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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.