Beginning a weight loss journey can be difficult. Less face it, staying on the weight loss journey isn’t easy either. Trying to tackle your goals by yourself is of course possible but you are more apt to lack follow through. This is why so many of us turn to others to help hold us accountable. The key is in finding the right person to do the job and making sure you are both very clear on expectations.
Have you ever started a nutrition journal and that very same day reached for a cookie and decided to not write it down? There’s a part of us that believes if we don’t write it down, it doesn’t count. Seriously, having been a coach and trainer for 30 years now, I cannot tell you how many times this has happened. Maybe for you it was missing one workout that turned into missing a week of workouts, which turned into a month, which turned into year. Without having someone to hold us accountable not only are you more likely to not follow through, you are also less likely to recognize in the beginning that there’s problem and you need some re-directing, or re-motivating.
weight loss AND changing habits
The longer we’ve performed certain behaviors the harder they are to break. Think of your behavior as a path in a forest. The more that path has been walked on, the clearer and deeper that path is. When you try to create a new path it takes time and consistency. Run into a little bit of trouble, and you hop back on to the old path. It may not be the right thing to do, but it sure is a heck of a lot easier. Getting an accountability partner can help you to start the new path as well as navigate you back to the path when you run into a roadblock; and trust me there will be roadblocks. This is one reason I recommend holding onto your accountability partner until you reach your goal.
who will be your accountability partner?
When choosing an accountability partner there are a few things you need to consider. First, is this someone you trust? You need to be able to be completely open and honest with this person. Second, can this person be open and honest with you? They need to be able to tell you the truth and compassionately help get you back on track when you need it. Third, make sure your partner can relate to what you are going through. Empathy and understanding are traits any accountability partner should have. There are plenty of health and fitness coaches, trainers, local groups or even online groups that would work well for holding you accountable. You may have a friend that is going on the same journey you are and you’ll be holding each other accountable, that’s great! The only person I would not recommend is a spouse or a parent. Honestly, I’ve never seen that work out well. It gets too personal and feelings end up getting hurt or one of you gets too frustrated.
Once you decide on who your accountability partner will be, whether a personal friend or someone you hire, make sure there are clearly defined expectations. When and how often will you check in or meet? Exactly what behaviors are you being held accountable for? When you do come up against a roadblock, what will be the best way to handle it? We all respond differently to different styles, let your partner know what works best for you.
DON'T HIDE ON YOUR BAD DAYS
When we struggle, we naturally don’t want others to know about it. I myself am very guilty of not showing up when things aren’t going well. After all, I’m a coach I can’t let anyone know I’m struggling! What would people think if I messed up; well they would probably think I’m human. It took me a while to realize this. I may still have that tendency, that path has pretty much been etched in my brain since I was a teenager, but I recognize it now as hiding and not as being “tough”. And when you open yourself up to be seen on the bad days, you’ll be amazed at what transformations start to happen.
YOUR ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGING YOUR LIFE
Lastly, it is important to remember that your accountability partner is not responsible for changing your life; you are! You and only you can change your situation. The trainer, coach, friend is there to assist you. If you don’t buy into this, if you don’t own your own mistakes or mishaps no one can hold you accountable. Accountability is not forced, it is chosen, show up and be present and you’ll have great success.
If you're looking for someone to help hold you accountable, my 16 week Metabolic Design program may be just the program for you. CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE Discovery Call & together we’ll determine if this is a good fit for you.
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.