If I asked you if eating healthy foods was important, you would say “of course,” right? And if I asked whether exercise is key for health and wellness, you would most likely respond with a “yes.” We know that nourishing foods + regular movement = a healthy life, but often we don’t make it a priority. “Life happens” and fitness gets pushed to the bottom of the list until one day we get a wake-up call, like getting winded by one flight of stairs, or a dreaded high blood pressure reading. So how do we keep a healthy lifestyle a priority?
Accountability is a great place to start. We’re often willing to let ourselves down time after time, but when someone else is counting on us, we’re willing to show up. Our community of fellow members helps a ton with accountability. That friend who is normally in class with you notices when you haven’t been there! We let you know you aren’t forgotten and we want you here.
Here’s the thing: relying on others to hold us accountable is okay, in the short term. When we’re just getting started, we need that encouragement and outside support. Here’s where the truth hurts a little bit, though: No matter how much work to keep you accountable, it ultimately comes down to you. It’s 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 haven’t bought into the process, it won’t work in the long term.
So how do we stay true to our goals? Here are 10 tips for holding yourself accountable:
1. Engage in the community. We want to help you! 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. Plan ahead and 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 and realize you’re out of time.
3. Reserve for class. That way, you know the coach is counting on you to be there!
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. It sounds simple, but visually seeing your success is a huge confidence boost.
5. Share your story on social media or another public forum. There’s something to be said for putting it all out there! Even if no one on social media follows up with you on your progress, making a claim publicly will make you more likely to keep your word.
6. Take progress pics. We get used to how we currently look because change is slow and gradual. By looking back to our starting point and comparing it to where we are now, we can see how far we have really come.
7. Set quarterly goal-setting meetings with an accountability buddy. If you are a member at Prowess, we want to schedule these meetings with you twice a year, 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 regular 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 of it daily 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’s true! Our health journey is a marathon, not a sprint. You will have bad days. There will be plateaus. There will be naysayers and stress and self-doubt. Don’t let those things knock you off your path. Acknowledge them, thank them for teaching you something about yourself and then continue to make forward progress. Half of the battle is knowing how to get back on track when you have strayed.
10. Reward yourself for reaching micro-goals. Everyone likes a prize, right? Set mini-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 30 pounds, they can give themselves a little (non-food) reward 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. 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 might not work forever—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. Book one here!
Inspiration provided by Sarah Neal at CrossFit816.com.