For 5 years I have made living a healthy lifestyle a priority and consistent part of my life. Some days I wake up and I jump out of bed excited to hit the ground running for the day (sometimes literally). Other days, I wake up and I just want to hit the snooze button and try again tomorrow. Except I get up anyway. What is the key to my consistency, pushing past my lack of motivation, and carving out the time in my day? My secret to a healthy lifestyle is …accountability.
Identifying the Framework for Success
Part of a Group. In high school, I decided to join the water polo team. Each day I would show up for practice. Some days I loved it, some days not so much. One time I was on the pool deck and my coach literally sprayed me with a hose to get me into the pool because I did not want to do it! I made a commitment to myself and my team to show up each day to practice and play. I continued to improve and I had a ton of fun.
On My Own. Then when high school was over, organized sports were much harder to find. In the midst of my college and early professional life, I would declare that I was going to be healthier. I would:
Workout at the college gym every day for 3 days. Stop.
Cook healthy and pack my food at home for 2 days. Stop.
Walk to class instead of drive for 1 day. Stop.
Why was it so hard? I had made a promise to myself but I felt like I had no self-control.
To Others. When our boss assigns us a project we do everything to meet the deadline (even if we did procrastinate until the last minute). We bend to meet our children’s crazy schedules. Driving them from one part of town for practice to the next for rehearsal and ensuring that they are in bed on time.
To Ourselves. At the bottom of the list are our commitments to ourselves. These tend to fall into the buckets of “if I have time” or “if I feel like it today”. Sorry to be blunt but none of us have time and often we don’t feel like it.
What is the disconnect here? Why is it on our nature to prioritize the deadlines and commitments placed on us by others over the deadlines and commitments we give to ourselves?
Think about it. The times you actually get things done are the times you are accountable to or for others. Instead of fighting our natural tendency to put ourselves last and not prioritize our commitments to ourselves, let’s turn these commitments to self into a commitment to others.
Find Your Accountability Partner/Team
For you to succeed in having a healthy lifestyle, find someone to be accountable to. Someone who will call you out if you are slacking and lift you up when you need it! This can be a spouse, a friend that you check-in with daily, or a whole virtual community.
For me, that consistency started when I was introduced to my current fit club. It was the perfect blend of flexibility in terms of the time of day to fit in my workout plus accountability to get it done. The added accountability gave me the structure I needed to work out even on the days I did not feel like it. I finally found my secret to a healthy lifestyle.
Who have you charged with being your accountability buddy? If you need one and think the fit club could be the perfect place for you, I am always here!