If you struggle staying on plan sometimes then an accountability buddy could be just what you need. In this article we’ll cover the who, why, when and where of finding someone to help you stay on track during your weight-loss journey.
They are not a colleague, nor necessarily a lifelong friend (although they may turn into one), they are the friend and guardian of your weight-loss journey.
It could possibly be even the best decision you’ll ever make for your weight-loss journey.
An accountability buddy is that person who goes with you to the gym no matter what happens (and, by extension you go with them, of course), or who you catch up with on a daily basis about your weight-loss goals and how to get there. You drive each-other not to skip those workouts and you help each-other stay on track, facing temptations and creating a bond of trust that does not resemble any other type of relationship.
How do you find YOUR accountability buddy?
We just launched our Accountability Buddy Program in our Facebook Group!
What is important for a great accountability buddy? We recommend defining your shared goals and objectives. What is it you both want? If you’re looking for weight-loss then make a plan together, by going through these steps:
Golden rule: commitment to the process!
You’re in it together. to win it and that makes two of you. Think of them as your journey colleague. You can discuss anything about each other’s weight-loss journey and can & should hold each-other accountable.
2nd rule: time-zones matter
If your buddy isn’t someone you meet in person then ideally you’d be based around the same time-zone. This will ensure you can sync and touch-base daily, so you can push each-other to get that workout done and to face those cravings with a smile :).
What is your Big Why?
Or in other words, WHY do you both want to lose weight or be healthier? It’s extremely unlikely that just the idea of being slimmer or fitter has enough of an emotional pull to get you through a difficult day.
Define your Bigger Why and discuss it with your buddy. It will be a great ice-breaker and you’ll get to know each-other better.
Set your goals together
We’re setting a goal because it’s important to have something specific to work towards, but we all know by now that the figure on the scales isn’t the only indicator of success. Clothes fitting better, body measurements going down and compliments from others are all good signs that we’re on the right track. As we always say, it’s all about progress, not perfection, so feel free to break that big overall goal into smaller more reachable targets.
Goal format suggestion: I will lose xx inches by May 6th
A little less conversation, a little more planning
Now set yourselves up for success with a little bit of planning:
- What habits are you going to introduce or change in order to reach your target?
- What are you going to eat? Are you going to follow a specific diet plan?
- Are you planning to exercise? If so, what will you do and when?
We recommend spending a little bit of time in advance to think about what you’ll do and prep as much as you can in advance to make your first weeks as easy as possible.
Topics to also go through with your buddy:
- Planning out the week’s meals in advance
- Booking in exercise classes if required
Measure your success
Whatever targets you’ve set for yourself, it’s important to measure success and track your progress along the way. Before you start, download the Progress app and start by taking a full-length photo of yourself. Don’t worry, you don’t have to share it with anyone! It’s just for you, so you can see what changes you make to your body. You can read our guide to taking great before and after photos here.
Make sure you also weigh in and measure. Log all of them in Progress so you can see how you’ll evolving from week to week.
Ideally you’ll both be logging in your info on a weekly basis.
How will you keep in touch?
This is also a very important step in making sure you’ll both get the best out of your commitment.
Whether you’ll be meeting at the gym every other day or you’ll be having a daily touch-base on Whatsapp or Fb Messenger, the important thing is to stick to it! And to understand that your accountability now impacts another person’s journey as well.
Respect is essential!
You’ll soon come to realise that it’s much more difficult to skip that workout you had planned for today if your buddy is waiting for you there. And this I can say from experience.
Although we are taught that we’re very strong and self-sufficient to go alone to the gym, there are always days when you fail, and you prefer to procrastinate as a compensation to all the effort that you have been doing for a while (insert the time you have been going to the gym here). In my case, getting out of bed early in the morning to drag myself to the gym was never easy. Bed also has a strange magnetic force that makes it close to impossible for me to break free from. One of the main reasons for doing so is having an accountability buddy. It’s not so easy to stay in bed and hit the Snooze button, when your accountability buddy (let’s call her Anca) is texting you to say she’s already on her way to the gym.
How can you push yourselves to get better?
You can have challenges together (Apple Watch and Fitbit have some great options), workout at the same time, share pictures of your meals and recipes and, most important, celebrate together every victory, big or small and be supportive when things get rough.
In addition to sharing sweat, tears, efforts and results (and the occasional frustration), the accountability buddy can be a perfect coach. You talk, you share experiences and in many cases you want to stop. In the first stages of the relationship, the conversation revolves around workout and diet and it’s normal for things to go this way.
However, little by little you’ll see yourselves starting to share your worries and experiences as if you had known each other all your life, even counseling and patting your back when needed. And at that point your accountability buddy relationship becomes more than just gym and diet, contributing as well to your mental health and even becoming a life-friend.
Don’t forget to join our Facebook Accountability Group if you’d like to find like-minded people who are on a similar journey to yours and even your very own Accountability Buddy.