Tell me if this sounds familiar: it’s Sunday night. You have big plans for the week to run or workout every day before work. You set your alarm for 6 am Monday morning to get off to a good start and you wake up all set to go. The first day is a great success. And so is the second. And maybe even the third. But by Thursday, you don’t make it out of bed, and come Friday, you say to yourself, “come on, it’s Friday. Who wants to get up early to run on Friday?”
Or maybe it’s like this: you are doing great on your plan. You’ve been running five days a week for the last couple of weeks and things seem to be off to a great start. And then you wake up late on Wednesday of your third week and don’t have time to fit in your run. The next day you have n early meeting and can’t go either, and then Friday hits and you’re exhausted from the week. The weekend comes and goes, and by the following week you’re stuck in the rut of “well if I didn’t do it yesterday, what’s one more day?”
One more day is the difference between you getting back on track, and you falling off track for a long time. It’s the difference between you reaching your goals within the next month (like you set out to do), or not reaching them for a couple of months.
And mostly it’s the difference between having and not having accountability.
Accountability comes down to who you count on and who counts on you. It comes down to who and what you’re doing this for, and it comes down to what’s your why? In simple terms, it’s what drives you to do something and keep doing it and do it anyway, even if you don’t want to. It’s what pushes you forward when you’ve had a setback, and what gets you back up on your feet when you’ve been knocked down. And it may be just what you’re missing if you feel like you aren’t reaching success with your running goals. Here’s how to harness accountability for your success:
- Find your person – You likely fall into one of two groups when it comes to running and working out: you would prefer to do it alone and don’t run with others very often, or you would prefer to do it with others and don’t run solo very often. And with each of those categories is its own inherent accountability. For example, if you like to workout with others, you are accountable to them. If you run solo, you are accountable to only yourself. And regardless of which one you fall into, you need to find your accountability within it; you need to find a workout partner who kicks you in the butt and makes you get out of bed every time, or you need to find your inner drive that forces you out the door on a solo long run, every time.
- Find your reason – Do you workout because you are trying to reach your weight loss goals? Do you run to clear your head and de-stress? Are you training for a certain goal race time? Whatever the case, you need to have a reason to do it that is good enough to make you keep doing it. Even when you are tired, busy, sore, and thinking there are a hundred other things you should be doing right now. You need to find the reason that keeps you accountable and keeps you on track. And that’s the thing that will keep you going no matter how tough it gets. Need some inspiration?
- Do it for the feeling of accomplishment you have afterwards
- Do it to get it down and over with and to know you get to carry that around with you all day.
- Do it because you know how bad you feel later if you don’t.
- Do it because you want to achieve your weight loss goals or have a certain dress, clothes etc. you want to fit into.
- Do it because you are going on vacation and want to look and feel your best
- Do it because it motivates you to be healthier the rest of the day
- Find a way to get out of your ruts – I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you’ll never have off days, skipped workouts, or days where it is hard to find your motivation. Because you will. And you’ll have days where it seems really hard to get going, even harder once you are going, and days where you say to yourself, “for what? Is it even worth it? Who cares if I’m accountable or not?” But yes, yes it is. And you need to find a way of reminding yourself of that so that you can get out of little ruts and off days when they occur and not spiral off track.
- Tell yourself you just have to go out the door and run 2 km
- Switch it up and do a different workout than you usually do
- Run in a new place, on new trails, or using a new route.
- Workout with a different group of people a different instructor or try a different class.
- Do an outdoor workout instead of staying indoors at the gym.