Have you ever wondered why so many people are unsuccessful in exercise and changing bad habits? Maybe it’s due to the absence of one crucial ingredient that many need but don’t necessarily utilize; it’s an accountability partner. Without accountability, some of us will not do things that are necessary for good health. Sure, we all know we need to exercise; it’s just a matter of doing it.

I currently have some friends who are holding me accountable for exercise, 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. At other times we post pictures of our meals as suggestions for the others to try. We also have water consumption and exercise challenges.

 

Two are Better than One
There is a text in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 that says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls don, 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.

Motivation 
If I become slack in my exercise or health management, then 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!” 


Encouragement
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.

Success
Many successful workplaces and groups incorporate accountability into their overall health plans. They put systems in place to keep employees healthy. Some things they offer are discount or free gym memberships, online health education, weight loss programs, or free health monitoring devices such as the Fitbit. Check with your place of employment to see if they offer any of these programs. 

Exercise buddies can be just about anyone. They 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 is better than ONE!

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