Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Year's Fitness Resolution ACCOUNTABILITY: The missing key ingredient that may be sabotaging your progress!

     Well it’s that time of year again, when everyone starts failing miserably at their New Year’s resolution to be fitter and healthier.  The missing ingredient almost always causing the failure, is lack of accountability.  Without somebody or something to be accountable to, who is going to call you out when you no-show to the gym, or start drinking 4 beers a night instead of just two?  We all need somebody to call us out when we steer off course, or something to at least raise awareness.  Now I’m not saying you have to go out and drop fifty bucks an hour on a Personal Trainer, all though that would be ideal.  There are in fact many fun, inexpensive ways to incorporate accountability into your fitness and health plan if you cannot afford to hire a Trainer:

1.      Sign up for a race: Most races come with an ideal 12 week preparation plan that you can easily find online for free. (Try Active.com)  The looming race deadline is what will be holding you metaphorically accountable, and it is physically impossible to train for 12 weeks and not become fitter and leaner!  Most of San Diego’s fun races are in April, May and June – perfect timing to begin!
2.      Book a tropical vacation:  Not only will you score major points with your date if you invite one to come along, but just knowing you will be seen poolside or beachfront in your board-shorts will motivate you to buff up to some degree, even if only subconsciously.
3.      Wear a personal activity tracker or fitness bracelet:  You know, one of those FitBit things that track your daily fitness data on a basic, approximate level.  They synch up with an app on your smartphone and at the very least raise awareness and in some sense create accountability, by telling you how many steps you took, how many calories you burned, and much more depending how involved you want to get with the application.  These bracelets and trying to improve daily, become surprisingly addicting!  They’re simple to use, provide real-time feedback yet are very personal at the same time.
4.      Post your goal or resolution on social media:  Post a ‘before’ picture, or state your goal publically and very loudly on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for all to see.  Your followers will hold you accountable and even heckle you!  Seriously though, aside from the unsolicited advice you will receive from all of the fitness ‘experts’ spamming your newsfeed, you will also get a lot of encouragement and don’t be surprised if you motivate some of your friends to join you on your journey!
5.      Buy a home scale:  I actually wrote and entire article about this a few months ago.  And while many Trainers and weight-loss ‘experts’ advocate against weighing yourself daily, I am all for it and have done this for years.  While it is true that most weight fluctuations are temporary or are ‘water weight’, stepping on the scale daily, (along with looking at yourself naked in the mirror), raises awareness, provides the most basic sense of accountability and helps you get a head start on tracking trends in weight changes.  Also the home scales these days are very reliable and affordable and many even come with bio-electric impedance to measure your body composition and body fat level.
6.      Join a sports team or group:  It doesn’t matter what your sport is – there is a team, league or group of guys out there, at your level, who love to play too.  Find them and join them – this is San Diego, America’s 8th Fittest City – how hard can it be?  Because when you start regularly competing in a sport you love, you’ve truly discovered a secret path to long lasting fitness.  As soon as you make it fun, you’re winning!
7.   Book a Photo Shoot!  Hey I know we aren't all vain, Zoolander model-types, but I'm going to share something personal with you:  NOTHING motivates me to whip myself into tip-top shape more than a booked shoot date coming up.  Because it's game on, as my reputation is on the line, every time I step in front of the camera.  This sounds so shallow to write, but it's truth.  And it doesn't have to be a professional photo shoot or commercial print job either.  Just booking a photo shoot for yourself and or your family for social media use, as 'progress pics' or for just your personal, keepin-it-real, check will suffice.  Selfies just aren't quite the same!

     What you should NOT do as part of your healthy New Year’s resolution strategy:  Buy a detox kit, start a weight-loss or diet plan, or do a juice cleanseDetox, Juice Cleanse, Diet Plan are all red flags to steer clear of.  These are fads and gimmicks by folks trying to take your money.  You must learn to take a long term, holistic approach to your fitness and health and evolve it into a lifestyle.