It can be hard to stay accountable during this isolation. There’s no one to train with. You’ve gotta get up and do it by yourself. Why not skip this session? No one will ever find out.
Those are some of the thoughts that are going through your head right now. It’s easy to skip sessions because there’s no accountability. You’re not accountable to your coach anymore. You’re not accountable to your training partners anymore. No one knows if you got up and did the hardest session you’ve ever done in your life or if you sat on the couch watching Tiger King… unless you post it on social media, of course.
One of the great things about going to the gym is the environment. Not only do you get to socialise with others and make friends, you get to use each other for accountability. You both expect to meet each other at the gym and workout together. But now you’re not allowed to do that and it’s hard to get going some days.
So, how can you stay accountable when accountability is hard to foster? Here’s 7 ways you can.
Write it down
Start by writing down your session. What are you going to do today? How many sets of squats? How many push ups? What exactly are you training today?
The act of writing it down makes it more concrete and set in stone. By writing it down you are getting in the right frame of mind. Write it down in your diary, on a whiteboard.. on a piece of paper and stick it to the fridge if you have to.
You can do it the night before and get everything prepared. You can do it in the morning before you start your day. Just write it down and commit to that session.
Schedule your sessions
When you’re writing down your session, make a note of what time you will complete that session. Schedule your session like you would if you were going to the gym.
You were training at 6am before? Schedule your sessions now for 6am.
You were training after work at 5pm before? Schedule your sessions now for 5pm.
The more locked in and well-planned you are, the more likely you will be to complete your sessions. And sticking to your old routine is the best way to do it. You’re already in that routine and accustomed to working out at that time.
Set a reminder
Along those same lines is to set a reminder. When you schedule your session, set a reminder in your phone. Now there’s no way you ‘accidentally’ lose track of time. Your alarm goes off, you get up and get moving.
Setting an alarm also does something that is an incredible tool for accountability. It creates a barrier for resistance.
Instead of pretending you’re working too hard or you lost track of time, you have to physically do something and acknowledge that you are skipping your session. You have to say to yourself “I am cancelling this alarm and skipping my session”. It’s surprising how that makes you feel and how it can change your mindset immediately.
Tell your coach/trainer
Like you would plan a session with your trainer before this, do the same thing now. Sure, you may not be able to actually train with them. But you can let them know that you are planning to train at your usual time and you’ll let them know how you go afterwards.
“Hey [trainer], Jake here. I’ve been lazy and have skipped a few sessions but I’m getting back into it now. Just letting you know I’m planning on hitting a session tonight at our usual training time. I’ll message you afterwards to let you know how I went”
They’ll love the involvement and helping you to stay accountable. They might even suggest you text them every day you plan on training and they’ll check in on you.
Send that initial text and lock it in with them to get going.
Video call a friend(s) and train with them
Training with someone else is always a great way to stay accountable. Rather than letting ourselves down, we feel like we let our friend down, which can be an incredible motivator.
Try working out with your friend(s) over video call.
Again, schedule a time for you to both be there, make the call and get stuck into it. You can use Skype, Facebook messenger, Zoom… whatever. Just set up a call and get it going.
You can both hit a set and then rest together. You can work one at a time and check out each other’s form. You can do a circuit and try to beat each other’s score.
However you work it, the point is that there is someone else there doing the work with you. You’ve both scheduled it in and are much more likely to show up.
Post on social media
Most people already fall into this category. After all, if you train at home and don’t post it to social media, did you actually train?
Seriously though, this can be a great tool for accountability. You’re not posting so everyone can see your progress. You’re not posting so everyone can see your perfectly angled, turning-back-slightly-to-look-at-the-camera booty shot. You’re posting to keep yourself accountable.
Set yourself a goal to post your workout 2 times this week. Or 3. Or 4. You can post up a sweaty selfie. You can post an exercise you did. You can post a pic of the whiteboard you wrote your workout on.
It doesn’t matter what you post, but the sense of putting it out there for other people to see is another great way to stay accountable.
Take the dog for a walk before your session
You know how excited your dog gets when you mention you’re taking him/her for a walk? That’s how excited I want you to be for your next session.
No, I’m joking. This one is more of a routine. Going from your home office, or the couch, to training at 100% intensity can be difficult. Taking the dog for a walk, the kids, or going for a walk by yourself can be great way to warm up and get into the right frame of mind.
Get up and get some light activity followed by your workout. It’s a great way get some more steps in when they might be hard to come by. Plus, you’ll feel bad when your dog looks at you with those guilty eyes when you sit on the couch and turn on Netflix.
Regardless of how you do it, staying accountable is important to your routine. You can’t expect to get great results when you only train when you feel super-motivated. Use these tips to get your sessions in each week and get the results you desire.