So there’s a problem. It’s called the Tyranny of Tomorrow. That’s when we say, “I’ll start tomorrow!” or “I’ll get back on track on tomorrow!” Tomorrow holds the promise of a fresh start, a better future, one where all things fall into place and we’re finally on the road to being complete. But more often than not it’s a facade. Tomorrow comes and still old habits prevail. We want something, but we’re not ready to give it our all.
Let’s look at another scenario. We decide to go on a new diet and exercise plan and we’re super pumped about it. We start off strong, but as time passes we fizzle out. We have trouble maintaining the level of compliance needed for results. We’re good some days, but off track others. The result is little to no progress, which is disappointing and makes us want to give up.
In these cases, two things are missing: Commitment and consistency. Kind of like millennial dating!
So what can you do to put a proverbial ring on your goals? Make it official?
Step into the spotlight. Post it up on social media and get the attention on your goals. Let everyone know what you’re up to. When we put ourselves out there, we’re practicing a form of accountability. Goals need to be taken out of our mind and put into physical existence. Sure, you can write them down on a piece of paper. But a piece of paper can easily be lost or forgotten. Then what? It’s like it never existed. But if you publicly announce your intentions on social media, it becomes way more real.
Let’s be honest here. And I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. Unless you are a super motivated person, only answering to yourself will not be enough to get results. We allow ourselves to get away with all kinds of shit. Our minds will find a way to justify giving into instant gratification. But by getting publicly accountable, we are taking the responsibility and making it external. When other people are aware and watching, it greatly increases our chances of following through. It’s much harder to slink away and say, “Forget it.”
Does that idea make you cringe? Good. It’s because it’s out of your comfort zone, where real growth happens.
“But I don’t want to annoy people!”
First of all, you can post about your goals and progress without being annoying. And if anyone is going to be annoyed at you for trying to level up, that’s on them.
People who really care about you will support you. And yes, you may get questions about it. That’s a good thing! It gives you an opportunity to explain and own your goal.
“But I’m a private person.”
I get that, but refer to what I said about stepping out of your comfort zone. There’s also an element of hiding that’s very accessible when you’re highly private, which I’m going to discuss in a moment. But I do understand the desire for privacy, and there’s nothing wrong with it. If sharing on social media is just not for you, there are other ways you can get accountable. You can…
- Hire a coach or personal trainer
- Join an in-person or online challenge
- Recruit a workout partner
At the end of the day, accountability is really about showing up. For someone else, for a group, for social media, but most importantly, for yourself.
You see, what tends to happen when people fall off track is that they hide. I’ve seen it in several different group coaching situations. People don’t do what they said they would and they turn into ghosts. No follow-ups or check ins from them; they just fade away. Having accountability prevents us from hiding. It helps us to be our word, which is one of the most powerful things we can be.
When we show up, we are taking responsibility. Even if we’ve messed up, we’re still showing our faces and saying, “Hey, I didn’t do great, but I’m still here.” Thus, our chances of getting back on track are waaaaay higher than if we didn’t have anyone else to answer to.
So regardless if you post weekly progress updates or sign up for coaching, just show up. Check in every day. Even if you’ve been off the plan. Don’t hide. Show up and own it.