If I asked you if eating a healthy diet was important, you would say ‘yes,’ right?
And if I asked whether regular exercise is crucial for health, you would most likely respond with an “absolutely”.
So if we know that a healthy diet and fitness is the magic solution for living a sustainably healthy life, why don’t we do it? Why do we prioritize one over the other instead of making the two coincide? Why do we only get serious about our health when we’ve been slapped in the face by a wake-up call? Did your pants get a little snug? Did you get reprimanded by your doctor for iffy bloodwork? Either way, something typically disrupts our daily lifestyle that drives us to finally realize we need to take action.
In working with hundreds of individuals at Lift, it has become clear that accountability is the ultimate driver toward success.
We are often willing to let ourselves down or get distracted by external factors. However, when someone else is counting on us…we show up.
We willingly disappoint ourselves over and over, but we don’t want to disappoint the person striving to keep us accountable. We justify why we can’t follow through on our nutrition program, or we make excuses for why we have to miss the gym today. We follow it up with empty promises of trying again tomorrow—or better yet, to start fresh on Monday. In doing this, we subconsciously categorize every time we didn’t show up for ourselves as just another failure. Over time of reaming in this vicious cycle, we simply begin to see ourselves as incapable, inept, and weak-minded.
Relying on others to hold us accountable is okay—in the short term. When just starting out, we need that assistance. We require that encouragement and support while we develop good habits. At Lift, we have a framework of accountability to help those wanting to get started. We send reminders, check-in, acknowledge you every time you walk through the door, high-five, follow up, and celebrate with you each time you reach a milestone.
Our community of members are so dedicated to one another that they aid in this accountability effort. That friend who is typically in class with you notices when you haven’t been there and reaches out. We let you know you are not forgotten and want you here.
Here is where the truth hurts a little: No matter how much work you do to keep yourself accountable, it ultimately comes down to you. It is up to you to consciously choose every day to progress toward your goals. Of course, we will always support you and help you towards your goals, but if you haven’t bought into the process, it will not work in the long term.
So how do we stop letting ourselves down and create sustainable lifestyle habits that allow us to reach our goals?
Here are 10 tips for holding yourself accountable to your goals:
1. Engage in your community.
We want to help you! It is our business! If you don’t engage, you miss out on a big piece of the magic. Who wouldn’t want a group of motivated, like-minded individuals cheering you on every step of the way?
2. Set reminders on your phone.
Schedule your training sessions like appointments you can’t miss. Setting aside time will help you adhere to your program without the excuse of “something else came up .”Set an alarm for when you need to start prepping your healthy meal. This will alleviate reaching for something unhealthy out of convenience because you lack time to be prepared.
3. Tell a coach when you plan on coming to class.
In fact, RSVP to every class you plan to attend at the beginning of the week. By putting your intentions out there, you have created an expectation you will want to follow through on.
4. Print off a calendar and hang it in a visible spot.
Cross off the days you hit the gym, or stay consistent with your nutrition program. Visually seeing your marks of success is satisfying, and seeing your efforts add up will reinforce your intentions to keep going!
There is something to be said for putting it all out there! Even if no one follows up with you on your progress (which many people will), it will make you more likely to keep your word.
6. Take progress pictures.
We get used to how we look in the now because change is subtle and gradual. It is crucial to remember where we started. By looking back to the beginning of our journey and comparing it to where we are now, we can see how far we have come.
7. Schedule goal-setting sessions with an accountability buddy.
If you are a member at Lift, we want to schedule these meetings with you every quarter. Reach out to your trainer or our Client Success Manager to get this on your calendar today! If you are not 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 it doesn’t mean much if we don’t know why we want to reach it. Why do you want to focus on your mental and physical health? How will it impact your life? How will it make you feel? It doesn’t hurt to do some visualization, either. If you mentally imagine the version of yourself you want to become, you will strive to exceed your goals. Internalize your “why,” and keep it close to you.
9. Don’t make it all or nothing.
We are on a journey. This is not instant gratification like going to the nail salon or hairdresser. There will be ups and downs. There will be plateaus. Don’t let those things knock you off your path. Instead, acknowledge them, thank them for teaching you something about yourself and then continue to make forward progress.
10. Reward yourself for reaching micro-goals.
Set micro-goals along the way. Small compounding steps that will lead to your BIG goals. Reward yourself for hitting those milestones with something that will motivate you to keep pushing forward. For example, if someone wants to lose 20 pounds, they can acknowledge their success with a small gift for every 5 pounds they lose. Get creative with things you enjoy, and remember, how you reward yourself does not have to cost money.
Contact us if you need help getting started on your health and fitness path! 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 an action plan. Send us your info below, and our Client Success Manager will be in contact with you shortly!