Whether we are conscious of it or not, we make excuses all of the time. Phrases like “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” tend to surface whenever we know we should be doing something, but aren’t. It is difficult to stop oneself from making excuses, as it is the mind’s natural defense against doing things we may expect to be unpleasant. They are dangerous though, as once you begin to tell yourself something, you may begin to believe it.
This phenomenon is especially true as it pertains to long-term lifestyle changes, as Red Mountain Weight Loss attempts to instill in each individual whom walks through our doors. Many people find the transition into healthy living difficult and revert back to their old ways from time to time, slowing down their progress and inciting frustration. A good way to keep yourself from throwing away all of your hard work is to come up with an accountability plan.
By holding yourself to some sort of a standard, it will be easier to keep your goals in sight. Accountability is instrumental in success for everything from playing guitar to doing household chores. If you don’t encourage yourself to do something, the reality of it is that it won’t get done.
If you’re having a hard time holding yourself accountable or wondering how you can improve your efforts, think about implementing one of these into your daily routine:
1. Ask a Loved One to Keep Tabs on You
Whether it be your spouse, brother, sister, daughter or son, loved ones, especially ones who reside in the same household, have the potential to offer close to 24/7 accountability for your actions. Because they can see exactly what you are spending your time doing, they have the power to regulate, or at least influence your lifestyle choices.
Loved ones tend to be effective means of accountability, as they are generally trusted and may be able to notice things that you may not be able to notice about yourself. Additionally, we tend to take the commentary of family members more seriously than that of a stranger, or even friend. If your inner circle is on your side, nothing can stop you.
2. Start a Blog
Blogging is similar to keeping a daily log of your activities, except it’s public — which is the best part. Making your daily activities and meal choices public knowledge will undoubtedly influence you to make better choices, as you won’t want to disappoint readers or have them think any less of you.
Not only that, but proper blogging has the potential to generate you a dedicated support group for when you are in times of great hardship or have questions regarding what to do next. Sometimes, all we need is a little nudge or kind words to get us back in the right mindset.
3. Keep a Money Jar
The “money jar” method is perfect for those who either still want to be independent, or respond well to negative punishment. The idea with the “money jar” is that every time you make a lifestyle slip-up, you must “pay” a certain amount of money by placing it into a jar, only earning it back once your ultimate goal has been reached.
The idea of having to “pay” every time you slip up forces the realization that there is an actual cost associated with every action, which resonates well with frugal people as well as those who enjoy thinking about things in theory or putting life into perspective.
4. Implement a Prize System
Much like a scavenger hunt, the prize system is set up in a way that rewards you with incentives to keep moving in the right direction. This is especially effective for those who find their long-term goal to be impossibly attainable or those who choose to live day-by-day.
Implement this into your life by choosing a fixed increment to act as your “goal” – this can be pounds lost in a fixed period of time, number of clean meals eaten consecutively, or anything else you consider appropriate. Then, choose a [health-friendly] reward for each time you reach one of these checkpoints. We recommend pampering services, such as facials or massages at one of our Med Spa locations, new shoes, clothes, home décor, or anything else that would motivate you to keep moving!
Discouragement is a treatable issue, especially when you have a system in place to keep yourself moving. Your journey doesn’t have to be alone or completely internal. In fact, it will actually be more pleasant if you share it or turn it into something fun for yourself! Don’t be scared to go stray from the status quo, whatever works for you will give you the most positive experience. Just remember – there is always more than one way! As long as you are keeping yourself accountable, success is inevitable.