Think about all the times you made a decision, choice, or even a promise to yourself that will help you achieve your health goals.
Maybe you decide to cook dinner every night or go to the gym on Monday morning. How many times have I reached the stage of implementing a new habit or changing behavior, and simply thinking, “Eh, not today.”
When you know exactly what to do, how to do, and when to do it, but it still doesn’t work, accountability is the final piece of the puzzle that will get you to the finish line.
The two types of accountability you need to reach your health goals
Now that we know how important it is to be responsible, how can we actually do it Act He. She?
I’ll show you how to build accountability with yourself, and how to create accountability with others so that you can pursue your health goals.
Accountability is two-fold.
1. Internal accountability
We want first and foremost to remain accountable to ourselves – internal accountability. When no one is seeing you or admitting your actions, internal accountability is the little push that gets you out of bed when you feel down and want to get some extra sleep.
The difficult thing here is that some people naturally have a great deal of internal accountability, while others do not naturally have the same amount of responsibility.
Those who don’t have much will need to practice growing more of this for themselves. For example, Mindful Nutrition Method ™ members go through live exercises upon joining that help them build a stronger sense of internal accountability.
However, even when developing a stronger sense of internal accountability, for those who are not equally as natural, it is here that external accountability is really helpful.
2. External accountability
External accountability means staying accountable to others. When you know that someone else is checking in with you, supporting you, and eager to know your progress, you almost feel a sense of obligation to follow them.
Team sports may be a reliable example. Growing up, did you find it always easy to show up to play sports because your team and coach expected you to be there? This is external accountability.
Often this external accountability is missing in a lot of people’s travels because it’s something they have to look out for and claim, either with a friend or a professional.
We provide our members with external accountability for Mindful Nutrition Method ™ through weekly check-ins, group training calls, training labs, and a private member community, along with lessons on how to build more external accountability outside of the program.
It is a combination of the two – internal accountability and external accountability – that has been shown to allow you to remain responsible throughout your life and reach the health and wellness goals you set for yourself (1).
Which of the two types of accountability do you feel you need more of in your life?
How to maintain your responsibility towards yourself
Let’s start by getting that soft voice in your head to start motivating you to stay responsible.
1. Write down your health goals
We said it once and we will say it again – write your goals! Whether you love planners and calendars or prefer a journal, jotting down your goals over and over again has been shown to increase your chances of success.
More specifically, recent research has shown that we are approximately 40 percent more likely to achieve success if our goals are written down2). Who wouldn’t want an additional 40% chance of success!
When recording your health goals and aspirations for accountability, be specific and realistic. If this is your first step to maintaining a workout schedule, starting by sticking to seven days a week of intense exercise may not be the best way forward. Start slow and build your way!
Additionally, if you were to exercise, what type of exercise would you be exercising? Is there a specific class you will attend? If so, what time does the class start? The more specific you are, the clearer the message and the easier it is to stick to it.
Seeing your goals in front of you in concrete makes them real and tangible, which undoubtedly increases your chances of remaining responsible.
2. Take it step-by-step
Suppose you always wanted to prepare your meals but never seemed to follow through on your plans. Not only do you have to write down your goal for the meal, but you also have to set a schedule for when and how it will happen.
Take the time to create a schedule for when you are motivated and decide to implement a new habit, behavior change, or goal. This takes care of all the heavy lifting early on. That way, when it’s time to actually start preparing the meal, you already know what to do and when to start.
Be specific on your schedule; What day will the meals be planned? Do you need to set a reminder so that you don’t skew and forget? Know yourself and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. The more you think about the activity in advance, the more accountable you will be in the moment.
3. Be honest with yourself
As cliche as it may sound, honesty is really the best policy.
It’s easy to make excuses and inform your choices when you talk to yourself in your head. However, when things do not go as planned or if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot take responsibility, be honest with yourself.
Use this time to determine what went wrong, why you weren’t responsible and what you can do differently the next time. We are human beings, we all make mistakes. We just want to make sure to learn from them and move on rather than repeat it and stop.
4. Find the knowledge you need
To remain responsible and abide by your decisions, you must have the appropriate knowledge. Whatever the topic, educate yourself so that you know how to properly apply yourself.
Educating yourself may involve doing some research yourself, but often your best bet is to work with a professional you can trust. Always look for a reliable and trustworthy person in the given field.
Working with a professional can also give you an extra layer of accountability, which we’ll discuss next.
How to use external accountability to achieve your health goals
Research has shown that in order to stay truly responsible, we often need the support of others.
1. Share your goals
Whether you are a professional you work with, your best friend, significant other or maybe a friend for a workout at the gym – talk to them about your goals! The more we talked and discussed our plans, the more responsibility we felt to get them done.
The next time you change your lifestyle, add a new step to your daily routine or set a new goal for yourself, tell someone else about it. Once again, be as specific as possible! Let them know that you are going to the gym at 6:00 AM on Friday or that you are trying to set aside $ 50 a week to save on that special trip.
Then ask them to check in with you to see how things are going each week or month.
By verbally expressing and writing down our health goals, we feel compelled to remain accountable and pursue them through to the end.
We do this within The Mindful Nutrition Method ™, where we have our members share what they work on each week so that the community and coaches can hold them accountable and connect with them.
2. Be honest with others
Once you tell someone that you are going to do something, isn’t it hard to tell them that you didn’t actually follow them when they asked you to? This is one reason why talking about your goals with others is so important for accountability.
We also need to make sure we are honest. When things don’t go the way you hoped and a friend asks why you don’t agree, always tell the truth. Be honest with them. If you simply feel unmotivated – say so! The more you become aware of your weaknesses and weaknesses, the more likely you are to address them moving forward and preventing the situation from repeating itself.
It can be difficult, but sometimes it takes your ego to come to a state of full accountability.