As a personal trainer, I know the importance of accountability.
Sometimes we need to spend money to motivate us to do something and have someone support us on following through with a commitment. It happens to me all of the time.
Years ago, I had a client who paid me five days a week to just stand with her while she walked on a treadmill. As a new trainer in my twenties, I was frustrated that I could not show her all of my creative exercises and programs that I spent hours developing. Now that I am in my late forties, it makes total sense. Sometimes we just need that extra push.
The struggle is real when it comes to exercise and it extends beyond, to other habits that can be tough to maintain. So, I decided to come up with some strategies to make sure that I take care of what needs to get done, regardless of what my head is telling me.
In other words, I try to create strategies that allow me to hold myself accountable, so that I don’t need someone standing next to me to get in a workout or make the healthiest food choice.
For example, I try to drink a green juice every morning, but making it isn’t my favorite task. So, I reward myself with a Nespresso Latte after I get this concoction down. It’s a reward, like dessert after eating your veggies.
In terms of self-care, it don’t always feel like doing my full skin regimen, including mask, toner, hydration serum, and moisturizer. To make sure I don’t skip it, I keep the mask in the shower. That way, I am able to get the first step out of the way without a thought. Of course I have to finish the routine, but the step that takes the longest is done while I am washing my hair.
Keeping your kitchen stocked is key to eating healthy, but food shopping isn’t always the most thrilling task. To make sure I take care of it regularly, I go every Friday during my lunch hour, knowing that Friday night I am rewarded with sushi. I also go through the coupon fliers and come up with my meal plan before I go, so that I have great meals to look forward to the following week. Since I know chopping vegetables is a task I like to put off, I also chop all of the ingredients I need for dinner while making daily lunches. I learned that from the French. Mise en place is when you get all ingredients measured and prepped, so meal preparation is a breeze.
My point, in the end, is that sometimes we just have to change our thinking. I think to myself when making a choice: What if I had to do it? If you knew something would make you feel better, wouldn’t you want to do it? The purpose of these examples is to encourage you to make mindful decisions, but I’m also trying to lose the word “guilt” and understand that it’s okay to not be perfect.
Holding yourself accountable while allowing yourself some flexibility will lead you to a more Nutritious Life!
Laurie Condon is the director of new business for a publishing and media company. In addition to being Nutritious Life Certified, she’s a certified personal trainer and barre instructor and has been published in several fitness journals. She’s also on the board of the Long Island Coalition of the Homeless and is married with a 13-year-old son.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock)