Accountability Model Excellent For Fitness Goals
At our training center, we regularly consult prospective clients by asking the question “What made you choose personal fitness training?” One of the most frequently recurring responses is, “Because I do better when I have to be accountable to someone.”
Every year, I notice countless individuals initiating their fitness resolutions in the month of January. Do your own informal study, and observe the number of people you see jogging, running and joining fitness clubs in January.
The attrition begins each month as those who have goals, often become disenchanted because of the effect that knowledge, discipline and motivation have on one another.
A significant part of success in fitness resolutions begins long before the physical activity begins. Instead, it starts with building an environment to be successful. This effort begins with becoming accountable to another person.
I am not a behaviorist, but what I have noticed is that when one individual is brought into the mix of a successful model, accountability takes hold. Ultimately, we don’t want to disappoint that person by being unavailable after we have made the commitment to meet them at the gym, on the running trail, or particular class we have signed up for.
While accountability to someone else is a terrific way to build a successful fitness environment there are some cold and hard truths to selecting the right person to help you achieve your goals. Several key components to that success include:
- Physicality – If it’s an activity that requires your strength or physical prowess to help the other person achieve their goals (“spottting” or keeping safe someone who is lifting heavy weights) strength or fitness compatibility matters. Remember that your ideal goal in this situation is to choose someone who is as focused on reaching their goal, as you are on your goal. You don’t need to be “best friends” to accomplish this.
- Personality – If it’s a class environment you are pursuing for health there need not be as much emphasis on becoming interdependent regarding each others physical prowess as much as dependability. Often the victory of getting to the class together has you serving as a cheerleader for one another which keeps each training partner on track.
- Dependability – Let’s face it, there is not greater buzz killer in training as a partner who is chronically late or making countless excuses as to why they can’t make it. Most of us are on schedules that don’t allow a cushion for a later-than-planned work-out. Many years ago I had a training partner that started showing up 15-20 minutes late for each session. This significantly eroded the success model we were trying to build and was a classic example of “good friend, bad training partner.” Again, while compatibility on some level matters, one need not be best friends to make this work. If you are serious about your goals, change training partners, or resolve yourself to make self-motivation your method of achieving success.
- Schedule yourself – Block out your calendar for your training session in the same way you would for any appointment. If possible make it a regular time and day slot each week so that you treat your fitness with equal importance.
- Courtesy – Undoubtedly, from time to time there will be events or situations that get in the way of your scheduled training time with your partner or fitness trainer. The key to maintaining an ongoing commitment is to give that person as much lead time as possible that you will be missing your session. Doing so, helps them prepare more effectively or fill that time in with another client or training partner.
While the accountability model is a terrific way to set up a successful training environment, it might not be best for you. If you are someone who likes the solitude of training alone, then it is best to figure out your own triggers that assist you in a motivated work-out plan.