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Accountability: the biggest piece of the puzzle

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

People often ask me what I think the biggest key to success in reaching fitness goals is.  Why do the majority of people fail?  Working out and diet obviously have a lot to do with success in meeting your fitness related goals (weather that is weightloss, muscle gain, triaing for a marathon, etc.).  But the biggest key to success, in my humble opinion, is ACCOUNTABILITY.What exactly is accountability and what does it mean in the fitness world?  Accountability by definition means:" the factor or condition of being accountabile; responsability". So how does this apply to fitness?  Well, accountability, in my experience, is where it can all come together or all fall apart. 

Most people start a fitness routine, diet, healthy lifestyle with the best of intentions.  They are full throttle, determined to finally make a change THIS time, to lose that 20 pounds they have been talking about losing for the past ten years, or to finally run that marathon they have dreamed of runnung their entire adult lives, to be ready for that little two piece this summer.  So, what happens?  How do those great intentions and massive motivation just dissapear? I know everyone has the best intentions and determination when they make these committments, and that life "gets in the way".  The kids have homework, and soccer practice, work is stressful, you're moving, there aren't enough hours in the day.  These are all excuses.  The truth is, if it's a priority, you will make time.  You will make it happen just like you make every other priority (the job, the soccer practice, the move) in your life happen.

What happens to these determined people with these great goals, and determination is that they stop being accountable. Who is holding them to these goals?  Will anyone ever even know if they don't follow through?  They let one workout slide and promise they will get back on track tomorrow, or have an extra helping at dinner "just this once", and as esaily as that, they have thrown caution to the wind, and are back in their old routines.  They are accountable only to themselves, and for most people that simply does not work.  I don't know may people that will tell themselves that their own excuse is just that.  Or people who will pep talk themselves back into the gym, or out for a run.  It's much easier to just not do it, or to tell yourself that you will do it on <enter day, month, or year here>.

Some people are self motivators.  Some can get themselves back on track or talk themselves into that workout they're just not in the mood for, or out of that giant piece of german chocolate cake, but those humans are few and far between.  Most people need to be held accountale to SOMEONE or SOMETHING.  Everyone is different.  Some may only need one other person to keep them accontable and on track, some may need a group of people for support and motivation, some may need that race they signed up for looming over their heads, but most people need to be accountable to something or someone outside of themseles.

So, while going to the gym, and eating well are HUGE pieces of any wellness puzzle, none of that matters if you aren't actually DOING it, and on a very consistent basis.  Talking about it, thinking about it, even dreaming about it simply does not get results.  So, my advice is to BE ACCOUNTABLE.  Find someone to be accountable to- a gym partner (probably best to find someone more motivated then you), a trainer, even an athletic event.  Whatever it takes to keep you on track on those days you want to just throw in the toewl (and there will be many of these days).  It's not easy.  If it were more people would do it.  More people would stick to it. So find your personal biggest piece of the puzzle, your ACCOUNTABILITY and finally, finally make those thoughts, and those broken promises to yourself a reality.


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