There is an old adage that it takes 30 days of doing something before it becomes a habit; it is no different when starting a new fitness program. Part of the way to make yourself accountable to sticking with it is to make it a habit. Then it becomes part of your daily routine just like the other things you automatically do each day without really thinking a lot about them. Other ways to stay accountable are:
1) Exercise with a friend
Nothing is more motivating when starting a new fitness program than doing it with a friend. Sure, there will be days when you don’t feel like exercising, but you push your way through it because you don’t want to disappoint your exercise partner. If both of you are new to exercising, there will be times when your exercise partner doesn’t feel like exercising either. S/he pushes through it though so you aren’t disappointed. In the end, each of you are accountable to the other.
2) Journaling your exercise activities
Write down things like your starting weight and measurements, long and short-term goals, start and stop times, and the exercises you performed in each exercise session. Don’t forget to also document your emotional state before, during, and after exercising. As you write down your information and thoughts, look back at the progress you have made. This alone can be enough inspiration to continue with the perspiration of staying in your exercise program. In this case you are accountable to yourself through your writings.
3) Scheduling fitness time on your calendar
When starting a new fitness program, schedule your time on your appointment calendar just as you would any other important activity. What gets scheduled gets done. Otherwise, it is easy to get lost in the day’s events and forget or not make time to exercise. Fitness is just as important as anything else you do; make time for it.
4) Making realistic goals
Nothing will make you stop an exercise program quicker than a lack of progress. But you may have made great progress, it just was not as much as the goal you had established for yourself. Goals have to be both realistic and attainable. Setting a goal of losing 10 pounds the first week is neither. You didn’t put those 10 pounds on in a week, so why do you think you can lose them in seven days. An attainable goal would be to lose one pound per week.
Use these tips to stay on track with your new exercise program. Soon it will be a habit instead of a chore.