#1 Reason your Fitness Goals Fail

3, 2, 1….Happy New Year! Give your significant other a kiss and then set those New Year Resolutions. These goals are often focused on personal improvement, specifically happiness and health. Unfortunately, as we return from the holidays we often fall into our same habits and routines. Even those with the best intentions often fail to maintain their goals. We have worked with thousands of clients and patients looking to live a happier and healthier life and have found the #1 reason why people fail at keeping their goals is….accountability.

Accountability for health and fitness come in many forms. Immersing yourself in a system where all levels of accountability are addressed gives you the best odds for achieving your goals. Luckily, I have used all my brain power to create an applicable and affable acronym for accountability, PERMS:)

The PERMS of Accountability

  1. Peer Accountability: Peer accountability comes in many different forms, ranging from a close friend, acquaintance or group. Here are the main ones:
    1. Workout with a friend
      1. Working out with an established friend makes everyone more accountable for their workout. Everyone hits plateaus and points when they lack the motivation to workout. However, a workout friend helps you show up on those days. This friend makes working out fun and something to look forward to.
    2. Workout with a group
      1. Working out in a group makes you more accountable by promoting an energetic and motivating environment. A group also provides a scale of abilities, giving each person a glimpse of someone to look up to and someone else to help. It also allows you to make more connections in the class, building more accountability for showing up.
  2. Expert Accountability: Working with an expert helps to set a safe, effective, and realistic plan. These items as well as trying to please the expert keep you accountable.
    1. Set realistic short-term goals
      1. Setting goals (realistic goals) makes it easier to be accountable as you have small victories to celebrate and look forward to.
    2. Have effective workouts and plan
      1. After you have set realistic short-term goals, you need to have an effective workout and plan to get there. Therefore, having an effective workout and plan will make you more accountable as you see improvements and goal attainment.
    3. Expert Praise
      1. Everyone wants to be told a good job. However, we want to earn this from someone we have respect for. An expert can play this role.
  3. Reward Accountability: All work and no play SUCKS! Rewards help you stay accountable. However, there are some ways to maximize these rewards.  
    1. Have fun at your workout
      1. Having fun is enjoyable (DUH!). We want to do things we enjoy 🙂 I know this sounds obvious, but many people dread the gym and workouts. They envision people yelling at them and being embarrassed. This “old school” style workout style is ineffective and obsolete. Having enjoyable workout results in endorphin release and positive association with the workout. Having fun at the workout will make you more accountable, seeking these endorphins.
    2. Stay healthy
      1. Being injured is not fun. Pushing through an injury and pain reduces accountability, as mental fortitude is impaired due to pain secondary to an injury. Therefore, having a safe workout is key for staying healthy and maintaining accountability. We have entered a spectrum of fitness where more is better and working out harder is believed to be best. While we agree working out hard is necessary, having a systematic plan and weighing the risk/benefits is an intelligent workout program design. If you are training for the Olympics you can increase the risk as the reward is high. However, if you are trying to lose 10 pounds, a low injury risk workout is to help you reach your goals.
    3. Reward yourself with…an activity to stay on track
      1. Treating yourself is a great way to enjoy all your hard work. However, our society often promotes treating yourself with vices. We all have our vices and I don’t believe anyone is vice free or shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy something they enjoy. However, if you are trying to lose weight, having ice cream or 10 beers after one workout doesn’t make sense. A more logical reward could be scheduling a hike and picnic with your significant other if you workout 10 times in a month. Another one is to sign-up for an obstacle course if you can complete 10 push-ups. These positive reinforcements associate positivity with health and fitness.
  4. Monetary Accountability: Paying for something increases its value. Therefore, if you value something paying for something forces you to take it more seriously. Ever hear of investing in your health 🙂
    1. Paying for something makes you value it more. Therefore, paying for your workouts makes you more accountable for showing up.
      1. Pay for your workouts
  5. Self Accountability: You are your biggest weapon, but also your biggest threat.
    1. Internal:
      1. Using yourself as an accountable party is the toughest for many people. Luckily there is one tool to turn this threat into a weapon, we recommend fitness journaling. This is why all new members at COR receive a fitness journal, setting themselves up for success. 

If you have fallen off your goals, it is key to be in an environment which fosters which letter in PERMS that is the biggest factor for your accountability.

If you have already met your goals, it is still important to follow PERMS, as tough times will hit. Will you continue your health and fitness goals as adversity arises. You may be an S accountability person, but you don’t know when you need P to pick you up 🙂

Perhaps you already know what accountability category motivates you most! If so, share this article with us on social media and let us know!

Want to learn more about the #1 secret for fitness and health success? Read here.

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