Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Champion of Change: Accountability

Do you have a fitness or health goal for 2011?  Then go public! We're on the third Champion of Change and that champ is accountability.

Accountability is the hardest tool, I think. Consistency takes discipline, data takes time, but accountability takes a lot more. To truly be accountable, you have to be willing to quit putting lipstick on a pig and be brutally honest about what you're doing.  That takes humility and guts. But it's a powerful tool so its worth it.

An easy way to incorporate accountability into your wellness is to go public. Why do you think so many people start fitness blogs, Twitter handles, join online forums, or exercise in groups?  They know that simply having an audience will encourage (or shame) them into following through on their goal.  And more times than not, that audience will celebrate your victories, help you get up when you fall, and motivate you when you're not sure you can do it.  I started this blog back in 2008 for accountability, and I've done more than I ever imagined I could.

But there are some pitfalls - when you're looking for an exercise buddy or cheering squad, make sure you're not just getting an enabler.  For accountability to work, you should have mutual interests, a positive attitude towards each other's goals, a real desire to change, and dependability. If the person you pinky-swore on New Year's Eve to exercise with every day this year hasn't shown up for a workout yet, and as a result you haven't shown up for a workout yet....well you see what I mean.  That kind of buddy can do more harm than good.  

Accountability can be a tough pill to swallow, but if you're serious about your wellness you'll look into it. Don't be afraid to go public with your goals.  It can add an entirely new and unexpectedly wonderful aspect to your wellness that can be a springboard to amazing things.

Your audience is waiting for you!


paulakiger said...

Heather, that is SO true! I imagine many of my Facebook friends roll their eyes when I post my DailyMile workouts to Facebook in addition to DailyMile, but the number of people who have said, "gee, that makes me want to get out there too!" hopefully outweighs the nay-sayers. I was reluctant to sign up for yet another thing when I eventually ended up at DailyMile, but I have never regretted it! John Bingham's100 Days of Activity Challenge is sort of similar in that I have one more place to comment and one more chart to check things off on, but it's fun for the most part. Great post!

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Yes! Not only do I feel proud and motivated when I see my own workouts posted there, I feel the same when I see those of others.