In “Weight Loss Tips – Get Your Head in the Game” you learned about goal setting and creating the road map for weight loss success. Wanting to lose weight and establishing goals is a good start but it is hardly going to get you to the finish line. Having a strategy and a game plan to get you from start to finish is a good next step, but that alone will not get 99% of people to their end goal. One of the most important factors in losing weight is accountability.
Accountability & Consequence
Very early in life we learn about consequences as a result of our actions. Consequences can be positive or negative. If you study for an exam you will do well on the test. If you fail to attend basketball practice you will most likely not play during the game. With regards to your actions, you must report to someone who will then deliver the consequence, or outcome, of those actions.
Accountability is somewhat similar to consequence. There is validation and proof that you did what was expected (or not) by someone else. When you have to report your actions there is a sense of pressure to live up to the expectations you set for yourself so you make the right choices in the journey towards your weight loss goal.
Unfortunately, losing weight is something that many people don’t like to admit to or talk about with others. When we are accountable to others the rules are black and white and the result is either “pass” or “fail”. When we are accountable to only ourselves the rules become varying shades of grey. We don’t feel the need to reprimand ourselves for making a bad decision or being lazy. We are too nice to ourselves in the moment, making excuses for our poor choice in actions, only to suffer the consequences of not reaching our weight loss goal in the end.
Although being accountable to another person is ideal, there needs to be another way to build accountability into a weight loss strategy so that makes it easier to be successful if you choose to start the journey on your own. Luckily, technology in the 21st century has provided us with some amazing tools to help us stay on track and provide objective feedback … and no excuses!
Below are ways to implement accountability into your weight loss strategy on a daily basis to keep you on track.
Write Down Your Weight Loss Goal
Once you’ve taken the time to carefully identify your short- and long-term goals (using the “S-M-A-R-T” Principle) it’s time to take the next step … writing it down. Once your goals are in writing, they become real. Just like the “Stop” sign on the street corner, it is a constant reminder of what is expected when we see it.
Weight loss is not the number one priority when you factor in work/school, family, friends and life in general. It is easy to fall into old habits when we are on the run or chasing down a deadline. It takes time to build new habits and it is important to remind ourselves of our short- and long-term goals.
Like the “Stop” signs on street corners and crosswalks, warning us to slow down before we cause an accident, you need to identify the right places to have reminders. They don’t have to be BOLD or LARGE, they just need to be recognized so that you respond in the appropriate way. Examples include:
- Sticky notes in places where you will be tempted to go back to old habits (at your desk, on the fridge, in your wallet)
- The screen saver image on your computer, iPhone or iPad
- The dashboard in your car
Like pennies in a jar, there are hundreds of choices you make each day that can positively or negatively effect progress towards your weight loss goal. Each decision may seem insignificant at the time but they add up quickly and can either result in success or failure.
In “Weight Loss Tips – Accountability and Consequence (Part Two)” you will learn about the tools and technologies available to track your progress and stay motivated as you work towards reaching your weight loss goal.