The Importance of Accountability for Motivation
Happy Motivation Monday guys! Today, I want to talk about the importance of accountability in keeping you motivated and on the track to your goal.
Accountability is not an easy task, especially when it comes to work outs and healthy living. After all, unless you have a personal trainer, no one is going to force you to work out. Furthermore, there’s no one who is going to smack a cookie out of your hand or make you eat properly either. But wouldn’t that be nice?
So, how do you hold yourself accountable in order to meet your fitness goals and to stay motivated?
Here are a few ideas to get you started on the accountability track:
1. Schedule your workouts
Are you one of those people that need to write everything down? With schedules getting busier and busier, why not add your work out into your schedule, just like any other appointment? Sometimes, it’s as easy as writing something down in order to keep yourself accountable.
2. Grab a buddy
During my college years, my roommate was always my work out buddy. Now, I’m lucky enough to have a husband that also serves as my workout buddy. Finding someone who will work out with you is a great way for you both to have accountability. There will be days when you need that extra push of motivation to get you going to the gym. Plus, if you know that someone is waiting on you, it is WAY harder to not show up or to cancel.
3. Write out your Workouts
If you read this post, then you are ready to start writing those work-outs down! I like to write out a week’s worth of work-outs at the same time, so that I know what I need to accomplish during the week. This helps to hold me accountable, because I am OCD and it drives me crazy if I miss a workout, because then I have to cross it out in my journal.
You don’t need a fancy fitness tracking journal. I just use a small spiral notebook with a fun or motivating cover. I’m currently liking this one, because, you know, GIRL POWER!
4. Earn Rewards
Yes, achieving your fitness goal through hard work is sometimes a reward in itself. But, when you are just starting out on your fitness and health journey, I recommend using small rewards to hold you accountable and to keep you motivated in the beginning. These rewards should not be food items and should be something that you truly want. Think work-out clothes, a massage, mani/pedi, etc.
Pinterest has some great ideas, my board on rewards can be found here.
5. Use a Fitness Tracker
By no means do you need one of these to keep you accountable, however, they are SUPER nice to have. I have this one and I love it! You can set your step goals as well as overall goals such as weight loss and it will set a calorie burning goal for you as well. Every hour, it will remind you to get moving if you haven’t met your steps for that hour. Furthermore, during your workout, you can go into “weight lifting” mode and it will track your heart rate and tell you how many calories you’ve burned. How cool is that?!
6. Make a Visual Aid
I am and have always been a HUGE fan of visual aids. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a list, or adding a marble to a jar to see how far along I have come. My favorite way to stay accountable is to print off calendar sheets for each month and stick it on the fridge.
Each day, after I complete a workout, I make a \ over the date and if I follow my macros, I make a / over the date. This way I can easily see the days that I completely followed my plan towards my goals because there is an “X” on the calendar.
There are so many other visual aids you can make if this doesn’t work for you. Keep trying different ones until you find one that holds you accountable and that you enjoy.
7. Logging Food
Food is the most difficult part of holding yourself accountable (trust me, I know). This is why it is usually the one thing holding you back from meeting your goals. So, you need to find a way to be accountable with your food intake and macros.
I suggest using a food tracker, such as My Fitness Pal or writing down your food choices in a journal. The most important thing, with staying accountable, is that you record everything you consumed throughout the day (see this post about using a food scale). I do not recommend this if you have struggled or are currently struggling with an eating disorder.
8. Join a Group
If you can’t find a buddy that shares your same goals, don’t fret! There are so many options nowadays to connect with people who share the same goals and dreams. If you like face-to-face interaction, you can join a fitness class such as yoga or boot camp. If you don’t have the time or funds to join a class, there are some really great Facebook groups and social media platforms in which to find people that will help keep you accountable.
9. Monitor your Progress
Make sure that you are keeping track of your progress in order to hold yourself accountable to your goals. After all, it’s difficult to hold yourself accountable if you are not even sure where you are currently at! This could be done either by taking measurements, pictures, or using the scale (a post on progress is coming soon so stay tuned!)
10.Hire a Personal Trainer
If you’re having a really difficult time holding yourself accountable towards your goals, you can always hire a personal trainer. Personal trainers are familiar with the struggles of accountability and are experts in their field of planning work out programs and are familiar with macros and nutrition (although they are not registered dietitians.)
I always love touching base with clients and checking in to see how they are doing towards achieving their goals. With technology, things have become way easier with training: I have face-to-face clients but can also do online training and accountability check-ins which makes things way more efficient. If interested in fitness, macros, or just accountability, feel free to reach out via the training or contact me pages.
No matter which strategy (or strategies!) you use to hold yourself accountable, make sure you find one that works best for you. It will not be an easy task in the beginning, but you will find that holding yourself more accountable will, in turn, help to keep you motivated as well.
I recommend fitting your accountability strategy into your every day routine so that it makes it easier for accountability to become a new habit in your life.
How do you hold yourself accountable?