10 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable

Monday, March 25, 2024 - 14:00


Why is accountability so important? If I were to ask you what the single most important element of getting fit and healthy is, how would you answer? If you said nutrition, you'd be spot on because we all know that proper nutrition is a key factor. If your answer would be fitness, you'd also be on the right track. There's no way we can be our healthiest and most vibrant without it, right? So if we know that fitness and nutrition are key elements to living life as the best version of ourselves, why don't we just eat better and workout more? Why do we often negate one in favor of the other? Why do we put both on the back burner while grasping at "quick fixes"? We KNOW working out and eating well are the 'secret sauce', so why is it so hard to do? 

Basic and over simplified answer? Because "knowing" makes no difference. I mean let's face it... we all KNOW that if we want to improve our financial situation we need to make a budget and stick to it, while saving money and focusing on our long term financial goals... right? But do we still buy that $6 latte every day when we could easily make coffee at home? Of course we do. 

In my many years of experience coaching thousands of people, the key to turning knowing into doing is accountability. Often and even without realizing it, we are willing to let ourselves down without hesitation. But when we commit to someone else and we know they are counting on us, we will absolutely show up for them.

Disappointing ourselves becomes an all too familiar occurrence that barely registers for us, yet we show up for others because we don't want to let them down. We find a million justifications for why we can't follow our nutrition plan, or use tons of excuses (many are VERY valid) as to why we can't show up to the gym and make deals with ourselves to 'make it up tomorrow' - or worse - "I'll start on Monday". All the while, we secretly keep a running list in the recesses of our minds of every single time we let ourselves down, failing at the goal we've set for ourselves and before long we see ourselves as completely incapable of succeeding or lacking the drive and willpower to make progress. Some will even play the "I should be able to do this on my own" game and stubbornly refuse to seek and receive the help they need to move the needle. 

If I can teach you ONE thing today... it's that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with relying on others to guide you and hold you accountable! Everyone needs assistance, guidance, accountability and direction at times. Whether it's from a coach, a boss, a mentor, a parent, a teacher... needing and getting help is not a weakness, and knowing when to seek that help is actually a strength. 

Our members at Chalkline aren't super humans. They aren't all a special breed of person that is inherently motivated and driven to accomplish their goals, unlike you. They ARE you! Normal people, with all the same speed bumps and hurdles that they face throughout their journey. The only difference between you and them is that they took that step to seek help. At Chalkline, we specialize in keeping our members accountable. Whether you are just reaching out to us or have been a member for a decade, if you tell us what your goal is, our goal is to make sure you show up to achieve it. We check in, send reminders, make sure you recognize and appreciate yourself for the work you put in, we celebrate the wins and yes, we even sometimes serve up some tough love if you try to get out of what you committed to. 

And it's just not us, it's also the community as a whole. If you say you want to run a 10k to a fellow member, they are going to remember and ask you how it's going... perhaps even offer to sign up with you and train together. If you don't show up to a class, they notice and will reach out to make sure you come the next day. 

All that being said... even through all of our efforts to keep you accountable, ultimately it comes down to you. That truth can sting a bit and sometimes no matter how hard we try, someone is more committed to giving up than they are to succeeding. It's always up to you to choose to move that needle. Some days it's more of a struggle than others, but we will always be here to see you across the finish line. 

So what are a few ways you can work toward creating a structure for reaching your goals?

Here are our top 10 tips for holding yourself accountable:

  1. Engage! Our whole reason for being in business is to help our members. But if they don't engage with our community and keep to themselves, they are missing out on a huge piece of the puzzle. "Strength in numbers" isn't just a catchphrase, it's a key to ongoing success. It truly does take a village.
  2. Plan! If you're not someone who is used to setting or following structure, set yourself up for success by planning ahead. Set reminders on your phone, schedule workouts in advance like any other appointment, set alarms or schedule specific times to prep your meals. Also, consider putting "penalties" in place for failing to follow your plan. 
  3. Share! Once you've set up your plan, share it with someone else (a coach, friend, or family member) so they know what you're committing to. Remember, we will let ourselves down constantly but generally put higher importance on not letting others down
  4. Acknowledge! When you do follow through on your plan, be sure there is a visual way for you to see your progress. Print off a calendar or make a task/to-do list so that you can mark it off. As with any kind of list, it's always gratifying to see what you've accomplished and it helps keep you motivated to continue
  5. Post! This one can be a bit daunting for some, especially if you tend to like to hide a bit so people don't notice what you're up to. But sharing your goals and what you're up to on social media or other public forums (support groups, social groups, etc) helps reinforce what you've committed to. There's definitely something to be said for screaming it from the rooftops! 
  6. Document! Take pictures, or measurements, or log some other form of measurable progress. To stay motivated and celebrate our wins, we have to remember where we started. Because we are used to seeing ourselves, we can easily miss the minor changes that take place as we put in the hard work. But pictures don't lie and they are a great visual reminder of why you are making the effort.
  7. Be SMART! Most of us have heard of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed). There are many reasons why it's so important to follow this framework, but equally as important is to check your progress and reassess if necessary. So once your goals are set, be sure to set a time for a follow-up review. Whether it's with your coach or an "accountabilibudy", be sure to check in at least quarterly so you can make any necessary adjustments. If you are a member here, we take care of that for you by scheduling these check-ins. 
  8. Know your WHY! Setting goals is great, but if you are not strongly attached to WHY achieving that goal is important to you, it might not stick. You need to be able to SEE the end goal and FEEL how it will impact your daily life. If you can find some sort of visual representation of that future you, even better. Stay connected to that why, and you will have a better chance at success.
  9. Count each step! There will ALWAYS be hurdles, speed bumps, plateaus, haters, derailers, stressors and self doubt. The key to staying on track is being consistent NO MATTER WHAT. This isn't all or nothing... it's one foot in front of the other, day after day. Even if you can't see progress, even if it feels like it should be faster or more... Each step you take counts.
  10. Reward yourself! Everyone likes a reward, right? By being consistent and celebrating the small wins, you ensure that the prizes just keep coming. Made it to the gym 3 times in a week for the first time? Celebrate! Prepped your food for an entire week AND actually ate it all without going out? Take yourself to a movie! Lost 5 of the 50lbs you want to lose? I think that deserves a spa day! Obviously the prize should be something that is meaningful to you and doesn't set you back, but believe me when I tell you that acknowledging and treating yourself for reaching those mini goals can add lots of fuel to your fire 🔥

This is clearly just a short list of many ways to keep yourself on track and accountable, so if some of this doesn't resonate with you be sure to find what does. And if it stops working, change it up. As you change, your accountability needs may change as well. 

Hopefully I've given you some inspiration to use accountability to your advantage. Of course, if you need help getting started and could benefit from our exert guidance, feel free to contact us to schedule a No Sweat Intro so we can discuss your needs in depth. You can book using THIS LINK



Inspiration provided by Sarah Neal at CrossFit816.com.