According to the “Washington Post” article “Wellness accountability partners help each other set and maintain goals for diet, exercise and overall well-being.” (Heath, Elizabeth 2020). For example, have you ever had one of those days where the alarm goes off and you tell yourself “I’ll just work out when I get home tonight”. Tonight comes, and now you’re tired from work. Now it turns into “it’s okay I can just do both work-outs tomorrow.” I certainly have. done that. When left to my own devices I will exercise, though I might be a bit too gentle with myself. That’s where an accountability buddy or buddies come in. Having a commitment to someone(s) else holds me accountable to put the time aside to exercise. I am much more likely to exercise as scheduled in a program if someone else is expecting me.
The next piece of the accountability buddies puzzle is knowing they are reliable. If you agree to meet on Tuesday nights for a run at a certain trailhead, it’s important that all accountability buddies show, or at least text/call to explain why they might not. In working towards goals together, being able to rely on one another to show up is essential (Health, Elizabeth, 2020). Another item raised in this “Washington Post” article is the idea of regular communication and transparency about goals. To be a good accountability buddy might mean giving a call, text or message as a ‘nudge’. Really that’s the whole point, to keep each other on track and to support one another when training.
At this point, you might be wondering a bit more about the “why” of accountability buddies. I’ll start with my own experience. Having a group of people expecting me at a certain time and place to meet for an exercise makes me much more honest with myself and my exercise program. In a “Women’s Health” article there are 5 identified reasons why accountability buddies are helpful in achieving goals (Ascroft, Amber 2019).
- You’re more likely to see a challenge through
- You’ll see results, faster
- You’ll suss out new tricks
- It will help shift your mindset
- You’ll have someone to pop a cork with
(Ascroft, Amber 2019)
According to a study cited by Ascroft,
…participants had a 65% chance of completing a goal if they told someone else about it. Those chances of success rose to a staggering 95% if they committed to meeting up with that person in real life. (Ascroft, Amber 2019)
Ascroft continues noting that accountability buddies are people who offer support, motivation and also inspiration. Accountability buddies also are a great resource to swap recipes, training successes (and fails), all while acting as your biggest cheerleader. Surrounding yourself with positive accountability buddies can also help improve your mindset and help with reminders of your ‘why’ (… why am I doing this again?). Lastly, you’ll have someone or a group of someones to celebrate after reaching your goals. However big or small each goal is, it is great to share a high five, laugh or a meal to celebrate the achievement. (Ascroft, Amber 2019)
To all my personal accountability buddies – thank you!
Ascroft, Amber. “5 Reasons You Need an Accountability Buddy.” Women’s Health, Women’s Health, 27 Feb. 2019, https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/fitness/workouts/a26338056/accountability-weightwatchers/.
Heath, Elizabeth. “Skipped Your Workout – Again? an Accountability Partner Can Help You Meet Your Fitness Goals.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 4 Aug. 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/skipped-your-workout–again-an-accountability-partner-can-help-you-meet-your-fitness-goals/2020/08/03/a1b15202-d109-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html.
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