We know that eating healthy foods and exercising are both important for our health. But why do we find it so hard to make time for both? Why do we put one on the back burner and only get serious about it when we’ve been slapped in the face by a wake-up call, such as getting winded by one flight of stairs or a high blood pressure reading?
One reason we struggle to prioritize healthy eating and exercise may be because our brains are wired against us. It’s not that we don’t want to be healthy, it’s that we have a hard time getting started. And once we do start, it’s difficult to maintain momentum (remember it takes 6-12 weeks for a habit to really set in!). There are likely many reasons, but one of them may be that we don’t have a good system in place for holding ourselves accountable.
The key, in my experience working with hundreds of people at Triforce Crossfit, is accountability. We’re often willing to let ourselves down repeatedly, but when someone else is counting on us, we show up.
It’s fine to rely on others to hold us accountable in the short term. We require assistance when we are just getting started. We need that encouragement and support as we establish positive habits. At Triforce CrossFit, we have a framework of accountability to help those wanting to get started. We send reminders, we check-in, we greet you every time you walk through the door, we high-five, we follow up, and we celebrate with you when you achieve a goal. We let you know you aren’t forgotten and we want you here. We at Triforce Crossfit believe that showing up for others is a huge part of living a healthy and fit lifestyle. When you commit to being there for someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or complete stranger, they are more likely to follow through with their goals. This can be especially helpful when it comes to weight loss and fitness goals. By being accountable to someone else, you’re less likely to back out of your commitments.
Accountability partners and systems are great tools to keep you on track, but the truth is that it ultimately comes down to you. You have to consciously choose every day to make progress toward your goals. And when you do fall off track, don’t beat yourself up—just get back up and recommit (we call this staying between the guard rails). We’re here to help, but the real work needs to be done by you.
So, how do we stop disappointing ourselves and build a safety net to help us achieve our goals?
1. Engage in the community. The best way to stay on track and achieve your goals is to find a community of people who share your same values and interests. When you have others around you who are working towards similar goals, it’s easier to hold yourself accountable and stick to your routine.
2. Set reminders on your phone. One way to help yourself stay on track is to set reminders on your phone. Schedule your day-to-day activity as if they were appointments that you couldn’t miss. This can be anything from a daily reminder to drink water or eat healthy, to a warning that tells you it’s time to work on your goal for the day. Having these cues right in front of you can make all the difference in terms of actually following through with your goals.
3. Tell a coach when you’re planning to come to class. If you’re looking for an extra push to make sure you stick to your workout routine, tell your coach when you plan on coming in. Knowing that someone is waiting for you will help hold you accountable and keep you from skipping out on a sweat session. By putting your intentions out there, you have created an expectation that you will want to follow through on. Plus, coaches always love it when their clients come in regularly!
4. Print off a calendar and hang it somewhere visible. Every day that you complete your goal, mark it off with an X. Seeing the progress you’re making will help keep you motivated and on track. Having a physical copy of your plan in front of you can be really helpful in keeping yourself accountable.
5. Share your story on social media or another public forum. Sharing your story is a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay on track. When you tell your friends or followers about your goal, you’re more likely to stick to it because you don’t want to let them down. By telling your story, you make yourself visible and publicly declare your intentions. This increases the pressure to succeed and gives others the opportunity to support you in your journey.
6. Take progress pics. Taking a progress picture is one way to hold yourself accountable. Seeing the changes in your body, no matter how small, can be the motivation you need to keep going. This will give you enough time to see some significant changes while also being able to track your progress easily.
7. Set quarterly goal-setting meetings with an accountability buddy. Here at Triforce Crossfit, we want to help you be the best version of yourself that you can be. That’s why we offer quarterly member meetings where you can come in and chat with us about your progress, set goals for the future, and hold yourself accountable. If you aren’t a member here, find a friend who needs accountability, too, and make quarterly dates to review your progress and set goals for the future.
8. Constantly remind yourself of your “why.” A goal is great, but if we don’t know why we want to reach it, it doesn’t mean much. When times get tough and it feels like giving up is the only option, remembering why you started can give you the strength to continue on.
9. Don’t make it all or nothing. There will be ups and downs, plateaus, naysayers, stress, and self-doubt. Don’t let those things derail you; acknowledge them, thank them for teaching you something about yourself, and then keep moving forward. Remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so trust the process as you are on a journey, not a quick trip to the supermarket.
10. Reward yourself for reaching micro-goals. Find a way to reward yourself for hitting those milestones. Whether it’s taking a break for happy hour or buying yourself something nice, finding a way to celebrate your accomplishments will help keep you motivated along the way.
There are many other ways to keep yourself accountable, so find what works for you. Something that worked once might not work forever—switch things up often to stay excited and motivated about your success.
Accountability is key when it comes to staying on track with your goals. You need to have a clear reason why you’re doing something in order to be successful, and remembering your “why” can help keep you focused and motivated. And if you ever feel like giving up, take a look at those reasons and they should give you the push you need to continue working towards your goal.
If you need help getting started on your health and wellness path, feel free to contact us! We would love to set up a No-Sweat Intro with you where we talk about you, your current lifestyle, and your goals, and help you make a plan of action. Book one here!