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Success contract


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Keeping yourself accountable is the single most important key to success in weight loss, fitness, and every meaningful area in your life. Information, research, good intentions – all do nothing in terms of achieving weight loss goals if you do not hold yourself accountable for actually going out and doing it.

Personal accountability, and its subsequent success, is so simple, it really involves only two steps.

Step One: Get People Involved

It may be cliché, but the old wise-man said ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ applies to your own personal weight loss goals as well. Without the support, insight, and encouragement of others, it is easy for you to get stuck in your own echo chamber of negativity and excuses. So the first step to personal accountability is to go public.

Let the right people (family and friends) know about your weight loss or fitness goals and plans. Talk to friends and family about how you are progressing, and when they offer support – take it. Test the waters with friends, family, and even coworkers to see if others would like to get involved in a team challenge, or a group event (such as a marathon run). Some companies will even sponsor group fitness goals, as it greatly decreases their long term health coverage costs. Going public will motivate you, put a little peer pressure on your back, and give you the resources to find drive when you cannot find it within yourself.

Step Two:Challenge Your Excuse Pattern

Everyone has an excuse pattern. Some have many of them.

I’m too busy. I can never find time for myself.

I’m not motivated today.

I have too much on my plate. I’ll do it later. I can’t control my time.

You get the point; and while some may seem legitimate at the time, in the grand scheme of things you are truly just allowing your excuses as an easy out.

So the first part of breaking the always-losing pattern of making excuses to ourselves is to decide once and for all that your life, your decisions, and your time are within your control.

You are not too busy.

You can find time for yourself.

You are choosing to not be motivated.

You are allowing too much to be put on your plate.

You won’t do it later, so decide to do it now. You can control your time.

No matter how difficult your circumstances in life may be, this is the hard truth: the only way to succeed is to take personal responsibility for how you live your life. That includes your physical health and fitness, and weight loss plans.

The next part of this is a permanent solution to break your pattern of excuse-making: make a contract with yourself. In the contract, you’ll identify your negative behaviors and what positive changes you are going to make to overcome them.

It may sound silly, but you should never underestimate the power of putting a commitment to yourself in writing.
Here is your personal success contract, with instructions for each essential part.

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Success contract

  1. 1. SUCCESS CONTRACT I, _________________, hereby recognize that sometimes I can be an excuse-making person. From here-on-out, __________________ (i.e. my weight loss goals) are of utmost importance to me, because I know that they will improve my _________________ (i.e. health and quality of life). I, therefore, commit to the following: i. I will make a serious attempt to stop making my classic excuses. Some of those are: _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ [Insert things that you catch yourself saying to yourself regularly that is a part of your negative, excuse-making pattern.] ii. When I start acting like an excuse-making person, in spite of my attempts not to, I will respond to each piece of negative thinking with the following positive countermeasure: _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ [Insert a countermeasure, or more positive response, to each of the classic excuses you listed in section i.] iii. If I fail at avoiding my classic excuses, and even find myself failing at overcoming those through the countermeasures I have put forward, I commit to myself to remember that all is not lost. I am not stupid. I am not worthless. I can do this. To help me take a step back and refocus on my weight loss goals, and why I should and can achieve them, I will _______________________________________ ________________________________________________________ [Insert something you will do for you (such as get a pedicure, find a team competition such as a 5K to participate in, take a day for you to relax with a book…whatever you find enjoyable and refreshing to clear your head). iv. I will not sacrifice my own needs to make other people happy, or do for them what they can and should be doing for themselves. When there is a conflict between my exercise and eating plans and what other people want me to do, I will negotiate to find a reasonable solution that allows me to do what I need to for myself.
  2. 2. v. I choose to be in charge of my own decisions and behaviour. I will not talk, think, or act as though my partner, child, spouse, cravings, or subconscious made me do it. I will ask myself what is most important to me and make my decision – and recognize that I made that decision. I am in control. If I don’t like the consequences, I will not blame others; and I’ll make more decisions for next time to come out better. Signature: ________________________ Date of commitment: ______________________