We can absolutely reach our goals on our own, but having an accountability coach for support leads to a clearer and quicker path to reaching those goals.
What do you say you want? To lose “the last 10 lbs”? To fit into your favorite jeans from college? To have visible abs like the Instagram influencers you follow (who, btw are 23 years old)?
Okay, now what do you really want? To feel confident in your skin? To put on any pair of jeans and not care about the arbitrary numbers on that little tag? To stop comparing yourself to people with different genes, different challenges, different lives? To look in the mirror and love who you see?
That’s more like it. I know you know the 10 pounds don’t matter much. I know you know that 5 pairs of jeans from different (or sometimes the same) companies that are all the same size can fit completely differently. I know you know that bikini competitors are mostly starving their bodies and causing irreparable damage to their metabolisms.
So now that we know what you really want - confidence, self love, to nourish your body and have energy and the tools to deal with stress…
What have you tried so far to get that?
Be honest with yourself. What have you really tried and stuck with? Have you given it everything despite plateaus, or have you tried a few fad diets for a bit and then given up with the pounds stop dropping so quickly? Have you focused on the goal of "losing the last 10" instead of the goal of loving your body and wanting to do what's healthiest for it?
What has worked? What hasn't?
If you ever want to see real change in outcomes, you must create real change in your daily actions. If weighing yourself everyday made you miserable...stop doing that. If starting every day with 5 minutes of journaling about gratitude helped set a tone of feeling happy and fulfilled...get back to doing that.
Often, we get so caught up in the end result, we forget the work and the journey that is required to get it. We think we can buy the workout guide, download the calorie counting app, google a list of foods to fight the bloat, or read a book about affirmations...
And we will magically lose the weight, heal our gut, feel confident in our bodies, or be happy with who we see in the mirror.
But we forget it takes more. What does it take, exactly? Scroll down this bad boy and get a pen, because you should be taking notes.
It requires a road map. Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s like entering “some town in New York state” into google maps and hoping you’ll make it to 101 Progress Street, Big Moves, NY. You won’t make it to that exact address if you don’t have a detailed route. This means figuring out your goal, your “why”, and the small changes you will make each day to get you closer and closer to it.
Saying, "I want to eat better and workout more" is a start, but I want you to get way more specific. It should be something more like, "I want to have energy to play with my kids. I want to nourish and move my body because I love my body, and I want to give it what it needs to thrive. I will prep my meals for at least 3 days per week, consume fibrous vegetables, clean protein and healthy fats at least at every lunch and dinner, strength train 3x per week and hit 5k steps per day this month."
That's one basic example, and may not be what you need, but the point is that it's clear. It's clear on the why, the outcome and the habits that will help get there. Having an accountability coach for support makes a world of difference in identifying the true "why", the smaller goals and the action plan.
It takes a coach to guide you and help you create new habits. It’s overwhelming to attempt these big changes alone - especially if you’ve never done it before. The good news is that you don’t have to. Health coaches hold you accountable, absolutely. But they also help you identify those daily changes, and help you work them into your life so that eventually they become second-nature.
It takes a friend or a coach to hold you accountable. I said it once and I’ll say it again. Accountability and support are two of the biggest factors that determine success in the long term. An accountability coach will ask you the right questions and keep you honest in figuring out the answers. They will push you and talk you through those tough days when you want to quit. If you’re up for it, they’ll lovingly hold your feet to the fire when you want to run the other way.
It takes commitment, and hard work from you. The accountability coach, the friend, or even the partner won’t always be there physically, and will never be in your mind when you’re making the decision to snooze or get up, so it also requires you to hold yourself accountable. Keep the promises you make to yourself. That builds confidence and makes you much more likely to repeat positive behaviors, once you prove to yourself that you can do it. Show up for yourself. A coach, a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and even friends and family can show up for you every day but if you don't make the changes, do the hard work, and show up even and especially when you least want to...change. Will. Never. Happen.
And mostly, it takes a willingness to take the first step. Open the meal planning journal, join the workout program, throw away the Halloween candy, call the friend, click the link, write the email.
Whatever that first step means to you, either take it, or stay right where you are.