Have you ever wondered why so many people are unsuccessful in exercising and changing bad habits? Maybe it’s due to the absence of one crucial ingredient many need but doesn’t necessarily utilize; it’s an accountability partner. Without accountability, some of us will not do things necessary for good health. Sure, we all know we need to exercise; it’s just a matter of doing it.
Some friends hold me accountable for exercising, drinking water, and eating correctly. We check in once a week and give our weight gains or losses. In addition to this, we also encourage each other during the week to drink more water and eat healthy foods. Sometimes we post pictures of our meals as suggestions for others to try. We also have water consumption and exercise challenges.
Two are Better than One
A text in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Now here are some of the benefits of an accountability partner.
If I become slack in my exercise or health management, I have someone to say, “Hey, you can’t quit now. Get up and keep trying.” Sometimes we may get tired of motivating ourselves, and that’s when an accountability partner steps in. When you run out of gas and feel like giving up, your accountability partner is there to motivate you not to give up. You may hear them say things such as, “That was just 15 push-ups. Give me ten more. Hey, keep going. You can do it. Don’t stop!”
There is nothing like an encouraging text, email, or note from time to time from someone who is in your corner when it comes to health. “Hey, it looks like you’ve lost a few pounds.” (they notice) “I found a recipe you may like. Try it and tell me what you think.”
“You drank eight glasses of water today? You go, girl!” Are you exercising for 20 minutes? “You drank eight glasses of water today? Way to go!” “You’re exercising 20 minutes? Maybe you can go for 30 minutes.” Have you had your mammogram or physical this year? Accountability partners give gentle reminders and suggestions.
Virtual Accountability Partners
Accountability Partners don’t always have to be someone who physically walks or exercises with you. They can also be online. You can do check-ins by phone or email and even use an app together. The key to success is checking in with this person regularly. The thing that hinders success is a lack of consistency. Regularly doing a task, even for 10 or 15 minutes, is better than exercising for an hour every now and then. Remember this: “Consistency is better than intensity.”
Workplaces and groups incorporate accountability into their health plans by putting systems to keep employees healthy.
They offer discounts, free gym memberships, online health education, weight loss programs, or health monitoring devices like Fitbit. Check with your place of employment to see if they offer any of these programs.
Exercise buddies can be husbands, sisters, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. You can even find online partners and groups. There is a website called www.sparkpeople.com that has plenty of free resources for losing weight and staying healthy. They also have accountability partners/groups, recipes, exercise videos, and a wealth of other information. If being consistent is difficult for you to get an accountability partner. Remember, two are better than ONE!
Great article Karla!
Agreed that sometimes exercise can be difficult habit for some but like most habits, it only takes time before it becomes normal.
I definitely agree that being held accountable is a great way to stay fit and on top of your goals, because then you have a ‘sense of not letting other people down’ go through you.
What other ways or methods do you use to stay motivated?
Another thing I use is a pedometer. It has definitely motivated me to take more steps during the day. My goal is 10,000 steps so if I have not reached my goal for the day and I am ready to go to bed, I start walking around the house or walking in place to reach 10,000 steps. It definitely motivates me! Thanks for your comment.
What a great idea! I think we all need an accountability partner – especially in those areas that require a certain amount of discipline, such as eating and exercise.
I have belonged to a gym for quite a while and I noticed how crowded it was each January 2. By the time February rolled around, there were only half the people. I am sure if they had accountability partners those people would still be there in February.
We all need motivation and someone who will push us to be better!
Thank you for a great post!
Yes Christopher, I agree! It makes a big difference when you get a call or reminder that it’s time to exercise.