Happy New Year!!! Did you make a resolution? Set a new goal? If you did, was it a SMART goal (see Goal Setting Part 1)? If you really want to help yourself stick to that resolution or attain that goal, do yourself a favor and build in accountability RIGHT NOW. Having a way to hold yourself accountable for what you say you are going to do is really important. Tell someone your goal and check in with them as often as you need to keep yourself on track….it’s one of the reasons Weight Watchers can be a successful program…..knowing that you have to step on a scale in front of someone else can be a big motivator to pass up that next doughnut. If you don’t have a way to keep yourself accountable, your odds of falling off the wagon are much higher.
If you have a hard time sticking with your plan, consider a coach or personal trainer or, better yet, a friend who will help you keep yourself accountable. Remember my friend’s Little Black Dress goal? She picked a date that she wanted to be able to fit into that dress and I put it on MY calendar. Now I can ask her how it’s going and she has another person to help her keep that goal in sight.
With a little effort, you can build in accountability in many ways……
· Connect with a coach or personal trainer to assist in goal setting, setting up a program, monitoring adherence to your plan, etc. This is a great way to get yourself started if you have never exercised before or just aren’t sure where to begin.
· Recruit a friend or acquaintance with similar goals and work together to make sure you both show up to exercise, keep each other from making excuses not to exercise or eat better, etc. Make a plan for how you are going to hold each other accountable…..whoever logs in the most walking miles gets treated to dinner by the other person or after preparing together for your first successful race, you treat yourselves to a spa day together. Pick something fun and motivating!
· Sign up for a race or event that will require you to train…..for example: if you have never run in a race before, sign up for a 5K race (3.1 miles) and have a goal to complete the race in a certain amount of time, or to run (not walk) for the entire distance. In order to do this, you might plan to walk for 30 minutes every day for 2 weeks, and then start to jog for 1 minute/walk for 2 minutes, etc. for 30 minutes until you can jog for the entire distance by race day.
· If you have one, make sure your spouse/partner/significant other is on board with you, encourages you, and knows what your goals are specifically. For example – my husband knows that I have to work hard at limiting my “white carb” intake (because I LOVE pasta, rice, and bread!) – he makes an effort to incorporate non-white carbs into meals he prepares and when we do have pasta or rice my portion sizes are small. I know that he knows that I shouldn’t eat that ½ pound of pasta….so (usually J) I don’t.
Walking the (active) Talk: Did you catch my own built in accountability in my last post Goal Setting Part 1? I put my training goal for 2012 in writing and I put in on the Web for all to see (well, at least the 4 or 5 people who might be reading this!). I’m planning on letting everyone know my results after that race in September so I want to be able to report success – thanks in advance for holding me accountable!