Sticking to an exercise plan or diet can be hard – especially when you go it alone. When you go it alone, it’s up to you to stay motivated and do what needs to be done. And if you have an off day, skip your workout or cheat on your diet, what does it matter? If you are doing it “lone wolf” style, the only person that knows if you.
However, if you know someone else is taking an interest in your fitness journey and is watching what you do (and don’t do) each and every day, you will be much less likely to stray from the straight and narrow path.
Here are several easy ways you can supercharge your accountability and make it easier to stick to your diet and workout plan.
Get an accountability partner
An accountability partner is the person to whom you will have to answer if you skip your workouts or cheat on your diet. It doesn’t matter who this person is so long as they are prepared to keep an eye on your progress and give you a hard time if you are slacking off!
When it comes to not exercising or eating the wrong things, it’s very easy to justify your behaviour to yourself but it’s a different matter altogether to sell your lame excuses to someone else!
Agree to check in with your accountability partner every day – preferably in person. And tell them to be tough on you if you aren’t holding up your end of the bargain. Share your plan with them so they can compare what you were supposed to do with what you actually did.
Get a workout buddy
Some people find exercising alone a tiresome chore. As a result, they don’t try very hard, don’t do as much as they should, or don’t exercise at all.
Joining forces with a workout buddy means you won’t be able to skip out on your workout unnoticed and you will hopefully enjoy the whole exercise experience more if you can share it with a likeminded person.
The ideal workout buddy has the same exercise values you do and can also stick to the same schedule. They should be punctual and reliable and supportive of your efforts and you need to be all these things too!
Another great way to increase accountability is to publish your goals and progress on social media so that your friends can see how you are doing. Not only will you get support from your friends, you’ll also be under the microscope knowing lots of people are watching how you get on.
It’ll only take a missed workout or unscheduled diet cheat day for your friends to start getting in touch and reminding you of what you are supposed to be doing.
Make a bet
No one likes losing money and you can use this trait to help keep you on the health and fitness path. Here’s an example:
Set the goal of going to the gym 20 times in 30 days. Next, give a friend $200 dollars – $10 for every gym workout. Tell your friend that for every session you miss, they get to keep $10 and for every session you do, they give you $10 back. You’ll need to provide proof, a date stamped gym selfie for example but, needless to say, you are now MUCH less likely to miss so many gym sessions.
If you prefer, there are websites that will host your bet – http://www.stickk.com/ for example.
Use an activity tracker
Activity trackers provide a great boost to accountability by showing you exactly how much exercise you have done. You might kid yourself that you have walked a lot today or been so frantic at work you must have burnt off 1000 calories but, really, is that the truth?
Using an activity tracker like Stepz means you no longer have to guess if you have done enough exercise – it’s right there on your smart phone or Apple watch. And if you haven’t done as much as you should? Get up, get out, and get it done!
Increasing accountability is a great way to enhance motivation and strengthen willpower. Left to our own devices, many of us find it all too easy to skip our workouts or cheat on our diets. Increasing accountability means we can’t do this unnoticed. Peer pressure is a WONDERFUL thing!