So you've made big plans to get into shape and you just put the finishing touches on your workout schedule. That's a step in the right direction, but now comes the hard part: Actually following through with it. The good news is that you don't have to let all of your motivation fall through the cracks; just use the following seven tips to help you stay accountable to your workout schedule and goals.
1. Create and sign a contract.
This is something you can do by yourself, or with a supportive friend. Write down what type of workouts you plan do, how often you'll work out each week, and maybe even the ultimate goal of your efforts (e.g., lose 20 pounds in four months, complete a sprint triathalon, etc.).
Once you've spelled out those details in writing, sign that bad boy and treat it like a legally binding agreement. On those inevitable days when you feel like skipping your workout, you'll have that piece of paper there to remind you of what you've officially committed to do.
2. Journal your workout journey.
There's something about journaling that automatically creates accountability. When you journal your workout journey, you're making the process more concrete in your own mind, and you're providing an official record of your activities just in case you might be unclear about what you may have done on a given day.
In terms of what to write in your journal, it's more than just documenting how many sets and reps you performed during a given workout. Write down how you're feeling at the moment, what types of obstacles you may have encountered during the process, and what may have helped or derailed your workout on a particular day. As you look back over previous entries, you might start seeing patterns emerge that can help you avoid future pitfalls.
3. Sleep in your workout clothes.
This may sound a little extreme, but if you've committed to a morning workout schedule, it will take away any excuse you have for not being ready to roll when the alarm clock sounds. In addition, if you're tempted to bail on your workout for any reason, you'll actually have to take your workout clothes off to skip out on your commitment. Talk about a poignant reminder!
4. Record your workouts on video.
If you were ever arrested for working out, would there be enough evidence to convict you? But seriously, there's something about documenting your workouts on video that will boost your sense of accountability and even motivate you to do more. Entire online communities such as GiveIt100.com are built around this premise, so it's obviously a powerful accountability tool!
5. Post your workout plan on social media.
This is another method that will essentially force you to keep your own word. By posting what you're going to do the night before you do it, you're putting yourself out there, and who knows--you might even receive some encouraging responses from friends and followers for an extra motivational boost.
6. Establish a rewards system.
If you knock out five workouts in a week, you buy some new training shoes. If you lose 10 pounds in a month, you take that weekend getaway you've been thinking about. Whatever a good rewards system looks like to you, do it. The principle of delayed gratification can really work to your benefit as you use various rewards to motivate you to hit your fitness goals.
7. Work with a personal trainer.
There's nothing quite like having to look another human being in the face and explain why you skipped out on your workout that will motivate you to suck it up and get the job done. A personal trainer will not only serve as a very effective accountability partner, but he or she can also provide some much-needed encouragement when you're feeling your motivation start to wane. Five Seasons has a team of personal trainers who are ready and waiting to help you develop healthy plan and stick to it.