When you’re trying to make any change in your life, whether it’s big or small, it’s so much more likely to be successful if you have the support of others. This blog will look at the ways other people can help you reach your goals.
This is part two in my four-part series called ‘Making changes – Setting yourself up for success.’ Part 1 looked at Why? and Part 2 considered How? I recommend reading these blogs first and then returning to this one because they are steps you really mustn’t miss if you truly want to set yourself up for success.
It’s all a question of who?
The third question in the series is WHO?
You’ve taken time to consider what your change really means to you and the deep why behind it. You’ve figured out, in great detail, exactly how you’re going to integrate the change into your life. So why do you need to involve others?
Despite having all the above in place and buckets of motivation, change is hard! A new habit will eventually be instilled and you’ll do it on autopilot but before that point comes a rocky cliff path which is so easy to fall off.
To help you keep on track, it really helps to have some form of accountability. Someone who is checking on your progress, encouraging you, reminding you of your reasons for doing it and of course celebrating when you reach your target.
Here are 5 suggestions as to how you can do this:
1. Track your own progress
Yes, you can be accountable to yourself, or to your future self who has already made the change. You can use:
- A journal. Encourage yourself, write about the ups and downs, remind yourself of your why on a daily basis. Reading back and seeing how far you have come will help you to keep moving forwards.
- A tick chart. This works well for some people, especially those who like something visual. It’s so satisfying to put a tick in the box when you’ve done your daily action. Seeing the ticks add up and not wanting to miss a day can motivate you.
2. Use an app
Being accountable to an app can feel like a step up from simply being accountable to yourself. Imagine someone inside your phone waiting for you to log your progress. There are lots of different habit or fitness apps you can use. If you allow notifications you’ll get some extra prompts and reminders which can be helpful too.
3. Find a buddy
Is there someone you can share your goals with? It could even be someone else who needs accountability for their own change too. Check in with each other in whatever what works for you, via WhatsApp, a text message, a daily chat at work. Actually telling someone what you are going to do and why is a really powerful way to make the change real. This will spur you into action. I really recommend you do this, even if you feel a bit silly explaining and asking. Believe me, that person will admire you and start thinking about what positive change they can make to.
4. Find a group.
You might prefer to surround yourself with more people who are making change. Going to a class or club or joining an online community will give you multiple people to be accountable to and many others to share your struggles with. An online community gives you the benefit of there being someone online at most times of the day or night. You’ll get lots of different perspectives and inspiration plus you’ll be able to encourage others too.
5. Create an account
This was an idea that one of my coaching clients came up with. We were discussing the most effective accountability for her. She felt that what would really work for her was an anonymous Instagram account where she would post every day. She would take photos of her feet doing her daily fitness plans and her healthy meal choices. She’s a very creative person and gets a lot of inspiration from Instagram. She could imagine people following her and using it for their own motivation and she wouldn’t want to let those people down. Plus, she’d have a wonderful record of her own progress.
You have to figure out what accountability method will work best for you. That might be a silent pact with yourself or telling the world what you’re doing. Think about what has worked before and what hasn’t. If your tick chart failed last time, is it really going to work this time? Maybe you need to take a deep breath and find a buddy to report to this time. Sometimes you have to be bold and get some skin in the game. I guarantee though that finding that WHO will hugely magnify your chance of success.
I’d love to hear how you’re keeping accountable and who your who is. Let me know in the comments or on social media.
I’m now offering one to one menopause and midlife coaching. I can help you work through questions like this. Reflecting with others can make all the difference to your success. If you’d like to explore this possibility, then just send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll get in touch with some more information.