10 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable

In my experience, being held accountable seems to be the difference between working out for a few months and making a lifelong [and positive] change in your life.

For some reason, it is so easy to quit on yourself even after you’ve made dramatic changes and experienced amazing results!  I’ve witnessed it on multiple occasions and it makes me sad to watch someone walk away from all they’ve done up to that point!

“You made it so far!  Why are you stopping now?!”

Why does it take the metaphorical “punch in the face” to start making drastic changes?  Wouldn’t it make a whole lot more sense, and be a bit easier, to continually make small improvements along the way?

On the flip side, I’ve seen people hit a plateau, get frustrated, and quit.  Here is a list of actions you can take to improve the likelihood that you will stay accountable to what you said you wanted in the first place…

1 – Support System

I’ve seen arguments about holding your goals and aspirations close to the chest because sharing it with someone mimics a similar dopamine rush as accomplishing it.  And while that does make sense to me and there is a powerful chemical reason you shouldn’t, the accountability you garner from sharing it with someone is unmistakable.

When you share your goal(s) with someone, you’ve created a level of social accountability that just might push you past setbacks.  Plus, if you combine this with one of the other accountability strategies below, you make it even more effective!

2 – The Calendar on Your Phone

How many times have you said, “I didn’t have time today?”  How many times have you said, “right now is just not the right time for me to work on myself?”

While that might seem true, a quick time audit might help you see what’s really going on.  If nothing else, show me your time audit and I’ll show you what your priorities are.

Here’s something you could do to help ensure you get done what you are telling me you want to get done:  set recurring appointments in your phone with reminders.  It doesn’t even have to be a long appointment.  30 minutes might be sufficient for what you have in mind!

If you are at the mercy of others adding to your calendar, block out times.  While that is not necessarily 100% effective, it’s much better than “waiting for the right time.”

3 – Be Accountable to Your Trainer or Coach

If you’re someone who takes classes in some respect, let your coach know when you plan on coming in to workout.  If you’re someone who has a Personal Trainer (I know some great ones HERE), of course you have your appointments but if you’ve got assigned homework, let them know when you plan on doing that.

Yes, both day and time.

There is something special about knowing your “eye in the sky” knows what’s going on and when it’s going on.  Unsurprisingly, this is what we’re here for!

4 – Print Off A Calendar

Have you ever made a to-do list?  If you have, have you ever accomplished something that wasn’t on your to-do list?  Let me guess, if it wasn’t on your list you probably wrote it on there just to cross it off.

Feels good to be productive, right?

You can leverage this same thing with regard to your workouts:

  1. Print out a physical calendar, or buy one
  2. Get a marker or buy some stickers
  3. Each time you get a workout done, check that off [on your calendar] on the day you did it

Pretty soon you’ll see that these things add up!

5 – Accountable on Social Media?

As many really horrible things that social media has been responsible for, or correlationally responsible for at least, you can leverage it for your own goals.

Looking to lose 50lbs?  Create a post to share about your goal and the things you’re going to be doing to accomplish it.  Having it out there in the world, for people to see, puts some ‘skin in the game.’

Yet another way of creating a social support system!

6 – Progress Pictures

Before you nix this one entirely, hear me out…

Nobody said you have to share these with anybody else.  It is helpful if you do, especially with a trusted confidant, but you don’t have to.

The magic of pictures is that you can’t hide from them – be accountable, my friend.  The other piece is that sometimes the scale doesn’t change but your pictures, and your clothes, can show drastic changes.

Pictures are an amazing visual representation of your health and fitness journey!

7 – Measurements

If you’re looking for another objective means of creating accountability, measurements are here for you.

  • Waist and hip circumference measurements
  • Body fat measurements
  • Body weight measurements
  • Strength measurements – in your lifts, for example
  • Cardio measurements – run, bike, or row distances might be good ones

These are all great ways at creating another layer of accountability.  I caution you from using body weight alone, however.  Body fat and circumference measures will tell you much more.

8 – Quarterly Meetings

This is something we encourage everybody at Iron Hero CrossFit to do – set up a quarterly accountability/goal setting meeting.  We call then Athlete Check Ins.

While not everybody utilizes them, or wants to, these are great means of bringing someone else into the fold who has your best interests at heart.  We also encourage measurements at these as well.

Again, layers.

The questions we like to ask at these meetings?

  1. What went well the last 3 months?
  2. What didn’t go well the last 3 months?
  3. What are your goals for the next 3 months?

It’s easy to get distracted and this is a way of keeping yourself accountable.

9 – Your “Why”

Similar to having a physical calendar you can check things off with, have a physical reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

You want to lose 50lbs?  Ok, great!  Why do you want to lose 50lbs?

  • Are you trying to prevent the ‘family history’ from continuing on with you?
  • Are you tired of having to take breaks when you play with your kids?
  • Do you want to go on an amazing vacation, that includes a hike, and are worried you won’t be able to do it?

Figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing and put it somewhere you can see.  Like, all the time.  Every day.  And especially on days when you’re not feeling motivated.

10 – Hey, Buddy!

Find yourself a workout buddy or a Personal Trainer.

Humans are pack animals and we’re more powerful when we’re working together than working by ourselves.  Need evidence?

Think about how hard it was for you when you were isolated in your home and separated from everybody a few years ago.

It.  Was.  Awful.

It should be no surprise, then, that we need other people.

Again, want to find an amazing Personal Trainer?  Check THIS out.

Be Accountable to…

Choose one thing.

Choose a couple of things and layer them together to make something much more powerful.

My recommendation?  Choose [at least] one thing that involves someone else.  Bring someone else into the fold to help you do what you said you want to do.Ready to have a conversation with someone who is ready to help you do just that?  Click HERE.  We’d be excited to chat with you!

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