Guest Post: Holding yourself accountable

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In 2012 when I decided to try P90X for the first time, finding the motivation to begin was easy.  It was new to me and my lovely Agata was willing to try it out with me.  So I gave it a shot.

The first unofficial week, I worked out 2 of 7 days to get a feel for the program.  I knew it would take some serious dedication because a ton of people I knew had done it but failed completing it;  1 hour 6 days a week and following the nutrition guide to a “T” is not easy.  I decided to hold myself accountable by telling everyone on facebook what I had planned to do.

I got instant likes and comments about the program, mostly encouraging me to do it.  Sure enough, after a while, I felt like I had to continue otherwise I’d let them (and my wife and I) down.

I posted methodically.  First day; second day; first week; second week; first month; second month; finish.  Each post encouraged me to keep going, not only because I wanted to post it to tell others, but more importantly, everyone else was encouraging.

I simply could not have held myself accountable without everyone else knowing as well.  The momentum from the first post built up, and carried through until I made working out a habit and completed my goal.  I now work out regularly just because I enjoy it and have trained myself to be self-motivated based on past positive experiences.

As I wrote at the top, this doesn’t just apply to fitness.  If you have a goal, tell people about it.  Tell your closest friends, tell your acquaintances, even tell random people when the subject comes up; according to one study you’ll at least be 1/3rd more likely to complete it by doing so[1].  Motivation will snowball and you’ll find it easier and more fun each day to get closer to completing them.

Try it and see if this will keep you holding yourself accountable. By posting a goal you may be more motivated to stick to it., especially if you share it with people who will check up on you! Just remember to keep them realistic.

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