If you were approached by friend or family member and they asked you what the 2 most important keys to living a long and healthy life were, almost everyone would reply "a healthy diet and a consistent fitness regimen". If many of us know that a magical combo of consistent nutrition + fitness practices is the key to longevity, why is such a large portion of our population still struggling with chronic diseases caused by obesity and/or a sedentary lifestyle?
In my experience working with hundreds of individuals at CFT Fitness, the key is accountability. We’re often willing to let ourselves down time after time, but when someone else is counting on us, we show up for them. We will sacrifice our own sanity as parents to listen to a Coco Melon song for the 400th time that day but we struggle to take 30 minutes to break a sweat or cook a healthy meal for dinner.
We show up for others because we don't want to disappoint them, but we disappoint ourselves over and over. We have 100 quick answers for why we cannot follow a nutrition plan even if it as easy as a habit-based approach. We start the excuse train rolling on why we don’t want to go to the gym after work from the time we wakeup in the morning. As parents we can be guilty of “choosing” to spend time with our family over 30 minutes of modest exercise even though the exercise could exponentially increase the time we get to spend on this earth with our families in our lifetime. We believe that we are not strong enough, fit enough, genetically gifted enough, etc. to achieve the fitness and aesthetic goals that we dream of.
Relying on others to hold us accountable is OK—in the short term. When we’re just getting started, we need that assistance. We need that positive feedback, encouragement, and experience to learn while we form the habits that will take the wheel in time. At CFT, we have a framework of accountability starting with our Client Success Manager. We send reminders, we check in, we acknowledge you every time you walk through the door, we fist bump and high five, we follow up and we celebrate with you each time you reach a milestone.
The accountability at CFT extends beyond our procedural efforts. It is also felt within the fitness community we have built, affectionately named the CFT Fam. That friend you made in your regular class time notices when you’re not there for a few days and reaches out to check on you. Your coaches notice when you’re not being yourself and will inquire on why.
Now is where we take a long look in the mirror and we come to realization that all those before us had prior to making successful changes to their life: “Success will not come if you are not capable of holding yourself accountable as well”.
So how do we stop letting ourselves down and create a safety net for reaching our goals?
Here are 10tips for holding yourself accountable to your goals:
1. Engage with the CFT Fam! We want to help you! It is our business! If you don't engage, you are missing out on incredible part of the CFT magic.
2. Set reminders on your phone. Schedule your workouts like appointments you can't miss. Set an alarm for when you need to start prepping your healthy meal so that you don't look at the clock, realize you have no time and reach for something unhealthy out of convenience. These are a few of the ways we coach our nutrition clients in a habit-based program.
3. Put your intentions out there with a firm decision on when you’ll attend your next class. Tell your coach and friends in the class when they can expect to see you next and let your public affirmations guide your priorities.
4. Print off a calendar, hang it in a visible spot and cross off the days you hit the gym or stayed true to your nutrition plan so that you can visually see all the marks of your success. There is almost nothing more rewarding than getting to those consistence milestones!
5. Share your story on social media or another public forum. There’s something to be said for putting it all out there! Even if people are not engaging with the post, experience dictates that people will be invested in your journey and checking in with you on your results.
6. Take progress pics. To see our progress, we must remember where we started. We get used to how we currently look because change is subtle and gradual. By remembering where we started and seeing the steady incremental changes, we can move our thoughts from what we could have done better to all that we have accomplished so far!
7. Set quarterly goal-setting meetings with an accountability buddy. If you are a member at CFT, our Client Success Manager wants to schedule these meetings with you every quarter, so reach out to get yours on the calendar! 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. Ask yourself why you want to focus on your fitness and nutrition. “Why?” is so much more than new clothes or a confidence for a summer beach vacation. Dig deeper into the benefits of what you’re doing and why. Think about the longevity of your life and how that affects those you love. A strong “why” can get you through even the hardest of days.
9. Don't make it all or nothing. "Rome wasn't built in a day”—we all know that saying, and it’s true! We are on a journey, not a sprint to the mailbox and back. There will be ups and downs. There will be plateaus. There will be naysayers and stress and self-doubt. All of these distractions will still be in your life forever so it is best to get used to drowning out the noise and succeeding through it now.
10. Reward yourself for reaching micro-goals. Everyone likes a prize, right? Set micro-goals along the path to your BIG goals and reward yourself for hitting those milestones along the way. An example could be celebrating in 5-poundincrements towards a 20+ pound weight loss goal. If you struggle with consistent movement, try taking a brisk 20–30-minute walk in the mornings and reward yourself with coffee afterwards. Reward yourself with a trip to your favorite local coffee shop after completing 5 days straight
The options of how to keep yourself accountable are limitless. Also, things that may have worked early on may not be what works as time goes on. Do not be afraid to try out new types of accountability and/or rewards to keep things fresh and exciting.
If you don’t know whereto start or would like some additional accountability and coaching, please let us know! 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 develop your custom prescription. Book one here! Change Your Life