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Why accountability is KEY to fitness success

In a fitness environment accountability is the expectation of a social interaction. That could mean meeting your training partner at the gym, turning up to a fitness class that you have booked on for or sharing a post about your recent run on strava and social media. These are just a few different examples of accountability but what they all have in common is they work! What studies have found is that accountability helps increase the likelihood of you achieving a particular goal. As a rough rule of thumb these are the statistics; 


  • You will be 10% likely to complete a goal if you simply have an idea or goal in mind. 


  • The chances increase to 25% if you consciously decide that you will complete the goal.


  • By setting a target time you are 40% likely to achieve it. 


  • Breaking the goal down into a strategy means you are 50% more likely to achieve it.


  • Letting others know the goal that you have in mind increases your chances to 65%.


  • Setting regular appointments with another person on the path to the goal increases the chances to around 95%. 


These numbers vary from person to person but the overarching rules apply- the more accountability you bring in, the more likely you are to achieve success. This is why top athletes, famous actors and successful business people all use accountability to their advantage. Here are some examples;


9 times olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt


Usain Bolt has become a household name for his unorthodox character and incredible abilities. What we see on the TV and internet is the man, but behind that man is a team of coaches who Usain is accountable to in some way or another.  We have Glen Mills the head coach, Ricky Simms the agent, Miki Rubens the physio and of course the rest of the Jamaican track team. Imagine what you could be capable of doing with a team like this behind you!?


Ricky Gervais


Love him or hate him Ricky Gervais is one of the UKs top comedy actors having starred in multiple productions including the office and afterlife as well as putting on many successful sell out tours. No doubt Ricky is highly intelligent and has earnt much of his success due to his talent. However, we cannot overlook the power of accountability within his team. We have his agent Duncan Hayes, assistant Joshua Gledhill, 2nd assistant Charlie Schanshieff and various acting coaches throughout his extensive career. Again, clearly naturally very talented yet throw in some accountability and you can reach new heights. 

Accountability for normal people 


So now we have seen how much of a role accountability plays in the lives and success of famous people. No doubt talent accounts for a great deal in blazing the trail to their success, however, it is clear accountability plays a vital role. So without the large budget of A list celebrities and the backing of entire countries how can we, as normal people bring accountability into our own lives? The good news is that we can all do it, and it doesn't necessarily have to cost us anything! 



Training Partners


Getting a training buddy is one of the best ways of integrating accountability into your fitness regime. Having a partner who is working on a similar goal to you that you have made an agreement with to meet really helps ensure you get to the gym and work hard when you are there. Intrinsically built into the majority of us humans is the fear of letting others down, therefore, we often make decisions based not on how we ourselves are feeling but based on the fear of letting others down. This is great for keeping you attending the gym because on those days where you feel like you can’t be bothered the fear of letting down your buddy is more powerful than this and so you get out and meet them! 




Social Media


Social media has many negative drawbacks, especially when it comes to the fitness industry. Influencers promoting dodgy products and us normal people comparing ourselves to supposedly natural athletes has caused many issues. However, there are many positive benefits to using social media to help our fitness goals. Not only can it be a fantastic resource for information (if used intelligently) but also a great source of free accountability. Many of us have taken to social media to post about our fitness journey, sharing our meals, workouts and before and after photos. It is a great way to receive social affirmation and connect to people in similar situations all around the world. There are lots of support groups for any type of goal whether that be weight loss for dads, strength training for mums or groups who highlight the benefits of exercising with your dog. Whatever your fitness kink is- there is a free support group out there for you to join. 


Booking onto classes


Classes are a great way to exercise. The structure is already laid out and all you need to do is turn up, the rest is taken care of. Not only do classes make the process of exercise easier they also integrate many elements of accountability which makes your attendance skyrocket. Most classes these days require you to book onto them in advance. If the gym you are a member of is in high enough demand there may even be a waiting list! By booking onto a class you are making a promise to someone that you will be attending and you know they will be expecting you. You are also taking up the space from someone else and that makes you value that booking more. After attending a class regularly for a few weeks you will start to make gym friends. This adds another layer of accountability as you will want to see your friends and not want to let them down by not turning up. You may even start to socialise with them after class, which again adds more accountability as you know that to get that social kick you need to first do the class. 


Hiring a coach


Perhaps you have tried all of the above or feel that you need more specific accountability based around your fitness goals. This is where hiring a coach can come in. By making an investment into a coaching programme you are committing yourself to a process and as a result you are more likely to achieve your goals. Not only this, but your coach will be able to dig deep into the true reason behind your intentions of embarking on this journey which helps to motivate you further. Often we say we want a particular goal such as weight loss or muscle gain, but that isn’t the deeper reason you chose that goal. Usually there are emotions and feelings behind your choice in goal and by uncovering them with a coach you will release a higher, more intrinsic level of motivation which is both very powerful and long lasting. 


What we do


At Pocket Coach we are able to offer you accountability both in person and online. All our programmes start with a call where we dive into your history and your goals and decide on the best approach to take. After this we start planning your weeks out. We slowly add in new habits into your day which are designed to help you gradually bring you closer to your goals. As your adherence to these goals increase we make these goals more challenging, if it ever gets too challenging we take those goals back a step. We are also able to set you workouts for you to follow at your local gym and are also able to coach you face to face at our private studio in Northampton. Get in touch to book your free consultation!


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