How Accountability Helps You Reach Important Fitness Goals
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How Accountability Helps You Reach Important Fitness Goals

How Accountability Helps You Reach Important Fitness Goals

Sticking with a diet or workout plan for a long period can be quite challenging.

One of the best strategies for remaining dedicated to your fitness goals is being held accountable for your actions.

Accountability means taking responsibility for the foods that you eat, how much you exercise, and how far you have progressed towards your fitness goals.

In this post, I’ll explain why being held accountable is so effective at helping people reach their fitness goals.

I’ll also share some effective strategies for increasing how accountable you are.

Why is accountability useful?

Accountability will help you define goals

Let’s say you made a decision to lose some weight.

If you want to be held accountable for your actions as you attempt to reach that goal, you would need to define a specific target.

Instead of a generalised goal like “lose weight” you would have to set a goal like “lose 10 kgs by June” and track your results as you progressed.

Setting a specific goal and tracking it will greatly improve your motivation levels and chances of reaching your fitness goals.

Accountability adds psychological motivators

One of the best techniques for adding accountability to fitness goals is to share details of each goal and your progress towards it in a public way.

You could share your weight loss journey on a website, the noticeboard at work, or on the fridge at home.

Any public display that catches the attention of your friends, family, and colleagues will work.

The key is to make the people in your life would well-aware of your goal and your progress towards it.

If you manage to reach that goal, it would increase your perceived status and respectability amongst the people around you, which is a positive psychological motivator.

If you fail to reach the goal, you would feel shame and a loss of respect — which is a powerful negative motivator which you would work hard to avoid.

These kinds of negative motivators are very useful for weight loss as they use “fear of failure” to give you more determination and drive. 

Accountability creates a better support network

When you tell people about your fitness goals they will usually be very supportive and will begin to actively help you reach those goals.

For example, if your friends and family knows you are trying to lose weight, they won’t offer you unhealthy foods and they might decide to change their own eating habits.

Your work colleagues will be less likely to offer you cakes and snacks if they know you are dieting and so on. 

How to be more accountable for health and fitness goals

Track your fitness goals

The first step of being accountable will involve setting some fitness goals.

These goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).

This means you will need to define a goal like “Lose 10 kilograms by June of this year with cardio exercise 5 times a week and my new diet”.

You will also need to track your progress towards reaching that goal with weekly updates.

Learn more about defining SMART goals.

Share your fitness goals with others

If you set a health and fitness goal but keep it to yourself, giving up is a no-risk affair.

No one knows that you set the goal apart from yourself.

However, if you share the goal with your friends, family, and colleagues, they will notice if you fail or succeed.

Make your fitness goals and your progress towards them public.

Send weekly emails to a group of people telling them of your progress, post your progress on a noticeboard at work, blog about your progress and so on.

Ask someone to hold you accountable and penalise failure

Have a personal trainer, friend, family member, or work colleague check your progress and penalise you if you do not reach a milestone or goal.

Here are some ideas for penalties for failure:

  • Make a large payment to charity
  • Perform something socially embarrassing like dancing badly in public
  • Take on additional work 

Sign a commitment contract

A commitment contract is a binding agreement that you create with yourself to ensure you undertake the tasks necessary to reach a fitness goal.

Write a document that spells out the goal you are attempting to achieve and the precise steps you will take to achieve it.

If you are attempting to lose weight, your commitment contract will contain details like:

  • How much weight you intend to lose
  • When you will reach your weight loss goal
  • What diet you will be eating
  • What exercise regime you will be undertaking
  • Which milestones will be in place
  • Penalties or rewards for reaching or failing to reach each milestone
  • Who you will share your results with 

Work with a partner

Partnering up with other people who have the same fitness goals is a great way to improve accountability.

If you don’t turn up for your workout, your partners can give you a call and demand why.

If they don’t show up, you can return the favour!

Work with a personal trainer

A personal trainer will hold you accountable for the dietary decisions you make and how well you are moving towards your fitness goals.

If you skip a session, you will have to explain why.

If you messed up on your diet, you will need to take responsibility for it.

They will help you stay on track.

Thanks for reading How Accountability Helps You Reach Important Fitness Goals.

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Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough
admin@stephen-coleclough.com

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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