When it comes to our jobs, accountability often determines whether our paycheck reflects an increase or not. Knowing that someone or some group will evaluate job performance adds a level of accountability to the work performed.
When it comes to exercise, ACCOUNTABILITY is another concept that helps incentivize people to stay on track. For most people, exercise is NOT exciting. Expecting people to comply with this lifestyle behavior MULTIPLE TIMES/WEEK (EVERY WEEK OF THE MONTH) seems pretty unrealistic. What does it take to reduce resistance people experience when faced with the arduous task of exercise?
We need to make the word ACCOUNTABILITY into a game to use it effectively. The concept of a “game” adds some level of “fun” to the equation. There are several ways one can create accountability to exercise on a more regular basis.
Exercise Partner: Find someone to exercise with. Start with a time allotment that’s REALISTIC (20-30 minutes.) Being accountable to another person adds commitment to the activity. It also creates some social time away from family, work and other daily responsibilities.
Track Your Exercise: Purchase a heart monitor, a fitbit or some other device that gives you the opportunity to see what you accomplish. As you begin to regularly exercise, calorie expenditure increases as CONDITIONING improves. Walking hills becomes easier, bending to get pans from a lower cabinet becomes easier and increased overall energy becomes more noticeable.
Track Your Foods: Believe it or not, this becomes a game as well. A person gets to challenge their own eating habits and records them in an ongoing log (preferably a computer log.) This provides a history to review and tangible proof of improved food selections over time. This information can be shared with your exercise partner as a competition. See who logs the healthiest number of meals each week. The winner can be TREATED to a beer or glass of wine and some more social time!
Start The Day Right: Wake up each day to a 10-14oz. glass of water. This becomes a subliminal message to oneself that the body DESERVES a POSITIVE start to the day. It’s an EASY activity to do that requires no time, financial investment, or fancy equipment. Follow this glass of water with walking up and down your stairs (if your house or apartment has stairs) 3-5 times before showering or eating breakfast. Now you’ve started your day with good hydration and physical activity rather than the usual cup of coffee and the sedentary act of reading the newspaper.
Topic of Discussion: Make HEALTH a daily topic of discussion at the dinner table. For those with families, it encourages wives, husbands and children to participate in healthy lifestyle behaviors as well. It also creates a topic to “break the ice” for family dialogue during dinner.
Accountability over approximately 90-120 days creates new patterns of behavior that develops and supports healthier ATTITUDES and QUALITY LIVING. Most people completing this time frame successfully maintain this new standard of healthy living LONG TERM.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re overweight, deconditioned, frequently ill or simply lethargic, ACCOUNTABILITY is one of the best methods to overcome procrastination and dangerous lifestyle patterns of behavior.
FIND A GOOD PARTNER
to be accountable to and start helping each other achieve a better quality of life. 90-120 days later you will realize your ACCOUNTABILITY has shifted from your PARTNER to YOURSELF!
EXERCISE AND HEALTHIER EATING
will become the NEW NORMAL way of life!