Preparing for 2020: Why Accountability Matters in Healthy Living
Getting fit is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make. While losing 25 pounds before summer is a good goal, we encourage you to adopt a healthy lifestyle that incorporates eating right and regular exercise. This type of resolution helps you to gain a lifetime of wellness benefits beyond weight loss alone, including increased strength, improved energy, improved heart health, and more. How do you achieve this?
Here’s a list of what it takes:
- Hard Work
Accountability means that, in some way or another, you will be evaluated for your performance. It’s one of the most valuable but overlooked variables in the wellness lifestyle equation.
If you struggle to stick to your goals on your own, you are one of many. A lifestyle change is something few people can do alone, which is why accountability to so extremely important.
Here are five reasons why accountability is essential for healthy living in 2020:
1. Helps to Establish Realistic and Achievable Health Goals
Many people start their wellness journey with good intentions, but as the year goes on, they get bored, distracted or discouraged. A lot of this has to do with unattainable goals. Setting a goal of losing 100 pounds in 5 months may sound great at first, it’s not actually a realistic goal for most people.
It’s important that your health goals be specific, measurable, and achievable to keep you motivated to make progress; and when you incorporate accountability into your wellness routine, you’re forced to establish very specific goals that you can reach within a predetermined time frame. If you’re new to fitness and healthy living, this can be a complex undertaking. However, there’s no need to worry. You don’t have to travel this road alone.
2. Improves Performance
Many of us actually tend to perform better when we are being watched. It’s that added pressure that motivates us to keep going when we are almost ready to give up. For this reason, it can be very helpful to tell someone about your wellness goals. Make sure this is a person you trust and who cares enough to watch your process carefully. Naturally, you’ll want to do your best with an extra pair of eyes on you. This is accountability in action.
3. Strengthens Commitment to Wellness Goals
If you stick to a consistent lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise, you will see results eventually. However, a toned physique and vibrant health (or whatever your personal goals may be) don’t show themselves overnight. It might take months or even years to reach those goals you have set for yourself, but don’t be discouraged. Appreciate the process and the progress! And in the meantime, accountability helps you stay committed to achieving those wellness goals, even as they get more challenging with each milestone you meet.
4. Creates Routine and a Set Schedule for Steady Progress
While doing different exercises and working out at random can still be good for muscle development and strength training, establishing a routine for regular exercise is the best thing to do for those of you who are committed to making steady progress toward your goals.
Create a detailed routine you know you can work with, then share that routine with someone you trust so they can check in on you and make sure you are following it. It will make a world of difference when you know someone is going to be asking you if you’re sticking with it, trust us.
5. Supports Measurement of Progress
Say you’ve been eating well and sticking to you exercise routine for months now. How do you track your progress so you know how far or close you are to your goals? This is where the “measurable” aspect of those goals come into play.
It’s important to set milestones to measure your progress accurately and get feedback on changes that you need to make to move forward. Still, if results don’t immediately show up on your scale or in your physical appearance, don’t lose heart. Consider other ways to measure your progress, such as your overall physical health or even just positive shifts in your mood and energy levels.
Accountability Partner examples:
- Fit Friend
If you have a friend that is already living a healthy lifestyle and meeting their fitness goals, don’t be afraid to ask them to be an accountability partner. They already have experience and can offer sound advice, and you’re not insisting on a major time commitment, maybe just a text here and there. Most often, they won’t say no.
- Goal Partner
This can be a fit friend like before or someone who is in the same boat as you and just getting started in their wellness journey, but it’s never a bad idea to find someone who is also setting fitness goals (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) and work toward your goals together. You may find that someone who is in a stage in their journey close to your own can be less intimidating, or maybe you’re the kind of person that could use the drive from someone farther along than you. That’s okay too.
- Performance Coach
Enlisting a performance coach is arguably the most effective means of accountability, because it guarantees that you are working with someone whose advice is sound and tested and who genuinely wants to see you succeed.
Performances coaches will help you work toward your goals while pushing you to do the best that you can do at a speed that is healthy. They will know the ins and outs of any equipment you use or exercise routines you perform and the safest, most effective ways to use them. They will drive you to perform well even when you don’t feel like it, which is the whole point of accountability.
Future you will recognize that there’s no greater gift that you can give to yourself than embarking on a journey of healthy living today. If you have questions about how to get started on an exercise regimen that will yield a lifetime of rewards, one of our performance coaches at Athletes’ Training Center would love to speak with you about developing a customized wellness plan that fits your schedule. Contact us today!