So you’re stuck indoors, you have no motivation to continue that home exercise program or your gym closed down and you cant fathom lifting baked bean cans for weights when you’re used to bench pressing 40kg.
You gotta keep going somehow, you gotta keep your strength, flexibility and cardio up. But how? When Netflix is calling 20 metres away and that chocolate bar in the fridge seems to whisper your name, just how??
The answer: ACCOUNTABILITY. ACCOUNTABILITY. ACCOUNTABILITY.
According to research, this is the idea behind people achieving the behaviour change they desire. The process is HARD and takes practice but, identifying the right commitment system can make it easier than you think.
If you are accountable to someone or a group of people, you engage the power of social expectations. When you call a few friends who are also house bound and arrange a time to do a workout via a smart phone app or otherwise, the odds of keeping that commitment to your physical health skyrocket!
A study by The American Society of Training and Development found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal when you commit to someone. A specific appointment with that person increases chances of success by up to 95%!
So now is the time to share your goal(s) and progress with your friends, family and a public “audience”. Discuss with these people the goal and the “why” of the goal. Do you want to start exercising to lower your blood pressure? Do you want to walk 20 minutes a day to strengthen your lower back? Make the goals BIG, make the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Based). Do you want to be able to walk the dog around the block for 30 minutes, back pain free, three months from now?
Find someone who you can tell who will challenge, engage and evoke a sense of accomplishment in you. If you know someone who is currently at home by themselves and/or someone unmotivated to keep up with their physical activity, choose them! Check on and choose your loved ones!
Now with the nitty gritty. Put some systems in place and organise regular appointments to check in. Schedule emails, texts, calls or meet in person and write it all down, in your phone, in your diary, whatever suits. Make these frequent check ins and prioritise these check ins.
My wife and I see an excellent personal trainer every Wednesday and Saturday. We have times set and if they need to be changed, they’re organised on the Wednesday for the Saturday following or the Saturday for the Wednesday following. We even pre-pay the trainer to ensure we are committed! Try these hacks!! They work!!
As another example, Abby Wambach, an American retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medallist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, took three years off any kind of intense physical activity after she retired. When it came to starting physical activity again, she experienced an incredible “roadblock”. She couldn’t run, she hated it and she could barely run a few kilometres. Her chest hurt and it was hard! Upon reflection, she realised this was the first run she had done without her “girls by her side”. So she rang up a friend and signed a “commitment contract”. They were in different countries at the time. They both committed to the following: they had to run the same distance, come home, write down the length of the run and how they felt during and called each other straight after to debrief. Boom!
So, pick up the phone, get on email or Skype, be like Abby and choose your accountability buddy NOW!!!