Can you believe it’s already November? Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, quickly followed by Christmas! The time flies by so fast.
With the holidays approaching, it can be very difficult to stay on track with your health goals, as I am sure you are well aware. In this blog, I am going to give you some tips so that you go into the holiday season prepared!
“Accountability” is when you take responsibility for your actions. When you “own” them.
And it’s key to improving your health and wellness.
Have you ever bought a book or program with the absolute best intentions of following it to a “T?” Have you ever not followed it completely? I know I sure have been down that path – more than once. Life gets in the way. We get too tired or busy and let a day or two slide. Then, sometimes, we completely fall off the bandwagon.
This happens to the best of us – Yes, even to me! You can have all the right information, but the implementation is the hard part.
Accountability is more of the “doing” than the “knowing.” It’s when you already know what you should be doing; but, doing it doesn’t always happen. And accountability, when you know someone is measuring or checking your actions, makes you more likely to do them.
What are some options for accountability?
1. Start an activity journal – Just writing down the amount of exercise you do each day can increase your accountability. You can use a calendar or a blank notebook. For each day record:
● Which exercise is done;
● Distance or repetitions;
● Intensity (easy/moderate/vigorous);
● Notes/comments (what improvements you can make for next time);
● How you feel afterwards – Use this last item to motivate yourself to capture that feeling again.
Bonus points for logging what and how much you eat every day. That will help keep you accountable on the nutrition side too. I like the MyFitnessPal app for this, but there are plenty of others.
Note: I don’t use My Fitness Pal so much to track calories as I do the amounts of carbs, protein and calories as well as my exercise each day. In the past, I have had high potassium levels, so this approach is a great way to keep track of what you take in each day.
2. Use a fitness tracker – Would you believe that a study of fitness habits in postmenopausal women showed that a fitness tracker increased the amount of exercise they did? Two groups of women were advised to walk 10,000 steps each day and get 150 minutes of moderate/vigorous physical activity each week. One group was given a pedometer. The other was given a pedometer plus a fitness tracker. Guess how much more activity the fitness tracker group increased each week? Thirty eight minutes! Yes, just having a fitness tracker increased activity, while the pedometer-only group had no change.
The conclusion? Having the tracker increased their accountability, measurement of the activities, and motivation to do them.
I like using a Fitbit, but there are now a ton of options out there, so find one that fits your needs and budget.
3. Get an “accountability buddy” – Find a workout buddy. Someone who you can go for walks or to the gym with. If not, ask someone you trust to follow up with you every few days on your tracked activities. Make sure they know your “why” and can remind you of it when you need it. Have them spend a few minutes reviewing your journal/tracker and give you some “tough love” from time to time.
4. Hire a health coach (like me). (Of course, this is my favorite option!) I love supporting people who are on a path to better health. I help busy professional women and entrepreneurs who are lacking in energy, are totally stressed, have headaches (even migraines), perhaps suffer belly bloat, and struggle with weight and health issues.