Saturday, July 25, 2009

Accountability and support

"To reach any significant goal you must leave your comfort zone." - 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith

Often, when we are striving for a goal, it's a personal battle, a road we are going down on our own. No one can count points for you or lose the last 10 pounds in your place. No one can push your pace from a 10 minute mile to 9 minute or enforce a bedtime when you need rest. But, if we are lucky and smart girls, we will find friends and people in our lives to support us and hold us accountable for healthy habits.

The best example I have of this in my own life is my journey through the Weight Watchers Program, which I embarked on, August 25th, 2004. This topic will be a blog later on because I am a huge WW advocate. I learned so much more from Weight Watchers other than point counting and portion control. They introduced me to using my peers as support for my journey. At meetings they talk about struggles and successes and offer food and fitness tips for everyone.
The beautiful thing about garnering support from a your peers who are on a similar journey, is boundaries and differences that may otherwise keep people from being supportive are erased. Young, old, men, women, rich, and middle class are all on even ground. No one is better than another when you're talking power breakfasts and bowls of ice cream. Granted, you are still the one doing the work. Having others to talk to for support and encouragement is vital, even if it just to talk through a recent setback. There are support groups for everything! You don't have to be a member of something like WW, you can find a few girls in the office that want to pow-wow over lunch and talk. I know I have a friend who is always asking me how much water I have had that day and it encourages me and keeps my goals in front of me.

Another thing WW does well is accountability. They ask you weigh at the beginning of every meeting and though the numbers are privately recorded, it creates accountability. It is hard to be accountable to just yourself, because we are human and prone to slip. Not that we are going to eat the whole quart of rocky road on a Saturday night, but if no one is forcing us onto a scale the next day, we need more to keep us on track. When you are asked or required to put something on the table like our health or habits, it can create an accountability we can't enforce on our own.

You can ask ANYONE to help you be accountable. You can call your mom every night and talk about what you ate, if you made it to the gym or if you took time for yourself. For the longest time I met a girlfriend 3 days a week for Body Pump before work, but she got a job that didn't allow her to hit the same gym anymore. It was much harder for me to go to the class without her: I had lost my accountability partner. If someone is waiting for you, it is much easier to get out of bed at 5:30 to hit the gym.

Searched images for Journey! Got this...

So, ask a friend to meet you once a week for a run, a walk or a class at the gym, it will make a huge difference. Meet some friends out at a coffee shop one night a week to talk about food or your feelings about your lifestyle. Have other couples over for dinner and do a healthy recipe swap. To reach any significant goal in life, we have to leave our comfort zone, go to that meeting, step on that scale, get out of that bed and let others in to support us and keep us accountable. You can do it, you just don't have to do it alone!!

What things help keep you accountable and on track??
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