Initially it is quite easy to start something new. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution got you to make that first trip to the gym, or you read something that got you to stop drinking soda. Whatever reason you had for taking the first step in making a better you, it generally fades before we really actually change our habits. Some say it takes 21 days to develop a habit, other say it’s more like 66 days. Either way most people struggle to get to that 21 day mark. Here are a few ways to stay accountable that can help get you there.
Start with the Why
This is key in making any kind of lifestyle change. Why are you at the gym? Do you want to feel better and get off your cholesterol meds? Maybe you want to lose 10 lbs? Do you just want to feel good enough to keep up with your kids or grandkids? Sometimes it is all of the above, but understanding what motivated you to start, is key to understand what you need to focus on to keep you going. The “why” you’re doing this is what will get you to show up on the days when you just don’t feel like it.
Set SMART Goals
Once you understand why you are making this change, set a few SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound) Goals to get you moving in the right direction. Maybe you want to be able to do a pullup. Maybe you want to be able to run a 10 minute mile. Whatever your goal is write it down, and put a plan into action to get there along with deadlines to keep you on track. We have a great goal setting sheet available, and we will be setting time up with each of our athletes to do this in the coming weeks. If you are not yet a member, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy for yourself.
Plan your week
Have a plan of which days you are going to make it to the gym, and which days are rest days. If you know you have commitments or early meetings that will force you to miss the gym, plan around them. Maybe you have to hit a morning WOD this week so you don’t have to skip 3 days in a row, make a plan and stick to it. If life happens and you still miss a day, a week, a month just jump back in. The longer you wait, the harder it is for most people to start again. And don’t worry about what everyone else will think of you being gone, I guarantee they’ll be happy to see you back!
Find an Accountability Buddy
Find a friend or fellow CrossFitter to be your buddy. Maybe you both always hit up the 5:30PM, ask them to be your buddy! Plan which days you will be going, and hold each other accountable if you skip. It’s amazing how knowing someone else is expecting you to show up can be that little bit of motivation you needed to get off the couch and go to the gym!
Sign up for Insurance Reimbursement
Another helpful way to stay accountable is to sign up for the Insurance Reimbursement Program. Most Insurance companies require you to show up 12 times per month to get some money back from them, what is better motivation than getting some cold hard cash back!? Couple that with a solid accountability buddy and you should be set! Ask a coach for a Reimbursement signup sheet next time you are at the gym.
Thanks for being awesome!
Sara Mozingo is the Co-Owner, head coach, and programing wizard at CrossFit Icehouse. When she’s not developing rep schemes and diving into the nerdery she enjoys hanging out in nature hiking trails or climbing rocks with her side-kick Mr. Mosely.