It’s tough to stay motivated, no matter what your goal is. It’s especially tough when you don’t get positive feedback immediately. It’s one reason you see so many motivation tapes and practices for people in sales or those who want to climb the corporate ladder. It’s also one of the reasons people often fail to reach their fitness goals and give up instead. Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight, but accountability increases results in favor of achieving those results.
Accountability means being accountable to someone else.
When you have a goal that affects others, such as something simple as picking up groceries for dinner after work, you tend to be more vigilant because others are depending on you to achieve that goal. How many times have you given a party or had friends over and thoroughly cleaned your home, even doing jobs you’ve put off for years? That’s the pressure of being accountable. It’s one reason having a workout buddy or personal trainer helps. They know when you’ve skipped a workout since you’re supposed to be meeting with them.
You first have to set a goal.
Setting a goal means clearly defining what you intend to do. Then you need a timeline and a set of steps you’ll take to do it. Letting someone else know both your goals and your steps to achieve it increases the potential of achieving that goal. In fact, the American Society of Training and Development found that committing to someone gave you a 65 percent chance of success. However, if you have an appointment with someone to take the steps toward your goal, like a personal trainer or workout buddy, your chances of achieving that goal grows to 95 percent.
Group sessions can keep you going.
While private sessions with a personal trainer are great for motivation, so is working out with a group. You’ll often find one person in that group that you can identify with and become a workout buddy. They know when you’re missing sessions. Working out with a group can also boost your motivation in other ways. Energy and dedication is contagious. Everyone cheers each other on when they all have common goals.
- Set a shorter term goal and give someone permission to hold you accountable. Whether it’s diet, exercise or both, keep them posted weekly on your progress. If it’s a family member or friend, make sure they are 100 percent to seeing you achieve it.
- If your goal is big, such as losing 100 pounds, break it down to smaller goals. These are ones that you can achieve in a month or less. Those keep you motivated, too.
- There’s an old saying, “Winners keep score.” It means that if you want to achieve a goal, you need to track the results of your efforts. It’s another way of being held accountable on paper.
- Being held accountable means you’ve taken ownership for your goal and accomplishing it. It actually gives you a sense of freedom, since the path to reach that goal has already been defined, so there’s no worrying about what to do next.