I’m so excited to welcome another guest blogger this week. I am so thankful for my kick-butt friends who are evidence-based practitioners and outstanding humans. Thank you Mel!!!!
I want you to stop and think about all the promises you’ve made to yourself.
Maybe you decided to stop having a 3rd glass of wine every night or you resolved to get up and log some morning miles before heading into work in the new year. How many times have you gotten to the point of implementing the new habit, but you didn’t follow through? It’s the “meh, I’ll start tomorrow” that we’re all familiar with.
Let’s talk about accountability. Not motivation or willpower, but accountability - your new most valuable asset.
Accountability is the obligation to report, explain, and be responsible for the consequences of our actions. It is the strategy of keeping the promise you’ve made to yourself.
Accountability is the act of being held responsible. It keeps you consistent because you must answer for the decisions you’ve made. The ability to hold yourself accountable is one of the most important tools for developing habit change. From work environments to relationships to health and wellness, accountability helps us tap into the courage of our convictions.
So, the big question, as related to nutrition and exercise, is...how do you hold yourself accountable? Here are three strategies you can use immediately.
Accountability Strategy #1- Make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. For example, rather than writing down “I am going to eat more vegetables,” make it SMART by writing, “I am going to eat 1⁄2 plate of vegetables as part of my dinner Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next 30 days.” In this way, you have made your commitment to yourself that is measurable and has clear expectations.
Accountability strategy #2- Track your Progress. Keep a food and fitness calendar or journal. Track your food intake daily and record results such as weight, measurements and energy levels. In relation to exercise, it can be training log, or it can simply be marking an “x” on the calendar for every day you met your goal.
Accountability strategy #3- Find an accountability buddy. Get some help from at least one other person. Whether it’s a professional you’re working with, your best friend, your significant other, or your next-door neighbor – make yourself accountable to at least one other person. An accountability person can remind you of your goals and support you when you’re tempted to veer off into meh-I’ll-start-tomorrow-land.
Melanie (Mel) has a master’s in nutrition, is a registered dietitian and certified sports nutritionist. Her goal is to help others increase their nutritional IQ, fall in love with food, optimize performance, and work towards sustainable lifestyle changes that will dramatically enhance their quality of life.