I’ve written about accountability in the context of a Mastermind group, but accountability groups can not only help you create a thriving business but also a energetic, healthy lifestyle. A fitness/nutrition accountability group can take your health and wellness to a new, vibrant level.
Accountability groups of all kinds hold your feet to the fire when it comes to achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. By announcing those goals to a group (who shares their goals as well), you’ll find it a LOT harder to get out of actually accomplishing those goals.
I’ve been leading fitness and nutrition accountability and cheerleading groups since 2011. They are always some variation of 10-20 women, with an email check-in system as well as some sort of app-based check in to keep us accountable.
The food philosophy (vegan, Paleo, Whole30, Mediterranean) is less important than the bigger picture of lifestyle goals we take on during the challenge. These usually involve getting enough water, sleep and movement, plus developing some other beneficial habits such as taking fish oil supplements daily or keeping a gratitude practice.
The group aspect actually makes it fun, too. You’ll get support, creative new ideas toward accomplishing your goals, and you’ll probably share a lot of laughs along the way.
Practically speaking, I’ve found that in leading these groups there is strength in numbers, but not too many numbers: having a smaller, more intimate group of 20 or less makes the experience more meaningful. In this sized group enough people are in the mix that someone always says “me too!” when a question or challenge arises but there aren’t enough people to hide if group members are slipping off their commitment to health.
Accountability matters. We all let ourselves down in small ways, every day (we run the yellow light, we text on the freeway, we hit the snooze button, we tell a while lie, we don’t floss our teeth, we snap at our kids, we skip the gym). When we have to also let other people down, for whatever reason, we are less likely to do so. The group mentality is hugely helpful for creating new health habits.
In doing these challenges over the years, I’ve learned that health habits are not just about what you put in your mouth. It’s about sleep. It’s about meditation. It’s about community. It’s about being gentle with yourself. It’s about showing gratitude. It’s not just about the kale and broccoli (though bonus points for eating those, too).
In the end, I do the fitness and nutrition challenges because good health is the baseline upon which a great life is built. It’s not about getting skinny. It’s about getting strong on the inside and the outside.
That’s why all of my challenges have lifestyle components in them that challenge the group to try something new, reach out to a friend, show appreciation and find stillness.
Because it’s not about the insistent, judgmental scale or about fitting into size 29 jeans; it’s about feeling good every day you wake up and being thankful for what you do have.
Ready to challenge yourself?
I'll be leading my next fitness/nutrition accountability group starting Sept. 28, 2016. If you're ready to be make some truly positive changes in your lifestyle, join me here.