Accountability is one of the best ways for you to stick to your goals no matter what. However, most of us lead very busy lives - lives that pull us in many different directions. Sometimes, we find ourselves with obligations that can derail us from the goals we set out to achieve... and more often than not, we let them.
We talk a lot about accountability with our clients, and finding ways to make yourself more accountable. As coaches, we can provide a degree of accountability. We help to provide the impetus for your progress: helping to keep you accountable, stay on track and work towards your goals.
Having a gym membership that you're paying for, recruiting a training partner or friend to meet you for exercise sessions or going to group exercise classes are all other forms of external accountability that you might use, depending on your individual situation. They are all valid, and can work extremely well.
However, in order for any of these to be effective, you need a modicum of internal accountability. If you aren't even remotely accountable to yourself, then nothing else you do is going to help you stay on track.
Let me give you an example: if you don't mind cancelling on your coach regularly, if you don't turn up on time when your friend is waiting for you, if you say you are going to go to a group class but don't? You aren't being accountable to yourself. And if you aren't, then the question becomes why?
Maybe you aren't ready for changes, maybe you're committing to an unrealistic regimen (for you), maybe you're stuck inside your comfort zone or maybe you're just scared of failing.
Am I suggesting to get rid of your external motivators / forms of accountability? Absolutely not. However, what I am saying is don't expect them to make all the difference. Unfortunately, I don't have a magic secret to make you more accountable, either. We just all need to be acutely aware that it ultimately comes down to ourselves.
So how can you make yourself more accountable ?
1) Be in the right mindset to make the changes you want. Sometimes we aren’t ready to make the changes we want / need and that’s fine but be honest with yourself. The right mindset is having a goal, knowing why you want to achieve this goal and know how its going to impact / change your life! If you can not answer why you need to achieve this certain goal, you may struggle to stick to it. You have to want the change enough so that when the going gets tough you can keep ploughing through rather than give up.
2) Make the habit a priority. Sometime life gets in the way and we need to skip the gym or go out for that family meal, but he most effective way to turn your goal into a habit is to plan ahead. You can not just sit there and hope that your goals will happen to fit into your current schedule, or that by nature you will prioritize it. You have to plan your schedule and block out time. That could mean making every Sunday meal prep day for the week, or waking up an hour before work to exercise because you know something comes up after work most days.
3) Use your husband, family and friends as tools to help keep you accountable. Explain them your goals, your reasons why you need/want to achieve these goals and how they can help keep you on track. Maybe its joining you during an exercise class, maybe its encouraging you to pick the healthier option when you’re out for lunch. If they don’t know that they can help you, they probably wont
4) Finally educate yourself on your goal. At the end of the day, success in anything comes from making it a priority. Wanting to achieve something isn’t enough. You have to make the conscious effort to better your life and to make new habits apart of your routine. It’s not easy, but it can be a very rewarding feeling when you accomplish something you set out to do. You should strive to make your new challenge an everyday part of your life and train yourself to make these challenges second nature. Make the conscious effort to hold yourself accountable to your goals.
I hope these tips help you in writing out your goals and how you plan on sticking to it and achieving them.