In early 2017, I set a goal for myself to do a single unassisted pull up. It’s October, and I’m still working on it. And that’s a win.
Why is it a win, if I haven’t met my goal yet?
Because without accountability from the personal trainers that I mentioned my goal to, I would have given up by now.
My trainer, Beth, pictured above helping me develop the muscles I’ll need for that one pull-up, is one of my accountability partners. She’s not letting me give up.
And as I think through the progress I’ve made with my health and fitness goals in the past 8 years, most of that progress would not have happened unless I’d had accountability along the way.
Sometimes those partners didn’t even know they were partners; they led their life in such a way that I admired, and I took good mental notes. Others were a partner for a short while, such as the health coach who helped me get unstuck in one area this past spring. Still others are longer-term partners – personal trainers and friends at the gym, leaders in a healthy lifestyle group I’m in and co-lead, my massage therapist who always preaches at me to stretch. Sometimes an accountability partner is a friend, and we hold each other accountable as we walk a similar road.
These people help me remember the goals I set, encourage me to keep working toward them, and pick me up and dust me off when I fall short.
Last fall, when trying to complete a 92-day challenge at the gym, I started to get annoyed that my upper-body strength was nowhere near where I wanted it to be. I was frustrated that I couldn’t do a single pull-up unassisted, and I hardly could hang there for more than a few seconds. My grip wasn’t strong, and neither were my shoulders or arms.
But my own vision of my optimal health is strong and powerful. I want to age well and, now and in the future, be able to do all the activities that I enjoy, with sound body and mind.
So I told the personal trainers that in 2017, I wanted to work on doing a single pull up, unassisted. One. Uno. Un.
I can’t do it, yet.
And many times I’ve thought, “Be careful what you wish for.” Because the training – and the soreness the day after – can be tough. But I can tell I’m getting stronger, day by day.
Others have been there for me as well recently. Friends cheered me through preparation for and completion of a half marathon. A health coach recently worked with me to develop strategies for getting more sleep. A friend encourages me to work toward certain personal and professional goals. My Women’s Bible Study supports my spiritual growth.
Who can be an accountability partner for you?
Let’s take a look at the 7 self-care areas on the Wheel of Health. Think about your short-term and/or long-term goals in these areas (take a moment to write them down if you haven’t already). Who can you think of that is already or could be an accountability partner for you in these different areas?
- Exercise, movement, rest
- Personal and professional development
- Mind-body connection
- Relationships and communication
- Physical environment
In which area could you use more help? Who could you ask for assistance? To whom could you give some assistance, and in what area?
If you’d like to explore one of these areas with me, contact me to set up a complementary phone consultation. We can start to explore your focus area and see if integrative health coaching may be something that might benefit you.
Thanks for joining me for Step 13 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series, part of #Write31Days 2017. You can read what the series is all about here and catch up on past posts. If you don’t want to miss a thing, subscribe to get each one in your inbox.