Picture this, you set your alarm for 5:00am with the plan of getting to the gym at 6. It’s a new start, a new you and you’re going to crush it. You’ve followed all the advice. Prepped your gym clothes and laid them out so there’s no confusion when you wake.
Fast forward to the following morning and you hear your alarm. You put on snooze and drift back to sleep. After 5 snoozes your alarm stops and you’re out. “It doesn’t matter” you tell yourself, “I’ll train later”. This is one of the most common issues I have when I try and start a new routine. It also happens when I’m on holidays and don’t have to be somewhere by a certain time.
It happened when I returned home from Asia. I had no job and well, no reason to get up early. So, I didn’t. It went on for a few weeks and I got into a bit of a funk. Post travel blues I guess but it was also not having a set routine and anyone to hold me accountable. This is where an accountabilabuddy comes in.
If your friend was waiting for you at the gym for that 6am session you’d get up. No questions asked because your friend was waiting for you. If you have to work at 6, you get up because there’s accountability there too.
So now what I like to do when I want to start a new habit is use someone else top keep me accountable. That’s why I do 2-3 yoga and strength sessions with a coach each week. It keeps me in line and I know that I’ll be getting a check in a few times a week.
So my question to you is, who are you accountable to? Who do you have to answer to each week? If you don’t have anyone and your finding it difficult to maintain a habit then find one. It’s a total game changer. I originally got the idea form Dan John. Dan is one of the most respected strength coaches in the world.
He holds a free workout once a week at his house. All the attendees are delighted to get free coaching but Dan says it’s a selfish pursuit. Having this meet up on every week keeps him on his toes and stops him from getting lazy.
Start scheduling in sessions with friends or even paying for a trainer. This is especially important if your are just starting out. A common mistake people make when joining a gym is waiting till they get more comfortable with the gym before paying for coaching. Of course what all too often happens is that person feels lost, confused and doesn’t get the results they were expecting. They then end up quitting before trying coaching.
A better approach here is to front load your learning. It’s at the beginning that you need most help. It’s not like your going to jump into water and try and figure it out before you get someone to coach you to swim. You’ll be long gone by that stage!
If you’re finding it hard to get started or remain consistent I would take a few moments and write down possible accountabilibuddy options. Next shoot them a quick text like “Hey, do you fancy scheduling a time each week to train together?”. It works out being a nice opportunity to spend more time with a friend and maintain your exercise habit.
Another option and one that I’m currently using to write a blog each week is stickk.com. I pledged that I would write one blog post a week from the end of December 2016 until the end of June 2017. So far I have successfully published 13 weeks in a row. In three years of having a blog I have never been this consistent so it’s definitely working.
The main driver is that I will lose $100 if I don’t write a blog on a certain week. This makes not writing at least one 500 word post each week ludicrous.