10 Ways to Keep Yourself Accountable
If I asked you if eating healthy foods was important, you would say of course, right? If I also asked if exercise is key for health and wellness, you would most likely respond with a yes. So if we know that nutrition and fitness is the magic formula for living a vibrantly healthy life, why don't we do it? Why do we prioritize one over the other? Why do we put it on the back burner and often only get serious about it when we have been slapped in the face by a wake up call (can no longer take the stairs at work/playing with our kids is a struggle/going up another clothing size) or a not so great report from our doctors (high cholesterol/high blood sugars/high blood pressure)?
In my experience working with hundreds of individuals at CrossFit 816, it is accountability. We are often willing to let ourselves down time after time, but when someone else is counting on us or expecting us, we show up for them. We show up for others because we don't want to disappoint them, but yet we can willingly disappoint ourselves over and over. We justify why we just can't follow through on our nutrition plan, we make excuses for why we have to skip the gym today, and we follow it up with a promise to try again tomorrow- or better yet, start fresh on Monday. And every time we are subconsciously cataloging every time we didn't show up for ourselves as just another failure, so that over time we start to see ourselves as incapable, inept, and weak-minded.
Relying on others to hold us accountable, is okay- in the short term. When we are just getting started, we need that assistance. We need that encouragement and support while we develop those habits of improving our fitness and nutrition. At CrossFit 816, we have a framework of accountability to help those wanting to get started. We send reminders, we check in, we acknowledge you every time you walk through the door, we high five, we follow up, and we celebrate with you each time you reach a milestone. Our community of fellow members also helps in this accountability effort. That friend who is normally in class with you notices when you haven't been there and sends you a friendly text inquiring how you are doing. We let you know you aren't forgotten and we want you here to strive further toward your goals.
Now here is where the truth hurts a little bit. No matter how much we hope and work to keep you accountable, it ultimately comes down to you. It is up to you to consciously choose every day to make progress toward your goals. We will always cheer you on and help you, but if you aren't bought in to the process, it won't work in the long term. Then how do we stop letting ourselves down and create a safety net for reaching our goals?
Here are ten tips for keeping yourself accountable to yourself:
1. Engage in the community. We want to help you! It is our business! If you don't engage, you are missing out on a big piece of the magic. Who wouldn't want a group of like-minded people cheering you on every step of the way?
2. Set reminders on your phone. Schedule your workouts like appointments you can't miss. Set an alarm for when you need to start prepping your healthy meal, so that you don't look at the clock, realize you have no time, and reach for something unhealthy out of convenience.
3. Tell a coach when you are planning on coming to class. By putting your intentions out there, you have created an expectation that you will want to follow through on.
4. Print off a calendar, hang it in a visible spot, and cross off the days you hit the gym or stayed true to your nutrition plan, so that you can visually see all the marks of your success. It is satisfying to see your efforts adding up and will reinforce your intentions to keep going!
5. Share your story on social media or another public forum. There is something to be said for putting it all out there! Even if no one on social media follows up with you on your progress, you making a claim publicly will make you more likely to keep your word.
6. Take progress pics. To see our progress, we have to keep in perspective where we started. We get used to how we currently look because change is subtle and gradual. By looking back to our starting point and comparing it to where we are, we can take stock of the progress we have made since day one.
7. Set quarterly goal-setting meetings with an accountability buddy. If you are a member at CrossFit 816, we want to schedule these meetings with you every quarter, so reach out to get yours on the calendar! If you aren't a member here, find a friend who needs accountability too and make quarterly dates to review your progress and set goals for the future.
8. Constantly remind yourself of your "why." A goal is great, but if we don't know why we want to reach it, it doesn't mean much. Ask yourself why you want to focus on your fitness and nutrition. How will it impact your life? How will it make you feel? It doesn't hurt to do some visualization either. Mentally imagine yourself as the person you see yourself as if your goals are met. Once you have a solid "why," remind yourself daily of it, so that you internalize it and keep it close to your heart.
9. Don't make it all or nothing. "Rome wasn't built in a day." We all know that saying and it is true! We are on a journey, not a quick trip to the supermarket. There will be ups and downs. There will be plateaus. There will be naysayers and stress and self-doubt. Don't let those things knock you completely off your path. Acknowledge them, thank them for teaching you something about yourself, and then continue to make forward progress.
10. Reward yourself for reaching micro-goals. Everyone likes a prize, right? Set micro-goals along the path to your BIG goals and reward yourself for hitting those milestones along the way. An example is if someone wants to lose thirty pounds, they can give themselves a little gift for every five pound loss. Someone who wants to focus on nutrition can reward themselves for each solid week of staying on track, or keeping their eating out to below an acceptable minimum for the week. These rewards don't have to cost money either- get creative with things you enjoy and treat yourself!
There are many other ways to keep yourself accountable, so find what works for you. Something that worked once may not always work- switch things up often to stay excited and motivated about your success.
If you need help getting started on your health and wellness path, feel free to contact us! We would love to set up a No Sweat Intro with you where we talk about you, your current lifestyle, and your goals and help you make a plan of action. You can even book your No Sweat Intro HERE.
Wishing you love, health, wealth and abundance,