TOTALLY USEFUL ACCOUNTABILITY HACKS
When it comes to health and fitness, many people think that it’s the actual “getting to the gym” or “making of the healthy meals” that are the most significant obstacles. And yes, obviously each of those things can be hard. Really hard, in fact. But the biggest pain point that I hear from my community and clients over and over again is this: How the heck do you stay motivated?
What to do when motivation abandons you
Look, I feeeeeeeel you. Not only do goals constantly change and evolve, but so does what keeps you motivated. What worked yesterday or last week may no longer cut it no matter how badly your rational-self thinks it should. I get it. Believe me, I’ve been there. But, by conquering a healthy lifestyle (read: not perfect all the time, but committed to the journey, which includes all the ups and downs) I’ve found that there are some key accountability hacks that can really help maintain your motivation, focus, and commitment.
MY 3 GO-TO ACCOUNTABILITY HACKS
Accountability Hack #1:
You Need an Accountability Partner
When it’s cold outside, when you’re busy or tired or spread too thin, when you don’t get enough sleep, or your period arrives, or the kids are being a handful, or, you know, when life in general happens, it becomes harder-than-hard to self-motivate. And, if you’re practicing the art of self-compassion (like I am), it also becomes a mega blurry line between needing to push yourself and needing to give yourself a break.
This is why you need an accountability partner – somebody you really trust to have your “wellness back”. Who is this person? Well, someone you know well who will share in the journey with you. Do they need to workout with you? Nope. In fact they don’t even need to workout themselves at all (although, it can be helpful if they do). All you need is someone who:
- Understands what you’re trying to accomplish
- You can check in with at least once a week
- Is aligned to and invested in your goals
- Is great at pushing you past roadblocks
- Can tell when you’re lying (because it’s super easy to say in a text, “Yep! I worked out!” when in fact you were bingeing Netflix #neverhaveiever #yesitotallyhave)
Believe me, having a cheerleader in your corner is the ultimate driver to keep you going! And keep in mind, your accountability person doesn’t have to be a personal relationship, like your spouse or a family member. It could be someone from work. A friend. An online buddy. Get creative and think about who you might want on your team!
Accountability Hack #2:
Involve Your “Real” Partner
It’s important to share your fitness and health goals with your real partner, so they can help you feel supported along the way. The truth is that it’s incredibly tough to find yourself in a scenario where you’re living on kale salad while your partner is eating burgers four times a week (#truestory).
When your partner buys-in to your lifestyle and goals, you can both share the responsibilities and successes of healthy living. Even if they’re not fully on the same page as you are, at least you can discuss a strategy that will minimize triggers and sabotage.
For example, “Please eat your burgers outside of the house, husband!” Or, more appropriately, “Can you help me find healthy recipes so when we take turns cooking I’m still on track?” This is true for your broader family too; share your goals and share the ways in which you need support. Yes, you are strong. Yes you are capable. And yes you can be both of those things and still deserve an amazing support system to make you even stronger and the path to your goals even more direct.
Accountability Hack #3:
Scheduling Your Workouts & Meals
Scheduling workouts and meals is absolutely NOT a must, but it sure as hell can be helpful, particularly in the beginning when you’re trying to break some of those less-than-ideal habits.
For some people, scheduling workouts doesn’t make enough of a difference because let’s face it, actually getting your butt to the gym can be hard regardless of if it’s written down in your calendar. If this is the case, consider signing up for a group glass, where you’ve prepaid for the class, you’ll be meeting your friends, and you know that the instructor will notice if you’re not there. Yes, this may feel like a lot of pressure. But hey, sometimes we all need a little self-inflicted tough love.
On the nutrition side of the equation, I always do a weekly grocery shop to stock up on healthy ingredients so that I’m not “accidentally” giving into cravings based on convenience and my emotions. Meals tend to be pretty straightforward, but even during the week, snacks have the potential to get wonky. So what do I do? I rely on my pre-determined snack options to keep me on track. I’m talking about things like almonds, protein shakes, non-chemically-protein-bars, tuna, veggies, and fruit!
The Bottom Line About Accountability
There are tons of distractions when it comes to healthy living so your resolve has to be steadfast! Rely on your friends, your family, and knowing what you need in moments of weakness. By practicing accountability, you’ll be able to make sure your goals and commitment shine brighter than the super tempting glaze of those donuts your colleague always brings to your meetings.
What drives you most when it comes to accountability? What are your biggest challenges? Share with me on Instagram! I would love to hear!