Anyone who has successfully set and achieved a lofty goal will tell you that staying accountable is the key to staying motivated. When working toward a health or fitness goal, finding an accountability partner can help keep you honest and motivated.
Here are seven ways workout partners can help each other stay focused:
- Put goals in writing. A big goal might seem overwhelming, and without a plan, it’s just a wish. Use a project management approach to goal-planning by setting your big goal, then breaking it up into smaller monthly achievements, and even daily habit changes. Share your goals with your buddy, and ask for them to keep you accountable.
- Prioritize goals. Great accountability buddies make their own goals, and those of their partners, a priority. The minute a partner is allowed to slack off, motivation suffers. If your partner wants to work out 30 minutes a day, a quick text to check in can be just the reminder they need to meet that daily goal.
- Use positive encouragement. No one wants to be shamed for missing a workout, so skip those negative nellies and work out with someone who makes it fun to stay fit.
- Stay honest. We can be sensitive to others and aware of their challenges without compromising honesty when it comes to healthy choices. A good partner should be willing to question choices that don’t support the other’s goals, and it works both ways. If your partner’s goal is to keep sugar intake to 20 grams per day, does that protein bar with 28 grams of sugar support that goal? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep each other on track.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. The flipside of keeping each other honest is to remain focused on what’s really important. Missing one workout in seven or eating that sugar-laden protein bar might not be part of the plan, but small mistakes are no reason to give up. A good partner knows that everyone slips up now and then, and we all need encouragement to move past those blips and get back on track.
- Introduce friendly competition. Competition can encourage us to step outside our comfort zones. Try new workouts with your buddy, challenge each other to daily or weekly step goals using fitness tracker apps, or set check-in goals when you can’t work out together. The spoils might be a cup of coffee or getting to watch your partner do burpees, but make it fun and keep it friendly.
- Maintain balance. Health goals are important for living our best lives, but working out isn’t the only focus for a healthy lifestyle. Find balance using the EXOS 4 pillars to make sure you’re building a foundation for better health: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery. Help your buddy find the balance that supports their goals, and they’ll do the same for you.
Finding an accountability buddy who can encourage and support you might be easier than you think. Try different classes and training options to find like-minded fitness center members. Or, bring a friend to the fitness center this month by offering them a Free Day Pass to work out with you. You might find that the key to achieving your fitness goals is the support of a friend who also needs your encouragement to stay motivated.