Building a Fitness Accountability Group
How can we find ways to maintain fitness? Are there cost-effective strategies to ensure we keep fitness a priority in our lives? A recent poll conducted by the Fit Mom Diet Team surveyed people and asked what motivates them to hire a trainer and go to the gym? By far, the answer was accountability. Respondents stated they were motivated because they were paying a trainer who expected them to show up. For many individuals trying to get in shape and improve their health, hiring a personal trainer isn’t in the budget; however, many are members of their local gym and attend classes there. Attending classes at a gym or participating in some sort of group fitness activity builds community and paves the way toward building positive relationships with like-minded people. These relationships help create accountability as missing classes doesn’t go unnoticed. Others encourage your participation and as such, you are more motivated to be involved.
This begs the question, what strategies, other than just hiring a personal trainer can you implement to help stay motivated? One suggestion is to form a fitness accountability group. An accountability group is a group of people who serve to motivate you and hold you accountable for your time and effort. This idea can be adapted to any goal or profession.
Here are the steps to developing a successful accountability:
- Identify other individuals who might benefit from, or be interested in, joining the accountability group.
Who has similar fitness interests as you do? Think outside the box and invite neighbors, members of local groups with which you are associated, people from work who share your schedule, friends, Facebook contacts who live nearby, individuals you meet at social activities, teachers, and family members.
- Contact a handful of people and present the idea: If you are shy, this can be difficult. Keep this in mind as you go.
The best way to make friends is by bringing people together; some of the most fulfilling experiences in life come from making friends. Pulling a group together can not only help you stay fit but can also help build lasting relationships. People enjoy being around motivated individuals, so put your goals out there for others. The simple fact of you saying, “I care enough to do this, and I’d like you to join me,” might be enough to encourage others to participate.
- Come together.
Set up a time to meet and establish the group’s goals. Have each person identify their personal fitness interests and goals, and come prepared with a list of ideas on how to get in shape. Pick a few activities that work for the majority of the group and develop an implementation plan.
- Put together a schedule.
Decide how often the group will meet. Assign each member a time when they are in charge of planning a fitness event. That member is responsible for arranging logistics, and sending out the event details as the date draws near.
- Establish an online forum to hold each other accountable.
One of the most motivating things in our fitness world is an online Facebook group of dedicated fitness people who post regularly. Although there are days when our inbox fills up with their messages, they are always inspiring. Encourage members to post their workouts and other thoughts that help motivate people in the group. This is also a great way to pose fitness questions, generate dialogue, and share information. In addition, finding a partner who you work with one-on-one on a daily basis by checking in can be empowering and helpful. Find someone who supports your goals and is also committed to their own and form an alliance.
- Plan time for fun!
Bring the group together from time to time outside of your planned fitness activities. Remember, this group should serve not only to keep you accountable but also to motivate you to do your best. Consider signing your group up for local, fitness-related charity events or volunteer activities.
Remember, there are a lot of ways to get in shape and stay there! Going to the gym with a trainer is one, but try and think outside the box on ways you can stay motivated and be held accountable. Most important, remember that what you do every day is more important than what you do occasionally, so incorporating fitness motivation and accountability on a daily basis will go a long way toward successfully meeting your goals.
Kim Miller and Shannon Dougherty represent the Fit Mom Diet Team. They are both nationally published writers, active fitness models, moms, bloggers and advocates for health, wellness and clean eating. A two-time fitness magazine cover model, Kim’s images, and articles can be seen in a wide variety of publications where she writes on health, wellness, cooking, fitness, and parenting. She is also a widely published fitness stylist, coach and the exclusive fitness blogger for The AZ Republic Newspaper. Shannon’s image currently appears on the cover of The Training Edge Magazine, The National Academy of Sport’s Medicine’s publication. Her recipes have appeared in national publications and her images can be seen in conjunction with a variety of companies. She is certified trainer, sports enthusiast, and health expert.
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