10 Tips To Hold Yourself Accountable To Exercise
I didn’t have time to exercise today so out of guilt I decided to wake up early the next morning and do my workout before work. The alarm rang at 5:30 am but I went to bed late and also slept pretty bad – I feel like sh*t so I postponed my workout again to the evening. Now, in the evening I got stuck at work and I missed the workout again. Does this sound familiar?
Set up your environment in a way that makes it easy to incorporate training in between daily tasks and at the same time makes you look forward to it as opposed to feeling like it’s another chore to take care of.
Here are 10 tips that can help you hold yourself accountable to exercise and reach your goals.
Set a long-term goal for yourself
Want to lose weight? Build muscle? Learn a skill like a handstand or muscle up? Maybe you just want to tone your body for the summer? Pick a goal, and remember that achieving them takes time. In order to see meaningful results, plan at least 3 months ahead. After the first phase, evaluate your progress, make any changes necessary, and continue with the work. If you see positive results it will motivate you to keep doing what you are doing.
If working out is 20% then eating correctly is 80% of the game. Pay attention to your meals so they are matching your goals. Don’t go crazy with any diet plan – the key here is to develop eating habits that you can stick to for the long term. If you like snacking, like me, make sure you replace unhealthy snacks with healthy ones.
Follow a training program
Once you have a goal you need to make a plan to achieve it. Without a plan, you will just stumble from left to right without getting ahead. Without progress, you will lose motivation and will stop before you reach your goal. Unfortunately, most people end up here, don’t be like them!
Get a training program from a professional coach or learn to build your routine yourself. It’s important to consider your specific circumstances. Check if it’s the level for you and that you have the required prerequisites to start the program. If it requires any equipment, make sure you have access to everything.
Find an accountability partner
Working out with a friend is a great way to catch up with them and have fun together. Besides that, it will also motivate you to show up so you don’t leave them hanging.
Another benefit of training with friends is that you can share equipment. For example, he brings gymnastics rings and you bring the parallettes.
Certain exercises are practiced better with a training partner. For example, your friend can support you and help balance a handstand.
Share your goals
Sometimes sharing your goals with others can be intimidating but there is proof that it can help you reach them.
If you don’t want to share it publicly, just write it down for yourself, somewhere where you can see it. It will remind you why you embarked on the journey to start with.
Track your progress
Keep a record of your workouts, including the type of exercise, duration, and intensity. Seeing your progress can help keep you motivated and on track.
You can use a fitness tracker like Whoop or Apple Watch or just an old-fashioned paper notebook. This will help you assess what works and what doesn’t in order to make the necessary adjustments.
Set up rewards
Consider rewarding yourself for reaching your exercise goals. This could be something small, like treating yourself to a tasty (but healthy) snack or watching the next episode of the TV show you are hooked on. For bigger achievements, you can reward yourself with a massage or a spa weekend somewhere nice.
Mix it up
Mixing up your workouts can help keep things interesting and prevent boredom. Consider trying different types of workouts, such as cardio, strength training, skill practice, and mobility.
What works for me is to combine calisthenics with cycling to add an endurance and high-intensity component to my training. Plus, the hill climbs and explosive efforts complement my leg workouts nicely.
Make it a habit
Try to make exercise a regular part of your routine by fitting it in at the same time each day or week. This can help make it feel like a natural part of your day rather than a chore. An excellent way to do it is to get the basic calisthenics equipment so you can sneak in a quick 15-minute workout anytime at home.
Set aside time for exercise
Make sure to carve out time specifically for exercise, and make it so that other activities don’t interfere with your plans, but rather reinforce them.
The way I do it is to combine the workout with my lunch break. There is a calisthenics park next to my office where I like to train. I like to train 3-4 times a week for 20-25 minutes each. I try to hit the park at 12 pm and finish my workout by 12:30 pm. Then I pick up food in one of the restaurants nearby.
A couple of things to point out: I do hypertrophy and strength training during lunch breaks, which means I don’t get sweaty. The second thing is that I can wear fairly casual clothes at work so I can exercise without changing. I’m a big fan of the Lululemon brand and their Commission/ABC line.
It’s essential to stick to your exercise routine. Don’t skip a workout because it will make it harder to get back on track.
These are just a few ideas on how you can speed up your progress toward your goals. There is no silver bullet though, it needs a lot of self-control and hard work. Do you really want it? If the answer is yes then the best time to start is today! Even if just 3 sets of 5 push-ups.
Written by: Andy Toth
Andy is the founder of calisthenics.com and he writes about topics related to strength and hypertrophy training.
Andy has over 15 years of experience in calisthenics and before that he spent 8 years practicing and later coaching martial arts (Kyokushin karate). Besides bodyweight strength training he enjoys Olympic weightlifting and cycling. He tries to stay active every day and rides an average 5000 miles per year.
Written by: Andy Toth
Andy is the founder of calisthenics.com and he writes about topics related to strength and hypertrophy training. Andy has over 15 years of experience in calisthenics and before that he spent 8 years practicing and later coaching martial arts (Kyokushin karate). Besides bodyweight strength training he enjoys Olympic weightlifting and cycling. He tries to stay active every day and rides an average 5000 miles per year.