Your alarm goes off at 4:30 am and you need to be at the gym in an hour for your workout. But it’s cold outside, and you aren’t particularly excited about having thrusters for breakfast – again.
Which one of these things is most likely to keep you from hitting the snooze button?
- A) I am disciplined, so I never miss
- B) I can’t wait to listen to the Club Dance Party playlist
- C) I told my WOD buddy I would be there
For most people, the clear answer is C. No matter how disciplined you are or how much you enjoy your daily workouts, one thing we can’t stand is to back out of an agreement with a friend and let that person down.
Do you find it challenging to stay motivated when it comes to your fitness? One proven way to increase motivation is to find a battle buddy!
How an accountability partner helps you reach your goals
An accountability partner provides encouragement, supports you in your journey, and shows up to meet you at the gym when you might not feel like going. Knowing this person will be there for you and that you’re going to be there for them creates a synergistic relationship that will lift you both up! The best part is, you do all this for your accountability partner, too.
How to choose an accountability partner
The most effective partnerships will be among people with similar goals and schedules. If you’re lucky, you already know the perfect person to partner with, and maybe you’ve already got an unspoken accountability agreement. Make it official! Ask your buddy to be your accountability partner for a set number of weeks, make a goal or an agreement together, and get after it!
Make sure you have this person’s phone number. Text each other the night before a workout and pump each other up to be there!
Make it a group effort
Accountability also works well in small groups! Organizing an accountability group helps avoid common pitfalls of partnerships like one person going on vacation, needing a long break, or whatever the case. Start a group chat, stick around after class to stretch together and talk about goals, and encourage each other to stick to healthy habits. Bonus points if you keep your group fluid and absorb new people looking to be part of the group!
Don’t keep goals as goals – make a PLAN to achieve them
Let your accountability partner know if your goal is to lose 10 lbs in the next five weeks, and then tell your partner HOW you are going to make this happen! If you plan to replace all starches at dinner with vegetables, you can take a picture of your plate and send it to your partner. If their goal is to make it to the gym five days per week, you can be sure you meet them there most days. Your adherence to your plan motivates your partner to stick with their plan and vice versa. It’s a win-win!
How to be a good accountability partner
1) Listen. A good battle buddy duo or group listens to each other’s goals and struggles, just for the sake of listening.
2) Follow through. A good partner follows through on any commitments and always shows up when they say they will.
3) Motivate and encourage. It’s your aim to motivate and encourage your buddy in their health and fitness journey and be there to celebrate their victories. “Success begets success.” When you help someone else succeed, you succeed yourself!
An accountability partner is NOT a coach
It’s not your buddy’s role to coach you in nutrition, guide you through your journey, or help you make decisions. If you need guidance in your health and fitness journey, ask a coach!
Not limited to health and fitness
You can benefit from having (and being!) an accountability partner in ANY area of your life, whether you’re starting a business, climbing the corporate ladder, working towards a savings goal, or wanting to incorporate more regular healthy habits. Knowing there is someone to whom you are accountable (other than yourself!) can mean the difference between planning it and doing it!
Be open to Feedback
Okay, so we know our journey will not be perfect and we will probably mess something up. While your accountability partner shouldn’t berate you for a slip-up, you should be open to taking some constructive criticism! Suppose it becomes clear to your accountability partner that you’re suffering from overtraining. In that case, they should feel comfortable suggesting a rest day (a walk in the park together, perhaps?), and you should value their advice and concern. If you think your partner has set an unrealistic goal, you should tell them! Trust is what makes partnerships work. Would you trust someone who just told you what you wanted to hear all the time? No! “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6) Sometimes we need to hear what we don’t want to hear. Accountability forces you to be humble and take feedback and possibly advice from your partner.
In conclusion, making an accountability agreement with a friend or battle buddy helps you both stay on track towards your health and fitness goals! So make a goal and grab a buddy. And remember, it’s just as much about what you can do for them as they can do for you.