The Power of Accountability

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KP June 2017

The Power of Accountability by Steph Beth Nickel

Have you discovered the importance of accountability when trying to achieve a fitness goal?

A young friend put together a challenge on Facebook. The “rules” are simple enough: 1) commit to the challenge; 2) weigh yourself on the first day of the challenge; 3) participate in the discussions on FB if so inclined; and 4) weigh yourself at the end of the challenge. The individual(s) who lose the greatest percentage of their starting weight wins.

I know this challenge sounds simple enough, but it’s amazing how motivating it has been. I weigh less after one week than I have in years. The only changes I’ve made so far are to my food intake: 1) less food overall; 2) far fewer snacks; 3) fewer bread products; and 4) more veggies.

I am on a time crunch for the next month. Therefore, continuing to watch what I eat and increasing my water intake will be the two easiest things to add to my schedule. However, increased activity is also important.

It is my hope, for the second half of the challenge, to go for a walk with my hubby at least three times a week and workout three times a week as well.

Here are some tips to make accountability a success:

Be honest with yourself.

How much time will your schedule allow you to devote to said challenge? How motivated are you? Are you willing to offer, as well as receive, encouragement?

Commit to leading the way.

When you enter an accountability partnership, you should provide motivation and encouragement—not excuses. We all mess up at times—flop on the couch instead of going to the gym or have seconds when we’ve actually had enough to eat—but let’s make these the exceptions, not the norm. Our accountability partners are counting on us.

Go for the prize.

Whether those who organized the challenge offer a prize to the winner or you promise yourself a prize when you successfully complete the challenge, keep pressing on toward said prize. And all the while, don’t forget to cheer on others as they do the same.

Be smart.

If the goal is weightloss, drink more water and eat healthy. Don’t starve yourself or simply eat small portions of unhealthy food. Set these out as expectations at the beginning of the challenge. Yet another area in which to keep one another accountable.

Don’t give up.

Developing a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong process. And we all need accountability relationships from time to time. Participate in challenges. Organize a challenge of your own. Join a Facebook group that will keep you on track. Partner up with another individual with similar goals. Commit to the long haul.

And when you mess up? Be gracious to yourself. Get back up. And try again. This is when you need your accountability partners to be understanding, all the while giving you the proverbial kick in the backside.

You can do this!

Disclaimer: These suggestions are for entertainment only. Before changing your diet and / or level of physical activity, consult a healthcare professional.

How about you? Have you ever reached a goal thanks to joining a challenge that kept you accountable? Perhaps you simply paired up with one other person to provide encouragement and support. How did it go? I’d love to hear your success stories … and what you think could have been done differently to increase your level of success.

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Stephanie Nickel

 

Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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