Sticking to a workout plan or diet can be challenging. When you start a new fitness plan, it’s easy to blame external factors for missing your gym session or skipping your meal planning for the week. But if you look a little deeper, most people find it harder to hit their fitness goals when they don’t feel accountable. Surprisingly, accountability can be a huge factor in determining the likelihood of success in all things, especially your fitness journey. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of accountability in achieving your goals and feeling your best.
How Accountability Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
One of the best strategies to achieve your fitness goals is to hold yourself accountable for your actions. So, what does accountability mean?
Accountability means taking responsibility for what you eat, how much you work out, and how you progress toward your fitness goals. Whether you’re on a weight loss journey, want to eat more healthily, or want to run your first big race, you can add accountability to your fitness program.
Finding a way to hold yourself accountable has several benefits:
- Increases motivation
- Makes it difficult to slack off
- Improves your chances of hitting your goals
- Helps you see results faster
Accountability allows you to change your mindset so that you’re more likely to see a challenge through. Research shows that participants have a 65% chance of completing a challenge when they tell a friend about it. But when they commit to meeting up with a person in real life, this number jumps to a staggering 95%.
4 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable in Your Fitness Journey
It’s all too easy to fall off the fitness bandwagon. Your motivation and willpower will only get you so far. But everyone experiences those days when they just don’t want to hit the gym or a dip in energy. If you can find a way to hold yourself accountable, you are more likely to succeed. Here are four ways to add accountability so you can start seeing results and hit your long-term goals.
Make SMART Goals
When it comes to accountability, the first step is setting a fitness goal. Your goals should be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound.
Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” specify the exact amount of weight you want to lose. Avoid setting general goals, like saying “I want to be more fit.” Set a specific goal.
You should be able to track your goals to see how you are progressing. This is key to sustainability and keeping your motivation high. As you set your goal, plan how you will measure success, and how you will track progress along the way.
Set a goal that is a challenge, but is still manageable and achievable. You want to give yourself the opportunity to succeed rather than set yourself up to fail.
Make sure that your aim is realistic for you. Think about how you can adapt your lifestyle to your goals. When it’s a realistic goal, you are more likely to keep it up.
Set a goal for a certain amount of time. You can set a goal for one week, one month, or even several months. Give yourself a deadline so that you can reassess your goals and see how far you have come.
SMART goals are a logical way to organize your goals. Not only does it help you determine achievable and realistic goals, but it also allows you to break down your goals into manageable tasks. By incorporating accountability into your workout, you can execute your plan and actually achieve a goal.
Create a Plan
Whether you use your phone, a wall calendar, or a journal, make a plan. Put pen to paper, create a routine, and stick to it. Don’t just think about your workout schedule; plan your meals and sleep pattern. The idea behind jotting everything down is that it will discourage you from making unhealthy choices and prepare you for the week. The more that you can plan, the better your chances are of succeeding.
Once you have a plan in place, make it concrete. Sign up and pay for a workout class in advance, confirm your schedule with a workout buddy, and share your plans with friends. These are simple and straightforward steps that can help you feel accountable.
Document Your Fitness Journey
The next step to boosting accountability is documenting your journey. Don’t just document your fitness journey, but your results, too. Think about logging your meals, workouts, feelings, progress, and results. It will not only help with accountability, but it will keep you feeling motivated to accomplish even more.
You can document your fitness in several ways, such as:
- Taking photos
- Keeping a food journal
- Measuring your body composition
- Using apps like MyFitnessPal, Fitbod, and Jefit
Have an Accountability Partner
Create a support system and find a workout buddy. When you start your fitness journey, having an accountability partner can be helpful. Surround yourself with positive people who are rooting for your success. If you don’t turn up for a workout session, expect a phone call from your workout buddy to hold you accountable for your actions. If they don’t show up, return the favor.
Your accountability partner keeps you on track, encourages you to meal prep, and gets you to the gym even when you don’t feel like going. This can make a ton of difference in getting results and achieving your long-term fitness goals.
Stick to Your Fitness Plan and Hold Yourself Accountable
Improving your health and fitness can feel like a chore, but it doesn’t need to be. Keeping yourself accountable and taking responsibility for your actions can make it a lot easier to reach your fitness goals. It’s essential to make time for yourself so that you can live a healthy and happy life.
If you’re prone to giving up on fitness programs before you hit the finish line, you are not alone. By feeling accountable for your actions and results, it means that you’re more likely to succeed. When you shift your mindset and surround yourself with positive people, it can encourage healthy behaviors with long-term and lasting results.