You exercise often and may even do so under the guidance of a trainer. You’ve researched nutrition quite a bit and have made lots of changes based on that information. You believe that you had an okay understanding of health and fitness. Yet you still aren’t quite in the shape you’d like to be. If this sounds like you, you might be missing one important piece.
The Missing Piece
If you have a good history of exercise, and have managed your nutrition well enough to support your exercise while maintaining body composition, the missing piece is no longer changes to your training program, a new nutrition plan or different supplements.
What you need is accountability. “Accountability is the acknowledgment of responsibility for your actions with the obligation to report, explain, and be responsible for the resulting consequences.”
Accountability is arguably more important than intrinsic motivation. Consider going to training as an example. On some days you just don’t have the motivation to get to the gym, even though you know you need to. But knowing that friends will be there, or a coach will be checking in on your attendance and progress, gets you there. And you keep doing it, even when you don’t feel like it.
That consistency is essential to ongoing success and being accountable to someone fosters that consistency.
How do you get accountability?
Make Your Goals Public
Don’t tell them to just anyone. Talk about your goals to people who support you and care about your success. If they know what you are working towards, they’ll remind you when you slack off.
Turn it into a Competition
Set up a competition with your friends and training partners. Who sticks to their goals the longest? Who eats out the least? Who attempts a new recipe every week? The focus is not on the outcome but on the action.
Get a Coach
Be it group or individual coaching, a coach’s primary objective is to keep you accountable. You may know what and how much to eat, but having to report back to a coach will keep you on top of your game. It’s easier to stay consistent when you have a coach checking up on you.
So if you’ve struggled with consistency in the past, look for ways to become more accountable. Give yourself the support you need.