10 Reasons You Need an Accountability Partner
by Stephanie Nickel
Okay, I’ll be honest. That probably should read “10 Reason I Need an Accountability Partner.”
The reality is after five extremely successful weeks fitnesswise, I’ve hit a slump. Maybe you’ve found yourself in the same place—once or several times.
Below are some of the reasons accountability is important on the road to fitness.
1. If we’re not answerable to anyone, it’s easier to procrastinate. “I’ll work out tomorrow.” “Once the ice cream is gone, there won’t be as much temptation to indulge.”
2. If we have someone to chat with when life hits us with an unexpected blow, we are less likely to turn to food for comfort.
3. When we’re in an inexplicable funk, our accountability partner can encourage us to eat well and get some exercise, two healthy ways of handling an emotional low. (This is not to be confused with clinical depression that may need professional attention.)
4. We can set up a friendly competition with our accountability partner. Whoever hits their exercise and healthy eating goal for the month treats the other to a smoothie—or a healthy lunch. (See what I did there? If you’re on-track, in this way, you can encourage your partner who may need the extra push in the right direction.)
5. In this day and age of social networking, there are several people out there to encourage you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle, even if you don’t know someone personally (though you probably just haven’t asked around enough). For the extrovert, online connections is just one more way to interact with others. For the introvert, it’s a great way to encourage and get encouragement without the ongoing need to meet in person. (I see the difference between extroverts and introverts this way: being around people charges an extrovert’s batteries, in most cases; though they may truly enjoy the people they’re with, introverts consistently need alone time to recharge.)
6. An accountability partner can silence (or quieten) the voice in our head that calls us to chocolate bars, pop, and beginning tomorrow.
7. If our comrade lives nearby, she can meet us in the morning for a run or after work for a visit to the gym. If we schedule a regular appointment, we are more likely to treat it seriously.
8. We all need a cheerleader to celebrate with us when we reach the milestones on the journey to fitness.
9. When achieving our goals seems like a pipe dream, we need someone to remind us that a healthy lifestyle is for the long haul.
10. Focussing on the fact that our accountability partner may also hit a slump every now and then reminds us we’re in this together. It’s about mutual encouragement and helping each other up if we stumble.
Let me end with a word of warning: The best accountability partners aren’t those who will bemoan your mutual lack of motivation over a piece of chocolate cake. (Tweet this!)