For many people starting a fitness routine, the difference between success and failure is accountability. In short, doing what you said you were going to do. There are a few levels of accountability, but all have a powerful impact.
The first level is to yourself. The second is to your community which might be a workout buddy, family, or even a digital community. Finally, you can find accountability through a coach. Each of these three "tiers" is effective on its own - but taken together, they could make you unstoppable.
Level 1. Accountability To Yourself
In many ways, this can be the most challenging level of accountability to achieve. It often requires a change in how you think about your fitness and how you feel about yourself. It's difficult because sometimes it involves a shift in identity and becoming "the sort of person" who works out and prioritizes their fitness.
But it's not all abstract concepts. Some fundamental behaviors consistently lead to steady improvements in getting your workouts done. Here are three things you can get better at holding yourself accountable to your fitness goals.
Schedule Workouts In Diary
If you struggle with finding times for your workouts, it can help to sit down with your calendar and plan them out in advance. Not only does this mean that other people can't book you during these times, but it conditions you to think of your workouts as an important meeting with yourself, like a doctor's appointment, that isn't to be skipped.
Food Planning And Prep
Most people's reality is that making consistently good food choices that support their goals presents a more significant challenge than getting their workouts done. That means that more effort and planning need to go into food preparation to feel less of a problem.
Taking the time to make a shopping list based on meals you intend to cook each week may seem simple - but it can make a massive difference if you're not already doing this.
Tracking your progress keeps motivation high, but there's more to goals than scale weight. Keeping a record of how your clothes feel, tape measurements each month, and how you look in photos can give a complete picture of your body composition changing than just the weight on the bathroom scale.
Level 2. Accountability To Your Community
You can define your community in many ways, and not all of them have even to be interested in health and fitness. Here are ways to get some community support with your fitness goals.
Join A Community
This could be a real-life community, such as a class at your local gym, or a virtual community, such as a Facebook group online. Being around like-minded people who are positive and motivating can be a powerful force to keep you focused on your goals.
Share Goals On Social Media
A willingness to talk about your goals can somehow make them feel more real. Talking about your fitness journey on social media can encourage interactions from others who are curious about starting and may see you as a role model. Not only that, but you may find some people are also going through the same journey, and they may have some insight that helps you move forward on yours.
Workout With A Partner
Your workout buddy can be a friend or family member - but they need to be reliable. This is especially important at the start of your fitness journey, where you may feel under-confident to go to the gym and work out alone. If you partner with someone that isn't as committed as you are, you may end up ducking and dodging sessions as their encouragement. Make sure whoever you invite into your training space supports your goals, not distracts you from them.
Level 3. Accountability to A Coach
The benefits of hiring a personal trainer don't end at the psychological power of investing in your health. That sends a message to your unconscious mind that this is something you value and that you're making a priority. But it also removes all the thinking and planning from your workout plan.
Issues like when to go to the gym, what you should eat afterward, which exercises you should do when you're there, how hard it should feel, and so on. A good coach will handle all these things for you. It will free up your mental and emotional energy to think too carefully about the details. You can focus on the effort you put into actually doing the work instead.
Accountability is an essential part of success. Becoming the type of person that takes care of their fitness can happen by hiring a personal trainer, being an active participant in a community of like-minded people, and changing how you think about yourself. If you need to bounce off of ideas someone, feel free to get in touch.