How to Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Health Choices (and Have Fun Doing It)
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Some days it feels next to impossible to get yourself to the gym or resist that burger and fries. When you’re juggling a busy work schedule, maintaining a social life, and still trying to find somewhere in between for “you time,” holding yourself accountable is a herculean feat – or so it seems.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many tactics you can use to boost accountability for your health choices without adding more to your plate. With the right apps, a support network and a few tweaks to the way you approach fitness, you’ll be on track and feeling great.
Reframe Fitness – Make It Fun
When your healthy life is fun to live, it becomes a part of who you are and what you do—rather than a chore you have to find time for. Luckily, being healthy can be fun, and yoga is one of the best examples. There are many ways to have a good time while staying accountable for your healthy life, including:
- Workout with your friends: You can chat and catch up while you walk, jog, train at the gym or bike around the neighborhood. Pair up with a friend for at least one workout a week.
- Take a yoga and fitness vacation: Make your vacations healthier by going on yoga retreats. You can find healthy vacations all over the world, allowing you to explore while focusing on your health.
- Find healthy activities you love: Making fitness fun will take the work out of it. When it doesn’t feel like work, you’re more likely to stick with it. Try something trendy, like cycling or rock climbing, the latter of which was voted the second most popular hobby in 2016. Better yet, make more time for things you already love, like hiking, dancing or yoga.
Invest in Tech
Technology makes it easier to see what you’re doing, how often you’re doing it and how these habits are ultimately affecting your health. There are a number of tech-based ways to hold yourself accountable for your health choices, from apps to fitness watches. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Fitness Apps: One of the greatest motivators is progress. When you see that you lost two pounds last week, and know that you stayed on track with food and your workouts, you’re more likely to repeat that this week. Use fitness apps to quickly and easily see improvements in weight, workouts and more.
- Calorie Trackers: I recently wrote an article about the 7 Best Calorie-Counting Apps for AARP, and each app has a different feature that boosts your accountability. Find the one that you like best and then use it for at least 30 days to make your habits stick.
- Fitness watch or wearable: Your fitness watch boosts accountability by tracking a variety of important stats like steps walked and calories burned. Use it to hold yourself accountable for being more active throughout the day with this tip: “You can set your tracker to vibrate on your wrist to remind you that you’ve been sitting too long and it is time to get up and move,” says Mandy McClellan from Fit2Run, The Runner’s Superstore.
Find Your Support Network
There’s strength in numbers, especially in health and fitness. Having support from your social circle and family—people that also want to eat good foods, stay fit, and make healthy decisions – this aspect is critical to holding yourself accountable. If your spouse keeps a whole cupboard of junk food in the house, you’re more likely to cave in when you’re stressed or bored at night.
Look to friends and co-workers who are on their own health journey too. Set goals together, have healthy lunch dates and plan active nights out. If you still struggle with staying accountable, boost the stakes.
For example, set a goal with your best friend to workout three times a week. Whoever doesn’t stick with this goal owes the other person $5. You’ll be surprised at how much more likely you are to do the work when money and pride are on the line.
If you find this support helpful, use an app like Nike+ Run Club, where you can hear real-time cheers from friends as you jog. Check out the Every Move app as well, which allows you to earn points for staying fit that can then be redeemed for prizes and rewards.
Holding yourself accountable is possible, if you just make fitness fun, track your progress, and have a group of supportive people around you. Use these tips to reach your health and fitness goals faster, and have a good time while you do it.
Feeling ready to set realistic heath and fitness goals and actually stick to them? Head on over to BookYogaRetreats.com and choose a yoga health retreat that will reveal the secrets of living a healthy life!
Want more from Jessica? Be sure to check out Honest Body Fitness, an online health magazine, where you can find great health and fitness tips. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and more.