Part 3: Accountability
Once you’ve mastered planning and variety, it’s time to establish some sort of accountability. While plans do help stay on track, you will need another way to monitor your progress and keep you motivated.
First, it is essential to keep track of what you put into your body. I use the Weight Watchers app to count points, but you can use a food journal, a calorie counter app, the Nike FuelBand – whatever works for you! By entering what I eat into Weight Watchers, I make myself accountable for my actions.
This is also a great way to see how bad your current habits are if you’re having trouble sticking to a plan. If you count your calories for one week – you may shock yourself into making a change for the better.
You also have to establish accountability for daily exercise. For me, the schedule in my planner is enough. I am a list maker, and the satisfaction of crossing off my workout for the day is enough to get me there.
If you’re not as neurotic as me about to-do lists, you might want to try a gym buddy, a personal trainer, or attending regularly scheduled gym classes. By making specific appointments to go to the gym, you’re less likely to skip out.
You could even blog or post about your progress online. No one likes an obnoxious gym selfie, but social media can be a great place for finding a support network. If you publicly announce your goals it makes you more accountable.
You can also try talking with loved ones about your health goals. Saying it out loud will make it more real and sharing it with people who care about you will give you someone to be accountable for.
For instance, my boyfriend is so used to my evening work out sessions that if I come home still in work clothes the first thing out of his mouth is “You didn’t go to the gym?” He’s supportive of my lifestyle change and never judgmental. Find someone who can play this role for you and ignore the haters. If you have friends who judge you for making healthy decisions, they aren’t friends at all.
How do you maintain accountability for your health?