Why You Need An Accountability Partner

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” Bob Proctor

If you struggle to keep promises to yourself but find it is easier to keep commitments to others, you should use that to your advantage. Ask your spouse or a trusted friend to be your accountability partner. An accountability partner is a potent tool for anyone who struggles to keep promises to themselves, which means it is a powerful tool for anyone. None of us are perfect. We are all striving to do better, or we have given up on doing better. If you are struggling, congratulate yourself for not giving up like so many people have. Perhaps your accountability partner is also struggling with forming a good habit or eliminating a bad habit. You can help each other. You can give each other that little-added push to do better.

Once you have identified someone to be your accountability partner, follow this simple three-step process:

  1. Tell them your goal.
  2. Tell them what you plan to do each day to achieve your goal.
  3. Schedule a weekly check-in to review your triumphs and failures.

 Ensure your goal is measurable. If you cannot quantify it, you cannot measure your progress toward achieving it. Let your accountability partner know what daily disciplines you are going to install to reach your goal. Put your weekly check-ins on your calendar as a reoccurring weekly meeting. What gets scheduled gets done. This check-in must be a consistent event for it to be effective.

At the designated time, meet with or call your accountability partner. Recap your week. Share your triumphs and struggles. Celebrating your successes and receiving encouragement will create a positive feedback loop that will only make you more motivated to chase after your goals. The journey of self-improvement doesn’t have to be a lonely one. We don’t have to go it alone.

Social rewards are effective. They help us sustain motivation. We should share our journey with people that care about us. Having an accountability partner will provide that little-added push you need to overcome temptations when they arise. Having an accountability partner is a game changer. Knowing you will have to share any failures with your accountability partner might be that little extra incentive you need. It might be that little extra push that stiffens your resolve. No one likes to disappoint others.

I believe that at least 50% of the benefit you receive from having a personal trainer or career coach is the added layer of accountability it creates. High performers often have coaches. Many top personal trainers have a personal trainer to help them stay on track and avoid falling into a rut. When we discuss our goals with someone else, develop a plan of action, and then schedule regular check-ins to assess our progress we do better.

If you are SERIOUS; if you want to produce results, you’ll find someone to be your accountability partner. If you are hesitant to find an accountability partner, then you might want to admit to yourself that that thing you want to accomplish isn’t a priority. It isn’t worth whatever it is you must sacrifice to achieve it. When we are committed to achieving a goal, we shape our environment to make it happen. An accountability partner is one way of shaping your environment to put it on yourself to do better.

Learn more, Why Creating a Sense of Urgency is so Important

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Be Serious, Don’t Be Casual

People that are casual about pursuing their goals become life’s casualties. They are continually disappointed in themselves, but not too disappointed because they never really expected to achieve their results. They never put pressure on themselves to produce results.

Casual people take a lax approach to life. They have no written goals, and they don’t share the vague goals rattling around in their head with anyone else. The only time they come up is when they complain about not reaching them. These are the same people that waste their best hours chatting, gossiping, watching TV or addicted to social media.

Serious people expect to make progress. If their goal is to lose weight, they set weekly goals. They track their food to ensure they create a caloric deficit. They share their goal with supportive friends who they check-in with regularly to share their progress and frustrations. They spend their time with people that have achieved their goal and will be a positive influence on them. They put internal and external pressure on themselves to make consistent progress.

When someone tells me their frustration with losing body fat I begin by asking them, how many calories they are eating each day. When they say they don’t know, I know they aren’t serious. Many people complain about their genetics, but when I ask them how many calories they are eating each day, they don’t know. If you don’t know how many calories you are consuming each day, don’t expect to lose much weight or keep it off.

Learn more:

Flying Blind – If You Aren’t Logging Your Food You’re Flying Blind,

Top 5 Priorities of Effective Fat Loss and Looking Great, and

Group Norms & Expectation- Don’t Put Rocks in Your Backpack and Pebbles in You Shoes

 

Each Day is Your Life in Miniature

The reason I obsess about habits is that what we do each day is what matters. It is our life in miniature. If you aren’t happy on a consistent basis, then you aren’t going to live a happy life. If you aren’t working on improving yourself each day, a year from now, five years from now, you will not be any better than you are today. Habits are the invisible engineers of our lives.

The best way I know to engineer a better life is by engineering better habits. We have the most control over the bookends of our day. Wake-up reading, writing in a journal and exercising. Don’t fall into the common trap of making a living and not designing a life. It is so easy to lose sight of what is important. I did it for years. It is only recently that I realized that I need to stop, stand still, and assess.

We only have one life to live, and it isn’t going to start over. Don’t waste it doing what must get done and start doing what you want to get done. What you want to accomplish. What you want to achieve. Pursuing a dream and not achieving it isn’t the greatest tragedy of life. Not having a dream to pursue is. Life holds special meaning for those brave enough to pursue their dreams. “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes

Learn more, Identify ONE Wildly Important Goal.

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The Habit: Week-13 (Create a Vision Board)

 Vision board image by Colleen Galvin

“You can’t just visualize it and then go eat a sandwich. It’s about letting the universe know what you want and then working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass.” ― Jim Carrey

This week, our challenge is to create a vision board. I have one, and I recommend you have one because the law of attraction works. It works, but only if we work. Envisioning what we want to achieve is only the first step toward making it a reality. “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”  Robin Sharma

The power of attraction, having a vision and staying connected with it daily, is misunderstood by many people. Its power lies in an area of our brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). Our RAS determines what we notice and what we ignore in our environment. If we didn’t ignore most of what we see, hear, and feel in our environment, we would experience sensory overload.

When we set a goal, and we have strong emotional intent, we trigger the RAS. Our brain becomes incredibly acute at noticing anything in our surroundings that could help us move forward. When we stay connected to our vision, daily, we keep ourselves on course. We don’t get caught up in the momentum of other people’s demands on us. Every day we look for ways to take another step, no matter how small, towards our goal.

Like any law, it is both positive and negative. When we focus on what we want our RAS will seek out data and resources to support our vision. When we focus on what we don’t want, unfortunately, our RAS will filter our view of the world and look for information and situations that support our view. “Here’s the problem. Most people are thinking about what they don’t want, and they’re wondering why it shows up over and over again.”  John Assaraf

Change the way you see things and the things you see will change. Wayne Dyer

When we invest ourselves emotionally in our goal and stay focused on it; miraculous things happen.  When we make reconnecting with our goal, a part of our daily routine, we begin to take notice of all the opportunities around us. We begin to make connections and form insights that would have previously gone undetected. These opportunities and insights were always available to us, but they were ignored. They were filtered out by our RAS as being unimportant. Focusing on our goal each day put the RAS on notice; that these things were important.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” Gandhi

A person that doesn’t stay focused on their goal is like a missile with no guidance system. If the target moves, it will miss the target. A person that lacks emotional energy will never launch; never take action. A missile with a programmed target and guidance system will never leave the ground if it doesn’t have any fuel. If someone doesn’t have enough emotional intensity, they will fall short of their goal, the same way a missile will fall short of its target.

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It is important to have a goal, but without action, it is just a dream, we have no hope of accomplishing. Jim Carrey is a huge believer in the power of intent and the law of attraction, “The Secret.” While he was still struggling as a young comedian, he wrote himself a check for 10 million dollars.

He gave himself 5 years to cash it. He wrote: “For acting services rendered,” in the check’s margin. He kept it in his wallet for four years. Just as his deadline was approaching, he learned that he would earn 10 million dollars for his role in Dumb and Dumber. He believes in the law of attraction but insists hard work is still required. You can not have a vision then go sit on the couch. You have to put in the work. “You can’t just visualize it and then go eat a sandwich. It’s about letting the universe know what you want and then working toward it while letting go of how it comes to pass.” ― Jim Carrey

This week, your challenge is to create a vision board. There aren’t any rules to creating a vision board, so we really cannot mess it up. I suggest we use a combination of inspirational images, guiding mantras, and philosophies that motivate us to pursue our dreams. The purpose of a vision board is to reconnect with our dreams and motivate us to go after them each day. Seeing images of places we want to visit, people we want to emulate, and things we want to own will help us to make better use of our time each day.

If you need more ideas, click the image below.

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Shift your focus, shift your view of the world. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more DREAM BIG! Conservative Goals Don’t Inspire

The Habit: Week-7 (Identify ONE Wildly Important Goal)

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

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5 Reasons To Keep A Training Log

“If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.”

Peter Drucker

basic program log

If you want to improve your performance, you MUST track it. This sounds like common sense because it is, but how many people do you see in the gym keeping a training log? Do you keep a training log? The difference between exercising and training is a training log.

 Here are the 5 Reasons You Should Keep a Training Log:

  1. It is what athlete’s do.
  2. It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.
  3. It will cause you to consistently train harder.
  4. Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation.
  5. It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

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#1 It is what athlete’s do.

If you don’t keep a log, I would suggest you aren’t training; you are exercising. There is nothing wrong with exercising. You are still lapping everyone who’s sitting on the couch watching Netflix, but if you want to make progress, I suggest you train like an athlete. A large part of CrossFit’s effectiveness can be attributed to the tracking of personal records (PRs). When you are working out to improve performance by setting new PRs you are training like an athlete.

Athletes set performance goals and so should you. Instead of going to the gym with the vague goal of getting stronger and fitter, set quantifiable goals. For example, run a 7-minute mile or a five-pound increase in your five-rep maximum deadlift by the end of the month. fractional plates.PNGFractional plates allow you to break down your strength training goals even further. You can use ½ pound fractional plates to add 1-pound to the bar at a time. So instead of attempting to increase your deadlift by five pounds all at once, you can attempt to increase it by 1-pound each week. Most gyms do not have fractional plates, but my gym does. That is because I purchased them. I did not want to carry the plates to and from the gym, so I decided to risk the 33 dollars I paid for the plates and left them at the gym.

You can also break down your monthly cardio goals into smaller weekly goals. For example, you can increase your treadmill speed as little as 1/10th mile per hour (MPH) each week to reach your monthly goal. Small incremental improvements are easier to achieve and sustain. Progress by the yard is hard, but by the inch is a cinch.

The program I provide in my book encourages you to set performance goals around building your strength. Getting stronger makes daily activities easier, including biking up a hill or climbing stairs. Strength training helps you improve your performance on cardio-based activities. This is supported by a study, which concluded that heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work, in well-trained female athletes.[i]

Elite athletes are meticulous trackers. They track their training, their nutrition, and their sleep at a minimum. Some will track other metrics like their waking heartrate because a spike of 5 to 10 beats per minute, could be an indicator of overtraining or illness. Elite athletes track everything because they are serious about performance. If you want to improve your performance, keep a log.#2 It allows you to measure the effectiveness of your program.

Maintaining a training log allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your program by measuring your progress. Without a training log, you are essentially flying blind. Your training log will provide you with valuable insights. The more information you register in your log, the better. At a minimum, we should record:

  • our workout volume
  • our workout intensity
  • the number of hours sleep we get
  • the quality of our sleep (poor sleep can be a sign of overtraining)
  • the number of calories we consume
  • weekly average grams of macronutrients (protein grams at a bare minimum)
  • weekly bodyweight average

You will learn from your log, how much training volume you can effectively recover from. You will learn what training frequency yields the most progress. You will learn how long you can maintain a high level of effort before you need to a de-load week. A de-load is when you intentionally train at a lower intensity to promote recovery. You cannot maintain a peak level of training indefinitely. I suggest a de-load week every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your ability to recover.

Everyone makes great progress when they first begin to train hard. I would not use your initial training program as a gauge for what works. The programs you follow after your first 6 to 12 months are a much better indicator of what works and what doesn’t. If you are making progress on your current workout routine than it is effective. I wouldn’t change things very much until your progress halts.

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#3 It will cause you to consistently train harder.

I don’t maintain a log when I am recovering from a peak training cycle. When we keep a log, we naturally train harder. We’ll look at what we did last week, and we will challenge ourselves to do better. Maintaining a log helps to foster healthy competition with ourselves.

We naturally push harder when we track our performance. Not only will we push harder during our workouts, but we will also be more consistent. Recording an activity automatically modifies our behavior by making us more mindful of it. Recording our workouts will make us more aware of our workout consistency.

A log doesn’t lie. If we have been missing workouts or skipping leg days, the log will make it obvious. If we aren’t getting enough sleep or are eating too many calories, the log will make that clear.

#4 Recording small wins helps to sustain motivation

Natural bodybuilders and modern powerlifters go to the gym to set new PRs. They advocate avoiding muscle failure. They want to perform a goal number of repetitions on each set successfully. They want to build small wins. These small wins keep them motivated because each victory is another step closer to their goal. After all, our goal is to get bigger and stronger, not failure. Achieving these short-term goals generates the small wins we need to stay motivated during the pursuit of our long-term goals.

Using this philosophy, they have built an impressive amount of muscle. Powerlifters cycle their weights. For example, each week they might attempt to increase their three-repetition max (RM) slightly. If your three-rep max on the bench press was 185 pounds, and you could increase the weight just one pound each week, at the end of the year your new three RM would be 237 pounds. That would add an appreciable amount of muscle to your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is much better to succeed with a one-pound increase than to fail with five. Fractional plates make these small increases possible.

#5 It is your best tool for overcoming training plateaus.

When we fail to make progress, the three areas to examine are our DIET, our TRAINING, and our RECOVERY. All of this information is contained in our training log. Without a log, we are relying on our memory. Not the most objective source of information. A log would be a lot more reliable source of information. “The palest ink is better than the best memory.” Chinese Proverb

If our goal is to gain muscle mass, and we have stopped making progress we would examine our log and determine if:

  • 1) we were eating enough calories and protein
  • 2) if we were getting enough sleep
  • 3) if we were training too much or too little
  • 4) if we were getting stronger
  • 5) if we needed a de-load week

As we gain muscle, we will need to continually increase the number of calories we consume to continue gaining weight. The reverse is generally true for weight loss. We might initially lose weight consuming 1,900 calories a day, but eventually, as our bodyweight decreases and approaches 170 pounds, we might need to consume fewer calories. I provide these numbers as an example. Everyone’s metabolism varies, that is why using the MyFitnessPal is a fantastic tool for determining how many calories we need to consume to gain or lose weight.

Our training log is our best tool for determining what we need to do to break through a training plateau. Without a training log, we are simply guessing.

Best Wishes and Best Health!

Self-awareness is the first step in transformation. Change your habits, change your life! 

Learn more Why a Natural Lifter Should Never Train Like Someone Using Steroids – How Naturals Should Train

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Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. 

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.

#theFatLossHabit #FatLoss #WeightLoss  #GetHealthy #HealthyLife #Fitness #Nutrition #FitQuote #GetFit #NoExcuses #TrainHard #GetStrong #WeightTraining #Workout #Motivation #Positive #Inspiration #Habit #Happiness #YouCanDoIt #Success #BodyTransformation #naturalbodybuilding#traininglog #workoutlog

[i] Vikmoen O, Rønnestad BR, Ellefsen S, and Raastad T, “Heavy strength training improves running and cycling performance following prolonged submaximal work in well-trained female athletes,” Physiol Rep. 2017 Mar;5(5). pii: e13149. doi: 10.14814/phy2.13149.