We all have and hold different goals for ourselves in our every day schedules. Whether it be eating mostly healthy on a consistent basis, completing a certain amount of workouts a week, trying a new foods and recipes, or even getting out of the house to do something fun, they all fall into a category of self-discipline and reflection.
That’s when the “what ifs” start: What if I don’t fit in that errand before class? What if I heat up a frozen dinner instead of going grocery shopping to create something new? What if I don’t make it to Boot Camp this week? What really happens?
Nothing. Nobody knows you didn’t complete things off of your personal “To-Do” list, and it doesn’t hurt anyone. Except yourself.
We get on schedules in hopes of creating normalcy in our days. While it might be easier for those who work full-time, go to school full-time, have kids, or even do all three of those (because you HAVE to manage your time wisely and live on a schedule), it can be a lot trickier for someone who has less concrete “work hours” to find the motivation to get and stay on track with everything on a normal basis.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t fit in everything I planned for in a week, I become a little disappointed in myself. If the reason is time, that’s one thing, but if it’s motivation that’s another. Personally, I feel kinda down when I put together a list of goals for the week, month, or season and don’t complete the majority of them.
In a sense, I feel like I’ve failed myself and that never feels good.
A dear friend of mine expressed her personal frustrations of living by extremes yesterday. She goes through phases of eating extremely clean to allowing herself to eat whatever she wants and is hoping to find a balance between the two and stay on it.
I didn’t talk to her, but I knew this simply by looking at her latest Facebook status update. There, she publicly announced to her friends and family that she wanted to be held more accountable for living a healthy lifestyle. If she is supposed to go to a workout and misses it, she wants to be called out.
This immediately got my brain twirling. I am exactly the same way, which is why blogging on this “healthy living” platform is a very good thing.
Holding Yourself Accountable
I can’t tell you the number of times I have scheduled something into my day I really want to do, but don’t. There isn’t a good reason why I didn’t, and missing out on it is just a result of me not making it a priority.
A perfect example of this is cooking! I love tweaking recipes to make them healthier and sharing the ones that turn out with you guys. I really do. But how often do I do this? What used to be once a week has turned into once a month, and as much as I want to say this or that excuse, the reality of the situation is I simply lack motivation.
I have become great at putting speed dinners together and luckily have a husband who doesn’t mind eating quinoa burgers and mixed vegetables I can pop in the microwave from time to time. Now that I work from home and my only obligations in the outside world involve dancing for the Pistons, I really do have enough time to cook every single day. But I don’t.
Over time, I have realized that my desire to cook and actually doing it goes through phases. Now that fall is here, I have more motivation to bake something (pumpkin!) and enjoy living up the season with the best of ’em. But, eventually I go back to my every day struggles of “oh that looks yummy, I should try it” and never revisiting that pin again.
So what gives?
Accountability. Not just with cooking, but with living this healthy eating and working out lifestyle I have committed to and share with you guys on a daily basis!
I’m not perfect. I (clearly) have cheat days. I miss planned workouts. And I do my best to share both the good and the bad results here on the blog. For me, sharing these things has not only been to inspire others, but to inspire myself to be the best me I can be. Things like making public To-Do lists and bucket lists holds me accountable for it and pushes me that much harder to get it done.
Is that not why we all make and share New Years Resolutions?
How I Hold Myself Accountable
Besides blogging (which obviously opens up my life’s achievements and disappointments), I try to hold myself accountable for completing personal healthy living goals in the following ways.
• Take group fitness classes and get on a weekly workout schedule.
It’s easiest for me to get into a gym or studio when I have something pushing me there. If I just go whenever, more than likely the day will pass me by and I will hardly ever get the motivation to go later on at night, unless there is a specific group fitness class I can attend. It gets tricky once the NBA season starts, but for the most part I have my weekly scheduled gym times where I make it a priority to get there and complete my workout for the day.
Right now it’s Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. I usually complete a run and no-equipment-needed workout at home on Tuesdays, and save the weekends for other things like a long trail run or a yoga class.
Waking up knowing it’s a Tuesday morning, I know I should be fitting in a run and some kind of ab/arm circuit before getting ready for our first game tonight!
• Get a running or workout buddy.
When the last thing I feel like doing is working out, I turn to my friends. Whether it’s grabbing Roadie for a run outside (because I know he is always down!) or asking a friend to join me for Fitness Pilates, I have to hold my end of the bargain up if I actually make plans with someone to workout.
While I mostly prefer to workout alone and get “in the zone” with my music, it’s nice to have company every once in a while, and if you are the type of person who needs a buddy to get to the gym, get one!
• Food = Fuel.
It’s easier to eat healthy if you look at food as something that can either help or hurt your mood and productivity for the day. Think about it…
How do you feel after eating a huge meal full of starches and carbs (Thanksgiving) (pizza)? How do you feel when you start your day with a protein smoothie, a fiber cereal, or scrambled egg whites? Completely different.
What I eat totally affects my mood and motivation to workout. While I am certainly one to indulge in a heavy Italian or Mexican meal every now and then, I know there is a time and a place for it which is not on an every day basis. If you are looking to keep your plate clean, focus on preparing and eating meals full of protein, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to get your body (and brain) moving!
• Sign up for events or races.
I have stated that I want to complete another half marathon several times ever since my first back in May of 2012. Have I done it yet? No. While dancing, I am worried about the race date and training interfering with my ever-changing rehearsal and events schedule, so I am afraid to make the commitment right now. Okay, so that’s a half. That doesn’t mean I can’t do other activities along the way like fun runs or 5Ks.
Even if you aren’t an avid runner, signing up for something forces you to train for it and push yourself towards a goal!
• What I Ate Wednesdays.
I started participating in What I Ate Wednesdays for two reasons: 1) I kept seeing other bloggers doing them and wanted to get in on the fun and 2) Once a week, I have to share an un-edited day of my eating habits with you. Are they always one hundred percent healthy? No. I don’t hide anything and have gotten both positive and negative comments about my meals as a result. But that’s me!
You can still take a day a week to reflect on what your eating is like by creating your own WIAWs, even if you don’t blog. Once a week, take pictures of everything you eat. Don’t filter it or just “eat healthy” so it looks good. Eat how you always do every single day. At the end of the day, review it and see if it reflects how you want to be eating.
• Create Bucket Lists.
It’s so much easier for me to complete tasks or goals if I put them out there.
Even if they might seem silly to some, they are important enough for me to want to make a point to do them, so I make bucket lists.
• Long Showers = Required Workout.
I realize this may sound ridiculous, but if you are a girl with hair that doesn’t naturally look perfect right out of the shower,
we will never be friends then you might understand.
I shower every day, and most of the time twice a day. Let’s just put that out there. I shower often, however, I only take long showers (that involve washing, drying, and styling my hair) every other day or so. If I have yet to complete my workout for the day before a long shower, I make myself go for a run or complete some kind of workout that breaks a sweat first. If I don’t, I feel like it was a waste of the long shower time!
I told you. Ridiculous. But it works.
I could keep going, but I need to get moving and get in a workout before hopping in a long shower to get ready for our very first Pre-season Game tonight! (<- see what I did there?) I wrote it, so now I’m doing it. Accountability.
Now tell me…
What are some ways you hold yourself accountable?
Is it easy for you to stay on track or do you have to work hard for it?