Many people have a health and fitness plan or routine to lose weight and get in shape. The "what to do" is often not the problem and for many, the issue is execution, staying the course, and consistently maintaining those healthy habits.
If this sounds familiar and you're frustrated with your progress you should consider starting an accountability group or getting an accountability coach.
What is an accountability group?
It's a simple, yet incredibly powerful concept.
People are using accountability groups to achieve all kinds of goals just like these;
- building meditation and mindfulness habits
- finishing that book or project that just never seems to get over the finish line
- stopping nasty habits
- starting or developing a new business
...but one particularly powerful use of an accountability group is in achieving weight loss and fitness goals.
Why do accountability groups work?
It can be difficult for many people to self-motivate consistently over time but sharing your goals with others increases your chances of success as it adds to your personal accountability and makes it more difficult to slack off.
Here are some other reasons why people are finding accountability groups useful;
- They add a touch of competitive spirit to a collective goal
- People can support each other on a similar journey
- You can learn from one another and share successes and struggles
- Group members can call each other out if you start to stray off course
Cultivating a tough-love culture in your accountability group may not be for everyone, but for many, it's remarkably effective.
How to set up an accountability group
- Find your group members or someone to play the role of an Accountability Coach
- Ask yourself if you're more comfortable in smaller, focused groups, or larger communities
- Find some like-minded friends or colleagues that share the same goals
- Choose a body-tracking platform to set up your group and capture your progress
- We created Fitstream for this very reason. It's purpose-built from the ground up to record photos of your body, capture measurements and journal entries, and you can create public or private groups for you and your friends. Download it for free below;
- Agree and publish your goals!
- It helps if your group has a goal to focus on so that you're collectively working toward something. If you don't have any individual targets, consider a combined group weight loss goal?
- Commit to a goal and stick a date on it. No excuses.
- Consider taking on a 30-day fitness challenge (search Instagram or Pinterest for 100s of examples)
- Consider setting up penalties for not doing what you said you'd do, like donations to charity or the group party fund :)
- Write weekly body progress posts and post regular updates, such as;
- Photos of your meals and snacks
- Body photos
- Body measurements (here's a how-to take body measurements guide)
- Journal entries capturing how you're feeling
- Maintain momentum and support one another
- It's easy for a group to die off, so make sure that you're posting regularly
- Comment on each other's entries, keep each other honest and check-in with one another
- Ask questions that encourage the group to participate
- Keep everyone accountable and hold each other to account if people aren't doing what they said they'd do
Good luck with creating your accountability group. We'd love to hear your successes with this approach so please get in touch with your transformation story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having an accountability coach is a slightly different take on what we've described above. Usually, a coach is a one-to-one relationship with a professional who will help you chunk down your goal, advise you on how to get it done, and give you stick when you stray off course.
Coaches usually agree a day and time each week for an accountability call (which can't be missed!) to follow along with your progress.
You might also find our article on setting up a body transformation challenge for your Accountability Group useful.