By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey
Can you believe we’re nearing the end of January!? Hopefully you’ve detoxed from all those cookies you ate over the holidays and you’re making progress on the goals you set. But let’s be real…if you haven’t, that’s OK. I see people go into the new year eager to make changes and honor their “resolutions.” But when the craziness of life sets back in, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it’s just means you’re human and the good news is, you always have the opportunity to begin again.
If you need help setting goals or just hitting reset for the goals you’ve already set, keep reading because I’m going to break down some accountability hacks that will make you much more likely to knock those goals out of the park!
First things first. If you haven’t yet set your goals for the new year, don’t sweat it…it’s never too late to do something for yourself. Check out my first post, Setting Long-Term Goals (Not Short-Term Resolutions) to get started. The key thing to remember when setting a goal is to break down your large goal into smaller milestones.
For example, if you want to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just go out on day one and run ten miles if you’ve never run before in your life. You’d start small. Maybe you start by running one mile a few times a week. After a few months you can increase your mileage to three miles. As time goes on, you slowly build. It’s the same idea with any large goal—it’s a slow build.
After you’ve set your goal, you must hold yourself accountable so you can achieve it. How do you stay accountable? Here are three easy places to start.
1. Find an accountability partner. This is a person you can check in with monthly or weekly to make sure you’re on the right path. When you have to report your progress to someone else, you’re much more likely to make strides.
2. Get a goal buddy. This is slightly different than an accountability partner. A goal buddy is someone that has the same goal as you. You can work alongside this person (whether it’s a spouse, close friend or family member) to achieve milestones. If we stick with the running example, this would be someone that is running the same race as you, so you plan to go on runs together a couple times per week to keep each other motivated.
3. Treat yo’ self. Give yourself a small reward when you’ve achieved a milestone. This could be a massage after you’ve made it up to 10 miles, a piece of workout equipment you’ve been eyeing, or anything else that allows you to celebrate the progress you’ve made without getting you off-track. Pro-tip: Try not to reward yourself with food unless you can do so mindfully. Non-based food rewards have proven to be more successful in helping people crush their goals, especially if those goals are related to health and fitness.
Whether you’re continuing to work toward a goal, or you’ve just started, accountability is truly the key to success. Need expert help creating an accountability plan? Let’s chat!