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Do You Live An Accountable Life?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Deciding to change your lifestyle for improved health or to reach weight goals requires commitment. Because the crazy journey often includes successful motivational boosts with trying setbacks and plateaus, people frequently give up on the marathon necessary to reach desired goals. For those that remain focused on the prize and are willing to do the hard work, additional benefits are typically realized especially through personal development in other areas of life.
Being an accountable person means being responsible or answerable to someone for something. Self-accountability forces us to be honest with ourselves and to take responsibility for our actions and can be one of the keys to successful personal development and goal achievement. Failing to be accountable for the food we choose to eat or the lack of effort we put into our workouts can be a major pitfall and obstacle to successfully reaching goals that also limits personal development. However, with conscious decisions and intentional effort you can live an accountable life that helps you reach your personal goals while also improving other areas of your life. Here are some tips and tools that might help you begin living a more accountable life.

Take honest responsibility for your decisions and actions. We all make excuses especially when we are trying to eat better and increase exercise. We blame things like being too busy, putting the family first, not being motivated, the weather, having to travel for work, or a limited budget as the cause for our difficulties in reaching our goals. In reality, there is a decision (either conscious or unconscious) in each of our excuses. We rationalize the uncontrollable situations of our life and responsibilities as reasons that prevent us from doing what we say want to meet our goals. When we take honest responsibility for making conscious decisions (instead of giving in to the unconscious ones), we move toward our goals. Find opportunities to turn day-to-day life into healthy living choices. Make a conscious choice to take the stairs instead of the elevator, choose to park in the back part of the parking lot instead of driving around waiting for the closest spot, or make conscious portion control choices especially on food that does not have a healthier alternative. Next time you feel unmotivated or with little will power to avoid the Girl Scout cookies, I hope this blog will come to mind. With it, I hope you gain the realization that you CAN make a conscious choice (a healthier option, portion control, evaluation about why you want to eat or not work out etc.) that allows you to be honest and accountable with yourself and the decisions you make.
Allow friends and family to provide support. A University of Pittsburgh study found that dieters that had at least one other person check in on their progress lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t have any support. Letting other people know your goals and problem areas provides another level of accountability and motivation. A spouse, best friend, or co-worker can help by being an accountability partner or fitness buddy that keeps you honest with your choices and active toward your goals. Some people do better staying on track with those they don't physically know instead of those that are "in their face" all the time. Social media and virtual friendships provide great accountability options through online message boards, fitness challenges, or groups and teams with other people that share similar lifestyles and circumstances. If you have tried many of these but still struggle with being accountable to your goals, perhaps a mixture of LIVE interaction with people you don't physically know would be of benefit to you.

SparkPeople LIVE! may be something to try out for a week (the first week is free!) to see if a live online support and motivation meeting provides the combination that fills an accountability gap you didn't even know existed. Spark member QUERIDAANA recently shared benefits she found through SparkPeople LIVE! online meetings. "The fact that we have to report on our progress, goals, woo hoos (accomplishments or feel good, proud, positive moments) has changed my thinking and helped me focus on the positives in my day and not take the good things for granted." If you have found social media support to be beneficial but need to take it up a notch to improve your personal accountability, a live online connection with other people with similar goals might be something to consider.
How accountable is your life? Are you 100% accountable for your actions and choices? Have you found support from physical or virtual partners? Is accountability an area you need to work on to reach your goals? How will you do it?

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FISHGUT3 4/27/2020
thanks Report
LIS193 4/6/2020
Thanks! Report
SPARKNB 1/26/2020
I've found that in some groups on Spark, people post daily, 'keeping in touch' and that this is how I'm going to work on accountability. They're all supportive, and in the same boat. I just realized yesterday that I needed some accountability buddies, and then today, realized that a couple of my groups/teams do that already, and that *I* need to step up and interact in an accountable way. Report
MUSICNUT 9/6/2019
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Everything we do, we are accountable to someone, SparkFriends. Report
Thanks Report
Love love this! This should be an article not just a blog. It would benefit more people who struggle with being accountable. I could have used this when I first started. Thank you. Report
Excellent advice. Always important to be mindful of these ideas. Report
Good article. Thank you! Report
Good article. Thank you! Report
I think Blogs should not be set as articles. This "article" really didn't provide much information or motivation. Accountability can be found in many places other than in people. It would have been more motivating if the article touched on those other places. Report
So true. Not only are we accountable to others for certain things, but also to ourselves. Report
Good one, and right on target for reaching our goals. Report
I truly agree with the comments in this blog. I have found excuses for not doing the thing s that I need to do in order to reach my weight and health goals that I have set for myself. I am going to start over and keep myself accountable. Report
I need to be more accountable. I think if I start tracking my food that will really help. Report
Great! Confirmation of everything that I've been reading, learning, and meditating on in the last few days! Great great great article! Thank you for sharing! Report
Thaks for the reminder I'mstill working on 100% accountablity I'm about 70% right now I will get there :) Report
What is that saying.....the buck stops here.......so we are our own destiny. We make the choices and then we have to live with the results of those choices. Thanks again for the reminder. Report
Thank you for the reminder...terrific article. This really reinforces that we have so many tools at our fingertips...it is up to each of us to take control and make our lives what we desire. Sometimes it has to be about me, me, me. Report
This why I joined Spark People to get support and i have many notes on my blogs messages left on my page. in this day and age of families living far a way from each other don't feel the need to be family on a daily weekly time frame that holidays are a good time and some times not even then. some times and so Spark People are the supportive friends I have and like someone else commented all ready they are great friend often more understanding and supportive as they are battling the same battle the journey to good health. Report
I thought I had found someone to be my accountability person, my friend is usually so focused and willing to be that person and then after like 5 weeks all of a sudden she just was no longer really there. I think that is why Weight Watchers worked for me a few years ago, they at least get paid for doing it. Report
I'm a little muddled in my accountability. I've been in maintenance mode for years, and for the most part, I do really well. But then something happens that derails me and I choose to eat poorly. I know I'm eating poorly, but I do it anyway. Fortunately I tend to get over that quickly and return to good habits. One thing I learned from SparkPeople is to get over my imperfections and move on - not to let those mistakes rule the rest of my day (or longer)! Report
Great article - There are days my accountability to myself is great and naturally there are days where the cookies or my chip addiction slide in and I justify everything.

My daughter who is 11 keeps me on the straight and narrow - she makes sure I walk at night, and not mindless eat at night - so proud of her. Plus it sets a good example for her as well. It seems like a lot for an 11 year old but when her father is a negative person and offers no encouragement on this journey its nice to know that she is there. Report
I needed this reminder. Thanks. Report
Exactly what I needed to hear, thanks!! I constantly make excuses and ignore my inner voice telling me I should make better decisions. Am writing down my goals now, and will team up with my daughter, start running again, and make positive, healthy choices. And if anyone wants to check up on me, with a friendly but firm kick up the backside (virtual, of course!) feel free! :-) Report
Thanks for the blog. It is a wake up call for me. Report
Just what I needed today. :) It's funny how things work out that way. Report
Hey now! Just 'cuz my Spark friends are "virtual" friends doesn't make them any less my friends!

Feel the love! Report
YES! I am accountable for every aspect in my life! I take charge and be responsible., my word is gold. These are very important traits to me in my life.
Yes, a little OCD ;-) , but you can count on me!
Thank You for your blog! Report
I am a retired teacher and accountability was, and still is, my middle name. We all need to be accountable in all areas of our lives. This is a great reminder that we can't lie to ourselves to get where we want to be. Thanks for the great blog. Report
How accountable is your life? So much so that I am overly critical, restrictive – obsessive

Are you 100% accountable for your actions and choices? Always

Have you found support from physical or virtual partners? No

Is accountability an area you need to work on to reach your goals? I need to relax a bit as I am my worse defeater, having too high expectations and demands on my self.

How will you do it? One day at a time…
It used to be easy for me to talk myself out of working out. Lately, not so much. I've stopped looking for excuses. Report
SOOOO true! I have often made excuses (and occasionally still do). However, overall, I just "DO IT" as Nike says. My schedule for exercise is planned a month at a time, and I work around that so I don't make excuses not to go. Of course it helps that I really love the classes! Report
This blog couldn't have came at a better time. I work two jobs and am a student full-time. I'm not going to lie when I say I use the excuse of school and working in order to compensate on putting my other goals on a back burner. While this CAN be the case if it's a busy week, then again there isn't an excuse to not eat healthy and be mindful of what I eat while I'm on the go.

I'm going to save this blog because I do need this on my journey to keep focused on fitness. I get demotivated a lot to get up, get my gym clothes on, and go to the gym because I mentally talk myself into saying I'm too tired from all that I already do, even when I know I have energy leftover. This blog is great motivation to help me in other areas of my life too that I need to become a little more accountable for.

Thanks, Sparkpeople! :) Report
This is just the message I needed to read today. Thanks. Report
Definitely what I needed to hear today. Thank you! Report
Thanks for the motivation! I usually park far away from grocery store, and it's uphill. I am trying to get in at least 30 minutes on the treadmill at LEAST 3 days a week. I am making healthier choices but not all the time. I need to make them more and more often. I have been drinking more water, and I've been good at keeping track of my calories, however not always! I need to push myself harder! Thanks! Report
== We blame things like ... not being motivated ... ==

Thank you for saying that. One of my keys to my success so far has been removing the idea from my thinking that I have to be motivated first. To me any motivation is a bonus, an extra push in the direction I'm already going. I'm going to act anyway, motivation or no.

Accountability-wise, I focus on tracking - which makes me pay attention before and after to my eating and my fitness activity. This seems to do very well for me. Report
Thank you for a needed reminder... Report
LOVE IT!!! I have gotten my hubby in on my fitness and health goals. I made sure he knows that he is my "accountability buddy"....our 14 year old is even in on it to help keep me on the "straight and narrow". :-) Report
Great blog and all so true! Thank you! Report
it is time to renew my commitment to determination and accountability.
Yes I will! Great reminder of what needs to happen to reach our goals. Thank you! Report
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