Accountability is a word that gets tossed around on the regular when discussing getting fit or dieting. You may see posts on social media telling you to sign up for a program and have a “coach” you have to be accountable to, etc. In theory, this is a great concept. In reality it isn’t always effective. If you’ve learned anything from me yet, I hope it’s taking a nugget of wisdom from anything and make it work for you. We all process information differently and what may work for one person doesn’t work for another, but the “idea” of something can and I believe that about accountability.
My most successful years in running have been attributed to some form of accountability or another. Some times it was as simple as making running dates with others. This past year had a lot to do with checking in daily with my running sister. Essentially the goal is to find something that you won’t let down. For me, it’s easy to cast my own desires or fulfillment to the side, but if I believe someone is counting on me, there’s no way I will let that person down. If I am committed to meeting a person for a run or I know that sticking to my runs is motivation to my friend to stick to there’s, I will do it for that reason. So what you need to figure out is what drives you to successfully commit to something and find a way to apply that to accountability.
Here are different things to try and see if they work for you:
- Social Media – It does work for me. Even if only two people are there cheering me on, I feel compelled to keep going and not let them down. It also forces you to be honest. Take a selfie and post your results so no fibbing can be involved…..like checking into the gym, but not actually working out!
- Partner – Find a friend or someone who is training for something as well. Check in each day with each other and share your goals.
- Make Dates – Set up plans with a workout buddy. Be it the gym or the trail, making plans to meet someone may increase your likelihood of sticking to your plan. Make sure that person isn’t the type that will cancel on you either!
- Announce Your Goals – Tell people all the time what you are working towards and what your goals are. Whether they care or not is irrelevant. In the back of your mind you are going to want to stick to your plan to achieve those goals. Especially when you’ve been blabbing about it for months.
- Make a Schedule – Make one that works for you. If you need a little wiggle room, make space to adjust, but put your schedule out where you can see it everyday.
- Join a Group – Join a group on social media or even one that meets in person. Having a group of people that you feel accountable to is important. But you also need people that you can discuss your struggles, frustrations, and confide in. They are there to support and encourage you. I started a group, “Accountability With Header” for that exact reason. Feel free to join for fitness purposes or anything else. It’s there for anyone trying to better themselves in life.
Try these things out and see if they work for you. Edit them to accommodate you or if it just isn’t something that’s going to keep you motivated don’t do it. At the end of the day these are only tools and still require your full commitment to be successful. As I noted, I’ve had to implement several of these to keep myself focused and successful. The common thread of accountability has been the support and encouragement of others, and that is something we all need.