It’s a lot more challenging to get where you want to be without holding yourself accountable as you progress. But what does accountability even mean in fitness?
Accountability is when you take responsibility for your journey – how often you work out, the food you eat, your sleeping habits. It’s how you show up for yourself as you crush your goals. Then set new goals to beat.
Many people find a surge of motivation, dive in, but end up stagnating for reasons like:
- Not seeing a physical change
- Reverting to learned habits
- Being unsure of what’s working
- Lack of planning for how to succeed
Research shows that having an idea alone means you’re only 10% likely to follow through. Planning how to do it takes that chance up to 50% and committing to your goals with someone else skyrockets your chances to 95%. That leaves a meager 5% likelihood of failing. The numbers don’t lie. So how can you set yourself up in the best possible way?
7 Ways to Create Accountability in Fitness
Document Your Journey
Whether you have an app or a journal, it’s good to physically see the progress you’re making. Plus, you won’t want to look back and see that you held yourself accountable for so long and then suddenly gave up, right? Monitoring your activity can help keep you honest with yourself. The best part is that you can choose what you prefer to track, whether it’s:
Prioritize Your Goals
Having goals is extremely beneficial, but you don’t want to have so many that you’re overwhelming yourself. Make SMART goals:
SMART goals are more manageable, and they let you think deeply about what’s most important.
Have a Backup Plan
Some days just aren’t going to be as productive. You might wake up sore because you slept funny, or you have a killer headache that won’t go away. These things happen, but rather than letting them derail your day, have something that you can do instead of your normal workout. Maybe instead of a HIIT session, you do some stretching or yoga. You’ll still be accountable to yourself and feel good about the progress you’re making.
What’s not fun is pushing yourself continuously without having a reward. Eventually, you’ll reach your goals, but you should enjoy the journey. Did you crush this week’s workouts? Get yourself something nice. Do something you love. Associating positive things with your progress can help to shift your mindset if you’re having a hard time sticking with your plans.
Create a Vision Board
When you can see the images and words that inspire you, it helps with motivation. Whether you go old school with magazine clippings or make a digital board, keep it somewhere you’ll see it throughout the day as a little reminder of what you’re working towards.
Get a Buddy
A personal trainer, a friend, or maybe a nemesis (kidding, mostly). Find someone who will be honest with you and motivate you to stick to your fitness journey. Remember the stat about having someone to help with accountability? This is where you can shine.
Change Your Routine with Friends
Do you have a standing brunch or happy hour with friends? Consider finding something a little healthier, like trying a group class, or heading outside for a hike. Switch things up without losing the time that you spend together.
Whether you implement one or all these ideas, taking responsibility and following through is a game-changer. If you struggle with giving up on your fitness and falling into cycles, you’re not alone. That’s why accountability tools may be the exact solution you’ve been looking for.