Having goals to work towards, enables you to focus on the steps that need to be done in order to achieve the results you’re after. The meta-analytic procedures described by Hedges and Olkin (1985), indicates that not only will goal setting improve your results, having a combination of both short and long term goals has been shown to have the greatest effect.
A long term goal will usually require time, planning and effort. It should be an achievable goal, yet one that will require focus and determination.
A short term goal (or goals) are similar in principle yet are more achievable in the shorter term. These are really important to have as they help you recognise the progression you are making, as well as give you that feeling of achievement which will help motivate you on.
So now you have the goal setting down. You know what you are working towards.
But what else can help you get there? The answer: accountability.
Accountability is also a leading factor in the potential success of you achieving your fitness goals.
Researchers from Stanford University conducted a study in 2007, between two groups of people who were all given the same exercise program. One group were given weekly calls to ‘check’ on their progress to help make them accountable, whereas the other group was not. The results indicated that there was a 59% increase in exercise participation in the group receiving the calls.
Another similar study conducted at the Virginia Polytechnic University, showed that after 24 weeks, the group who received the calls still had 63% continuing to exercise, compared to only 4% from the group who didn’t receive the calls.
Of course receiving phone calls is not the only way to keep accountable for your progression. A workout buddy (or buddies) is an excellent way to help motivate you and keep yourself on track. In fact as Mark Sisson says in his blog ‘How To Use The Buddy Effect To Achieve Your Health Goals’, people are not only much more likely to achieve their goals with a fitness buddy, it also adds a little fun competition that keeps your exercise time interesting and enjoyable.
Then there is also ‘self-accountability’, or answering to yourself.
This is finding ways in which you can help keep yourself on track and accountable for all the decisions you make along the way. Do you skip your workout sometimes? Do you go for a second helping of dinner? Or do you get up and at it?
Here are some great ways of keeping yourself accountable:
Progression Diary – Perhaps up until now a diary hasn’t been your thing? Or perhaps it has… Either way, being able to keep track of what you have done and how you feel about it is a great way to not only stay accountable, but it also enables you to reflect back on what obstacles (emotional or physical) may be hindering your progress.
Motivational Notes – Placing motivational notes around your home, to help encourage and support yourself can be a really inspiring way of staying focused on your goals. A great suggestion is placing positive affirmation next to your bed so it is one of the first things you see each morning. This will help you start your day off on the right foot!
Get Rid Of Temptation – When it comes to food and drink, if you can see it you will want it. So if it is not in your plan, try and get it out of your home. Fill your cupboards with healthy, wholesome food and drink that will support you on your new path towards a healthier and happier version of you.
Prepare Your Environment – Having an environment conducive to exercise will help motivate you to be active. You can put your exercise mat in plain sight (near the T.V!?), and place motivational photos of yourself, or others that inspire you, around your home.
So, if you are serious about implementing positive change and working towards a healthier, fitter and more capable version of yourself, then you need to be serious about setting specific goals and keeping yourself accountable along the way.
At the end of the day, it is you who is responsible for yourself. You have to make the ‘good’ choices. No one else can make it happen for you!
As they saying goes ‘You won’t necessarily get what you wish for, but you will get what you work for!’