For those of you reading I am sure you have been aware that I started a 30 day accountability challenge on Instagram in order to showcase the importance and magic of being accountable. and consistent. The idea was to post online every single day, my activity that day which needed to include a minimum of a 5km run and a gym sessions on top of my daily steps and normal activity, not in place of it. I would also have to record all my meals and post progress along the way. Here is what happened;
So getting straight to it, over the 30 days I successfully ran 28/30 days, clocking up 180km along the way. I tracked everything I ate and drank…. and I was out partying every weekend and I still lost 2kg. My average step count was around 15k a day along with being conscious of my eating habits and hitting a class in the gym daily I seen some impressive results in a short space of time.
All things considered, I was even pleasantly surprised by the success I achieved mainly because I didn’t change my diet or restrict it, in fact, I was eating out every weekend and drinking, I just needed to be mindful over the entire week to give me space for some wiggle room at the weekend and doing a short run daily wasn’t physically challenging but did enough to increase my activity and keep me in a caloric deficit for the 30 days.
However, here is what I learned along the way;
Don’t rely on motivation, its bullshit, you need to rely on habits and at the lowest of times, you need someone to kick you into gear.
I’m a fitness professional there hasn’t been a week since I was 10 years old that I didn’t train. I got my first weights set at 13 and I have been obsessed with training since, so the idea of doing something everyday which I enjoy, didn’t seem like a problem. How wrong was I !! Getting to the gym everyday is one thing, finding time to get out for a run on top of it when you have a 14 hour work day, your tired and have ZERO get up and go is a new experience for me. Luckily when I lost motivation, I had a wife who gently encouraged me to get out in all weathers and simply get it done.
What I learned and experienced was what most people experience daily, mental fatigue and a lack of motivation when you need it most and the key to overcoming it, is A) holding yourself accountable to others and having a consequence to failing which makes failing not an option and B) A partner that will drag you out that door when you aren’t willing to go yourself.
There is no way around it, you just have to get up and do it;
I am a fit and lean individual and while this challenge has seen improvements in my own body composition from increased activity, its probably a step to far to ask you to run 5k everyday and hit the gym. But, the reality is that you need to get out and walk 1-2k everyday and hit the gym 3-4 times a week. We are more sedentary in our jobs than ever and as a result we are becoming more and more deconditioned. The answer of course is to get out everyday and walk. Every day I went out for a run I met so many mum’s out with the prams and elderly people out walking and on one day I saw one mum out in the worst of rain with a twin buggy, jacket on, hood up, powerwalking like a boss and I thought it was about as inspirational as it gets.
The moral of the story, we NEED to move more and while you don’t need to run everyday, you do need to get your daily activity up in the form of steps and getting a 1-2k walk needs to be a priority every day to maintain your health, both physical and mental.
Finally, the last lesson I truly learned was the power of accountability.
I couldn’t believe how much of a struggle this challenge was. I completed 28/30 days but if I wasn’t being held accountable to posting online daily, I would have only done 15/30 days at most had I being doing this challenge alone. The amount of excuses I came up with in my head, the rationale for why I didn’t need to run today was crazy. Probably the same number of reasons why you come up with why you shouldn’t go to the gym everyday !!
Had it not been for being accountable to all of social media and posting a failed day and opening myself up to criticism, I put on my shoes and headed out the door in every weather, simply because I was accountable to others. I knew accountability was important, but over this challenge I seen just how powerful a tool it is.
Simply put, if I wasn’t accountable to you for posting online, I would have stopped this challenge after a week.
So the purpose of this challenge was to showcase the power of being accountable and being consistent and even for a highly trained individual, over 30 days I seen results, imagine what you could do over 100 days.
If you want to get leaner than ever before, set up a group or find a buddy, set up a watts app group and post your activity daily and record EVERYTHING you eat. Set your targets and if you fail then you must suffer the pre arranged consequences.
Don’t rely on motivation, it will leave you down. Instead rely on others to hold you accountable and do it for long enough and magic will happen I can guarantee you that.