Hey friends!

How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything exciting? I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Windsor helping my mum move into her new house, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve got her kitchen fully kitted out with all the essentials. 🙂 I whipped up a couple of great meals including a magnificent variation of my Honey-Lime Salmon, which I really should have taken a photo of because it was spectacular (and mum approved!) I was a very bad food blogger and didn’t take a single photo, but I did manage to snap one before devouring my breakfast this morning.

Nature's Path Kamut Puffs, Kashi Heart to Heart, blackberry yogurt and apples, with an unpictured banana green smoothie.

Over to the topic of today, I promised you last Friday that I’d give you the other half of my top 10 tips for helping you to stay accountable to your goals, and I’ve got them for you today. (If you missed the first 5, check them out here.) You guys were also superstars last week and gave me plenty to add to the list.

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Angela’s Top 10 Tips for Staying Accountable to Health and Fitness Goals – Part 2

6. Write out a “Top 5” list each night. Or maybe it’s your Top 3 list – whatever number floats your boat, but make it 5 or less because any more can be overwhelming. These are the top 5 (or 3) things that you want to accomplish the next day. They can be big or small, but they’re the main things you feel you need to focus on. Mine vary pretty widely, from finishing a not-so-great work project, to meditating for 5 minutes before bed. Putting something on my Top 5 seems to make it so much more likely that I get ‘er done.

7. Make a financial commitment. We all work hard for our money (well, except for those folk who are lucky enough to receive enormous inheritances, but let’s just talk about the general population on this one), and don’t like the idea of letting it go to waste. When I was in university, I rarely skipped classes because I was paying so much to be there in the first place. (Well, that, and I have a horribly guilty conscience – I’d usually spend longer trying to make up for what I missed than I would have spent just going to the class!) When you make a financial commitment to your health and fitness goals, the same applies. If you pay out of your own pocket to join a gym, you’re going to use it – at least for a little while – because you don’t want to let that money go to waste. The same goes for signing up for a race, buying personal training sessions, fitness equipment, workout DVDs, etc etc.

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8. Involve 1 other person. Or a few other people, but I think 1 is ideal for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you bail, you’ve let them down. If it’s a partner activity you’re committing to do with them, they can’t really do it on their own now, can they? And secondly, if you’re relying on too many people to meet your goals, their choosing to bail can leave you in a tough spot. One of them might decide not to turn up to your weekly run because they figure “the rest will still be there”, but “the rest” also think the same thing. If I know that someone else is counting on me and only me, it makes me feel more accountable.

9. Make your own contingency plans. Where could you fail? Willpower and accountability tend to pop up in conversations about goal setting. If you have an idea of where you might go wrong, what situations, individuals, or commitments might zap your willpower and reduce your feelings of accountability, you can make contingency plans to overcome them. For example, say you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake (goal), and you’ve told friends about this goal so you feel a strong sense of accountability to them. However, you know that when you’re tired and stressed (a situation), or when you see your significant other (an individual) demolish a piece of cake the size of their face, you get mad cravings for sweets. To prevent yourself from falling off course and losing your sense of accountability, you might…

  • Make a list of activities (other than eating) that really do help to ease stress, such as yoga, reading, going for a walk, taking a shower… you get the idea.
  • Keep a supply of healthier alternatives such as fresh or dried fruit in your house for times when sugar cravings hit.
  • Look for recipes for your favourite baked goods that substitute unhealthy, refined ingredients for more wholesome ones. (Hello, food blogs!!!)

10. Blog about your goals/announce them to the world! I have to say that this is one of the number one strategies I use! If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll know that I post my monthly goals regularly (see May, June, July, August, and September for examples) and follow up with regular check-ins at the end of each month. (All of these are on my Top Posts page). Telling all of you about what I’m working towards makes me SO much more likely to do it. For example, you might remember back in July that I said I’d remake at least 10 recipes and post better photos. I left this one till the last minute, but you should have seen me on that last weekend of the month – I was cookin’ like a mad woman!!

One of the recipe re-makes: 5 Spice Shrimp with Rice

If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry. There are other ways to make your goals heard – think Twitter, Facebook, as well as other health and wellness communities and discussion boards like the My Fitness Pal Community, The Kitchen Table community on Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet website, Inspire.com’s Diet, Fitness, and Healthy Living Forums, SparkPeople’s SparkAmerica Healthy Lifestyle Challenge.

MyFitnessPal also has apps for smartphones - click the image to get them!

And now, for some reader contributions that were a little different from the ones in my list…

Cathy said:

I would add in rewards – manicure, new magazine, piece of clothing…whatever is meaningful to you.

Lauren said:

Having other people encourage and count on me in certain situations always seems to motivate me.

Tiff said:

I find that making a store list and planning all of my meals for the week (and prepping most of them) really helps me stay on track of healthful eating.

Thanks for your help ladies!

Alright, time for me to get to work. I hope you have a fantastic Monday! 🙂

Fill-in-the-blank for today:

I’m going to get my week off to a great start by _____________________________.